Martha’s Tour of England and Scotland, June 15 - 27, 2019
Martha’s Travel Corner Visits:
England and Scotland
June 15 - 27, 2019
This green land, this sceptered isle, this crucible of empire and pioneer of parliamentary democracy, is the most eccentric, extraordinary and downright intriguing place on Earth.
Saturday, June 15 – CHICAGO / EN ROUTE
We depart Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport this evening by schedule flight for the beginning of our England and Scotland journey.
Sunday, June 16 – LONDON (City of London)
This morning we arrive at London’s Heathrow Airport, where we’ll meet our British Guide who will travel with us throughout our vacation. Upon arrival we’ll receive a panoramic introduction to the one-square-mile that comprises the “City of London.” We begin our day with a view of the Tower of London. Founded by William the Conqueror and later enlarged by successive sovereigns, the Tower of London is one of the world’s most famous and spectacular fortresses. Over the past 1000 years it has been a Royal Palace, an armory and a place of imprisonment and execution. We’ll also see such well-known sites as the Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. As you’ll soon find out, visitors from the young to the young at heart will feel equally welcome in London, as it is certainly one of the friendliest big cities in the world. At the conclusion of our introduction we will set off for the Strand Palace Hotel. Situated in the heart of the West End, surrounded by iconic architectural and cultural landmarks. Dinner and Overnight: Strand Palace Hotel or similar
Monday, June 17 – LONDON
Today is free to explore London at your leisure. Museum lovers may wish to head for South Kensington, which offers the architecturally spectacular Victoria and Albert, Natural History and Science Museums, all within a stone’s throw of each other. However, if you’re planning to visit only one museum during your stay in London, then the British Museum should be on the top of your list.And don’t forget to take part in London’s nightlife. London Theater is arguably the richest in the world and visitors come from all over to see the shows, plays and musicals. Overnight: Strand Palace Hotel or simila
Tuesday, June 18 - LONDON (Windsor Castle)
This morning we leave the city and drive to Windsor Castle, the oldest Royal residence continuously being used in the United Kingdom. Dating back to Norman times, with sweeping landscaped gardens and turreted Round Tower, it’s easy to see why it’s the Queen’s favorite weekend residence. We’ll enjoy a fascinating through-the-keyhole peek at the lavish State Apartments, home to priceless artwork by Rembrandt and Leonardo da Vinci, and visit St. George’s Chapel, the atmospheric final resting place of former monarchs including Henry VIII. On our return to London, the remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. For those in search of shopping, Oxford Street, Covent Garden and Knightsbridge are obvious destinations. While theater and arts fanatics have two prime destinations to aim for - the West End, centered on Leicester Square for all London’s famous musical offerings, and the South Bank Complex on the Thames for the National Theatre, Royal Festival Hall and National Film Theatre, among many others. Dinner is on your own this evening. Overnight: Strand Palace Hotel or similar
Wednesday, June 19 - LONDON / OXFORD / STRATFORD-UPON-AVON
Today we will leave London and travel through the Thames Valley into the English countryside and into the famous university city of Oxford. As we’ll soon find out, the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’ has inspired generations of scholars. A walking tour of Oxford University’s narrow alleys and ancient squares will take us to the Bodleian Library and include a visit to Christ Church College where we’ll see the magical grandeur of the Great Hall, instantly recognizable as the setting of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts. Continuing from Oxford, we make the short journey through the Cotswold Hills, an area of outstanding natural beauty and onto Stratford-upon-Avon. We’ll arrive at the lovely White Swan hotel with time to freshen up, enjoy the surrounding grounds or enjoy a refreshment in the lounge before meeting the group for dinner at the hotel. Dinner and Overnight: The White Swan or similar
Thursday, June 20 – STRATFORD-UPON-AVON
A morning tour of Stratford-upon-Avon will begin with a visit to the birthplace of England’s greatest poet, William Shakespeare. We’ll learn the fascinating story of Shakespeare’s early years, and visit Holy Trinity Church, one of England’s most beautiful parish churches, to see Shakespeare’s grave and the graves of Anne Hathaway, and his wife Susanna Shakespeare. We’ll end our sightseeing with a visit to picturesque Anne Hathaway’s cottage, the childhood home of Shakespeare’s wife, which has often been described as the most romantic in England. In the afternoon, we’ll travel into the Cotswolds. We’ll pause in the sleepy town of Burford with its magnificent High Street, stop in the village of Bibury, described by William Morris as the ‘prettiest village’ in the Cotswolds, before ending with a visit to idyllic Bourton-on-the-Water, known as the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ where freetime will be set aside to marvel at its elegant low bridges and stroll along the magnificent Main Street. We’ll return to Stratford on Avon and enjoy a Shakespearean production at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Subject to the schedule of performances. There will be time before the Theatre to have dinner on your own time. Overnight: The White Swan or similar
Friday, June 21 – STRATFORD-UPON-AVON (Bath)
Today we are headed to the beautiful Georgian city of Bath, a museum to two periods of England’s history, and famous for its stunning architecture and flower filled streets, parks and gardens. Bath is one of Britain’s oldest cities, famous since Roman times for its warm mineral springs. On arrival a sightseeing tour of Bath will introduce us to the elegant Royal Crescent and the equally famous Circus designed by John Wood. We’ll also visit the Roman Baths, among the best-preserved Roman remains anywhere in England. Afterward, free time will allow us to stop in at the 18th century Pump Room where locals gather for afternoon high tea; visit Bath Abbey, the largest of the great pre-Reformation churches; and for shopping along Milsom Street or a stroll through the Parade Grounds below the Pulteney Bridge. Dinner is at your own leisure this evening. Overnight: The White Swan or similar
Saturday, June 22 – STRATFORD-UPON-AVON / CHESTER
This morning there is leisure time for you to enjoy Stratford-upon-Avon before we leave for the Cathedral City of Coventry. The place we call ‘Coventry Cathedral’ is in fact two buildings that lie at the very heart of the city. The Ruins of the ‘old Cathedral’ are the remains of a medieval parish church. Rather than sweeping away the ruins or rebuilding a replica of the former church, the leaders of the Cathedral Community took the courageous step to build a new Cathedral and preserve the remains of the old Cathedral as a moving reminder of the folly and waste of war. Then we are off to Staffordshire County, the home of the English potters. We’ll stop in the city of Stoke-on-Trent to visit the Wedgwood Visitor Centre for an insight into three centuries of history from Josiah Wedgwood’s early work to the stylish pottery of today. Then we’ll be on our way across the Cheshire Plain to the walled city of Chester that has most completely preserved its medieval aspect. Tonight, we will dine at our hotel, The Hallmark Chester. Dinner and Overnight: The Hallmark Chester or similar
Sunday, June 23 – CHESTER
There is time for you to enjoy a leisurely breakfast before your tour of this fascinating Roman city. The main streets are lined with timber buildings called “Chester Rows”, which with their two tiers of stores and continuous upper gallery, anticipate today’s high-rise stores by several centuries. Be sure to listen for the Town Crier, who calls out the hour and announces news from the Cross, which is a reconstruction of the 15th-century stone crucifix that was destroyed in the Civil War. After our sightseeing the rest of the day is yours to explore Chester. Dinner is at your leisure. Overnight: The Hallmark Chester or similar
Scotland portion: June 24 - 27, 2019
Scotland has many treasures contained in its compact territory – big skies, lonely landscapes, spectacular wildlife, superb seafood and hospitable, friendly people.
Monday, June 24 – CHESTER / EDINBURGH (Grasmere)
This morning we will depart Chester and travel through the glorious Lake District, which inspired many of Beatrix Potter’s children’s books. Stop in Grasmere, where Wordsworth lived and is buried, and the Famous Blacksmiths Shop in Gretna Green to shop for quality Scottish goods. Following our visit, we’ll set our sights on Edinburgh. As we’ll soon find out, the historic status of Edinburgh is beyond question. Ancient buildings are scattered across the city, and the seat of Scotland’s New Parliament lies close to the royal residence of Holyrood Palace. Dinner is on your own this evening. Overnight: Apex Waterloo Place or similar
Tuesday, June 25 – EDINBURGH
Our day will begin with an introduction to Scotland’s capital city. We’ll drive through the heart of the city along Princes Street, famous for its shops on one side and gardens on the other. We’ll see the 18th century New Town with its broad streets, spacious squares and elegant townhouses. Then we’ll drive along the Royal Mile and view the Holyrood Palace, the official Scottish residence of Her Majesty The Queen, before stopping to visit imposing Edinburgh Castle, perched high above the city on volcanic rock. Our visit will reveal an assemblage of buildings dating from the 12th to the 20th century, reflecting its changing role as fortress, royal palace, military garrison and state prison. Following our tour, the afternoon is at leisure in Edinburgh. Overnight: Apex Waterloo Place or similar
Wednesday, June 26 – EDINBURGH (Scottish Countryside)
Today we visit the area known as the Trossachs, often described as the Highlands in miniature and were we will see glorious lochs, sweeping valleys and majestic mountains. Our first stop is Stirling with its romantic castle and the nearby National Wallace Monument - immortalized in “Braveheart” and the Battle Bannockburn. We continue into the Trossachs with its dramatic scenery and typical highland villages. Travel over Duke’s Pass not for the fainthearted - however the journey delights with highland cottages, mirror like lochs and majestic scenery, before sweeping down into another town made famous by Victorian visitors in their quest to follow in the footsteps of Sir Walter Scott and his widely acclaimed ‘Lady of the Lake.’ Stop off and enjoy a detour to the stunning Loch Katrine, and we enjoy a visit to Aberfoyle a typical village with quaint shops and restaurants. It is also home to the Scottish Wool Centre, a very popular attraction for those seeking woolen items and souvenirs. Dinner and Overnight: Apex Waterloo Place or similar
Thursday, June 27 – EDINBURGH / ENROUTE
As all good things must come to an end, so too does our Martha’s Journey to England and Scotland vacation. This morning we travel to Edinburgh Airport in preparation for the return journey home. No better time to reflect on memories of our vacation to last a lifetime and new friendships made along the way!
Pricing: $4715.00 Per Person Based on Double Occupancy from Chicago Single Supplement Pricing: $870.00
The Vacation Price Includes:
~Economy-class airline transportation by scheduled service of American Airlines based out of Chicago, O’Hare
~Exclusive transport by luxury motor coach with driver/guide
~Meet and greet service with one group transfer upon arrival and departure at airport
~Hotel accommodation based on twin bedded rooms with private bath for 11 nights
~Full breakfast (11)
~Four included dinners
~Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage
~Gratuities for included meals, services charges and taxes
Visits and admission to:
~Tour of London
~Christ Church College Oxford
~Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
~ Shakespearean production at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre
~Wedgewood Visitors Center
The Vacation Price Does Not Include:
~Items of a personal nature such as passport fees; travel insurance; luggage handling at airports, excess baggage charges; meals NOT included in the itinerary; sightseeing attractions listed as “optional excursions” and gratuities to the Full time Motor coach Driver/Guide. (Allow 10 Sterling per day per person)
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