England with a touch of Wales

12 Days London to Manchester – Private Small Group Journey

Highlights Include: Windsor Castle, Hampton Court, Oxford, the Cotswolds, Stratford, Warwick Castle, York, Yorkshire Dales, Ullswater, the Lake District, Chester, North Wales, and Snowdonia. 

Specially customized for private small groups of 6 to 18 guests

England with a touch of Wales

DAY 1 ARRIVE IN LONDON: Arrive in London. After you make your way through customs, meet with your tour manager in the arrivals area. Shortly afterwards, transfer to your hotel in London. The remainder of your day is at leisure in London. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner in your hotel. (D)
Hotel Name: The Milestone Hotel

DAY 2 LONDON: After breakfast, depart on a full-day sightseeing tour of London. You start by visiting the Tower of London, home of the ‘Beefeaters’, where you get to see the dazzling Crown Jewels. You also gain excellent views of Tower Bridge from the medieval palace. Proceed to St. Paul’s Cathedral, rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London in 1666. Head along the south bank of the River Thames, and enjoy a ride on the London Eye, from the top of which you enjoy spectacular views of the city. Cross over to Westminster to the Houses of Parliament, of which Big Ben is one of the iconic symbols of England. Next visit Westminster Abbey, the national church of England that has been the scene of many state occasions, including the Queen’s Coronation. Continue down Whitehall and past Downing Street to Trafalgar Square, where the National Gallery of Art is overshadowed by Nelson’s Column. Finally, return to your hotel driving past Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s official residence in London. The staterooms of the palace may be visited in August and September. Then return to your hotel and enjoy your evening free in London. (B)
Hotel Name: The Milestone Hotel

DAY 3 WINDSOR CASTLE & HAMPTON COURT: Enjoy breakfast before departing on full-day excursion west along the River Thames. First visit Hampton Court Palace, which became a favorite royal residence after being confiscated by Henry VIII from Cardinal Wolsey in the 16th century. In the company of a Tudor courtier, visit the Great Hall and the Tudor kitchens, and see the Royal Tennis Court where King Henry used to play. You also see the ornamental gardens, with their infamous maze, as well as the largest vine in England. Travel to Windsor through Runnymede Meadow, where the Magna Carta was sealed by King John in 1215. On arrival, you tour Windsor Castle, the largest inhabited castle in the world and the Queen’s favorite residence. Subject to opening restrictions, you may see the State Apartments, St. George’s Chapel and Queen Mary’s Doll’s House. From the castle ramparts here, you can enjoy excellent views of Eton College. Later, return to London for overnight. (B)
Hotel Name: The Milestone Hotel

DAY 4 OXFORD & THE COTSWOLDS: Today, depart from London and begin your journey into the English countryside. Head first to Oxford, home to England’s oldest university, where you can take a walk through the impressive buildings that are still home to the university’s main ceremonial and educational functions. Proceed to Woodstock, stopping at Blenheim Palace for a tour. This home of the Duke of Marlborough, designed by the architect Vanbrugh, was the birthplace of wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill. A vast park, landscaped by Capability Brown, surrounds the palace. Afterwards continue to your hotel in the delightful English village of Lower Slaughter. Enjoy dinner in your hotel. (B/D)
Hotel Name: Lower Slaughter Manor

DAY 5 THE COTSWOLDS VILLAGES: This morning, depart on an excursion to the Cotswold Hills, regarded as one of the most quintessentially English parts of the country. Discover the famed cottages and villages built out of the honey-colored limestone that is so characteristic of the region in places such as Chipping Campden, Burford and Bourton-on-the-Water. You may also make an appointment to view works of art and antiques in the renowned galleries of Broadway and Stow-on-the-Wold. This part of the world is also renowned for its traditional English pubs and tea rooms. Take time to enjoy a pint of local ale with a ploughman’s lunch or try an afternoon cream tea in quaint old-fashioned surroundings. Return to Lower Slaughter where the remainder of your day and evening are free. (B)
Hotel Name: Lower Slaughter Manor

DAY 6 STRATFORD, WARWICK & YORK: Your first stop today is Stratford-upon-Avon, the market town that is revered as the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Visit the house where the playwright was born, right in the heart of the town center, and visit Ann Hathaway’s Cottage, in the nearby village of Shottery. You may also wish to visit Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare is buried. The church lies on the banks of the Avon, beyond the world-famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Later in the day, make your way north towards your hotel in York for dinner and overnight. (B/D)
Hotel Name: The Grand Hotel & Spa

DAY 7 YORK: Your day starts with an exploration of one of the most historic English cities. Visit York Minster, the largest medieval cathedral north of the Alps, and browse around the stores of the quaint streets, including the Shambles. You may also walk on the ancient walls that circle the city. This afternoon, enjoy an excursion into the countryside surrounding York. Castle Howard is a fine mansion in the hills to the east of the city. With its large landscape garden, it was used as the setting for the television adaptation of ‘Brideshead Revisited’. Return to York for overnight. (B)
Hotel Name: The Grand Hotel & Spa

DAY 8 YORKSHIRE DALES & LAKE DISTRICT: After breakfast, depart and head through the Yorkshire Dales and into the Lake District. Your journey takes you across the Yorkshire Dales via Wensleydale, and the market towns of Middleham and Hawes, where the famous Wensleydale Cheese creamery is located. You can also visit Middleham Castle, a 12th-century motte and bailey fortification and a favorite home of the infamous King Richard III. The James Herriot books about the Yorkshire veterinarian were set in the area around nearby Hawes. Your driver stops en route for you to take lunch at leisure. During the afternoon, continue across the country into the Lake District National Park where you will check into your hotel for dinner and overnight. (B/D)
Hotel Name: Holbeck Ghyll

DAY 9 THE LAKE DISTRICT: Depart on a full-day excursion through this beautiful corner of England. Travel through some of the most spectacular scenery of the region on your way to Hawkshead, near Windermere, a small village with attractive alleyways and squares. Hawkshead has literary associations and you may like to visit either Wordsworth’s Grammar School or the Beatrix Potter Gallery here. From here, continue northwards up to Grasmere where you visit Dove Cottage. Built in the early 17th century, the cottage served as an inn for some 170 years before closing and then becoming home to William Wordsworth in 1799 for nine years. It was here that Wordsworth wrote some of his most famous poetry and his sister, Dorothy, wrote her journals. Later, return to Windemere for overnight. (B)
Hotel Name: Holbeck Ghyll

DAY 10 CHESTER: Leave the Lake District this morning and head south with your driver-guide. You might like to stop at Levens Hall, a fine Elizabethan manor house that boasts one of the finest topiary gardens in England. From here continue past the industrial cities of Liverpool and Manchester to Chester. On arrival, take a walking tour of the city center. Chester is the only town in England to preserve a complete circuit of medieval walls, from which you can walk and see the site of the Roman amphitheatre. Inside the walls, you can visit the colorful sandstone cathedral, or browse the medieval half-timbered shopping arcades called ‘The Rows’. (B)
Hotel Name: Chester Grosvenor

DAY 11 NORTH WALES – SNOWDONIA: After breakfast, depart on a full-day excursion into North Wales. Head west to the fortified town of Conway, where you witness the impressive town walls and ruined castle. Travel along the Vale of Conway into the Snowdonia National Park, driving through breath-taking scenery. The Llanberis Pass takes you down to Caernarfon, where Edward I’s sizable castle dominates this largely Welsh-speaking town. Time permitting, you may visit the Italianate village of Portmeirion. This ‘ideal village’ was created by architect Clough Williams Ellis to demonstrate how people should be able to live in beautiful surroundings. It is possible to arrive at the village by a miniature steam train on the Ffestiniog railway, one of the small trains built to carry slate from the surrounding mountains down to the ports. Return to Chester for overnight. (B)
Hotel Name: Chester Grosvenor

DAY 12: MANCHESTER / USA: After breakfast, transfer to Manchester airport for your return flight home. (B)

Customize to Suit

The above suggested itinerary can be customized to suit; more or less meals, different cities and/or sightseeing based on your clients’ interests.  You name it, our expert group specialist professionals will put it together for you. Please call 1-855-220-6450, or simply complete the group request form, and we’ll get back to you with your proposal.

Inclusions

  • 11 nights 4-Star & 5-Star hotels as suggested in the itinerary
  • Private vehicle and driver for transfers and excursions as outlined in the itinerary 
  • Breakfast daily, except day of arrival
  • 4, three course dinners
  • London tour including visits to: The Tower of London, London Eye, and Westminster Abbey (and Buckingham Palace staterooms if visiting August or September)
  • Hampton Court Palace
  • Windsor Castle
  • Blenheim Palace
  • Full-day Cotswolds Excursion
  • William Shakespeare’s birthplace, and Holy Trinity Church Shakespeare’s burial place 
  • Ann Hathaway’s Cottage
  • York Minster
  • Castle Howard
  • Middleham Castle
  • Full-day excursion to the Lake District, with a visit to Dove Cottage
  • Full-day excursion to North Wales, including Snowdonia National Park
  • Portfolio of travel documents
  • 24-hour local customer service while traveling in England & Wales

Private Departures

Please Call 1-855-220-6450 for Group Rates on this Custom Group Journey

This suggested itinerary can be customized to suit; more or less meals, different cities and/or sightseeing based on your clients’ interests.  You name it, our expert group specialist professionals will put it together for you. Please call 1-855-220-6450, or simply complete the group request form, and we’ll get back to you with your proposal.

Group Discounts

On custom journeys, discounts vary depending on group requirements. Typically, travel with a group of 20 and the 21st traveler receives a 100% discount* off the land portion of the vacation price. A second traveler receives a 100% discount* off the land on a group of 40 paying passengers.

*Per person prices are land only and based on two people sharing a room. Above dates represent “land start” date. Air: Please note that airfares are not included in the prices above. Journeys Connect can quote you the lowest possible GROUP airfare available on the day that you book. Minimum of 10 seats from same gateway. Less than 10 air seats will require full payment at time of booking. Single Room Supplement: On Request. Triple Room Reduction: On Request. Group discounts cannot be combined with our Triple Room discounts. Not valid on Specialty, Customized Vacations or River Cruises, optional extensions, extra nights, airfares, taxes and fees, flight supplements, or airport transfers. Other restrictions may apply. All passengers’ names must be advised before the discount is applied. *Group discount is on a twin-share basis only.

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Journeys Connect group and specialty services are available exclusively on a Business-to-Business basis, to travel industry professionals. If you are an individual interested in a Group Journey for 6 or more passengers, please do browse our collection and then contact your preferred Travel Agent and ask them to book through Journeys Connect.

Travel professionals, please call and speak with one of our Group Specialty Professionals:
1-855-220-6450

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