Essential Britain (GC) - 2015 / 2016

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12 Day Tour from London to London

Essential Britain
Gretna Green
Gretna Green
Pomp-and-ceremony in London
Prehistoric Stonehenge
London’s Tower Bridge over the River Thames
Marvel at the architecture of the infamous Big Ben in London
The Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh serves as the offical residence of the Queen
Ride the iconic double decker bus in London
Loch Lomond

Vacation Overview

This vacation offers a panoramic exploration of England, Wales, and Scotland. Begin with an overnight in London, then head west to prehistoric Stonehenge. Spend two nights in Plymouth, with an excursion into Cornwall. Visit Land’s End and the seaside resort of St. Ives, and try the Local Favorite—a traditional Cornish Pasty, minced beef, rutabaga, potato, and onion baked in pastry. Travel north to Glastonbury, of King Arthur fame, and stop to see the amazing Roman excavations in Bath. Cross into Wales for an overnight in Cardiff and a drive through Brecon Beacons National Park to Chester. Then, journey to Liverpool, where you’ll visit the Beatles Story. Explore England’s scenic Lake District and Wordsworth’s Grasmere, where you will taste its famous gingerbread before crossing into Scotland for a stop in Gretna Green. Here, take part in a wedding re-enactment, and experience how the blacksmith used to wed runaway couples. Spend the night in Glasgow, then skirt the banks of Loch Lomond on your way to the Isle of Skye, where a visit to the Museum of the Isles at the Clan Donald Centre is included. After a stop in the Highland capital of Inverness, head south through Culloden Moor, Braemar, and St. Andrews. A 2-night stay in Edinburgh includes guided sightseeing and visits to Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace (except when the Queen is in residence). Tickets are included for the world-renowned Military Tattoo on departures August 1-22. Back in England, choose between a visit to Alnwick Castle or to the lavish Alnwick Garden. See a section of Hadrian’s Wall and medieval York with its awe-inspiring minster. Stop in Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon to visit his birthplace before returning to London for an overnight and the finale of your magnificent vacation.

Similar Vacations that may interest you:

Visit the prehistoric monument

Welcome dinner

Take photographs of St. Michael’s Mount, visit Land’s End and St. Ives; Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite Cornish pasty treat

Visit the Roman relics

Visit the ancient market town

Walking tour

Visit the Beatles Story

Visit Wordsworth’s village; Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite try original Grasmere gingerbread

Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite Take part in a wedding re-enactment

Cross the Sound of Sleat by ferry


Visit the Museum of the Isles at the Clan Donald Centre


Visit the home of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club

Guided sightseeing, visit Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace

Visit the ancestral home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland or explore the spectacular garden

Walking tour

Take pictures of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, visit Shakespeare’s birthplace


  • Edinburgh Military Tattoo ticket included for departures August 1-22

DAY 1Arrive in London, England

Welcome to London! Uniformed Globus Hosts will be waiting to welcome you. After checking into your hotel and an afternoon at leisure, we recommend our optional Taste of London excursion with dinner, followed by a guided illumination cruise on the Thames River.

Pomp-and-ceremony in London The London Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel London’s Tower Bridge over the River Thames Marvel at the architecture of the infamous Big Ben in London 

DAY 2London–Stonehenge–Plymouth

Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions, and depart London at 8 am. First, try to unravel the mystery of prehistoric STONEHENGE; explore the stunning new visitor center with its imaginative exhibitions, then take the shuttle to the stone circle and admire the magnificence of the monument up close. Continue on through Thomas Hardy’s Wessex, and head to Plymouth for the next two nights. Spend some time at the historic Barbican to see the Mayflower Steps, where the Pilgrim Fathers embarked in 1620, and hear about historical figures such as Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner with wine at your hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Ride the iconic double decker bus in London 


"Built in several stages starting around 3,000 BC, Stonehenge remains one of humankind’s biggest mysteries. While science is still trying to determine the purpose behind this famous prehistoric monument, it is generally assumed to be some sort of astronomical observatory that reflects the changing trajectory of the sun through the sky and the seasons"

DAY 3Plymouth. Cornwall Excursion

A day full of West Country sights as you head through Daphne du Maurier’s Cornwall, where you will be treated to an authentic Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite CORNISH PASTY. After viewing St. Michael’s Mount, take your photos at Land’s End before exploring the popular seaside resort of St. Ives. Back in Plymouth, why not join an optional excursion into Dartmoor National Park for an evening of storytelling at a local pub? (Breakfast)


DAY 4Plymouth–Glastonbury–Bath–Cardiff, Wales

At Glastonbury, hear about its associations with King Arthur, and in elegant Bath, see the amazing excavations of the ROMAN BATHS with time to explore further on your own. Stay the night in Cardiff, the Welsh capital. You might want to join an evening of Welsh entertainment and dinner tonight. (Breakfast)

The Roman Baths once served as a complex for public bathing 

DAY 5Cardiff–Builth Wells–Chester, England–Liverpool

Your journey through Wales takes you north along the Taff Valley and Brecon Beacons National Park, and via the ancient market town of Builth Wells to Chester. On your walking tour, see the Roman remains, the characteristic black and white half-timbered buildings, and the famous two-tiered arcades called the “Rows.” Spend the night in Liverpool; you may wish to join an optional city tour this evening. (Breakfast)

Enjoy the historic architecture of downtown Liverpool Flags along the windy streets of Liverpool 

DAY 6Liverpool–Grasmere–Gretna Green, Scotland–Glasgow

Start the day with a visit to the award-winning BEATLES STORY, an atmospheric journey into the life, times, culture, and music of the “Fab Four.” Later, focus on the tranquil Lake District, considered to be the finest of England’s national parks. Take a break in Wordsworth’s beloved Grasmere and try original Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite GRASMERE GINGERBREAD. Then, head north for the Scottish border and stop at Gretna Green, where the blacksmith used to wed runaway couples, and take part in a Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite WEDDING RE-ENACTMENT. Overnight in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Glasgow, Scotland Glasgow, Scotland 
Gretna Green

Gretna Green

"There are many legends of love that surround Gretna Green – the first town encountered across the Scottish border. For centuries, Gretna Green has been synonymous with elopement and blacksmith marriages, although marriage by a blacksmith is more legend than fact. Until the 18th century, church marriages among the lower classes in Europe were almost unheard of. Instead, lower class weddings were usually looked at as “marriage by declaration.” When England passed the Marriage Act of 1754, establishing church weddings as the only legal form of marriage, a sudden industry began over the border in Scotland, where couples could still wed by declaration. Scottish “blacksmith priests” began working in pubs and inns and the eloping couples came in droves."

DAY 7Glasgow–Isle of Skye–Inverness

Follow the “Bonnie Banks” of Loch Lomond, then proceed via Rannoch Moor, Glen Coe, Fort William, and the “Road to the Isles.” At Mallaig, board your FERRY for the crossing to the Isle of Skye, where you visit the MUSEUM OF THE ISLES at the Clan Donald Centre. Return to the mainland and trace the shores of Loch Ness on the way to the Highland capital. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Loch Lomond Enjoy the panoramic views of Scotland from the Isle of Skye Loch Lomond 

DAY 8Inverness–Braemar–St. Andrews–Edinburgh

Main features today: the battlefield of Culloden Moor; Braemar, home of the Royal Highland Games; St. Andrews; and over the elegant Forth Road Bridge to Edinburgh. Tonight, an optional Scottish evening with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and the Ceremony of the Haggis.

For departures August 1-22, tickets are included for tonight’s performance of the world-renowned MILITARY TATTOO.

View over Auld Reekie in Edinburgh, Scotland Enjoy the sounds of bagpipes and drums at the Military Tattoo performance Culloden Moor 

DAY 9Edinburgh

Morning city sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the 200-year-old “New Town” and famous scientists, inventors, and novelists. In the “Old Town,” drive up the narrow Royal Mile to EDINBURGH CASTLE to admire Scotland’s Crown Jewels, then explore HOLYROOD PALACE (except when the Queen is in residence). Later, a unique optional excursion: board the former Royal Yacht Britannia to see how the Royal Family and crew of 240 lived and worked on board. Dinner rounds off this optional evening. (Breakfast)

The Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh serves as the offical residence of the Queen The Edinburgh Castle dominating the skyline of Edinburgh, Scotland Atop the famous Edinburgh rock, the Edinburgh Castle provides panoramic views For over forty years, the Royal Yacht served the British Royal Family.  Britannia is now a unique five-star visitor experience; come and tour five decks of this historic ship. 

DAY 10Edinburgh–Alnwick, England–York

This morning at ALNWICK CASTLE the choice is yours: visit the CASTLE itself, the opulent ancestral home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, or explore ALNWICK GARDEN, where the fountains and waterfalls are a breathtaking feature. Next, stand in front of the great structure of York Minster, then follow your Tour Director through a maze of quaint streets, including the narrow Shambles. (Breakfast, Dinner)


DAY 11York–Stratford-Upon-Avon–London

On the last leg of your journey, stop at Stratford-upon-Avon to take pictures of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and visit SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHPLACE. On return to London at about 3:30 pm, a Shownight Theater Evening would be an incredible finale to your vacation. (Breakfast)

Shakespeares Birthplace 

DAY 12London

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)



Motorcoach; ferry to the Isle of Skye. Free Wi-Fi available on your motorcoach and in most hotel lobbies.

Full English breakfast; 4 three-course dinners with wine and choice of menus, including a welcome dinner in Plymouth

With Globus, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.


Years of Experience: 36 years

Why did King John build a castle on the Shannon? Why is Dublin's St. Patrick's Cathedral Protestant? How did James Watt change the world? To understand a country you've got to ask the questions, and my greatest pleasure over many years has been to try to answer those questions. When you do us the courtesy of traveling to our country, we have a duty to show it to you properly!

Four Ways Globus Eliminates the Hassles

VIP Access
Skip the lines and get special treatment at the must-see attractions.

Perfect Hotels
We’ve done the work to find just the right hotels in just the right locations.

Tour Directors
Take your heads out of the guidebook and let expert guides make every destination fascinating.

Leave the navigating to us – and just sit back and enjoy the ride. Learn how Globus is reducing transportation-related energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on the Essential Britain:

  • City of Bath
  • Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape
  • Frontiers of the Roman Empire
  • Liverpool - Maritime Mercantile City
  • Old and New Towns of Edinburgh
  • Stonehenge