$12,785 per person
19 Days
More than 1

Icons of England and Wales

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Some Details

Departure Location
London, United Kingdom
Return Location
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Tour Leader(s)
Rob Clark
Tour Date
29 Aug 2024 - 16 Sep 2024
Price: $12785 Single Supplement: $2865
Price includes
  • 18-nights’ accommodation in centrally located hotels with daily breakfast
  • 9 rail excursions, 2 boat trips, and comfortable luxury coach transport throughout
  • Breakfast daily, 2 lunches, 12 dinners
  • Comprehensive sightseeing with expert local guides and your experienced and knowledgeable host
  • Drinks with meals (except for welcome and farewell dinners)
  • Excursion/entrance fees except those listed in the itinerary as optional
  • First-class rail travel (where available)
  • Luggage transported separately on days 4, 12, and 13 when travelling by train
  • Porterage on and off the coach and at all hotels
Price does not include
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • Excursion/entrance fees listed as optional in the itinerary
  • International flights
  • Items of a personal nature e.g. telephone, laundry, minibar
  • Travel insurance
  • Tour Plan
Tour Plan

Day 1 • Thursday 29 August:

Arrive London

Make your way to our hotel, conveniently located in the vibrant Gloucester Road area, opposite the Tube station. In the evening, meet with your tour leader and fellow travellers for drinks, a briefing, and a celebratory welcome dinner.

Overnight: The Bailey’s Hotel, London (D)

Day 2 • Friday 30 August:

London – Greenwich – London

Our adventure begins after a lavish breakfast at the hotel when we walk across the street and into the Underground to explore London by rail and river. The Docklands Light Railway whips us down along the Thames through the new suburbs created from the restored industrial areas to Greenwich. Here we will be given a combination ticket allowing us access to the major attractions, museums, and galleries of the National Maritime Museum and Royal Observatory. While there, we visit the great clipper ship the Cutty Sark and have free time to wander the historic Naval Hospital and the town. We enjoy an early dinner and then continue by ferry along the Thames soaking up the sights of this great city from the vantage point of its iconic river.   

Overnight: The Bailey’s Hotel, London (B, D)

Day 3 • Saturday 31 August:


Today is a free day in and around London to explore the many options on offer in this grand city. You may wish to take an excursion to the extraordinary collection at RAF Hendon Aircraft Museum or head into London for an afternoon visit to the Imperial War Museum. Your hotel is conveniently located right next to the Gloucester Road Tube station, which is just a few short stops along the Circle Line to central London.

Overnight: The Bailey’s Hotel, London (B)

Day 4 • Sunday 1 September:

London – Portsmouth

Today our luggage will go separately while we travel first class on the fast-express service down the old London and Southwestern Railway from Waterloo to Portsmouth, now operated by Southwest Trains.

After some free time for lunch, the afternoon revolves around the many highlights of Portsmouth, with a museum pass to the fascinating and extensive Portsmouth Historic Dockyard included. The afternoon is yours to explore the site. Rob will be on hand to help guide and illuminate the amazing collection of iconic ships, memorabilia, and museum exhibits. Dinner this evening is in a local Portsmouth favourite.

Overnight: The Queen’s Hotel, Portsmouth (B, D)

Day 5 • Monday 2 September:


After breakfast, we take our coach to the port where a catamaran ferry is standing by to take us across to the Isle of Wight. The ferry connects with the island’s local electric train (vintage London Underground rolling stock) for the short run across the island to the terminus station of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway at Smallbrook Junction. This authentic heritage railway takes you by steam on the idyllic little line to the railway’s depot at Haven Street Station. Lunch is on your own at the railway’s well-stocked café.

We’ll then continue to the end of the island’s electric railway line where we’ll be transported by private coach to the chalk cliffs of the southern coast and back via the Needles, Old Battery Museum and the towns of Newport and Ryde. We take the opportunity to visit Osborne House, one of Queen Victoria’s favourite residences, designed by Prince Albert himself as a summer house and retreat for the Royal Family. The ferry brings us back to Portsmouth and our hotel for a free evening in this fair city.

Overnight: The Queen’s Hotel, Portsmouth (B)

Day 6 • Tuesday 3 September:

Portsmouth – Bristol

Our private coach departs from the hotel to take us to Bristol, on a scenic rural journey via Stonehenge and Bath. First stop is to explore the mysterious and magical Stonehenge. The main stones date from about 2,500 BC and you have a chance to explore the extraordinary site on the well curated walking path. While much about them remains unexplained, the new museum and gallery add a wonderful insight to this iconic site and the cafe offers a welcome refreshment before we continue our journey.

We make the next stop at the charming town of Devizes for lunch on your own and time to wander around this historic market town, full of delightful shops and a lovely museum showcasing the treasures that have been found in the area. A short distance away is our next stop, Bath, where, in the company of a local guide, the story of this ancient and colourful city is bought to life. Later, we continue to Bristol to check into our hotel for the next two nights and enjoy dinner in the city.

Overnight: Radisson Blu Hotel, Bristol (B, D)

Day 7 • Wednesday 4 September:


Today we take an excursion just a short way down the road to the Fleet Air Arm Museum, one of Britain’s foremost collections of historic naval aviation history. Here you can see a vast array of interesting exhibits, including the story of the Battle of the Atlantic, the flight deck from HMS Ark Royal and Concorde, and many more across the five great halls of exhibits.

As an alternative option you may wish we visit STEAM, a wonderful museum dedicated to the story of the Great Western Railway located in the old railway workshops at Swindon, which is a short train ride east of Bristol.

Back in Bristol, the afternoon and evening is free to enjoy the city’s many sites and attractions.

Overnight: Radisson Blu Hotel, Bristol (B)

Day 8 • Thursday 5 September:

Bristol – Telford

After breakfast at the hotel, we meet our local guide who will reveal many interesting stories in and around Bristol. Our tour includes the city Docks, Brunel’s spectacular Clifton Suspension Bridge over the Avon Gorge, and Temple Meads Station—all part of the majesty of this great city. To top it off, we’ll take a tour in and around the magnificent and historic SS Great Britain. This ship was the first of its kind and became one of the most revolutionary and popular vessels ever built. A light lunch is on the menu before we continue north by coach to the city of Telford, across the rolling rural scenery of Gloucester, Hereford and onto Shropshire, our destination for the evening. Dinner this evening is at the hotel.

Overnight: Holiday Inn Telford-Ironbridge, Telford (B, L, D)

Day 9 • Friday 6 September:

Telford and the Severn Valley

Today we make the brief journey to Bridgnorth to visit the Severn Valley Railway. We have the opportunity to ride behind both steam and diesel heritage traction and visit some of the beautiful riverside towns and villages (or even riverside walks) along the line. There is also the ‘Engine House’ museum at Highley Station where you can get up close and personal with several steam locomotives. The SVR has been used as a filming location for several movies and UK TV series and is considered one of the most attractive heritage railways in the land. Dinner this evening is at the hotel.

Overnight: Holiday Inn Telford-Ironbridge, Telford (B, D)

Day 10 • Saturday 7 September:

Stourport-on-Seven – Llandudno

This morning we continue the scenic coach journey to the North Wales seaside town of Llandudno, taking some free time for lunch around the World Heritage-listed Conwy Castle before embarking on a guided tour of this 13th-century site. Arrive in Llandudno later in the afternoon with an option to enjoy an excursion on the 100-year-old cable funicular Great Orme Tramway that travels up to the 270-metre-high summit of the Great Orme, Britain’s highest headland. This evening we’ll enjoy dinner at the hotel.

Overnight: Waterloo Hotel, Betws-y-Coed (B, D)

Day 11 • Sunday 8 September:

North Wales Railways

Today we will embark on a series of train journeys on the railways of North Wales starting with a coach trip to Caernarfon to meet the Welsh Highland Railway where you’ll be on board to steam down the line to Porthmadog. The famous Ffestiniog Railway is the scene for our next heritage train adventure along the scenic line to Blaenau Ffestiniog. The Ffestiniog Railway is the world’s oldest narrow-gauge railway and the oldest railway company still operating trains. The journey climbs over 213 metres (700 feet) from sea level into the mountains, through tranquil pastures and magnificent forests, past lakes and waterfalls, round tight bends (even a complete spiral), clinging to the side of the mountain or tunneling through it. You then have time for lunch and the next leg takes us to Blaenau Ffestiniog where our coach will be waiting to transfer us back to the hotel.

Overnight: Waterloo Hotel, Betws-y-Coed (B, D)

Day 12 • Monday 9 September:

Llandudno – Liverpool

Board the train to Merseyside and the Port city of Liverpool this morning. Our local guide is standing by to meet us and lead us on a tour of the city. Liverpool’s status as a Port city has contributed to its diverse population; Europe’s oldest Chinese population and Black African community are just a couple of the diverse societies within the city. Along the way, we explore the spectacular Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, one of Europe’s largest, and delve into the story of the Mersey Beat on a guided tour aboard the famous Mersey Ferry. Later on, enjoy some free time back at the hotel and dinner at a local favourite.

Overnight: Hard Days Night Hotel, Liverpool (B, D)

Day 13 • Tuesday 10 September:

Liverpool – York

Our morning train journey celebrates the route of the world’s first true passenger railway, which opened on the 15th of September 1830, taking us from Liverpool to Manchester and on to York. Enjoy a traditional afternoon tea at one of York’s famed Tea Rooms and then begin an afternoon walking tour of the city with our local guide. Some of the sights include the grand curved station in York, a masterpiece of Victorian Industrial Age engineering, the old walled city, the stunning York Minster cathedral, and the quaint old town.

Overnight: Doubletree by Hilton, York (B)

Day 14 • Wednesday 11 September:

York – Whitby – York

Our adventure today is on one of the UK’s most extensive and authentic heritage railways, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, taking us to the charming seaside town of Whitby. Our coach takes us to Pickering to board the train and, once in Whitby, we’ll enjoy an hour’s gentle journey across the moors drawn behind one of their fine steam locos. We visit the rambling ruins of the old Whitby Abbey perched high on the hill overlooking the town. Enjoy a hearty lunch of fish and chips, of course, in the heart of this wonderful maritime town, and then enjoy the return trip by train in the afternoon. The evening is free to explore the many sites of York at night.

Overnight: Doubletree by Hilton, York (B, L)

Day 15 • Thursday 12 September:

York and surrounds

Sample the good life with a visit to Castle Howard, a grand country home built in the very early eighteenth century and the location for the famous TV series, Brideshead Revisited, set within 1,000 acres of gardens and manicured parklands. The afternoon is then yours to continue exploring York, the grand old city of the North, or perhaps visit the National Railway Museum, housing an extraordinary collection of Britain’s most iconic railway treasures.

Overnight: Doubletree by Hilton, York (B)

Day 16 • Friday 13 September:

York – Leicester – Cambridge

After breakfast at the hotel, we travel directly from York to visit Foxton Locks in Leicester, a Grade II* listed site, and home to the longest, steepest staircase flight of locks in Britain. Later we continue south to Cambridge, arriving in the late afternoon where we settle into our hotel right in the heart of the atmospheric city. Dinner is served in the hotel restaurant later in the evening.

Overnight: Clayton Hotel, Cambridge (B, D)

Day 17 • Saturday 14 September:

Duxford Air Show – Cambridge

Immerse yourself in a full day at the Duxford Air Show, one of the world’s biggest, featuring displays, shows, exhibits, and celebrations of everything from a Sopwith Camel to supersonic fighters. The Imperial War Museum in Duxford is Britain’s best-preserved WWII airfield. Historic buildings sit alongside the striking contemporary exhibition halls AirSpace and the American Air Museum. With an amazing gathering of aircraft, exhibits, and associated activities, we are assured of a most stimulating, fascinating, and very full day.

Overnight: Clayton Hotel, Cambridge (B, D)

Day 18 • Sunday 15 September:


A guided tour of the city of Cambridge begins this morning and takes in the museums at the University and a College visit. You may even want to take to the water and punt on the Cam! The afternoon is yours to enjoy the ambiance of the town, soaking up this last day on tour and maybe doing some last-minute shopping before wandering back to the hotel. In the evening, join Scott and your fellow travellers for a lavish farewell dinner and drinks.

Overnight: Clayton Hotel, Cambridge (B, D)

Day 19 • Monday 16 September:

Final farewell (B)

Our epic adventure concludes in Cambridge after breakfast in the hotel.

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    Icons of England and Wales

    $12,785 per person
    19 Days
    More than 1

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