England & Scotland Heritage Tour: Retracing Ancestral Lands

A 11 day trip to England & Scotland

Kings and queens, battles and artwork, forests and mountains, museums and pubs all fill the histories of England and Scotland. Imagine the cobblestone streets of London, the central dramatic edifice of Edinburgh Castle, and the thatched roof cottages of Grasmere village. Roman walls outline the ancient city center of Chester, and Hadrian's Wall demarcated the Roman territories from the north. Your England and Scotland heritage tour is hand tailored to show you the proud heritage of these grand countries, taking you beyond the House of Parliament and the Scottish Crown Jewels, into the majesty of English countryside all the way to the Scottish Highlands.

General Information

Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

London, Windsor, Bath, Gloucester, Chester, Liverpool, Lake District, Gretna Green, Glasgow, Glencoe, Scottish Highlands, St. Andrews, Airth, Edinburgh, York, Leeds, Stratford-upon-Avon

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Heritage Awakened

The history of London announces itself in the collection of antique neighborhoods, historic pubs, and inspiring antique architecture around the River Thames. The Wellington Arch has decorated the open space near Hyde Park Corner since the 19th century, acting as a platform to the elegant sculpture of Peace Descending on the Chariot of War. Tower Bridge overlooks the River Thames as a reminder of engineering creativity in the late 1800s. Chic modern restaurants stand next to 18th century pubs, filled with charming roaring fires to create a cozy, embracing atmosphere. Cobblestone streets pave the neighborhood of Covent Garden. The Royal Opera House adds elegance to the walkways with Ionic columns adorning the facade, and the creamy stone brightening the gray and red painted buildings lining the street. Consider browsing through some of our other England vacations to continue drawing inspiration as to what you've been longing to see. Your private transfer awaits your arrival at the airport before escorting you to a luxurious hotel in the center of the lively, historic city.

What's Included: transfer, accommodation

Day 2: Loving London

In the morning, the aroma of a full English breakfast greets you. You sip a hot mug of freshly brewed black tea and watch the steam rise from the surface of your drink. Discover the majesty of London at your whim and pleasure, taking the time to wander alongside the River Thames. Riverboats cruise down the water offering views of the London Eye and Cleopatra's Needle, an Ancient Egyptian obelisk positioned on the river-walk in the early 19th century. The forecourt of the British Museum welcomes visitors as if you were entering a palace, housing approximately eight million works in its permanent collection.

The museum was established in the 1750s, with its collection expanding over time due to the colonial footprint of the British Empire. When you enter the main gallery, known as the Great Court, the Reading Room stands as the circular complex in the center. A textured glass ceiling radiates color and grace, exuding an optical illusion that makes the glass look like a wave. The polished tiles glint in the light. Ancient history worldwide is at your fingertips, from Egyptian mummies to one of six remaining Caryatids from the temple Erechtheion, which stands adjacent to the Parthenon on Acropolis in Athens.

What's Included: breakfast, accommodation

Day 3: Continual Grace

In the morning, you once again find the delightful aroma of a full English breakfast, the bold flavors of bacon, eggs, beans, toast, and mushrooms bringing an energetic start to the day. Your guide meets you at the hotel, and you journey outside of London, where the countryside radiates fertile and lush rolling hills. Sheep graze on the grass. Trees sporadically rise out of the horizon. Once at Windsor, you find the oldest and largest consistently inhabited castle in the world, beginning in the 11th century. The edifice epitomized castle grandeur set in its architecture opulence and lavish interior decor.

The castle occupies 13 acres of land surrounded by lush forest, which contrasts the stone facade. The town of Windsor emanates glamor, accentuated by the aroma of decadent and chic restaurants placed next to high-end boutique shops. The castle itself has a blend of Georgian, Victorian, and Gothic features. The Grand Staircase sets the atmosphere of the State Apartments. It looks more like a museum than a home. Two stately knights sit atop their promenading steeds and flank the staircase, on guard. The grandeur is truly fit for royalty.

What's Included: breakfast, dinner, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 4: Antiquity in the Countryside

The morning washes over the rolling hills of the English countryside, and your guide leads you out of Gloucester and to the town of Chester. Red-sandstone walls wind around Tudor and Victorian architecture. The roads themselves were erected during Roman times, as Chester was once the largest Roman fortress in Britain. The city center has a cruciform shape. The city walls emit an earthen aroma mixing with the fertile countryside. The red stands out against the jade color of the grass. A two-mile circuit encircles the walls around the city center, dating back to 70 AD. Classic black and white buildings decorate the historic city. The East gate showcases Queen Victoria's Clock, dedicated to her Majesty on her Diamond Jubilee in the late 19th century. Positioned over the archway is a large, ornate clock topped with brass, for a unique and elaborate timepiece.

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 5: Waters and Borders

Today your guide leads you from the modernized cityscape of Liverpool to the sumptuous countryside of the Lake District, home to Lake Windermere, the largest lake in England. The grasslands and hills in the region color the landscape emerald. The water reflects the encompassing greenery, rippling across the surface. In the spring and summer, daffodils cast a yellow glow across the fields. You continue northbound to the border town of Gretna Green, associated with the romantic histories of the north across the river from Cumbria, on the Scottish side.

At the center of the village is an Old Blacksmith's Shop complex that tells the history of the town. The antique shop spins tales of intrigue and scoundrels, elopements and angry family members arriving too late to call off a wedding. The sound of tinkering metal comes from the recreated Blacksmith's forge, decorated with charming carriages. The Old Anvil stands in front of the complex with a sign that reads, 'Over which marriages were performed.' The surrounding countryside maintains a cool ambiance and the enchanting stories of Gretna Green introduce you to the romantic sensibilities of Scotland.

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 6: Searching Lowlands, Finding Highlands

Glasgow is a city of rugged contemporary history and gemmed with Victorian architecture. In the morning, the light washes over the city highlighting the often-overlooked beauty in the mixture of modern and historic buildings. After breakfast, your guide escorts you northbound to the famous Scottish Highlands, following the banks of Loch Lomond and arriving at Glencoe. The landscape turns from fertile greenery to golden windswept plains and rugged mountaintops. The Great Shepherd of Etive, a rocky pyramid overlooking the eastern border of the pass. Glencoe Village sits near the Loch Leven, a saltwater lake.

From the south, you can spot the large rocky spurs of the landscape known as the Three Sisters. The stories of the scenery are as ingrained in the heritage of the Highlands as family histories, evolving around, and often with one another. The cool breeze sweeps across the surface of the loch and into the village, carrying the crisp aroma of saltwater. The road passes deep gorges and crashing waterfalls careening down the hillside, surprising passersby with a natural splendor.

What's Included: breakfast, dinner, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 7: Finding Fairytale Castles

An ethereal morning mist washes across the Highlands, leaving mountain peaks breaking through the sheet like a karst in the ocean. The mist quickly dissipates, leaving early morning dew on the grassland and a pleasant aroma rising from the countryside. After you visit the charm of Pitlochry, you find the vast 108 square mile estate of Blair Castle. The building holds an impressive white facade against the encompassing emerald countryside radiating from the forested slopes around the banks of the River Garry.

The original tower was constructed in the 13th century and the 30 rooms on display offer insight into the noble life of the 16th century. In the ballroom, you find a vaulted chamber decorated with antlers along the upper reaches of the walls. Flags dangle from the rafters and the large windows allow natural light to spill across the wood floors. The beauty of the castle and its surrounding estate is undeniable, producing a storybook atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 8: In View of the Castle

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and has maintained a medieval charm with its cobblestone streets, narrow alleyways, and imposing castle situated atop the Castle Hill in the center of the city. The Royal Mile connects the dramatic castle to Holyrood Palace on the outskirts of Old Town. The aroma of freshly fallen rain is never far away. In the background of the city, the verdant hillside known as Arthur's Seat punctuates the skyline. The Royal Mile stretches longer than a mile by 321 feet, lined with grand timber buildings dating back to the 12th century.

Boutique shops showcase the antiquity of the city and Royal Mile Road accompanied by the aromas of fresh pressed black tea and delicately baking scones. Edinburgh Castle crowns the end of the road and holds the Scottish Crown Jewels on the east side of Crown Square. The crown has a remarkably iconic look of red velvet adorned with gems, pearls, and topped with a gilded opal. The opulence of the jewels enhances the classic ambiance of the castle grounds.

What's Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 9: Visiting the Wall

Traveling south from Edinburgh takes you back to England and along a stretch of the famous Hadrian's Wall, named for the emperor who established the rampart, which begun in 122 AD. The image of Roman soldiers and garrison towns, crumbling forts and lavish temples remains strong alongside the stones. The wall is approximately 84 miles long, rising and falling along the hillsides. Brocolitia Fort houses the Temple of Mithras, which was erected in the 3rd century. A pillared altar stands at the far end of the temple's base. The countryside is verdant, filling the air with a slightly grassy aroma. At Heddon-on-the-Wall, you can find a consolidated stretch of stones almost 10 feet thick. Hadrian's Wall is iconic of Roman rule in Britain and even inspired George R.R. Martin's 'The Wall,' in his hit novel and television series 'Game of Thrones.' The palpable history remains and you continue onward to the captivating medieval architecture of York.

What's Included: breakfast, dinner, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 10: Brilliance of the Bard

In the morning, the spires of York Windsor catch the sunlight, the stained glass of the facade sparkles with color. After breakfast, you leave the city behind, arriving in the charm of Shakespeare's hometown, Stratford-upon-Avon. The traditional style homes decorate the village with black and white timber Tudor styles. In the spring and summer, the flowers blossom and bring radiant color to the parks and flowerpots dangling alongside historic store signs. The Bard's childhood home has been a favorite amongst romantics and bibliophiles since the 19th century, some even going so far as to scratch their names into the windows to commemorate the pilgrimage they made. The rooms have been refurbished in the Tudor style. You can hear famous Shakespearean characters engaging with passersby and providing a scene or two from their respective plays. The quant village atmosphere rises to a different level when the memory of Shakespeare is involved.

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 11: Highlights of the Past

The splendor of London returns in the morning, sweeping across the jovial banks of the Thames River. The White Tower of London Tower stands overlooking the Thames near the Tower Bridge. The elegant skyscraper at 30 St. Mary Axe has a graceful configuration like a Faberge Egg, refracting the light over the city. The gourmet flavors of Borough Market accompany the fragrance of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. The sound of Britain feel familiar and comfortable, reminding you of the brilliant history and enchanting landscapes you have seen since arriving in London. After breakfast, your private transfer meets you at your hotel and escorts you to the International Terminal at London Heathrow Airport for your flight home.

What's Included: breakfast, transfer



Please inquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on final hotel choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.