• $5,095
  • $600
  • AHI
  • Moderate
  • Land Only

Embark on a wonderful, 11-night adventure in northern England and Wales brimming with sublime scenery and intriguing history! Inside walled York, feel transported to medieval England on twisting lanes and visit its magnificent cathedral. Journey through North Yorkshire’s moorland to a stately castle and landscaped garden. Take in the stunning Fountains Abbey ruins within an 18th-century water garden and the Yorkshire Dales’ lush valleys crisscrossed with stone walls. In England’s celebrated Lake District, delight in the wild fells and mirror-like lakes that have long inspired writers and artists. In Wales, explore the formidable castles, Conwy and Caernarfon, and stroll along the waterfront in charming Llandudno. Within Snowdonia National Park, admire panoramas of deep valleys, serene lakes and rugged mountain ranges. Special treats include a traditional English afternoon tea, a day devoted to famous Lake District authors and a Welsh folk music session! This small-group trip features first-class accommodations including a Welsh country manor, illuminating lectures and a generous meal plan with wine at dinner.

View details and reserve here: https://texas.ahitravel.com/destinations/1650A?schoolId=167

Itinerary:

Day 1 | Depart gateway city
AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Manchester, England. Please check your luggage from your gateway city to your arrival city. Your claim checks should have the following airport code: MAN.

Day 2 | Manchester, England | York
Hotel Indigo York
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Arrive at Manchester Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the Arrivals Hall, where an AHI Travel representative will meet you.

Transfer to the Hotel Indigo York. Please note, if you arrive before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available. If you would like, enjoy afternoon tea in the hotel.

Meet in the hotel tonight for a Welcome Reception and Dinner and get acquainted with your fellow travelers.

Day 3 | York
Hotel Indigo York
B | L
Enrichment: Contemporary Britain. Learn about Britain’s system of parliamentary democracy, its political parties and elections, as well as current topics in the news.

Discovery: Historic York. Circled by 13th-century walls, historic York radiates a truly special medieval ambience, from quaint buildings tightly packed on the Shambles’ narrow lanes to its crowning glory, the magnificent Gothic York Minster, one of England’s greatest churches. On a guided walk, see highlights of York’s Roman, Viking and medieval eras and stroll on the scenic Riverside Trail. Inside the 800-year-old cathedral, admire the intricate stonemasonry and superb windows, the largest collection of medieval stained glass in the United Kingdom. Over the centuries, efforts to protect this national treasure included the removal of its renowned windows during both World Wars to safeguard them against bombing raids. (Moderate)

Afterward, partake in the very English tradition of afternoon tea at Betty’s Tea Room, a favorite local spot for tea, scones, sandwiches and sweet treats since 1936.

Day 4 | North Yorkshire
Hotel Indigo York
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Discovery: Hidden Treasures of North Yorkshire. Journey through wide, open moorland blanketed in heather to Rievaulx Terrace and Temples in North York Moors National Park. Admire this elegantly designed, 18th-century landscape featuring two classical temples set on a grassy terrace with stunning views of an ancient abbey in the valley below. Next, tour stately Castle Howard, built by the third Earl of Carlisle beginning in 1699. Completed over 100 years later, it is one of England’s grandest country houses, adorned with extensive formal gardens, temples and lakes. This beautiful estate has been featured in numerous film and TV productions including “Brideshead Revisited,” “Death Comes to Pemberley,” “Victoria,” and most recently, “Bridgerton.” (Moderate)

Day 5 | Yorkshire Dales | Windermere
Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa
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After breakfast, check out of the hotel and head toward Windermere.

Discovery: Fountains Abbey & Yorkshire Dales. On your route, visit Studley Royal Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site that contains the majestic, 12th-century ruins of England’s largest Cistercian abbey and a breathtaking Georgian water garden. On a guided stroll, delight in this atmospheric setting. Then travel into the wild splendor of Yorkshire Dales National Park, graced with rolling hills, moors, rivers and green valleys crisscrossed by stone walls. While exploring, visit the quaint village of Grassington where you’ll enjoy lunch on your own, and see lovely Aysgarth Falls. In the hamlet of Hardraw, those interested in stretching their legs can strike off on a walk through the countryside (appr. 45 minutes to one hour) and join the rest of the group in Hawes. Meet up at a creamery there to sample some local cheeses before continuing to the Lake District. (Active)

Arrive in the Lake District and check in to the Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa on the shores of Windermere, the largest of the park’s 16 lakes. Dine tonight at the hotel.

Day 6 | English Lake District
Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa
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Discovery: Northern Lake District. Explore this region’s exquisite landscapes, where natural wonders are known by their old Norse names: the fells (hills), dales (valleys), becks (streams) and tarns (small lakes). Its wondrous beauty inspired 19th-century Romantic poets like William Wordsworth, who penned his famous poem, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” after a walk near Ullswater. Hear about the Lake District’s geology, history and prominent figures from your guide, and stop in the pretty village of Grasmere where Wordsworth lived. Then resume your scenic tour surrounded by wild fells, craggy mountain passes and mirror-like lakes.

At a distillery in a renovated Victorian farmstead, enjoy lunch and a spirits tasting and tour. Later, see the weathered, upright stones that form Castlerigg Stone Circle, believed to have been built in 3000 B.C. and dramatically set over Thirlmere Valley. Your day in the Lake District concludes with a pleasant cruise across Derwentwater from Lodore to Keswick. (Active)

Return to the hotel late this afternoon.

Day 7 | English Lake District
Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa
B | L | D
Enrichment: The History of the English Lakes. A local expert offers interesting insights about the District’s geology, geography and more.

Discovery: Authors Day. Revel in more of the Lake District’s enchanting beauty on a themed day devoted to the famous literary figures who established homes here. Begin at Rydal Mount, William Wordsworth’s charming hillside home along Windermere. Tour the house, which is still owned by the Wordsworth family, and learn about his life and career before listening to a reading of his poetry within the gardens he designed. Afterward, take in the picturesque beauty of Tarn Hows and if you’d like, walk along the path that encircles the lake.

Next, visit Brantwood, the former home of John Ruskin, the eminent Victorian art and architecture critic, philosopher and painter. View personal artifacts inside the house, see the impressive gardens and enjoy lunch in this splendid setting overlooking Coniston Water. After your lunch, meander through Hawkshead, one of the Lake District’s prettiest villages, where cars are banned and the tiny, cobbled lanes are packed with a delightful jumble of 17th-century whitewashed cottages and shops.

Finally, visit Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s retreat. Potter, who wrote and illustrated the beloved children’s stories featuring Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and other animals, was inspired by the natural world she observed during holidays in the Lake District. After the commercial success of her books, she purchased a home and farm here and embraced country life. (Moderate)

Chat with your fellow travelers about the day’s sightseeing over a delicious dinner in the hotel tonight.

Day 8 | Chester | Deganwy, Wales
The Quay Hotel & Spa
B | D
After breakfast, check out of the hotel. Depart for Wales and stop in Chester on your route.

Discovery: Chester. Enjoy lunch in town and a guided walk along the original Roman walls that surround its historic city center. Around A.D. 70, the Romans built a red sandstone fortress on this site known as Deva Victrix, which housed one of their legions. (Moderate)

Head westward across the border into Wales and arrive in Deganwy. Check into the Quay Hotel & Spa by the waters of the Conwy Estuary.

Enrichment: Welsh Music Traditions. Singing is an abiding passion of the Welsh people, who grow up singing everywhere – at church, school, family parties and even rugby matches. During an entertaining, interactive session with local musicians, discover the Welsh fondness and talent for music in both melodies and lyrics.

Day 9 | Conwy Castle | Bodnant Gardens | Llandudno
The Quay Hotel & Spa
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Discovery: Conwy Castle, Bodnant Gardens and Llandudno. In neighboring Conwy on the other side of the estuary, marvel at its magnificent, imposing 13th-century castle. Strategically set on a rocky outcrop with commanding views of River Conwy and the Irish Sea in the distance, it was built by King Edward I and his architect James of St. George in just four years between 1283 and 1287. Its intimidating appearance was intentional. After the English king invaded Wales in 1277, he erected a series of strongholds to exert his dominance over the Welsh people. With your guide, explore the castle grounds which feature eight huge towers and a high curtain wall. Extending out from the castle, you’ll see some of Europe’s finest and most intact town walls. Originally built to protect a garrison town, they stretch three-quarters of a mile with 21 defensive towers and three gatehouses along the circuit.

Afterward, roam the flower-filled terraces and winding paths of Bodnant Gardens, an 80-acre paradise of plants collected from around the world, and relax over lunch. Then, imagine Victorian ladies and gentlemen promenading along the waterfront as you visit Llandudno, a popular, 19th-century resort town. With an elegant pier and wide, sandy beaches nestled by the Great Orme headland, it retains the appealing charms of holidays by the seaside. (Moderate)

Day 10 | Caernarfon Castle
The Quay Hotel & Spa
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Enrichment: Wales, Past & Present. Examine the history of the Welsh nation and its modern identity.

Discovery: Caernarfon Castle. King Edward’s castles and fortified towns in Conwy and Caernarfon, as well as two more of his castles in Wales, have been designated collectively as a UNESCO World Heritage site for their exceptionally well-preserved medieval military architecture. Travel today to his formidable castle, Caernarfon, where the River Seiont and Minai Strait converge. This immense structure, along with the quay and the town walls that protected his fortress, were constructed at the same time due to the king’s bitter wars with the Welsh princes. Caernarfon Castle also served as Edward’s administrative headquarters and family residence. It was here in 1284 that his wife, Queen Eleanor, gave birth to the first English Prince of Wales, the future Edward II. After a guided tour of the castle grounds, savor Welsh specialties for lunch. (Mild)

Free Time: Return to Conwy for an afternoon at leisure.

Day 11 | Snowdonia National Park | Betws y Coed | Llyswen
Llangoed Hall
B | D
This morning, check out of the hotel and travel southward.

Discovery: Snowdonia National Park. Prepare to be dazzled by the sublime region of Snowdonia, known as Eryri in Welsh, and its national park. Spread over 800 square miles, it’s filled with spectacular vistas of deep valleys, rivers, lakes and rugged mountain ranges. Hikers are drawn to its variety of outstanding walks and the challenge of summiting Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. More than 25,000 people live in the towns and villages inside the park’s boundaries, and their main language is Welsh. On your journey through the park, visit the National Slate Museum inside the Victorian workshops of Dinorwig Quarry, formerly one of the largest slate quarries in the world. Learn about this once dominant Welsh industry, which reached its peak in the late 19th century. Then visit cozy Betws y Coed, a resort town in Gwydir Forest frequented by hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, where you’ll have time for lunch on your own. (Moderate)

Continue your panoramic drive through Snowdonia toward your hotel in Llyswen with stops for photos and scenic views of the southern Welsh countryside. Arrive at Llangoed Hall, an elegant country manor house in the tranquil Wye Valley. After checking in, gather for a light dinner.

Day 12 | Llyswen
Llangoed Hall
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Free Time: On your final day, relax and relish Llangoed Hall’s lush, rural setting along the River Wye, complete with beautifully landscaped gardens to explore, or make your own plans in the surrounding area.

Tonight, conclude your incredible adventure in Britain with a celebratory Farewell Reception and Dinner at the hotel.

Day 13 | Depart for gateway city
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After breakfast, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for the Birmingham Airport in England for your return flights home. Your Travel Director will provide the details.


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