Enjoy nature's bounty as you visit castles, manor houses and stately halls graced with exquisite gardens, including rock, woodland and herb gardens. Marvel at the national bonsai collection at Malleny House. Visit the cottages where two beloved English writers, Beatrix Potter and Williams Wordsworth lived as well as a museum honoring the prolific Bronte sisters.
- Explore the cottage of one of the most famous children's writers, Beatrix Potter
- Enjoy a leisurely cruise on Lake Windermere
- Investigate the works of the English Romantic poet, William Wordsmith at his namesake museum
- Visit Malleny House, home to the national Bonsai collection
- Visit film locations for the movie Jane Eyre
Grasmere - 3 nights
Day 1: Arrive Grasmere
Your tour escort will meet you at Manchester airport. Enroute to Grasmere you will be taken to visit Levens Hall in Kendal. The Topiary Gardens here are world famous in their own right and are a must for any visitor to the English Lake District. The design of the four gardens has remained unchanged for three hundred years. The Hall itself was finished in 1820 with the completion of the Howard Tower. Today, you will see the finest Elizabethan rooms including the dining room with its embossed Cordova leather wall-coverings, and many elegant bedrooms.
After your visit here you will continue your journey north to Grasmere where you will check-in to your hotel. There's time for lunch and relaxing before re-boarding your coach for your visit to the Wordsworth Museum and Dove Cottage. Wordsworth lived with his sister at Dove Cottage, which is now part of the Wordsworth Museum. Wordsworth died in 1850 and was buried in the nearby graveyard at the village church in Grasmere. The Wordsworth Museum houses manuscripts, paintings and memorabilia. After your visit you will return to your hotel for dinner.
After your included English breakfast you will meet your coach and tour escort for your full day tour to Holehird Gardens and Lake Windermere. You will first be taken to visit Hill Top, Beatrix Potter's 17th century cottage where your tour will last 1 Â¾ hours. Time to stop for lunch on your own.
After lunch you will re-board your coach for your visit to Holehird Gardens. These four acres of gardens are open daily from 11am to 5pm. After your visit here you will be taken to Windemere for your cruise around the lake which will last approx. 45 minutes. After your tour return to your hotel in Grasmere for dinner. After dinner the remainder of the day is free at leisure.
After your included English breakfast you will board your coach for your visit to Holker Hall and Sizergh Castle.
You will first visit Holker Hall & Gardens in Grange-over-Sands. Holker Hall is a friendly stately home with magnificent national award winning gardens classed as "amongst the best in the worldâ€¦" (Good Gardens Guide). Holker Hall is Cumbria's premier stately home and is surrounded by 25 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. Here you will also find a motor museum, exhibitions, deer park, shop, cafe, adventure playground, plus the world's largest slate sundial. Time to stop for lunch on your own.
After lunch you will once again travel to the town of Kendal to visit Sizergh Castle, one of the best houses in Cumbria. This castle was originally built around 1239 and was occupied by the Strickland family for 750 years. The gardens here are regarded as some of the best in the country. They feature the largest limestone rock gardens owned by the National Trust. After your tour you will return to your hotel for dinner. After dinner the remainder of the day is free at leisure.
Edinburgh - 3 nights
Day 4: Arrive Edinburgh
After your included English breakfast you will check out of your hotel. Today you will visit Dalemain House & Gardens in Penrith and Malleny House in Ballerno.
Dalemain House, a medieval Tudor & Georgian home, has remained in the same family since 1679 and was the main location for the film Jane Eyre. The house has fascinating interiors, fine furniture and portraits and beautiful gardens. Lunch on your own. After lunch you will continue your journey on to Ballerno where you will visit Malleny House which houses the national Bonsai collection.
After your visit you will continue north to Edinburgh where you will check-in to your hotel. Dinner will be served at the hotel with the remainder of the day free.
After your included Scottish breakfast you will board your coach for your visit to the Edinburgh Botanical Garden and later tour of the city.
You will first visit the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens with your own specialized guide. At the Inverleith Garden you will see many wonders of the plant kingdom which are displayed in grounds that include ten plant houses, a world famous rock garden, peat and woodland gardens, an ecological garden, colorful herbaceous borders, an arboretum and an executive collection of rhododendrons. Time to stop for lunch on your own.
After lunch you will meet your guide at the hotel for your half-day panoramic tour of Edinburgh where you will see many of the most famous sights. After your tour you will return to your hotel for dinner. After dinner the remainder of the day is free at leisure.
After your included Scottish breakfast you will board your coach for your visit to Inveresk Lodge Gardens and Culross Palace & Town House.
Inveresk Lodge Gardens inviting terrace garden entices visitors with its colorful herbaceous beds, a variety of attractive shrubs and a collection of old roses selected by Graham Stuart Thomas. The fine Edwardian conservatory has an aviary, tree ferns and hardy exotics. In the informal area, many of the plants hold the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit. Time to stop for lunch on your own.
After lunch you will continue on to Culross Palace & Town House near Fife. The Palace was built between 1597 and 1611 for Sir George and features many decorative items. On the ground floor of the West Wing there is a collection of Staffordshire and Scottish pottery. At the rear of the palace you will find a model 17th Century garden with raised beds, a covered walkway, a flowery mead and hurdle fencing. It contains a variety of unusual vegetables, herbs and perennials.
After your tour you will return to your hotel for dinner. After dinner the remainder of the day is free at leisure.
Durham - 1 night
Day 7: Arrive Durham
After your included Scottish breakfast you will check out of your hotel and board your coach for your visit to Priorwood Gardens and Hexham Herbs.
Priorwood Gardens is a specialist garden where most of the plants grown are suitable for drying. The colorful and imaginative selection ensures variety for the dried flower arrangement made on the premises. Priorwood Garden is just a short walk from Harmony Garden in Melrose and from Priorwood Garden you will be able to see the impressive ruins of Melrose Abbey. Time to stop for lunch on your own.
After lunch visit Hexham Herbs; this 2-acre garden specializes in many different garden herbs. Next you'll see Chesters which is located very close to Hexham Herbs. This fort has an excellent example of Roman Baths & is in a pretty location beside the river. After your visit you will continue south to Durham. Enroute to Durham you will have a short stop at Hadrian's Wall. If indeed you have time, you will also be allowed an entrance to one of the Wall Forts (either Housesteads or Vindolanda). On arrival in Durham check into your hotel. Optional visit to see Durham Cathedral in the evening.
Harrogate - 3 nights
Day 8: Arrive Harrogate
After your included English breakfast you will check out of the hotel and will board your coach for your visit to see Heriot country and the Dales on route to Harrogate. While passing through Heriot country you will stop in the town of Thirsk for a brief visit. You will then have an entrance to The World of James Heriot (a museum). This was the home and veterinary practice of Alf Wight (James Heriot). After your tour you will be taken to a local restaurant or bistro for an included lunch.
After lunch you will then continue on to Harrogate. On arrival in Harrogate you will be taken to see Newby Hall & Gardens. The interior of this 17th Century house was designed by Robert Adam and houses beautiful classical sculptures and tapestries.
After your included English breakfast you will board your coach for your day visit to York. Spend the day on your own then meet your coach driver at a designated meeting point to be arranged between the driver and the group for your return transfer back to the hotel. Dinner will be at the hotel.
After your included English breakfast you will board your coach for your visit to Harlow Carr Botanical Gardens and the Bronte Parsonage museum. Explore Harlow Carr Botanical Gardens and then you will have some time to stop for lunch on your own.
Continue on to the Bronte Parsonage Museum, which was the home of the Bronte sisters who wrote the famous novel Jane Eyre. The Parsonage setting in the moorland provided much of their inspiration. After your tour you will return to your hotel in Harrogate for dinner. After dinner the remainder of the day is free at leisure.
After your included English breakfast you will check out of your hotel and will board your coach for your transfer to Manchester Airport for departure flight back to the USA.
- Accommodations: Grasmere 3 nights, Edinburgh 3 nights, Durham 1 night, Harrogate 3 nights
- Meals: Continental breakfast daily. Lunch and dinner as noted in itinerary
- Ground transportation via air conditioned luxury coach
- English speaking assistants and guides
- Admission tickets as outlined in itinerary
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