Arrive in London. This first day is set aside for recovery and acclimatisation in London. If time and jet lag allow you, could take one of the open topped bus tours around London to see some of the sites which would be heavy going on foot, and some which you can return to later.
Days 2 – 3
Two days to explore London. Beyond description in this small space. The sights, the museums, theatres and shops, the buildings and the people, make London a unique city to experience.
Heading out of London to Salisbury and its 13th century cathedral, with the tallest spire in England soaring over 400 feet. If you have an appetite for climbing church towers we can recommend the climb up this one. It gives an amazing insight into the building methods of the medieval masons. If time allows you could also visit Old Sarum. This hilltop settlement was occupied from 2nd century BC, with the hillfort enclosing the entire hilltop. It was the original site of the city of Salisbury, abandoned in 1220 for the location closer to the river Avon.
Through the limestone chasm of the Cheddar Gorge to the Cathedral City of Wells. England’s smallest city, and home to the magnificent 14th century cathedral, adorned with over 300 statues and one of the oldest working clocks in Europe. Wells is one of the ‘hidden gems’ of England. Then on to Glastonbury, reputed burial place of King Arthur and his queen Guinevere. Also an essential visit for anyone interested in ‘alternative theories’ on just about everything. Its many bookshops specialise in the weird, wonderful and mysterious.
Heading north to Gloucester. With its magnificent limestone cathedral, dating back to the 11th Century. The burial place of the tragic king Edward II. More recently used as one of the locations for the Harry Potter movies. The day ends in your next base, a grand Gothic Revival castle perched high on a hill overlooking the Welsh borderlands.
Days 7 – 8
Two days to explore the spectacular scenery of North Wales. A land of castles, legends, dragons and an almost incomprehensible language! These days will give you the opportunity to a visit Conwy Castle, built in 1283 and still an impressive sight 700 years later, then onto Edward I’s other magnificent castles of Beaumaris, Caernarfon and Harlech. Built as part of the ‘Ring of Stone’ following the defeat of the Welsh Princes in the 13th Century.
Days 9 – 10
Over the Pennines to York. A city dominated by its 13th century cathedral or minster as they call them in Yorkshire. This city was founded by the Romans and was the Viking capital of eastern England. It is reputed to be the most haunted city in England, and a ‘Ghost Walk’ in the evening is a perfect way to meet some of the City’s previous residents.
North to Durham, Land of the Prince Bishops. Durham Cathedral completed in 1133 has been described as ‘one of the architectural masterpieces of Europe’, built high above the River Wear in a natural loop of the river. St.Cuthbert’s tomb can still be seen in the present cathedral, as can the ‘Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum’ (The Ecclesiastical History of the English), an 8th century manuscript completed in 731 by the monk and scholar Bede.
Alnwick. Alnwick castle is one of the great medieval fortresses of England. Principal residence of the Percy family, the Dukes of Northumberland since the early 14th century. It stands above the river Aln amongst parkland created by Capability Brown. Yet another castle now famous for its Harry Potter links. Your overnight stay tonight is in a splendid Gothic revival castle in the Cumbrian hills. With literary connections to Jane Austen and Anthony Trollope, this is a lovely place to just relax and soak up the eclectic ambience of the Castle.
This is an unplanned day. This is not because we cannot think of anything for you to do today. We always like to keep some days free, so that you can fit in some unforeseen delight which may only become apparent as time progresses.
Warwick. Warwick Castle is one of the most interesting Medieval castles in the country. It is in an ideal picturesque setting, on the banks of the Avon. The interior recreates life in the castle as it would have been for its original occupants. It is also home to the world’s largest trebuchet.
Windsor. Dominated by the largest inhabited castle in the world. Established by William I. it covers 13 acres and is still a Royal residence. A visit to the Castle would be a fine grand finale to your visit, as you walk through the sumptuous state rooms and soak up the atmosphere of 900 years of Royal history. Taking in the magnificent architecture of St.George’s Chapel. Home to the Order of the Knights of the Garter and burial place of many Kings and Queens, such as Henry VIII and George VI.
Head back home with lots of memories and hundreds of photographs.