Heart of Britain

Heart of Britain

Behold magnificent landscapes and architectural wonders on this 11-night adventure in northern England and Wales! Feel transported to medieval England on York’s twisting lanes and inside its Gothic cathedral. Take in the stunning Fountains Abbey ruins and the lush countryside of the Yorkshire Dales. In England’s romantic Lake District, soak up the breathtaking beauty that has long inspired writers and artists, and visit the homes of William Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter and more. Explore the formidable castles of Conwy and Caernarfon in Wales and be uplifted by glorious panoramas of deep valleys, serene lakes and rugged mountains in Snowdonia National Park.

Trip Itinerary:

May 12 In Transit

In Transit

May 13 Manchester, England | York

Arrive at Manchester Airport and meet your AHI Travel representative, who will take you to the Hotel Indigo York inside the walled old town. If you'd like, enjoy afternoon tea in the hotel. Join your fellow travelers this evening for a Welcome Reception and Dinner to get acquainted.

May 14 York

Begin this morning with a fascinating introduction to Great Britain’s government and political process with a local expert. Next, follow your guide through historic York. See the 13th-century walls, wander down the Shambles’ narrow, medieval lanes, and stroll on the lovely Riverside Trail. Inside the majestic York Minster cathedral, appreciate the craftsmanship and beauty of the medieval stained-glass windows and stonework. Round out your day with lunch and a traditional, English afternoon tea at Bettys Café Tea Rooms.

May 15 North Yorkshire

Set off today through North Yorkshire’s sweeping, open moorland blanketed in heather to visit an 18th-century, formal terraced landscape. Then, tour stately Castle Howard, one of England's grandest country houses. This palatial country estate, adorned with manicured gardens, temples and lakes, has served as the elegant backdrop for many film and TV productions including “Brideshead Revisited” and “Bridgerton.”

May 16 Yorkshire Dales | Windermere

On your way to the Lake District today, visit Studley Royal Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Soak up the dramatic atmosphere of the spectacular, 12th-century ruins of Fountains Abbey, and the tranquility of the surrounding Georgian water garden. Afterward, admire the wild splendor of Yorkshire Dales National Park, graced with rolling hills and verdant valleys crisscrossed by stone walls. Visit quaint Grassington and Kettlwell, see lovely Aysgarth Falls and sample local cheeses at a creamery. Later, arrive at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa on Windermere, the largest of the Lake District’s 16 lakes.

May 17 English Lake District

Today, marvel at exquisite landscapes of sparkling glacial lakes, wild fells and craggy mountains on a guided scenic tour of the romantic English Lake District. Stop in tiny Grasmere, where poet William Wordsworth is buried. Then walk among the weathered, upright stones that form Castlerigg Stone Circle, built around 3000 B.C. Indulge in lunch and a spirits tasting at Lakes Distillery. Then, conclude with a pleasant cruise across Derwentwater, from Keswick to Lodore.

May 18 English Lake District

Gain insights about the District’s history and geography before your themed day devoted to its former literary denizens. Tour William Wordsworth’s home and listen to a poetry reading in his garden. At the home of John Ruskin, a Victorian critic and philosopher, see the impressive gardens that overlook enchanting Coniston Water. After lunch there, meander through car-free Hawkshead, one of the District’s prettiest villages, packed with a delightful jumble of 17th-century whitewashed cottages and shops. Finish at Hill Top, the charming retreat of children’s author Beatrix Potter.

May 19 Chester | Deganwy, Wales

Head off to Wales today! On your route, stop in Chester for lunch and a guided walk along the Roman walls of the old town. Cross the border and check in to the Quay Hotel & Spa by the Conwy Estuary. The Welsh people are passionate about singing — at church, school, family parties and even rugby matches! Discover more about the Land of Song at tonight’s entertaining session with a local musician.

May 20 Conwy Castle | Bodnant Garden | Llandudno

After conquering Wales in the 13th century, English King Edward I built a ring of imposing castles to exert his control. Today, explore Conwy Castle, perched on a rocky outcrop with commanding views and featuring eight massive towers and a high curtain wall. Extending from it, you’ll see some of Europe’s finest medieval town walls. Afterward, roam the flower-filled terraces and winding paths of Bodnant Garden and savor lunch here. Next, in the popular 19th-century resort town of Llandudno, promenade on the waterfront as the Victorians did on their seaside holidays.

May 21 Snowdonia National Park | Betws-y-Coed

Prepare to be dazzled by sublime Snowdonia National Park! Spread over 800 square miles, it’s filled with sensational vistas of deep valleys, lakes and mountains including Snowdon, the highest in Wales. While touring in the park, visit the National Slate Museum to learn about this once-dominant industry. Finish with a visit to and cozy Betws-y-Coed in Gwydir Forest, Wales' most popular inland resort town since Victorian times. Have lunch at leisure here before returning to the hotel.

May 22 Caernarfon Castle | Llyswen

Travel to another of Edward’s formidable castles, Caernarfon. This immense structure, along with the quay and the fortified town walls, was built to withstand the king’s bitter wars with the Welsh princes. Together with Conwy and two of Edward’s other castles, Caernarfon has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site for its exceptional medieval military architecture. After a guided tour of the castle grounds, savor Welsh specialties for lunch. Continue toward Llyswen with stops for photos and wonderful views of the southern Welsh countryside. Arrive at Llangoed Hall, an elegant country manor house.

May 23 Llyswen

On your final day, relax and relish Llangoed Hall’s pastoral setting along the River Wye, complete with beautifully landscaped gardens to explore, or make your own plans in the surrounding area.

May 24 Depart for home city

After breakfast, bid farewell to your fellow travelers. Depart for the airport in Birmingham, England, and head home.


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