Day 1 Welcome to London.
On arrival at London Heathrow Airport, you will begin your journey with a transfer in an executive car, along with other guests arriving at a similar time, to the luxurious Rubens at the Palace, an exquisite five-star hotel overlooking Buckingham Palace. A part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, the Rubens is yours to explore, as you spend the day at leisure. At 18:00, meet your Travelling Concierge and travel companions for a Welcome Dinner hosted at English Grill restaurant.(Dinner with Wine)
Meals: Dinner with Wine
Day 2 Traditions and Treasures of London.
A modern-day hub of culture and commerce, and once the centre of an empire, London is undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest cities, teeming with millions of stories. Your Travelling Concierge will introduce you to a Local Expert – a passionate resident who will share fascinating stories about the city, as you explore the city to see Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. You will then continue past Downing Street, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus. Visit the Household Cavalry Museum, uncover the secret messages hidden within a cavalryman's uniform and try on the royal uniform for yourself. Spend the afternoon shopping at Harrods, listening to the soapbox orators of Speaker’s Corner or viewing the masterpieces in the National Gallery. Enjoy dinner as you please. Should you want to venture beyond your hotel, ask your knowledgeable Travelling Concierge for restaurant recommendations. In the evening, once the crowds have gone home, experience a private tour of the Tower of London. A serving Yeoman Warder will greet you on arrival, accompanying you through the grounds and regaling you with stories of the history and importance of this seat of British power. You will then learn about the Ceremony of the Keys, carried out every night by the Yeoman Warder, without fail, for the past 700 years. The Yeoman Warder provides a history of the tradition and explains the etiquette of handling the keys before you are privy to witnessing this ancient gate-closing ritual.(Breakfast)
Day 3 Stonehenge and Georgian Bath.
Begin your journey this morning at the mysterious Stonehenge, and stand in awe of the scale of arguably Britain's most best-known UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue your travels to the Georgian city of Bath where people have been indulging in the healing waters for millennia. Take a walk along streets lined with exquisite architecture and immerse yourself within the city's contemporary atmosphere. This evening unwind in chic cocktail bars and welcoming traditional pubs, or explore the evening scene that embraces comedy, live music and theatre. Ask your Travelling Concierge for recommendations.(Breakfast)
Day 4 Explore Bath.
Start the day with a visit to the original Roman Baths and Georgian Pump Room, one of the greatest religious spas of the ancient world and imagine how Romans once gathered to relish the good life. The rest of the day is yours to explore the many different sites that Bath has to offer and walk the streets that Jane Austin did. For many Bath is synonymous with the English writer Jane Austen. The author of Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion lived here in the early 1800s and used the city as a setting for two of her novels. This evening enjoy a spectacular Highlight Dinner at Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park, a Michelin-starred restaurant.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
Day 5 Cotswolds, Stratford-Upon-Avon and York.
Journey through the Cotswolds, famous for gentle rolling hillsides known as "wolds", green river valleys and historic market towns. Arrive in Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare with time to explore this famous market town and have lunch. Your journey continues to the medieval city of York. York is like nowhere else in England with cobbled streets, quaint tearooms and gothic buildings.(Breakfast)
Locations: Bath, Stratford, York
Day 6 Medieval Wonders of York.
Step back in time as you explore the medieval streets of York and learn about its lively characters. Once an important centre of Roman occupation in England, this is a storybook city surrounded by a large stone wall dating back to the 13th century. Experience York Your Way with a choice of two outstanding experiences today. Either join a Local Expert for a historic walk on the famous city walls - the longest medieval walls in England - and appreciate spectacular views of the river and the Old Town. Alternatively, embark on a leisurely guided tour to the York Minster, the largest medieval cathedral in Northern Europe and one of the most outstanding Gothic buildings in the world. This afternoon, journey to Castle Howard, one of Britain's finest historic houses. On arrival you will be escorted to the Grecian Hall for a delicious, traditional English afternoon tea. Once the castle has closed its doors, receive a private, after-hours visit with a guide who will show you the intricate architecture and share with you the history of the house. You will have some time to explore the best parts of the gardens before returning to York for an evening at leisure.(Breakfast / Afternoon Tea)
Meals: Breakfast, Afternoon Tea
Day 7 The Wild and Poetic Lake District.
The rugged and dramatic beauty of the English Lake District famously inspired 19th century writers such as Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth. Experience the charms of a bygone era, as you step onboard a historic steam train at the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway Station for a short ride along the southern banks of the lake. Journey through mystical forests to the lakeside town of Bowness-on-Windermere with a chance to explore, before continuing to your hotel located at Ullswater, considered by some to be the most beautiful of the English lakes. This evening, enter the dramatic ruins of Lowther Castle and take time to explore the ancient grounds. Enjoy a private dinner in the sculpture gallery which overlooks the castle gardens.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
Day 8 Alnwick Castle.
Journey to majestic Alnwick Castle and explore its magnificent interiors. Join a Local Expert for an in-depth exploration of the 11th century castle, with its striking medieval architecture and see why it was featured in the Harry Potter films. Your travels continue to the beautiful Scottish capital of Edinburgh where you have an evening to enjoy at your leisure. Your Travelling Concierge is a treasure-trove of knowledge and will happily guide you to the best local restaurants and attractions. During August, you’re invited to witness The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, one of the most spectacular military concerts on earth and a celebration of the history, heritage and colours of Scotland’s regiments both near and far. Hosted every August, this renowned international showcase of military pageantry boasts performers from forty-eight countries. Enjoy the sounds and sights of bagpipes rising, drums cracking through the night air and performers dressed in tunics, kilts and tartans with Edinburgh Castle, lit up in colour, providing a dramatic backdrop. [CC] If you are travelling on a Chairman's Collection departure, you will meet Her Grace, The Duchess of Northumberland as she personally welcomes you for a private tour of her beloved garden. You are also introduced to the Head Gardener, Trevor Jones, who will lead you past a labyrinth, the serpent garden and ornate fountains, as you listen to the fascinating story of how The Duchess restored this exquisite garden to its former 18th century glory over the last twenty years. Admire this masterpiece of passion and dedication, which remains a work in progress, before indulging in a seasonal lunch. This experience will be in addition to the existing itinerary. [/CC](Breakfast)
Day 9 Highlights of Beautiful Edinburgh.
Enjoy a visit to magnificent Edinburgh Castle, Scotland's most visited landmark. Skip the queue and join a Local Expert for a guided exploration of the castle grounds. Learn about the castle’s tumultuous history and appreciate panoramic views of the city below. Travel along Princes Street, past the Gothic Sir Walter Scott Monument, and continue down the Royal Mile to the gates of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the principal residence of Scottish royalty since the 16th century. In true Gaelic style, meet a professional bagpiper, who is said to have been the Queen Mother’s favourite. Be enchanted as you listen to iconic music and fascinating tales about Scottish culture, whilst enjoying tea and scones. Raise a glass this evening to new friendships and a memorable journey, as we toast during our Celebration Dinner.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
Day 10 Farewell Edinburgh.
Bid farewell to your travel companions and continue your onward journey with transfers timed to meet your flight.(Breakfast)
Touring with Luxury Gold
Luxury Gold is a journey beyond the ordinary, with your Travelling Concierge opening doors around the world to places and people that you wouldn’t dream possible. They take care of everything, while you relax and enjoy VIP experiences, exceptional dining and luxury hotels. Their small group holidays are expertly crafted to suit your preferences and will open your mind to an astonishing journey of wonder, adventure and new learning. NEW DESTINATIONS FOR 2018: Costa Rica, Croatia, Japan, Montenegro, Scandinavia and South Africa.
Luxury Gold has launched a series of special Chairman’s Collection departures in 2018, curated by their chairman Mr Stanley Tollman. Exciting experiences have been added to select departures across a collection of hand-picked European itineraries, including lunch with an Italian Count at his Tuscan Villa; a drinks reception at Artstetten Castle with Princess Anita von Hohenberg, a direct descendant of Archduke Franz Ferdinand; and dinner with a French Count at Paris’ oldest café.
As a proud member of The Travel Corporation (TTC), Luxury Gold is driven by service and passionately run and owned by a family involved in travel and hospitality for 100 years. Partnering with the Treadright Foundation helping to ensure that the environment and communities we visit remain vibrant for generations to come.