Day 1 :
Departure from North America
- Flight to Manchester:
Relax and enjoy our scheduled flight from North America to Manchester.
Day 2 :
Arrive Manchester – Yorkshire
- Meet Your Tour Guide:
Our 24-hour WorldStrides tour director will meet us at the airport and remain with us until our final departure.
- Walking Tour of York:
Take a walking tour through the medieval and historic parts of York. Its medieval structures are impressively preserved in its timbered houses and winding, cobbled streets, surrounded by the remains of the city walls. Founded by the Romans in AD 71, York was, for a long time, a strategic point used by both Saxons and Vikings.
Day 3 :
York: A Journey Through Time
- York Minster:
Visit York Minster, which traces its origins from the early 7th century and features stunning stained glass from the Middle Ages.
Take a walk through the Shambles, Europe's best preserved medieval street, although the name is also used to refer collectively to the surrounding maze of narrow, twisting lanes and alleys. The street itself is mentioned in the Domesday Book, so we know that it has been in continuous existence for over 900 years.
- Jorvik Viking Centre:
Visit the Jorvik Viking Centre. This recreation of part of the old Viking city, discovered many feet below present ground level, was reconstructed to appear as it stood in AD 948. A "time car" will take us back through the ages and detail this unique aspect of York’s history.
Day 4 :
Yorkshire – Coventry – Wessex
- Old and New Cathedrals:
Tour both the old and new Coventry Cathedral. The Old Cathedral was a beautiful Gothic structure begun in the 14th century. It was left in devastating ruin, aside from its spire, following the Coventry Blitz in WWII. Rather than bulldoze the remains when plans for a New Cathedral were unveiled, the ruins were left as sacred ground and a remembrance garden, while the new structure became a celebration of 20th century modernist architecture. We will have the opportunity to explore both structures.
- Continue to Wessex:
Wessex will be our base for the next two nights. Breakfast and dinner will be included at the hotel.
Day 5 :
- Roman Baths:
Explore the extremely well-preserved Roman Baths, first associated with the Celtic King Bladud, and later established by the Romans in the 1st century.
- Bath Abbey:
Visit Bath Abbey, founded in the 7th century AD and noted for its unique façade. In AD 973, the first king of England, Edgar, was crowned in the Abbey, securing its importance in the nation’s history.
- Free Time:
Enjoy free time in Bath before returning to Wessex.
Day 6 :
Wessex – Salisbury – Kent Area
- Salisbury Cathedral:
Visit Salisbury Cathedral, one of the finest medieval cathedrals in Britain. It is well known for having the tallest spire in the country, which we may climb if we wish. Our visit will be highlighted by the Cathedral’s 13th century octagonal Chapter House, which displays the finest of four surviving original texts of the Magna Carta.
- Continue to Kent:
Kent has been the nicknamed “The Garden of England,” because of its abundance of hop fields and apple orchards. Its proximity to mainland Europe—Calais is only 23 miles across the English Channel from Dover—has forced Kent to be England’s first line of defense in many conflicts, and, as a direct result, there are many castles scattered throughout the county.
Day 7 :
Kent Area – Canterbury – London
- To Canterbury:
We will travel today from Kent to Canterbury.
- Canterbury Cathedral:
Visit Canterbury Cathedral, a place of pilgrimage for over 800 years. Founded in the 6th century by St. Augustine, it remains one of the oldest standing Anglo-Saxon churches in the world and is one of the oldest Christian churches in England.
- St. Augustine's Abbey:
Explore St. Augustine’s Abbey, founded in AD 597. The Abbey was initially used as the burial place for the kings of Kent and the early archbishops of Canterbury. After the Norman Conquest in the 11th century, it became (and took on the appearance of) a standard Benedictine abbey.
- Continue to London:
- St. Paul's Cathedral:
Visit St. Paul’s Cathedral, Sir Christopher Wren’s Renaissance-style masterpiece. Our visit will include an ascent to the Whispering Gallery, an acoustic marvel in which the faintest whisper can be heard clearly on the opposite side, plus time at the American Memorial Chapel. If we are lucky, we will be here when the massive organ fills the entire cathedral with breathtaking music.
Day 8 :
Kings and Queens of England
- Westminster Abbey:
Visit Westminster Abbey, where English kings and queens have been crowned since 1066. Our Blue-Badge Guided Tour will include the Royal Chapels, containing the tombs of the English monarchs, as well as Poets’ Corner, featuring memorials to many famous British literary figures.
- Thames River Cruise:
Enjoy a Thames River Cruise, a relaxing way to view many of London’s most magnificent sights. Our trip will take us past the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben and under the famous Tower Bridge.
- Tower of London:
Visit the Tower of London, one of Britain’s most fascinating and important historical structures. Begun as a fortress by William the Conqueror, the Tower is now primarily associated with the legendary figures imprisoned and executed here over the centuries. Our visit includes the armories, a display of instruments of torture and execution, and the breathtaking Crown Jewels Exhibit.
Day 9 :
Depart for North America
- Fly Home:
Our rewarding and enjoyable tour comes to an end as our guide accompanies us to the airport on our final day.