• A personally guided tour of the Tower of London and a chance to see “ Bill Sykes” Island from Oliver Twist
• Staying at Matfen Hall the ancestral home of Sir Hugh and Lady Blackett
• A private visit to The Alnwick Garden created by the Duchess of Northumberland
• Driving to an English country lunch in a chauffeured Bentley
• A private walking tour of “old” and “ new” Edinburgh
Day 1 Depart USA
You board your overnight flight to London.
Day 2 Welcome to London
Upon arrival in London you will be met by your driver who will take you on a brief tour through the countryside and into London where you will see all the major sights in a brief orientation tour before arriving at your hotel. We have booked you a table for lunch which gives you the chance to unwind and discuss your upcoming experience. After lunch you have the option of taking a walk in the neighborhood (Buckingham Palace is close by) or taking a leisurely bath to re-hydrate from the flight. The evening has been left open since many people opt for a light snack and an early sleep.
Day 3 Pomp and Pageantry
Today you will explore London as Capital of the British Empire. Your first visit will be to Apsley house given to the Duke of Wellington by a grateful nation for his defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. The house is the last remaining major London townhouse in existence and the top floors are still occupied by the Wellesley family You will then be taken to Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the Guard ceremony. With costumes and bearskin hats dating back to the Napoleonic wars it is British pageantry at its finest. You will then proceed to Trafalgar Square dedicated to Lord Nelson and celebrating the Naval Victory at Trafalgar. Nelson gave his life defeating France at sea and Wellington gained victory on land and was able to enjoy the fruits of his victory into old age. Such is fate. You will then visit Whitehall, site of many ministries and 10 Downing Street famous as the home of the Prime Minister. Your last visit for the day will be the War Cabinet Rooms where Winston Churchill managed the British war effort in World War II while German bombers roared overhead.
Day 4 The Tower, the Docks and the Trip to Matfen Hall
This morning your guide will meet you at the hotel and begin an exploration of London from the time of William the Conqueror to the time of Charles Dickens. Your first stop will be the Tower of London whose original tower was built by William the Conqueror and added to by many other monarchs. In addition to currently being the repository of the Crown Jewels, the Tower has also been the scene of trials imprisonments and even executions of nobles and queens, innocents and traitors. Your guide will bring this history to life including the name of the important, but little known American imprisoned here. After your tour you cross Tower Bridge to the south side of the Thames where you have lunch. This is an area of contradictions because one part of the area is made up of futuristic buildings holding London's Mayor's offices while the other dates back to the 18th Century at Shad Thames and Butlers Wharf which take us back into the times of Dickens. In fact, you will visit "Jacob's Island" home to Bill Sikes in Dickens' classic "Oliver Twist". After your tour, your driver will be there to take you to the station where you have reserved seats on the train to Newcastle. Upon arrival in Newcastle you are greeted by your driver and driven to Matfen Hall the ancestral home of the Blackett's since 1831. After making yourselves at home you enjoy dinner in the Library.
Day 5 A Scenic Tour of Northumberland
This morning, your guide will be ready to take you on a scenic tour of Northumberland. Your first visit will be to Alnwick Castle home to the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland and to Alnwick Gardens created by the Duchess and considered to be the most exciting contemporary garden to be created in the last 100 years. Following a detailed visit you have lunch in The Tree House high up among thirty mature lime trees. You will then view some of the renowned Chillingham cattle before visiting Whalton Manor and enjoying a champagne reception. On the return, you have the chance to view some of the spectacular Northumberland Coastline. You return to Matfen Hall for another splendid meal, perhaps the Matfen Hall home farm clover fed organic Lamb carved by the chef from the trolley?
Day 6 Hadrian's Wall and the Roman Forts
After breakfast, your guide will be waiting to take you to the remains of Hadrian's Wall, built by the Romans to keep out the Scots form this, the northern limit of the Empire. After a visit to the scenic area you visit an old Roman fort and its baths. Lunch will be at a tea shop run by a local farm. Returning to Matfen Hall, you have a chance to visit the Spa, take a dip in the indoor pool or just relax in the drawing room with a good book.
Day 7 A Slice of English Country Life
After a leisurely breakfast, a treat awaits you. You will be picked up in a chauffeur driven Bentley for a drive to High House Farm Brewery where you have a private tour of both the brewery and the farm followed a Northumbrian themed lunch. After lunch your Bentley will be waiting to return you to Matfen Hall. The estate covers 400 acres and there are walking trails that invite you to walk off lunch in the English countryside
Day 8 A Leisurely Drive to Edinburgh
Your driver will be waiting to take you across the "border" into Scotland. You will follow the North Sea Coast until you reach Berwick upon Tweed where you officially cross over into Scotland. You continue around the coast to Stirling with its famous castle and the monument to William Wallace, "Braveheart". You have lunch in the Stirling area before arriving in Edinburgh where the rest of the afternoon is at leisure.
Day 9 Highlights of Edinburgh
After breakfast, your guide will be ready to take you on a personalized tour of both the "old" and the "new" city of Edinburgh including Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood House, home to Mary Queen of Scots, The Royal Mile and the famous Princes Street. After lunch the rest of the afternoon is at leisure. This evening you toast your experience with a fine dinner and a bottle of wine..
Day 10 Return to USA
Your driver will be ready to drive you to the airport for your return flight to the US.
Available Year Round
Disclaimer: Pins in map may not be accurate if Google Maps cannot find the exact address. In this case an approximation is made.
London, Northumberland, Edinburgh
Services Not Included