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A City Discovery: Edinburgh & York

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  • OVERVIEW
  • ITINERARY
  • HIGHLIGHTS


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A City Discovery: Edinburgh & York

14 Days

This specially designed programme showcases the very best of Scotland and York, combining stays at luxury hotels with special visits and exclusive experiences. Beginning at a luxury hotel in the heart of the historic city of York, the first part of your journey sees you explore ancient streets and awe-inspiring York Minster Cathedral in the city before venturing out to a grand stately home and the sprawling Yorkshire Dales.

A short train journey north takes you into Scotland: a land of castles and cashmere renowned for its rugged landscapes and enduring traditions. Beginning in Edinburgh, enjoy day trips to St Andrews and the Scottish Borders before venturing into the Highlands and the Isle of Skye before the journey concludes in Inverness.

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ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS



Day One: Arrival

Day Two: York

Day Three: A Castle in the Country

Day Four: The Yorkshire Dales

Day Five: City to City

Day Six: The Cobbled Streets of Edinburgh

Day Seven: The Scottish Borders

Day Eight: St Andrews – Your Day, Your Way

Day Nine: The North-West Highlands

Day Ten: Over to Skye

Day Eleven: Simply Skye

Day Twelve: Lovely Loch Ness

Day Thirteen: Highland History

Day Fourteen: Homeward Bound

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HIGHLIGHTS

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Day One: Arrival

A chauffeur will provide a transfer from Manchester Airport to York. It is generally considered to be England’s most complete medieval city.

Your accommodation is a 5-star hotel housed in a grand old Edwardian building by the city’s ancient walls. Originally built as the HQ of the North Eastern Railway, today’s luxurious establishment has stylish bedrooms, several dining options and a spa set in the former vaults.

Day Two: York

Accompanied by a local guide, explore York. It is a city crammed with impressive architecture, where Georgian mansions, Viking settlements, Gothic masterpieces and Victorian cobbled streets find themselves squeezed within Roman walls.

Without a doubt, the highlight is the awe-inspiring York Minster Cathedral. Light floods the cool nave and choir, pouring through the biggest collection of medieval stained glass in England, including the Great East Window that miraculously survived destruction by fire.

Another noted highlight is The Shambles, often regarded as Europe’s best preserved medieval street. It is complete with overhanging timber-framed buildings some dating back to the 14th century.

Day Three: A Castle in the Country

A chauffeur will take you to visit Castle Howard. So ambitious was the vision for Castle Howard, the private residence of the Howard family for more than 300 years, that the baroque building took over 100 years to complete but the result was astounding with two symmetrical wings and a central dome.

Explore this magnificent 18th century house and current exhibitions including Brideshead Restored which tells the story of the fire of 1940 and the subsequent restoration, as well as the transformation of the derelict rooms into film sets for Brideshead Revisited.

Before departing, take a stroll in the stunning parkland dotted with temples, lake statues and fountains in which Castle Howard is situated. You’ll be swept away by the scale and beauty of the landscape.

Day Four: The Yorkshire Dales

Spend the day exploring the Yorkshire Dales. The Yorkshire Dales National Park is home to some of Yorkshire’s most iconic scenery and attractions. With spectacular limestone valleys, picturesque villages and historic castles, it is a place that stirs the emotions and stimulates the senses of every visitor. The National Park was established in 1954 and covers an area of 680 square miles, straddling the central Pennines.

There are many places that may be of interest, from castles and abbeys to gardens and even a brewery.

Day Five: City to City

Travel by train to Edinburgh. A touring-chauffeur will meet you at the station and take you on a panoramic orientation tour. The city has two distinct areas: The Old Town, dominated by a medieval fortress, and the Georgian New Town which dates from the 18th century. The harmonious connection of these two contrasting historic areas, each with many important buildings, is what gives the city its unique character and what saw it be awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.

Your accommodation here is a 5* hotel which belongs to a brand that sets the standard in luxury hotels and resorts worldwide. Converted from a Victorian railway hotel, it has embodied the very best in Scottish hospitality for over a hundred years.

Day Six: The Cobbled Streets of Edinburgh

A local guide will take you on a walking tour of Edinburgh’s Old Town. The Old Town is brimming with cobbled streets, tightly-packed buildings, narrow closes and hidden courtyards, all steeped in history and many astonishingly well-preserved.

Explore Edinburgh Castle this afternoon. Step inside the ancient walls and learn of the royalty who lived and died here, the battles fought over it and the struggles for control of the nation; it is rumoured to be the most besieged place in Britain.

Day Seven: The Scottish Borders

Travel south of Edinburgh through the Tweed Valley to Traquair House. Catherine Maxwell Stuart, 21st Lady of Traquair, will conduct an exclusively guided tour of her home.

Dating back to 1107, the house claims to be the oldest continually inhabited house in Scotland and was originally a hunting lodge for the kings and queens of Scotland. It has hosted 27 Monarchs including Mary, Queen of Scots. Your private tour concludes in the 18th century dining room with a tasting of all four Traquair ales, brewed in the brewery below the Chapel.

To follow, by special arrangement enjoy a private visit to a local farm where you will watch a working sheepdog demonstration to see the intricate three-way communication between the dog, sheep and handler. Seeing them in action provides great insight to a local way of life.

The day concludes with a visit to Glenkinchie Distillery. Join a guided distillery tour to discover how the “water of life” is made. Your visit includes an extended tasting comparing Glenkinchie to other single malts from around Scotland.

Day Eight: St Andrews - Your day, Your Way

Enjoy a day trip to St Andrews which has its place firmly in the history books as being the home of golf, and more recently as where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge first met, whilst studying at the world renowned university. The following experiences can be arranged:

• Old Course Walk – Enjoy a privately guided walk of the famed fairways of the Old Course. Based around the 1st, 17th and 18th holes of the course, the walk follows in the footsteps of golfing greats, allowing you to experience a player’s eye view of the fabled links.

• History – Accompanied by your local guide explore two key historic sites: St Andrews Castle and St Andrews Cathedral. Both lie in magnificent ruins. Perhaps climb to the top of St. Rule’s Tower to enjoy panoramic views across St. Andrews and the surrounding countryside.

• Golf – St. Andrews has several magnificent courses; perhaps reserve a tee time on the New Course built in 1895 by the legendary Old Tom Morris – it is said to be St Andrew’s best kept secret.

Day Nine: The North-West Highlands

Depart Edinburgh and travel into the Highlands and to Glencoe.

A local ranger will be privately reserved to take you on a gentle walk in Glencoe, Scotland’s most famous glen. It lies in the heart of an ancient volcano and is one of the most dramatic and beautiful places in Scotland. The glen has also attracted many filmmakers, having featured in James Bond’s Skyfall, several Harry Potter films, Mary Queen of Scots, and Netflix’s Outlaw King.

Scenery and geology aside, the glen has its place firmly in the history books as the location of the infamous massacre of Clan Macdonald of Glencoe by government troops in 1692.

Your accommodation is a stunning Victorian castle nestled in the foothills of mighty Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest mountain. Inside, grandeur, opulence and a charming traditional country house style is evident at every turn. The evening enjoy dinner in one of the three dining rooms, each of which is decorated with elaborate period furniture presented as gifts from the King of Norway.

Day Ten: Over to Skye

Board the Jacobite Steam Train to experience what has been described as one of the world’s great train journeys.

Pass Loch Shiel and see the towering Glenfinnan Monument. Your journey takes you over the Glenfinnan Viaduct which is perhaps now best known from the Harry Potter films. Continue west to a beautiful stretch of Highland coast where, on a clear day, the enchanting Small Isles are visible across the water.

At Mallaig, re-unite with your touring-chauffeur and travel by ferry to the Isle of Skye. Your accommodation on the island is a beautiful retreat from the modern world with spectacular views, wonderful hospitality and incredible food.

Day Eleven: Simply Skye

Spend the day exploring the island. It is renowned for its stormy history and truly breath-taking scenery.

Perhaps travel to the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland and the stronghold of the Chiefs of Macleod for nearly 800 years. Alternatively, visit the distillery which can found on the banks of Loch Harport, with dramatic views of the Cuillins in the background.

To immerse yourself in the great outdoors, perhaps explore the eerie Quiraing and see the Old Man of Storr, an iconic part of Skye’s stunning landscape. You may like to visit the Fairy Pools; beautifully crystal-clear blue pools on the River Brittle.

Day Twelve: Lovely Loch Ness

Return to the mainland, travelling to the shores of Loch Ness. A lone piper, resplendent in uniform, will be waiting to greet you. He and a traditional Highland dancer will entertain with a performance before you set off to explore the loch – perhaps you may like to put your best foot forward and learn a fling yourself?

There can be no better way to see the water than from aboard a luxury motor cruiser which, with a capacity for just eight guests, would be reserved exclusively.

Sumptuous platters of Scottish delicacies are served as you sit back and admire your surroundings, including the impressive ruins of Urquhart Castle, which dates from the 13th century.

Your touring-chauffeur will then take you to your final accommodation, a beautiful Regency house set on 20 acres of well-tended lawns, walled gardens, woodland and streams.

Day Thirteen: Highland History

The Highlands is a truly inspiring region; heather clad hills and ancient landscapes combine with castles, clans and culture to very much embody the Scotland of your imagination.

You may like to visit the windswept Culloden Battlefield, site of the infamous 1746 battle where the heavily outnumbered Jacobites lost to the Duke of Cumberland’s government troops.

Perhaps also visit Cawdor Castle and Gardens. While this fairy-tale castle is best known for its role in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, its most unique feature is undoubtedly the living hawthorn tree it was built around.

Alternatively delve deep into ancient history at the Clava Cairns. It is one of Scotland’s most evocative prehistoric sights. Fans of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series may recognise the site as the inspiration for the “Craig na Dun” stone circle through which Outlander’s Claire Randall travels back in time.

Day Fourteen: Homeward Bound

Your touring-chauffeur will transfer you to Inverness Airport for your departure flight.

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HIGHLIGHTS

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THINGS TO DO

YORK MINSTER

If there is one building that epitomises York, it is the majestic Gothic cathedral called York Minster. The site was once the headquarters of the Romans who occupied the city, but the cathedral as it stands today was consecrated in 1472 following a build time of 250 years. It contains what many consider to be Britain’s greatest concentration of stained glass, including the Great East Window.

THE SHAMBLES – YORK

The Shambles are often regarded as Europe’s best preserved medieval street. It is complete with overhanging timber-framed buildings some dating back to the 14th century.

CASTLE HOWARD

Castle Howard is a truly magnificent 18th century house, it is situated in stunning parkland dotted with temples, lake statues and fountains. You’ll also be swept away by the scale and the beauty of Castle Howard’s monumental landscape, which offers spectacular views at every turn.

EDINBURGH CASTLE

Known as the “Jewel in Scotland’s Crown”.

HIGHLAND FARM VISIT

Meet the Highland Cattle. With their fluffy hair and long horns, the cows are a true icon of Scotland and make for a great photo opportunity! Perhaps also take the time to meet some of the farm’s smaller residents – chickens, turkeys, pigs, and sheep. Lambing takes place at the end of April, and you will be welcome to feed any pet lambs that may be around.

JACOBITE STEAM TRAIN

Travel over the 21 arches of the Glenfinnian Viaduct, now best known from the Harry Potter films.

TRAQUAIR HOUSE

Traquair House dates back to 1107, the house claims to be the oldest continually inhabited house in Scotland and was originally a hunting lodge for the kings and queens of Scotland. It has hosted 27 Monarchs including Mary, Queen of Scots.

LOCH NESS MOTOR CRUISE

Extending 23 miles, the loch provides spectacular views – the scenery is breath-taking regardless of the time of year.

CAWDOR CASTLE AND GARDENS

A fairy-tale castle is best known for its role in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

PLACES VISITED

EDINBURGH

Scotland’s historic capital city. Edinburgh, sometimes referred to as the “Athens of the North”, is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It has two distinct areas: the Old Town, dominated by a medieval fortress; and the neo- classical New Town, dating from the 18th century. The harmonious connection of these two contrasting historic areas, each with many important buildings, is what gives the city its unique character and saw it awarded World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 1995.

ST ANDREWS

In addition to being the home of golf, St Andrews is also where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge first met, whilst studying at the world-renowned university. The town is also home to several iconic historical sights. Now largely ruined after seeing many a war, St Andrews Castle was once the magnificent home of the Bishops and Archbishops of St Andrews. As to the Cathedral, it was the focal point of the Church in medieval Scotland, and in the thick of the struggle for the hearts and minds of the nation during the Protestant Reformation.

GLENCOE

Scotland’s most famous glen.  It is often considered one of the most spectacular and beautiful places in the country and certainly one of the most dramatic; thundering waterfalls tumble down the sides of mountains into sparkling lochs. Scenery and geology aside, the glen has its place firmly in the history books due to its savage history. It was the site of the infamous massacre of Clan Macdonald of Glencoe by government troops in 1692.

ISLE OF SKYE

Unquestionably the most popular isle of the Inner Hebrides. Voted by National Geographic as one of the world’s top five islands, it is rich in history and romance, famed for its natural beauty, traditional charm, breath-taking scenery and wildlife.

LOCH NESS

Extending 23 miles, Loch Ness provides spectacular views regardless of the time of year.The loch’s cold, deep waters are said to be home to the Loch Ness Monster, affectionately known as Nessie. It is said that the first sighting of the monster was in the 6th century by St. Columba, and sporadic sightings have been reported ever since.

YORKSHIRE DALES

The Yorkshire Dales National Park is home to some of Yorkshire’s most iconic scenery and attractions. With spectacular limestone valleys, picturesque villages and historic castles, it is a place that stirs the emotions and stimulates the senses of every visitor. The National Park was established in 1954 and covers an area of 680 square miles, straddling the central Pennines.

 

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

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