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CIE Tours 2014 - 8 Day Heart of Wales and England

Superior First Class Hotels - 7 Nights/13 Meals
Overnights: 2 London, 1 Cardiff, 2 Caernarfon, 1 Stratford-upon-Avon, 1 Windsor
From London to Windsor
Tour Code #: GB-ICA3-14-8D   CIE Tours Retail Price From: $1,698

CIE Tour Highlights:

  • Cardiff Castle Banquet: Cardiff Castle Banquet Spend an unforgettable evening of Welsh hospitality in the historic surroundings of Cardiff Castle, which dates back centuries. Enjoy the very best of Welsh food, with complimentary wine, entertainment and the warmest of welcomes from your hosts.
  • Tower of London & Crown Jewels: Tower of London & Crown Jewels Founded in 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England, the tower has played an important part in English history for the past millennium. See the White Tower, dating from 1078, view the priceless Crown Jewels and learn about all the monarchs associated with the Tower.
  • Stonehenge: Stonehenge Stonehenge is probably the most important prehistoric monument in the whole of Britain. The vast monoliths that we see today date from the final stage that was completed about 3500 years ago, but its origin is estimated at 3100 BC. Built of bluestone, sarson and Welsh sandstone, it is believed to have been built for lunar and solar worship and is aligned with the summer solstice.
  • Shakespeare’s Birthplace: Shakespeare’s Birthplace This carefully restored 16th century half-timbered house in Stratford-upon-Avon is where William Shakespeare was born in 1564 and spent his childhood years. See an exhibition on Shakespeare and his times before walking through the house, now restored to look at it would have been in his day.
  • Windsor Castle: Windsor Castle Windsor Castle is an official residence of The Queen and the largest occupied castle in the world. A Royal home and fortress for over 900 years, the Castle remains a working palace today. Walk through the many courtyards to visit the magnificent staterooms and St. George’s Chapel.
  • Train Ride in Snowdonia: Train Ride in Snowdonia Snowdonia is the mountainous region in North Wales with Mount Snowdon being the highest peak. A narrow-gauge rail trip is fun and will show you some of the glorious mountain scenery.

Hotels:

Superior First Class

Radisson Blu Edwardian Grafton Hotel: London (2 nights)
Maldron Hotel Cardiff: Cardiff (1 night)
Celtic Royal Hotel: Caernarforn (2 nights)
Shakespeare Hotel: Stratford-upon-Avon (1 night)
Macdonald Windsor Hotel: Windsor (1 night)

CIE Tour Includes

  • Airport transfers at start and end of tour
  • Sightseeing by luxury coach
  • Professional tour director
  • 7 nights in hotels listed
  • Full breakfast daily (B) except on day 1
  • 6 dinners (D) including
    • Welcome dinner in London
    • Cardiff Castle Welsh Banquet
    • 4 table d'hote dinners
  • Welcome get-together drink
  • Tours of London, Cardiff and Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Narrow-gauge train ride in Snowdonia
  • Walking tours of Oxford and Windsor
  • Visits and admissions to Tower of London,
  • Stonehenge, Roman Baths & Pump Room,
  • Cardiff Castle, National Slate Museum,
  • Caernarfon Castle, Shakespeare’s
  • Birthplace and Windsor Castle
  • Headsets for walking tours
  • Deluxe carry-on backpack, ticket wallet, luggage tags & strap
  • All local taxes, hotel service charges & porterage for one suitcase per person

CIE International Tour Itinerary

Day 1: London & Welcome Dinner
Your trip starts at Heathrow Airport with a pre-booked independent transfer to your hotel. A transfer from Gatwick Airport can be arranged at an additional cost. The balance of the day is at leisure to relax or do some sightseeing on your own. In the evening meet your tour director and fellow travelers and enjoy a welcome drink while you discuss your vacation and the places that you will visit. Then sit down for a welcome dinner in your hotel. (D)

Day 2: Tower of London & City Sights
This morning take a panoramic tour of central London to see some of the famous landmarks including Piccadilly Circus, Nelson’s Column and lions of Trafalgar Square, Big Ben towering over the Houses of Parliament and Hyde Park. Visit the Tower of London to view the magnificent Crown Jewels, guarded by Beefeaters in distinctive Tudor uniforms. Learn about the many famous and royal prisoners held in the dungeons and see the ravens, symbols of the endurance of the Tower. The afternoon is at leisure for shopping or further sightseeing; there is no shortage of great things to see and do in this exciting city. In the evening you are free for dinner. (B)

Day 3: Stonehenge, Bath & Cardiff Castle Banquet
Drive to Salisbury Plain to view the huge monoliths of Stonehenge and learn about their history. Next head to Bath to visit the Roman Baths and Pump Room, hot mineral-rich springs that have been popular since Roman times. See many sections still preserved after two millennia. Travel into Wales for a tour around Cardiff Castle, developed in Roman times and transformed into an elaborate Gothic-style castle in the 19th century. Then sit down in the Castle for a fun Welsh banquet with entertainment. (B,D)

Day 4: Brecon Beacons & Snowdonia
Take a panoramic drive around Cardiff, Wales’ proud capital, to view the principal features and the regenerated Cardiff Bay area. Drive through the gentle hills of Brecon Beacons National Park and continue north through charming countryside, where sheep graze peacefully. Wales is famous for its wool production and its mainly agricultural economy. Take a narrow-gauge train ride through the heart of Snowdonia to admire mountain scenery. Travel to Caernarfon for your next overnight stay. Caernarfon is renowned for its great stone castle, built in 1283 by Edward I, where Charles, the Prince of Wales, was invested in 1969. You may stroll around the narrow old streets after dinner. (B,D)

Day 5: National Slate Museum & Caernarfon Castle
Today tour scenic North Wales starting at the National Slate Museum which relates the hardships of this region’s slate industry, developed in Victorian times. As you drive through the countryside view Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales. Pause in the village of Betws-y-Coed before heading to Conwy, a walled town with a huge castle, centuries-old buildings and the smallest house in Britain. Back in Caernarfon, tour Caernarfon Castle, once a vast military stronghold and a royal palace. Explore walkways around the massive walls and battlements that dominate the town. After dinner you may like to check out some of the old pubs around the town. (B,D)

Day 6: Llangollen & Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon
Drive through the gentle scenery of North Wales and take a break in the charming village of Llangollen before heading across the English border into Shropshire. Explore the picturesque town of Bridgnorth to see fine gabled and half-timbered houses. Drive to Stratford-upon-Avon for a panoramic tour around the lovely old town with distinctive black-and-white houses and shops. Visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace to see an exhibition about his life and work. Then enter the house where he was born to see rooms furnished as they would have been in his day. Check in to your nearby Tudor-style hotel and enjoy free time before dinner. (B,D)

Day 7: Cotswolds & Windsor Castle
Drive through part of the Cotswolds and stop in the village of Broadway to look at quaint old houses built of honey-hued stone. Drive south to Oxford for a walking tour through the historic city to learn about the most famous colleges, including Christ Church College, founded in 1524, and the many prominent graduates. Take some time for a browse around Oxford on your own. A short drive will bring you to Windsor to visit Windsor Castle, one of The Queen’s official residences and the largest occupied castle in the world. Marvel at the size of the castle and walk through the lavishly decorated State Apartments. Check in to your hotel, close to the Castle, for a farewell dinner with your travel group. After dinner, take a brief stroll around the town. (B,D)

Day 8: Tour Ends Heathrow Airport
Take a transfer to Heathrow Airport in time for check in formalities. Transfers to Gatwick Airport can be arranged at additional cost. (B) B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner >

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