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Great Britain Encounters
 
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HIGHLIGHTS:

Houses of Parliament, LondonThis 10-day tour provides a great introduction to the three countries of Great Britain, as well as taking in 8 English counties. We start in the cosmopolitan city of London and then head north taking in the historic cities of Cambridge, York and the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. En-route we’ll take a punt boat on the river Cam, see the Roman ruins of Hadrian’s Wall and enjoy a pint with the locals in York or Leeds. From Edinburgh we head into the spectacular scenery of the Scottish Highlands with whiskey tasting, ancient castles and perhaps a sight of the Loch Ness monster! Next stop is Liverpool, home of the Beatles, before we visit the home of Shakespeare at Stratford-upon-Avon and overnight in the Welsh capital Cardiff. Our journey back to London then takes in the beautiful city of Bath and the ancient standing stone monument at Stonehenge. You finish with a final night to check out London’s restaurants and some time for some more sightseeing and souvenir shopping before flying back o the USA.

DATES AVAILABLE:
  START DATE  END DATE  NEW YORK JFK PRICE  WASHINGTON IAD PRICE
  26-Aug-13  04-Sep-13  -  $2,299
  09-Sep-13  18-Sep-13  $2,099  -
  23-Sep-13  02-Oct-13  $2,099   (Sold Out)  -
  07-Oct-13  16-Oct-13  $2,099  -
  21-Oct-13  30-Oct-13  -  $2,049
  04-Nov-13  13-Nov-13  $1,999  -
  18-Nov-13  27-Nov-13  -  $1,999
Planned Flights: British Airways*
OUTBOUND: Depart New York JFK or Washington IAD on Monday evening, arriving in London on Tuesday morning.
RETURN: Depart London on Wednesday evening, arriving in New York JFK or Washington IAD that same evening.

Encounters Travel Contact details:
Phone (USA toll-free):
 1 877 260 3950
Email: Contact us form
Office hours: Our main office is based in the UK and is open Mon-Fri 09:00-17:30, Sat 09:30-12:30. If you are calling from the USA please try to ring before 12:00 CST to ensure we're available to take your call.

MEALS & ACCOMMODATION:

Meals - 8 breakfasts, 3 dinners

Accommodation
The accommodation used on this tour features a range of comfortable and clean mid-range hotels. Branded hotel chains have been chosen in most locations because they are able to guarantee good service and clean modern rooms with full facilities (the following are our preferred accommodation but alternative similar properties may be used on some dates). 

PLACEACCOMMODATIONINFORMATION
LondonHoliday Inn Express GreenwichGood central location, 10min walk or short bus-ride to centre of historic Greenwich.
YorkIbis Leeds CentreGreat city centre location, short walk to all Leeds' many restaurants, bars and shopping.
EdinburghEdinburgh Park Premier InnEasy & quick 1-stop, 10-min train journey from right next to the hotel to the very centre of Edinburgh.
Scottish HighlandsArrochar HotelBeautiful lakeside location, 2 miles from Loch Lomond.
LiverpoolIbis Liverpool Centre Albert DockExcellent location by the world-famous Albert Dock in the centre of Liverpool with the Tate Britain museum and many restaurants & bars within a very short walk.
CardiffPremier Inn Cardiff City CentreGreat city centre location, plus only 500m walk from Cardiff Castle.

 DAY: ITINERARY:
Day 1: MonFly to the UK from New York
 Depart the USA this evening and fly to the UK (see note on airlines and departure airports).
Overnight: Flight
Extras: Extra nights in London. Flight upgrades
Meals: As per airline service
Day 2: TueArrive into London. Transfer to hotel. Free time for sightseeing
 Greenwich Observatory, LondonUpon arrival our staff will meet you at Heathrow airport and transfer you to your hotel in Greenwich, which is a World Heritage Site and home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Meridian Line. Famous landmarks within walking distance of your hotel include the Cutty Sark, the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory, and Sir Christopher Wren’s Old Royal Naval College. Greenwich also has a great local covered market known for antiques, original artwork, crafts and food.
The rest of the day is free for you to explore Greenwich or head into London to explore this vibrant city.
Overnight: London hotel
Extras: Sightseeing pass
Meals: None
Day 3: WedLondon to Cambridge & York
 York MinsterToday you depart London, and head for Cambridge. Relax and enjoy the lush English countryside as it sweeps past you. Upon arrival, you embark on a punt along the river, and savour the history and marvellous views of Cambridge from this traditional mode of transport. In the afternoon, you continue on to York, a stunning city steeped in history and culture. This afternoon, you are taken on a fascinating walking tour of the city. Tonight, why not head to a local pub to share a pint with some of the locals if you wish.
Overnight: York/Leeds hotel
Extras: N/A
Meals: Breakfast & dinner
Day 4: ThuHadrian's Wall – Jedburgh – Scottish Borders – Edinburgh
 Hadrian's WallPrepare yourself for a day of history and scenic views. You have the opportunity to see Hadrian's Wall as it winds through the beautiful landscape. Next stop is Jedburgh, a centre famed for its links to Royalty and historical warfare. Feel free to wander and explore. The Jedburgh Abbey ruins are worth a look. Making our way to the Scottish border, you can stop and take a picture at the border. Arriving in Edinburgh, you complete your day with an evening guided walking tour of the city with your tour leader.
Overnight: Edinburgh hotel
Extras: Jedburgh Abbey Ruins
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 5: FriEdinburgh. Free time
 Edinburgh from Arthur's SeatToday you are free to explore as you wish. Edinburgh is a stunning city, steeped in history, beautiful architecture, lively pubs and loads of shopping. Take a step back in time and wander around the cobbled streets of the Royal Mile down to the Grass Market, or check out the Botanical Gardens. The Edinburgh Castle is well worth the entry fee, and ensure you allow a few hours to really sink your teeth into Scottish history and admire the views. The National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh Zoo, the National War Museum of Scotland and Holyroodhouse Palace offer some alternative ways to spend the day. In the evening, enjoy a pint or a traditional whisky at one of the hundreds of pubs in the city, or undertake a ghost tour, which will take you under the city and to some incredibly interesting graveyards.
Overnight: Edinburgh hotel
Extras: N/A
Meals: Breakfast
Day 6: SatEdinburgh – Inverness – Loch Ness & Urquhart Castle– Scottish Highlands
 Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness, ScotlandToday you head north to experience some very famous and beautiful locations. As you leave Edinburgh, you have the opportunity to witness the National Wallace Monument, commemorating Sir William Wallace and the real story of 'Braveheart'. As we continue towards the highlands, prepare for your breath to be taken away by the stunning scenery of Inverness – the 'Mouth of the River Ness'. The drive is substantial but worth the effort, and there will be opportunities to stretch the legs and breathe in fresh Highland air along the way. Free time is yours, you can join the optional a 1 hour cruise at Loch Ness, probably the most famous loch in Scotland, (see if you can spot 'Nessie' the 'Loch Ness Monster') or see the impressive ruins of Urquhart Castle. The day ends with a whiskey tasting at one of Scotland's oldest, licensed whiskey distilleries in Fort William, before continuing on to your hotel in the Scottish Highlands.
Overnight: Scottish Highlands hotel
Extras: Loch Ness Cruise & Urquhart Castle tour
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 7: SunHighlands – Loch Lomond - Liverpool
 Our scenic coach tour of the Highlands continues through the morning. You will witness the grandeur of Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain, and also Glencoe – a spectacular glen with one of the most fascinating yet saddest stories encompassing Scotland's history. Across the border and into England, you will stop in Keswick, located in the beautiful Lake District, and home to the first pencil! From here we continue to Liverpool – a city known for its maritime history, music heritage, two premier league football teams and colourful local characters. After checking in at the hotel, why not head to one of the many local pubs, including 'The Cavern Club' – the cradle of British pop music, and where the identity of The Beatles was formed.
Overnight: Liverpool hotel
Extras: N/A
Meals: Breakfast
Day 8: MonLiverpool – Stratford upon Avon - Wales
 Home of the fab four, LiverpoolYour day begins with a 'Magical Mystery Coach Tour' of Liverpool, taking in the Albert Dock, Anfield Football Stadium and a myriad of locations which were significant to developing the world class pop act 'the Beatles'- which shaped modern music as we know it. Learn about Paul, John, George and Ringo, and the city which inspired such timeless classics including 'Strawberry Fields' and 'Penny Lane'. Next stop is Stratford-Upon-Avon - the birthplace of William Shakespeare, and is considered to be one of the most important historical locations in the UK. You will have time to wander the city and visit major Shakespearean attractions. We continue on to Cardiff where you can then spend your evening as you wish.
Overnight: Cardiff hotel
Extras: N/A
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 9: TueWales – Bath – Stonehenge – London
 SStonehengetart your last day with free time to explore the sights of Caerphilly, and then it is off to Bath – a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring some of the finest architectural sights in Europe. A walking and coach tour of Bath will orientate you on the highlights of the area and then you have free time to explore at your own pace. Afterwards, you continue on to Stonehenge, an ancient and awe-inspiring structure, which has mystified scientists, tourists and historians for centuries, with regard to its purpose and creation. Entrance into Stonehenge will be at your own cost. The last leg of the tour will take you back to London for a final night.
Overnight: London hotel
Extras: Stonehenge visitor centre & entry
Meals: Breakfast
Day 10: WedLondon. Free time to explore. Fly to the USA
 Your final day is free to explore London’s famous landmarks and do some souvenir shopping. There’s a huge choice of what to see and do, and our local rep and your hotel can assist with booking activities and sightseeing tours, or point you in the right direction for particular places of interest or good places to eat or shop. Later in the day you will be escorted back to Heathrow Airport for your flight home.
Overnight: N/A
Extras: N/A
Meals: Breakfast, then as per airline service
INCLUSIONS
  • International flights from the USA
  • 8 Nights accommodation in twin rooms
  • Breakfast and dinners included as per itinerary
  • Public transport used for airport transfers and during sightseeing tours (Not on free days)
  • Modern air-conditioned motor-coach with reclining seats
  • Local taxes, baggage handling fees, hotel tips & service charges
  • Airport transfers (escorted, using public transport)
  • Experienced tour leader
  • Sightseeing as described
EXCLUSIONS
  • Visa fees (not required for US and Canadian citizens)
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory, see below)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Tips
  • Any other items not mentioned above
GREAT BRITAIN NOTES:

EXTRAS

A list of optional Extras that fit well with your tour with us are given below.

Single room supplement - US$550
If you would like to guarantee yourself a single room throughout the tour, then we will add this single room supplement fee to your booking.
If you are a single traveller and are happy to share a room, then we will aim to join you with another traveller of the same sex in a twin room. We will arrange room shares in the order that vouchers are redeemed. If we are not able to pair you up then you will need to pay the single room supplement. Triple rooms are not available.

London - Extra days - Price: US$on request

These are available on request in London before and after the main tour. We will aim to use the same hotel as the rest of the tour, but this will be subject to availability in the hotel. If you wish, you may book a hotel at a higher or lower level than that used on the tour. Prices include a night in the hotel, breakfast, all taxes. Single room supplements apply. Arrival and departure airport transfers are not included if extra nights are booked.
NOTE: A supplement to the total price may need to be added as group flights will not be available.

London – The Original London Big Red Bus tour – Price: US$37p/p
With over 80 stops, 3 main sightseeing routes and countless photo opportunities, The Original Tour really is the finest way to see London and her landmarks. Sit back, relax and take in the sights, sounds and iconic views of the city, both ancient and modern.
A variety of discounted attraction packages can be added including the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Madame Tussauds, Kensington Palace and the London Eye. Please ask for details and prices.

Cambridge - Punting Included
Our punt will meander along the River Cam taking in The Backs of the colleges and their bridges. Splendidly English! You'll feel like you are stepping back in time. The bridge of Sighs at St. Johns college, the Wren library at Trinity, Kings College Chapel and the Wooden bridge at Queens are just a few of the sights.

Hadrian’s Wall - View point Included
Viewing point of the famous wall.

Jedburgh - Jedburgh Abbey Ruins Adult £5.50 / child £3.30 / concession £4.40
Jedburgh Abbey was founded as a priory in 1138 by King David I who intended to prove to Scots and English alike that he could create buildings on a magnificent scale even on the fringes of his realm.

Scott's View - View point Included
Reputed to be one of the favourite views of Sir Walter Scott, this view point of the Scottish borders country is spectacular.

National Wallace Monument - View point Included
Stop for a photos of this famous monument.

Loch Ness cruise with Urquhart Castle - View point Adult £12.50 / child £8.00
1 hour cruise on the Loch Ness. (Maybe you’ll even spot Nessie!) as well as Urquhart Castle an impressive stronghold despite its ruinous state, once one of Scotland’s largest castles that commands splendid views of the famous loch and Great Glen.

Whisky tasting - Whiskey distillery Included
A traditional Highland working distillery.

Liverpool 'Magical Mystery Coach Tour' - Driving tour Included
Your driver will take you on a mystery tour of Liverpool on your route out of the city.

Stonehenge - World Heritage Site Adult £7.80 / child £4.70
A prehistoric monument located in the English county of Wiltshire.

7-DAY EUROPE EXTENSION – US$1,180 p/p

If you wish, we can extend your tour to visit some of Europe’s highlights after your tour with us in the UK finishes. This extension should be booked directly through Encounters Travel after you have purchased your voucher for the main tour. The price given above covers the land portion of the tour. We will check flight availability for your date at the time of booking and advise you if any extra supplements are required based on flight availability.

Day 10: London - Paris
Welcome to the tour! After check out we depart London and head south to cross the English Channel to France. The coach then travels south to Paris, 'The City of Lights and Love'. On your first evening, explore the city from the comfort of the coach on a guided coach tour, where you will be shown the sights of the city by your tour leader. Take note of all the places of interest you want to explore on your free day at your leisure; and afterwards indulge in the Parisian nightlife surrounding the Moulin Rouge and local bars!
(Overnight 2 or 3-star Hotel)
(Breakfast)

Day 11: Paris free day
Eiffel Tower, ParisThe whole day is yours! Why not cruise up the Seine River to the Eiffel Tower, see the famous artworks at the Louvre, head to Montmatre to see the Sacre Coeur, or go to Disneyland for the day. Ask your tour leader for more ideas and suggestions. The diversity of Paris means that you can admire famous artworks, visit historical landmarks, indulge in the finest French cuisine, check out the latest fashions, cover yourself in perfume or simply just relax in a cafe, all in one day if you wish.
(Overnight 2 or 3* hotel)
(Breakfast)

Day 12: Paris to Switzerland
'Au revoir' France! We head towards the Swiss Alps, and stay in a typical mountain village in the heart of the Jungfrau / Wilderswil region. One of the most-visited places in the Alps it is also a World heritage site.
(Overnight in a mountain chalet)
(Breakfast & dinner)

Day 13: Jungfrau - Swiss Alps
The Swiss AlpsEnjoy a free day to explore and take in the spectacular local scenery. One of the 'must see' highlights of this tour is to travel to the 'Top of Europe' - Jungfraujoch. The views will leave you breathless (and that isn't because of the high altitude). This 4000m glacier has a beauty all of its own, and the combination of ice, snow, rock and epic views will stay with you for life. There is snow all year round, so you can make a snow man or have snow ball fight in the middle of summer!
(Breakfast)

Day 14: Switzerland to Rhine Valley
This morning we continue into Germany, where your Rhine Valley experience awaits: Enjoy a drink as the Rhine River boat takes you to your hotel in the heart of Rhine Valley. Sights along the way include the most concentrated stretch of castles in Europe, vineyards, cliffs and medieval German towns. After a tasty German dinner, why not take a relaxing stroll along the river and take time out to recharge.
(Overnight 2 or 3* hotel)
(Breakfast & dinner)

Day 14: Rhine Valley to Amsterdam
Amsterdam, HollandContinue on to the Netherlands where we will visit the windmill village of Zaanse Schans, famous for the making of wooden shoes, or'klompe'. Then we visit the famous Dutch fishing village of Volendam for lunch, and see for yourself why Picasso and Renoir chose to spend time there. Next, say 'CHEEEESE' - you will experience the art of cheese making and have a nibble on the final product. After dinner a walking tour of the world famous Amsterdam "Red Light District" is the best way to begin the last evening of your European tour. You will see the canals, Dam Square and in your free time perhaps see Ann Franks' house. Then, paint the town red as the locals do!
(Overnight 3* hotel)
(Breakfast, dinner)

Day 15: Amsterdam to London
The last day of your European tour already! After breakfast, it's back to London with a stop for a quick lunch in Belgium. Bruges is a beautiful medieval city, which boasts many attractions. This last part of your journey is your chance to swap numbers and contact details with all of your new found friends and tour buddies, before you return to the UK.
(Breakfast)

Day 16: London. Free time. Fly to the US
Your final day is free to explore London’s famous landmarks and do some souvenir shopping. There’s a huge choice of what to see and do, and our local rep will assist with booking activities and sightseeing tours, or point you in the right direction for particular places of interest or good places to eat or shop. Later in the day you will make your own way back to Heathrow Airport for your flight home.
(Breakfast)

TRAVEL INSURANCE

European Travel Insurance policy - US$40 (up to 14 days)
Travel insurance is compulsory on all our tours and having travel insurance in place is a condition of travelling with us. Medical Insurance alone is not sufficient to join this tour.
You may either take out a policy through us, or arrange your own. If you arrange your own insurance, we must receive full details of your policy (policy number, issuing company, emergency telephone number) at least one month before you travel.
Our own travel insurance is offered through Endsleigh Insurance Services in the UK, and is available to citizens and residents the USA. This comprehensive travel insurance policy has been designed to be suitable for our cultural and adventure tours, including this trip. Key benefits are shown below, and full policy details are available on request and will be provided before purchase and are also available on our website - http://www.encounterstravel.com/travel_insurance.php

  • Emergency and medical service - Medical expertise to arrange emergency medical assistance or transport home following an accident or illness or if you are informed of a serious illness of a close relative at home whilst on holiday.
  • Cancellation or curtailment charges - Cover for costs against unavoidable or necessary cancellation or curtailment of the trip before completion due to, death, bodily injury or illness. The maximum we will pay under this section is £5,000 per person.
  • Emergency medical and other expenses – Emergency medical, surgical, hospital, ambulance and nursing fees up to £10,000,000 outside of your home country.
  • Hospital benefit - Up to £15 for every completed 24 hours in patient hospital stay up to a maximum of £300.
  • Personal accident - Up to £30,000 for death, loss of limb or sight and permanent total disablement, subject to age - Please refer to policy wording for full details of the cover available.
  • Personal money, passport and documents – Accidental loss, theft of or damage to personal money including foreign currency up to 72 hours prior to departure - Please refer to policy wording for full details of the cover available. Up to £500 for reasonable additional costs for travel and accommodation incurred whilst obtaining a replacement passport or visa abroad.
  • Personal liability - Personal liability for any compensation you become legally liable to pay up to £2,000,000.
  • Delayed departure - Delayed departure for at least 12 hours from the scheduled departure time. £20 for the first complete 12 hour delay and £20 for each completed 12 hours following, up to a maximum of £100. Up to £5,000 for any irrecoverable travel and other pre-paid charges if you choose to cancel your trip once 12 hours has elapsed.
  • Missed departure - Up to £500 for additional room only accommodation and travel expense should you miss your departure due to the failure of public transport or an accident or breakdown of the vehicle you are travelling in or strike.
  • Overseas legal expenses and assistance - Legal expenses and costs in pursuit of a civil action up to £50,000.
ACCOMMODATION

Arrochar HotelWe use good quality mid-range branded hotels on this tour.
Accommodation is based on twin or double en-suite rooms with air conditioning. We will endeavour to give all couples a private double room. Single travellers should expect to share a twin room with another traveller of the same sex unless they pay the single room supplement.

Holiday Inn Express Greenwich, London                  Edinburgh Park Premier Inn

TRANSPORT

Encounters coachThis tour features a comfortable air-conditioned 50 seater coach with a toilet and communication mic system on board. During your sightseeing tours, we may use various forms or public and/or other private transportation.

TRANSFERS

The tour includes a 24-hour escorted transfer from London Heathrow airport to your hotel and all other transfers. Airport transfers are doing using public transport (London Underground & Overground) which is fast, efficient, and gives you a great introduction to getting around the city.

GROUP SIZE/TOUR LEADERS/GUIDES

You should expect a minimum group size of around 10 passengers, and a maximum of 48. 
An experienced tour leader will accompany you throughout the tour, and specialist local guides will be used in various locations for the sightseeing tours.
Note – This tour is run in conjunction with a local UK partner who will also be providing passengers for the tour.

ENTRANCE FEES

The tour price includes entrance fees to all sites visited in the itinerary. You will need to cover the cost of entrance to any other extra sites that you may wish to visit that are not listed in the main tour itinerary.

TIPPING

Tipping on this tour is optional, but you may therefore wish to tip your tour leader and driver at the end of the tour. You should not feel obliged to tip any particular amount, and should consider your personal budget. We are often asked to provide a guide however, and will provide you with more information and suggested amounts in our pre-departure pack.

HEALTH

For up to date health information & vaccination requirements for the UK we recommend that you contact your medical practitioner or a travel clinic.

VISAS

Many nationalities (including USA, Canadian, European and Australian) do not need a visa to visit the UK for tourist purposes. Other nationalities may require a visa. It is your responsibility to ensure you have any required visas for your trip.

CONTACT US

Phone (USA toll-free): 1 877 260 3950
Email: Contact us form
Office hours: Our main office is based in the UK and is open Mon-Fri 09:00-17:30, Sat 09:30-12:30. If you are calling from the USA please try to ring before 12:00 CST to ensure we're available to take your call.