After that twelfth cuppa (when in England), it's time to hit the road and get pumped for our first stop: Oxford. Get your real-life Harry Potter fix with a walking tour around the INCREDIBLE colleges. Soak up the views from Carfax Tower. And grab a pub lunch next to a toasty fireplace.
Then: we'll make tracks to Liverpool. Our Trip Leader will show us around town before we head off solo to tick off the likes of the Tate Liverpool, Maritime Museum, Albert Docks and The Beatles museum (of course). Dinner's up to you this eve. Our suggestion? Warm your cockles with a steaming bowl of scouse stew – so good, Liverpudlians named their accent after it. (B)
No lies – today is a bit of a drive day. BUT we've got some awesome stops to make along the way. First up: spread your wings under the Angel of the North. Then: take a peek at what Roman life was like back in the year 122 with a stop along Hadrian's Wall. Wander the barrack blocks of Housesteads Roman Fort and soak up the 360-views from the fortress, before we cross the border into bonnie Scotland.
We'll go all Hogwarts tonight with our included dinner in a traditional Edinburgh dining hall. Line those stomachs with a hearty feast before seeing if the city's bar scene lives up to the hype. (B/D)
Kick things off today with a walking tour of this historic capital – gawp at mighty Edinburgh Castle, stroll the Royal Mile, get all the feels from Greyfriars Bobby's statue and stare in awe at St Giles Cathedral. Then? The rest is 100% up to you! Check out the unique collection of Viking-age objects at the Museum of Scotland. Strap on your boots and take a hike up Arthur's Seat. Step aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia. Explore the uber-cool Leith district. Or escape the weather with afternoon tea at Elephant House (where JK Rowling wrote THAT series, just sayin').
And tonight? There's an opportunity to delve into Edinburgh's dark-side on a ‘City of the Dead' tour. You might need to pack a spare pair of underwear for this one. (B)
Didn't get to everything? DW we've got your back – here's a free day we prepared earlier. Zip up the puffer jacket and jump on a Potter-themed walking tour. Check out Charles' official Scottish residence at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Explore the National and Portrait Galleries. Sip on Scotland's national drink at The Scotch Whisky Experience. Or flash some plastic along George Street.
If the weather is on your side, head up Calton Hill for alllll the sunset views over the city. Then gather the gang for a night on the Old Town – filled with quirky cocktail bars, cosy traditional pubs and craft beerhouses there's something for everyone. Our fave? Hoot the Redeemer. Think: 1950s' cocktail bar + arcade games = hours of entertainment! (B)
Fact: you can't ‘do' Scotland without whisky. So, we've organised an included tour of Glengoyne Distillery and a belly-warming tasting today. You can thank us later. Uncover the magic maturation process this liquid gold goes through – before having a sniff and swirl of the good stuff.
Next: onwards to the home of COP26, mac ‘n' cheese pie (try it) and Glasgow kisses (don't try it). Our in-the-know Trip Leader will show us around the Merchants Quarter, Buchanan Street and George Square on a walking tour – pointing out the must-visits for our free time tonight. Then the rest is 100% up to you. We suggest grabbing a bite in Merchant City, where the 18th-century warehouses are chock-a-block with buzzing bars, restaurants and galleries. (B)
Limber up for a giant game of hopscotch – today we'll skip and jump our way across the famous Giant's Causeway. Think these huge hexagonal columns were created by volcanic activity 60 million years ago? Wrong! They're actually remnants of a GIANT-sized, testosterone-filled stand-off. True story, just ask your expert Trip Leader.
Next up: (London)Derry, where we'll take a closer look at the Derry Murals and learn about the Battle of Bogside and Bloody Sunday. Later, get the run around Galway with our on-road expert before taking the night off to explore. Tonight, dinner is up to you. But we hear the oysters here are bloody good. Hot tip: McDonagh's is THE place to go. (B)
Slip on your gloves and down that cup of Joe – we'll get our bearings around this historic city on a walking tour. Tick off Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin Castle, the General Post Office and Temple Bar. Then? It's time to discover what's so special about Ireland's most iconic export at the Guinness Storehouse. With 7 floors, a sky-high Gravity Bar and a cold pint of the good stuff included – even the cider-drinkers will be impressed.
Fact: you've got the rest of the afternoon to do whatever you want. Keep the buzz going and head to the Irish Whiskey Museum. Check out the Book of Kells at Trinity College. Take a tour of Kilmainham Gaol. Buy a claddagh ring for someone special along Drury Street. And don't miss out on a cone of brown-bread ice cream at Murphey's. Trust us, even in winter it's a must. (B)
Land ahoy! Today, we're ferrying over to wild Wales – a country that has collectively rejected the letters K,Q,V and Z. Speaking of letters – we'll make a photo stop at the place with the longest name in Europe. Work on your pronunciation for a bit, then we'll roll through the scenic countryside to Llangollen.
A cute lil' Welsh town on the riverfront – you'll have the afternoon to check out the 13th- century ruins of Castell Dinas Brân, jump aboard the (seasonal) steam train, or take a walk along the canal. Tonight: gather the gang to seek out a local pub for some live music and a hearty feed along the riverfront.*
Take note: North Wales is a BIG place – and we're unable to guarantee exact locations right now. So, sit tight and check your Trip Notes closer to take-off. (B)
Quick maths: this is our last day. But we're sure as hell not done yet! En route to London, we'll stop by the gobsmackingly beautiful Bath to take in the Abbey, Royal Crescent and Roman Baths. You've got free time to take a tour of the Baths and sample the healing (read: disgusting) spa water. Or treat yourself to a classy lunch at the Pump Rooms.
Get a Bath Bun (or two) takeaway before we make tracks to our next stop: the mystical Stonehenge. One of the most iconic prehistoric sites in the world, take it alllllll in before piling back on the coach for the drive back to ol' Blighty. Swap Insta handles and start planning that reunion trip – where to next? (B)