From the birth of the Beatles to the creators of the kilt, this 7-day sojourn through England and Scotland was all about uncovering the best of Britain. Picture-perfect lands and charming cities make this a perfectly balanced way to spend a week in the U.K.
4/29/17 (Day 1) - Arriving in LONDON
After arriving at the Hotel Ibis London Earl’s Court, we all met in the lobby at 4pm. We were introduced to Brooke, the Trip Manager, and from there, we went to the Contiki Basement for a short orientation. Then, we drove to the Westminster Pier, across from the London Eye, for a 45 minute cruise on River Thames. There was champagne waiting for us at Zizzi’s, an Italian restaurant in Greenwich, where we were served way more food than we could eat. Afterwards, we rode back to the hotel in the coach.
4/30/17 (Day 2) - LONDON
On our first full day in London, the hotel served a complimentary English breakfast buffet. The coach departed the hotel at 9:30am for a London Sightseeing Tour. We drove by many of the picturesque sites such as Big Ben, Tower Bridge, London Eye, and Parliament Square. The coach stopped in Trafalgar Square, and from there, Brooke led us down the Mall towards Buckingham Palace. We watched the changing of the guards followed by free time. Some people went to Kings Cross Station to get their Platform 9¾ photos while others went to some of the museums in the area. The coach picked everyone at 3:30pm and headed back to the hotel. At 5pm we all headed to the Ambassador’s Theatre in Covent Garden to see Stomp. Afterwards, we were all given a food kitty handout to go explore local cuisine. The coach picked us up and went back to the hotel at 9:30pm.
/>5/1/17 (Day 3) - LIVERPOOL
This morning, after breakfast, we began our drive to Liverpool. The drive was a total of about 5 hours, so around lunch time we stopped at service to grab a quick lunch. Once we arrived in Liverpool, we checked in to the Hotel Ibis Liverpool Centre Albert Dock. Brooke then took us across the street to the Albert Dock for a training session at the Holiday Inn Express Liverpool. Melissa Dasilva, the President of Contiki, gave us an overview of the Contiki Brand. Then, Tiffany Grant, the Director of Training at Signature Travel Network, went over some of the updates in Signature. Afterwards, we had free time in Liverpool where some went to the Beatles Experience and Gift Shop, while others explored more of the Albert Dock or ventured to Liverpool One. At 6:30, we all met in the lobby and then walked to dinner at Blake’s Restaurant in the Hard Day’s Night Hotel. We were served a very traditional fish ‘n’ chips. Following dinner, we had a free night. Many of us went down to the Cavern Club to enjoy some live music.
5/2/17 (Day 4) - YORK
After breakfast at the hotel, we loaded our bags onto the coach and went for a Beatles tour around Liverpool. A local guide told us all about the Beatles and how they got their start as we drove by popular sites such as Penny Lane, where we stopped for a photo opportunity. From there we drove for about 2 hours to York. Brooke took us on a walking/ orientation tour. We visited Clifford’s Tower, the Jorvik Viking Center, TheGolden Fleece, The Shambles, Guy Fawkes Inn, and finally, the York Minster. Until 6:30pm, we had free time to go explore. For dinner we all met at The Lowther and enjoyed a turkey roast. After dark, a local guide took us on a ghost tour of the city, mainly through the Shambles. Once returning to the coach, we checked into the Holiday Inn in Leeds.
5/3/17 (Day 5) - LAKE DISTRICT
The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel before leaving for the Lake District. When we arrived in Bowness-on-Windermere, we went for a 45 minute cruise on the lake, followed by free time in town. Many people went to the Beatrix Potter museum. After returning to the coach, we drove for about an hour to the town of Carlisle, where we checked into the Hotel Ibis Carlisle and then had the entire afternoon and evening free. A big group of us met at Walkabout, an Australia chain restaurant next to the hotel.
/>5/4/17 (Day 6) - Travel to EDINBURGH
After a complimentary breakfast at the hotel, we started off by first visiting Gretna Green where Lauren and David got "married". We then headed to Hadrian's Wall and House Steads Roman Fort in the southern part of the Northumberland National Park. We had about an hour of free time to explore the ruins, museum, and gift shop. From there, we drove about an hour until we reached the Scotland boarder. We got out and took pictures and listened to a bagpiper. After about another hour of driving, we stopped for lunch at Jedburgh Woolen Mill. We finally arrived at the Holiday Inn Edinburgh City West around 4pm. At 6, we went for a short driving and orientation tour. We explored the start of the Royal Mile and the view from the Castle. For dinner, we ate at Cannonball Restaurant and bar. We were entertained by a story teller from Mercat Tours that told some of the history of the building, while we tried some traditional Scottish foods such as Haggis and Whiskey. After dinner, half of the group went on a ghost tour and the rest returned to the hotel.
5/5/17 (Day 7) - EDINBURGH
The day started out with breakfast at the hotel, followed by an Edinburgh Castle Tour. Our guide, who used to be a Contiki TM, told us about the history of not only how Castle Rock was formed, but also who had occupied the castle in the past. From there, we had about 4 hours of free time to explore the city. Many people walked down the Royal Mile, while others went to some of the numerous museums. There were even a few in the group that ventured off to get tattoos. The coach picked us up at the castle and we went back to the hotel for a training session. For dinner, we all got dressed up for our last night together. We went to The Bothy (I think, not sure) for a traditional Scottish meal and bagpiper. From there, we returned to the hotel, and said our final goodbyes.
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