See ancient England and rugged Scotland over 10 action-packed days. Travel back through the ages by visiting Roman baths and Neolithic ruins in southern England and the Cotswolds region. Then work your way north, stop and visit Shakespeare's hometown, tour famous football stadiums, and discover the rich culture of Glasgow. Finally, travel through Scotland's Highlands region and go road tripping around its most heralded island, the Isle of Skye.

Highlights

  • Tour Roman landmarks and "Bridgerton" shooting locations in Bath
  • Walk in the footsteps of Shakespeare at Stratford-upon-Avon
  • See the splendor of England's historic villages on a Cotswolds road trip
  • Enjoy a football tour in Manchester and city tours of Glasgow
  • Visit the famous Isle of Skye and Scotland's unspoiled Highlands region

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in London & Transfer to Bath, "Bridgerton" Tour Bath
Day 2 Bath Literary Tour & Day Trip to Glastonbury Bath
Day 3 Bath to Stratford-upon-Avon & Cotswolds Discovery Trail South Stratford Upon Avon
Day 4 Cotswolds Discovery Trail North & Transfer to Manchester Manchester
Day 5 Manchester Football Tour Manchester
Day 6 Transfer to Glasgow & City Tour  Glasgow
Day 7 Mackintosh Architecture Tour of Glasgow Glasgow
Day 8 Glasgow to Isle of Skye, Whiskey & Chocolate Tour Skye
Day 9 Guided Driving Tour of Skye Skye
Day 10 Skye to Edinburgh, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in London & Transfer to Bath, "Bridgerton" Tour

The historic Roman Baths in Bath
Welcome to England! After touching down in London, a driver will transfer you from the airport to the train station. Here you'll catch a ride west about 1.5 hours to the city of Bath. This UNESCO World Heritage Site sits on the banks of the idyllic River Avon, where tour boats ply the tranquil waters.
 
The city is famous for its well-preserved Roman Baths that date to the 1st century, and which you can tour. Bath also has countless examples of outstanding 18th-century Georgian architecture. These include The Circus, a circular street of refined townhouses, and Pulteney Bridge, completed in 1774. These locales are so authentic that when the hit period drama "Bridgerton" producers were looking for shooting locations to double for 19th-century Regency-era London, they chose Bath.
 
If you're a fan of this hit show, you'll undoubtedly be excited for your first official activity of the trip: a 2-hour walking tour around Bath to see the "Bridgerton" filming locations. Highlights include the residences of Lady Danbury and the Featheringtons, the Modiste dress shop, Gunter's tea shop, the street Daphne galloped down to save her love from a duel, and more. During the tour, you'll learn about the very real history behind the buildings seen in this fictional show.

Day 2: Bath Literary Tour & Day Trip to Glastonbury

The hallowed ruins of Glastonbury Abbey
Bath is synonymous with Jane Austen. The great author made her home in this city from 1801 to 1806, and she even set two of her six novels here. On a 2.5-hour tour, your guide will show you Jane Austen's Bath and reveal fascinating insights about the nuances of life for women in Regency England, the social etiquette of the day, and the stories behind the landmark buildings.
 
You'll then leave on an excursion to Glastonbury, a town whose history dates over 1,000 years and is filled with myth and lore. The trip lasts five hours and departs Bath at 1:30 pm (earlier during winter). Today Glastonbury is a popular place for spiritualists and is filled with New Age, witchcraft, and occult shops. It's the place to come if you want to consult a psychic or have your tarot cards read.
 
Your personal guided tour includes stops at the 7th-century ruins of Glastonbury Abbey—once one of the richest abbeys in the country and said to be the burial place of King Arthur. You can also climb Glastonbury Tor, a hill overlooking the town. Perched atop it is St Michael's Tower, the remains of a stone church built in the 14th century. A hike to the top of the hill rewards you with panoramic views of the town and the countryside below. 

After the tour, you'll transfer back to Bath, where you'll have remainder of the evening free.

Day 3: Bath to Stratford-upon-Avon & Cotswolds Discovery Trail South

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon
In the morning, you'll transfer from Bath a couple of hours north to Stratford-upon-Avon. This medieval market town sits on the lovely River Avon but is most famous for being the birthplace of the greatest playwright of all time, William Shakespeare. Upon arrival, you'll embark on a 2-hour walking tour that reveals Stratford's history and fascinating relationship with Shakespeare.

As you enjoy an easy stroll through the historic heart of ancient Stratford, your guide will recount the full Shakespeare story. They'll also point out the landmark townhouses that have a historical connection to Shakespeare and his family. These include the playwright's birthplace and childhood home as well as the New Place, Shakespeare's last residence, where he died in 1616. 

Other highlights include the picturesque River Avon, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and a range of architectural gems like the 13th-century Guild Chapel, King Edward VI Grammar School, Guildhall (where a seven-year-old Shakespeare attended school), and the 13th-century Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare is buried. Don't forget your camera!

After the tour, you'll leave Stratford-upon-Avon for one of the most beautiful parts of the UK: the Cotswolds. This rural area of southern England encompasses six different counties and enjoys AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) conservation status. The region is denoted by rolling green hills, medieval villages, and various sites of cultural and historical interest. It's also known for charming cottage homes constructed of a distinct yellow limestone mined in the area for hundreds of years.
 
You'll see this incredible region on the southern-loop portion of the Cotswolds Discovery Trail. This is a self-driving tour in which you'll receive a trail pack and maps that will point you to the major highlights and the best places to stop, hike around, and take photos.  

Know that Roman Britain is a big part of the south trail. You'll visit major historical landmarks like the Roman amphitheater at Cirencester and a Roman villa near Chedworth, both of which date to the 2nd century. From there, the trail moves east to Bibury, a lovely Cotswolds village sitting on the River Coln.

Follow the river through picture-postcard villages along the Coln Valley. You'll cross the Fosse Way, a Roman road built during the first century, and continue west through rolling hills to the lookout point of Painswick Beacon. A short hike to the top offers incredible 360° views. Afterward, you'll head to the nearby village of Painswick. Known as the "Queen of the Cotswolds," the traditional cottages and buildings are made of iconic Cotswolds limestone.

​After Painswick, you'll drive south, cutting through beautiful grasslands and dodging grazing cows until you reach the ancient market town of Minchinhampton. This hilltop town is also a great place to stop and admire the panoramic views that stretch all the way to Wales. You'll then hop back in the car and return to Stratford-upon-Avon, where you'll spend the night.

Day 4: Cotswolds Discovery Trail North & Transfer to Manchester

The storybook Wiltshire village in the Cotswolds
In the morning, you'll get back in the car and embark on a full-day tour of the northern-loop portion of the Cotswolds Discovery Trail. Like the southern loop, this circuitous route passes through gorgeous countryside and some of the region's most historic and well-preserved medieval villages. And just like the previous day's tour, the goal is to get out and stop every so often to admire the scenery, snap photos, and tour the towns. 

Your included trail pack and maps will guide you to famous Cotswolds locations as well as lesser-known treasures. The maps have a wealth of fascinating information about each locale combined with clues to help you solve fun challenges. Finding the correct answers reveals further details about the stunning surroundings. One clue in the trail pack will even lead you through the countryside to a "hidden village" considered one of the most beautiful in the region.
 
The route leads you along the River Coln and past rolling green hills as you stop at various viewpoints, like Broadway Tower. Sitting on the second-highest hill in the Cotswolds, the Broadway is a folly tower (constructed for ornamental purposes) that stands 65-feet (20-m) high and offers incredible views. The trail continues through bustling old Cotswolds villages, like Burford, and secluded medieval hamlets until you reach Bourton-on-the-Water, a gorgeous town famous for its arched stone bridges crossing the River Windrush.
 
Throughout the experience, you'll immerse yourself in the rich history of the Cotswolds that dates back to the Stone Age. One stop is at Belas Knap, a barrow monument from the Neolithic Era. Other highlights include an Iron Age fort, Roman amphitheater, and Anglo-Saxon settlements. There are some crafty clues to figure out here to help you uncover even more interesting history.
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Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.
 
After returning to Stratford-upon-Avon at the end of the loop, you'll then transfer north to the city of Manchester and check in to your hotel. You'll then have the rest of the evening free. 

Day 5: Manchester Football Tour

Old Trafford, home to Manchester United
Manchester has been a hotbed of activity ever since it was the epicenter of the industrial revolution. Though manufacturing has long dominated the city, culture has thrived here over the centuries. Art, education, science, music—today, Manchester is known as much for these as its factories and mills. The city is filled with incredible architecture, museums, nightlife, and restaurants, but its most enduring legacy is its sports culture.
 
The city is home to two world-famous football (soccer) teams: Manchester City and Manchester United ("Man" United). On a 2-hour football-themed museum and stadium tour, you'll go behind the scenes of Man United, the city's pride. Learn the story of the club and how, since its formation in 1878, it has won 64 trophies. Also, in 1968, it was the first English club to become European champions.
 
The tour takes place in Old Trafford, the team's beating heart. Go inside this 76,000-capacity stadium, which is the largest in the UK. Find your favorite player's seat in the dressing room, walk in their footsteps from the tunnel to the pitch, and then take the manager's seat in the dugout. You'll also visit the press and VIP rooms. 

The museum portion of the tour blends historical exhibits with state-of-the-art interactive experiences. Discover the stories of the club's most famous players, including Bobby Charlton, George Best, Eric Cantona, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Wayne Rooney. Learn about the remarkable managers, including Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson. Whether you're a lover of the beautiful game or not, this is a classic Manchester experience not to be missed.

Day 6: Transfer to Glasgow & City Tour

Glasgow City
George Square in Glasgow's city center
Your northward journey through the UK continues in the morning as you travel a few hours north into Scotland and the city of Glasgow. After checking in to your hotel, you can head out to discover this fascinating city, which is even bigger than the capital of Edinburgh. Glasgow is rich in art, culture, architecture, and history, and you'll see it all on a 1.5-hour, small-group city tour. 

Your expert guide is a real weegie (native of Glasgow) who will lead you through the city's historic center, pointing out highlight landmarks along the way. Let Glasgow's energy carry you along its medieval streets, transporting you back through the centuries to see how a turbulent history has shaped the city into the vibrant place you see today.
 
Places of interest you'll visit include 19th-century George Square, which is the city's main plaza; the 12th-century Glasgow Cathedral, a foreboding Gothic masterpiece; and the Necropolis, a 37-acre cemetery that dates to the Victorian era. You'll even stop to admire some iconic street art. Every tour is unique, with each local guide bringing their own stories and perspectives, and each one includes visits to hidden treasures you likely won't discover on your own.

Day 7: Mackintosh Architecture Tour of Glasgow

See architect C.R. Mackintosh's most celebrated buildings, like the Glasgow School of Art
A cornerstone of Glasgow's culture is its legacy of art and design. You can trace much of it back to one man: Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928). Glasgow's most renowned architect, artist, and designer, C.R. Mackintosh's heyday was at the turn of the 20th century. That's when he designed his most famous buildings, like the Glasgow School of Art and the city's tea rooms. These cemented Mackintosh's legacy as a forerunner of organic modernist innovation in architecture. 
 
On a 3-hour walking tour, you'll learn about Mackintosh's impact on Glasgow and the world. It begins at The Lighthouse, the former offices of the Glasgow Herald. Designed by architect John Keppie with a young Mackintosh as his apprentice, the building now houses the Mackintosh Interpretation Centre. A stop here reveals brilliant examples of Mackintosh's work as a designer. Before moving on, enjoy the spectacular view from the building's Water Tower.

You'll then visit the Willow Tearooms, another Mackintosh hallmark. Every detail, down to the light fixtures and cutlery, was designed by Mackintosh himself. You'll also stop by the famous Glasgow School of Art. When you see this masterpiece, you'll understand the dramatic impact the school has had upon Glasgow's vibrant art scene and how Mackintosh earned the moniker "Father of Glasgow Style."

Your walk ends with a stop at the last public commission Mackintosh was awarded: the Scotland Street School. The design of this building is fascinating, with its Scottish-Baronial tower staircases. It also houses a museum featuring recreations of school rooms that tell the story of education in Scotland over the past one hundred years. After the tour, you'll have the remainder of the day free. 

Day 8: Glasgow to Isle of Skye, Whiskey & Chocolate Tour

The Isle of Skye's Old Man of Storr
Today, you'll embark on a scenic drive north from Glasgow to the Isle of Skye—quite possibly Scotland's most beautiful island. Along the way, you'll pass equally gorgeous Highland scenery as you travel through Glen Coe. This otherworldly region is home to deep valleys and towering mountains formed hundreds of millions of years ago through volcanic activity. Admire the silver waterfalls streaming down the hillsides; spot ospreys flying over the glassy waters of Loch Neven
 
Eventually, you'll leave the mainland and arrive in Skye. This is the largest of the Hebrides group of islands off the northwest coast of Scotland. Besides incredible natural beauty, this region has a rich cultural heritage, from whiskey-making to sheepskin production.
 
You'll get to enjoy the former when you take a short ferry ride to the adjacent Isle of Raasay for a tour of the distillery of the same name. Sample some delightful single malts and handcrafted gins, each paired with artisanal chocolates from the Glenshiel Chocolate Company. This includes a very special Isle of Raasay single malt-infused chocolate. There's also beautiful island scenery to admire on the 10-minute walk from the ferry port to the distillery. 
 
After the tour and tasting, you'll hop back on the ferry and return to Skye, where you'll overnight. 

Day 9: Guided Driving Tour of Skye

Mealt Falls and Kilt Rock on the Isle of Skye
Get ready for a full-day road trip around the Isle of Skye with your own personal guide/driver. They will pick you up from your hotel in the morning and whisk you off to the most famous landmarks and scenic locales on the island. This is a flexible tour in which you can make last-minute requests to see certain sights according to your interests. 
 
In general, the tour includes Sky's highlights. You'll travel up to Trotternish, the northernmost peninsula on the island. Here you'll see Old Man of Storr (featured in the movie "Prometheus"), a fascinating rock pinnacle overlooking the Sound of Raasay. From here, head up the coast to Kilt Rock. These massive basalt columns tower 295 feet (90 m) over the coast and resemble a Scottish kilt. Mealt Falls also plunges 200 feet (60 m) over the cliffs to the coast below.
 
After touring some of the secret coastal gems around the remote south of Skye, you'll stop at the Torabhaig Distillery. This whiskey producer has been on the island for over 200 years and makes fine single malts. Then you'll head to the small settlement of Sligachan, in the center of the island, which offers stunning views of Skye's rocky Black Cuillin Mountains. Then it will be time for lunch.
 
After enjoying traditional Scottish lunch, you'll visit Portree. This colorful lakeside town is also the capital of the island. You'll stop at the Aros Visitor Centre and watch a 35-minute film covering Skye's dramatic history and folklore. Following this, you'll stretch your legs with a walk around the village. One stop here is the Lump, a rocky headland overlooking Portree's lovely harbor. It's not only a nice lookout point, but it's also the site of the annual Highland Games.
 
At around 5 pm, you'll arrive back at your hotel and will have the remainder of the evening free. 

Day 10: Skye to Edinburgh, Depart

Queen's View
Queen's View, near Pitlochry
In the morning, you'll leave Skye and travel south to Scotland's capital of Edinburgh. The route choice depends on the available time and how much of the stunning Highland scenery you'd like to see. The shortest route is through Pitlochry, an 18th-century town on the River Tummel. It's also the site of one of the most beautiful vistas in Scotland, Queen's View. You'll want to snap a lot of photos.
 
Once in Edinburgh, you can climb the ancient volcano of Arthur's Seat and enjoy 360° views of the city below if there's time. Or there's a Harris Tweed store on the Royal Mile (Edinburgh's main thoroughfare) where you can pick up a last-minute souvenir. Then, you'll transfer to the airport and catch your flight home at the appropriate time. Haste ye back—you're always welcome here!  
 

More Great England & Scotland Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to England and Scotland? Check out these other England and Scotland itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

Map

Map of Historic England & the Highlights of Scotland - 10 Days
Map of Historic England & the Highlights of Scotland - 10 Days