PSU Lehigh Valley: Wales, Liverpool and Scotland (April 8-17, 2015)

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Scotland_Edin_Castle.jpg
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PSU Lehigh Valley: Wales, Liverpool and Scotland (April 8-17, 2015)

2,299.00

TOUR PRICE:  The price for this nine days, air-inclusive premier package is only $2299.00 per person based on a minimum of 30 passengers.  The rate would be slightly higher with less than 30.  Air taxes of approximately $346.00 are extra.  The single supplement is $535.00.

AVAILABILITY:  SOLD OUT.

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We have a magnificent itinerary planned for you (see below) on this tour, which includes visits to three incredible regions of the United Kingdom:  Wales, Liverpool and Edinburgh, Scotland.  This is a fully escorted tour with a highly qualified and experienced British tour manager.  We also have excellent accommodations throughout the trip, with one of the highlights being an overnight stay at the Beatles-themed hotel known as the Hard Days Night in Liverpool.  And the entire sightseeing program is designed to give you an outstanding appreciation for the natural scenery and many spectacular historical landmarks that these places have to offer.  Continue reading below for further information.

Day 1. Departure to UK

Depart from the USA to UK by overnight flight

Day 2. Bristol/Cardiff – Tintern Abbey – Cardiff

Arrival by air to Bristol or Cardiff and after clearing customs meet with local coach at the airport. Transfer to visit Tintern Abbey.  The Cistercian abbey of Tintern is one of the greatest monastic ruins of Wales, and was founded on May 9, 1131 by Walter de Clare, lord of Chepstow.

Continue to Cardiff, the capital of Wales, for a short panoramic tour.  Check into the hotel and overnight in Cardiff. 

Day 3. Cardiff – Breacon Beacons National Park – Swansea – Aberystwyth        

After breakfast depart to visit the Breacon Beacons National park.

Breacon Beaons National Park spans 519 square miles of beautiful mid-Wales countryside and contains some of the most spectacular and diverse landscapes in Europe. The landscape is scattered with prehistoric monuments, Roman remains and medieval castles, spectacular waterfalls, caves and wooded gorges, along with distinctive upland formations.

We will enjoy a walk to an Iron Age settlement, which offers stunning 360 degree views of the National Park, including the Beacons, Corn Ddu and Pen-y-Fan, the highest mountain in South Wales, with its distinctive red table top summit standing at 886 metres. 

We will continue to Hay-on-Wye, the 'Town Of Books’, with its maze of narrow ancient streets, housing over 35 bookshops with over a million books for sale - a mecca for second-hand book and antiquarian book lovers! Hay is located on the northernmost point of the Brecon Beacons National Park and lies on the Welsh border in the county of Powys. 

Take in breathtaking views of the northeasternmost section of the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Black Mountains. The Black Mountains displays awesome remoteness, only partly tamed by human habitation. Tiny villages, isolated churches and delightful lanes are folded into the undulating green landscape.
After lunch on your own we drive to the southern edge of the National Park, taking a scenic route towards the attractive village of Talybont-on-Usk, in the Usk Valley.

You will have the opportunity to take a pleasant and relaxing walk along part of the old Brecon and Monmouth canal. The canal was opened in1812.
We continue the journey to Swansea for a panoramic sightseeing. Swansea, home to the Premier League football team and a Blue Flag marina, is Wales' waterfront city.  Visit the seaside resort of Mumbles, the Gower Peninsula as well as the enchanting Afan and Vale of Neath.   Swansea combines the best of old and new, city and country - and its attractions reflect this - from medieval castles to state-of-the-art museum exhibits and literary haunts to botanical gardens.

Transfer to Aberystwyth where we will spend the next three nights a a base.

Day 4.  Aberystwyth – St Davids – Pembroke – Tenby         

After breakfast transfer to St Davids with your coach to visit the Cathedral.  St. Davids Pembrokeshire west Wales is a beautiful and unique city surrounded by some of the finest coastline in Europe.  A thriving community, St. Davids is a vibrant city with a sense of belonging, a favorite location for artists, travellers, pilgrims and surfers.  St. David is the patron saint of Wales and we will visit the cathedral in his name, dating from 1176 A.D.

After some free time for lunch on your own, we will continue to Pembrok Castle, which has often played a leading role in sharping Britain's history.  Our last stop will be at at Tenby, whch is a delightful harbor town and seaside resort.  It would be difficult to find a setting more picturesque.  Tenby's hilltop position led to its early settlement as a Welsh stronghold, followed by a Norman castle and eventually a walled town.  Stroll along the narro cobbled streets of Tenby, discover the many gift shops, or wander along the scenic harbor. 

Later in the afternoon, we will return to our hotel in Aberystwyth.

Day 5. Aberystwyth – Snowdonia (OPTONAL TOUR)

After breakfast transfer to the Snowdonia National Park with a stop at Devils Bridge.

Devils Bridge Falls is a world famous tourist attraction. These unique waterfalls have attracted many thousands of visitors since the 18th century, including William Wordsworth who wrote about the “Torrent at the Devil’s Bridge”. Today the Falls nature trail provides a unique opportunity to see this great natural feature in the Rheidol Gorge. Take a walk to see the Waterfalls and the Three Bridges, you can follow the footsteps of the Monks of past times, and enjoy views of the speactacular 300 ft waterfalls.
Situated on the west coast of Britain covering 823 square miles of diverse landscapes, Snowdonia National Park is a living working area, home to over 26,000 people. As well as being the largest National Park in Wales, Snowdonia boasts the highest mountain in England and Wales, and the largest natural lake in Wales, as well as a wealth of picturesque villages. Snowdonia is an area steeped in culture and local history, where more than half its population speaks Welsh.         

Our first stop will be at the Talylly Railway, which is an historic narrow-gauge steam railway set in the beautiful Mid-Wales countryside. Running from Tywn to Abergynolwn and Nant Gwermol the line passes the deligthful Dolgoch Dalls. You take the train from Tywn to Nant Gwermol where getting of at the station after a short walk via the forest you will meet with your coach at the car park in Abergynolwyn village. You will explore unspoilt woodland and mountain waterfalls and see something of the former slate mining activities in the area. The walk is well signposted.
We then continue our trip to Dolgellaue, where we will have time for lunch on our own.

Dolgellaue is set in the southern part of The Snowdonia National Park, in the foothills of Cader Idris and on the bank of the river Wnion. This little market town in the south of the National Park is full of history and culture. A prominent characteristic of Dolgellau is its tall buildings of grey stone and slate, and its web of narrow streets.
We will then transfer to Harlech, which is a beautiful littlow town overlooking Cardigan Bay.  Dominated by its medieval castle and surrounding hills, it is one of Snowdonia's best kept secrets.  Harlech Castle was built by Edward I in 1283.

Our last place to visit today is Ffestiniog. With the majestic mountains of the Moelwynion dominating the landscape, this corner of Snowdonia has its own special character. There are some prehistoric remains in the area too - an old hillfort, Bryn y Castell which dates back to the Iron Age stands around 1½ miles to the north east from Llan Ffestiniog, and Tomen y Mur- an old Roman fort with many military remains stand around 2 miles south. Passing near both sites is the Roman road - Sarn Helen, which runs between Aberconwy in north Wales and Carmarthen in the south.

Overnight in Aberystwyth

Day 6. Aberystwyth –Liverpool                   

After breakfast transfer to Liverpool.

As a UNESCO World Heritage City,  Liverpool has a unique mix of contemporary and classic architecture, not to mention two magnificently different Cathedrals, and, of course, the stunning Liverpool Waterfront. With such a compact, visitor-friendly city centre you can easily explore the destination on foot. With the largest collection of museums and galleries anywhere outside of London, the city’s culture and heritage are at the very heart of the destination. 
Liverpool makes much of the Beatles, its most famous musical sons, and tourists coming to the city will always be able to find plenty of Beatles-related things to do.  Our primary stop will be in the Beatles Story Museum on the Albert Dock.  This incredible place is filled with all kinds of amazing Beatles paraphernalia dedicated to the Fab Four.  The Beatles Story Museum follows the John, Paul, George and Ringo from their early beginnings to global Beatlemania.  In the afternoon or evening, you can also wander into the Cavern Club on your own, where the Beatles first started out, and maybe listen to a Beatles cover band. 

Overnight in Liverpool at the famout Beatles themed hotel called the Hard Days Night Hotel.  This is an amazing hotel, which you will love.

Day 7. Liverpool – Windermere – Gretna Green – Edinburgh                   

After breakfast depart to Edinburgh via the Lake District.

Stop in the morning hours at Lake Windermere. Windermere in the Lake District is England’s largest lake, ten and a half miles long and 219 feet deep. Bowness on Windermere is a sprawling tourist town on the shore of Windermere, Cumbria’s most popular destination. The Victorian influence can be seen everywhere, in the late 19th century wealthy businessmen from Lancashire built large residences overlooking the lake. Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck and a number of other characters come to life at the World of Beatrix Potter.
From Bowness we will take a boat cruise on the Lake to Ambleside to continue our journey towards Edinburgh, stopping for lunch at Gretna Green.

Stop for lunch and shopping at Gretna Green.  Gretna Green is famous today for weddings and shopping. Because Welsh laws were more stringent thant Scottish ones when it came to marriage,  thousands of young couples ran away to marry over the border, and Gretna Green was the first village in Scotland. The Blacksmith Shop became the most famous wedding venue. In the retail store “Gretna Green since 1754” you will find  unique shopping experience of Scottish products.
We will reach Edinburgh in the evening and stay there for the next three nights.

Day 8. Edinburgh      

After breakfast meet with your coach and Tour guide and enjoy a half day sightseeing in Edinburgh.
Welcome to Edinburgh, inspiring capital city of Scotland. If you’re looking for a broad mixture of great things to see and do, Edinburgh and the Lothians is the place to be. Admire stunning scenery, striking architecture, fine food, first-class attractions, outdoor pursuits and beautiful coasts and countryside in the nearby Lothians. Uncover some fantastic shopping opportunities and discover why Edinburgh is the world’s festival capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.On your panoramic sightseeing with photo stops you will see and learn about the Scottish Parliament, St Giles Cathedral, George Street, Arthur’s Seat, Palace of Holyrood House and many more.

Entrance included to Edinburgh Castle. Scotland’s favourite visitor attraction is situated at the top of the Royal Mile on top of Castle Rock, an extinct volcano, and has unparalleled views of the city.  Battles and sieges were fought over it, and royalty lived and died within its walls. Marvel at Scotland’s Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny. Visit  Mons Meg, the world’s oldest cannon and listen to the One O’Clock being fired from the ramparts.
Lunch on your own.

In the afternoon free time for leisure, you can discover some other famous sights in Edinburgh or just enjoy a scroll visiting local shops and pubs. Overnight in Edinburgh
Day 9. Edinburgh – Loch Lomond – Stirling Castle (OPTIONAL TOUR)     

After breakfast depart with coach towards Lake Loch Lomond.
On the way to Loch Lomond, Scotland’s largest loch at over 22 miles long, we will travel through the protected lands of Scotland’s first National Park. The route we take is along the eastern shores, a beautiful sheltered stretch of the loch with noble mountains dominated by Ben Lomond, one of the most climbed mountains in Scotland.  Enjoy an hour boat cruise on the Lake.

Free time for lunch on your own.
On the way to Stirling we stop at the Glengoyne Distillery for a tour and whisky tasting.   Enjoy a dram of Glengoyne 12 year old Highland Single Malt Whisky overlooking the stunning waterfall.

We then visit Stirling Castle, which was Scotland's most important medieval stronghold, and is set high on a volcanic outcrop. There has been fortifications on the rock since 1000 BC, as it guards the main route north into the Scottish Highlands. Stirling Castle is a great symbol of Scottish independence and a source of national pride. Knights, nobles and foreign ambassadors once flocked to the Royal Court at Stirling Castle to revel in the castle's grandeur.  A place of power, beauty and history, discover the favoured residence of Scotland's Kings and Queens!
Return to Edinburgh late afternoon. Overnight in Edinburgh

Day 10. Depart to US

After breakfast transfer to the airport for the return flight to the USA.  We hope you enjoyed your tour to Wales, Liverpool and Edinburgh.

TOUR FEATURES:  Round trip air transportation to Bristol, U.K. with a return from Edinburgh, Scotland on K.L.M. Airlines;  the services of a full-time English-speaking tour manager throughout the trip and the regular use of a modern motor coach and driver for airport transfers inside the U.K. and for the established sightseeing program, including the optional excursions;  one night at the Hilton Cardiff, three nights at teh Aberystwyth Park Hotel in Aberystwyth, Wales, one night at the Hard Days Night in Liverpool and three nights at the Ibis Hotel Edinburgh Center South Bridge in Edinburgh;  hearty buffet breakfasts daily at all the hotels;  a complete sightseeing program as described above;  two optional excursions, including one to Snowdonia in Wales and one to Stirling Castle and Loch Lomond in the Scottish Highlands; and a pre-departure orientation sponsored by ArawjoTours, LLC.