Great Britain Tours by Umfulana: Custom Itineraries, Expert Consulting
Early morning: Buttermere Lake District
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Great Britain's leading cities: From London to Edinburgh

Between the venerable cities of London and Edinburgh you can enjoy the culture of Cambridge, the history of York, and the indescribable beauty of the Lake District.

This trip will be customized according to your wishes.

London

London

26 km | 40 minutes
A

London

Multicultural metropolis

The capital of Great Britain and the Commonwealth is one of the most vibrant and exciting metropolises on earth. The 7.5 million inhab­i­tants within its city limits make London the largest city in the Euro­pean Union.

Ever since it was founded by the Romans 2,000 years ago, the city on the banks of the Thames has been a cosmopol­itan mix of cultures and reli­gions. Famous landmarks include the Houses of Parlia­ment, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, West­minster Abbey and Buck­ingham Palace among many others, not to mention such famous institu­tions as the British Museum, the National Gallery and Madame Tussaud's. London is also one of the music capitals of the world, offering numerous venues for every type of music from clas­sical performances in the Royal Albert Hall to electronic trends presented in the pubs of Soho.

Accommodation: A hotel in Ebury Street

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

Few hotels in downtown London offer better value for the money than this family-run inn, made up of two Geor­gian town­houses in Ebury Street.

Buck­ingham Palace, West­minster Abbey, Sloane Square and Piccadilly Circus are all within walking distance. Yet the hotel offers more than just loca­tion: guests will enjoy the friendly atmo­sphere, bright rooms, good Breakfast and a sitting room equipped with guide­books, informa­tion on local events, restau­rant tips and curiosi­ties. Not enough: the rooms on the lower floor have a private entrance to the garden.

Borough Market

London's oldest food market

London's oldest food market is held between Borough High Street and Bedale Street. The Borough Market has a rustic atmo­sphere about it. The stands offer British cheese, fruit, jams, meat and chutneys as well as delica­cies from Spain and France. You can go grocery shopping here for a reason­able price and sample the wares. 
Market is held on Thurs­days from 11 am to 5 pm, Fridays from 12 pm to 6 pm and on Satur­days from 9 am to 4 pm.

Hampton Court

Castle-like manor house with a maze

This castle-like manor house dating to the Late Middle Ages is surrounded by a 1,000 acre estate, which has won several prizes for its landscape archi­tec­ture. A Victo­rian garden wall surrounds newly planted flower gardens criss­crossed with canals and winding paths. There is a also a maze made of a thou­sand yew trees. A Gothic tower standing in the middle of the labyrinth offers a 360 degree view of the gardens and the manor house. Tours are avai­l­able.

Down House

Resi­dence of Charles Darwin

The Geor­gian resi­dence where Charles Darwin lived with his wife and chil­dren from 1842 until his death is located in the small munic­ipality of Downe. It is used as a museum that provides informa­tion about the life of the Darwin family and the origin of his theory of evolu­tion. In addi­tion, many orig­inal furnish­ings that were taken out of the house after the death of Darwin and his wife were procured again. The tour leads through the house, the green­house and the garden.

From London to Knapwell

Rental car pick-up

London

69 km | 2:00 h

Rental car pick-up

Broker: Sunny Cars GmbH
Company: Keddy by Europcar
Vehicle: Hyundai i30 or similar (CDMR)
Loca­tion: London Stansted Airport (Shuttle Service)

From London to Knapwell

59 km | 45 minutes
This short stretch leads through the rolling hills of Essex County north­east of London.
B

Cambridge/England

Ancient university town on the River Cam

The town on the River Cam is located north of London in the rural county of Cambridgeshire. It is known primarily for its Univer­sity, with a repu­ta­tion that only Oxford can match.

The first teachers in the 12th century were most likely monks from Paris. In 1318, the univer­sity was founded. The city and the colleges are best expe­r­i­enced from the water. Lovely walking trails run along the Rivers Cam and Granta.

Accommodation: A Country House near Cambridge

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

The five-star guest­house is located on a farm about four miles from downtown Cambridge. If you prefer rural life to the lively (and expen­sive) city, you will find an idyllic country­side of small woods, enclosed meadows and medieval cottages.

The house itself is equipped with modern comfort – despite its histor­ical flair. The atten­tive hosts serve a rich Breakfast.

From Knapwell to York

249 km | 3:00 h

The route will take you through the flat, idyllic landscape between the Middle English indus­trial centres of Birm­ingham and Manch­ester.

Along the way you will pass several enchanting towns such as Grantham, Newark and Lincoln. A detour to Selby just a few miles from York is worthwhile to see the town's famous Bene­dic­tine Abbey.

C

York

Crooked tudor-style houses, winding alleyways, quiet squares

York is the northern England's leading city and was England's second most important city after London for centuries. The city is the seat of the Archbishop of York, who is second only to the Archbishop of Canterbury in the hier­archy of the Church of England.

The York Minster, the largest Gothic cathedral in England, towers over the city center. The cathedral is surrounded by narrow, winding medieval streets lined with shops, boutiques and tea rooms. Visitors can walk on top of the histor­ical city walls, from where they can enjoy splendid views of the city. Founded in 71 AD, York remained one of England's main cities throughout the Middle Ages, declining in rela­tive importance only with the advent of the Indus­trial Revo­lu­tion.

Accommodation: A hotel in York

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast | 1x Parking

The Geor­gian town­house was built from dark brick in the 19th century and used as resi­dence by a famous Yorker before it was converted into a hotel in 1990.

With its stone pillars lining the entrance, case­ment windows and antique paint­ings inside, it still retains its orig­inal charm, which is maintained despite its combina­tion with modern comfort. The 41 rooms of the house are spread over three floors and are indi­vid­u­ally furnished – in the country house style, in a romantic design with four-poster bed or in a contem­po­rary elegant style. In the morning, a Breakfast buffet is served in the hotel's own brasserie in the vaulted cellar, comple­mented by freshly prepared warm dishes; in the evening, you can enjoy meals prepared from fresh, regional and seasonal ingre­di­ents. The hotel is located about ten minutes' walk from York Minster, the medieval city walls and the old town of York and is therefore central but still far away from the tourist hustle and bustle.

National Railway Museum

Largest railway museum in the world

The “NRM” is the largest railway museum in the world and a must-see for all railroad fans. It introduces visitors to the history of the British railroad system, which played an important role in the nation's devel­op­ment. More than 100 locomo­tives and nearly 200 addi­tional train cars are on display. The oldest ones date to around the year 1815. Railway carriages used by the British Royal Family are also part of the exhibit, with the oldest one belonging to Queen Adelaide.

York Minster

Largest medieval cathedral in England

The Cathedral Church of St. Peter, commonly known as York Minster, is the largest medieval church in England. It was completed in the year 1472 after taking 250 years to build. The sheer huge­ness of this Gothic cathedral's exte­rior is impres­sive. One window wall, for example, is as high as the length of a tennis court. The two large towers and the smaller tower at the oppo­site end of the church are equally awe-inspiring and can even be toured. After having been destroyed in a fire, the church's organ has been completely restored and is now equipped with no fewer than 84 stops.

Selby Abbey

A spir­itual haven on the River Ouse

According to legend, a monk named Bene­dict of Auxerre was shown by a swan where he should build Selby Abbey. Although it is not a cathedral, this church on the River Ouse is one of the the largest and most impres­sive sacred build­ings in England. It is also one of the few medieval abbeys still in exis­tence. One of its partic­u­larly intriguing feature is the 14th-century Wash­ington Window, which depicts the coat of arms of George Wash­ington's ancestors. The emblem, with its three red stars suspended over two red stripes on a white background, suppos­edly served as a model for the Flag of the United States.

From York to Bowness-on-Windermere

180 km | 3:00 h

After passing Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire, a World Heritage Site boasting some of the most incred­ible ruins in Europe, you can take a secondary road north-west­wards through the romantic green pastures of the Yorkshire Dales.

This sparsely inhabited National Park is a hikers' paradise. You will enter the famous Lake District near Kendal.

Lowther Castle

A symbol of transience

John Lowther, who was Viscount of Lonsdale at the end of the 17th century, must have been very rich, because he had a magnif­i­cent family resi­dence built, which contem­po­raries thought could only be compared to the palace of the Chinese emperor. Unfortunately, one of his descen­dants was prone to costly extrav­agances, so the entire family fortune was confis­cated. The country house was closed in 1937 and housed a tank regi­ment during the Second World War, which appar­ently did not take much care of the vener­able prop­erty. At the end of the 1940s Lowther Castle was so run down that the roof was untiled. Today only the walls stand in a well-kept landscape park. They are an impres­sive symbol of the transience of fame and wealth.

Askham Hall Gardens

Nice stop for lunch or tea

Not far from the highway exit of Penrith lies the manor house with origins in the 13th century. House and garden are both listed. In the Kitchen Garden Café you can get every­thing from late Breakfast and lunch to after­noon tea. Afterwards you can stretch your legs on the Garden and Animal Trail. The short path leads through the tradi­tional herb garden, past the grass hedge and subtrop­ical plants. A little further afield, sheep, goats, chickens and ducks run across the meadow. The small animal farm is espe­cially proud of the pigs from an old English breed.

D

Windermere

England's largest natural lake is located in the Lake District National Park. It is 17 kilome­ters long and between 400 and 1500 meters wide.

There are 18 islands in Windere­mere, the largest is more than one kilometer long and is served by excur­sion steamers. Picturesque, partly wooded hills line the lake, where you can go for easy hikes. In the north the higher furs rise, as one calls the hills of the Cumbrian Mountains overgrown with grass­land. On the north shore lies Amble­side, a pretty village with 2,600 inhab­i­tants and starting point for mountain hikes, mountain bike tours and other excur­sions in the Lake District.

Accommodation: A Boutique-Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

The small hotel is located in Bowness-on-Windermere near Lake Windermere, in the heart of the Lake District. Eight double rooms and two single rooms, each indi­vid­u­ally furnished, friendly and stylish, are avai­l­able; some offer lake views.

In the morning a full English Breakfast with a selec­tion of hot dishes is served; later in the day the hosts offer after­noon tea (must be booked in advance). On a nice day you can relax in the garden; the lake is only a short walk away. Guests also have free access to the Choices Health Club in Troutbeck, a five-minute drive from the hotel.

Claife Heights

Across a range of hills to the largest lake in England

The hike leads to the Claife mountain range with its larch-wooded sheep pastures and small lakes. Via Far Sawrey, in the shade of old trees, you descend to the Windermere with its fern-rich green forests and the lake dabbed with numerous sailing boats, behind which the scenery of majestic fells is revealed. Passing Wray Castle the hike leads back to Hawks­head through graceful, small parcelled landscape. (Round trip: 19.7 kilome­ters, 5 hours, up and down: 298 meters).

Hawks­head

Village idyll in the Lake District

The village ten kilome­tres west of Windermere is consid­ered one of the most tradi­tional in the Lake District with its stone cottages in Market Square. On Main Street, an ivy-covered country house houses the Beatrix Potter Gallery, which exhibits pictures by the chil­dren's book author and illus­trator who died in 1943. The upper-class lawyer's daughter, raised by gover­nesses, had started writing against her parents' will and became a successful sheep farmer in the Lake District in the second half of her life.

Included in:
National Trust Touring Pass

Water­head and Wansfell Pike

On a viewing pulpit over the Windermere

“Windermere from different perspec­tives” is the motto of this hike. From the bathing perspec­tive on the lake shore, you work your way up to an ever wider view, which besides the Windermere includes the Loughrigg Fell and the Langdale Pikes. A detour to the remains of the Roman garrison and a waterfall round off the tour. (Round trip: 11.4 kilome­ters, 3.45 hours, up and down: 600 meters).

Helvellyn

Hike to the third highest mountain in England

The third highest mountain in the Lake District and also in England is 950 meters high and belongs to the Helvellyn Range, which lies between the lakes Ullswater and Thirlmere. In the west it drops off as a grassy hill, to the east it is steep and stony. The summit is marked by a mighty stone pillar (cairn). Those who want to climb the mountain from Ullswater have to climb one of the two clearly defined ridges, which means an easy climb without the neces­sary safety technique. At the top you will be rewarded with a pano­ramic view that reaches far into Scot­land and the Pennines. (round trip: 14.3 kilome­ters, 5:30 hours, up and down: 830 meters)

Aira Force

Giant trees at a waterfall

The Aira Force is a waterfall over which the Aira Beck rushes just before it flows into the Ullwater. The site was converted  into a park with exotic plants by the Howard family at the end of the 18th century. Some of the trees are still standing and have grown into mighty giants. Those who want to combine the sightseeing with a simple circular walk can climb a viewing hill and go back through a beau­tiful side valley. (round trip: 6.9 kilome­ters, 2:15 hours, up and down: 300 meters)

Included in:
National Trust Touring Pass

From Bowness-on-Windermere

Rental car drop-off

From Bowness-on-Windermere to Edinburgh

273 km | 3:30 h
The border­land between Scot­land and England offers splendid landscapes: stretches of unspoiled nature alternate with picture-book mountain villages, towering castles and histor­ical abbeys, the most beau­tiful of which is Melrose Abbey.

Hutton-in-the-Forest Hall

From the watchtower to the presti­gious castle complex

The castle near Skelton in Cumbria was orig­inally a Pele Tower in the Forest of Inglewood. The towers were common on both sides of the Scottish-English border in the Middle Ages. They are remi­nis­cent of castle keeps and served as protec­tion against recip­rocal attacks. When the border was finally paci­fied, other build­ings were added that were more presti­gious than defen­sive. In 1730 a fenced garden was added, which today attracts many visitors.

Carlisle

Border city with a fortress

This city on the Scottish border had its beginn­ings as a border fortress on Hadrian's Wall. Carlisle Castle was designed by a German military planner and built in 1541, at a time when the kingdoms of England and Scot­land were still enemies. Maria Stuart was later held pris­oner here. The Tullie Museum is an award-winning museum of local history and tells the eventful history of the border region starting with the construc­tion of Hadrian's Wall.  


Included in:
English Heritage Overseas Visitor Pass (Carlisle Castle)

Gretna Green

The wedding forge

Parlia­ment passed a law in 1753 requiring minors to obtain parental consent before marrying. However, this law only applied in England. In Scot­land, boys could still marry at 14 and girls at 12 without any parental consent. As a result, count­less young couples living in England ran away to Scot­land. In Gretna Green, the first Scottish town they would come to after crossing the border, the local black­smith was autho­rized to perform wedding ceremonies, and the wedd­ings were actu­ally held in his shop. It often came to dramatic scenes when parents who had caught up with their chil­dren tried to hinder the ceremonies at the last minute. 
Today, the black­smith's forge is a museum, but wedd­ings are still held here – over 5,000 a year.

With the Steam Boat on Ullswater

Combined boat and hiking tour

One of Ullswater's biggest attrac­tions is the Lake Steamer, a summer excur­sion between Pooley Bridge, Glenrid­ding and Howtown. These steam­ships are orig­inal mail, trans­port and passenger ships from the 1850s that supplied the Green­side lead mine, which ceased oper­a­tions in 1962. Nowa­days there are three steam­ships on Ullswater: the “Raven”, the “Lady of the Lake” and the “Lady Dorothy”. In summer it is popular to take the ferry from Pooley Bridge to Glenrid­ding and Howtown and then return to the lake shore on one of the most popular and scenic trails in the Lake District. (Hike from Howtown to Pooley Bridge: 6.9 kilome­ters, 2 hours, up and down: 110 meters)

Rental car drop-off

Loca­tion: Edinburgh Airport (Desk at Airport)

Edinburgh

11 km | 19 minutes
E

Edinburgh

Scotland's proud capital in the shadow of the fortress

Scot­land's capital is consid­ered one of the most beau­tiful cities in the world. A burgh is said to have stood on Castle Rock – which offers the best view of the city – since the 7th century.

Walls were erected around the town in the shadow of the fortress following bloody and disas­trous clashes with England. The medieval plan and narrow winding streets of the Old Town once protected by those walls have been preserved. The area called New Town was created in the 18th century to relieve crowding in the rapidly growing city. With its rigidly ordered grid New Town was consid­ered the epitome of rational urban devel­op­ment during the period of Enlight­en­ment. The main shopping street today is Princess Street, which is lined with shops, galleries and museums. The cultural capital of Scot­land is often referred to as the Athens of the North. The city's polit­ical history was defined by the rivalry with England. Edinburgh is now once again the seat of the Scottish Parlia­ment.

Accommodation: Townhouse in Dean Village

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

The Town­house in the trendy suburb Dean Village has 29 rooms, which – like the whole house – are stately elegant.

The service is friendly, helpful and atten­tive. Only a few minutes walk from Princess Street – the lively shopping street – the house is in a quiet side street. Restau­rants and pubs are within easy reach. Upon request, Breakfast is served in the suite. Highly recom­mended is the tradi­tional after­noon tea.

Dean Village

Romantic mill village near Edinburgh

The small village in a deep gorge was the granary of Edinburgh. No fewer than eleven grain mills were in oper­a­tion at the best times of the 19th century. The river  Water of Leith, which had a steep gradient here, provided the neces­sary driving power. In 1833 a spectac­ular bridge over the valley was built, but then the decline began. Electric and steam mills replaced the water mills. Poverty and unemploy­ment moved into Dean. In the 1970s, Edinburgh city dwellers discov­ered cheap housing in the tranquil surround­ings. Today Dean is a hip suburb of the Scottish capital.

Edinburgh Castle

A castle built over an extinct volcano

This fortress towers high over Edinburgh from its perch on Castle Rock, an extinct volcano. A previous fortifica­tion prob­ably stood here as early as the 7th century. The current royal castle was first mentioned in 1093 in refer­ence to the sieges and havoc wreaked by the English. Mary Stuart, who lived here until she was impris­oned and beheaded, was the castle's most famous resi­dent. The area in front of the castle, known as the “esplanade,” provides the best view over the rooftops of Edinburgh's Old Town. The esplanade is also where the Edinburgh Military Tattoo is held every year. 

Included in:
Historic Scot­land Explorer Pass
Scottish Heritage Pass

Royal Botanic Garden

From the culti­va­tion of medicinal plants to a refuge for stressed city dwellers

The Edinburgh Botan­ical Garden was founded in 1670, making it the second oldest botan­ical garden in the United Kingdom after Oxford. Orig­inally it was used to culti­vate medicinal plants and was located at St. Anne's Yard. However, when the air became so bad in the middle of the 18th century due to coal firing that the plants died, the plant was moved to its present loca­tion in 1763. Today the garden serves as a park for the towns­people and has several themes, including forest, heath, rocks, China and Alps.

Water of Leith Walkway

Contempla­tive prom­enade through Edinburgh

The small river Water of Leith flows through a valley, across Edinburgh and into the North Sea near Leith. On its bank there is a hiking trail, which starts at the school of Balerno and partly leads over disused tracks. Although you walk through the middle of the city, you hardly ever walk over tar and still pass some important sights, for example the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art or the Dean Gallery. The trail ends at the mouth of the river Leith. (One way: 20 kilome­ters, 5 hours, up: 60 meters, down: 210 meters)

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

12 km | 19 minutes
11 days
from € 1,749.00
per person based on two people sharing a double room
Services
  • Accommodation in a double room
  • Meals (as listed above)
  • Climate Compensation



You can start this tour on any date.
Best Travel Time: April–October

The prices can vary depending on the season.
Your Consultants
Melissa Nußbaum

Ph.: +49 (0)2268 92298-57


Jessica Parkin

Ph.: +49 (0)2268 92298-23


Leslie Jalowiecki

Ph.: +49 (0)2268 92298-67

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