Isle of Man, Liverpool & Wales – 14 Days
September 27, 2017 – Guaranteed Departure! Double: $5,595, Single: $7,395 TOUR DIRECTOR: STEWART BENNETT Folklore and history intertwine with dramatic natural beauty and adventure Let your imagination take over during your stay on the Isle of Man. Boasting the oldest continuous government (1,000 years and…
September 27, 2017 – Guaranteed Departure!
Double: $5,595, Single: $7,395
TOUR DIRECTOR: STEWART BENNETT
Folklore and history intertwine with dramatic natural beauty and adventure
Let your imagination take over during your stay on the Isle of Man. Boasting the oldest continuous government (1,000 years and counting), the island is shrouded in legends and filled with fairies, Celtic warriors and Vikings. Guided tours and train treks introduce you to the stunning landscape, the entire island being an UNESCO Biosphere with remarkable biodiversity.
Tap your toes to the beat of Liverpool’s eclectic music scene. One of the few cities in the world with a UNESCO Music City designation, you’ll want to use your free time here to take in a live performance – a variety of music styles will please even the most discerning fan. Dinner at the Liverpool Cathedral is an unforgettable experience.
Stroll the magical Bodnant Gardens and take part in the Fairy Glen Walk. Hike through Betws-y-Coed, a breathtakingly beautiful National Park and home to some of the most ancient rocks in the world. Thrill on a white water rafting adventure, see first-hand how Red Kites are fed at Brecon Beacons National Park and wonder at the mysteries of Stonehenge.
Isle of Man
Celtic and Viking legends collide with modern-day culture on the wholly unique Isle of Man. Situated in the Irish Sea, the rugged coastline and pristine beaches are among the most stunning in the British Isles. Stories of fairies and giants live on today, no doubt inspired by the medieval castles, mountainous landscapes and thick mist that swirls along the shores. Learn Gaelic, visit an ancient Viking burial ground, discover time-worn Celtic crosses and listen to locals spin tales of intrigue. Trek windswept trails, quietly sit on the rocky shores looking for wildlife (which includes basking sharks, seals and dolphins), all the while immersing yourself in this magical land.
Return airfare from Toronto, motorcoach transportation, 12 nights accommodation, 12 breakfasts, 12 dinners, all highlights, a DeNureTours Tour Director, Connections Program and all taxes.
Prices are in Canadian dollars, are per person and include HST.
• Isle of Man: ferry, train ride and guided tour
• Liverpool: guided tour and dinner in cathedral
• Cruise on the Mersey
• Llandudno Bay
• Great Orme Heritage Coast tram
• Bodnant Gardens
• Fairy Glen walk, Betws-y-Coed
• White water rafting
• Portmeirion Village guided tour
• Llechwydd Slate mine tour
• King Arthurs Labyrinth
• Red Kite feeding
• Elan Valley Reservoir
• Hay on Wye walking tour
• Gloucester Cathedral
Isle of Man: The Empress Hotel (3 nights)
Liverpool: Hard Days Night Hotel (2 nights)
Wales: Llandudno Bay Hotel (2 nights)
Wales: Gwetsy Portmeirion Hotel (2 nights)
Wales: Llangoed Hall (2 nights)
Gatwick: Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel (1 night)
(click to enlarge)
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New: Isle of Man, Liverpool & Wales – 14 Days
Day 1-4: Fly overnight to Manchester, Blackpool, The Isle of Man
Start your holiday with an overnight flight to Manchester. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by a DeNure Tours representative and travel to the Blackpool.
Enjoy a walk about this seaside resort on the Irish Sea. It’s known for Blackpool Pleasure Beach, an old-school amusement park with vintage wooden roller coasters. Built in 1894, the landmark Blackpool Tower houses a circus, a glass viewing platform and the Tower Ballroom, where dancers twirl to the music of a Wurlitzer organ. You will have free time to explore before taking the ferry to the Isle of Man.
The Isle of Man is self-governing and has the oldest continuous parliament in the world. Fiercely proud of its diverse culture and fascinating heritage this sea-bound kingdom has a captivating story to tell. Legend has it that the Island’s name comes from the Celtic sea god Manannan Mac Lir who protected the land from invaders by shrouding it in a cloak of mist. It is these folklore stories, and the history that follows, which are carefully safeguarded by the Manx people to ensure the Island doesn’t lose any of its unique charm or character. It’s known for its rugged coastline, medieval castles and rural landscape, rising to a mountainous center. You’ll hear tales of giants, fairies and brownies which were said to intervene in the lives of ordinary people; and although times have changed, many of the original customs and superstitions live on. Don’t forget to say “Hello” to the fairies as you pass over Fairy Bridge! You will explore this magical island with the help of a local guide for a day; then take a unique look at the island via train to see the most of this spectacular Island.
Stay: The Empress Hotel, Isle of Man
Meal: B x 2, D x 3
Day 5-6: Ferry to mainland Guided tour of Liverpool, Dinner at Liverpool Cathedral, Cruise on the Mersey & Free time in Liverpool
Liverpool sits on the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It became a borough in 1207. The expansion of the city in the Industrial Revolution paralleled its growth as a major port and participation in the Atlantic slave trade. Liverpool was the port of registry of the ocean liner RMS Titanic and many other Cunard and White Star ocean liners such as the RMS Lusitania, Queen Mary, and Olympic. Several areas of Liverpool city centre were granted World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 2004. Labelled the “World Capital City of Pop” by Guinness World Records, the popularity of The Beatles and other groups from the Mersey-beat era and later contributes to Liverpool’s status as a tourist destination. Liverpool’s status as a port city has contributed to its diverse population and is home to the oldest Black African community in the country and the oldest Chinese community in Europe. Natives of Liverpool are referred to as “Liverpudlians”. Learn more of this fascinating city with a local guide who will entertain you with tales of the city and show you some of the most important historical sites.
Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral is among the city’s most popular attractions. The building, which dominates Liverpool’s skyline, is a treasure trove of fascinating features, many of which have a story of their own to tell. From the Welcoming Christ statue at you entre to the Grand Organ and the Great West window the cathedral will awe and inspire you at every turn. You will have the unique experience of enjoying dinner in this beautiful venue.
A tour of Liverpool’s waterfront gives you a different view of this vibrant city. The River Mersey name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon language and translates as “boundary river”. The river may have been the border between the ancient kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria and for centuries it formed part of the boundary between the historic counties of Lancashire and Cheshire. Water quality in the Mersey was severely affected by industrialization, and in 1985, the Mersey Basin Campaign was established to improve water quality and encourage waterside regeneration. In 2009 it was announced that the river is “cleaner than at any time since the industrial revolution” and is “now considered one of the cleanest in the UK”. The river gave its name to Mersey-beat, developed by bands from Liverpool, notably the Beatles. In 1965 it was the subject of the top-ten hit single “Ferry Cross the Mersey” by Gerry and the Pacemakers and a musical film of the same name. The Liverpool poets published an anthology of their work, The Mersey Sound, in 1967. The Tall Ships’ fleet has twice visited the Mersey in 2008 and 2012.
Stay: Hard Days Night Hotel, Liverpool
Meals: B x 2, D x 2
Day 7: Chester, Tram tour of Orme Heritage Coast
Founded as a Roman fortress in the 1st century A.D. Chester is known for its extensive, well-preserved Roman walls made of local red sandstone. In the old city, The Rows are a shopping district distinguished by 2-level covered arcades and Tudor-style half-timber buildings. Just beside the Rows is the magnificent Chester Abbey. Founded as a Benedictine abbey in 1092, the cathedral has a rich and varied history. Enjoy free time to explore the many wonders of the city before continuing your journey into Wales.
For a different view of the coast you will take the Great Orme tramway, a cable car journey which starts in the centre of Llandudno and travels for a full mile through the country park to the top of Great Orme Head. Great Orme was once at the bottom of the sea, and the area is abundant in fossil remains. More recently, the headland was home to Neolithic settlers and there are numerous prehistoric remains to be seen.
Llandudno is a beautiful seaside resort town located on the Creuddyn peninsula which protrudes into the Irish Sea. The town’s name is derived from its patron saint, Saint Tudno. Llandudno, “Queen of the Welsh Resorts”, a title first applied as early as 1864. It is now the largest seaside resort in Wales and your home away from home for the next two nights.
Stay: Llandudno Bay Hotel, Wales
Meals: B, D
Day 8: Bodnant Gardens, Fairy Glen Walk Betws-y-Coed
Bodnant Gardens was created over 150 years with plants collected and brought to Britain from far afield; and the incredible vision of generations of the McLaren family and Puddle head gardeners, this haven of rarity and beauty with a stunning backdrop of the Carneddau mountains of Snowdonia is a delight for the senses. Enjoy walking the trails, viewing the colourful plantings or relaxing by the river or ponds.
The magical setting of Betws-y-Coed has a distinctly Alpine feel enhanced by the dense Gwydyr Forest and the Snodonia mountains all around. Browse the shops retailing in crafts, clothing, gifts, and local homemade produce or browse the art galleries displaying talented Welsh artists. Hike The Fairy Glen which is a secluded gorge and beauty spot on the Conwy River. A combination of rapids and cascades on the Conwy river are chanelled into a narrow ravine presenting an impressive and dramatic scene. Wooded banks and rock walls clothed with vegetation add to the charm.
Meals: B, D
Day 9: Ewe-Phoria White Water Rafting, Portmeirion Village guided tour
Put on your wet suit and prepare for the ride of your life white water rafting on the River Tryweryn a Welsh mountain river in Snowdonia National Park. Although it’s a truly wild mountain river the Tryweryn’s water levels are dam-controlled so it’s rapids still thunder throughout the summer, enjoy thrilling white water, reliable river conditions and a beautiful natural environment!
Portmeirion was created by the architect Clough Williams-Ellis from 1925 to 1976. He wanted to show how a naturally beautiful site could be developed without spoiling it. The village was built as a place people could enjoy for its own sake. Today Portmeirion is one of Wales’ premier visitor attractions. Surrounding the village are 70 acres of exotic woodlands with miles of woodland and coastal walks. A guided tour of the village will give you an insight into the history of the village and the architecture as well as getting you acquainted with your surroundings.
Stay: Gwetsy Portmeirion Hotel, Wales
Meals: B, D
Day 10: Train ride to Festiniog, Llechwydd Slate Mine guided tour, Free time in Portmeirion Village
Take a ride on The Ffestiniog Railway, a 597 mm narrow gauge heritage railway located in Gwynedd, Wales within the Snowdonia National Park. The railway is roughly 21.7 km long and runs from the harbour at Porthmadog, to the slate mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, travelling through forested and mountainous scenery.
The story of slate began 500 million years ago, with deposits of mud and clay on an ancient seabed. Slate was used by Romans in the first century AD and by medieval kings to shore up their defenses. But it wasn’t until the advent of the Industrial Revolution that demand for the mighty grey rock really exploded. The deep mine tour at Llechwedd tells the story of the men who built this incredible industry which roofed the world. Experienced from the point of view of the mine workers, the tour uses cutting-edge enhanced reality technology to tell the story of their blood and guts, their determination and resilience, their risk and endeavour.
Meals: B, D
Day 11: King Arthur’s Labyrinth, Red Kite feeding
King Arthur’s Labyrinth is found deep beneath the mountains of Southern Snowdonia right on the border of mid-Wales and north Wales. Join a mysterious hooded boatman and sail by underground boat through a magical waterfall – your gateway to the Dark Ages and a time of myth, magic, dragons, giants and King Arthur.
Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre sits at the head of a dramatic valley and has commanding views of Cardigan Bay and the Cambrian Mountains. The centre is designed to fit naturally into the landscape and to provide bird lovers the ideal opportunity to witness Red Kites, Buzzards and other birds feeding. Visitors may sit in the specially built hide only feet away from diving birds and observe them competing naturally for the meat provided by the feeding centre. Around 50+ birds may be seen gathering before the feed, soaring high into the sky until they start diving onto their food. In addition to Kites, Buzzards and Ravens may also join the fun! Red kites, Wales’s National Bird of Prey, is a magnificently graceful bird and easy to spot with its reddish-brown body, angled wings and deeply forked tail. It was saved from national extinction by one of the world’s longest running protection programmes, and has now been successfully re-introduced to Wales, England and Scotland
Stay: Llangoed Hall, Wales
Meals: B, D
Day 12: Elan Valley Reservoir, Hay on Wye Walking tour
The Elan Valley Reservoirs are a chain of man-made lakes created from damming the Elan and Claerwen rivers within the Elan Valley. The reservoirs, which were built to provide clean drinking water for Birmingham in the West Midlands of England. Drinking water from the Elan Valley is noted for being exceptionally soft. Water from the reservoirs is carried by gravity to Frankley Reservoir in Birmingham via the Elan aqueduct. Pumping is not required because the network drops 52 metres along its 117 km length from its source to Frankley. Tour the visitors centre before traveling round the reservoirs.
Enjoy learning about the historic features of Hay, including the Cheese and Butter Markets, some of the town’s former public wells and many of its pubs (there used to be 40 inns in Hay back in the good old days). Explore the town walls and the three gateways to the original medieval walled town and Wyeford Road where people would ford the River Wye before the first bridge was built in 1763. Led by an expert guide, the tour will give you insight into the lives of this quaint Welsh Village.
Meals: B, D
Day 13: Gloucester Cathedral, Stonehenge
For nearly a thousand years, people have come to Gloucester Cathedral to pray and to feel refreshed and uplifted. The Cathedral has a fascinating history and magnificent stained glass windows. Make sure you have a look for the stained glass window depicting the game of golf, dating back to 1350. Gloucester Cathedral is an extraordinary building with many treasures that are of national significance.
With centuries of craftsmanship on display, the architecture, stained glass and artefacts are some of the best examples of their kind in the country and a must see on your visit.
There are many areas to explore but some of the best include: Gloucester’s Great Cloister is famous for its breath-taking fan vaulting, the earliest of its kind (and of course, the filming of Harry Potter….), but was originally built to house the Abbey’s monks and provided space to live, work and meditate. The Tomb of King Edward II is the only monarch’s tomb in the South West and one of only a few outside of London. Therefore, it is of both historical and architectural significance. One of Gloucester Cathedral’s greatest treasures is the Great East Window. Situated in the Quire behind the high altar, the window is placed at the very heart of the Cathedral. Installed in the early 1350’s, it is one of the greatest landmarks of European stained glass. An intimate space for worship and contemplation, Gloucester Cathedral’s magnificent Lady Chapel was the last part of the church to be built during the Medieval period in the 15th century. As one of our best kept secrets, the Whispering Gallery provides one of the most spectacular views of the Cathedral.
Walk in the footsteps of your Neolithic ancestors at Stonehenge – one of the wonders of the world and the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe. Explore the ancient landscape on foot and step inside the Neolithic Houses to discover the tools and objects of everyday Neolithic life. Visit the world-class exhibition and visitor centre with 250 ancient objects and come face to face with a 5,500 year old man. Then take the tram to the magnificent stone circle and see if you can unfold the mysteries of the stones.
Stay: Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel, Gatwick
Meals: B, D
Day 14: Fly home
After a hearty English breakfast, check into the airport for your return flight to Toronto.