Your holiday itinerary:
Monday: Making our way northwards we stop for lunch at Trentham Shopping Village. A unique shopping experience with 80 timber lodges housing shops café and restaurants on the Trentham Estate. Continuing our journey north along the M6 motorway we arrive at our hotel later afternoon.
Tuesday: A full day guided tour of ‘Secret Solway’. The vast Solway plains have their own identity and create a feeling that you have stepped back in time. This is a lesser explored yet beautiful corner of the UK that has a rich history full of fascination and intrigue. Our guide today will take us on a tour of the stunning coastal lands of northwest Cumbria. Hear about the Solway migration from tiny forgotten harbours, Titanic links, trans-Atlantic trade routes, ties to a US President, WWII fighter plane production, famous movie stars and more.
Wednesday: After breakfast we visit the Devil’s Porridge Museum. Discover the remarkable story of the Greatest Munitions factory on earth and the extraordinary lives of the Munitions Girls who worked here. Built during WWI, HM Factory Gretna stretched 9 miles along the Solway coast and women from all over the country came here to help make ‘Devil’s Porridge’, a mixture of gun cotton and nitro-glycerine that was used to produce cordite as a shell propellant. This afternoon we meet our guide and continue our ‘Secret Solway’ tour, this time of the Dumfries and Galloway coast. Whilst different in character thanks to the dangerous fast flowing Solway tidal waters that divide the two countries, the Scottish coast is equally as stunning as the Cumbrian coast. This coastline is full of hidden historic gems, local history as well as landscapes and sites which influenced the famous Scottish poet, Rabbie Burns.
Thursday: This morning we visit Lowther Castle & Gardens, ‘A jewel in the English Lake District’s crown’. Built in 1806 as the seat of the Lowther family, the castle ruins, as they are now, were once home to an array of treasures from around the globe. The exhibition in the old stable block tells the story of the family and its 850-year history. Just a short drive away is Ullswater, the second largest lake in the Lake District. We enjoy a relaxing 1-hour cruise from Glenridding to Pooley Bridge before returning to our hotel.
Friday: If we do not get time during the week to visit the famous Blacksmith Shop, we will have some time this morning before we leave for home. With suitable stops along the way for lunch and to get those essential supplies we aim to be back in Essex late afternoon/early evening.
The 4-star Gretna Hall Hotel is set in spacious well-maintained grounds with views over the Solway Firth to the Cumbrian Fells and just a short walk to the famous Blacksmith Shop. Built in 1710 as a Manor House and later converted into a coaching inn, today the hotel is under local family ownership. Recent refurbishments have enhanced the hotel’s character and charm. The restaurant is inviting with a feature wall where you can read many of Gretna Green’s couples love letters! All the bedrooms are en-suite with a number of walk-in showers available – request only. All are equipped with the minimum of hospitality tray, TV, telephone, and hairdryer. The majority of rooms can be access via the lift or are on the ground floor.
Please read the itinerary carefully before deciding if this tour will be suitable for you:
1) Single Supplement – £125pp (max 5)
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