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Day 1 - DEPART USA  - Today, we depart from our home city to connect with our overnight flight bound for London. We will be served complimentary beverages, in-flight movies, dinner and breakfast while aloft.  

Day 2  - LONDON – We arrive London this morning, and are met by our Unitours tour  manager. We travel by motorcoach into London where we will have panoramic tour of the city highlighting some of the world's most famous and iconic landmarks; Trafalgar Square, Nelson's column, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Piccadilly. Our morning will include a visit to the  beautiful Westminster Abbey, the coronation church and burial place  of English monarchs since William the Conqueror was crowned here on  Christmas Day 1066, by the archbishop of Canterbury.  We will enjoy a light lunch by the River Thames before transferring to our hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure before we enjoy our “welcome” dinner and overnight at our London hotel. 

Day 3 - LONDON – Today, during a full day guided tour of London we see the most famous sites blending the traditions of the past with all the vibrancy of a modern  millennium city. We enjoy the color and pageantry of the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace (subject to availability and weather) . We will visit Westminster Cathedral, which was finished in 1903 in the Christian Byzantine style. Cardinal Manning chose the site in 1884, which had been in disuse since the Reformation - remember that freedom for Catholic worship was not allowed until 1828. You will marvel at vastness and fine proportions of this Catholic cathedral and such interesting items as the 15th century alabaster statue of Virgin and Child.  Following a break for lunch on our own, we visit the ancient Tower of London and see the crown jewels. We visit Sir Christopher Wren's architectural masterpiece St. Paul's Cathedral. At the end of the afternoon we make a stop at the newly housed British Library and see the exhibition of ancient manuscripts which includes the beautifully illuminated Lindisfarne Gospels and the Magna Carta. Dinner this evening is on our own, perhaps to take in a play or show at one of London's great theaters. 

Day 4 - CANTERBURY - This morning, we visit the city of Canterbury, one of the most important sites in the spiritual geography of England, with a wealth of historic treasures. To reach Canterbury we drive through Kent, a verdant county of pastureland, which is known as the 'Garden of England'.  In the Middle Ages the road to Canterbury was the most traveled road; the pilgrimage route to the Shrine of the martyr, St. Thomas a Becket. Other holy men, such as St. Augustine, St. Dunstan and St. Alphege, also inspired the dedication of monuments in their honor at Canterbury. We enjoy a guided tour of Christchurch Cathedral where we see St. Becket's Shrine above the High Altar and the Twelve Windows that depict his life and miracles. We also see the ruins of St. Augustine's Abbey, the burial place of St. Augustine, England's first Christian missionary, sent here from Rome in AD 597. Before returning to London, we visit Dover on the south coast and view the enigmatic white cliffs. Dinner and overnight in London   

Day 5 - WINDSOR CASTLE /OXFORD – Today, we journey westwards from London to Windsor Castle and view the splendor of the world's oldest inhabited castle, the late Queen Elizabeth's favorite weekend retreat. We visit the castle including the Chapel of St. George and the State Apartments used for splendid royal banquets. We leave Windsor traveling through the green pastures of Runnymede past the John F. Kennedy Memorial. Runnymede was also the site of the signing of the Magna Carta by King John in 1215. From Windsor we wind our way through the delightful county of Oxfordshire to Oxford, known as the city of 'the dreaming spires' due to the proliferation of its turreted and gabled spires and towers.  Oxford, a thriving city, an Episcopal see and the seat of an ancient university, is one of most famous and interesting towns in Europe. The university was first mentioned in the 12th century and one of the many theories about how it began was that it developed from the monastic schools of St. Frideswide's priory. We enjoy a walking tour of the classically beautiful colleges including a visit to Christ Church college. We return to London in time for dinner on our own and an evening at leisure. Overnight at our hotel.

DAY 6 - LONDON/ WINCHESTER / STONEHENGE/ GLASTONBURY/ BATH – This morning, we leave London and journey southwestwards to the beautiful cathedral town of Winchester, the capital of England during the reign of King Alfred the Great. This beautiful cathedral has the longest nave in Europe and is on the same site as the Saxon cathedral. The relics of St. Hedda, Bishop of Winchester are still in the cathedral and the relics of St. Swithin, Bishop of Winchester are probably buried under the shrine in the cathedral as well. One of the best-loved of English saints, St. Swithin was famous for his charity and church building. We continue to the vast plateau of Salisbury plain to the megalithic stone circle at Stonehenge. We will visit this amazing site whose exact origins and meaning are still a mystery. We continue our journey to holy Glastonbury, the first Christian settlement in England . According to legend Our Lord himself walked here in Glastonbury and the Mother of God sailed here from the Holy Land. They also tell of the coming of St. Joseph of Arimathea, who planted the famous Glastonbury thorn, which flowers at Old Christmas each year. Many other Saints were venerated at Glastonbury. We tour the site and town and see the thorn, the emotive and beautiful ruins of the Abbey of Glastonbury and celebrate Mass at St. Mary's Church. We then drive to the lovely Georgian City of Bath for dinner and overnight. 

Day 7 - BATH/STRATFORD – Today, we enjoy a guided walking tour of Bath, a most beautifully preserved Georgian City. Bath was founded by the Romans but with the coming of St. Boenna, a disciple of St. Patrick, a Christian presence was established. You will visit the fine Roman Baths and Pump rooms and also the beautiful Bath Abbey with its soaring fan-vaulted ceiling. After a stop for lunch on our own, we drive through the Cotswolds to Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of the literary genius William Shakespeare. Here, we visit the birthplace of the bard, his grave at Holy Trinity Church and his wife, Anne Hathaway's picturesque little cottage. We enjoy dnner and overnight at our hotel. 

Day 8 - STRATFORD/YORK – Today, we leave the midlands and journey to York arriving by lunchtime. York is one of England's finest and most beautifully preserved historic cities. Here St. Constantine was proclaimed Emperor of the Roman Empire. We enjoy a walking tour of the historic center taking in the narrow medieval cobbled streets known as the 'shambles'. We visit the Cathedral of St. Peter, York Minster, estimated to contain more than half of all medieval stained glass in England! We view the beautiful Rose Window and the Great East Window, which depicts the beginning and the end of the world in over a hundred small scenes taken from the Books of Genesis and Revelation. We then visit the famous Jorvik Viking Center where a time-car journey takes us back 1,000 years to an accurate reconstruction of Viking York. We also see the amazing 20th century excavation, which revealed a whole Viking Street, which has been carefully preserved. We enjoy dinner and overnight in York. 

Day 9 - YORK/DURHAM – This morning, another special day unfolds as we drive the short distance north of York to visit Ripon, one of the three original Christian centers of Yorkshire. Here we see the original crypt of St. Wilfrid's Saxon Church, which is enclosed, in Ripon cathedral. St. Wilfrid was most active in missionary work and more or less initiated the great English missions to the Continent which were to bring  the light of Christ to virtually all Northwest Europe. While here we celebrate Mass before breaking for lunch on our own. Our next stop is the quintessentially beautiful Yorkshire countryside, where we will visit the ruins of Fountains Abbey. Fountains Abbey is one of the largest and best preserved monasteries in England, a beautiful and poignant reminder of a rich Christian heritage in England before Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries 1532-42. The abbey was founded in 1132 for the Benedictines and taken over by 1135 by the Cistercians. We continue our fascinating journey through the Yorkshire Dales to Durham. Here we see  the greatest Norman Cathedral to survive in England. St. Cuthbert is entombed in the Chapel of the Nine Altars below the Great Window. There will be time to explore the fascinating old town before dinner and overnight at our hotel. 

Day 10  - DURHAM /LINDISFARNE (HOLY ISLAND)/EDINBURGH -  Today, we leave Durham and journey via Bamburgh to the East coast of England. Here we visit the tiny island of Lindisfarne, known as Holy Island. The religious history of the island dates back to the very origins of Christianity in England, for St. Aidan established a monastery here in AD 635. St. Aidan, missionary from Iona was consecrated first bishop of Lindisfarne and under him and his successors, the island became a beacon of Christianity. We visit this holy site which still has an 11th century priory and Parish church, whose ruins are movingly beautiful. We continue our journey along the East coast road, which affords wonderful views out to sea. We arrive in Edinburgh, the glorious Scottish capital. We enjoy dinner and overnight at your hotel. 

Day 11 - EDINBURGH - This morning, we will have a panoramic tour of the old town taking in the historic Royal Mile in the old town and the Georgian 'new town', taking in  the many fine Georgian crescents, squares and streets with their distinctive buildings. We enjoy a guided tour of  Edinburgh Castle, home to the Scottish crown jewels, and with stunning views over the city and out to the Firth of Forth. We also visit the cathedral of St. Giles Cathedral . After some time for lunch on our own, we have a drive through the city to enjoy the memorable sites and views as we tour by Arthur's seat, through Holyrood Park and visit the Botanic gardens. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to take in museums and current exhibitions or shop for Scottish arts and crafts. Tonight. we enjoy a Scottish evening with traditional Scottish music, dance and food as we enjoy our “farewell” dinner. Overnight at our hotel.

DAY 12 – EDINBURGH/USA – Today, we transfer to the airport for our return flight home, with memories of a lifetime!   

“Overflowing in Catholic history prior to Henry the VIII,
there are still numerous reminders that the Catholic church shaped
the culture as well as the country”