Contiki Sounds Reading Festival
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Looking to take a walk through the UK's legendary musical past whilst also being a part of its iconic present? This is the trip to do it on. Trace the roots of the Beatles in Liverpool, take a spin around the nightclubs in Manchester, walk in the footsteps of Rock music royalty in Birmingham, nip over to Wales for a night in buzzing Cardiff and then it's on to the main event - 4 days of VIP style partying at one of the UK's biggest, oldest and best festivals - Reading Festival. Once you've done a festival and iconic trip combo like this, you won't look back...

  • Duration: 10 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Easy
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: 259.536/210475
  • Starts: London, United Kingdom
  • Finishes: Reading, United Kingdom
You will Visit
  • London
  • York
  • Manchester
  • Liverpool
  • Birmingham
  • Cardiff
  • Reading



Day 1: London to York via Cambridge

Meeting up in the busy and beautiful capital city we'll hop straight on the coach and onto our first destination of Cambridge. Any guesses for what our soundtrack will be? Of course a collection of the Reading Festival headliners, to get us all in the musical mood.
Cambridge is know for two things - it's famed university dating back to 1209, and the wonderfully quaint British activity of punting on the River Cam. We'll have some time to soak up the scholarly atmosphere of this student city (whose alumni includes Stephen Hawking, Issac Newton and Eddie Redmayne) before it's on to York.
Pretty as a picture, York is one of those cities you imagine when you think of the UK. All cobbled streets, old houses and crooked pubs, we'll settle in here for a three course pub dinner - well deserved after a busy day. For those feeling brave, the after dinner activites are of the supernatural variety...


Day 2: York to Manchester

On the northern road again and we've got our eyes firmly set on a UK city icon.
Welcome to 'Madchester', the name coined for the UK's buzziest northern city after the alt rock and acid house music scenes boomed here in the 1980s. Today Manchester is still up there as a musical icon, thanks largely in part to two guys with bad haircuts called Noel & Liam, although of course it's also globally renowned for having two of the world's best football clubs - Man United and Man City. Explore these in your free time, or take advantage of our Manchester music tour Free Time Add-On and join us as we explore the Northern Quarter's legendary music and vinyl stores.


Day 3: Manchester to Liverpool via the Lake District

From one musical legend to another today as we get on the road to Liverpool, but not before getting a taste of the Great British countryside.
Famous for its forests, mountains and (no surprises here) lakes, the Lake District is one of the UK's most naturally beautiful protected areas. With no better way to see your surroundings than on a lake itself, we'll have the chance to jump onboard a cruise of gorgeous and serene Lake Windamere, one of the largest lakes in the region.
Home of Beatlemania and another of Britain’s most beloved football teams, Liverpool is a city worth visiting. We're on a strictly music inspired agenda whilst here, kicking things off with a Magical Mystery Tour to retrace the journey of the famous 4 - John, Paul, George and Ringo, as their star grew from humble Liverpool lads to global icons. And to finish today? How else but at the legendary Cavern Club, the place where it all began.


Day 4: Liverpool to Birmingham

Still feeling like you've got yet more to discover about Liverpool? We've got some free time this morning to do as you please, maybe a tour of the Anfield Stadium or a visit to the Beatles museum.
Allll riiight Birmingham? A city with a distinctly drawn out accent that might take some getting used to, Birmingham will transition you from UK music history to the very present day, courtesy of its thriving club scene. But as well as music, Birmingham is also well known for something else - curries. Head to the Balti Triangle for the best of the best. In this city, music pulsates through every street corner. To get you clued up on the cities electric musical background, you’ll be heading on a guided Brummy coach tour of bars, gig venues and historical hot spots which inspired a generation of Britsih rock legends including Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Ozzy Osborne


Day 5: Birmingham to Cardiff via Stratford-Upon-Avon

Leaving Birmingham behind, next up we're headed to the home of Britain's most famous bard...
That's right, old William Shakespeare was born and bred in Stratford, and you can even see the house he lived in all those centuries ago. Feeling positively prosaic after getting as close as you'll ever get to the world's best known playwright, we'll make tracks for a whole new country - prepare to say 'hwyl fawr' to Wales.
Arriving in the capital of Cardiff, we’ll find a buzzing and compact metropolis. Waste no time diving into the food of the region, enjoying Welsh rarebit – a glam and irresistible cheese on toast - or Welsh crempog - their very own take on the pancake.


Day 6: Cardiff to Reading Festival via Bristol

Cardiff, you’ve been short and sweet, but we've got a festival to got to...
But not before swinging by the buzzy student city of Bristol, known for its impressive Georgian architecture and one very impressive suspension bridge. We'll be taking you down the back alleys of the city, although it's not as dodgy as it sounds - we'll be on the hunt for street art by the legendary mystery artist, Bansky.
History lessons complete it's time for the main event - festival fun! Arriving at Reading Festival like straight up VIPs in our luxe coach, we'll continue the theme as we settle in to our luxury campsite complete with pre-erected tents, air beds and sleeping bags, private hot showers, phone charging stations, posh toilets AND a pamper zone complete with hair dryers. Now THIS is how you do a UK festival...


Day 7: Reading Festival

3 days of musical madness ahead of you = the most exciting prospect ever. Take advantage of your included hot brekkie this morning, then it's wellies on and into the festival we go. With 9 different stages to choose from including the Alternative Stage, the NME Stage and The Pit, and hundreds of artists to pick from, the adventures are endless. See you at the main stage for Friday night's headliner


Day 8: Reading Festival

Festival Day 2 - let's do this. Keeping our fingers and toes crossed for sunshine it's more of the same today. Don't forget, UK festivals aren't just about the music, they're also about the food. Tasty pulled pork, spicy curries, cheesy grilled sandwiches - pretty much whatever you can dream of to keep you powered through the day (and into the night).


Day 9: Reading Festival

Today's the closing day, so let's make it the best yet. Go to that stage you haven't visited yet, get a list of all the acts you just can't miss, and of course squeeze in some time for some personal hygiene, courtesy of the campsites hot showers and parlour room. We'll see you at the main stage come sunset for the final headline act, and we know it's going to be epic...


Day 10: Reading Festival

Well that's it - Reading is done and dusted for another year. Contiki Sounds adventure will come to an end but hey, at least we don't have to deal with taking down tents like the majority of the festival goers!"

    • 5 nights of your trip will be spent in twin rooms in homely British hotels, with the option to upgrade to single share. The other 4-night's will be spent luxury camping at Reading festival, think twin share tents complete with air bed and sleeping bag, hot showers, phone charging stations and even a glam parlour!
    • Bangers & mash, roast dinners, curries - the UK knows its food alright. We'll treat you to 3 dinners plus 8 breakfasts, including a voucher for a hot brekkie at the festival every morning to start your day of musical adventures right
    • You'll be safe in the hands of your professional Trip Manager, who knows the musical quirks of the UK and the best local spots better than anyone. On the roads, your expert Contiki Driver will take the best care of you
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Tour Highlights:
  • London to York via Cambridge: Visit to University town of Cambridge