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Highlights of England, Scotland & Ireland

12 days
From glens and lochs all the way to London, explore the captivating emerald landscapes and cultural hubs that define Great Britain and Ireland. Journey from England’s cosmopolitan capital through the highlands of the Lake District to Edinburgh, whose city streets have been declared masterpieces of urban planning. Then, make your way to the Emerald Isle, where you’ll grab a pint (or a few) with Dubliners and make your way through the beyond-scenic Ring of Kerry and Cliffs of Moher.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

Local cuisine with beer or wine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

Local cuisine with beer or wine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 10 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Select entrance fees

Overnight Flight1 night

Day 1

Your trip begins with a regularly scheduled overnight flight to London aboard an internationally recognized airline.

London2 nights Hotel info

Day 2

Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to England! A Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport after you clear customs and escorts you to your hotel in London. This afternoon is free to explore London on your own or relax in your hotel room. Meet your fellow travelers at a welcome dinner this evening.

Day 3

Included meals: Breakfast

An expert local guide leads this morning’s guided sightseeing tour of London. Highlights of the panoramic tour include views of Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, the Big Ben clocktower, the Houses of Parliament, Piccadilly Circus and a stop outside St. James’s Palace, where you might glimpse the ceremonial Changing of the Guard (seasonal and weather dependent). After your sightseeing tour, join an optional afternoon excursion to Windsor Castle, the centuries-old retreat of Britain’s Royal Family.

Optional Excursion - Windsor Castle $99*pp Details

Led by a Blue Badge Guide, you’ll travel to Windsor for a guided visit to the world’s largest and longest-inhabited castle. Founded by William the Conqueror in 1070, Windsor has been the British Royal Family’s preferred retreat for the past 900 years. Step inside the State Apartments and St. George’s Chapel (closed Sundays), where the Knights of the Garter ceremony takes place. View the exhibit of royal treasures on display within the castle. You’ll then have time to stroll through the town of Windsor and have a look at Eton College, a prestigious prep school attended by Princes William and Harry. Please note: Windsor Castle is occasionally closed when in use by the Royal Family; a visit to Henry VIII’s Hampton Court will be substituted when necessary.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Edinburgh2 nights Hotel info

Day 4

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Leaving London this morning, you’ll journey by train through the English countryside to the lochs and hills of Scotland. As you approach the Scottish capital, you’ll pass under the dramatic Edinburgh castle; its foundation dates back to 850 B.C. After hotel check-in, the afternoon is free to uncover Edinburgh on your own. For a quick orientation of the city, begin at the Central Train Station, walk down Princes Street—lined with world-class shops—and then climb the hill to the Castle. Tonight, enjoy an included dinner.

Day 5

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Edinburgh Castle

Despite some changes to its landscape in the late 20th century, Edinburgh—much like Prague, Florence and Vienna—has managed to avoid the large-scale modernization that has transformed most major cities and has retained its medieval beauty. Dating as far back as 850 B.C., Edinburgh really gained prominence in the 11th century under the reign of David I, who founded the abbey at Holyrood. Today, an expert local guide leads a sightseeing tour from the elegant Georgian New Town to the Royal Mile (both are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites). You’ll see Holyrood Palace, the quaint shops of the Mile and Edinburgh Castle, where you’ll see the Scottish crown jewels. This afternoon, you might wish to continue your exploration of Edinburgh on your own or join our optional Abbotsford House & Melrose Abbey excursion.

Optional Excursion - Abbotsford House & Melrose Abbey $69*pp Details

Travel through the Scottish Borders region to Abbotsford House, the 19th-century estate of Sir Walter Scott. The poet designed his home in the Romantic style to imitate the elaborate baronial estates of British aristocrats. Today it serves as a museum for the Scottish memorabilia and artifacts that Scott collected throughout his lifetime. The excursion then continues with a visit to the ruins of Melrose Abbey, one of the most impressive of the four Borders abbeys.

Cheshire1 night Hotel info

Day 6

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Included entrances: Dove Cottage (seasonal)

This morning, travel through the emerald green landscapes of the Lakes District, whose meadows are dotted with grazing sheep. You’ll marvel at the district’s wild beauty as you encounter picturesque views of farmland, forests, fells (hills) and becks (brooks). Visit Dove Cottage, where Poet Laureate William Wordsworth lived for several years. Dinner is included this evening in Cheshire.

Dublin2 nights Hotel info

Day 7

Included meals: Breakfast

Travel through the untamed wilderness of Wales to Holyhead, where you’ll board a high-speed ferry across the Irish Sea. Disembark the ferry in Dublin, the cosmopolitan Irish capital city spanning the River Liffey. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for check-in. The afternoon is free to begin exploring Dublin. Tonight, opt for an evening of music and dance at our Traditional Irish Evening.

Optional Excursion - Traditional Irish Evening $99*pp Details

Enjoy this special evening of Irish food, music and live entertainment. Dinner will be served first, giving you a taste of traditional Irish dishes. You’ll then be treated to a live show of Irish music and dance. Join in the fun as you enjoy a merry and memorable night. Please note: The specific venue and day of the week for this optional may change due to availability.

Day 8

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: St. Patrick's Cathedral, Trinity College

A professional local guide leads your comprehensive sightseeing tour of Dublin. First, drive past the River Liffey to Phoenix Park. The largest enclosed public park in Europe and twice the area of New York’s Central Park, the Phoenix’s grounds include the Arás an Uachtaráin (Presidential Residence) and Dublin Zoo. You’ll also see Temple Bar and Dublin Castle. Then visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, founded by Ireland’s patron saint in the 5th century A.D., and Trinity College, where you can view the illuminated Book of Kells in the university’s library. Enjoy a free afternoon in Dublin.

County Kerry2 nights Hotel info

Day 9

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Blarney Castle

Today’s journey begins with a visit to Blarney Castle. This 15th-century fortress is known above all else for the legendary Blarney Stone, said to grant magical powers of eloquence to those who kiss it—which you can attempt by climbing the steep staircase to the top of the parapet and leaning out of the battlements. Continue on to County Kerry this evening.

Day 10

Included meals: Breakfast

Today’s included excursion takes you around the Ring of Kerry, a 112-mile coastal route that covers some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery. Pass the pristine Lakes of Killarney and gaze across Dingle Bay to Dingle Peninsula. Stop in the town of Killarney and at Bog Village, where you may choose to tour the open-air museum and see the simple cabins in which locals lived during the Great Famine. This afternoon, enjoy unsurpassable views of the Skellig Islands. Then continue to the picturesque village of Sneem, the “Knot in the Ring,” where brightly painted cottages surround the cozy market green, before returning to your starting point in the Ring.

Limerick1 night Hotel info

Day 11

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning, marvel at some of western Ireland’s most mesmerizing coastline and the striking Cliffs of Moher. Continue on to Limerick, where you can relive memories of the day during this evening’s Farewell Dinner.

Flight homefor a day

Day 12

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to Shannon airport for your flight home.

Add London City Stay $259 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

A city that loves to be explored, London beckons with world-class (and often free) museums and galleries, quirky shops, outstanding restaurants, royal pageantry, charming neighborhoods, and an unconquered heritage with more than 2,000 years of history.

Overnight Flight1 night

Day 1

Board your overnight flight to London.

London2 nights Hotel info

Day 2

Welcome to England! A Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport after you clear customs and escorts you to your hotel in London. The rest of the day is free for you to begin your London discoveries.

Day 3

Included meals: Breakfast

Venture into the city today to immerse yourself in the infinite wonders of London. You might visit the British Museum to view its incredible collection of antiquities. For art, take in the exhibits at the National Gallery and the Tate Galleries. Alternatively, take part in our optional tour of St. Paul’s Cathedral & Westminster Abbey.

Optional Excursion - St. Paul's Cathedral & Westminster Abbey $115*pp Details

Compare and contrast two of Britain's most famous churches, whose rich history provide an unparalleled look into the country's past. First, visit St. Paul’s Cathedral, the second largest church building in the United Kingdom and seat of the Bishop of London. The English-Baroque style cathedral is globally renowned for its magnificent dome and glittering mosaics. Continue on to Westminster Abbey, a Gothic church located near the Houses of Parliament. Since 1066, every royal coronation, with the exception of Edward V and Edward VIII, has taken place at Westminster Abbey. The abbey also serves as the burial ground for Charles Darwin and Sir Isaac Newton.

Day 4

Included meals: Breakfast

Meet up with the rest of your tour group today (Day 2 of the regular itinerary).

How's the weather?

  • London, England
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Cheshire, England
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • County Kerry, Ireland
  • Limerick, Ireland
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & Visa

This tour includes the following countries: England, Scotland and Ireland. In order to enter these countries, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Health

There are no major health risks when traveling to England, Ireland and Scotland. It is always advisable to check with your doctor or health- care provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

Cuisine

For traditional English fare at a reasonable price, try a pub meal. Stilton cheese, steak and kidney pie, and Cumberland sausages are specialties. Sip afternoon tea with delicious finger sandwiches and scones at Harrods for the ultimate in English tradition. Modern-day London also boasts an array of ethnic restaurants unmatched by almost any other city in the world for its diversity. Popular options for the adventurous palate include Indian, Thai, Chinese, Indonesian, Greek and West African cuisine. Specialties of Scotland include kippers, smoked salmon, Scotch broth, venison, shortbread, oatcakes, and haggis (made of sheep innards). As in Ireland, sometimes the best (and least expensive) meals are found in pubs. Whisky is a favored local spirit, and Scottish ales are world-famous. Traditional Irish cooking is simple, relying heavily on meat-based dishes. Pubs serve up hearty lunches, and the traditional Irish stew, bacon and boiled cabbage are always popular choices. Soda bread is delicious and very filling, as are Irish cakes, such as scones and Barm Brack. The thick black beer known as Guinness is a national institution in its own right. In recent years, Dublin has seen something of a culinary revolution, and the city now boasts an impressive array of new restaurants offering exciting cuisine with continental Europe, Asian and Californian influences.

Transportation / Walking on tour

Round-trip flights arrive in London and depart from Shannon. When you first arrive in London, a Go Ahead representative will meet you at the airport. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative may be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival. Included transportation on tour is by train (from London to Edinburgh), by ferry (from Holyhead to Dublin) and by private motor coach. Dublin and Edinburgh are both best explored on foot, although buses and taxis are plentiful. In London, you can’t get around without using the legendary, 12-line “tube,” connecting all the districts and attractions. You might want to mix up travel on the tube with some walking and bus travel. It’s a lot more fun to explore London on the iconic double-decker buses.

Clothing & Packing Tips

To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.

Currency

The British pound and euro (in Ireland) are the currencies you will use on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination countries, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take a combination of bank/ATM cards and credit cards, as needed. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

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4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 9/28/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Great Vacation

enjoyed our tour very much, had a great time and would defiantly consider doing another tour with Go Ahead Tours!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/28/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wonderful Vacation

Could not have asked for a better vacation. Tour was set up to see the most of our travels. Locations were great and the tour guide went above and beyond all expectations. Had a great time and will use Go-Ahead tours again.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/16/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: AL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Most Bang For the Buck

The tour was educational, informative and lots of fun. The tour director, Giorgio, was excellent. We also had an employee from Go Ahead, Chris, and he was very helpful as well.Since we were on the move a lot with a lot to see, he was a workhouse in keeping all 45 of us going and on time. We saw London, Edinburgh, Wales and Ireland in 14 days. We took an extension in London and were glad we did. We saw a lot, had tours and guides who let us in on every detail a tourist needs on their first trip and had free time to explore what were our major interests in each area. We took over 1,000 pictures combined (my wife and I) and kept separate diaries as reminders of what we did. My favorite place on the visit was Edinburgh. The hotel was in a great location and after a tour of the sites by bus we were able to retrace the tour on foot and get lots of pictures. As a historian I loved seeing Adam Smith's grave, Burn's grave, the Castle, the "Royal Mile," the Queen's residence there, the out of place Parliament building (architecturally) and John Knox's home for five years of his life while leading the Protestant Reformation in Scotland.. I also visited the oldest ongoing church in Scotland that started as a Catholic Church, changed to a Presbyterian Church and is still standing from its 1100s beginning. The breakfasts were excellent everyplace except Edinburgh and the accommodations in London, Rossett in Wales, Dublin and Limerick were very good. The bed sizes were less than I wished but I was prepared for that. We did a lot of bus riding in touring the country side. The buses were comfortable, the drivers friendly and funny and the sound and video systems adequate. The roads are narrow and the bus passing another bus on them is adventurous. We also took a fast train from London to Edinburgh but not a "bullet" one. Most of the Museums and Galleries are free of charge and have outstanding exhibitions. My issues are few but worthy of someone's notes and correction: 1. The buses could and should have Wi-Fi. 2. The dinners provided were good to very good, but they should match the location. An Italian Dinner in Scotland threw me for a loss psychologically even though the food was good. 3. 45 in a tour group is simply too many. Group sizes should be around 30. To maximize the trip, you need to read about each place before you go and bring a special pair of walking shoes. Also, you need to be able to ask questions of the locals when you get almost lost on your walks. Plan your free time to get the most out of the trip and eat locally to get the flavor of the area and people. If you like to drink pints and eat in pubs and tour Guinness's Brewery for a pint, this is the trip for you. Repeat business is always the best sign of satisfaction, and we are already planning our next trip to Italy with Go Ahead for net year.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/16/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: AL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Georgio!!!

Our trip to the UK was wonderful. We were blessed with extraordinary weather which was an added bonus. We expected less. Our tour director was wonderful, kind, humorous and caring. He is the best. The accommodations were excellent with king sized beds at some of the hotels. I loved the fact we got up and were having breakfast by 7:00 a.m. most mornings and then hitting the road by 8:00 a.m. We enjoyed a full day. We say a lot, did a lot, and it was fantastic.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 8/7/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: GA

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

A lot to see!

I really enjoyed the tour through England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. I had never been to any of them except southern England. The countryside was marvelous. The castles were amazing. The people were really nice. The riding was a little tedious. I thought I would enjoy the train ride, but there was not much to see except the countryside, a lot of bushes by the tracks. The bus trips were not too bad, as our tour director and drivers stopped a lot for breaks and camera takes. The city tours were pretty good as that is the best way to see a city. If you have problems with walking, you will want to be prepared to get a cab sometimes, as the tour left us downtown Edinburgh once, and downtown London once. We walked back. Be prepared to ride a lot, walk a lot, but if you want to see the countries, then this is the tour for you. We almost took a cruise, but going through the interior gives you more to see.

review photo review photo review photo
1 / 3

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/30/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

So much to see...

We had a wonderful trip through Go Ahead Tours. Our Tour Director, Robbie, was phenomenal. His knowledge of the land as well as the history of the country was unending. Robbie guided us through the cities and countryside with ease, making every effort to ensure a memorable trip for all.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/12/2014

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: ON

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

giorgio

the london hotel conections went well we where met with a smile at 5 am toronto time, london we did in 2012 so we took the extra 2 days as we all fell asleep in the loby at 11am london time for an hour then went for lunch, the only problem well big one was the train ride to edinburgh ,our train car and only ours did not have air so we and tour director sat through it 4.15 hours at 85 F hot sweaty ,we went and stood between the cars ,somuch for the british rail system . the resat of the train were cold .,lol, we had a british sauna edinburgh was lovley , the hotel was great ,except for the drunks in the lain way at night 2 am and 4 am we had to close the windows no air,ok cheshire was lovely old hotel but no aie lwft the great windo open ,ps the food is great over there, killarney scotts hotel was nice clean ,but they had a festavel on from 9pm right outside our room till 12am irish music ,the other side was a fiar till 11pm si we ckised the wubdiw ti hear the tv at 9.15pm and used earplugs till 1 am and then i opend the windows , very claen hotel, the horse ride is worth it 13 eurls each and our hoars and drive drank ginesnot on the tour of the 22,000 acre park in kilarney. bought clancey and driver a dink. lovel tour of the ring of killarney grean , the people are friendley sorry forgot dublin ,tour guide ws great , we walked a lot it is easy to get to the stores ,a no car mall.limerick hotel had ground floors and the windows had to be closed if you wanted securety .ps asked at 630 for fan aat 10 pm we where on priority list. a workd to travellers they do not have wash clothes when you shoured bath etc. but radisson Blue hotel and spa limeridk was great food great . over all my wife and I would go to edinburgh and irland again .londo is to populated and poluted by cars , $9 a gallon if you drive , ps dont try the fish in chips in london .llenty of food but no taste to the cod.,best fish chips was in Killarney a place no licens 12eurols , the best chips and fresh wild cod,. you get to the point wheere you treat the lb as a $ ,in respect it is 1.84 canadian plusse exchane.the eurols is 1.53 cdn you will love irland . london has the queen and the old builfdings the boat on thams is 9lb for seniors and gets you to tour of london ,and back when you want. washrooms ae pay 50p or go to a bar ,herads had free washrooms and a attendent ,but prices of thing you need to win a lottery our tour director made the trip great , he had history about every place and the 28 in countries in th e group under the eurol . more later the jet lage is hard we got in july 25th and wounder where the time went.took 1054 pictures..ps where good walking shoes

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/12/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MT

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Trip of a Lifetime!

The Highlights of England, Scotland, and Ireland tour was phenomenal! Our tour director, Giorgio, made sure that we all had a grand time by going above that was required by him. He found extra adventures/activities for us to take part in (riding in the "jaunty cars" in Killarney, a Scottish evening, watching sheep dogs in action in Ireland). All of our step-on and Blue Badge guides were knowledgable, and willing to address any and all questions we had. There was so much to see and do, that one came away from each day wanting to relive each moment. Our hotels were all in great locations, with pubs, restaurants, sightseeing locations, and shopping within short walking distance. We found the staff at each hotel friendly and willing to help us out with any questions we had. My group did include the London pre-extension in our tour, and I'm glad that we did. We used the time to go to a Medieval Banquet and to visit Stonehenge and Bath. I am so glad that we were able to add those things to our itinerary!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/1/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

A great trip!! I would do it again in a heartbeat.

There are many pluses to this trip. I can only say I would do it again. Our tour director was very attentive and one of the funniest guides I have ever had. A true delight!!!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/1/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Fantastic Trip, Fantastic Tour Director

What a whirl wind of a trip! Saw so much and want to go back and see more! Meet some wonderful people who have become great friends now. Our Tour Director David was an abosulte hoot! David was very knowledgable, recommended great places to see, where to eat and kept us laughing! This is a must do trip!

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