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Highlights of England, Scotland & Ireland

12 days
Journey from England’s cosmopolitan capital to Edinburgh, where the city streets have been declared masterpieces of urban planning. Then, pass through the Lake District and Wales en route to the Emerald Isle, where you’ll grab a pint (or a few) with Dubliners before making your way through the beyond-scenic Ring of Kerry and Cliffs of Moher.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Maximum tour group size: 35 travelers

Tour Pace: You will walk for about 1.5 hours daily across mostly flat terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with few hills or stairs.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

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

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Map of Tour of England, Scotland, and Ireland

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to London today.

London 2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in London

Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to England! Meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of London

Included meals: Breakfast

View the regal landmarks of England’s vibrant and cosmopolitan capital on a guided sightseeing tour.  

• Pass the grand Trafalgar Square and Baroque-style St. Paul’s Cathedral, perched atop Ludgate Hill

• See Westminster Abbey, the setting for royal coronations, weddings and funerals

• View icons like Big Ben, the London Eye, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London

• Stop by Buckingham Palace, where you may catch the Changing of the Guard

Enjoy a free afternoon in London or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Windsor Castle $99pp* Details

Led by a Blue Badge Guide, you’ll travel to Windsor for a 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

Edinburgh 2 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Travel to Edinburgh

Included meals: Breakfast

Journey by train through the English countryside and the lochs and hills of Scotland. Later, arrive in the Scottish capital. Enjoy a free evening in Edinburgh or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Scotch Whisky Tasting & Dinner $125pp* Details

This evening, make your way through Edinburgh to the Royal Mile, where you’ll enjoy a three-course dinner at a traditional Scottish restaurant. As you dine, enjoy whisky pairings personally selected by a professional Scotch connoisseur.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Edinburgh

Included meals: Breakfast

Get to know Edinburgh in all its medieval beauty on a tour led by a local expert.

• View the elegant Georgian-style New Town and the Royal Mile, two UNESCO World Heritage sites

• Pass the Sir Walter Scott monument, the largest monument to a writer in the world 

• Enter Edinburgh Castle to view the Scottish crown jewels and Stone of Scone

Spend a free afternoon exploring Edinburgh on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Abbotsford House & Melrose Abbey $95pp* Details

Travel through the Scottish Borders region to Abbotsford, where you’ll enjoy an included lunch. Continue on 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. Then, visit the ruins of Melrose Abbey, one of the most impressive of the four Borders abbeys. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from April to October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $105)

Optional Excursion - Royal Yacht Brittania $85pp* Details

For over 44 years, the Royal Yacht Britannia served as a floating residence for Britain’s Royal Family, playing host to world leaders during state visits and acting as a private escape for Queen Elizabeth II. Step back in time as you make your way through lavishly furnished royal apartments and the more modest crew’s quarters below decks. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from November through March.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $95)

Cheshire 1 night Hotel info

Day 6: The Lake District

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel through the emerald green landscapes of the Lake District en route to Cheshire, England.

• Take in picturesque views of farmland, forests, hills and brooks

• Visit Dove Cottage, once home to Poet Laureate William Wordsworth (Please note: From November through February you will visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum.)

Dublin 2 nights Hotel info

Day 7: Travel to Dublin

Included meals: Breakfast

Travel through the untamed wilderness of Wales to Holyhead, where you’ll board a high-speed ferry across the Irish Sea to Dublin.

Day 8: Sightseeing tour of Dublin

Included meals: Breakfast

Take a comprehensive tour of Ireland’s capital city with a local expert leading the way.

• Pass St Stephen’s Green and admire the Georgian architecture of Merrion Square

• Walk down Grafton Street to see the Molly Malone statue and Trinity College

• Stop in Phoenix Park, site of the presidential residence

• Step inside the soaring St. Patrick’s Cathedral 

• End your tour with an included pint at a local pub in the Temple Bar district

Enjoy a free evening in Dublin or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Traditional Irish Dinner & Show $99pp* 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. This optional is seasonal and runs from April through October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

County Kerry 2 nights Hotel info

Day 9: County Kerry via Blarney

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Continue your journey through the Emerald Isle today.  

• Visit the famed Rock of Cashel

• Enter Blarney Castle to kiss the legendary Blarney Stone

Day 10: The Ring of Kerry

Included meals: Breakfast

Set out on 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

• Enjoy unsurpassable views of the Skellig Islands

• Visit the picturesque village of Sneem, the “Knot in the Ring”

Limerick 1 night Hotel info

Day 11: The Cliffs of Moher

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Marvel at some of western Ireland’s most mesmerizing coastline and the striking Cliffs of Moher today. Continue on to Limerick and relive memories of your tour during this evening’s farewell dinner.

Day 12: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to Shannon airport for your flight home.

Add London $399 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 Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to London today.

London 2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in London

Included meals: Breakfast

Welcome to England! Today is free for you to begin your discoveries in London.

Day 3: Free day in London

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in London or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - St. Paul's Cathedral & Westminster Abbey $119pp* Details

Compare and contrast two of Britain’s most famous churches, whose rich histories 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.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Day 4: Free day in London

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
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  • DEC

Passport & visa

This tour includes the following countries: United Kingdom (England, Scotland, and Wales on the transfer) 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.

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.

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).

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

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.

Electricity

England and Scotland use 240 volts. Ireland operates on the European-standard 220 volts.

Time zones

Britain and Ireland both operate on Greenwich mean time, which is five hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard time.

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.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/13/2015

Number of Past Tours: 6

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best time

Thank you

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1 / 6

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/16/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great tour!!

Loved the tour. Our tour guide, Matt, was wonderful! He was very helpful and had a wonderful personality. He made you feel very comfortable and gave us lots of useful info, from where to exchange money to where to go for excellent dinners. He even set up a special side trip to St. Andrew's GC for us. Loved the Guiness and loved Ireland! I would recommend this trip to anyone.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/16/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Matt is the Best Tour Dierctor!

He was amazing, professional, sincere, funny and so informative! He gave us the tour of a lifetime! He so genuinely cared about his tour group and made us feel so comfortable and excited for each day of exploring! We will request Matt every time we take a Go Ahead Tour! Thank you Matt for an amazing trip! Nan & Jim

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1 / 1

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/14/2015

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great Tour

My wife and I enjoyed this trip tremendously. I was not sure that taking a tour was the way to go. My apprehensions were soon gone. Great things about the tour - tour director, group, hotels (we had no problems with any of our hotels - others in our group did), meals (except 1), pace, bus drivers, transportation, areas visited, weather, etc....... We loved this trip and there was not much that we would have changed. Would love to get in touch with the rest of our group but think our email got mixed up when trying to share photos.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 10/13/2015

Number of Past Tours: 6

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

History past and present exciting

Loved the trip. Just one problem the hotel we stayed at in Wales s Rossett Hall. Our room was infested with spiders and hundreds of Lady Bugs. Crawling all over the walls on the side tables of bed. Got to hotel about 2-hours late tired. Then had to have the lobby personal change the only other room they had available and it had a really bad odor. Our tour director changed rooms with us but his room had them too not as bad and he vacuum all behind the curtains. But then he did not sleep in the room we had. It had incrusted gathered behind those curtain hives full of lady bugs. So he got another room. Bath tub full of mold all in the tiling all around wall around the tub. Discusting.

 

Dear Marie, Welcome home! Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us here in the office about your experience on tour. We are very happy that we were able to work with you to find resolution to your concerns. As you know from past trips, we take great pride in the accommodations we select for our tours, and hold each hotel to a very high standard of quality. We have contacted the hotel on your behalf, and are addressing the situation with them directly. Thank you again for your feedback, and we look forward to traveling with you again soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 29, 2015

3 / 5

3 / 5

Traveled On: 9/26/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MN

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Suggestions for improvement

It would have been nice to be made aware before the tour began that many overseas countries accept only credit cards with a "chip" in them. One of the first times I tried to use a credit card without the chip, my card was denied. I was fortunate in that I also had brought along a card that did have a chip. Some of the methods for transferring luggage was rather cumbersome. If you were an elderly individual or had a handicap, being expected to lug your suitcase up steps and to your next destination could be very challenging. Spending the entire day touring the Ring of Kerry was too long. Another point of interest along the way could have been added in addition to the Ring of Kerry.

 

Welcome home, and thank you for writing this thoughtful review. We regret to learn that you did not feel you were well enough prepared for what to expect when using credit cards abroad. We do our best to update our materials regularly to properly set our travelers’ expectations, and we are looking into including this information in our materials moving forward. We do our best to provide porters whenever possible for our travelers’ convenience. We understand that there are places in which this is not possible, but we will continue to look for opportunities to provide this service moving forward. Our Product Development Team is constantly looking for areas in which changes made to itineraries could improve our on-tour experience. I have informed them of your suggestion about time spent at the Ring of Kerry, and we will keep this in mind when evaluating this tour in the future. Thank you for traveling with Go Ahead, and for providing your thoughtful insight into this tour. We hope to travel with you again soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 16, 2015

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/7/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: WI

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

James was Brilliant

I was hoping that the tour would go well, since I was traveling alone, I was concerned about the group and my safety. I loved my group, so friendly and willing to help whenever they could. Our director was excellent. How anyone can remember all the history of where we visited was beyond me. The sense of humor and friendliness, the calmness when this went a little array ( someone misplaced their luggage) and eventually it caught up to us. I guess it wasn't the first time (and won't be the last). We had a great time together in our travels across the regions. Wish we had had more time in Scotland. But that is another tour!. And I felt completely safe in London, Edinburgh, and then in Dublin, since I walked alone in all the places taking in all the history around me. The Museum of Archeology in Dublin is a must see, with all the bodies and artifacts they found in the bogs in the past years.

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1 / 3

2 / 5

2 / 5

Traveled On: 8/20/2015

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: NY

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Poor location of hotels!

First we arrived in London with no one to welcome us and had to find our own way to the hotel which is very intimidating for an airport like Heathrow. This is not a great way to start your trip. The hotels were not in very good locations with the exception of Edinburgh. If anyone wanted to visit the villages to eat or go to pubs, we had to pay for taxis to get there which were very expensive. The best part of the trip was the Military Tattoo which we were able to see only due to the gentleman who first arranged our trip. He got us perfect seats for this! Our tour director, while very nice, was not really all that helpful. I guess we expected too much. With that said, the sites we visited were beautiful. The bus drivers were very good. The hotels were ok other than the locations. My hope is that Go Ahead will take this information and improve upon this experience to make it much better for others!

 

Thank you very much for traveling with Go Ahead, and for taking the time to write this review of the Highlights of England, Scotland, and Ireland. These are certainly amazing regions to travel through, and we are so pleased that you found the sites visited to be beautiful. As stated in conversations with members of your party, we are certainly taking your valuable feedback into consideration with this tour. We understand that there was confusion caused by your delayed arrival in London, and we do apologize that your introduction to tour was marred by this experience. We have been working consistently with the airport transfer company to ensure that situations such as these do not occur in the future. Additionally, we have been piloting several different alternative transfer methods to bypass the obstacles presented by Heathrow’s unique arrivals setup. We are glad that your group was able to take advantage of the Go Ahead Emergency Services team, which is available 24/7 for any travelers experiencing difficulties on tour. We select the hotels used on our tours to balance quality, amenities provided, safety, and location. We aim to have these properties either centrally located, or near public transportation. The hotels used on your tour have been rated well by our travelers. We have received and are processing the reviews from your tour group, and will continue to monitor the feedback these hotels receive to ensure that all our customers are satisfied with their accommodations. We are proud to have a team of expert Tour Directors all over the world who are experienced and well-trained to provide our travelers with the best experience possible. We monitor each of their traveler feedback very closely, and understand how important their leadership is to making our tours great. The Tour Director that you had typically rates very high, and we will continue to monitor his ratings and his feedback to ensure that his performance does not drop. Thank you again for traveling with Go Ahead, and for taking the time to review your most recent trip with us. We look forward to welcoming you onto another Go Ahead tour soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | September 28, 2015

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/18/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

BEST BEST BEST BEST EVER

This tour exceeded my expectations by far... by WAY FAR! England Scotland and Wales were awesome.. the people were all so welcoming and accommadating.(except the staff at one hotel in Scotland). But Ireland was my favorite. The countryside is breathtakingly beautiful. God's Country for sure. I am ready to go back already! Go Ahead Tours staff were quite helpful with any question I had. And since this was my first international group tour I had many questions. The lady I talked to several times at GAT was so excited for me getting to go after months of not being sure if it would happen. Our guide while we were there, Anghus, was so much fun... And Debbie H., our local tour organizer/director went way above the call of duty. She made sure we had the best possible experience every step of the way. My only problem was,,, I over packed. We had to handle our luggage much more then I expected. BUT I have learned my lesson for my next trip and will only take the essentials and buy something I might need. I can hardly wait to travel with Go Ahead and Debbie again.. In fact, I am reserving my place now for the Croatia tour in July of 2017.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/13/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: AL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Best Tour Director Ever!!

My husband and I, along with 14 friends, went on this tour in July and it was amazing!!! Every detail was taken care of and we didn't have to worry about a thing. Our tour director, Cornelius was FANTASTIC and made an already amazing trip even more fantastic! His stories and humor made learning about the UK and Ireland so fascinating. There was never a dull moment. I hope to have him again on another Go Ahead tour in the future.

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