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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

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

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 $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

Edinburgh 2 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Travel to Edinburgh

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Journey by train through the English countryside and the lochs and hills of Scotland. Later, arrive in the Scottish capital.

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 $95*pp 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 from April through 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 $85*pp 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 optional excursion is only offered 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.

Enjoy a free evening in Dublin or add an excursion.

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.

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

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 through Phoenix Park, one of Europe’s largest walled green spaces and site of the presidential residence

• Travel along the banks of the River Liffey and see the legendary Guinness Storehouse

• Step inside the soaring St. Patrick’s Cathedral 

• Stop at Trinity College and view the illuminated Book of Kells

County Kerry 2 nights Hotel info

Day 9: County Kerry via Blarney

Included meals: Breakfast

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 $119*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.

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
  • NOV
  • 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.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 7/16/2015

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: TN

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Excellent tours

All the tours were educational and informative. The bus drivers were very helpful .

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/16/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Excellent Experience

I cannot praise the job Go Ahead does on this tour highly enough! From the beginning of the tour to the end this was an incredible experience. The accommodations are top notch, the food is good, the sights are incredible AND we had the best tour director (Jonathan) that you could have asked for. He (Jonathan) is great the entire trip - but really shines in Ireland. We were lucky indeed to have him as our guide. This is a well thought out and paced trip. My own personal preference would be to reverse the trip, starting the itinerary in the slower paced Ireland while you acclimate to European time, and working your way to a finish in the faster paced hustle and bustle of London. However, that is just a personal preference and should not detract from the excellence that is this experience. I HIGHLY recommend it!!!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/13/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: AL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Director

We had a wonderful time exploring London, Scotland and Ireland with a great tour guide, Cornelius. He certainly is a witty, entertaining and very likable tour guide. He was very knowledgable of the towns and countries. He has to be one of Go Ahead's best tour guides. We enjoyed our tour and will tour again with Go Ahead tours.

review photo
1 / 1

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/14/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: WA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Highlights with no Lowlights!

My husband and I had the best time!! We got to see so many places with out having to worry about the details. Our tour director was wonderful and our fellow travelers were awesome!! I can't wait for our next tour!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 11/29/2012

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: NV

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

The Best

This was my first Go Ahead tour and it was wonderful in every way. Tour director Tom looked after us as if we were family and his knowledge and good humor enhanced every moment of the trip. Highly recommend the tour and the tour director!

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 6/9/2015

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

British Isles -- hooray

Our tour director, Jane, was absolutely amazing. We loved her and she (apparently) loved us. Calling us the best tour group ever!! She was unfailingly good-humored and helpful. Our local tour guides were really wonderful and knowledgeable. My complaints would be -- not enough time. We could have used a few more days in every location. Hotels -- mostly excellent. In London the Marriott Regent's Park was a lovely hotel, but not at all convenient. Two tube trains to get to the center of London. In Dublin - Temple Bar Hotel, very conveniently located. But that was the problem -- right in the center of town, and above a very noisy pub, with music and loud customers (both in the pub and on the street) until all hours.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/18/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great job Ronnie!

The tour for me didn't start great. Our plane to Heathrow was 3 hrs late and obviously not GoAheads fault. Once I got to Heatrow I saw 2 ladies wearing their GA name tags and then we saw a guy with a printed Go Ahead sign so we went to his vehicle. Once I got to the hotel I saw Jonathon (TD) and he said I wasn't on his roster. Jonathon spent a good 20 minutes trying to figure out what the deal was and he did. He found out that I was on another GA parallel tour that was at another hotel. First, a big thank you to Jonathon and second a major fail by GA for not letting me know there was more than one tour and I would have saved the $40.00 in taxi fare I had to spend to get to the hotel I should have been at in the first place. Can't say enough good things about our tour director Ronnie. He was attentive, caring and helpful from beginning to end. His sense of humor was big plus too. Except for the Edinburgh hotel which was perfect, it would have nice if the hotels were closer to towns and not so remote since we only had a short period of time in each city. Our tour group consisted of 15 great people and the size was perfect. Anymore than 20 would detract from a tour. Overall, the tour was great. Again, big thanks to Ronnie and Jonathon!

 

Dear Robert, Welcome home, and thank you very much for your taking the time to review your recent trip through England, Scotland, and Ireland. We are so pleased to learn that you enjoyed your Tour Director, Ronnie! We will happily pass your ‘thanks’ along to both him and Jonathon. We are also thrilled that you found your small group size ‘perfect’. We are happy to offer our travelers the Go Ahead Right Size Advantage, and it sounds like the smaller group size really made the trip enjoyable. We are very sorry to hear about the mix-up you experienced upon arrival at Heathrow. It is very common for us to have multiple groups arriving into Heathrow as it is one of Europe’s most popular destinations. We will be working internally as well as with our transfer company to ensure that mix-ups such as these do not occur in the future. We look forward to connecting with you and discussing this matter further. Thank you again for your review, and we hope to see you on a future Go Ahead tour!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 14, 2015

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/16/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Five-star experience

This tour was a gift for my daughter and myself upon her high school graduation. (If you are the parent of a teenager in high school, you know you deserve a gift, too!) Sharing and discovering the history and culture of the British Isles was an adventure for us. The itinerary was good, although my daughter and I started our trip, on our own, two days earlier so that we could have extra time in London. This tour incorporates just the right amount of planned and unplanned time to allow travelers to make the most of their trip. Our tour guide, Ronnie, was perfect - helpful, humorous, attentive, personable, and entertaining. Our city guides, particularly Paul in London and Bill in Edinburgh, were knowledgeable, congenial, and thorough. Additionally, we had a fabulous group of fellow travelers whose company was most enjoyable. Everyone was friendly and comfortable being together, a feeling fostered by Ronnie. The hotels were outstanding for comfort, amenities, and staff. Those in Dublin and Edinburgh were situated in easy walking distance to everything, and the tube station was just around the corner from our London hotel. Free wifi was a bonus for me, even if it was a necessity for my daughter. I would recommend this tour to anyone, but especially those who haven't been to the British Isles as it is a terrific introduction. The value is indisputable. I challenge anyone to provide all that GoAhead provides at the same price. I wouldn't dream of traveling with any other company.

3 / 5

3 / 5

Traveled On: 6/16/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: OK

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Highlights of England, Scotland, and Ireland

In terms of the many awesome places you get to visit, this tour is great. However, you'll just a short time in each area. Also, you will spend a lot of time cramped up on the bus, and the hotels in Limerick, Killarney, and Cheshire are not conveniently located. The bus drivers have a strict schedules of their own, and they are often pushy and unwilling to drive anywhere else besides the main site for the day. One even said that he is not a taxi-cab driver in response to a request from the tour director to provide transportation to Killarney. Furthermore, during the days of long travel in Ireland, many wasted stops are made for lunch and tourist traps: areas for shops. The result is that the time at the main sites---The Blarney Caslte and The Cliffs of Moher, for example---are extremely rushed. We never actually got to see the town of Limerick because the hotel was so poorly located. Moreover, with the exception of the hotel in Killarney, the hotels only offer dry-cleaning services at outrageous prices, so doing laundry is not a reasonable option, which makes it hard for those who like to work out. The tour director was fantastic: very knowledgeable, helpful, and entertaining. Many of the hotels have small rooms with no air conditioning and showers that have weak water pressure.

 

Dear Kacey, Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughtful review of your recent tour of England, Scotland, and Ireland. We are so pleased to hear that your Tour Director was fantastic, and that the places you visited were awesome! We understand that there are aspects of the tour that you were not as impressed with, and we are looking into the situations you described. We do our very best to select hotels that are up to our standards of quality and service that are either centrally located, are located close to public transportation, or have transportation available through the hotel services. We apologize if the messaging from the bus driver came across as rude. This should never be the case, and we will certainly pass along your feedback to the bus company on this matter. The laws in Europe regarding the distance and time that bus drivers are allowed to drive per day are much more strict than those in America. There are cases in which drivers are unable to make additional stops because it would put them over the allowed distance or time for that day. We appreciate the candid feedback that you have shared, and we assure you that we take the feedback of all of our travelers very seriously in our attempts to continually improve our tour experiences.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 14, 2015

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 5/19/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TN

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great Tour!

First tour for us, great experience!

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