Highlights of England, Scotland & Ireland12 days
All tours include
Airport transfers to & from hotels
Expert tour Director
Traditional local cuisine
Recommended by 88% recommend this tour Read Reviews 
Overnight Flight1 night
Your trip begins with a regularly scheduled overnight flight to London aboard an internationally recognized airline.
London2 nights Hotel info
Included meals: Breakfast (in flight), Dinner
Touch down in London, England’s magnificent capital. After clearing customs and collecting your bags, look for the Hotel by Bustransportation. They will be providing your transfer to your hotel. 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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)
Transfer to Shannon airport for your flight home.
Add London City Stay, 3 nights $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 Hotel info
Board your overnight flight to London.
London2 nights Hotel info
Welcome to London! After clearing customs and collecting your bags, look for the Hotel by Bus desk. They will be providing your transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to begin your London discoveries.
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.
Included meals: Breakfast
Meet up with the rest of your tour group today (Day 2 of the regular itinerary).
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.
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.
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. Your transfer upon arrival in London is provided by Hotel by Bus transportation, and you can find them at a desk when you make your way through customs and baggage. 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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!!!
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!
Great tour director, great tour!
This was a great tour, and we had a wonderful time! First, we had the BEST tour director. Robert was fun, funny and knowledgable. We had our middle school aged son with us, and Robert made a point of sharing extra educational information with him. He recommended books, places to see and things to look up later. Not only did our son feel special, but he learned a lot! Robert had great suggestions for food and places to visit in each city we visited, and he was spot on every time. Now I can't imagine doing a tour without Robert as the guide. (We also had great bus drivers throughout the trip!) Second, the tour was a good combination of organized tours and free time in various locations. I'll admit, there were a few times when I wished we weren't on our own quite as much in an unfamiliar town, but on balance the tour had a little something for everyone. As for side tours, we only did one - the Irish Night. It was fun to do once, but if I did this tour (or a similar one) again, I'd skip it and do something else. We also chose to do Windsor Castle on our own and not as a side tour - we wanted more time in the Castle than the tour would have allotted. If you are going to do this tour, decide what is important, and make decisions based on what you want to see. Especially in London, you aren't going to get much time to really see things on the tour - use that free afternoon to look around on your own! Third, and I can't stress this enough, the two day extension in London was more than worth it! I would do that again in a heartbeat! We learned how to use the tube, the train and the buses (city not tour) on the first day and were able to travel not only all over London and see everything we wanted to on our own timeline. Once you figure out the tube (don't look at the map - ask questions - everyone is very helpful!) you can go almost anywhere. And if it's farther than the tube travels, you can take the train. We went more than 2 hours outside of London and had a great time looking at historic sites and the Uffington White Horse! We got to see a ton of stuff in London that we wouldn't have seen if we hadn't gotten there early - and the price was a deal! Finally, some tips. The hotels were all good or better - except one and I've already told Go Ahead about that one. The hotel rooms are typically very small - that's pretty standard. And they don't have washcloths in the hotels - we took our own. Also, many of the hotels did not have air conditioning - which given the temperatures wasn't always a problem, but in some cases it was quite warm in the room. Ask for a fan - most hotels have them available. There are were no laundry facilities in the hotels on our tour - something to consider. Breakfast is very good in the hotels, and all of the planned dinners were excellent. Prepare to do a LOT of walking. Especially on our extension, my pedometer was racking up 15-18k steps a day - and we were using the tube and the train, etc. You are living out of a suitcase - there was definitely a learning curve with that! We got ourselves organized after our first hotel move. I would have packed 1/2 of what I took with me. Take multiple adapters - you'll be glad you did. Bottom line - we would do this tour - or another similar tour - in a heartbeat! The price was great, the tour was great and our tour director was top notch!
Our tour was very insightful and I learned so much. The combination of guided tours and free time was perfect. Our knowledgeable guide Tom streamlined everything so that we didn't have to wait in any lines. Our local guides were excellent and very entertaining. My favorite part was the scenery. It was incredible. I took way too many pictures because I couldn't get over how green it was. Can't wait to go back to the land(s) of my roots.
A couple of friends and I did the extended London, Scotland and Ireland Tour. I had been to London before as a chaperone on the EF Tours, but this time in London, my friends and I did so much more. We were able to get front row seats to the Lion King, we are almost pros with the Underground-subway, the river cruise of the Thames, got to experience what the London morning and afternoon rush HOURS were aboard the bus, had High Noon Tea at Harrods, got to see the guards practicing for the Queen's birthday celebration, etc. When the rest of the group met up that Friday evening, we had already seen and done most of the attractions, but our city guide was fabulous and told us things I had never known about the city. Our bus driver was also great. We went to Windsor Castle and found out the queen was there, but no luck seeing her. We took the train from London to Edinburgh, Scotland where a stag party returning home hopped aboard; they were funny and kept us all in tears laughing for the long train ride. They also told us about Scotland along the way. We did toured Edinburgh Castle, shopped till we dropped on the Royal Mile, and tried Haggis and blood pudding. On the way to Ireland, our director asked the bus driver to do an extra stop and we stopped in Conwy Wales, which was a nice surprise since we did not expect that. We boarded a ferry from South Wales to Dublin, Ireland. I was not too fond of Dublin, but did venture out to the Temple Bar District and loved watching the Irish Dancers and dinner on the optional excursion. We also went jaunting-horse and carriage, ride through a park. We then took the bus on from Dublin to Kilarney where we drove the Ring of Kerry, absolutely beautiful, reminded me of home. Went to Blarney Castle, where I kissed the stone on Friday the 13th and last of all, we went to the Cliffs of Moher and I absolutely loved this area of Ireland. I would go back in a heartbeat so I could tour just that region area. The food was great, the weather was in the 70-80 range and sunny most of the trip except maybe 2 days, lasted about 30 mins. We did extra little excursions throughout the trip, but so many to mention. Could not have asked for a better trip. Can't wait for the next one.
The tour was wonderful. There was only one moment of confusion and that is when we first arrived in London there was conflicting paperwork as to how we get to the hotel. Part said someone will meet us and one part said to go to the Hotel by Bus stop. Once that was figured out everything went great. Tom, our tour director, was very organized and well read. He gave us history about all the places we went to as well as places along the way. He was very personable and cared about the people on the trip. Each day he instructed us for what we needed to know and do for the next day. There was plenty of free time to do what we wanted which I really liked also. Each city tour guide was great also. Beautiful countryside and fabulous vacation.
Good First Time Experience
I've never been on a tour before. Overall, the experience was great. The good things about the tour were the knowledgeable guides and their ability to focus us on the best part of the location which was important, given our limited time there, and good accommodations. Transportation to each destination was also well thought out and very comfortable, as was the plane ride to and from. The tour guide did a great job of keeping us on schedule and I felt confident and safe traveling with him, which was especially important since this was our first time out. However, our arrival was extremely stressful. Go Ahead neglected to make clear to us that our tour director would not be meeting us at the airport. After we realized that nobody was going to meet us, we tried to call the emergency number on our literature, only to be put on hold. Nobody ever took the call. After a time, we managed to find in the small print that we were supposed to take a bus to the hotel. We found the kiosk at the airport and then waited nearly 2 more hours for the bus to arrive. Go Ahead gave us a voucher for a free drink at the hotel bar for our inconvenience in London, which I felt wasn't nearly enough. After that things went very smoothly, and I credit Tom Quinn, our tour director for that. The hotels were all good, but sometimes they were too out of the way to make sightseeing practical. Also, we didn't have enough time to really get a feel for the place in some locations, and too much time in others where there wasn't much to see/do. London and Edinburgh were by far the best part of the trip. We would have loved to have at least three days in each. Whereas Dublin only needed one of the two we were given there. Towards the end we were traveling more than we were experiencing, spending only one night in places when it seemed as though we really didn't have to move so much and could have easily remained where we were longer and still achieve our goals. This seemed unnecessary and was very frustrating. The Ireland leg of our trip consisted mainly of long bus rides to our destinations with almost no time at those destinations once we arrived. For instance, the drive to Blarney Castle took longer than the time we were given to explore it..a mere 45 minutes. Same with the Cliffs of Moher. We were shuttled over to more shopping opportunities and given inordinate amounts of time there, than we were, the gorgeous destinations that we really wanted to see. Still, there was more to like than to not like, and we are happy that we did it. I can still recommend it as a good first tour experience.