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England's Countryside & Wales

11 days
Discover sleepy hamlets, ancient ruins, medieval embankments and mysterious stone circles on this journey through the countryside. England and Wales are home not only to ancient ruins that dot their sweeping landscapes, but also historic and restorative cities like Cambridge, York and Bath.

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

  • 9 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 3 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 fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of London

Included meals: Breakfast

Take a guided tour of the regal landmarks of the English capital with a local expert leading the way. 

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

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

• View icons like Big Ben, the London Eye 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

York 2 nights Hotel info

Day 4: York via Cambridge

Included meals: Breakfast

Take a scenic ride to York, stopping to soak up the atmosphere of Cambridge, England’s famed university town.

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of York

Included meals: Breakfast

Embark on a walking tour of this historic walled city with a local guide.

• Enter York Minster, home to a 500-year-old stained glass window 

• Wander The Shambles, a well-preserved medieval street 

• View the Roman walls, the oldest section of the city’s walls 

• Visit the ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey and the King’s Manor 

Enjoy a free afternoon in York or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Whitby $115*pp Details

Transfer across the North York Moors on your way to the charming fishing port of Whitby. Whitby was made famous by its associations with Captain Cook (who served his apprenticeship here) and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Whitby is where the Transylvanian count first sets foot in the British Isles). You’ll visit Whitby Abbey—the backdrop to Dracula’s killings in the graveyard of St. Mary’s Church—and the 199 steps leading to the port and its small sandy beach. Spend some free time wandering around the port before heading to a restaurant for a fish-and-chips dinner.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $125)

Caernarfon Region 2 nights Hotel info

Day 6: Caernarfon Region via Haworth & Chester

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

On your way to the Caernarfon Region in Wales, discover the literary history behind the village of Haworth and the Roman empire’s legacy in Chester.

• Pay a visit to the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth

• Tour Chester and admire the ruins of the largest Roman amphitheater in England

• Pass by Chester Cathedral and the old city walls

Day 7: Caernarfon & Llanberis

Included meals: Breakfast

Explore Caernarfon and enter its majestic castle on a guided walking tour before taking an excursion to Llanberis.

• Visit the National Slate Museum to look inside the history of the Welsh slate industry

• Take a scenic ride on the Llanberis Lake Railway along Lake Padarn (weather dependent)

Bath 2 nights Hotel info

Day 8: Sightseeing tour of Bath

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Absorb the stunning scenery of Snowdonia National Park on your way to Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage-recognized city, where your Tour Director will show you around. 

• Stop to see Mount Snowdon, the tallest mountain in Wales

• Investigate Bath’s most famous architectural sites, including the Roman Baths, the Royal Crescent and the Circus

Day 9: Free day in Bath

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend the day exploring Bath on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Wells, Glastonbury & Cheddar $115*pp Details

Upon arrival in Wells, explore the history of the dramatic Wells Cathedral. Known for being the first English cathedral to fully adopt the Gothic style, the Cathedral boasts striking scissor arches inside, stained glass windows and 300 surviving medieval sculptures. Next, press on to the eclectic town of Glastonbury, where you’ll visit the ruined Glastonbury Abbey, which holds the titles of the oldest church and largest abbey in the country. King Arthur and Queen Guinevere are also buried here. Take in the sights, then head for the Somerset Cheddar Factory for a cheese-making demonstration before you return to Bath.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $125)

London 1 night Hotel info

Day 10: London via Stonehenge & Salisbury

Included meals: Breakfast

Travel back to London, stopping on the way to visit Stonehenge and the medieval city of Salisbury.

• Gaze upon the vast monoliths at Stonehenge and explore the new visitor’s center

• View the soaring spire of Salisbury Cathedral 

• Marvel at Salisbury’s historic architecture and wander through its charming shopping streets 

Enjoy a free evening in London or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - London Eye & Pub Dinner $125*pp Details

Glide through London's skyline on the London Eye. As the world’s third-tallest observation wheel, the London Eye lifts its passengers 450 feet above the River Thames on a 30-minute ride in an enclosed gondola. In clear weather, you can see for 25 miles around the city center. Afterward, take a brief tour of London’s West End before venturing to a local pub for dinner.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Day 11: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home, or extend your stay to continue exploring London.

Add London $279 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 of more than 2,000 years of history.

London 2 nights Hotel info

Day 11: Free day in London

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in London.

Day 12: Free day in London

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy another 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.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $129)

Day 13: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • London, England
  • York, England
  • Caernarfon, Wales
  • Bath, England
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & visa

This tour includes the following countries: England and Wales. 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; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.  Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height). Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

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 associated with traveling to England, Ireland and Scotland. Be sure 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. Popular options for the adventurous palate include Indian, Thai, Chinese, Indonesian, Greek and West African cuisine.

Traditional Welsh cooking depends on local ingredients, including fresh vegetables from the abundant gardens, seafood from the vibrant fishing culture, and lamb and beef from the many sheep and cattle farms. Leeks and cabbage are staples, and along with lamb or bacon, they go into the traditional Welsh one-pot meal, cawl, a broth or soup. Fresh fish such as salmon and brown trout are common, as are white crab, lobsters and cockles. Some traditional delicacies include Welsh cakes (small pastries), crempogs (pancakes), laverbread (seaweed) and Welsh rarebit (toast with cheese and butter). Caerphilly, the bestknown Welsh cheese, is a mild, crumbly white cheese that originated in South Wales. And, of course, the Welsh are fond of teatime. Traditional bara brith (bread with currants), teisen lap (a shallow moist fruit cake), teisen carawe (caraway seed cake), tease sinamon (cinnamon cake) and teisen mêl (honey cake) are specialties for the tea table. Last but not least, there are more than 20 vineyards in Wales and several excellent locally produced beers.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in and depart from London. 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 private deluxe motor coach.

Electricity

England and Wales use 240 volts.

Time zones

England and Wales both operate on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is five hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard time.

Currency

The British pound is the currency you’ll use on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination country, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take credit cards and ATM/bank cards. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your 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: 9/25/2014

Number of Past Tours: 6

From: NV

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great Trip!

It was a great trip! Our tour director, Matt, was great! I really enjoyed his commentary on the bus. he was funny and charming. The excursion to Whitby was one of my favorite places outside of London. I took all the excursions offered and felt I missed a lot in York and Bath. A half a day longer in those two places would have been perfect.

2 / 5

2 / 5

Traveled On: 9/25/2014

Number of Past Tours: 10

From: DC

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 2 / 5

Very disappointing

This was my 10th trip with Go Ahead and the only one I would hesitate to recommend. Mostly due to the dreadful hotel in York. Many of us had rooms that required taking two separate elevators and walking a long twisting corridor on the other side of the hotel to reach our room. Even our tour guide, who had stayed at the hotel, became lost. At one point I became lost and two hotel employees tried to help me find my room and they could not. Finally, the hotel manager was called and she had to hesitate before success. This took 35 minutes. Also, as has been mentioned by other reviewers, the staff yelled and screamed at us. (Not raising their voice, but true screaming. It was a disgrace) That Go Ahead still uses this hotel is very unfortunate. Several folks said they would fly home if an airport had been close by. I would have joined them. In York, our city guide did NOT show us: Whip-Ma-Whop Gate, Merchant Adventurer's Hall, Clifford's Tower nor did we walk around the city's walls. All this was advertised as part of our tour. It never happened. Wales was lovely and worth seeing and Mt. Snowdon a scenic delight. Bath was also a treat but you must choose between the optional and seeing the city. This was true at other places as well....also noted here by others in their review. In Salisbury it was advertised that we would receive a guided tour. I really looked forward to this. Alas, it did NOT happen. We were told Salisbury was, "Just a luncheon stop". We were pointed in the direction of the Cathedral. Matt was a good tour guide but the tour itself is deeply flawed, did not live up to what was advertised, is extremely fast paced though listed as a 2...nope, at least a 3...and most of the hotels vastly inferior to what I have experienced on my nine other tours. Folks I suggest you pass on this trip.

 

Joan, Thank you for reviewing your tenth Go Ahead tour, English Countryside & Wales. We appreciate your candid feedback regarding your hotel in York. Please be assured that your feedback regarding the difficulty of the hotel layout and the rudeness of the staff has swiftly been addressed. Additionally, we will do our best to avoid our customers being placed in the Garden Wing of this hotel to avoid any confusion. Also, we have also looked in to the logistics issues you have mentioned. They have been brought to the attention of our operations department so that they may make improvements in order to provide the best possible experience to our customers.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | November 04, 2014

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/25/2014

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Interesting

All cities were very interesting and so much history. Wales was a big surprise because of it's beauty. A couple of hotels were either bad (had a full bed which was very small) or terrible staff (York). Matt was INCREDIBLE! He made everything great!!! Eye and pub dinner should have been at beginning not end of trip. Our bus driver John was terrific. When he left us in Bath the next driver was terrible!

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4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 9/25/2014

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great trip

I loved the tour but since I had booked all the excursions it was a very hectic. I loved all the hotels but one. Our tour guide, Matt, was very good. On my next trip, which is in June, I will cut back on at least one excursion.

3 / 5

3 / 5

Traveled On: 6/19/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NJ

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Not enough time at major attractions

I took this tour because I have always wanted to see Stonehenge and the Roman Baths. Unfortunately we were only given 1 hour at Stonehenge which meant rushing through and not having any time to shop for souvenirs. We didn't get to bath until 3:30 pm, had to check into the hotel and practically run through town trying to keep up with the leader. Then he left us to go in by ourselves and one of my fellow tourists had to arrange for a group rate. Personally, I feel the admission to the baths should have been included. Not knowing ahead of time that we wouldn't have enough time to go through the exhibit at the baths, we had booked a side trip the next day. I did extremely enjoy our time at Cambridge University. Besides that, it was entirely my fault that I didn't realize the great amount of time we would be riding in the bus. Also, every other night we had to pack and unpack in another hotel. I found that we were either rushing through an important sight and spending too much time getting there. Our tour director was very pleasant and tried to please everyone, but could have planned some of the visits a little better.

3 / 5

3 / 5

Traveled On: 4/24/2014

Number of Past Tours: 15

From: CO

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Full of snafus!

1) We were told we would be picked up from Heathrow by tour director, and of course, we were not. Most know (NOW) that hotel by bus is how you get to hotel. 2) My roommate's plane was an hour late..........it took us four hours from then to get to hotel. Missed the welcoming drink and dinner. The group had left to a restaurant only 15 minutes before and there was no way to contact tour director and find out where the group was. 3) Cambridge, Whitby, York were great. 4) Go Ahead had booked train trip around lake instead of to top of Mt. Snowdon, reason unknown. After uproar from group, Go Ahead changed the reservation. Top of mountain was great!!!!!!!Around lake would have been Ho-Hum. 5) Bath and Stonehenge wonderful. Missed London Eye, not enough showed up. Seems like the tour director was not very organized, but he felt awful when Go Ahead messed up on so many things!! I've been on many, many wonderful Go Ahead Tours. This was disappointing.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/26/2013

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: IL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Fantastic Tour Director

Stuart was the best; friendly, knowledgable, and completely focused on our group's enjoyment. The itinerary provided plenty of opportunity to explore some of the most interesting towns in the U.K. Hotels were very comfortable and in great locations. The pubs were fun and the weather was wonderful. Who could ask for more?

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/26/2013

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: MI

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Punting on the Cam

Of all the pleasures of our recent trip to England and Wales, "punting' or boating on the Cam River in Cambridge will always remain a memory that makes us smile. It was such a beautiful day and Stuart, our terrific guide, facilitated the renting (at a very good price!) and before we knew it we were drifting along the river looking up at the beautiful architecture of the different colleges, the Mathematical Bridge, the gates---all the sights that make it such a unique place to be. Our boat man told us of the history of Cambridge and the use of the river then and now while skillfully navigating the water. What an experience! Our whole trip was a delight and we feel very fortunate to be able to have taken it.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 9/26/2013

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: IL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Great time

We had an excellent tour. Our guide Stuart was informative, funny, and on top of every facet of this tour. The towns we visited were charming and interesting. I must admit that our unusually good weather helped our attitude. The long ride to Bath on our bus was tiring and we had some difficulty with the air conditioning on the bus. Overall our group had a great time.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/26/2013

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best of Both Worlds

This tour had it all - City sights, quaint villages, gorgeous countryside views. For our 4th tour with Go Ahead, we chose this one and once again, it exceeded all our expectations. It combined the perfect amount of 'tour time' with 'free time' and we loved every minute of every day. A special thanks to our Tour Director, Stuart, who never ceases to amaze us. We are looking forward to our next Go Ahead vacation!

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