England's Countryside & Wales11 days
Let us handle the details
Expert Tour Director
Sightseeing with local guides
Personalized flight options
Maximum tour group size: 35 travelers
Recommended by 68% recommend this tour Read Reviews 
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
England and Wales use 240 volts.
England and Wales both operate on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is five hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard time.
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.
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.
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Soso Tour Director
Two of your travelers were stranded at the air port and needed to take a cab to the hotel. They had tried to contact the tour director and the hotel, but were not able to make any arrangements for a pick up. The cab fare was well in excess of $100. The tour director indicated he would inform Go Ahead of the problem, but made no assurance of a refund. Previous directors would have been on the phone immediately demanding that they be reimbursed for the cab fare. Also, the director was somewhat lax in keeping the travelers together and making certain they knew were to meet or how to get back to the bus after an outing. Several people became lost in Cambridge, which could have easily been avoided.
Dear Michael, Thank you for your review of your tour with us to England’s Countryside and Wales. We regret to hear that two travelers in your group experienced some issues in relation to the London airport pickup. We are working closely with the airport shuttle service to streamline this process. We have informed the shuttle company of this unfortunate situation, and they are addressing it internally. The travelers you made mention of who had to take a cab to the hotel have been reimbursed. We are surprised to learn that you your Tour Director wasn’t able to provide clear directions and guidance for your group. We keep a close eye on the performance ratings of all our Tour Directors around the world. The Tour Director you had typically receives positive reviews and other travelers have said many great things about him. Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. Traveler feedback such as this is the basis for our decision making, and we are constantly working to improve on-tour experience. We do hope to welcome you onto another Go Ahead tour in the future.
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 31, 2015
Excellent tour in spite of tour director
My tour director Brian was disorganized, ill-informed and disinterested. This was my first negative experience with Go Ahead tour directors and I'm grateful that Bath and Caernarfon and York were fabulous enough to make up for his incompetence.
Thank you for taking the time to review your experience on tour. We are pleased to see from your previous reviews of other tours you have taken with us that you thoroughly enjoyed your past Tour Directors. We are a company that takes great pride in our experienced and knowledgeable Directors. We are disconcerted to learn that you had a negative experience with this Tour Director in particular. Here on the Quality Control team, we receive and compile this type of feedback in order to make necessary changes that improve on-tour experience. While Brian has always been very positively reviewed in the past, we will be sure to address these concerns with him. Thank you again for your review, and we hope to welcome you onto another Go Ahead tour in the future.
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 29, 2015
Nice Tour BUT Itinerary Inconsistent
Having visited England before, we still wanted to see London in a little more depth and then visit several cities we had not seen before. We saw the GoAhead Tours had a ten day trip to England and Wales that would be perfect. We have traveled with GoAhead Tours (GAT) three other times and we were generally please with their trips and pace. We soon found out that this trip might be even better in that they had ten people signed up to join us. On May 14 we boarded a direct flight from Denver, Colorado to Heathrow Airport in London, England on British Airways. We had been encouraged by GAT to book as a World Traveler Plus and there were some benefits - little more leg room and seats that reclined a bit more. With a weather delay, the flight was just over 10 hours. Our return flight on May 24 was not delayed and it was 9:30 in length. As with most national airlines, amenities are not available and charges mount. We were met at Heathrow by a driver contracted by GAT and he took us to the Novotel hotel by Tower Bridge. The drive took us 1:30 hours with the London traffic on Saturday. Once we arrived we were met by our Tour Director Mirne. She helped us check in, gave us local information and let us know we would have a introductory meeting and then dinner later in the afternoon. From the beginning, Mirne was superb. She smiled all the time, was always available, gave us her cell number if there were problems, took the time to review the present and next day's schedule and posted the next day's schedule every day in the hotel lobby. She established parameters as to promptness and expectations. In the van she would go over what we would see and do, giving detailed information on what to see and experience. Even thought this was her first tour with GAT, attention to detail was a real strength. All of our Local Guides (Stewart in London, Nancy in Cambridge, and Ellen in Caernarfon) were excellent, took their time with us, were very personable and knowledgeable of the area they represented. Martin in York was good but the presentation in the rain was quite short and he left us under some trees with instructions to see the old city but to go with Mirne and visit the Minster. Our vehicle was a Mercedes Benz Sprinter tourist van with 16 seats but capable of seating 12 passengers. Each seat was very narrow and three faced the rear. Luggage space was quite limited for the one suitcase each passenger was allowed. With back-packs and carry-ons space was at a premium. This definitely was not a deluxe Moto-Coach as advertised by GAT. Our initial driver was very nice but he did not know how to control the heating and cooling. People in the back row were always very cold when people in the front were comfortable. Our second driver did not know the operation of the vehicle and was a smoker and after a stop, cigarette smoke wafted in the van. He also could or did not load and unload the luggage. Throughout the trip the windows were never cleaned, inside and out, the trash was not picked up and disposed to the point that on the last day, the bus smelled very bad and Mirne had to go and clean the trash. Mirne took on the responsibility to load and unload the luggage from the motor coach. Several tour members assisted in this process. The issue was compounded when the hotels in London, York and Llanveris did not have porters - tour members were responsible for their luggage into and around the hotel and at the end of the stay in taking those to the coach to be loaded. In 76 tours we have never had this situation, specially since this was part of our fees with GAT. As one discusses the itinerary, readers need to keep in mind that GAT has a policy that optionals must have a minimum of 10 people to run. We were a group of 12 so this policy basically precluded any being available on this trip. Mirne was able to convince GAT to allow 6 to participate in the Cheddar Optional Tour. There should be a procedure in place where GAT and the Tour Director assist those wishing to go on optionals to do them on their own. We had this available to us individually in the Amsterdam, etc Tour and Paris Post Trip with Thomas. Our biggest concern with the itinerary was the discrepancy between what we were told we would do and what was given to Mirne in her printed material. As we had a copy of the itinerary in its paragraph format detailing our very day on the trip, we could show Mirne what we had received and expected and she could show us her printed GAT itinerary. They were significantly different. The first major issue was on Day 5 in York. Our guided tour ended outside the Minster. All the other activities were not done by the tour guide Martin. He left us in the rain. No Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma Gate, Merchant Adventurer's Hall and Clifford's Tower, the magnificent keep of York Castle or the walk along the city's famed medieval walls. On Day 6 we traveled from York to Wales with a stop in Chester. We were scheduled for an informal orientation of the city, including the largest Roman amphitheater in England. No one in the group saw the amphitheater as it was not on our tour directors papers. Our train ride on Day 7 was to be either the Llanberis Lake or the Mount Snowdon Railway depending on the weather. As the weather was perfect several tour members went to the Mount Snowdon Rialway only to find out that GAT had made reservations several days earlier on the Llanberis Lake line and there was no contingency for a change. Our drive on Day 8 was to get the group to Bath so we could see the historical sights of the city. As the hotel was within a 15 minute walk from these sights it should not have been a problem. Unfortunately we did not arrive at the hotel until 4 PM and had until 6:30 when we had a group dinner. This gave members less than 1:30 hours to see Bath's most famous architectural sites, including the Roman Baths, the Royal Crescent and the Circus. Unfortunately these closed before 6 PM. On Day 10 we drove from Bath to London. Our first stop was Stonehenge and it was spectacular. The layout is so good that as one walks around there are so many places one sees only Stonehenge and not all the thousands of people walking the circle. The second portion of the day was a conflict, ours stated "Then, continue on to the medieval city of Salisbury, where your Tour Director will lead you on a guided tour. You'll see one of Britain's finest views, the tall spire of Salisbury Cathedral soaring into the sky. You'll also have free time to discover the city's historic architecture, charming shopping streets and thriving artistic community." Mirne did not have this schedule. Her's was for us to return directly to London. We showed her the GAT paragraph with Salisbury included. We then mentioned that the Magna Carta was inside the Salisbury Cathedral. She quickly told the new driver to go to the Cathedral and gave us directions to also have lunch. Our last observation is to mention that GAT did not have a Farewell Dinner where we as a group could discuss the trip and enjoy each other's company one more time. This 10 day trip had three included dinners and no lunches. With all the restaurants around the Novotel Tower Bridge, it would have been very easy and affordable. In conclusion, the lack of information and support for Mirne by GoAhead Tours is a major concern for us. As this was her first tour with GAT she should have been given all the information the tour members had been sent. She has an excellent reputation working for EF, the parent company, but having never done this or any GAT tour was not fair to her. What she did was excellent and way above what most tour directors do. We would have no hesitancy in doing another trip with her as she now knows that she needs to be given all the material tour members get.
Victor, Thank you for writing your review and for taking the time to speak with us about your experience. Please be assured that, as we discussed, the discrepancies in the tour itinerary and the feedback about your tour van are being addressed and resolved immediately to assure a smoother tour experience in the future. To clarify, in regards to our optional excursions, there is a minimum number required in order for an excursion to run; however, that number will vary depending on group size, tour date, specific excursion, etc. It is always our hope to run every optional excursion, but if we are not able to please be assured that your tour director will be able to provide great alternative suggestions to fill your time. We are so glad that you found Mirne to be an outstanding tour director, and we are certainly glad to have her as part of the Go Ahead team. Lastly, porterage is not something that is included in our tour packages. We strive to provide this service for our travelers whenever possible, but unfortunately it is not something we can guarantee. We would like to reiterate our appreciation of your detailed review and feedback of your tour. We hope that we will be able to reassure you of your decision to travel with Go Ahead and we hope to see you back on tour soon!
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | June 15, 2015
Springtime in England
I took the tour of London and the English countryside in May 2015. Despite a few rainy days and some cool weather (50's and 60's), it was generally an enjoyable experience. We had only 12 on the tour, which made traveling easier. But, many of the optionals were canceled because of the low numbers. There was a lot to do and see in London, and our hotel was conveniently located for exploring the city. The smaller cities north of London all had standing Roman walls, beautiful cathedrals, and charming narrow winding streets dating back to the middle ages. Some trip highlights for me: Well's Cathedral, Cambridge University, York's "shambles", Bath's lively downtown, the Welsh countryside, and the awe-inspiring and mysterious Stonehenge...
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.