English Countryside & Wales 11 days
71.4% of reviewers recommend this tourRead Reviews 
About This Experience
Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a lush, green pasture. Now, surround yourself with rolling hills. And dot your dreamscape with some sleepy hamlets, ancient ruins, medieval embankments and mysterious stone circles. You’ve just entered the English and Welsh countryside, home not only to sweeping landscapes and the ever-elusive Stonehenge, but also historic and restorative cities like Cambridge, York and Bath.
Your Tour Includes
Round-trip airfare & transfers
9 nights in handpicked hotels
Breakfast daily, 3 three-course dinners with beer or wine
Multilingual Tour Director
Private deluxe motor coach
Select entrance fees
Why You'll Love It
Stonehenge’s massive & mysterious draw
City-slick London’s diverse districts & icons
You’ll visit Charles Darwin’s alma mater
Bath’s in-tact Roman baths & hot springs
Miles & miles of lush wilds in Snowdonia
York appears almost untouched by modernity
Overnight Flight1 night
London2 nights - hotel info
After a little one-on-one time with London, you’re off to a brilliant start
Breakfast (in flight), Dinner
Welcome to London! A Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport after you clear customs and then escorts you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax or begin acquainting yourself with the city. At an included dinner this evening, meet your fellow travelers.
Locals always know best—today, let a Londoner lead the way
Optional Excursion - Windsor Castle
A local guide leads this morning’s sightseeing tour of London. Highlights of the panoramic tour include views of Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, the Big Ben clock tower, the Houses of Parliament, Piccadilly Circus and a stop outside St. James’ Palace, where you might glimpse the ceremonial Changing of the Guard (seasonal and weather dependent). After your sightseeing tour, join an optional excursion to Windsor Castle, the centuries-old retreat of Britain’s Royal Family.
Must be booked 20 days before departure
Windsor Castle $85* pp
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.
York2 nights - hotel info
Watch punters glide along the Cam in this historic college town
Board a private motor coach for a scenic ride to York this morning. Along the way, you’ll stop to visit Cambridge. Enjoy free time to have lunch and soak up the atmosphere of this famed university town. Continue on to York, where you’ll be free to begin exploring this small, bustling city.
Walk atop medieval walls, stopping for a pint in gatehouse pubs
Optional Excursion - Whitby
This morning, embark on a guided walking tour of this historic walled city. Highlights include York Minster, home to a 500-year-old stained glass rose window symbolizing the conclusion of the War of the Roses, and The Shambles, a well-preserved medieval street with many shops and tea rooms. You’ll also visit Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma Gate—the site of the ancient city stocks and whipping post—Merchant Adventurer’s Hall and Clifford’s Tower, the magnificent keep of York Castle. You’ll walk along the city’s famed medieval walls, so be prepared for some steps and uneven stones. This afternoon, consider joining our optional tour of Whitby.
Whitby $115* pp
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.
Caernarfon Region2 nights - hotel info
Explore Chester, where English charms mingle with Roman ruins
Journey from York to Chester this morning, where your Tour Director leads an informal orientation of the city, including the largest Roman amphitheater in England. Chester was a stronghold of the Roman empire, and its four main streets still lead outward from the site of the original Roman fortress to the four city gates. Then, continue on to the Caernarfon region in northwestern Wales, where you’ll enjoy an included dinner.
One foot in front of the other, one stunning sight right after the next
Caernarfon Castle, Slate Museum
This morning, get to know the city of Caernarfon on a guided tour. The highlight is the majestic Caernarfon Castle, featuring well-preserved walls and unusual polygonal towers. This afternoon, travel to Llanberis, where you’ll have time to visit the Slate Musuem, followed by a scenic train ride to the top of Mount Snowdon on a narrow gauge railway. (Please Note: In case of bad weather, your group will take the Llanberis Lake Railway alongside full length of Lake Padarn.)
Bath2 nights - hotel info
Idyllic is too weak a word for Bath, a city meets world wonder
This morning, travel to Snowdonia National Park to take in the stunning scenery near Snowdon, the tallest mountain in Wales. Then continue on to Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage site where the Romans constructed a bathing complex and an imposing temple around one of Britain’s few hot springs. Investigate Bath’s most famous architectural sites, including the Roman Baths, the Royal Crescent and the Circus.
Get a glimpse (and a taste) of Somerset village life
Optional Excursion - Wells, Glastonbury and Cheddar
Use your free day to see more of Bath. Or, opt to join a day-long excursion to Wells, Glastonbury and Cheddar. The excursion includes a visit to the 10th-century Wells Cathedral, considered by some to be most beautiful in the country. In Glastonbury, you’ll have a chance to see the ruined abbey where King Arthur and Guinevere are buried. Stop in Cheddar for a cheese-making demonstration before heading back to Bath.
Wells, Glastonbury and Cheddar $115* pp
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.
London1 night - hotel info
No one knows how or why these colossal pillars came to Wiltshire
Optional Excursion - London Eye & Pub Dinner
Board a motor coach this morning and travel back to London. En route, stop on Salisbury Plain for a visit to the mystical Stonehenge. Experience the tranquility of this ancient site, gazing upon the vast monoliths. 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. This evening in London, consider joining our optional excursion, the London Eye & Pub Dinner.
Must be booked 20 days before departure
London Eye & Pub Dinner $119* pp
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.
Flight homefor a day
Extend Your Stay
Add London City Stay $259*
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.
London2 nights - hotel info
Bring on the theatrics: egg on some buskers or stop by the box office
Optional Excursion - St. Paul's Cathedral & Westminster Abbey
Spend the day at your leisure in London. Popular choices include watching the street performers (“buskers”) of Covent Garden marketplace, buying discounted same-day tickets to a West End play or studying the many treasures housed at the British Museum, including the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles. You might also choose to join an optional tour of St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.
Must be booked 20 days before departure
St. Paul's Cathedral & Westminster Abbey $115* pp
Compare and constrast 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.
Wander on down to Windsor, where the Queen spends her weekends
Enjoy another day as you please in London. If you missed the optional Windsor Castle tour, you might wish to visit this royal residence today. Or, you could stroll through the lush grounds of Hyde Park, people-watch in Trafalgar Square or shop on lively Oxford or Bond Streets.
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 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.
Transportation / Walking on tour
Round-trip flights arrive in and depart from London. 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 private deluxe motor coach.
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.
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.
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.
71.4% of reviewers recommend this tourRead Reviews 
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!
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?
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.
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.
This tour was guided by an outstanding young man. He made everyone feel most welcome and was extremely helpful, warm, caring, and humorous. I left, loving England, and wanting to return. Matt made me feel as though I learned a lot of history. He shared personal stories, like the dreaded sea weed on the porridge. I would love to take another tour with Matt leading the way.
Great Historical Information
The tour overall was excellent. England was having a heat wave so our overnights in Bath were uncomfortably warm. No air and the fan was hopeless. The hotel was charming and the food very good but didn't quite cut it when you were sweating all night. The tour had great historical information and the sights were amazing. Whitby and Stonehedge were two of my favorites. Your could feel the vibrations of centurys at both locations. Our guides were outstanding but our personal guide Matt did a tremendous job of by passing long lines and keeping us on schedule. He was always there to help and answer all our questions. This was a great tour for seeing and learning about historical England.
Very Interesting Tour
This is my first tour experience, so I do not have anything to compare this one with. However I found the tour to be very good and enjoyable. If I can make a comment it would be in the choice of Hotels. In London and York, I found the hotels to be top rate. The hotels in the Snowdonia and Bath regions were clean, however they were old and tired. Since Go Ahead Tours is careful in their selection of sites and presentations, I feel more up to date hotels should be utilized in the Snowdonia and Bath regions. Overall I would recommend and have recommended this tour. Special thanks to Paul our tour director and John our bus driver, they went above and beyond trying to insure that our tour was a pleasant experience.
Too much time on the bus!
There was too much time spent traveling from one site to the next.
English Countryside and Wales
We have been on three Go-Ahead tours in the past few years and this trip was definitely not a good value for the money paid. To me, the success of any tour starts with the Tour Director. While Brian was a great guy and tried to be helpful, his lack of preparation made the whole trip seem like we were lurching from crisis to crisis. He was always apologizing for one thing or another that hadn't gone right and his knowledge of English history was poor. We were a group that had just completed a 14 week course on English history, art and architecture. That doesn't make us experts but we clearly knew a lot about England and Brian had been told of that fact. City guide in York was poor. He seemed more anxious to get rid of us that provide us with a two hour tour. In fact the tour lasted about 45 minutes. Once again, value for money paid. On other Go-Ahead tours we have had the use of "whispers". These have been valuable in crowded areas where there are other groups (sometimes speaking other languages). Why were those not used and who made that decision? Hotels - Marriott Regency Park (London) was excellent. Fantastic staff as well. Radison (York) was good. Best Western (Wales) was good (considering where we were). The Royal (Bath) was just OK. However staff was very accommodating. Novotel (London) was good. Our driver, Hugh, was excellent and very helpful. The company that provided airport transfers was good. The bus company that was supposed to provide transportation to the London Eye and Pub Dinner never showed up. We had to scramble to find cabs. I hope Go- Ahead doesn't use them again. All-in-all, not as good as other Go-Ahead tours we've been on. We are very disappointed considering the money we paid for the trip and associated tours. It makes it hard to recommend Go-Ahead to others. Our group is considering Ireland next year and I am reluctant to suggest the trip to our friends.
There are much better tour groups with better tours for the money