English Countryside & Wales11 days
65.2% 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! 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 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 $99* 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 Museum, follow by a scenic train ride on the Llanberis Lake Railway along the full length of Lake Padarn (Please note: Depending on weather, you may alternatively take the narrow gauge railway to the top of Mount Snowdon).
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 $125* 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 $279*
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
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.
Wander on down to Windsor, where the Queen spends her weekends
Optional Excursion - St. Paul's Cathedral & Westminster Abbey
Enjoy another day as you please in London. You might choose to join an optional tour of St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. 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.
St. Paul's Cathedral & Westminster Abbey $115* pp
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.
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.
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; 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.
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.
65.2% 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!
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.
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.