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Grand Tour of Great Britain

15 days
Discover what makes Great Britain truly great as you explore this delightful island from top to bottom. Start in Edinburgh, the Georgian Scottish capital, before heading south to Wales, passing through lovely English countryside and historic cities like York and Liverpool along the way. Then it’s off to the Roman town of Bath and royal London—the perfect finishing touch on this quintessentially British experience.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Tour group size: 18 - 35 travelers

Tour pace: You will walk for about 1.5 hours daily across mostly flat terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with few hills and stairs.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 13 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 5 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Expert Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Map of Tour of Great Britain: Scotland, England, and Wales

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Edinburgh today.

Edinburgh 3 nights

Day 2: Arrival in Edinburgh

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Scotland! Transfer to your hotel and get settled in before meeting your group at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Edinburgh

  Included meals: Breakfast

Get to know Edinburgh in all its medieval beauty on a tour led by a local expert.

• View the elegant Georgian-style New Town and the Royal Mile, two UNESCO World Heritage sites

• See the King George statue and Bute House, the official residence of the Scottish Prime Minister

• Pass the Sir Walter Scott monument

• Enter Edinburgh Castle to view the Scottish crown jewels and Stone of Scone

Spend a free afternoon in Edinburgh or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Abbotsford House & Melrose Abbey $95pp* Details

Travel through the Scottish Borders region to Abbotsford, where you’ll enjoy an included lunch. Continue on to Abbotsford House, the 19th-century estate of Sir Walter Scott. The poet designed his home in the Romantic style to imitate the elaborate baronial estates of British aristocrats. Today it serves as a museum for the Scottish memorabilia and artifacts that Scott collected throughout his lifetime. Later, visit the ruins of Melrose Abbey, one of the most impressive of the four Borders abbeys. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from April to October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $105)

Optional Excursion - Royal Yacht Brittania $85pp* Details

For over 44 years, the Royal Yacht Britannia served as a floating residence for Britain’s Royal Family, playing host to world leaders during state visits and acting as a private escape for Queen Elizabeth II. Step back in time as you make your way through lavishly furnished royal apartments and the more modest crew’s quarters below deck. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from November through March.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $95)

Day 4: Free day in Edinburgh

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend the day exploring on your own or add excursions.

Optional Excursion - Stirling Castle & Loch Lomond $105pp* Details

Travel through the Scottish countryside to Stirling Castle, dramatically perched high above the surrounding area on the steep cliff Castle Hill. This fortress has played an important role in Scottish history, first to protect the crossing of the nearby River Forth and later as a coronation site for royalty, including Mary, Queen of Scots. Enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of the castle and grounds, view the iconic Robert the Bruce statue and enjoy free time for lunch in the town of Stirling. Then, take a scenic drive along the placid lake that is the centerpiece of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, the country’s first national park. Stop along the way to soak up views of the lake and mountains of the Scottish Highlands.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $115)

Optional Excursion - Scottish Céilidh $119pp* Details

Enjoy a special evening of Scottish tradition as you witness an authentic céilidh, an age-old Scottish celebration. Along with a savory dinner of local favorites, the evening will feature folk dancers, bagpipers, fiddlers and the “Ceremony of the Haggis.”

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

Newcastle Region 1 night

Day 5: Newcastle Region via Alnwick

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

En route to Alnwick, stop for photos in Berwick-upon-Tweed, the northernmost town in England. Then, continue along a scenic coastal route to Alnwick for a guided tour of the historic castle and gardens before making your way to the Newcastle region.

York 2 nights

Day 6: York via Durham

  Included meals: Breakfast

Today, head to the famed college town of Durham for a sightseeing tour.

• Stroll through the old city along the banks of the River Wear

• Enter the UNESCO-recognized Durham Cathedral, known for its Romanesque style and beautiful Norman architecture

Later, drive through the charming English countryside as you continue on to York.

Day 7: 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 largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world

• See the York Museum Gardens, which occupy ten acres in the city center 

• View the Roman wall, the oldest section of the city’s historic fortifications

• 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 $115pp* 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)

Liverpool 2 nights

Day 8: Liverpool via the Peak District & Manchester

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Bid farewell to York this morning as you set out for Liverpool. On the way, pass through Peak District National Park, home to rolling hills and craggy cliffs. Then, stop in the city of Manchester for a sightseeing tour.

• Drive past the town hall, waterfront quays and the John Rylands Library

• View the grand Manchester Cathedral

• Enter the Museum of Science and Industry and peruse its fascinating exhibits on your own

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Liverpool

  Included meals: Breakfast

Explore the UNESCO-recognized port city of Liverpool this morning with a local as your guide.

• View the neo-Gothic Liverpool Cathedral as well as the modern Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral

• See the homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney before entering the Beatles Story Museum, a tribute to the legendary band

• Explore the Merseyside Maritime Museum to learn about Liverpool’s role in the tragic voyage of the Titanic

Enjoy a free evening in Liverpool or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Historic Chester & Pub Dinner $99pp* Details

Take off to Chester, a city near the Welsh border with a deep history dating back to the Roman Empire. You’ll join a local guide on a sightseeing tour of the city’s many historic landmarks, including the ancient city walls, the first-century amphitheater, the Roman Gardens and Chester Cathedral. Spend free time in the city center, lined with medieval architecture and the city’s signature black-and-white buildings, before enjoying a traditional English pub dinner.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

Cardiff 1 night

Day 10: Cardiff via Stratford-upon-Avon

  Included meals: Breakfast

Drive southeast through the countryside to Stratford-upon-Avon, the town of Shakespeare’s birth. Here, you’ll set out on a guided walking tour of the most prominent sights.

• Enter the Shakespeare family home and the cottage and gardens which belonged to his wife, Anne Hathaway

• Explore Mary Arden’s Farm, the homestead once owned by Shakespeare’s mother

This afternoon, transfer to Cardiff, the capital of Wales.

Enjoy a free evening in Cardiff or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Cardiff Castle Banquet Dinner $129pp* Details

In the heart of medieval Cardiff stands Cardiff Castle, an 11th-century structure built by the Normans on the remnants of a third-century Roman fort. Upon arrival, you’ll partake in a tasting of Welsh mead, an ancient drink made with fermented honey. Then, it’s time to enjoy a three-course meal of local specialties as you listen to a selection of songs accompanied by a harpist and entertainers in traditional Welsh costume.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Bath 2 nights

Day 11: Sightseeing tour of Cardiff

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Meet your local guide this morning for a sightseeing tour of the largest city in Wales.

• View the medieval Cardiff Castle, located in the city center

• Take in views of the beautiful Cardiff Bay

Then, take a scenic drive along the Severn River to the town of Bath.

Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Bath

  Included meals: Breakfast

On a guided sightseeing tour, get to know the charming  city of Bath, named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.

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

• Enter Bath Abbey, to view its fan vaulting and striking stained glass window

Enjoy a free afternoon to explore Bath on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Historic Spa Visit $119pp* Details

Spend two luxurious hours in an historic spa in Bath. Step into a 12-meter heated relaxation pool or travel between hot and cold pools. You may also choose to spend some time in the sauna, steam room or hammam, or work out in the fitness room. You’ll also have the opportunity to upgrade your experience upon arrival by adding a beauty, body or face treatment, or even afternoon tea. Use of robes, towels and flip-flops is included.

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

London 2 nights

Day 13: London via Stonehenge & Salisbury

  Included meals: Breakfast

Travel to London today, stopping on the way to gaze upon the vast monoliths of the UNESCO-protected Stonehenge and visit its new visitor center before heading to the medieval city of Salisbury.

• View the soaring spire of Salisbury Cathedral, then go inside to view one of the original copies of the Magna Carta

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

Day 14: Sightseeing tour of London

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

With a local expert leading the way, take a guided tour of the regal landmarks and UNESCO World Heritage sites of the English capital.

• 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 $99pp* Details

Led by a Blue Badge Guide, you’ll travel to Windsor for a guided tour of 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, 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. Additionally, St. George’s Chapel is closed to the public on Sundays. This excursion requires advanced reservation and must be booked by 20 days prior to departure.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Day 15: 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 Starting from $399 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

A city that loves to be explored, London beckons with world-class (and often free) museums and galleries, quirky shops, outstanding restaurants, royal pageantry, charming neighborhoods, and an unconquered heritage with more than 2,000 years of history.

London 2 nights

Day 15: Free day in London

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in London to explore on your own or add excursions.

Optional Excursion - St. Paul's Cathedral & Westminster Abbey $119pp* Details

Compare and contrast two of Britain’s most famous churches, whose rich histories 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. This 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.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Optional Excursion - London Eye & Pub Dinner $125pp* 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 16: Free day in London

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend another free day in London or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - A Day in Oxford $99pp* Details

Oxford’s rich culture, world-renowned architecture and prestigious academic legacy have earned it the nickname “the City of Dreaming Spires.” Spend the day getting to know the city on a walking tour with a local guide, stopping at Brasenose College along the way. Many famous writers, athletes and politicians have studied at this 16th-century institution, and you’ll learn more about its history during your visit. Afterward, enjoy free time to explore and eat lunch before transferring back to London. Please note: This excursion requires advance reservation and must be booked at least 20 days prior to departure.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Day 17: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • York, England
  • Liverpool, England
  • Cardiff, Wales
  • Bath, England
  • London, England
Temperature Precipitation
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  • MAR
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Passport & visa requirements

This tour includes Scotland, England and Wales in the United Kingdom. In order to enter this country, 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. Please note that there may be times when you will have to handle your own bags.

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 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 and that entrance may be denied on this basis.

Health

There are no major health risks associated with traveling on your tour. Be sure to check with your doctor or health care provider for the latest updates and travel requirements.

Cuisine

Specialties of Scotland include kippers, smoked salmon, Scotch broth, venison, shortbread, oatcakes and haggis, a savory pudding of sheep’s innards. Whiskey is a favored local spirit, and Scottish ales are world-famous.

For traditional English and Welsh fare at a reasonable price, try a pub meal. Stilton cheese, steak and kidney pie, and Cumberland sausages are specialties. In London, sip afternoon tea with delicious finger sandwiches and scones at Harrods for the ultimate in English tradition. Modern-day London also boasts a diversity  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.

Transportation

If you booked your flights with Go Ahead, you will arrive in Edinburgh and depart from London. A Go Ahead representative will meet you at the airport in Edinburgh. 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. Additional included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach. Please reference the London transfer information that is sent to you in the final mailing.

While in London, during your free time, you may wish to explore the city by public transportation. London’s tube system consists of 12 lines. Tickets and passes can be purchased in singles or in bulk. London also has an extensive bus system. Make sure to take time and look for the best deal on travel passes. Ask your Tour Director which pass might work best.

Electricity

Scotland, England and Wales use 240 volts. 

Time zones

Britain operates on Greenwich Mean Time, which is five hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard time.

Currency

The British pound is the currency you will use on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take a combination of bank/ATM cards and credit cards. Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international 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.

Purchasing excursions on tour

If you have not yet purchased your optional excursions, you may be able to do so while on tour. Your Tour Director can only accept cash (in USD only), Visa or MasterCard as payment for optional excursions. Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged. Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See the “Optional Excursions” sheet for more information.

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