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Highlights of England,...
 

Highlights of England, Scotland & Ireland

12 days |  14 days with London extension
12 days |  14 days with London extension
Group size1538 travelers
Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

951
Physical activity
people walking along the millenium bridge in london england
Best seller
a white lamb and brown sheep standing in a field in Ireland
a street sign for circus lane in edinburgh scotland
buckingham palace with the sun setting behind it
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsTraveler photosHotels, flights & FAQ
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From modern to medieval and green to Gothic, explore the best of Great Britain and Ireland’s landscapes and landmarks.

Our travelers love this tour as their first time out of the country—or as an energetic way to experience as much of England, Scotland, and Ireland as they can. No wonder it’s one of our most popular trips. You’ll launch your Anglophile adventure in cosmopolitan London, where you’ll get to meet Big Ben and the Tower of London before boarding a train through the hilly English countryside to Edinburgh, Scotland. There, let the Georgian and Victorian architecture transport you back in time through cobblestone streets. Finish your trip with a feast for the eyes as you ferry to Ireland’s cliffs, swathed in a hundred hues of green. And, if London’s calling you, take the early arrival option and enjoy two more days in the city to explore its rich heritage—and rank your favorite chip shops.

Your tour package includes

  • 10 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 10 breakfasts
  • 4 dinners with beer or wine
  • 6 sightseeing tours
  • Expert Tour Director & local guides
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Included highlights

  • Trafalgar Square
  • Big Ben
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Edinburgh Castle
  • Local pub culture
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Start planning today

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Day-by-day itinerary

Print itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to London today.

London2 nights
Day 2: Arrival in London
Included meal: Welcome dinner

Welcome to England! If you arrive between noon and 6 p.m., we recommend you treat yourself to afternoon tea—the traditional British meal of cakes, biscuits, dainty sandwiches, and, of course, tea.  

Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers for a welcome dinner, served with beer or wine. 

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of London
Included meal: Breakfast

London’s been settled for almost 2,000 years, and its history winds through Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and Viking rule. Your guided tour takes you through the relics, landmarks, and stories of this vibrant and cosmopolitan city of contrasts. 

  • Pass the grand Trafalgar Square commemorating the British naval victory over France and Spain in 1805. Keep your eye out for the square’s four bronze lion statues guarding Nelson’s Column, as well as the National Gallery art museum. 
  • Gaze up at the dome and spires of St. Paul’s Cathedral, perched atop Ludgate Hill. The Anglican cathedral, once the tallest building in London, has held services for state funerals, jubilee celebrations, and the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.  
  • See Westminster Abbey, the setting for royal coronations since 1066 and the final resting place of William Shakespeare, Isaac Newton, and many other luminaries.  
  • View the city’s defining landmarks, including Big Ben—the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster and London’s unofficial calling card. You’ll also pass the Tower of London, home to the Crown Jewels of England, but also lions and a polar bear during its time as a menagerie of exotic wild animals.  
  • Take in the contrast of old and new when you pass by Tower Bridge, the largest bascule bridge ever completed at the time, and the London Eye—the larger-than-life observation wheel that’s quickly become symbolic of the city.  
  • Stop by Buckingham Palace, the royal residence in London where you may catch the Changing of the Guard ceremony—just look for the distinctive red tunics and tall bearskin caps.  

Can’t get enough of castles and kings? Add the excursion to Windsor Castle for a fascinating peek into the royal goings-on at the world’s longest-inhabited castle, as well as the historic market town of Windsor. 

Not joining the excursion? Enjoy a free afternoon in London to shop and dine in posh Covent Garden in the West End or head to Shoreditch for its vibrant art and street food scene. Your Tour Director is also your go-to source for recommendations.  

Windsor Castle

From $125 per person

Edinburgh2 nights
Day 4: Train ride to Edinburgh
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Journey by train through the English countryside and past the lochs—or lakes—and rolling hills of Scotland. Watch ancient castles, cathedrals, and villages drift in and out of view as the train winds to your destination in Edinburg.  

Tonight, sit down with your fellow travelers for an included dinner, served with beer or wine. 

Please note: Porterage is not included for the train transfers. Travelers must be comfortable lifting and carrying all luggage over steps, onto platforms, and into luggage storage.  

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Edinburgh
Included meal: Breakfast

Nestled between the rivers Almond and Esk, Edinburgh emerges from a series of hills and rocky ridges, earning its nickname Athens of the North. Get to know the Scottish capital and all its medieval beauty on a tour led by a local expert.

  • View the elegant, dramatic neoclassical and Georgian architecture in New Town. The ornate sandstone and granite structures surrounding oasis-like gardens and green spaces became a model for European urban planning.
  • Contrast New Town’s grace with Old Town’s rustic Royal Mile, which runs between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace—the official residence of British monarchs in Scotland. Here, you’ll cross moody narrow streets and alleys, known as “closes,” flanked by brooding stone buildings and timeworn cathedrals.
  • Pass the towering Sir Walter Scott monument—paying homage to the Ivanhoe and Rob Roy scribe—one of the largest monuments devoted to an author in the world.
  • Ascend to Castle Rock and enter Edinburgh Castle. Standing on an extinct volcano at the top of the Royal Mile, it houses the Scottish crown jewels and Stone of Scone—in use since the 13th century for coronation of the monarchs of England, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom.

Looking to be swept away by the wild romance of the Scottish Borders region? Add an excursion and join fellow literature lovers for a quest to the home of Sir Walter Scott and the Gothic ruins of Melrose Abbey.

Prefer to see more of Edinburgh? Use your free afternoon in the city to go back and wander the winding streets of Old Town. If you’re feeling adventurous, perhaps consider a spooky stroll through the tunnels that weave underneath the city. Of course, there’s always tucking into a booth in a cozy cafe and lingering over tea and shortbread.

Please note: The order of today's activities are subject to change.

Abbotsford House & Melrose Abbey

From $109 per person

Liverpool1 night
Day 6: Transfer to Liverpool
Included meal: Breakfast

Travel through the jewel-green landscapes of Northern England, stopping along the way to enjoy a break in one of the Lake District’s charming towns. This seductive side of England has inspired adventure seekers and poets alike with its mountainous landscape, lakes, and peat bogs.

Then, continue to Liverpool and enjoy a free evening in the city to unwind by the waterfront.

Dublin2 nights
Day 7: Ferry to Dublin
Included meal: Breakfast

Travel through northern Wales and stop in the village of Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch, which is the longest-named place in Europe. Then, continue to Holyhead and board a ferry across the Irish Sea to Dublin. 

Day 8: Sightseeing tour of Dublin
Included meal: Breakfast

As soon as you step off the ferry in Dublin, you’ll understand dramatist Lady Gregory’s claim that “I feel more and more the time wasted that is not spent in Ireland.” You’ll take a comprehensive tour of Ireland’s capital city with a local guide and get a taste of the country’s rich history and craic—that trademark acerbic banter.  

  • Stop in Phoenix Park, an expanse of woodlands, sprawling lawns, the occasional fallow deer, and site of the presidential residence. You’ll also pass by the Guinness Brewery and should you find yourself with a pint of the famous brew in hand, remember to sip it slowly. 
  • Step inside the soaring St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Ireland’s largest church, and gaze up at its stained-glass windows shimmering with depictions of biblical scenes and saints. 
  • Feast your eyes on the verdant and flowering landscaping throughout St. Stephen’s Green, a peaceful retreat, and admire the ivy-covered Georgian architecture of Merrion Square as you go. 
  • See Trinity College, alma mater of notables from Oscar Wilde to Samuel Beckett, and walk past Grafton Street to the Molly Malone statue. Hum the traditional Irish song dedicated to this figure of local folklore before continuing to the Temple Bar district’s lined with colorful buildings and cobblestone streets buzzing with street performers and artisans.  

If the Temple Bar district has you clamoring for more quintessential Irish merriment, join the excursion for a dinner and a showcase of the thundering rhythms and precise footwork of Irish dance.   

Prefer a quieter night? Use your free time this evening for a sunset stroll along the River Liffey, or head to Ha’Penny Bridge for a breathtaking nighttime view of the city.  

Traditional Irish Dinner & Show

From $109 per person

County Kerry2 nights
Day 9: County Kerry via Blarney
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Resume your journey through the Emerald Isle today. You’ll roll through lush green landscapes, storybook villages, and the farmlands that dot Ireland’s countryside.  

  • Make a photo stop at the famed Rock of Cashel in County Tipperrary, an ancient fortification surrounding a medieval cathedral standing above the limestone outcrops. 
  • Gain the gift of gab — or so the legends promise — when you enter Blarney Castle to kiss the legendary Blarney Stone. 

Continue to County Kerry and sit down for an included dinner this evening, served with beer or wine. 

Day 10: Sightseeing tour of the Ring of Kerry
Included meal: Breakfast

Set out on the Ring of Kerry, a 112-mile coastal route that covers some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery as it winds around the Iveragh Peninsula. Expect your breath to catch with every rugged mile of coastal vistas and windswept beaches.  

  • Pass the pristine Lakes of Killarney in Killarney National Park and gaze across Dingle Bay. On a clear day, the lakes’ crystal-clear waters reflect the surrounding forests and hills. 
  • Try not to blink so you won’t miss a moment of the ever-changing views of mountains, beaches, and the Atlantic Ocean. 
  • Explore the quaint villages that line the Ring of Kerry, including the village of Sneem, with its candy-colored storefronts. 
Dublin1 night
Day 11: Dublin via the Cliffs of Moher
Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

This morning, travel north to walk the mesmerizing coastline of the Cliffs of Moher. Perched along Ireland’s west coast, the weathered cliffs extend for about five miles and are marked by jagged rock formations and abundant birdlife. Walking close to the cliffs’ edge is a thrilling but dizzying experience due to the sheer drop, but you can rest assured that the view’s just as good from the well-maintained walking paths.  

Continue to Dublin this afternoon and celebrate your trip during a farewell dinner, served with beer or wine. 

Flight Home
Day 12: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home. 

Extension to London
London, a city where every corner reveals a piece of history, leaves every visitor yearning to burrow a little deeper into the city’s storied past and frenetic present. With an option to arrive early and begin your journey with two more nights in the bustling English capital, you can see the city your way. As always, count on your Tour Director for expert tips on where to go, what to see—and how to navigate the Tube, London’s busy subway system.
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to London today. 

London2 nights
Day 2: Arrival in London

Welcome to England! Meet your Tour Director and fellow early arrival travelers as you enjoy a welcome drink this evening. 

Day 3: Free day in London
Included meal: Breakfast

Exclusively offered on this tour for our early arrivals, join an excursion to the iconic and mysterious Stonehenge, whose 4,000-year-old monoliths have bewitched visitors. 

Prefer to stay in town and explore? Check out the lesser-known street food markets, like Maltby Street Market or Druid Street Market, or stroll the tranquil canals of Little Venice, a peaceful enclave with narrowboats, waterside cafes, and whimsical houseboats. 

Stonehenge & Salisbury

From $149 per person

Day 4: Free day in London
Included meals: Breakfast, Welcome dinner

Your early arrival has you with the day to yourself. Get a head start on exploring London before tomorrow’s tour of the city’s major monuments. Check out chic Notting Hill or the emerging art scene in Graffik Gallery. 

Meet up with the rest of your tour group and get to know everyone during tonight’s welcome dinner, served with beer or wine. Tomorrow, you’ll all set off together for the main tour starting right where you are, London, before continuing to Edinburgh and beyond.  

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Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Overall rating 4.7 out of 5

Based on 951 authentic traveler reviews
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    5 out of 5 stars

    Great Britain
    5/4/24 by 1st-time traveler Laura

    Absolutely wonderful tour!

    5 out of 5 stars

    London, Scotland and Ireland
    5/6/24 by 1st-time traveler Tina

    I wanted to travel and after reviewing a few tour groups online I felt EF Go Ahead had the best reviews. I'm glad I chose them. Our tour guide, Richard, was the best. Always kept us updated on what/where we were going and times to be there. He was very knowledgeable on areas we traveled. If you had ...

    Read more +

    5 out of 5 stars

    First Time Abroad
    5/4/24 by 1st-time traveler Linda

    Having never traveled abroad EF tours certainly was correct selection for us. They took care of the details! I do not recommend driving in all the various locations visited. The roads are way to narrow, different side of road plus all new locations. The two bus drivers were fantastic. It was sit bac...

    Read more +
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    Traveler photos

    Hotels, flights & FAQ

    Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.

    Hotels

    We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
    Holiday Inn London Kensington
    Holiday Inn London Kensington

    This boutique-styled hotel is located in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea in Central London. Guests enjoy the fitness room, a beautifully lan...

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    Holiday Inn Express - Edinburgh City Centre
    Holiday Inn Express - Edinburgh City Centre

    This modern hotel is located in the New Town of Edinburgh. Guests enjoy the lounge bar, the relaxing Great Room, and convenient location. Nearby, you’...

    Read more +
    Mercure Liverpool Atlantic Tower
    Mercure Liverpool Atlantic Tower

    This unique hotel is located along the River Mersey in Liverpool’s commercial district. Guests enjoy free Wi-Fi, a restaurant, and a bar. Nearby, you’...

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    Cassidys Hotel
    Cassidys Hotel

    This boutique hotel is located in Dublin’s city center. Guests enjoy the bistro, a gym, and the hotel bar. Nearby, you’ll find EPIC The Irish Emigrat...

    Read more +
    Meadowlands Hotel
    Meadowlands Hotel

    This elegant hotel is located in Tralee, County Kerry, along the Wild Atlantic Way. Guests enjoy the manicured gardens and an intimate second-floor ba...

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    Flights

    Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
    Add our airfare package and you'll get:
    • Round-trip flight for your tour
    • Airport transfers at your destination
    • A great price locked in today
    • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
    • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
    • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
    • Find out more about flights

    FAQ

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