Experience all the highlights of England, Scotland and Ireland on this tour of the British Isles. Starting with days in London, you will get to enjoy a tour of the city on foot with your professional guide. Enjoy visiting some of the English highlights outside of the city on a shared tour, and have fun exploring by yourself, indulging in some shopping (check out our suggestions in the itinerary) and visiting sites of particular interest to you. Then explore Windsor, Bath, Wells and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Stonehenge.
Make your way to Edinburgh. Think of Scotland and you probably think castles, whisky, tartan, highlands and lochs. It is indeed all this - and so much more...Over your days in Edinburgh, immerse yourself in the cosmopolitan feel of the city, soaking in its history as you stroll down the royal mile and visit Edinburgh castle. On a number of shared sightseeing tours you will get to visit a whisky distillery, the medieval town of Stirling, explore Loch Lomond National Park, St Andrews and traditional fishing villages in the area.
Travel from Edinburgh to Dublin by plane (not included in tour price) and experience the mythical beauty and heritage of the Emerald Isle. From the metropolis of Dublin to the more relaxed city of Galway and the stunning coastal scenery of Connemara and the Burren, you will see the real Ireland. Spend days in the capital, and see the sites you are personally interested in, as well as enjoying an excursion to the suburbs of Dublin, taking in Dublin Bay and Malahide Castle to the north. Enjoy a self-guided walk through Galway town, before venturing out the surrounding countryside on excursions to both Connemara and the Burren - two very unique and scenic areas. Continue to Cardiff to spend a few days exploring.
This tour of the British Isles brings all of the highlights of England, Scotland, Ireland & Wales together, in one comprehensive trip, with a mix of shared and private sightseeing tours, private airport and train station transfers and train connections between cities.
For your added comfort, we will have a Meet & Greet assistant for you upon your arrival. A representative will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall after you pass through customs to assist. If a private airport transfer has been arranged, this representative will help to co-ordinate meeting up with your private chauffeur at the airport. You will then be escorted to the vehicle and onto the hotel to assist with check in.
Meet your driver at Heathrow airport, and take a private transfer to your hotel.
A welcome package with a city map, train tickets (if relevant), and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
The London Underground or ‘the tube’ as it is universally known to Londoners, is normally the quickest and easiest way of getting round London. Greater London is served by 12 tube lines, along with the independent (though linked) and privately owned DLR and an interconnected rail network. The first tube train operates at around 5:30am Monday to Saturday and around 7am Sunday; the last train leaves between 11:30pm and 12:30am depending on the day, the station and the line. Remember that any train heading from left to right on the map is designated as eastbound, and any train heading from top to bottom is southbound- no matter how many squiggles and turns it makes. If your two stations are not on the same line, you need to note the nearest station where the two lines intersect, and it is here that you must change trains. Step out into this fantastic city and explore with your travel card - the best way to see London!
Depart for your Magic of London tour, where aboard a coach, you'll drive past some of London's most famous landmarks including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, arrive at the Tower of London where you will be met on the middle drawbridge by a Yeoman Warder. You will be led into this world heritage site before it opens to the public and taken on a guided tour explaining the history behind this fortress of imprisonment. You will be the first group to see the Crown Jewels before enjoying some free time to explore on your own. Why not visit Traitors Gate, the armouries or the Bloody Tower and keep an eye out for the famous Ravens. Departing from the Tower, head to The Mall to watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony as one of the Queen's Household Regiments march from St. James Palace to Buckingham Palace, dressed in their world famous tunics and busbies. (Please note, the Changing of the Guard does not occur every day - enjoy a photo stop at Buckingham Palace when not running). Next, take a short ferry ride on the River Thames, enjoying excellent views of St. Paul's Cathedral and Shakespeare's Globe. You'll then have free time for independent lunch. Also, there is an opportunity for a photo stop at Westminster Abbey. The afternoon part of the tour begins with a visit to St. Paul's Cathedral. Explore the masterpiece designed by Wren in 1673 with a professional guide, taking time to listen to the 1695 organ that Mendelssohn once played and visit the tombs of Nelson and Wellington. There will also be a chance to test the unique acoustics of the Whispering Gallery (not normally visited by other tour groups). On Sundays when there is restricted viewing at the Cathedral, there will be an opportunity to enter and enjoy one of the services. Then end the day with a drive across the river to the South Bank. Enjoy magnificent views of Big Ben and The Houses of Parliament while enjoying Champagne Afternoon Tea in the luxurious surroundings of The Executive Lounge at The Park Plaza Westminster Pier.
Today you will pay a visit to the magnificent medieval Warwick Castle, where most of its amazing towers and ramparts are still intact. Warwick Castle will take you back through its 1,000-year history as you enter over the footbridge to a bygone world of banquets, battles and ceremony. Visit the Tussaud’s waxwork, or if you’re feeling brave visit the spine-chilling dungeons where prisoners were tortured. You might wish to stroll through the castle’s delightful and lovingly tended gardens set in the peaceful surroundings of England’s finest medieval Castle. During the summer months, archery, falconry and jousting take place.
Steeped in history and heritage, the area of England known as The Cotswolds is a charming blend of cottages with honey-coloured walls and thatched roofs, market towns with crooked half-timbered houses lining the High Street, and ancient stone crosses, all set in the gently rolling hills ("wolds") that are so typically English in character.
You will then travel through the rolling Warwickshire hills to Stratford-upon-Avon, a market town at the edge of the Forest of Arden made famous for being the birthplace of the world-famous playwright William Shakespeare. You’ll visit the Tudor-style birthplace of William Shakespeare, gaining a fascinating insight into his childhood with its typical parlor, bedrooms, kitchen, buttery and of course the glove-maker’s workshop used by John, Shakespeare’s father.
The colleges in Oxford date back to the 13th century and among its famous students were Bill Clinton, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein and Lewis Carroll. You will be taken on a fascinating walking tour through the cobbled streets of Oxford to see the Bodleian Library and the picture-perfect college courtyards, for which Oxford is justifiably famous.
Admission to Warwick Castle and Shakespeare's Birthplace is included in the tour price.
The Ivy is situated in the heart of London's West End, close to Leicester Square, Shaftesbury Avenue and the vibrant quarters of Covent Garden and Soho. Open late each night, the restaurant is also perfect for post theatre dinner. The Royal Opera House and Coliseum, Palace Theatre, Donmar Warehouse, Wyndham's and Noel Coward Theatres are close by. All restaurant food comes from sustainable sources.
Meet your driver for a private train station transfer in London.
Enjoy the train ride from London to Edinburgh. Your direct train ride is approximately 4.5 hours.
Meet your driver for a private train station transfer. .
You will be met at your central Edinburgh hotel by your guide to commence your walking tour. The buzz of Scotland's capital city sits in perfect contrast to the peaceful tranquility of the surrounding Lothians region. Edinburgh has one of the most beautiful cityscapes in the world, making it the ideal city break destination. From ceilidhs and science to ghost, film and food festivals there's always something going on in the festival city, and that's just for starters. Discover world-class museums and galleries, learn the history of the city or spend an afternoon pub crawling - whatever your fancy! Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and perhaps take an umbrella!
Entrance ticket to Edinburgh Castle.
Edinburgh Castle has dominated its surroundings with majesty for centuries. The Castle's rock has been a stronghold for over 3000 years. Learn more of the history and stories about this ancient place at your leisure.
Drive north out of Edinburgh and you'll be amazed by the engineering miracle of the Forth Railway Bridge. Then, as you are travelling through Stirlingshire, your guide will bring to life the turbulent times of William Wallace - dramatised in the film Braveheart - and explain his link to the countryside you're passing through. You'll stop at the beautiful city of Stirling, site of the Wallace Monument. You'll have ample time to explore the stunning castle (optional) or stroll through the beautiful and ancient streets that surround it. Take in the view along the Duke's Pass. The route takes you through the spectacular Duke's Pass which offers spectacular views to the peaks of the stunning Trossach Mountains and carries you past some of Scotland's most picturesque lochs. Stroll the Bonnie Bonnie banks. Your lunchtime stop is by Loch Lomond. Why not try lunch (not included) at a traditional pub built out of a 300-year-old oak tree and then walk the shores of Britain's largest expanse of fresh water? The journey home holds one last treat. You'll have the chance to visit one of Scotland's most beautiful distilleries, Glencoyne Distillery and get a taste of the true spirit of the country - a Highland Malt Whisky (optional). Entry fees not included.
This evening consider an underground tour of Edinburgh exploring the labyrinth of corridors and chambers beneath the Royal Mile which remain unchanged from two hundred years ago. Please speak to your Sales Advisor if you would like to include this in your itinerary.
Head south to your first stop of the day at Bamburgh and its imposing castle. There is time to visit or simply stroll along the beach. You'll then drive south through the Scottish Borders, pausing for a photo stop at Melrose Abbey - widely regarded as one of the most beautiful ruins in Europe. Robert the Bruce's heart is thought to be buried at the Abbey and it is the final resting place of a number of other Scottish Kings. The star attraction of the tour is Alnwick Castle. This is the second largest inhabited castle in England and has been lived in for over 700 years. It is full of fascinating things to see and mysteries to uncover. You may recognize it as a location from some of the Harry Potter films. The road home takes you through the wonderful borders scenery with a pause at one the most stunning views over the countryside - Scott’s View, made famous by Sir Walter Scott. Entry fees not included.
Meet your driver for your private airport transfer today.
Flight to Dublin is required, currently not included in the quote.
After being picked up at the airport by your English speaking driver, you will be brought on at our of Dublin. Your Driver/Guide will show you Dublin's major attractions such as Trinity College and the Book of Kells, perhaps the worlds most beautifully illustrated book. In the city centre region there is also St Patrick's Cathedral, Christchurch and the famous Guinness Brewery. There are a host of shopping and museums and galleries to explore in the historical Georgian district near St Stephens Green. We highly recommend the National Museum, Natural History Museum and the National Gallery to name a few. In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site.
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and accompany you on a private walking tour of the City of Dublin. Please let your guide know if there are any sights of particular interest to you. In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site.
Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.
Enjoy a guided, student walking tour of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland's oldest and most famous college. The Books of Kells is a splendidly illuminated version of the Christian Gospels dating from the 9th century.
Sit back and relax on your private transfer from Dublin to Galway.
Walk along high Street in Galway for a pleasurable way to pass an hour or two. Start at Kenny's Bookshop on High Street. The labyrinth is both an art gallery and quality bookshop with second hand and new books. All along the short cobblestoned stretch of the road, known as High street are small, interesting unique shops. Kelly's Crafts has a good range of goods, especially knits and pottery. Three Bags Full will sell you the wool to knit your own sweater or jacket. A left turn at the bottom of High Street brings you to Cross Street and The Silver Lining Gift Shop which sells glassware, China and novelty gift items. Traditions sells Aran knits, and across the road in the Curiousity Corner, the shelves are spilling over with all kinds of lovely, unusual gifts. To the right of High Street, is La Maison, a shop selling quality European made gifts. Opposite is Judy Green's Pottery Workshop selling pretty, handthrown pottery. Large items can be wrapped and posted home to you. Exclusive, very attractive designer knitwear is sold at Margaret Joyce in Quay Street directly opposite is Twice as Nice, where one can find a fine selection of vintage linen, lace and clothes. The Quay Lane Gallery is a small shop at the bottom of Quay Street which sells framed prints, as well as original work. Next door is Cobwebs, widely considered the prettiest shop in Galway with a delightful, seemingly infinite stock of pretty goods on display.
Explore West Clare with your private vehicle and guide. West Clare is among Irelands most rugged and dramatic landscapes with shifting and sculpting stone creating unforgettable scenery such as the Cliffs of Moher, Burren Plateau and Islands. We recommend a visit to visit to the spectacular Aillwee Caves in Ballyvaughan at the heart of The Burren. The ancient Dolmen at Poulnabrune is a relic to the intelligence of the first settlers in this remote lunar like landscape. The villages of Ballyvaughan and Kinvarra are quaint and two of the most pleasant and photogenic in Ireland. Seafood is a specialty of this region and there are many fine pubs serving fresh portions of mussels and oysters, notably Monks in Ballyvaughan, Cornerstone in Lahinch and Moran's in Clarinbridge.
You will have the services of a Driver-Guide with private vehicle for a full day today. Depending on your interests, your Driver-Guide will bring you to various sights. In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site.
Connemara is one of Ireland most wild and beautiful regions best explored in a full day touring. There are lots of wonderful villages from Clifden, the alpine like Capital to Leenane on the banks of Killary Fjord as well as Roundstone with its beautiful beaces on the Western coast. The jewel of this rugged mountainous region is Kylemore Abbey and Walled Gardens as well as a serene chapel on the banks of the lake adorned with local Connemara marble and stained glass. A hike along the wilds of Killary Harbour as well as the deep valley at Delphi is also an option.
You will be collected today from your hotel by your driver to transfer you to Shannon airport.
Flight is required, currently not included in the quote.
Relax on your private transfer from London Heathrow airport to Cardiff. The journey should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.
A welcome package with a city map, train tickets (if relevant), and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
Enjoy a private walking tour today with your local guide. Your guide will pick you up at your centrally located hotel and show you the sites. Walk through the green heart of Cardiff and enjoy the history, geography and architecture of this vibrant and dynamic Capital City. Cardiff Bay offers the visitor to the Welsh Capital a glimpse into Cardiff's historical past, present and future. See the shipping headquarters, once used by the founding family of Cardiff - The Butes, now alongside the modern iconic Wales Millennium Centre, which has captured the imagination of the Welsh people and is recognised on an international stage.
The state of the art Welsh Assembly Government building, Y Senydd, is situated in a prime position on the waterfront. Y Senedd is completely transparent at the public level, a testament to the Welsh Government's philosophy of openness and transparency. This half day walking tour allows you to become familiar with features such as: The Norwegian Church, Cardiff Bay Barrage, Mermaid Quay, Y Senydd, Wales Millennium Centre and Cardiff Bay's Public Art.
Spend the day on a privately guided day tour in the company of a knowledgeable driver-guide and private vehicle. After being picked up from your accommodation, the first visit is to Chepstow Castle, which is perched above the swirling waters of the River Wye. Standing guard over a strategic crossing point into Wales, this well-preserved landmark castle was probably the first stone castle to be built in Britain and one of the few to trace the evolution of medieval military architecture from start to finish.
North of Chepstow is the Wooded Wye Valley, an 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' which winds its way through Tintern to Monmouth. Tintern, dominated by the soaring ruins of its medieval abbey, has attracted poets and artists for centuries. The abbey is an outstanding example of Gothic architecture and provides a fascinating insight into monastic life in medieval times.
From here, you'll travel north through the Wye Valley to the historic Welsh border market town of Monmouth, situated at the confluence of the Rivers Wye, Monnow and Trothy. Perhaps best known as the birthplace of Henry V, Monmouth boasts a whole host of historical sites, people and buildings from the Nelson Garden to The Town Hall. It has a medieval 13th-century bridge over the River Monnow, unique in Britain as it is the only preserved bridge of its design remaining.Raglan was the last medieval fortification built in Britain. Raglan was built on the site of a former Norman motte in 1435. The design combines practical strength with ostentatious style. Raglan Castle is set amongst rolling border country. Once a sumptuous palace, with formal state apartments and a Great Tower, it was more a state of wealth and social aspiration than an intimidating military presence. It acquitted itself well however, when forced into active service, enduring in 1646 one of the longest sieges in the English Civil War, before falling to Cromwell's forces and suffering at the hands of his demolition team. Even in ruin however, noble Raglan remains the finest late-medieval fortress palace in the British Isles.
The landscape of The Marches - the Welsh border, is dominated by two rivers, the Wye and the Usk. They meander through green vales set in rolling countryside. The entire area is idyllic touring country. Scenic roads weave across hill and vale dotted with pretty little towns and villages. Discover the historic floral town of Usk which stands in the valley of the same name.
The final stop of the day is Caerleon, one of Europe's most fascinating and revealing Roman sites. To the Romans Caerleon was known as Isca or often referred to as 'City of the Legions'. Here they created not just a military camp but also an entire township, complete with amphitheatre which, in its heyday, would have seated in the region of 6,000 people and would have been the scene of many gladiatorial games against men and beasts. Dr Mortimer Wheeler extensively excavated the remains of the Amphitheatre in 1926 and they remain some of the best preserved in Britain. The variety of remains on view in Caerleon (from its amphitheatre to the excavated bathhouse complex, barracks and museum) is unparalleled within the British Isles, providing a vivid picture of life in Roman Britain almost 2,000 years ago. At days end you will be returned to your accommodation in Cardiff. (includes all entrances).
You will be collected from your accommodation and taken to London Heathrow airport in time for check in. The journey should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.
The Doubletree by Hilton London Westminster, formerly The Mint Hotel Westminster, is ideally located in the heart of central London in Westminster. You can reach the West End, the London Eye, Tate Britain and other attractions with absolute ease. The hotel rooms and suites are styled with absolute consideration for your comfort, with multimedia Apple iMac, fresh air conditioning, floods of natural daylight and White Company luxury toiletries to make guests feel at home. Enjoy a bite to eat in the award-winning City Café. The hotel's destination restaurant offers quality British Cuisine created by the Head Chef who combines the freshest local ingredients to create mouth-watering seasonal dishes with a modern twist. Alternatively, relax in the sophisticated surroundings of the Millbank Lounge bar with its vibrant mix of whisky, wine and cocktails.
With a rich history, this landmark building at the east end of Princes Street in Edinburgh has returned to hotel trading after 120 years. The Waterloo Hotel was the first purpose-built large scale hotel in Edinburgh, advertised in 1819 as "an establishment where strangers could see the manners of the people and mix with the society of the place". Apex Waterloo Place combines the traditional features of this historic building with the contemporary style that Apex Hotels have become well known for.
The Brooks Hotel (4*) is regarded as one of the finest Hotels in Dublin City, located on Drury Street and within a few minutes walk of Dublin's famed Grafton Street, Temple Bar and Trinity College. Located in the cultural quarter of the city centre, Brooks Hotel is surrounded by an ecletic mix of high street stores and boutiques which makes it a perfect shopping destination. Enjoy luxurious chocolate from Cocoa Atelier or stylish and unique garments from Costume, both located beside Brooks on Drury Street. Walk the short distance to Grafton Street to enjoy the high end offerings of Brown Thomas or the explore the high street in Topshop, Marks & Spencers and Reiss. Within the hotel itself, bedrooms are decorated in a range of styles and are spaciously appointed to give ample sleep, work and relaxation space and furniture tends to be handcrafted from Galway. The on-site restaurant, Francesca’s Restaurant, is contemporary in design with soft leather furniture and intimate seating arrangements. The open-plan kitchen adds to the ambiance as award-winning head chef and his team set about preparing organic and artisan dishes with sourced locally ingredients. An affiliate of Good Food Ireland, Francesca’s is one of the top restaurants in Dublin city centre. Whisky enthusiasts will be in heaven in the Jasmine Bar, voted one of the ‘Great Whisky Bars of the World’ by Whisky Magazine and part of the Whiskey Trail of Ireland. Tastings in the jasmine bar can be arranged directly at the hotel. Relax and enjoy one of a hundred different whiskies from around the world, or sip on an exotic cocktail while enjoying an array of delicious dishes.
Park House Hotel Galway (4*) is conveniently located in the heart of Galway's city centre. The hotel blends the warmth and personality of a boutique hotel with the style and luxury of a contemporary 4 Star international hotel. Guest accommodation comprises of 84 rooms divided into superior & deluxe rooms, suites and serviced apartments. The award-winning Park Restaurant is a favourite with locals and guests.
Park Plaza Hotel(4*) is located in the heart of the city centre, within walking distance of Cardiff Castle, the Millennium Stadium and the National Museum of Wales. The hotel is only five minutes walking distance from the new St Davids 2 Shopping Centre, John Lewis and the famous Victorian and Edwardian arcades of Cardiff. Park Plaza offers 129 stylish air conditioned guestrooms. With excellent location and first class comfort the Park Plaza Cardiff is the ideal base from which to explore all that Cardiff has to offer - for business or pleasure.
Vanessa Oquendo ,
April 21, 2014
"Melissa Field was extremely helpful! She was courteous, professional, knowledgeable, and friendly! She kept me updated on the status of everything and provided timely correspondence. She took ownership for any problems I had and remedied them. I had the most amazing time of my life in Iceland and Paris! I would not have experienced everything without the help of Kensington Tours."
Marilynn Weaver ,
April 21, 2014
"All of our guides were beyond fabulous! Our time in Dublin was much too short, would have loved to stay there at least one more full day. Would recommend extending this package to 15 days for any future visits. The train to Edinburgh was super! Beautiful scenery and great steak pies!"
Ann Saxon ,
November 06, 2013
"Our trip was fantastic!!! I cannot say enough good things. Lianne worked with our exact dates and time frame beautifully.Our drivers were prompt and friendly. The private guides were so knowledgeable. We left with an appreciation of the history, the culture, and the beauty of Andulasia. We were very pleased and will certainly recommend your company to friends and family."
Coby Scherr ,
November 05, 2013
"Everyone involved in our Portugal trip made it terrific. Exactly as advertised. Every event on time and most pleasant. Guides were well-informed, courteous and friendly. Really made for a great journey every time. Each hotel was clean, upgraded and staffed with knowledgeable and friendly folks. Breakfasts were complete -- almost too much to eat. It will always be a wonderful memory thanks to Kensington Tours."
Couples Dellinger & Hubbell ,
November 06, 2013
"We've been raving to everyone about the food, the friendliness of the people and the amazing history and sites in Turkey. Yes, we want to go back."
John Edstrom ,
October 22, 2013
"Overall, our tour in Spain was very enjoyable, and well planned and executed. Our private tour of the Alhambra was excellent. Virginia, tour guide for royal palace ruins outside of Cordoba, was also excellent. In Seville, we went to the Flamenco Show/dinner, and the Flamenco was outstanding!"
Kevin Wilshere ,
October 19, 2013
"Great trip to Spain! Thanks again for all your help, Lianne. The destinations, hotels, guides and everything were all top notch."
Chery Westlund ,
November 07, 2013
"My husband and I took a 3 week vacation to southern Europe and North Africa and had a great time. All the guides were very knowledgeable and bent over backwards to accommodate us. The arrangements made by Kensington went off without a hitch. This is our second trip with Kensington (we went to Peru in 2009) and we will certainly book with them again."
Randy Gramlich ,
October 07, 2013
"Thank you for your follow up, we both loved our time in Croatia. It’s really a beautiful place, especially the coast. Your choice of hotels was great. It was an incredible view from the Bellevue hotel in Dubrovnik and the Vestibule in Split was in the best possible location. We were able to relax in our room listening to the wonderful singers in the courtyard and its central location made it so easy to walk anywhere we wanted to see with ease. "
Jay Steffan ,
September 24, 2013
"We just returned from a 10 day trip to Paris and Normandy. We spent three nights in Paris and then enjoyed a seven night cruise on the Seine to Normandy with AMA Waterways. The time in Paris was well spent and has piqued our interest to return for a more thorough visit. Guide Wafaa Lankey was superb in our visit to Versailles. The Seine cruise was relaxing and beautiful. So many wonderful little towns and we wished we had more time in each one to explore and enjoy.
We traveled to Croatia and Slovenia using Kensington earlier this year which was a fantastic trip."
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