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!
The Doubletree by Hilton London Westminster (4*) 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 460 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.
Enjoy a time at leisure. Most London museums have free entry. Spend your time hopping on and off the tube and visit a couple of my recommended highlights: The British Museum (Holburn Underground station), The National Gallery (Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross Underground station), the Victoria & Albert (South Kensington Underground station), The Wallace Collection (Bond Street station) or the London Transport Museum (Covent Garden). Or, while away your time shopping in the markets: Camden, Spittalfields, Portobello (weekends only) or the Borough Market (Thurs, Fri and Sat).
One of the world's great cities, vibrant London manages to shine in the greyest weather and its diversity defies a simple definition. This sprawling city has drawn people for centuries, looking for something and finding the unexpected. It's one of the world's most international cities and its influences blend to create something uniquely wonderful. Let your Guide know your particular interests and he/she will help you discover the city on your half day walking tour of central London. Learn how to take the "tube", explore the cobblestone streets, gardens, and markets, and be a Londoner for a day. Your Guide will meet you at your hotel. Please note that one should wear comfortable shoes and a hat; suitable for children. (No entrance fees included)
Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.
There are some great restaurants in the West End of London.Here are a few suggestions: J Sheekey, an incredibly smart seafood restaurant, Mildred's, London's best veggie restaurant, Sketch, the trendiest place in London, specializing in some of the best french food you'll ever taste, or for those looking for something simple and cheerful, enjoy a nice meal out at Zipangu. Or try the amazingly stylish Corrigan’s Mayfair http://www.corrigansmayfair.co.uk
A visit to the magnificent medieval Warwick Castle, most of whose 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.
We 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. We"ll visit the Tudor-style birthplace of William Shakespeare, gaining a fascinating insight into his childhood with its typical parlour, 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. We take you 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, Christ Church college 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. Please note that this service includes up to 3 hours of service.
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.
Enjoy a private half day tour with your own vehicle and local guide to show you around the city's top sights including Edinburgh castle, St. Giles Cathedral, Holyrood palace and Scott monument. Entrance fee and guide services at Edinburgh Castle are included.
In the afternoon, enjoy some time on your own to relax.
The Witchery Restaurant located on the Royal Mile is a great place for dinner. The 16th century building located close to the Castle is lit exclusively by candlelight. The tapestry-draped main dining room is an ode to opulence: the seats are a rich red leather, the ceiling is gilded, and the walls are covered with oak panels salvaged from an old cathedral. The Secret Garden annex, meanwhile, is full of brass candlesticks and stone statues, and displays a series of painted doors that tell the story of Edinburgh's wine trade with France. The menu is equally sumptuous, offering dishes such as melt-in-your-mouth steak tartare, rabbit wrapped in Parma ham with tea-soaked prunes, and loin of roe deer with an earthy black pudding. But be sure to save room for the desserts — from the chocolate torte to the bramble, sherry and mascarpone trifle, they make a wickedly decadent end to the meal. Please speak to your Sales Advisor if you would like to have a reservation made for you.
This tour is all about Fife and to get there you cross the Firth of Forth - this is your perfect chance to get a photograph of the famous Forth Railway Bridge. St Andrews is the star attraction of this tour. As the spiritual home of golf, it is a must see for all devotees of the game, but it also boasts a stunning beach, great cafes and shops, a beautiful university and an ancient cathedral. You travel west to Falkland and you'll be able to walk round this beautiful village, where time seems to have stood still. You can browse the craft shops and there is an option of visiting the Palace, which has the oldest tennis courts in use anywhere in the world. You'll also explore the East Neuk. This is an often forgotten corner of Fife that has some particularly beautiful historic fishing villages and stunning coastal scenery. To finish, you'll stop at Anstruther and have the chance to experience an award-winning "fish supper" (as it's known to true Scots). Then you'll head home full of good food and good memories.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.
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.
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.
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. As one of the finest luxury Dublin hotels, Brooks Hotel provides 4 star hotel accommodation for those wishing to take a great value break.
Enjoy a half day private tour in the company of a private vehicle, driver and guide exploring the ancient site of Newgrange - one of the great wonders of western ancient civilization that needs to be seen close up to be fully appreciated. Predating the Pyramids, it is a complex chamber that is perfectly aligned to catch the morning sun on the winter solstice. There are two other major tombs at Knowth and Dowth, both equally impressive and different in character. Nearby is the River Boyne where the famous Battle of the Boyne took place. The land here is lush and full of ancient and medieval ruins that are testaments to Irelands great heritage. In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Meet your driver for a private airport transfer.
February 19, 2014
"Lynne Pettit is a particularly good tour planner and contact person because she is knowledgeable, patient, and thorough. She makes sure she understands exactly what you want to get from your trip and plans the tours accordingly. In my case, she was right on the mark!"
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."
Edwards Family ,
November 28, 2013
"People do not know what they are missing by not going to Romania. The landscape: beautiful, clean, untouched. The people: People exceeded friendly! Super safe. Wherever we went, we received the reception of "Welcome, welcome! You are our guest", by everyone. Food & Drink: Everything had such incredible flavor! They use only the freshest ingredients and everything is organic. Every meal was a new, exciting experience to our palettes. Architecture: The beauty, intricacy, history. One cannot help but appreciate the abundance of castles, churches and buildings boasting such incredible architecture. Experience Romania sooner than later! You’ll be so glad you did! Once again, Kensington Tours, and special thank you to Claudia.
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."
Mike Mikkelsen ,
November 15, 2013
"Lianne Kim did a great job for us (on our tour of Spain). Most enjoyable - thanks for all you did."
November 09, 2013
"My trip to Holland and Belgium was a lifelong dream and Kensington Tours made it greater than my dream. I was treated like royalty, even when I missed some of my connections. They quickly solved any problems that U had. All the drivers were courteous and helpful. My accommodations were top notch. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a better tour experience. Thanks to Richard Racicot for booking the best fo me."
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 lWestlund ,
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 bend over backwards to accommodate us. The arrangement 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."
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