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Best of Britain

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Tour Pace: Comfortable
Stonehenge
Tour Style: First Class
15 Days from $2,723 per person

British icons – new and old – will shape your journey, from Liverpool's Fab Four to Shakespeare. 

Travel to the Scottish Highlands, exploring rugged Dartmoor, the idyllic Lake District and Tudor town of Chester. Take a ferry to the Isle of Skye and contemplate battles fought on Culloden and the golfing grounds of St. Andrews before traveling to Edinburgh and Stratford-upon-Avon.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Welcome to Britain. After check-in, spend time simply relaxing or take a leisurely stroll through the bustling streets of London.
    hotel:Park Plaza Riverbank
  3. This morning a Local Specialist will take you on a sightseeing tour of London. See Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. You are free later to explore and shop on your own in the center of London.
    meal(s):FB
  4. Meet you Travel Director this morning before leaving London. Arrive in rural Wiltshire and visit the mystical ancient monoliths at Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain. On arrival in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath, see the impressive Abbey and visit the Roman Baths from which the town derives its name. Later we arrive into the historic cathedral city of Exeter. This evening get to know your companions and Travel Director during your Welcome Reception at your hotel.
    meal(s):FB, WR
    hotel:Mercure Southgate
  5. Your orientation of Plymouth includes the Mayflower Steps where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for the New World. See the Royal Citadel overlooking Plymouth Sound. Consider taking an optional cruise around the famous coastline. Visit Polperro, a quaint fishing village nested around a picturesque harbor. Travel along rugged Dartmoor, famous for its dramatic and breathtaking scenery. Later enjoy a Cultural Insight at Buckfast Abbey where monks have lived and prayed for nearly 1,000 years.
    meal(s):FB
  6. Enjoy a picturesque drive through the South West countryside to Glastonbury. Visit the ruined Abbey, said to be the burial place of King Arthur. Later enjoy a special Be My Guest lunch in a 15th century Manor House on a working dairy farm in Somerset. Cardiff, the capital of Wales, is your final destination. View the impressive Castle and the Millennium stadium during your orientation, before checking in at your hotel.
    meal(s):FB, BG
    hotel:Jurys Inn
  7. Stop this morning to visit the Tudor market town of Ludlow in Shropshire. Your Travel Director takes you on a walking orientation tour of Chester, which includes views of the medieval walls, the Cathedral and the famous Tudor Rows. Liverpool is the home of the Merseybeat. This evening hear tales of the ‘Fab Four' as you drive through Liverpool with your Local Specialist on an included Beatles tour.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Jurys Inn
  8. Travel north through characteristically glorious scenery from Lancashire to the Lake District. Traveling along the shores of England's largest lake Windermere, and through countryside that inspired the Romantic poets, you reach Grasmere. View the grave of William Wordsworth, buried at St. Oswald's Church. We cross the Scottish border and visit Gretna Green, where eloping couples would say their vows over the anvil. This afternoon your orientation tour of Glasgow includes views of the Cathedral, magnificent George Square and the River Clyde, former heart of the shipbuilding industry. Celebrate your first night in Scotland with a Regional Meal in a local restaurant.
    meal(s):FB, RM
    hotel:Hilton Strathclyde
  9. Journey along the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, immortalized in the well-known Scottish song, towards the site of the 1692 massacre Glencoe − ‘Glen of the Weeping'. At the Commando Memorial near Fort William see breathtaking views of Britain's highest mountain Ben Nevis. Dine tonight at your hotel in the Scottish Highlands.
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:Highlander
  10. This morning travel to the coast and take a ferry over the sea to Skye from Mallaig to Armadale. Drive up the Sleat Peninsula and admire the spectacular scenery before stopping for time to have lunch. Cross over a road bridge to view scenic Eilean Donan Castle back on the mainland. Continue your journey past the lochs and glens of the Scottish Highlands and visit Culloden battlefield. This site was where the final confrontation of the Jacobite rising of 1745 took place and also played a part in the religious civil war in Britain. Later return to your hotel in Newtonmore.
    meal(s):FB, D
  11. Heading south, stop in the picturesque village of Pitlochry before heading to the historic town of St. Andrews, the home of golf. Take a photograph on the 18th green of the Old Course, where the first games of golf were played during 1400s. Cross the Firth of Forth to the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, your home for the next two nights. During the Edinburgh Festival tickets to the Edinburgh Tattoo in the castle grounds are included.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Vacation Inn
  12. This morning your Local Specialist takes you on a sightseeing tour of this wonderful city, followed by your choice of sightseeing to Edinburgh Castle or Edinburgh's Camera Obscura. See the Royal Mile, the elegant Palace of Holyroodhouse in the shadow of Arthur's Seat and the new Scottish Parliament building. Admire the elegant Georgian architecture in the New Town. Tonight why not enjoy an optional night out including traditional song, dance and Scottish fare?
    meal(s):FB
  13. Visit the medieval market town of Alnwick. See the impressive castle home to the Duke of Northumberland and the Tenantry Column, topped by the Percy Lion. Marvel at the magnificent scenery as you cross Northumberland. Cross the River Tyne at Newcastle en route to York where your walking orientation includes the medieval walls, the Shambles and the awe-inspiring Minster. This evening enjoy a Farewell Dinner with your fellow travelers.
    meal(s):FB, FD
    hotel:Hotel 53
  14. View Anne Hathaway's thatched cottage and visit Shakespeare's Birthplace and Visitor Center in Stratford-upon-Avon, where the Bard was born and raised. Explore the cobbled streets or walk along the banks of the River Avon. Later, travel back to London.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Park Plaza Riverbank
  15. Say goodbye to your new found friends at the end of a memorable vacation.
    meal(s):FB
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30 Day Refund Guarantee

We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

2018 Preview

Preview itineraries and content are based on selected vacations featured in our 2017 Collection, however, items such as (but not limited to), hotels, meals, sightseeing inclusions, trip destinations, transfers and transportation, are subject to change. The final composition of your trip will be published in our 2018 Collection due out in September. By paying your deposit, you are agreeing to accept the finalized version of your trip itinerary.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels

Meal Summary

13 nights, 13 full breakfasts, 1 lunch, 5 dinners, On-trip transport.

Included Highlights

Be My Guest

  • Enjoy lunch with the Dyer family on their 15th century dairy farm in Somerset complete with home-made ice-cream

Cultural Insight

  • Visit Buckfast Abbey, a Benedictine monastery built on the site where monks have lived and prayed for over 1,000 years

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in London, Liverpool and Edinburgh

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in London, Liverpool, Edinburgh
  • Orientation of Bath, Plymouth, Cardiff, Chester, Glasgow, York
  • Visit the ancient stone circle at Stonehenge, the Roman Baths in Bath, picturesque Polperro, Buckfast Abbey, Glastonbury Abbey, the town of Ludlow, the Isle of Skye, Culloden, Edinburgh Castle, medieval Alnwick, Shakespeare's Birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon
  • View Eilean Donan Castle, Alnwick Castle used as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films, York Minster, Anne Hathaway's thatched cottage
  • See Dartmoor, the Lake District, Ben Nevis and Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands, the Isle of Skye, the 18th green at St. Andrews
Definite Departure
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asterisk 26 Jul 17 9 Aug 17 checkmark $3,375pp Call 1-877-622-9109
asterisk 30 Jul 17 13 Aug 17 checkmark $3,375pp Call 1-877-622-9109
asterisk 2 Aug 17 16 Aug 17 checkmark $3,375pp Call 1-877-622-9109
asterisk 6 Aug 17 20 Aug 17 checkmark $3,375pp Call 1-877-622-9109
asterisk 9 Aug 17 23 Aug 17 checkmark $3,375pp Call 1-877-622-9109
asterisk 13 Aug 17 27 Aug 17 checkmark $3,375pp Call 1-877-622-9109
asterisk 16 Aug 17 30 Aug 17 checkmark $3,375pp Call 1-877-622-9109
27 Aug 17 10 Sep 17 checkmark $3,150pp Request Quote Book Now
30 Aug 17 13 Sep 17 checkmark $3,095pp Call 1-877-622-9109
3 Sep 17 17 Sep 17 checkmark $3,095pp Call 1-877-622-9109
6 Sep 17 20 Sep 17 checkmark $3,095pp Call 1-877-622-9109
13 Sep 17 27 Sep 17 checkmark $3,095pp Call 1-877-622-9109
17 Sep 17 1 Oct 17 checkmark $3,095pp Call 1-877-622-9109
27 Sep 17 11 Oct 17 checkmark $3,095pp Request Quote Book Now
4 Oct 17 18 Oct 17 checkmark $3,095pp Request Quote Book Now
28 Mar 18 11 Apr 18 $3,025$2,723pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
4 Apr 18 18 Apr 18 $3,075$2,768pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
11 Apr 18 25 Apr 18 $3,075$2,768pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
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Edinburgh Military Tattoo, August 4-26, 2017: Tattoo tickets are included for tours that visit Edinburgh during these dates.

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $940 p.p.

Triple Discount: $10 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $78 per person.

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.

  • U.S. citizens traveling to UK must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering the UK.

  • The currency in the UK is the Pound (£).  While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive in the UK, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate when you arrive in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • English specialties include fish and chips, Yorkshire pudding, sausages, stilton cheese, and scones with clotted cream. Culinary experiences to not to miss include a traditional pub meal, afternoon tea, and full English breakfast.  In larger cities like London you’ll also find restaurants serving a variety of international cuisine.

    Food and drink in Scotland goes far beyond haggis, porridge, and whiskey.  Other specialties to try include kippers, fish and chips, Scotch broth, smoked salmon, sausages, shortbread, and Dundee cake.  For a meal that’s inexpensive and authentic, try a pub meal with a pint of Scottish ale.

  • The climate in the UK is temperate, with regular rainfall throughout the year. We suggest packing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress.  A few important items to bring include sturdy walking shoes and a waterproof jacket with a hood. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • Tipping is less common in the UK than in the U.S. When dining out, some restaurants will add a service charge of 12.5 percent to your bill, especially for groups.  If a service hasn’t been added, it’s appropriate to leave 10 – 15 percent gratuity.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Reviews

Thursday, July 6, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : We had a very good travel director, a great list of sites and the arrangements for air lines and hotels was good
Vacation : excellent trip. What I always wanted.

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo takes place every year in August and is included on seven departures in 2017:

July 26, July 30, August 2, August 6, August 9, August 13 and August 16.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, often referred to as "the most spectacular show on earth," is an exciting celebration showcasing the best of Scottish music, dance, and military pageantry.  In 2017 it will take place in Edinburgh from August 4th to August 26th, and is sure to draw entertainers and spectators from around the world. 

Tickets and arrangements have been included on these select departures. Book early as they will sell out quickly!

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Cardiff

Cardiff Castle Tour

Adult Price: £ 21

You’ll explore this unique castle on a private tour and hear tales about the eclectic refurbishments. Done in the 1800s by architect William Burgess, his influences included Islamic art, Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tales and even Aesop's fables. You’ll also walk on the battlements and climb the 1,000-year-old Norman keep for superb views over Cardiff.

Traditional Welsh Evening And Dinner

Adult Price: £ 39

Join us for a traditional Welsh country dinner. We'll take you to a 14th century thatched inn called The Blue Anchor. While you're eating and enjoying your drink, you'll be entertained with a performance from a Welsh harpist.

Welsh Evening At Millennium Centre

Adult Price: £ 54

Enjoy an evening of Welsh music, culture and humour. The venue for the evening is the Welsh Millennium Centre, an iconic building in the fashionable Cardiff Bay area. After a warm reception, you'll enjoy a first-class meal of seasonal Welsh specialities, sourced and produced locally. Quality wine or soft drinks are included and the meal will be accompanied by our enchanting Welsh harpist. You'll then be entertained by the finest local musicians presenting the beautiful music of Wales.

Cardiff Castle Tour

Adult Price: £ 21

You’ll explore this unique castle on a private tour and hear tales about the eclectic refurbishments. Done in the 1800s by architect William Burgess, his influences included Islamic art, Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tales and even Aesop's fables. You’ll also walk on the battlements and climb the 1,000-year-old Norman keep for superb views over Cardiff.

Traditional Welsh Evening And Dinner

Adult Price: £ 39

Join us for a traditional Welsh country dinner. We'll take you to a 14th century thatched inn called The Blue Anchor. While you're eating and enjoying your drink, you'll be entertained with a performance from a Welsh harpist.

Welsh Evening At Millennium Centre

Adult Price: £ 54

Enjoy an evening of Welsh music, culture and humour. The venue for the evening is the Welsh Millennium Centre, an iconic building in the fashionable Cardiff Bay area. After a warm reception, you'll enjoy a first-class meal of seasonal Welsh specialities, sourced and produced locally. Quality wine or soft drinks are included and the meal will be accompanied by our enchanting Welsh harpist. You'll then be entertained by the finest local musicians presenting the beautiful music of Wales.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh by Night and Dinner

Adult Price: £ 42

We'll drive into the old city of Edinburgh to see the city at night with photo opportunities of the Castle and the Grassmarket, famous for historic executions and when possible visit one of the most haunted graveyards and see the grave of Greyfriars Bobby, the famous Skye Terrier. Then, we'll make our way to a local restaurant for a delicious dinner and drink.

Local Dinner Evening

Adult Price: £ 36

Join us and your travelling companions for a delicious traditional dinner and drink at a local restaurant.

Rosslyn Chapel

Adult Price: £ 18

We’ll drive out of Edinburgh to the tiny village of Rosslyn, where you’ll hear the inside story on the famous Rosslyn Chapel. You’ll also visit one of Scotland's most unusual 15th century buildings, famed for its associations with the Knights Templar, the Masonic movement, and now 'The Da Vinci Code'.

Scottish Show With Dinner

Adult Price: £ 58

Tonight is your chance to put on that tartan and join us for an evening of singing, dancing and bagpipe playing at an internationally famous venue. You’ll enjoy delicious food and wine, join in the singing and watch a Highland dance or two. There's even a chance to sample Scotland’s national dish – haggis.

Edinburgh by Night and Dinner

Adult Price: £ 42

We'll drive into the old city of Edinburgh to see the city at night with photo opportunities of the Castle and the Grassmarket, famous for historic executions and when possible visit one of the most haunted graveyards and see the grave of Greyfriars Bobby, the famous Skye Terrier. Then, we'll make our way to a local restaurant for a delicious dinner and drink.

Local Dinner Evening

Adult Price: £ 36

Join us and your travelling companions for a delicious traditional dinner and drink at a local restaurant.

Rosslyn Chapel

Adult Price: £ 18

We’ll drive out of Edinburgh to the tiny village of Rosslyn, where you’ll hear the inside story on the famous Rosslyn Chapel. You’ll also visit one of Scotland's most unusual 15th century buildings, famed for its associations with the Knights Templar, the Masonic movement, and now 'The Da Vinci Code'.

Scottish Show With Dinner

Adult Price: £ 58

Tonight is your chance to put on that tartan and join us for an evening of singing, dancing and bagpipe playing at an internationally famous venue. You’ll enjoy delicious food and wine, join in the singing and watch a Highland dance or two. There's even a chance to sample Scotland’s national dish – haggis.

Exeter

Devonshire Village And Dinner

Adult Price: £ 36

We’ll drive to a beautiful village in Devon, where you’ll see cob walled houses with thatched roofs and the parish church, which dates back 1000 years. You’ll also savour a tasty pub dinner and meet the locals, in an 800-year-old village pub.

Devonshire Village And Dinner

Adult Price: £ 36

We’ll drive to a beautiful village in Devon, where you’ll see cob walled houses with thatched roofs and the parish church, which dates back 1000 years. You’ll also savour a tasty pub dinner and meet the locals, in an 800-year-old village pub.

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond Boat Trip

Adult Price: £ 15

Discover the wild beauty of the 'Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond'. As we cruise across the loch, the skipper will share stories of the area and point out Rob Roy's cave as you relax and savour the stunning scenery.

Loch Lomond Boat Trip

Adult Price: £ 15

Discover the wild beauty of the 'Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond'. As we cruise across the loch, the skipper will share stories of the area and point out Rob Roy's cave as you relax and savour the stunning scenery.

Plymouth

Plymouth Harbour Cruise

Adult Price: £ 15

Relax on a boat trip round the harbour of one of England’s most famous seaports. As your skipper commentates, you’ll see the Mayflower steps, where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America, and ships sailed for Australia, New Zealand and Newfoundland and enjoy panoramic vistas of Plymouth Hoe. We’ll also enter the Royal Navy Dockyard where you’ll see some of the modern vessels of the Royal Navy.

Plymouth Harbour Cruise

Adult Price: £ 15

Relax on a boat trip round the harbour of one of England’s most famous seaports. As your skipper commentates, you’ll see the Mayflower steps, where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America, and ships sailed for Australia, New Zealand and Newfoundland and enjoy panoramic vistas of Plymouth Hoe. We’ll also enter the Royal Navy Dockyard where you’ll see some of the modern vessels of the Royal Navy.

Scottish Highlands

Highland Farm Experience

Adult Price: £ 14

Visit a real Highland sheep farm and meet Neil the Shepherd and his border collies. He’ll show you how he uses different whistles to command each dog to carry out different tasks. You’ll also have the opportunity to try your hand at sheep shearing, feeding the pups and discover his training techniques. Weather permitting.

Pitlochry. Visit Of Blair Castle

Adult Price: £ 20

Set in its own grounds against a backdrop of glorious scenery, you’ll visit the castle and find out more about the home of the Duke of Atholl – the only man in Britain to have a private army.

Highland Farm Experience

Adult Price: £ 14

Visit a real Highland sheep farm and meet Neil the Shepherd and his border collies. He’ll show you how he uses different whistles to command each dog to carry out different tasks. You’ll also have the opportunity to try your hand at sheep shearing, feeding the pups and discover his training techniques. Weather permitting.

Pitlochry. Visit Of Blair Castle

Adult Price: £ 20

Set in its own grounds against a backdrop of glorious scenery, you’ll visit the castle and find out more about the home of the Duke of Atholl – the only man in Britain to have a private army.

Windermere

Private Cruise On Lake Windermere

Adult Price: £ 16

Enjoy an exclusive cruise on a private boat on England's most beautiful and largest lake, taking in the northern coastline, beautiful houses, gardens and Wray Castle. You’ll see deserted islands, boats and birdlife as you explore the area loved by Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth.

Windermere Cruise And Steam Train Ride

Adult Price: £ 18

A chance to view the glorious scenery of the Lake District as we cruise across England’s largest lake. Then step back in time as we board the steam train for a short journey from Lakeside to Haverthwaite.

Private Cruise On Lake Windermere

Adult Price: £ 16

Enjoy an exclusive cruise on a private boat on England's most beautiful and largest lake, taking in the northern coastline, beautiful houses, gardens and Wray Castle. You’ll see deserted islands, boats and birdlife as you explore the area loved by Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth.

Windermere Cruise And Steam Train Ride

Adult Price: £ 18

A chance to view the glorious scenery of the Lake District as we cruise across England’s largest lake. Then step back in time as we board the steam train for a short journey from Lakeside to Haverthwaite.

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