Elegance of Great Britain

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Tour Pace: Comfortable
Ardgowan Estate
Tour Style: Premium
13 Days from $3,261 per person

This journey is a must for those who have a love of literature and Britain. Stately homes, historic castles and beautiful gardens shape a delightful itinerary, evoking a bygone age.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Scotland (not included). 

  2. Welcome to Scotland - land of legends and romance, from the great cultural cities in the south, to the dramatic mountains and misty lochs of the Highlands. On arrival at Edinburgh Airport, transfers depart for your hotel at 09:00, 11:00 and 13:00. Then the rest of the day is yours to relax before joining your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Dinner and the opportunity to get to know each other over a pleasant evening.

    hotel:Macdonald Holyrood Hotel. Edinburgh
  3. Join a Local Expert to see the highlights of the city. Enjoy a drive along Princes Street to the ornate Scott Memorial and see the 18th century New Town with its neoclassical Adam facades. Over in the Old Town, visit Edinburgh Castle, home of Mons Meg, the Stone of Destiny and Scotland’s crown jewels, known as The Honors of Scotland. At the bottom of the Royal Mile stands the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official Scottish residence of Her Majesty, the Queen. With the afternoon at leisure, why not visit the art treasures in the National Gallery? On select departures, you will also attend the spectacular Military Tattoo - a colorful mix of pipes and drums, dance and display, set against the floodlit backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.

    hotel:Macdonald Holyrood Hotel
  4. Depart the majestic Scottish capital and journey to Ardgowan, set in a stunning 10,000-acre coastal estate. Meet Sir Ludovic Shaw Stewart for a tour of the expansive house and learn the histories of the area, the family, the domain and its contents - you may even hear about the ghost! Delight in freshly-made, traditional Scottish Tea and Scones. Continue to Gretna Green to see the famous spot where runaway lovers were married over the anvil at the blacksmith's shop. Your travels continues to the picturesque English Lake District and dinner is served at your hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere.

    meal(s):BB, MT, D
    hotel:Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, Windermer
  5. Devote the day to a scenic wonderland of rugged mountains and tranquil waters - inspiration to a host of English poets. Visit Wordsworth's grave in the small churchyard at Grasmere. Appreciate the scenic beauty of the English Lake District on a relaxing cruise admiring the magnificent views of rugged mountains, secluded bays and wooded islands. Then, embark on a nostalgic steam train ride along the banks of the beautiful River Leven.

  6. Enjoy a morning at leisure before travelling through the Yorkshire Dales to arrive at the charming village of Haworth. Visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum, created within the actual home of the Brontë family. Learn about the family's literary legacy and what inspired them from the surroundings of their own home. Your journey continues to York, one of the oldest cities in England that predates.

    hotel:Hilton, York
  7. Enjoy an exploration of one of Britain's most historic cities, controlled by the Vikings during the 9th and 10th century and now renowned for its exquisite architecture. Walk within the town walls with a Local Expert to see the huge York Minster, Britain's largest medieval cathedral. Explore the tangle of quaint, narrow, cobbled streets and see the Shambles. There is plenty of time to further explore on you own, perhaps visit the National Railway Museum housing over 300 years of history, or continue wandering the well-preserved city walls? In the evening, take the opportunity to mix with the locals over dinner and drinks.

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Hitlon, York
  8. Visit Lincoln Castle, one of the finest Norman castles in England. Your tour will include a chance to see one of the four remaining copies of the Magna Carta. Continue to pretty Stratford, beautifully situated on the River Avon. Your hotel is set in its own private grounds, just a short walk from the Royal Shakespeare Theater and the town's wealth of black and white timber-framed buildings.

    hotel:The Stratford, Stratford-upon-Avon
  9. Discover how William Shakespeare and his incredible works continue to delight audiences today when you visit his birthplace, full of interesting memorabilia and artifacts relating to his life. Later, join your Travel Director for a traditional Sunday Roast Dinner, served with Yorkshire pudding and all the trimmings.

    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:The Stratford, Stratford-upon-Avon
  10. An enchanting day awaits in the morning. Cross the beautiful Cotswold hills, a chocolate box scene of golden stone villages with roses round the doors. Visit the magnificent stately home and gardens of Blenheim Palace, the greatest building of the English Baroque. Continue to the elegant Georgian city of Bath, built in amphitheater-style on the surrounding hills. Your Travel Director introduces you to the impressive Royal Crescent and Pulteney Bridge, both built in mellow local stone. See the angels climbing Jacob's Ladder on Bath Abbey.

    hotel:Bailbrook House Hotel, Bath
  11. The City of Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site built above Britain's only thermal, mineral springs and the key highlight is of course a visit to the Roman Baths. See incredibly well-preserved remains of one of the greatest spas of the ancient world, still flowing with the natural hot water from the springs. With the rest of the day at leisure, why not soak and relax with a visit to the Thermal Spa? Alternatively, you may wish to follow in the steps of Jane Austen with a visit to the Jane Austen Center? In the evening, join your Travel Director and fellow travelers as you raise a glass over your Celebration Dinner to commend your wonderful journey.

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Bailbrook House Hotel, Bath
  12. Travel across Salisbury Plain to visit the pre-historic and mysterious Stonehenge, where the strange and awe-inspiring monoliths are reputed to be up to 5,000 years old. Return to London and check-in to the Amba Hotel Marble Arch. The evening is at your leisure.

    hotel:Amba Hotel Marble Arch, London
  13. Your journey comes to an end after breakfast.


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.

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Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.
  • Definite Departure
  • Edinburgh Tattoo
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
5 May 18 17 May 18 $3,525$3,261pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
12 May 18 24 May 18 $3,525$3,261pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
19 May 18 31 May 18 checkmark $3,525$3,261pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
26 May 18 7 Jun 18 $3,525$3,261pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
9 Jun 18 21 Jun 18 $3,525$3,261pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
16 Jun 18 28 Jun 18 checkmark $3,525$3,261pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
23 Jun 18 5 Jul 18 $3,575$3,307pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
30 Jun 18 12 Jul 18 $3,575$3,307pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
7 Jul 18 19 Jul 18 $3,575$3,307pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
14 Jul 18 26 Jul 18 $3,575$3,307pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
21 Jul 18 2 Aug 18 checkmark $3,575$3,307pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
28 Jul 18 9 Aug 18 $3,575$3,307pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
Edinburgh Tattoo
4 Aug 18 16 Aug 18 checkmark $3,775$3,492pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
Edinburgh Tattoo
11 Aug 18 23 Aug 18 checkmark $3,775$3,492pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
Edinburgh Tattoo
18 Aug 18 30 Aug 18 $3,775$3,492pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
25 Aug 18 6 Sep 18 $3,650$3,376pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
1 Sep 18 13 Sep 18 $3,575$3,307pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
15 Sep 18 27 Sep 18 checkmark $3,575$3,307pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
22 Sep 18 4 Oct 18 checkmark $3,575$3,307pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
  • Edinburgh Tattoo: This departure includes the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo event.

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 $900 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $120 per person.

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.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation.

  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • 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

Included Dining

12 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 1 Morning Tea (MT), 2 Dinners (D) and 3 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

Signature Experiences


  • A hush descends and eyes turn to the castle. The skirl of the pipes rises and drums crack the night air as a tide of tunics and tartan flood from the drawbridge. For a limited time in August, witness the incredible spectacle of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
  • Walk with a Local Expert within the walls of the Castle to view the Scottish Crown Jewels, Stone of Destiny and Mons Meg.

English Lake District

  • The best way to enjoy the Lake District is by cruise. Relax as you admire the magnificent views. Board a steam train and journey along the banks of the beautiful River Leven.


  • A visit to the Brontë Parsonage Museum provides a fascinating insight into the life of the Brontë family and the inspiration behind their marvelous works of literature.


  • Visit Lincoln Castle and admire one of the four remaining copies of the Magna Carta, which is over 800 years old.


  • Learn about the life of William Shakespeare, arguably history's most famous writer, when you visit his birthplace. Then enjoy some time to explore this pretty town with its iconic Tudor houses.

Belenheim Palace

  • Witness a masterpiece of the English Baroque, brimming with priceless art and tapestries.


  • The Roman Baths have existed for over 2,000 years and are now one of the best preserved Roman remains in the world. Learn the importance of this historic site, still used as a center for bathing and socializing.


  • Visit the mysterious circle of upright stones, which stands as strong today as it did 5,000 years ago.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Service rating : The people who run and work at Grand European Tours do a fantastic job for their clients. They go out of their way to make travel easy, affordable, and fulfilling. I recommend this company to friends and associate all the time. They're number one in my book.
Vacation : This trip was exceptional in many ways, but I do have one question concerning this tour. My wife and I left the USA on 8-7-17 and yet we were told the actual "tour" started on 8-10-17. Apparently, Insight, a sister company of Grand European Tours, feels that being on your own In London for 2 days is OK for everyone. My wife and I are experienced travelers but we didn't feel comfortable being on our own in London for 2 days. We didn't meet our tour director until the afternoon or 8-9-17 and didn't meet fellow travelers until 8-10-17. I personally don't think that this is a good policy for a company (Insight) advertising guided tours. When we asked about the situation, we were given some flippant excuse about this policy. If this had been our first trip to Europe, we would have been very uncomfortable with this situation.
Monday, August 28, 2017
Service rating : Grand European handled all the details for us and worked out adding extra days at the end in London. We have worked with them for many yeas and they are very efficient.
Vacation : The trip more than met our expectations. We enjoyed the relaxed starts and the amount of free time we had letting us judge how much time to spend in each part of an excursion.
Monday, August 21, 2017
Service rating : Getting emails through to agent was difficult.
Vacation : I would have rather had more meals on my own. The all inclusive meals became repetitive.

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.


Dinner In Edinburgh

Adult Price: £39.00

Edinburgh has more eateries per head than any other city in the UK and your Tour Director knows which ones shine and which ones to shun! Join your fellow companions for a fun evening out in this vibrant city. Visit a prized local restaurant for a delicious three course dinner with a glass of wine, beer or soft drink included.


Scottish Dinner & Cabaret

Adult Price: £60.00

Join us for a lively and memorable evening of traditional Scottish song, dance, tartan and bagpipes. In addition to wine and dinner, your kilted hosts will lead you through some of the best-loved Scottish music and songs. You'll learn a Highland dance or two and sample Scotland’s national dish - haggis. An exceptional Scottish experience!


Royal Yacht Britannia

Adult Price: £23.00

This magnificent ship has hosted some of the most famous people in the world. But, above all, Britannia was home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family. For four royal couples, Britannia was to provide a honeymoon sanctuary before the onset of married life in the world's most photographed family. Now berthed in Leith, you are welcomed on board to discover the heart and soul of this most special of Royal residences.

Lake District

Historic Working Farm Visit

Adult Price: £22.00

Enjoy a guided visit to an authentic 19th-century farm. We'll see Shire horses and explore the largest collection of Steam Engines/Vintage Tractors in the Lake District. We'll learn the technique for milking their prized Jersey Cows and also how they make butter from the milk. Then, we'll have free time to wander around the farm before indulging in some "Homemade Refreshments". A truly unique experience awaits.


Dinner and Ghost Walk

Adult Price: £40.00

Beginning with a drink and a delicious meal in a local restaurant, you'll then discover tales of murder and mystery from the 2000-year-old Roman city of York as you take a stroll with the local ghost hunter.


Stratford Dinner

Adult Price: £32.00

Enjoy an evening of cosy comfort in an historic country English pub that dates back to the 1600s. Dinner includes a three-course menu with some traditional favourites washed down with a local ale or glass of wine.


Royal Shakespeare Company - Behind the Scenes

Adult Price: £24.00

Discover the fascinating history of the Royal Shakespeare Company. We'll explore the private and public areas of this storied theatrical institution and then enjoy afternoon tea.

  • 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 24 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.

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