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London Explorer (Winter Season)

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Leisurely
Tower Bridge
Tour Style: First Class
9 Days from $2,050 per person

The Union Jack waves its greeting as you amble through London's avenues and lush green spaces, tracing centuries of heritage and historical landmarks from Big Ben to Buckingham Palace. Marvel at castles, cathedrals and palaces, see the picturesque Cotswolds and indulge in a traditional English cream tea.

This page shows Winter Season departures and itinerary; click here to see the main season version of this tour!

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Welcome to London, capital of Great Britain. Relax after check-in at your centrally located hotel or take a stroll down Oxford Street – one of the most famous shopping streets in the world. Meet your Travel Director and fellow travelers this evening for a Welcome Reception.

    meal(s):Welcome Reception
  3. This morning after a leisurely start, your Travel Director takes you on an included half-day morning sightseeing tour featuring Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace. See the Changing of the Guard before the sightseeing tour finishes in central London. You may decide to go shopping in some of the most famous department stores or take a leisurely walk through picturesque Hyde Park, which comes alive during the vacation season with Winter Wonderland; a magical festival that offers ice skating, food and drinks from around the world, a Christmas market and so much more. Alternatively join an Optional Experience to the Tower of London to see the magnificent Crown Jewels and meet the Yeoman Warders of Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress popularly known as Beefeaters. This evening enjoy a delicious meal at Heddon Street Kitchen in the heart of the West End - one of Chef Gordon Ramsay's newest London eateries.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast, Regional Meal
  4. Today enjoy a full-day excursion from London. Visit Windsor Castle – one of the homes of the Queen and a working royal residence with a proud history. Visit the State Apartments and St. George's Chapel before free time for lunch in this picturesque town. Later discover the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe – the ancient stone circle at Stonehenge. Admire the stones and visit the world-class exhibition and visitors center before returning to London.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
  5. Utilize your 3-day London Oyster card Pass. Your Travel Director will give you suggestions and recommendations on how to spend your day. Call in at Madame Tussauds or browse through the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. Department stores line Oxford Street and Regent Street. Famous fashion houses are to be found on Bond Street and Sloane Street. Knightsbridge is home to Harrods and many other stylish shops and boutiques. Antiques and curiosities can be found on Portobello Road, Kings Road in Chelsea and at Camden Market. London is famous globally as a shopping paradise and the sharpest prices are found during the annual sales before and after Christmas. From backstreet boutiques to Harrods, stock clears at big discounts during the vacation season. Alternatively you may consider a full-day Optional Experience to the enchanting Cotswolds visiting Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon with a stop in the university town of Oxford for a walk through the cobbled streets.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
  6. This morning visit one of the most important churches in London and in the country on a guided visit with a Local Expert. Westminster Abbey has been the traditional location of the coronation of kings and queens and the burial site for the English, and later, the British monarchs. Find out why this church lost its cathedral status and pay your respects at the Tomb to the Unknown Soldier. Later visit Kensington Palace for Cultural Insight into the lives of the Royal Family. Tour the Royal Palace that was once home to Diana, Princess of Wales, and now housing the private apartments of her son Prince William and his wife Kate. Enjoy a delicious English cream tea in the orangery before returning to your hotel.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
  7. Borough Market is London's most renowned food market; a source of exceptional British and international produce. Your Travel Director will take you on a walk for a Cultural Insight into the daily lives of Londoners and the market traditions which have been passed down for generations. It is a haven for anybody who cares about the quality and provenance of the food they eat - chefs, restaurateurs, passionate amateur cooks and people who just happen to love eating and drinking. This afternoon you may wish to visit one of the iconic museums which are free to visit. The Imperial War Museum or the British Museum are two recommendations. Otherwise you may wish to explore the South Bank of the city and use your Oyster card to explore on your own.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
  8. Your last full day in London is yours to enjoy. Do last-minute shopping or take a trip up the Shard – Europe's tallest building – for spectacular views out over the city. This evening meet with your Travel Director and travel companions for a cruise down the Thames to Greenwich. Sail under the famous Tower Bridge before enjoying a Farewell Dinner at a historic pub with a toast to your unforgettable week.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
  9. After breakfast, say farewell to London and your newfound friends as you prepare to return home after a fabulous week in one of the world's greatest cities. London Airport Transfer services are available to purchase to Heathrow airport. Conditions apply.

    meal(s):Full 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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  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
24 Mar 18 1 Apr 18 checkmark $2,050pp Request Quote Book Now

Christmas & New Year’s Eve Highlights: The December 23rd 2017 departure will celebrate Christmas in London. And the December 30th 2017 departure will toast New Year’s Eve in London. Each of these specially arranged festive meal celebrations will replace one of the included meals featured in the itinerary.

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 $590 p.p.

Triple Room Discount: $20 p.p.

Shared Rooming: Room Share is not available on this trip.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $67 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.

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

  • 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
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment

Meal Summary

11 meals: 7 full breakfasts, 1 cream tea, 3 dinners.

Included Highlights

Cultural Insight

  • Forage for the freshest food buys at Britain's most renowned food market – Borough Market and rub shoulders with royalty enjoying an English cream tea at Kensington Palace

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in London and a guided tour of Westminster Abbey

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in London
  • Orientation of Borough Market, Greenwich
  • Visit Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, Westminster Abbey, Kensington Palace, You will also have a choice of fantastic free museums to visit including the Imperial War Museum and the British Museum
  • View Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace
  • Scenic cruise on the Thames from the London Eye down to Greenwich
  • 3-day London Oyster card pass

Optional Add-Ons

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.


Tower of London and St Paul's

Adult Price: £61

At the Tower of London, you’ll hear the legend of the Tower and the ravens from your Local Specialist and discover the story of the kings and queens who died here. You'll also see the world-famous Crown Jewels, still in use by the monarchy today. Then we're off to St Paul's for a visit to this 1,400-year-old iconic cathedral.

Oxford & The Cotswolds

Adult Price: £45

Join us for a full-day tour of the Cotswolds. First, we'll visit Stratford-upon-Avon for an unforgettable visit to William Shakespeare's house. Then, we'll head to Oxford, where we will discover the delights of the city, with a Local Specialist, before enjoying a tour of Christ Church College.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Service rating : Enjoyed the Tour Director and bus driver. They created a lovely tour.
Vacation : The price of the tour including the hotel was very acceptable. I did not utilize any of the optional tours that were described on the tour because I have been to London three previous times I did one of the optional tours alone (Tower of London). Had no interest in the other optional tours.
Sunday, October 8, 2017
Service rating : YES! Anthony Perry was perfect as our Travel Director...I was disappointed that the optional trip to the Cotswolds didn't go thru any of the wonderful villages and have a lunch stop in one of them,plus a little shopping time.We only saw the countryside (Lovely) Kensington Palace afternoon tea was not very special.The food was ordinary...I did enjoy the Princess Diana clothes exhibit.The 16th century pub was delightful as was the Gordon Ramsey meal at his Eatery.The special guides at the Places we visited were knowledgeable and personable.The Proper English Breakfast plus anything else you could possibly want for Breakfast was delicious.The Bus Drivers were great.I would have liked more quality Fish&Chips places than we were provided.The Seashell on Lisson Grove is top notch if you want to provide first class Fish&Chips.
Vacation : We shopped Portobello Market....Not included in trip...had the very best time there...Bought Lovely Antique "Smalls"...This should be an optional excursion,something for everyone,Only 2 underground stops from Marble Arch.Great gifts of every price are to be had at this market.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
London Explorer
Service rating : Everything was done professionally and first class. The tour director was amazing.
Vacation : London and Paris were done extremely well.
Sunday, October 1, 2017
Service rating : Excellent.
Vacation : Great service and fascination tour spots.
Sunday, October 1, 2017
Service rating : The airplane and hotel reservations were top-notch. The tour director was amazing, very knowledgeable and kind and caring. He found a block of tickets for a London musicial which he added on as an optional tour experience, which was tremendous. We learned a huge amount about all the sites from him, and had a whole lot of fun doing it.
Vacation : Tony is an amazing, hard-working, very knowledgable about all the sites we went to, brought a lot of fun into every day. He handled the tour very well, and brought many additional experiences into our tour. Could not have been better.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Service rating : Tony Perry was an excellent courier, friendly and very knowledgeable. We would have preferred to stay in the Main Cumberland Hotel as the annex is not nearly as nice. We had to change rooms because the odor in ours was dreadful...cooking odors. It took them 4 hours to clean another room, after they kept saying 20 more minutes over and over. Our entrance in the morning to reception in the main building was excellent carried out by a young gentleman whose name, unfortunately I cannot remember. We arrived about 10 am on Sept. 10.
Vacation : A good mix of free time and personal time. The restaurants were grand.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Service rating : We had many wonderful adventures on this tour of GB and our tour director, Denise, was great. But the tour guide for the 1/2 day tour London just prior to leaving for the notrh was not so good as he left me even though I arrived back at the bus at the appointed time. How disconcerting.
Vacation : This tour allowed you discretionary time to participate or not in the planned activities. Our guide Tony was excellent and very very helpful when trying to find restaurants and other activities.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Service rating : I was very happy with the trip and I would recommend Grand European to everyone. I will look to book another trip with them.
Vacation : The trip was wonderful. Our tour guide was fun and knowledgeable
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for your review. We're thrilled that you had a great vacation and appreciate our staff. This year we will be launching more City Explorers, and we hope to see you again soon!
Friday, August 25, 2017
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Service rating : Professional, knowledgeable and couldn't be more helpful. My second trip planned and wouldn't hesitate to book again.
Vacation : Great way to spend 8 days in London. Leisurely and loaded with plenty to see.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
London Explorer
Service rating : The London tour was fabulous. Tony Perry the tour guide was the best. He was always there with information as well as guidance for what we wanted to do in our spare time. Rob Rainwater from GET was very helpful in setting everything up.
Vacation : London was great. The tour guide Tony Perry was fabulous. He was always available and offered excellent suggestions and guidance for our free time. I'd travel with him again. Rob Rainwater from GET was a great help in getting everything planned for us.
Monday, June 12, 2017
London Explorer
Service rating : Both guides - Tony and Jonathan 0 went beyond the call of duty. Thoroughly knowledgable and patient. The tour should NOT say "moderate" or "active" pace but "this tour is not recommended for those with canes, unable to climb many steps or walk on uneven streets or with walking problems." This caused groups to be s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d out due to the point where the host was not visibleiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. Parisian Hotel (Meridien Etoile) was perfect, far better than the Cumberland in London in every way - service, ability to communicate, food, room and lobby.
Vacation : Sweat shirt and Christmas tree orgnament
Thursday, June 1, 2017
London Explorer
Service rating : Our Travel Director, Tony Perry, was very knowledgeable and accommodating. Local Tour Guides were very good also. It was informative and fun taking in the sites of London.
Vacation : The London Explorer captured many of the main attractions of London while allowing free time to round out my trip with even more fantastic experiences.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for the wonderful feedback on our London Explorer.  
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Sunday, May 28, 2017
London Explorer
Service rating : I was so pleased with everything that we were able to see and do during our tour. All the major highlights and more. Tony, our tour director, is a true gem!
Vacation : Great value for the money!
Saturday, May 6, 2017
London Explorer
Service rating : excellent leader nicely paced activities good choice of restaurants
Vacation : I don't know what you mean about "purchases"! We enjoyed our trip.
  • U.S. citizens traveling to England 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 country.

  • The currency in England is the Pound (£). While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive in London, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in London. 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.

  • One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the cuisine.  Restaurants around London serve specialties such as 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. 

  • The climate in London 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.

  • Restaurants in London often include a service charge of 12.5 percent, especially for large groups.  If service isn’t included, it’s customary to leave 10-15 percent of the bill.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend £2.50 per person/per day for your driver and £4.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 pounds 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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