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12 days from London to London

Cross the Scottish Borders back into England. Continue south and arrive in York, a city of extraordinary cultural and historical wealth. During your orientation, your Travel Director takes you on a walk through the web of quaint, narrow streets and shows you York Minster, one of the most beautiful Gothic buildings in the world. Bradford — Stratford-upon-Avon — London. This morning, visit Stratford-upon-Avon, where you have time to see the sights and shop for souvenirs.

In your free time, why not visit Shakespeare's Birthplace and Visitor Centre for an in-depth look at the great man's life? Say goodbye to your Travel Director and newfound friends at the end of an exciting and memorable holiday as you return to London. Depart London. This morning after breakfast it is time to return home at the end of your holiday. A London Heathrow airport shuttle service is available to purchase. Click here to see other trip recommendations. Because you looked at England and Scotland Heritage. The classic symbols of Ireland and Scotland are revealed, as well as the secret and secluded alternatives.

Experience the history, mystery and magic of England, Wales and Scotland on this Family Experiences trip of a lifetime. Our best deals and offers from our brochure. Based on reviews over the past year. Thank you for submitting your details. You will start receiving your newsletter shortly. It looks like you've already subscribed to our newsletter. Do you want to subscribe using another email address? Current Settings:. Your Itinerary. Trafalgar Costsaver is rated Based on independent user reviews. Any questions? If so, call one of our agents or contact us via our enquiry form Departure date.

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Please check these again before booking this date. I understand and wish to proceed Show me the new itinerary. Upgrades available for this trip Standard. Definite departures only i. Alternate Trips. Go Back. Departure date London, UK. Return date London, UK. Hurry almost full Early payment discount. Extensions available for this trip See all. Please read our Trip Notes before booking i Notes International Air: Costsaver guarantees to quote you the lowest possible airfare available on the day that you book. Please note that airfares are not included. Travel to Europe often requires an overnight flight.

Please arrange flights to arrive on or before Day 1. Unused London Accommodation: Should you choose not to use the included nights in London, we give you the option to remove these at the time of booking and offer a reduction for this. Trip prices are per person, land only, based on double occupancy and reflect applicable discount. Discounts are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice.

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England, Scotland & Wales

All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change - please confirm all details at time of booking. It's also not available on Small Group trips. For trips that are part of our Guaranteed Room Share, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless travelling as part of a family group. About this trip. The beautiful Georgian city of Bath is a minute train ride from central London.

We'll meet at 4 p. Then we'll take a short neighborhood orientation walk and get acquainted over a traditional Sunday roast dinner. Sleep in Bath 3 nights. No bus. Walking: light. Our day begins with a walking tour of Bath's charming streets, including its medieval abbey square and the imposing sweep of its Royal Crescent. Next we're off to tour the town's remarkably well-preserved 2,year-old Roman Baths, where you'll have a chance to drink from these natural mineral springs in the Pump Room.

The rest of the day is free to make your own discoveries in this historic town. You might visit the colorful Fashion Museum or — as Roman travelers did — bathe in a mineral spa. Walking: moderate. Today we'll explore and learn about mystical Glastonbury, the legendary resting place of King Arthur, where we'll also enjoy a picnic in the shadow of the abbey ruins. Later we'll tour England's oldest completely Gothic structure — the graceful Wells Cathedral — before returning to Bath in the late afternoon.

Bus: 3 hours. This morning we'll take a walking tour through Avebury's mysterious, prehistoric stone circle. Then we'll drive north to Blenheim Palace, touring this gilded mini-Versailles that was the birthplace of Winston Churchill. We end our day in the charming, flower-boxed Cotswolds market town of Stow-on-the-Wold, where we'll sleep 2 nights.

Bus: 5 hours. Today we'll take a scenic Cotswolds drive, stopping to explore an ever-so-English village as well as tour Stanway House, home to the local aristocracy. This afternoon you'll have free time to explore more picturesque market villages on your own — or join your guide for a leisurely country walk past cottages and sheep, through fields and kissing gates.

Tonight we'll enjoy dinner together at a country pub with the sounds of local folk musicians, where you can try a sip of scrumpy, the local farmhouse "hard cider. We'll begin our day visiting Stokesay Castle, a fortified manor house, where we'll learn about the feudal system and the perks of the well-born. After a lovely cream tea we'll bid cheerio to England and drive into neighboring wonderful North Wales to the castle-topped harbor town of Conwy. You'll have time to wander through town and walk the city walls overlooking the Irish Sea, before our dinner together. Sleep in Conwy 2 nights.

This morning we'll head to the Carneddau Mountains, where we'll visit a working farm and get to know their talented sheepdogs. Then we're off to Caernarfon to tour the impressive Caernarfon Castle, part of the system of English garrison castles that Edward I built to enforce English rule over North Wales years ago. After lunch, we'll drive up into majestic Snowdonia National Park for a walk through some of the most gorgeous scenery North Wales has to offer. The rest of your day is free to roam along Conwy's multi-towered city wall, historic houses, and laid-back harbor.

Walking: strenuous. We'll begin our day by exploring the manicured lawns, terraced beds, and extensive botanical collection of Bodnant Gardens. Then we'll cross back into England and wend our way through the spectacular peaks and valleys of the Lake District, a favorite haunt of poets and painters. After an orientation of Keswick, we'll end the day feasting on fish and chips together at a traditional English chippy.


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Sleep at a family-run hotel in Keswick 2 nights. Today we'll explore the natural beauty of the Lake District. You can join your guide for a leisurely boat cruise on the island-studded Derwentwater — or strike out on a little expedition of your own 'twixt lakes and mountains, thanks to a wealth of hiking opportunities along well-marked trails. This afternoon, you'll have the chance to join your guide for a walk up to Castlerigg stone circle for sweeping views of the valley.

Walking: light to strenuous your choice. We'll travel back in time today with a walk along Hadrian's ancient Roman wall, once considered the boundary dividing civilization and barbarity though the Scots might disagree , followed by a tour of the Roman auxiliary fort, Vindolanda. We'll have lunch before heading to the bustling cathedral city of York. Upon arrival, we'll take a walking tour beneath the leaning, half-timbered houses of The Shambles in the city's marvelous medieval center. Tonight we'll indulge in England's favorite ethnic food with a tasty Indian dinner together.

Sleep in York 2 nights. We'll begin our day marveling at York Minster's stained glass windows on our tour of the largest Gothic church north of the Alps. You'll have the rest of the day free to enjoy more of this enchanting city. It's a great night to enjoy an ethereal evensong choir performance in the Minster. Today we'll board a train and make a beeline past the Midlands for London. Upon arrival, we'll enjoy an entertaining guided bus tour, hearing tales about Big Ben, the river Thames, St.

Paul's Cathedral, and more. Then we'll visit Westminster Abbey with a local guide, where England's kings and queens have been crowned and buried since A thousand years of English history lie within its stained-glass splendor and under its stone slabs. Later this afternoon, we'll check into our hotel and get oriented to our neighborhood and London's Tube. Tonight is a perfect evening for the theater book something in advance from the Colonies or pick up a ticket in London.

Sleep in central London 2 nights. Train: 2 hrs. Bus: 2 hrs. This morning we'll begin our day of sightseeing with the medieval Tower of London the first "skyscraper" of its time , where you can join a tour with a witty Beefeater, and get a close-up look at the UK's majestic collection of crown jewels. Then we'll take a panoramic cruise on the river Thames.

We'll disembark at Westminster, where you'll be free to explore the Churchill War Rooms, tour the British Museum, or take a walk through one of the city's wonderful parks. Tonight we'll meet for a final group dinner together, where we'll share travel memories and toast new friends. Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. Heathrow and Gatwick airports can be easily reached by Tube, train, or taxi from our London neighborhood.

For those not ready to return home yet, London is a great jumping off point to Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam, and many other exciting destinations. Our tours are physically active! It's an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of England in 14 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily…. The tour was very well-run, interesting, and really fun. We got to see, do, and learn things that I never would have known about otherwise. The pace was great, the group all got along and enjoyed each other's company, and things went smoothly.

The tour exceeded my expectations. Every place we saw was beautiful and educational. Having foul weather on a few of the days didn't detract, and in fact it seemed an appropriate part of an English experience. The tour guide was outstanding, and our bus driver was an expert driver and a fun addition to the tour group. I appreciated that most of the tour was in small towns and countryside. We had spent a few days in London prior to the tour so were relieved to enjoy the beauty of the countryside.

What stood out was the appreciation for the sweep of British history - from Avebury Stone Circle though the Roman Period, the Middle Ages, and then on to the now of London. Every piece contributed to the whole. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour and found it far exceeding my expectations. We had a very congenial tour group, a great bus driver and very good local guides; leading it all was an excellent tour guide.

I found the organization of the itinerary to be a good mix of history, local customs and culture, people, churches, castes, etc. I could have never done this alone and had the quality and depth of experiences. We both noted it seemed every day at a very special moment to remember. Very well run. We really had a ball meeting all the travelers in our group and going to all the place on our tour with expert guides and efficiency. We were first timers on a Rick Steves tour but many in our group had been on as many as 10 RS Tours -- now we know why.

I loved it! It exceeded my expectations. He kept me fascinated, even in things I normally wouldn't be. I appreciated the pacing. For moving every two days, the free time and free dinners kept it from feeling too rushed. I loved what we saw-great choices! I appreciated the smaller hotels and guest houses, too. The people in our group were genial and overall, it was wonderful! I loved Gareth's sheep farm and his amazing dogs. I had a wonderful time. Our guide, Roy was great!!

He had so much knowledge that he shared with enthusiasm. He was very attentive to the needs of the group. He always had great suggestions for our free time. Very good. It turns out this was my 7th tour so I know how the tours work and every went as planned. So educational and enjoyable. Had a great guide and travel group. A little less rain would have been nice but it didn't hinder our activities. Not only entertaining but so educational. And the long history of farming in Wales. Visiting castles and getting historical info was great.

While in various cities we got to experience the culture We also got to explore places not on the itinerary and meet the people of England. I really liked the history as related by our Guide. The food was great and the accommodations were thoughtfully situated. Traveling with guide Mark and our affable group in England in May was a terrific experience. I studied in England as a college student, but hadn't returned since. We hiked and learned and dined, forging new friendships along our journey. But Most of all: meeting the marvelous people on our tour and sharing this trip with them!

I loved going to the different villages and towns for an overall experience. Loved Wales, Bath, the lakes region especially. Enjoyed the different hotels were stayed at. I feel as though I have peered into the soul of Britain on this tour. Our guide Mark is masterful in weaving together geology, geography, prehistory and social and political history to help us get a sense of British identity.

A most excellent itinerary! In fact a movie crew was there to film a remake of Jane Austen's "Emma. I can't think of anything that needed improvement upon. My sister and I who travelled together on the Best of England tour enjoyed it all. I wish we could have had a better opportunity to sit in the mineral spa batha in Bath , but we decided not to wait in line to enter , too many people ahead of us. Maybe next time. Mark is the best , period.

Regarding London , it was great also but, of course since it's a huge city, it would take a lot more time and opportunity to see more. Separate trip? The Lake District and Keswick shopping and boat ride was a highlight! It was informative, funny and interesting. One of the best things about a Rick Steves' tour is how you learn as well as travel and you have experiences that are unique like this one. We enjoyed our tour very much, except that we were very disappointed we did not get to see Westminster Abbey. We were not notified of the error in the itinerary, which stated that we would see it during the London portion of our tour, until we were in York.

We spent two days in London prior to the start of the tour and, had we known about the itinerary change, we could have seen the Abbey then. While we were glad to see St. Paul's, Westminster Abbey was a visit we were most anticipating. Both the ruins and the artifacts in the museum were amazing. It was wonderful being able to walk through a Roman fort and town and then see how they lived.

In general, I greatly appreciated the planning which got us to places early in order to see the most without a crowd. York is a favorite as well. I'd never been north of York, so the Lakes District was a wonderful treat. Keswick was wonderful, and our hotel view there was divine. We are just happy seniors re-visiting our favorite places in great style with Rick Steves tours.

We enjoyed seeing England. I came away feeling that I had seen and experienced England. I wanted to experience more than just London, and that certainly was accomplished. Wonderful scenery in Keswick.

England, Scotland & Wales | Cosmos (13 Days From London to London)

Wonderful scenery in Wales and Snowdonia. Pace was good. Always pushing forward or preparing for the next event or site. I considered Transportation from place to place as good as it can get. Size of the group seemed pretty optimized. The variety of places and events was fantastic. The Guide was excellent. It was a vey rewarding experience. It was very peaceful.

Almost everything about this tour was perfect. Jamie was an excellent, very knowledgable, personable guide. The sights visited were great. The transportation worked well. The balance between planned time and free time was good. Paul's Cathedral. This was not my first Rick Steve's tower. Can say it compares very favorably with the others. Was for me my most demanding physically. Do not know why. Being on it and see, it disappear into the fog and distance was chilling.

Was on the wall alone the others were faster. Thinking of a Roman legionnaire being there away from home over a thousand years earlier. The other was the smaller stone circle on top of the hill. Location and size with condition. Made this one worth coming back to. I had an absolutely great trip. Bill and Savannah were excellent and our group melded into a really compatible and fun group of traveler companions.

Loved that we got a couple of days in Wales too. I am a passionate reader of history and English literature. Being in the heart of England and in Wales too, each area we visited brought its own special moments for me. Again, another great Rick Steves tour. A good mix of smallish towns and not so small towns.

Of group time and solo time. Bill and Savannah were always able to help, give info, make suggestions. Kudos to our bus driver Jim too. He too was always ready to help Gareth was so passionate about his dogs, sheep and way of life. He is inspirational. Bodnart Gardens were spectacular. Bill is funny, knowledgeable, kind-hearted, creative and very patient. Savannah is fun, enthusiastic and thoughtful. I already miss both of them.

The daily excursions were well planned and our tour-bus driver Jim fit right in with the group and he is an excellent driver. This was our first guided trip. We have traveled to Paris and the south of France, Barcelona, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands on our own, in the past. It was incredible in every way. Gareth and his family, including their sheep and their amazing sheepdogs, the beautiful land surrounding their farm and Gareth's stories were just so amazing and an experience I will always remember.

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I'd probably check "outstanding" except for one thing. Many of our bus companions got sick from cold wet weather, and I caught it from them the last 2 days of the tour. We had a good time on the tour, especially enjoying the Conwy, Keswick, York, and London stops. For what it's worth, Bath is overrated in my opinion. Bill the tour guide and his assistant Savannah I liked very much. The group was great. The pace of the tour was good, not to much not to little to do. The countryside was lovely. I liked the choice of villages and cities thought they where a good choice.

Bath is lovely and so was Conwy, Wales also liked York. This tour met all of my expectations. Looking back, there was an amazing amount of geography, history, and information experienced during our two week tour.

England, Scotland & Wales: Amazing Adventure

We got there just before the sun set, which cast a beautiful series of shadows over the hill we were standing on. David did an excellent job bringing group members together. Having been on four other tours, this group became acquainted with each other early on which made the whole tour experience that much better. David was very knowledgeable about the sites and gave us a good understanding of England. Paul's stories about his experience in the British Navy should be a 'must' for all the tours he participates in.

Everyone was on the edge of their seats listening to Paul. Close second was Avebury Henge Stone Circle - there's a special peace about the place. It's so nice that Avebury doesn't feel touristy at all. This was our first Rick Steves tour, but it will definitely not be our last! We loved the philosophy of the tour-engaging in local settings, learning deep history, and all while also developing significant relationships with the rest of the tour members. We had a wonderful mix of guided time and free time, and never felt rushed or pushed; but also never felt bored or wishing for more engagement.

Good balance! We were able to be there with no other tourists, and after seeing both Stonehenge and Avebury circles, this one felt intimate and authentic. Then, the walk back to our hotel through farmlands and river paths was absolutely beautiful. So glad we didn't miss it! Our tour guide was knowledgeable, funny and the local guides were well chosen. Gareth was a charismatic guy, very interesting to listen to. Excellent trip. Group dinners were exceptional.

Very interesting side tour. I loved every day of the tour, and the mix of structured time and free time was well balanced. Our guide, David, was outstanding and his sense of humor and dry wit added so much to the tour! His knowledge of everything we saw in all parts of the country was amazing. Paul was also great and I think will become an excellent guide.

We lucked out with exceptional weather, which was a real bonus. Overall, a wonderful tour that I would recommend to anyone. Our Best of England tour was more than we'd imaged I highly recommend this tour, especially for anyone who might be experiencing England for the first time. The circle was quiet, intimate, and set in serene, pastoral location. And after our visit to Castlerigg, my wife and I had an amazing and scenic walk back to Keswick through wooded trails and farmers' sheep meadows.

The Best of England trip was filled with beauty, fascination and fun. The other travelers were as delightful as the scenery, experiences, and food. There were so many times when we felt lucky to be doing something that we would not have been able to do on our own visiting a working sheep farm in Wales, touring a manor house that was off the beaten path and had it's own working flour mill are 2 examples. Excellent musicians guitars, mandolin, fiddle, squeeze box, beautiful voices performed traditional and original pieces.

This was my fourth trip to Europe, but the first on any kind of tour. I must admit, I was a bit hesitant about being with a group I didn't know, following a specific itinerary and nonstop agenda. I also wasn't sure that England was where I would choose to travel if I hadn't been invited by a girlfriend to go with her. Now, I can't imagine traveling anywhere else, especially in the spring. It helped that we had perfect weather, green pastures filled with sheep and lambs, picnics and parties!

The first would have to be Glastonbury. I still want to close my eyes and imagine how very, very old those ruins were. The fact that they are only partially standing seemed to add to the intrigue and beauty. My second favorite wow moment would be visiting the Bodnant Gardens. They could have just left me there for the remainder of the tour! I wanted to see the classic English country side, and got exactly what I was expecting! Our tour guide, David, was absolutely fantastic.

Best of England tour sure lived up to its name. Thank you for arranging that! Castles, Cathedrals, gardens and more; mixed with history, good food, and an amazing group of new friends. The Bodnant gardens: Laburnum Arch at its peak of beauty. Lake District's Keswick, with the newly refurbished wooden boat ride on the tranquil lake Derwentwater. The magnificent Wells Cathedral and the clock from Learning about and walking around part of Hadrian's Wall. Listening to evensong being sung by the choir in the York Minster Cathedral. I woke up on New Year's Day and said to myself that at 71 yrs this year, I should start doing things on my Bucket List, and this tour was at the top!

I called a college to see if she would join me and I got an immediate YES! From the day we arrived in Bath, to the last day in London, it was wonderful. Hearing him talk about his family's stewardship of the land for yrs was amazing and the dogs. Second would be Glastonbury, we had a picnic on the lawn on a perfect sunny day. Third would be York I could live there. We had a great group of travelers which made our trip very enjoyable.

Lorraine is such a knowledgeable tour guide and is also easy going and fun. We learned so much about England and Wales that we never knew. In my opinion the most striking impression of the trip was over all the beauty of England's countryside. We hope to go back and do the southern England trip in the future. The walk was optional. My husband and I of course wanted to go as an ancient stone circle was our destination. As we arrived at the clearing the evening light was making the stones have long shadows in the golden dusk light.

It was as if we stepped back in time. There were no visitors there. It was magical. Another great tour with a congenial group of fellow travelers. It was full of nature walks and learning about the country's history, culture, food and art. Lorraine was an inspiring, well organized, knowledgeable guide and responded immediately to participants special requests. The food was terrific, hotels comfortable.

My favorite part of these trips is the surprises; in this case, the impromptu side stops and treks to magical sites. Ali, our bus driver was very professional and friendly. The timing of our tour was a little early for the beautiful array of flowers I was hoping to be able to photograph but the expansive layout, artistic landscaping and wide assortment of flora, laced with flowing streams and other bodies of water presented a surprising opportunity for some stunning photographs! The surprise setting-sun walk up to the stone circle. Also, the educational and inspiring sheep farm demo and optional hike up to the Glastonbury Tor!

Overall the tour met its ambitious expectations. It was a lot to see and do, and we did! We also had time not just to see things but also to experience each area. Our guide Lorraine was tremendous and each location we visited had its charms. On route we stopped at pre historic barrow grave mound. It evoked the ancient people who built it. At Glastonbury we had time to tour the ruins, then some of us climbed Glastonbury Tor. We had fun climbing it, then the views were amazing. When we returned to the abbey site the guide had brought in a delicious lunch. All in all a day of fun, culture and camaraderie and food.

The itinerary was really well thought out with lots of variety between castle, gardens,palaces, ruins, villages, cities, downtime, hikes etc. Even the days with bus travel were broken up well and never felt like we were on the bus along time. Our guide made sure we beat the crowds at busy sites and knew where to get the best cream tea! Our travel group was very congenial Everyone was willing to do everything.

One was the visit to the sheep farm in Wales, watching the dogs herd the sheep and the owner shearing them. Another was Bodnant Gardens in Wales - it was the perfect time of year to see this huge private garden with all the azaleas, rhododendrons and spring flowers in full bloom. An unexpected surprise! Our experience was great! Lorraine is very knowledgeable and helpful. We enjoy our RS tours because of the mixture of scheduled tour time and the amount of free time-gives us a chance to see what we want to see. The humor of the English is also very fun and entertaining.

This is a great trip with a little bit of everything "England ". A good balance of group activities and personal time. An amazing variety of experiences over the 13 days. The "Rick Steve's Way" of helping a group of strangers become traveling friends always adds to the experience. So beautiful!! Great local guides with so much background information. Their love for what they do shining thru. Great tour guide, great group of fellow travelers. Really enjoyed the low key small town countryside travels for most of the tour, then almost overwhelmed by big bustling London at the end of the tour.

But, we adjusted and enjoyed our few days stay in London very much. Our Guide Lorraine was simply outstanding! She was extremely knowledgeable and able to share her knowledge without becoming overbearing. She genuinely cared about ensuring that the members of our group all had a wonderful visit. The itinerary was good but could use a few tweaks. Starting in London, instead of Bath, would have allowed folks to tackle the big city when they were fresh and energetic instead of fatigued after 2 weeks of trekking around the country.

It was simply spectacular, and the walk through the beautiful countryside to see it was amazing. Our guide Lorraine was outstanding! She was very knowledgeable on history, local customs, and her people skills were off the chart. Our bus driver Ali was also excellent. Great driver, polite, calm, never flustered. Itinerary - would have liked to begin in London when we had more energy and finished in Bath. Hotels were ok. Would have preferred higher end hotels more like our last hotel in London Raddison Edwardian Vanderbilt Group meals were excellent.

First of all you need a good guide. South through the history-steeped Lowland Hills and a visit to Gretna Green, where the blacksmith used to wed runaway couples. Take your photos at tongue-twisting Llanfair; and at Holyhead, board the ferry for the Irish Sea crossing to Dublin.

The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy Dublin at leisure. Why not join an optional dinner evening at the Guinness Storehouse? Stop for photos in Adare, a village known for its prize-winning thatched cottages and monastic ruins. Focus your camera on sparkling seascapes, mountains dotted with brightly colored farmhouses, winding lanes, and views of the Lakes of Killarney from Ladies View.

Later, in Killarney, discover why this is such a popular resort. Time to see the castle, and shop for Irish crafts and handmade crystal. Why not join an optional pub tour before dinner at your hotel? An early start for the short drive to Rosslare. In just under four hours, you cross St. Tonight, why not join an evening of Welsh entertainment and dinner?

A day packed with highlights begins as you cross the spectacular Severn Bridge into England. Explore the visitor center with its imaginative exhibitions, then admire the magnificence of the monument up close. Return to London around pm, where your holiday ends. Averaging over a decade Packed into my tiny part of the world is a depth and breadth of geographical and historical variety that simply cannot be surpassed. Great Britain and Ireland offer you all you could imagine and more; hear about it whilst you admire their outstanding natural beauty.

The following optional excursions may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased. Just fill out information below and a Cosmos expert will be in touch with you shortly. If there is something we can help you with right away, simply call Your personal information will be used solely for purposes of responding to your request and to provide you with updates and information.

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To: How did you hear about us? ANA SHAW Escorting tours for more than 5 years " I have always loved to share my passion and knowledge for the British Isles with friends from all over the world, showing them first my home town and then my country. Optional Excursions The following optional excursions may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality.