Grand Tour of Great Britain
- 30 Days
- From $5,749
- United Kingdom
- Revel in the beautiful countryside of Cornwall, Wales, the Lake District, Glasgow and the Scottish Highlands
- Take in the famous cities of Bath, Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh and London
- Enjoy time to explore all these destinations and more over 30 days
- Add extra nights & destinations
- Choose alternative hotels
- Upgrade your journey to First Class
- Let us suggest the most scenic routes
- Standard Class rail travel with seat reservations where bookable
- 29 nights’ handpicked hotel accommodation with breakfast
- City maps and comprehensive directions to your hotels
- Clearly-presented wallets for your rail tickets, hotel vouchers and other documentation
- All credit card surcharges and complimentary delivery of your travel documents
On arrival at London’s Heathrow, you will board the Heathrow Express to London Paddington before taking a 90-minute train through the Cotswolds to the historic city of Bath. On arrival, a 10 minute stroll through beautiful Georgian streets will lead you to the Francis Hotel Bath (or similar) where you will stay for 3 nights.
You have two days to explore Bath, one of Britain’s most picturesque cities and a World-Heritage site. Make sure to visit the Roman baths (although you can no longer take a dip!) as well as the beautiful Gothic Bath Abbey. As you explore the handsome Georgian squares and the famous Royal Crescent, you will get a sense of the society which inspired Jane Austen, a resident in the early 19th century, who set her novel Northanger Abbey in the city.
After breakfast at your hotel, you will walk back to the train station and settle into your reserved seats for a four and a half hour journey which will circumnavigate Glastonbury before taking you along the southern coast of Britain and into Cornwall. A quick change onto a regional service at St Erth and you will arrive into St Ives at lunchtime, dropping your luggage at Tregony Guest House (or similar) and enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of the mighty Atlantic Ocean. You have 3 nights here.
St Ives is famous for the quality of its light which attracts artists from around the world. In addition to the St Ives branch of the Tate which has recently opened, there is a wealth of independent galleries offering work by local and international artists. It is also possible to explore the studios of Barbara Hepworth, whose sculptures are found in some of the world’s most prestigious art museums. Alternatively, you might want to strap on some sturdy shoes and take the opportunity to explore a section of the stunning South West Coast Path, before returning back to town and sampling a Cornish pasty or a cream tea … perhaps both!
Following breakfast, you will make your way back to the pretty station at St Ives and, after a change of trains at St Erth, you will arrive in St Austell for a 1-night stay at The White Hart Hotel (or similar). St Austell is a perfect gateway for accessing the Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan, both beautiful destinations for exploring the weird and wonderful world of plants and only short taxi rides from your accommodation. Alternatively, you can use the town as a base from which to explore some of Cornwall’s best beaches, and take in some of the scenery which inspired Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca.
Take a train to Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, via Newton Abbot and check in at the Jury’s Inn Hotel (or similar) on arrival, for a 2-night stay.
Cardiff is Wales’ biggest city, with a rich history, great shopping, and plenty of attractions for the visitor to explore – and all of which can be done on foot. Dominating one end of the city is the large castle whose fortifications are certainly worth exploring, whilst sports fans might want to see if their visit coincides with a rugby match at the city-centre Principality Stadium (which also offers tours).
Catch a train to Liverpool and check in for 2 nights at the Hampton by Hilton City Centre (or similar). Famous not only for its musical past, but also for its sporting and cultural contributions to Britain’s heritage, the city of Liverpool offers visitors an array of exciting options. It has a wide-range of boutique shops as well as an impressive array of museums and art galleries, including the International Slavery Museum and the impressive Tate Liverpool. For many though, a trip to Liverpool is all about the Fab Four and there are a wide array of choices for anyone wanting to deepen their understanding of John, Paul, Ringo and George, including a visit to the world-famous Cavern Club.
Catch a direct train to Manchester and check in at the Premier Inn Manchester City Centre (or similar).
With two days to explore this exciting hub of culture, the hardest decision might be where to start. From the Lowry Gallery to the Science and Industry Museum, the great Cathedral to the Gothic masterpiece that is the John Rylands Library, via tours of famous sporting stadiums, there is so much to see and do. Fortunately, you won’t be short of places to relax and refuel as Manchester’s burgeoning foodie scene caters to every culinary taste and whim.
After breakfast, a morning departure from Manchester Piccadilly station awaits as you head north towards Britain’s famous Lake District, home to England’s highest peak and once home to Beatrix Potter, the author of Peter Rabbit.
You will change trains at Oxenholme to pick up the regional service to Windermere, a beautiful lakeside town where you will check-in at the Holly Lodge Guest House (or similar) for a 3-night stay.
With Windermere as your base, the whole Lake District is yours to explore. The walking in the area is justifiably world-famous with incredible vistas around every corner and a huge variety of routes which means there is a hike for everyone, regardless of ability and fitness.
For those less inclined to clamber up mountains, you can go for cruises on the larger lakes, visit William Wordsworth’s beautifully-maintained Dove Cottage, or take advantage of the many excellent pubs, a large number of which serve great food and interesting beers from the area’s growing micro-brewery scene.
Leaving the beautiful lakes behind, it is time to head north again and cross the border into Scotland. You will take the regional service back to Oxenholme before catching a train to Glasgow. You have a 2-night stay here at the Marriott Glasgow (or similar).
Whether you’re interested in whisky tasting, world-class art galleries, the works of the architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, or exploring the history of a city famous for its shipyards, music, and shopping, there’s plenty to make you wish you were staying in Glasgow for longer.
Take the train via Loch Lomond, into the granite mountains, windswept moors, and heather-dotted hills of Scotland’s west coast. Arrive into Fort William and check in at The Garrison (or similar) for a 2-night stay.
Often referred to as the ‘outdoor capital of Scotland’ due to its excellent hill-walking and skiing, Fort William also has plenty to offer less energetic visitors. You can explore the West Highland Museum, enjoy a short cruise on Loch Linne, or visit the local whisky distillery for an explanation of how the flavoursome drink is made – and perhaps sample the local product!
The spectacular West Highland Line from Fort William to Mallaig includes a crossing of the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct whose graceful arches you may have seen in the Harry Potter films as the Hogwarts Express steams north. From Mallaig station, you will take a ferry to the famed Isle of Skye. Why not add a couple of nights here?
A taxi will meet you at Armadale and take you to Kyle of Lochalsh where you will pick up the train running East to Inverness. On arrival into Inverness, you will check into the Rossmount Guest House (or similar) for a 2-night stay.
You have a whole day to explore this beautiful Scottish city. Your holiday includes an afternoon cruise on Loch Ness so you can look out for the famous monster! You can also visit the beautiful ruins of Urquhart Castle overlooking the lake.
Later on in the day, Inverness offers plenty of entertainment, from its castle and cathedral, through to the Victorian market, as well as a wide-range of places where you can eat, drink and relax.
The four hour journey to Scotland’s capital will provide more wonderful views of the Scottish Highlands before you roll across the famous Forth Rail Bridge and into Edinburgh Waverley Station. Head for the Premier Inn City Centre York Place (or similar) for a 3-night stay.
Edinburgh is a fun and beautiful city to visit. Those inspired by their time in the Highlands might want to climb Arthur’s Seat or Calton Hill. For those of a more cultural disposition, there’s a huge choice of galleries, concerts and museums, and that’s even before you have checked the calendar to see if your trip coincides with one of the city’s numerous festivals.
The reward for your early start today is Northumberland’s stunning coastline which is revealed as your train takes you south towards York. Often running just metres from cliff tops, the East Coast Mainline offers incredible views of secluded beaches and bays. On arrival in the walled-city of York, you will have the afternoon to explore and we particularly recommend visiting the famous, Gothic Minster which dominates the cobbled streets and, of course, the National Railway Museum which is home to many iconic trains including the beautiful Mallard and a working replica of Stephenson’s Rocket. You will stay for 1 night at the Hampton by Hilton York (or similar).
It’s time to return to the English capital where you will stay for 3 nights at the Strand Palace Hotel (or similar).
Enjoy two days at leisure in London. From Trafalgar Square, you will be able to see Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, which means you are also close to Westminster Abbey, the final resting place of Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin and many others. You might want to stroll along the South Bank where the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral will provide a breathtaking backdrop, before stopping at the Globe to see one of Shakespeare’s plays.
After 30 days exploring the United Kingdom, you have reached the end of your Great British holiday. Remember, if you would like to add or subtract any destinations, move things around, stay in different hotels, hop across to Paris.. all is possible! Just get in touch and let us help plan your perfect holiday.
Typical hotels on this itinerary
Located near Covent Garden and close to the north bank of the River Thames, this hotel offers excellent access to London’s West End. There’s also a bar and restaurant which serves a traditional high tea, plus a gym to work off any indulgence! Rooms are comfortable and modern, and have flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi internet access.
Enjoy accommodation which is as stylish as the city in which you’re staying. The Francis Hotel is in a beautiful Georgian townhouse and rooms are equipped with air conditioning, a safe, and complimentary WiFi. The on-site lounge and bar offers a wide range of drinks and meals, including an excellent afternoon tea.
A Grade-2 listed Georgian hotel in the town centre, The White Hart provides high-quality accommodation with tastefully decorated, comfortable rooms and an excellent restaurant which takes pride in serving Cornish produce and a range of beers from the renowned St Austell brewery.
This charming, boutique hotel is on the site of the former police station, ideally located just off the High Street. In addition to an excellent cooked breakfast, guests enjoy duck down pillows and duvets, Smart TVs, and high speed internet, the perfect combination for relaxing indoors if the Highland weather turns!
Located near the beautiful Old Town, with its mix of Gothic and Georgian architecture, this modern and comfortable hotel provides all your creature comforts including air conditioning, free WiFi and flat screen TVs, so you can relax after a long day exploring Edinburgh.