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Grand Tour of the UK

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An unforgettable loop, a grand journey to remember, this comprehensive tour celebrates the unique regions of the United Kingdom, from Edinburgh in Scotland to London, England.

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
20222023
12 days From $3,395 per person
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2022 Tour code: GR-UKSA-22

About the tour

Explore the best of the United Kingdom on this unforgettable journey. Beginning in London, train to York and uncover its mesmerizing history. Your journey continues north into Scotland, where cities such as Edinburgh, Fort Williams, and Mallaig await your exploration. Moving south and back into England, Liverpool, Bath, and Bristol are all on the itinerary before returning to London. This journey is about so much more than amazing cities, though. Along the way, world-famous sites and unforgettable experiences complement this trip. Visit the York Minster, one of Europe's largest gothic cathedrals; medieval Old Town in Edinburgh, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; catch a glimpse of Loch Ness; ride aboard the Jacobite Steam Train and West Highland Line; stand amongst ancient stones at Stonehenge and experience the 11th-century wonder that is the Tower of London. With an inviting mixture of free time and guided group activities, this tour is what treasured memories are made of.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - To York

Arrive in London or Manchester and transfer on your own to York. This evening, meet your Tour Manager and fellow travelers at your hotel for a brief welcome meeting followed by dinner. Overnight York.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - Historic York

This morning, discover much of the city's long and fascinating history on a guided walking tour of its main attractions. These include the incomparable Minster, which is one of Europe's largest and most ornate gothic cathedrals, and the Shambles, a quaint street that has remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages. Following the tour, you have the chance to take in the sights of this marvelous city at your own pace. 

This afternoon we transfer to the rail station for the train north to Edinburgh. Upon arrival, we check into our hotel for a two-night stay. This evening we are welcomed in true Scottish style, enjoying a traditional Great Scot's Dinner experience at the hotel, complete with exciting and traditional forms of entertainment. Overnight Edinburgh. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Exploring Edinburgh

Today we enjoy a guided walking tour of Edinburgh, taking in the city's main sights. We pass the 16th century Palace of Holyroodhouse, more commonly known as Holyrood Palace. Home of the British monarchy in Scotland, the Queen typically spends some of the summer here. The center of Edinburgh is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, containing a beautiful medieval Old Town and Georgian New Town, complete with fantastic modern architecture that mixes and melds with its surroundings in a marvelous melting pot of both old and new. The remainder of the day is free to explore Edinburgh as you like. Overnight Edinburgh.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 – On to Fort William

We travel to historic Fort William today, traveling by train to Glasgow and continuing the journey north by coach. After checking into our hotel, the remainder of the day is at leisure before meeting the group for dinner this evening. Overnight Fort William. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Jacobite Steam Train and Mallaig

This morning we transfer to the rail station for a journey on the Jacobite Steam Train* to Mallaig. Considered one of the world's greatest rail journeys, this iconic train best recognized from the Harry Potter films showcases Scotland's impressive sites from Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain, to Loch Morar, Britain's deepest freshwater lake. On arrival in Mallaig, we are free to explore before returning to Fort William by coach. Later this evening, we transfer to the train station for our journey aboard Scotrail service to Glasgow, where we spend the night. Overnight Glasgow.

*Please note: On some early departures, the Jacobite Steam Train may not operate, and we make this excursion on the Scotrail service.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 – Travel to Liverpool

After a leisurely morning, we transfer to the rail station for the journey to Preston, continuing to Liverpool by coach. On arrival, the remainder of the day free to explore this port city or relax at the hotel. Overnight Liverpool. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Discovering Liverpool

Liverpool may be best known as the home of The Beatles, but it is also a diverse coastal city with architecture dating to the 1500's and a historic city center with UNESCO World Heritage Site status. This morning's city tour showcases the city's important landmarks from the Waterfront Pier Head to sites integral to The Beatles' early years: the Cavern Club, where the band performed their first concert, Penny Lane, and Strawberry Fields, made famous by John, Paul, George, and Ringo in 1967. We also see Liverpool's vibrant China Town. Following our tour, you are free to explore Liverpool further at your leisure. Overnight Liverpool.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 - Onwards to Bristol

We travel by coach to the station today, catching the rail service to Bristol, via Stafford, for a two-night stay.  Upon arrival, the remainder of the day is at your leisure. Overnight Bristol. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - Historic Bath

Today, we enjoy a wonderful excursion by rail to the historic city of Bath. The UNESCO protected city is famous worldwide for its natural hot springs. Our guided walking tour showcases the city's main sights, including the stunning Abbey and the architecturally wonderful Royal Crescent. The Crescent, a row of 30 18th-century terraced houses, is one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the country. Overnight Bristol.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 10 - Stonehenge

We begin the journey to London by coach. En route, we stop at the famous prehistoric monument of Stonehenge. One of the most impressive Bronze Age monuments in the country, this ring of standing stones has long provided archaeologists with the mystery of what the complex design really represents. We arrive in London late this afternoon and check into our hotel. We enjoy dinner in the hotel restaurant. Overnight London.  

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 11 – The Tower of London

We arrive at the iconic Tower of London early this morning to witness the famous Opening Ceremony. We are given a short talk by a Yeoman Warder before witnessing the ceremony first-hand. The morning is then free to explore the famous landmark at your own pace. Built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, the Tower has been utilized for a number of purposes, including a prison and most recently, a tourist attraction and home of the Crown Jewels. The rest of the day is at leisure in the capital. You may like to take advantage of the city's wealth of wonderful museums and galleries including the fantastic Natural History Museum and the ever-popular British Museum, both possessing a vast collection of some of the finest archaeological finds in world history. We enjoy a final dinner in the hotel together this evening. Overnight London.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12 – Tour Conclusion

After breakfast the tour concludes, and you are free to depart at your leisure.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour features the same excursions, they may not necessarily be in the order listed above.

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Novotel Bristol Centre, Bristol

Novotel Bristol Centre, Bristol

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Nevis Bank Inn

Nevis Bank Inn, Fort William

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Hotel Indigo, Glasgow

Hotel Indigo, Glasgow

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NH Kensington Hotel

NH Kensington Hotel, London

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Malmaison, York

Malmaison, York

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Aparthotel Adagio Liverpool City Centre

Aparthotel Adagio Liverpool City Centre

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Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Mile Edinburgh

Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Mile Edinburgh

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Trains

Jacobite Steam Train
West Highland Line

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Reviews

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Lisa K, Advance, NC

5 stars

Submitted 12 Mar 2018

We received excellent service from Vacations by Rail. The trip was fantastic and all reservations, connections, etc, were smooth

Collected by Vacations By Rail

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