Top United Kingdom Tours & Vacations 2024/2025 [reviews &...

United Kingdom Tours & Travel Packages 2024/2025

475 United Kingdom trips. Compare tour itineraries from 29 tour companies. 2,766 reviews. 4.8/5 avg rating.

Small Group United Kingdom Tours

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Top United Kingdom Attractions

  • Watching the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace in London, a daily (in summer) exercise in pomp and tradition.
  • Eyeing the British Crown Jewels in the Tower of London, once a notorious prison.
  • Taking a scenic boat ride up the Thames from London to Greenwich to stand on the Prime Meridian, the line marking zero degrees longitude and dividing the hemispheres.
  • Touring London’s Westminster Abbey, a 700-yard-old Gothic cathedral, to visit the graves of England’s noble and famous, and nearby Parliament for a look up at Big Ben, the world’s best-known clock.
  • Strolling through London’s Hyde Park and stopping to listen to self-proclaimed orators solve the problems of the world, or rant against them.
  • Viewing Stonehenge, the mysterious ring of stones near Salisbury that date back as long as 5,000 years.
  • Touring York, a city with a fascinating dual history of violence and architectural genius.
  • Visiting the town of Bath, known for its Roman-era baths.
  • Taking a walking tour through the stone-built villages of the Cotswolds, which define the word “quaint.”
  • Riding the Snowdon Mountain Railway in Snowdonia, Wales, to the top of Snowdon Peak for fantastic views.
  • Hiking out to Worm’s Head at the tip of Wales’ Gower Peninsula, one of the most hauntingly beautiful spots in all of Britain.
  • Climbing the hill up to Edinburgh Castle in Scotland for a tour of the historic fortress that overlooks the city on Castle Rock.
  • Keeping an eye out for Nessie, the alleged monster, at Scotland’s Loch Ness.
  • Playing a round of golf at legendary Scottish courses like St. Andrews or Gleneagles.
  • Clambering over some of the thousands of basalt columns at the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, a World Heritage Site and natural wonder.
  • Downing a pint of Guinness and listening to Irish folk music at a pub in Belfast.

United Kingdom Tours & Travel Guide

United Kingdom Attractions & Landmarks Guide

Unless you’re touring Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland separately, most tours of the UK start in London, which frequently competes with Paris as the world’s most visited city.

London is a city of fascinating and diverse neighborhoods, of splendid parks and eye-catching architecture, of the river Thames (which cuts through its heart) and little-known canals, of atmospheric inns and pubs, of world-class museums and art galleries, and, of course, of frequent displays of royalty and grandeur.

London’s Key Sights

Even those who’ve never been to London can probably identify Big Ben, the huge clock that keeps time above the Parliament building; the Tower of London, home to the British Crown Jewels; Tower Bridge, an iconic crossing over the Thames; and Buckingham Palace, one residence of the Queen. The Queen’s Guard, with their red uniforms and bearskin caps and who stand stony faced and ramrod straight, are the subjects of countless photographs.

For those who love history and culture, the enormous British Museum is a must, as is Westminster Abbey. Art lovers gravitate to the National Gallery and the Tate. And everyone wants to see Piccadilly Circus, the Times Square of London.

Chic and sometimes shabby neighborhoods like Soho draw gawkers and shoppers alike, while Hyde Park attracts both lovers of flowers and those who like to listen to the speakers who mount platforms at Speakers’ Corner and say whatever is on their minds, which is often quite a bit.

Beyond London

Most London tours also take in nearby attractions such as Windsor, site of Windsor Castle, where the Queen spends summers; and Winchester, site of an enormous Gothic cathedral.

Farther afield, tours of England are likely to take in Bath, named for its Roman-era baths and a huge tourist draw; the Cotswolds, where stone houses populate impossibly quaint little villages; Stonehenge, the ring of giant stones whose prehistoric origins have mystified scholars for ages; and, perhaps, Cornwall on the far southwestern coast, where rugged cliffs stand sentry against the waves of the North Atlantic.

Farther North

England’s Lake Country has been celebrated in poetry by Wordsworth, while much of Yorkshire retains a rural feel. The walled medieval city of York is one of England’s jewels, where attractions include York Minster, an imposing Gothic cathedral with medieval stained glass windows. Also worth a look is Hadrian’s Wall, which marked the Romans’ farthest north advance into Britain.

Wales

Wales is King Arthur country, and those who skip it are missing some of the best scenery in the British Isles: mountains, rivers, castles, cliffside ocean views, and narrow winding roads that cry out for the expertise of native left-side-of-the-road drivers. One of the top spots for views is the tip of the Gower Peninsula, called Worm’s head, which is ideal for hiking on a misty, breezy day.

Snowdonia is a section of Wales known for its scenic Snowdon Mountain Railway, which climbs to the peak of Snowdon Mountain. You can also visit the unusual village of Portmerion, used as the setting for the old cult-favorite TV series, The Prisoner. And be sure to take a picture of the railway station marking the 58-character village of lanfair­pwllgwyn­gyllgo­gery­chwyrn­drobwll­llanty­silio­gogo­goch, the world’s longest town name.

Scotland

Scotland is known as the birthplace of golf at St. Andrews, where the Old Course is still playable with advance reservations; the nation that produces the finest whisky (Scotch); and the land where men wear plaid skirts (kilts), play bagpipes, toss cabers, and “bag” Munros, which equates to climbing any 3,000-foot-plus-high mountain in Scotland.

Edinburgh and Beyond

Most Scotland tours start in Edinburgh, home of Edinburgh Castle, the fortress that dominates the skyline. The Royal Military Tattoo, the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe International Festival draw thousands of visitors each August.

North of Edinburgh are Loch Ness, with its famous mythical (perhaps) monster; the Highlands; and the Whisky Trail, where you can visit a number of Scotch whisky distilleries -- another time when taking a guided tour, and leaving the driving to the fellow who didn’t imbibe, is a very useful idea. Windswept and remote Scottish islands -- the Arans, the Shetlands, and the Hebrides -- are a special treat for nature lovers.

Northern Ireland

Peace seems to have settled into Northern Ireland after decades of Protestant versus Catholic violence in the late 20th century.

The region’s top draw is the Giant’s Causeway, the stuff of myth and legend about a giant named Finn McCool building a causeway of some 40,000 basalt columns leading across the sea toward Scotland. One of Britain’s most remarkable natural attractions, the Causeway is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Leading up to it is the Causeway Coastal Route, a 120-mile scenic drive along the northern Irish coast that features cliffs, waterfalls and mountain streams.

Wherever you decide to go in the United Kingdom, Stride can help you plan by pointing you in the direction of the top tour operators and the itineraries that best suit your needs and budget. And that makes some tough decisions a whole lot easier.

United Kingdom Reviews & Ratings

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Trusted Customer

Jun 2024

Written on

Castles and Kingdoms

We booked this trip anticipating we would be travelling with the same group throughout the experience. We were advised once we were on our travels that we would be ...

T

Trusted Customer

May 2024

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European Experience

You definitely can do things on your own but, you miss alot if you do not do optional excursions

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Trusted Customer

May 2024

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European Experience

The itinerary was full of travel to 7 Europe destinations. Good first time overv...

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