Discoveries on your doorstep - the Stately Homes of Britain
By Jack Stacey
6 November 2018
Great Britain is one of the best places to be if you’re into your stately homes.Read more
England is a wonderful destination with a wealth of attractions and scenery to explore. Discover the nation from a new perspective on a Great Rail Journeys UK tour.
Although complaining about the state of the railways seems to be a popular English pastime, in truth the country has an efficient and modern inter-city and regional rail network. This enables holidaymakers to explore England's beautiful landscapes and historic towns and cities, from countryside to coast, in comfort and ease.
From ancient Stonehenge and Viking York, to the wild, desolate beauty of the Yorkshire Moors and the colourful houses and sandy beaches of the Cornish coast, there is a lot to see and do, much of it accessible from the comfort of England's fantastic railway network.
The Isle of Man is famous for its stunning coastline, superb sandy beaches, spectacular scenery and gentle pace of life. This charming island also boasts some of the most impressive heritage railways found anywhere in the British Isles, not to mention the historic horse-drawn trams.… see more
6 days from $1,505 ppView tour details >
Imbued with centuries of history and culture, the UK is one of the most rewarding nations to travel around. Explore the length and breadth of Britain on this outstanding tour of the island. Discover ancient attractions, modern cities and wild landscapes from the rugged Rannoch Moor to the inspiring Stonehenge.… see more
14 days from $5,165 ppView tour details >
Enjoy all the Christmas cheer that Yorkshire has to offer based in the beautiful spa town of Harrogate. This festive tour includes fantastic rail journeys, historic Ripley Castle, picturesque Fountains Abbey and the medieval city of York, adorned with seasonal decorations.… see more
7 days from $1,495 ppView tour details >
The stunning Channel Islands dot the sea between England's south coast and France, and boast some of the most beautiful beaches that the U.K. has to offer. Discover the turbulent histories and the incredible scenery of Guernsey and Jersey.… see more
9 days from $2,685 ppView tour details >
Enjoy an immersive visit to 'God's Own County' as we explore Yorkshire as part of an intimate small group, enjoying fantastic local experiences from our base in an elegant 19th-century mansion house. Discover the charms of the Yorkshire moors, enjoy local cuisine, and embark on two incredible heritage railway journeys on this exclusive tour of Yorkshire.… see more
5 days from $1,435 ppView tour details >
Thanks to its long history, England is a country of rich traditions, literature and music. One of its most famous exports is music, with bands such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Who flying the flag.
England also boasts of some of the best-known authors in the world, being the country of the famous Elizabethan playwright William Shakespeare, Victorian authors Charles Dickens and the Brontë sisters, and the author of the 'Harry Potter' series J. K. Rowling. On our 'Yorkshire & Northumberland' tour, you are able to see the parsonage where Anne, Emily, and Charlotte Brontë grew up, and visit Whitby Abbey, that was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'.
England's railway system is one of the longest running in the world, and it came about as a result of the Industrial revolution that started 18th century. Thanks to the steam engine, something that had been originally invented in in the 1712 by English inventor Thomas Newcomen, travelling by rail became popular as this method of transport was faster, easier and cheaper than travelling by horse power. Rail travel was also cheap, meaning the lower classes could use it to get to the industrial centres of England to find work.
England continues to use rail travel extensively to this day, and although many modern and updated lines run with diesel hauled carriages, the country still boasts a collection of around seventy heritage railways still using steam engines to travel across some of the most beautiful areas in the country. One of these outstanding journeys is the Settle to Carlisle Railway, which passes over the Ribblehead Viaduct at the base of the Yorkshire Three Peaks.
England draws food inspiration from all over the world. You could go traditional, and enjoy a cosy pub lunch of roast beef and Yorkshire puddings or stroll along the beach eating hot fish and chips, smothered in salt and vinegar. Alternatively, you could enjoy a delicious Indian or Thai curry.
Complement your meal with some locally brewed beer. England is renowned for its rich variety of beers and ales, deeply rooted in the country's culture and history.
Afternoon tea is a light repast, usually eaten in the late afternoon, and consists of sandwiches, light cream cakes, and, of course, England's national drink, tea. One of the most famous places in England for this is Bettys tea rooms, which can be found in the elegant Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate.
The old joke goes that the only weather in England is rain, but this is not strictly true. England enjoys a temperate climate; the summers are generally warm and the winters are fairly mild. Be that as it may, it does rain a lot in England, so be prepared for wet weather - the people in England don't let the rain slow them down though, with many events becoming famous for the show going on despite the downpours.
Each region of England has its own peculiarities and local customs; one area where this is particularly distinct is in regional dishes. For example parmesan chicken, which is a street food adaptation of the Italian pollo parmigiana, is a favourite in a small area of North Yorkshire but even as little as fifty miles away is unheard of.
Tipping in England isn't mandatory, but it is appreciated. The standard tip in England can be between 10% and 15%, but if eating with a large group of people, the tip is sometimes added with the bill.
The accents in England are broad and varied, and can change dramatically within very few miles. There are around 30 distinct accents in England, that range from Cockney in London, to Geordie in the North East, and every accent comes with a different colloquial vocabulary.
England is a fairly reserved country, and the social culture rests upon politeness, good manners, and a sense of fair play. Mentioning anything about the weather is a good way to spark a conversation, but the English also have an excellent, if very particular, sense of humour.
Helping you plan your tour to England