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UK & Ireland - Rail and escorted tours

Misty mountain glens in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, mythology that lives on in the ancient castles and charming railways of Wales, the rich culture of Ireland that soaks into its traditional music and dance and of course, the lush counties, market towns and energising cities of England. Much of what makes the Great British Isles great is already familiar to us, but little can compare with exploring our diverse landscapes and history first hand.

And the best part? Many sights are easily accessible by rail!

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.

Tour ideas for UK & Ireland

Where to go and what to see

Top 5 destinations

York Minster

 

  • York
  • Edinburgh
  • Isle of Man
  • Scilly Isles
  • Dublin

Find out more

Top 5 sights

Stonehenge

 

  • Portmerion Village
  • Elien Donan Castle
  • Stonehenge
  • York Shambles
  • Conwy Castle

Find out more

Top 5 train experiences

North York Moors railway

 

  • The Ffestiniog Railway & Welsh Highland Line
  • The Jacobite Steam Train
  • The North Yorkshire Moors
  • Snaefell Mountain Railway
  • Caledonian Sleeper

Find out more

Expert opinions & guides

Snowdon Railway

Should I stay or should I go

Vacation v Staycation - With so many incredible landscapes and pieces of architecture to discover right here on your doorstep in the UK, you needn't miss out with these perfect vacation vs. staycation swaps!

Read more

Bamburgh Castle

A five-stop guided tour of Great Britain

Re-discover your own lands - We've rounded up our favourites places in the UK to inspire you.

Read more

West Highland Line

Top 5 Scottish Rail Journeys

The Scottish Selection - 5 scenic Scottish rail journeys worth sampling.

Read more

Scotland in the Wild

Live life in the Slow lane and take in the natural beauty of Scotland.

Read more

Destination information & travelling tips

Currency

Pound Sterling (GBP)

Euro (In Ireland)

Main language

English

Timezone

Greenwich Mean Time (last Sunday in October until the last Sunday in March) & British Summer Time (last Sunday in March until the last Sunday in October).

Travel times

Travel from Southern England to Northern Scotland in 8 hours by train.

When to travel

We're lucky that the UK and Ireland offer something different in every season, so you're free to tailor your tour based on your preferred activity. If nature is high on your agenda, take a trip anytime from late March to early October, when it's generally warmer and drier, and see beautiful spring flowers, stretch out on a sun-drenched beach or witness the changing leaves in autumn.

What to pack

We all know how unpredictable the British weather can be, so it's best to plan for all eventualities. Waterproofs, an umbrella and comfortable walking shoes are just as important as sun cream, cooler clothes and a pair of shades.

Local customs and cultures

On the whole, the UK is quite multi-cultural, although a strong British culture remains, and the weather will always be a topic of conversation. No staycation would be complete without a traditional afternoon tea or some fish and chips beside the sea. Just be careful you don't get caught out ordering a sandwich, who knows what you'll end up with - a Bread cake? Cob? Roll? Teacake? - make sure you brush up on the local lingo!

Things you may not know

  • The Queen owns every swan in England.
  • Scotland is home to the world's oldest golf course, which is now known as St Andrews.
  • The British accent changes approximately every 25 miles.

21 results matching: UK & Ireland

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  • DestinationWales
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  • DestinationEngland
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  • DestinationEngland
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  • DestinationScotland
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  • DestinationEngland
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  • DestinationScotland
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  • DestinationWales
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  • DestinationEngland
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Our customers love our UK & Ireland tours
Highland Adventure
Oct 25 2020
Mrs Christine Saunders
5 stars
“Our tour was excellent and very safe.
Collected by Great Rail Journeys
Railways and Castles of Wales
Oct 20 2020
Mr Michael Saunders
5 stars
“Because everything was just fine, from the hotel staff to the organised trips? The covid arrangements were outstanding
Collected by Great Rail Journeys
Yorkshire and Northumberland
Oct 10 2020
Miss Christine Diwell
5 stars
“Well organised, attentive tour manager, well spaced varied and interesting program and good hotels
Collected by Great Rail Journeys
Orkney, Shetland and the Highlands
Oct 14 2019
Mr P Allen
5 stars
“An excellent tour, Sandra our tour manager was really efficient and the tour itself was very well thought out
Collected by Great Rail Journeys
Western Highlands and Hebrides
Aug 03 2019
Mr P Johnson
5 stars
“Thoroughly enjoyed the round of experiences in this tour. A bit spoilt by the weather.
Collected by Great Rail Journeys
Northern England's Industrial Revolution
Oct 09 2017
Prof K Dyer
5 stars
“We thoroughly enjoyed the tour. It visited some very interesting locations that were well integrated. The introductions were very good, especially the one on the canal trip. The visiting academic's talk after dinner came at a rather sleepy point when most people were not at their most receptive. We were sorry not to have had more free time in both Manchester and Newcastle to extend the context of the tour.
Collected by Great Rail Journeys
Valleys and Railways of Mid Wales
Oct 30 2020
Mr Derek Thomas
4 stars
“Our fifth Great Rail Journey tour which we enjoyed until the last day which turned into a disaster. Our scheduled visit to Llangollen was changed at the last minute to Aberglasney Gardens and Brecon. We elected to cut our losses and return home after a cold and wet walk around the gardens missing the final evening dinner etc.
Collected by Great Rail Journeys
Norwich and the Norfolk Broads
Oct 02 2020
Mrs Gail Foster
4 stars
“The tour guide, Julie Boreham and the coach driver, John were very personable and helpful. Although our room was large it felt detached from the main body of the group. Meals were plentiful however there were times when the choices appeared limited. We had an issue with the bathroom taps and although they were reported on at least two occasions they were not fixed. We ordered champagne for our arrival however as we did not arrive until approximately 2.45 the ice was well on the way to being melted. It would be helpful in my opinion for the champagne to be delivered as we arrived or just after.
Collected by Great Rail Journeys
The Outer Hebrides and The Highlands
Sep 28 2018
Dr W Parry
4 stars
“If you had selected betterl hotels, as I mention below, then probably it would have gained an extra star! Accommodation is an important part of a tour, i'm surprised I have to mention this!
Collected by Great Rail Journeys
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