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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 railroads 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 colorful 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 railroad network.

Vacation 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 railroad

 

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

Find out more

Expert opinions & guides

Snowdon Railroad

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 & traveling 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 vacation 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 fall.

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.

12 results matching: UK & Ireland

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Grand Tour of the UK
Flexible Booking
4.6 stars(5 reviews)
2021Sep
12 days from
$2,445 pp
View Details
Flexible Booking
12 days from
$2,445
per person
View Details
tour map
  • DestinationEngland, Scotland
  • Starts / EndsYork / London
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
Map and accommodation
tour map
  • DestinationEngland
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
tour map
  • DestinationScotland
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
tour map
  • DestinationEngland
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
tour map
  • DestinationScotland
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
tour map
  • DestinationEngland
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
tour map
  • DestinationScotland
  • AccommodationCruise, Hotel
  • TransportRail, Cruise
Map and accommodation
tour map
  • DestinationScotland
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
tour map
  • DestinationIreland
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
tour map
  • DestinationScotland
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
tour map
  • DestinationEngland
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
tour map
  • DestinationIreland
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Our customers love our UK & Ireland tours
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
03 Aug 2019
Mr P Johnson
5 stars
“Thoroughly enjoyed the round of experiences in this vacation. A bit spoilt by the weather.
Collected by Great Rail Journeys
Northern England's Industrial Revolution
09 Oct 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
Grand Tour of the UK
Oct 05 2018
Mrs L Janse
4 stars
“There was just a little too much UK in 14 days. I looked forward to visitng Glasgow, but arriving n the evenimg and departing the next mornng diddn't give much time to do that.
Collected by Great Rail Journeys
The Harrogate Flower Show
05 Oct 2017
Mrs L Godson
4 stars
“It was an excelkent vacation. The only reason for 4 rather than 5 stars was because of one or two reservations about the hotel.
Collected by Great Rail Journeys
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