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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

Edinburgh, Highlands & Islands
(99 reviews)
2020AugSepOct
2021MarAprMayJunJul...
9 days from
$2,095 pp
View Details
Railroads & Castles of Wales
(77 reviews)
2020SepOct
2021AprMayJunJulAug...
6 days from
$1,055 pp
View Details
Yorkshire & Northumberland
(31 reviews)
2020AugSep
2021AprMayJunJulAugSep
7 days from
$1,225 pp
View Details
Vintage Railroads of the Isle of Man
(96 reviews)
2020AugSepOct
6 days from
$1,015 pp
View Details

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.

37 results matching: UK & Ireland

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Edinburgh, Highlands & Islands
(99 reviews)
2020AugSepOct
2021MarAprMayJunJul...
9 days from
$2,095 pp
View Details
9 days from
$2,095
per person
View Details
tour map
  • DestinationScotland
  • Starts / EndsEdinburgh
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Highland Adventure
(82 reviews)
2020SepOct
2021Sep
5 days from
$1,085 pp
View Details
5 days from
$1,085
per person
View Details
tour map
  • DestinationScotland
  • Starts / EndsInverness
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Railroads & Castles of Wales
(77 reviews)
2020SepOct
2021AprMayJunJulAug...
6 days from
$1,055 pp
View Details
6 days from
$1,055
per person
View Details
tour map
  • DestinationWales
  • Starts / EndsLlandudno
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Yorkshire & Northumberland
(31 reviews)
2020AugSep
2021AprMayJunJulAugSep
7 days from
$1,225 pp
View Details
7 days from
$1,225
per person
View Details
tour map
  • DestinationEngland
  • Starts / EndsHarrogate / York, Harrogate
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Vintage Railroads of the Isle of Man
(96 reviews)
2020AugSepOct
6 days from
$1,015 pp
View Details
6 days from
$1,015
per person
View Details
tour map
  • DestinationEngland
  • Starts / EndsHeysham
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
The Paignton & Dartmouth Steam Railroad
(8 reviews)
2020Oct
5 days from
$725 pp
View Details
5 days from
$725
per person
View Details
tour map
  • DestinationEngland
  • Starts / EndsTorquay
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
A Castle On The Shore Of Loch Fyne
(41 reviews)
2020AugSepOct
7 days from
$1,445 pp
View Details
7 days from
$1,445
per person
View Details
tour map
  • DestinationScotland
  • Starts / EndsGlasgow
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
The Outer Hebrides
(32 reviews)
2020AugSep
8 days from
$2,135 pp
View Details
8 days from
$2,135
per person
View Details
tour map
  • DestinationScotland
  • Starts / EndsGlasgow / Edinburgh, Glasgow
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
The Enchanting Emerald Isle
(14 reviews)
2020Sep
2021MayJunSep
9 days from
$2,315 pp
View Details
9 days from
$2,315
per person
View Details
tour map
  • DestinationIreland
  • Starts / EndsDublin
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Coastal Cornwall & Lost Gardens
(5 reviews)
2020Sep
6 days from
$1,415 pp
View Details
6 days from
$1,415
per person
View Details
tour map
  • DestinationEngland
  • Starts / EndsCornwall
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Grand Tour of the UK
(6 reviews)
2020Sep
14 days from
$3,895 pp
View Details
14 days from
$3,895
per person
View Details
tour map
  • DestinationEngland, Scotland
  • Starts / EndsYork / London
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Northern England, The Scottish Isles & Iceland
(8 reviews)
2020Oct
2021Jun
19 days from
$3,487 pp
View Details
19 days from
$3,487
per person
View Details
tour map
  • DestinationEngland, Iceland, Scotland
  • Starts / EndsYork / Newcastle
  • AccommodationCruise, Hotel
  • TransportRail, Cruise
Map and accommodation
Our customers love our UK & Ireland tours
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Coastal Cornwall & its Captivating Gardens
Mr A Gander
“Excellent weather helped spending time in such a superb location, with excellent tours around the Cornwall countryside.
Edinburgh, the Highlands & Islands
Mrs C Inboden
“Everybody I dealt with at Great Rails was very knowledgeable and organized. Our experience was exactly as expected.
Five-Star Highlands Cruise
Anonymous
“Great food, good mix of relaxation and interest.
Highland Adventure
Mr D Fetterman
“Excellent vacation. Hotel great
Northern England's Industrial Revolution
Anonymous
“very good though wish we could have visited the places longer
Northern England, The Faroe Islands & Iceland
Anonymous
“We both thoroughly enjoyed the vacation. Hotels were great, Linden especially, excellent room and food if a little pricey for drinks but we expected that in a hotel. The Ship was fine but not our personal favourite. Iceland did not disappoint, the sea was calm for the North Atlantic and the weather was sun if a little chilly.
Orkney, Shetland & the Highlands
Mr P Allen
“An excellent tour, Sandra our tour manager was really efficient and the tour itself was very well thought out
Railroads & Castles of Wales
Anonymous
“A wonderful time with an excellent Tour Guide, good hotel and interesting trips.
South Devon & The Dawlish Coast
Mr C Lee
“Well organised,great value hotel.
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