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best-of-britain - CIE-Tours

Best of Britain

  • 2019 Best of Britain 10 Days/9 nights Tour
Starts London
Ends London
  • Tour Highlights
  • Itinerary
  • Dates and Prices
  • Reviews

Tour Highlights

Authentic Local Experiences:

  • Reserved seats for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on August 4th – 18th departures
  • Discover the rich history of Windsor and York on walking tours around these charming old towns
  • Visit the medieval Bamburgh Castle and enjoy views of the beach below

Trip Highlights:

  • British Music Experience
  • Cardiff Castle
  • Edinburgh Castle
  • Roman Baths & Pump Room
  • Stonehenge
  • Tower of London
  • Windsor Castle

Dining Experiences:

  • 9 breakfasts (B), 1 lunch (L) 3 dinners (D) including a Scottish evening at Dalhousie Castle in Edinburgh and a festive Welsh banquet at Cardiff Castle.

Hotels:

  • Macdonald Windsor Hotel, Windsor (1 night)
  • York Marriott, York (1 night)
  • Dalhousie Castle Hotel, near Edinburgh (2 nights)
  • Hilton Liverpool City Centre Hotel, Liverpool (1 night)
  • Clayton Hotel Cardiff, Cardiff (1 night)
  • Radisson Blu Edwardian Grafton Hotel, London (3 nights)

Hotels

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Macdonald Windsor Hotel, Windsor

Macdonald Windsor Hotel, Windsor Description:

Located minutes away from Windsor Castle is the Macdonald Windsor Hotel. Set in a 1700s townhouse this hotel features contemporary design with rich pops of color against a muted palette. The bedrooms are luxurious and elegant and features plush fabrics, free Wi-Fi, and an en-suite bathroom with drench showers. Enjoy a meal at the Scottish Steakhouse which uses quality ingredients to create innovative twists to delicious dishes.

York Marriott, York

York Marriott, York Description:

This modern, stylish hotel is an ideal base for exploring York. The Chase Bar & Grill is open for all meals with an international menu. 151 luxuriously appointed guest rooms offer satellite TV, a hairdryer and tea and coffee facilities. Guests can enjoy one hour of free Wi-Fi access in public areas. The leisure club features a heated pool and spa facilities. York city center is within 2 miles of the hotel with York Minster being a 40-minute walk.

Dalhousie Castle Hotel, Bonnyrigg

Dalhousie Castle Hotel, Bonnyrigg Description:

Certain parts of this majestic red stone castle – which is the oldest inhabited castle in Scotland – date back as far as the 13th century. The rooms are individually decorated, blending historic surroundings with modern amenities, and feature Scottish fabrics and period furniture. Enjoy a meal in The Dungeon Restaurant, located in the castle’s actual dungeon, or a relaxed bite in the hotel’s bistro.

Hilton Liverpool City Centre Hotel, Liverpool

Hilton Liverpool City Centre Hotel, Liverpool Description:

This stylish, modern hotel was opened in 2010. Enjoy signature cocktails in the hotel’s elegant PIMA Bar or savor the finest seasonal cuisine at the Exchange Restaurant. Enjoy a range of guest rooms and suites – some with views over the city or the River Mersey – wireless internet access and satellite TV channels. Work out in the fitness center.

Clayton Hotel Cardiff, Cardiff

Clayton Hotel Cardiff, Cardiff Description:

This new 12-story hotel, opened in 2011, is one of Cardiff’s tallest buildings, with panoramic views over Cardiff Bay. The Cardiff Hotel Bar is open for drinks and casual food throughout the day. Stir Bar & Restaurant, overlooking Mill Lane, offers an array of dishes to tempt your taste buds. Two hundred sixteen guest rooms provide every amenity for a comfortable stay, offering the perfect place to relax and unwind. These spacious and airy rooms offer beds with crisp white duvet and pillows, with outstanding views of the beautiful Cardiff surroundings. Facilities include air-conditioning, tea/coffee making facilities and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Radisson Blu Edwardian Grafton Hotel, London

Radisson Blu Edwardian Grafton Hotel, London Description:

With luxurious colonial furniture and original Asian artwork, this welcoming hotel is like a smart and exclusive club. 330 luxuriously appointed rooms offer beautiful furnishings, crisp bed linen, and fabulous marble bathrooms. The Aston Bar and Restaurant has a superior reputation and is a great place for a drink, a light lunch, or a sumptuous dinner made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. It is located on Tottenham Court Road, in the West End and close to theaters, museums and art galleries.

Itinerary

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BEST OF BRITAIN 10 DAYS / 9 NIGHTS

B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner

Day 1WINDSOR CASTLE

Tour begins 2:30 PM at your Windsor hotel. Visit Windsor Castle, residence of the Queen and the largest inhabited castle in the world. In the evening, join your group for a welcome drink.Take a walk around this compact and historic town with a local guide.

Day 2BLENHEIM PALACE & COTSWOLD DRIVE

Travel to Blenheim Palace, a monumental “country house” and home to the Dukes of Marlborough. Enjoy a scenic drive through the picturesque Cotswolds, passing through quaint towns and villages nestled among the distinctive rolling hills and valleys. Travel on to York, a city founded by the Romans in the first century and a major wool trading center in the Middle Ages. (B, D)

Day 3YORK MINSTER & BAMBURGH CASTLE

Take a walking tour of York’s medieval street, including the Shambles, one of the city’s narrowest alleyways. Then tour the Gothic York Minster, renowned for its magnificent medieval stained glass windows. Visit Bamburgh Castle, an imposing medieval fortress that is one of the largest inhabited castles in Britain. This magical castle is set high on a rocky plateau affording wonderful views along the coast. Continue to your hotel near Edinburgh, Dalhousie Castle, and hear a piper play before a lively Scottish evening with dinner and entertainment. (B, D)

Day 4GUIDED CITY TOUR & EDINBURGH CASTLE

Explore central Edinburgh, starting in the 200-year-old “New Town” with its planned streets and elegant Georgian houses. View Princes Street, the city’s premier shopping street, and see the Royal Mile where medieval houses are clustered closely together. Tour the imposing Edinburgh Castle to see the Crown Jewels of Scotland and the Stone of Destiny. The afternoon is free to explore on your own. The August 4 - 18 departures watch the spectacular Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on the Castle Esplanade. (B)

Day 5LAKE DISTRICT & BRITISH MUSIC EXPERIENCE

Travel through the Lake District, a region that inspired Beatrix Potter’s many children’s books. Stop in the peaceful village of Grasmere for lunch on your own before continuing to Liverpool. Visit the British Music Experience to see the exhibition dedicated to the history of popular music in Britain, admire the priceless collection of music memorabilia, and enjoy a musical twist. After dinner, head to the world-famous Cavern Club to enjoy live music. (B, L)

Day 6TINTERN ABBEY & WELSH EVENING IN CARDIFF

Travel through scenic Shropshire, one of the most unspoiled parts of rural England. Stop in Ludlow, a quintessentially English town to see the castle and quaint old black-and-white houses. Continue through the lovely Welsh countryside to visit the picturesque ruins of Tintern Abbey close to the River Wye. Head to Cardiff and tour Cardiff Castle before enjoying a Welsh banquet with lively music and entertainment. (B, D)

Day 7ROMAN BATHS & STONEHENGE

Take a panoramic drive around Cardiff with a brief walk to see the principal areas and buildings. Head to Bath for a visit to the Roman Baths, hot mineral-rich springs that have been popular since ancient Roman times. Stop for lunch on your own in this historic spa town. Then marvel at the prehistoric circle of vast monoliths of Stonehenge at Salisbury Plain and learn about the primitive building methods used to create such an enduring monument. In London, the evening is free to explore and dine in one of the city’s many restaurants. (B)

Day 8LONDON TOUR & TOWER OF LONDON

Set out on a panoramic tour of central London to see famous landmarks including Piccadilly Circus with its statue of Eros, Nelson’s Column flanked by huge lions in Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament. Visit the mighty Tower of London to see the many fortresses, Beefeaters in their distinctive uniforms, ravens, and the priceless Crown Jewels. The rest of the day is free for further exploring. (B)

Day 9LONDON SIGHTSEEING

Enjoy a day of sightseeing in London by open-top bus tour around the many famous landmarks. There are a number of different routes to choose from including a walking tour and a cruise on the River Thames. (B)

Day 10TOUR ENDS IN LONDON

Your program ends after breakfast. (B)

Dates and Prices

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Sunday Apr 14, 2019 from London Tuesday Apr 23, 2019 to London 10 Days $3449 Guaranteed Small Group Book Now
Sunday Apr 21, 2019 from London Tuesday Apr 30, 2019 to London 10 Days $2949 Guaranteed Book Now
Sunday May 5, 2019 from London Tuesday May 14, 2019 to London 10 Days $2999 Book Now
Sunday May 12, 2019 from London Tuesday May 21, 2019 to London 10 Days $3499 Guaranteed Small Group Book Now
Sunday May 26, 2019 from London Tuesday Jun 4, 2019 to London 10 Days $3149 Guaranteed Book Now
Sunday Jun 2, 2019 from London Tuesday Jun 11, 2019 to London 10 Days $3649 Guaranteed Small Group Book Now
Sunday Jun 16, 2019 from London Tuesday Jun 25, 2019 to London 10 Days $3199 Guaranteed Book Now
Sunday Jun 30, 2019 from London Tuesday Jul 9, 2019 to London 10 Days $3199 Book Now
Sunday Jul 7, 2019 from London Tuesday Jul 16, 2019 to London 10 Days $3699 Guaranteed Small Group Book Now
Sunday Jul 21, 2019 from London Tuesday Jul 30, 2019 to London 10 Days $3149 Guaranteed Book Now
Sunday Jul 28, 2019 from London Tuesday Aug 6, 2019 to London 10 Days $3649 Guaranteed Small Group Book Now
Sunday Aug 4, 2019 from London Tuesday Aug 13, 2019 to London 10 Days $3349 Tattoo/Tour Guaranteed Book Now
Sunday Aug 11, 2019 from London Tuesday Aug 20, 2019 to London 10 Days $3349 Tattoo/Tour Guaranteed Sold Out
Sunday Aug 18, 2019 from London Tuesday Aug 27, 2019 to London 10 Days $3349 Tattoo/Tour Guaranteed Book Now
Sunday Aug 25, 2019 from London Tuesday Sep 3, 2019 to London 10 Days $3149 Guaranteed Book Now
Sunday Sep 1, 2019 from London Tuesday Sep 10, 2019 to London 10 Days $3649 Guaranteed Small Group Book Now
Sunday Sep 8, 2019 from London Tuesday Sep 17, 2019 to London 10 Days $3199 Book Now
Sunday Sep 15, 2019 from London Tuesday Sep 24, 2019 to London 10 Days $3199 Book Now
Sunday Oct 6, 2019 from London Tuesday Oct 15, 2019 to London 10 Days $2999 Guaranteed Book Now
Sunday Oct 13, 2019 from London Tuesday Oct 22, 2019 to London 10 Days $3499 Guaranteed Small Group Book Now
Sunday Oct 27, 2019 from London Tuesday Nov 5, 2019 to London 10 Days $2699 Book Now

17 Reviews


Trip:
Service:
I enjoyed the tour very much. However, I had problems getting through to a person using their phone numbers. Maybe I was calling during. busy time?

Trip:
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Booking service was intuitive and easy

Trip:
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Great tour. Very professional guide and drivers. Many great experiences we will always remember. Perfect way to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. The Military Tattoo was a wonderful experience.

Trip:
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We booked through Affordable Tours. The experience was flawless. The agent, Mo, was on top of every detail and kept us informed with every step.

Trip:
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Very well planned out. We will definitely recommend CIE to anyone who asks how we enjoyed our holiday.

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We had a wonderful “Best of England” tour with guide Harry Gray and driver Denis Murphy. The very first day we saw a mile long line at Windsor Castle, but our tickets were already taken care of and we went straight in with no waiting. That was the way it was at all sights on the trip. The street where we were to meet the bus after the Edinburgh Tattoo had been barricaded by the police. Somehow Denis managed to find a close parking space and Harry was able to find everyone and get us back to the bus. All the accommodations were first class. The meals were excellent, although pretty heavy. We visited the important sights and did not have to worry about booking, driving, parking, where to stay or where to eat. Anytime anybody mentions visiting the UK, I always recommend CIE.

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Very well organized. Excellent tour director and bus driver team. We do recommend the company. We hope to travel with this company again within the next year.

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We took this tour to see the Edinburgh Tatoo. It was wonderful. Most of the tour was what we expected. There were a couple of major disappointments. You might as well skip Liverpool. The hotel was ok, but the food was absolutely inedible; the worst I have ever had on any tour. There was little to do except go to a pub (& we don't drink)) Then when we got to London, aside from the Tower of London tour and the quickie tour of London, we felt lost. We were given an outdated map of the bus routes & kicked clear. The people in the London hotel were downright rude - I guess they don't like Americans. We had to print our own plane tickets & arrange for transport to the airport ourselves. On previous trips, our guide has done that for us, so all we had to do was show up at the front door of the hotel on time. All in all, we won't be using CIE again & will not recommend it to any of our friends.

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Great trip. Everything was well planned and executed. Tour guide was great. We will definitely use CIE Tours again.

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Our guide and driver were wonderful! Attention to detail and professional to the max!

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The booking through AAA was excellent.

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Harry, our tour guide, kept everyone informed, well organized and he fielded all questions tossed out with patience and good humor. He was a fabulous fountain of information! Additions such as playing cds with music and reading quotes appropriate to the areas we were passing through enhanced the experience. Dennis, our driver, was a silent wonder! He didn't talk much but he was one terrific driver!!

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Booking was very easy and explained very clearly

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I booked the trip online. It was easy. I booked the hotel a day early and arranged transport also.

Trip:
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smooth, easy

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Loved the trip. The staff was very professional, met expectations 100%.

Trip:
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Booking service not good,booked in Feb for a trip in July and CIE failed to choose seats for us on our flight that we booked and paid for in Feb. Did not know this until right before the trip, therefore the 3 of us did not have seats together. Made several calls to CIE and calls were not returned

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