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ENGLAND

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Trip Itinerary

Gain insight into the advantages of traveling off the beaten path in spectacular, storied Britain.

07:55 | 142 views

16 DAYS FROM $3,595 • $ 225 / DAY
Grand Circle Tour

3 NIGHTS FROM $695

PRE-TRIP EXTENSION

London, England

DAYS IN ENGLAND
3

Witness iconic Parliament and Westminster Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Seek out the trappings of history at the Tower of London and Tower Bridge
View the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace

Explore full access to the city to explore independently with your included 2-day London Transport Pass

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Find the Adventure That’s Right for You

Our Activity Level rating system ranks adventures on a scale of 1 to 5 to help you determine if a trip is right for you. See the descriptions below for more information about the physical requirements associated with each rating.

Activity Level 1:

1 2 3 4 5

Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 25 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 1-2 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last at least 1-2 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 2:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 40 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 2-3 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for at least 2-3 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 3:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderate

Travelers should be able to climb 60 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 3 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 3 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 5,000 to 7,000 feet.

Activity Level 4:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 80 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 4 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 7,000 to 9,000 feet.

Activity Level 5:

1 2 3 4 5

Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 100 or more stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 8 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 10,000 feet or more.

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Recommended Viewing

Watch this video showcasing what makes this country so unforgettable

Our England, Scotland & Wales Adventure with GCT Submitted by Ching & Chuck Schueddig, 22-time travelers from Naples, Florida

Join fellow travelers Ching and Chuck S. from Naples, Florida as they take in London's Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and more before visiting England's ancient sites like Stonehenge and York Minster.

26:50 |   275 views   

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Watch your fellow travelers' favorite films & videos

England: Month-by-Month

There are pros and cons to visiting a destination during any time of the year. Find out what you can expect during your ideal travel time, from weather and climate, to holidays, festivals, and more.

England in January-February

Shorter days, overcast skies, and cold temperatures are the hallmark of winter in England. Snow falls in the northern and more mountainous regions, while cities like London see slightly milder temps, with lows of 37⁰F and highs of 44⁰F. The British are no strangers to blustery weather, however, and make the most of this chilly season by enjoying its outdoor skating rinks, visiting one of the country's many museums or art galleries, or simply staying cozy at a local pub. Winter is also a great time for travelers, as there will be fewer crowds and better prices—from theater tickets to “out-of-season” rates on many attractions. 

Holidays & Events

  • January 1: New Year’s Day 
  • Mid-February: Style mavens and runway models flock to the capital to strut their stuff during London’s Fashion Week, which hosts some of the biggest names in the industry.
  • February: Also known as Pancake Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday is celebrated the Tuesday immediately preceding the Catholic observance of Ash Wednesday with a feast of, what else? Pancakes. 

Must See

During the month of February, all of England turns its attention to the rough-and-tumble sport of rugby. The Six Nations Championship—an international competition between England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales—is held during this month each year, and is widely thought to be among the world’s greatest rugby tournaments. If you happen to be visiting England during these matches, let yourself get swept up in the nationwide fervor and passion as the British cheer their team on to victory. 

Watch this film to discover more about England

Travelogue: Paris, France and London, England 1957

See 1957 London and Paris through the eyes of an amateur filmmaker as he captures his family’s international travels.

06:29 | 2255 views

England in March-April

Spring officially arrives in England during March and April, and with it comes warmer temperatures, sunny skies, and flower-filled landscapes. Daffodils make their appearance in March while fruit trees blossom and bluebells bloom in late April. Not only is the weather pleasant this time of year, but places like the Isle of Scilly are still off-season, so you can enjoy the first flowers of spring without the crowds. 

Holidays & Events

  • Early March: Bath Literature Festival; an annual festival held this time of year which hosts a variety of novelists, poets, journalists, and more.
  • March-April: Easter Sunday is a Christian holiday recognized nationwide by the largely Christian population—nearly all non-essential businesses will be closed on this day.

Watch this film to discover more about England

Travelogue: Paris, France and London, England 1957

See 1957 London and Paris through the eyes of an amateur filmmaker as he captures his family’s international travels.

06:29 | 2255 views

England in May-June

The warm and sunny weather continues in May and June, and with it comes the start of peak season. Both literally and figuratively, England bursts into life during these months: Public parks and manicured gardens revel in their colorful bounty, and rooftop bars and beer gardens attract thirsty Londoners for a cold pint.

Holidays & Events

  • May 1: England’s May Day celebration marks the unofficial start of summer. Thought to originate thousands of years ago in a pagan Roman ritual, May Day today is celebrated throughout the country with colorfully festooned Maypoles and Morris dancing, a traditional folk dance typically performed by a group of male dancers sporting leg bells and sticks.
  • Late May: The Chelsea Flower Show—sponsored by the Royal Horticultural Society—is a mesmerizing display of rare blooms and avant-garde gardening designs that are sure to inspire seasoned gardeners and hobbyists alike.
  • Late June-Early July: Each June, tennis fans from around the globe descend on a London suburb for the world’s oldest—and to many, most prestigious—tennis tournament: Wimbledon. Watch famed players strive for glory on the grass courts, and keep an eye out for members of the Royal family, who are known to frequent their box during high profile matches. 

Must See

While Her Majesty was technically born in April, her birthday is officially celebrated on the second Sunday of June with the Trooping the Colour. During this spectacular military parade, uniformed guards on foot and on horseback march down The Mall to Buckingham Palace, the Royal Air Force participates in a fly-by above the palace, and a 41-gun salute is fired in adjacent Green Park to mark the occasion. If you happen to be in London for the Trooping the Colour, you won’t want to miss this sumptuous display.

Watch this film to discover more about England

Travelogue: Paris, France and London, England 1957

See 1957 London and Paris through the eyes of an amateur filmmaker as he captures his family’s international travels.

06:29 | 2255 views

England in July-August

With the heat of the summer months comes a spike in tourism, both from European countries as well as the United States and elsewhere. July and August are some of England's busiest months for the country's streets, pubs, and tourist sites. The weather is hot, but it's also humid and may rain from time to time. It's advisable to pack shorts and umbrellas.

Holidays & Events

  • Late August: London’s biggest street festival dances its way through the streets of Notting Hill each year for the Notting Hill Carnival, a celebration of the city’s strong Caribbean and Afro-Caribbean community. The raucous festivities feature colorfully-costumed dancers, street performers, and large crowds of tourists and Londoners ready to make merry.

Watch this film to discover more about England

Travelogue: Paris, France and London, England 1957

See 1957 London and Paris through the eyes of an amateur filmmaker as he captures his family’s international travels.

06:29 | 2255 views

England in September-October

As September rolls around, with it comes what is typically the year's first bout of cooler weather, with temperatures dipping down to 60-70 degrees. Also around this time, the fall foliage begins to show its colors, casting an air of idyllic, autumnal bliss over residents and visitors alike. With the mild-to-cool weather, and the postcard-ready scenery, many birdwatchers and hikers consider this the most favorable time of year to venture outside the cities and explore England's great outdoors. 

Holidays & Events

  • Mid-September: Each year, the 10-day Jane Austen Festival is held in celebration of the famous author. Book-signings, celebrations, performances, and more bring people together in honor of the famous novelist. 

Watch this film to discover more about England

Travelogue: Paris, France and London, England 1957

See 1957 London and Paris through the eyes of an amateur filmmaker as he captures his family’s international travels.

06:29 | 2255 views

England in November-December

Widely considered the off season, the winter months turn England a cold, dreary gray. Though, for some, this is the most magical time to visit. November snows blanket the far-less-crowded streets and decorate homes much like the icing atop gingerbread houses. Though the exact timing varies each year, by the end of the month, the famed Oxford Street is usually ablaze in festive lighting displays in honor of the Christmas season. By December, a dizzying array of Christmas markets has sprung to life, filling people's hearts with fond memories, cups with mulled wine, and stomachs with bratwurst and other delicious treats. And because of the decrease in both tourism and temperature during these months, it is an ideal time to explore the museums and theater productions that make up England's world-renowned arts scene in your free time.

Holidays & Events

  • November 5: Guy Fawkes Night is an annual celebration of the failure of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot, an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate England's King James I and Ireland's King James VI. 
  • November 11: This marks the annual memorial day for troops who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Must See

Every year since 1947, the city of Oslo, Norway donates a Christmas tree to Britain, which is in turn put on display in Trafalgar Square. A symbol of appreciation for their support during World War II, the tree transforms the square into a festive winter wonderland where carolers sing, people gather in delight, and twinkling lights help to ring in the Christmas season. Around this time, the Geffrye Museum also welcomes visitors to its annual Christmas Past exhibition, a set of eleven rooms decorated to represent Christmas traditions throughout various historical periods. 

Watch this film to discover more about England

Travelogue: Paris, France and London, England 1957

See 1957 London and Paris through the eyes of an amateur filmmaker as he captures his family’s international travels.

06:29 | 2255 views

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City of Westminster

The history and power of the United Kingdom is concentrated in the one-mile area of Westminster, whose photogenic skyline is dominated by the iconic clock tower Big Ben and the gothic spires of the Houses of Parliament. Set along the winding River Thames, Parliament—known interchangeably as the Palace of Westminster—is the seat of British democracy and is open to all visitors who would like to attend debates in the House of Commons or House of Lords and admire the vaulted architecture.

Step across Parliament square to discover British history entombed in Westminster Abbey. From Mary Queen of Scots to Charles Darwin, Chaucer to Dickens, many of the great heavyweights in British history, politics, and arts are buried here. Every British monarch since 1066 has had their coronation in the Abbey, and it continues to play a major role in royal affairs: in 2011, it was the setting for Will and Kate’s wedding.

A short walk across the lovely gardens and pond of St James’s Park is Buckingham Palace, home to the British monarchy since 1837. Get there early to witness the pomp and pageantry of the Changing of the Guards, and maybe even catch a glimpse of the Queen herself—a raised flag above the palace will let you know she’s home.

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Stonehenge

It’s not often that the world’s imagination is held captive by a bunch of big rocks. Yet the allure of Stonehenge, erected upon a flat green expanse in the Wiltshire countryside, is undeniable.

Stonehenge’s tranquil locale enchants today’s visitors with the same mystical presence that must have possessed its original architects 5,000 years ago. Even amidst the throngs of tourists that flock to the site daily, Stonehenge seems to grant observers a private audience, inviting them to ponder the question that’s confounded laypeople and scholars alike for centuries: How on earth did they build this … and why?

Theories abound as to why Neolithic Britons dragged 4-ton megaliths over hundreds of miles to construct this mystifying stone circle. Was it an astral calendar? An ancient burial ground? A site for human sacrifice? A landing pad for aliens?

After centuries of research, experts haven’t agreed on an answer, but two things are certain: It probably wasn’t built by aliens, and to truly appreciate this ancient wonder, you have to see it for yourself.

Smart Travels with Rudy Maxa: English Countryside

Discover the English countryside with Emmy award-winning travel expert Rudy Maxa to witness the sights that have inspired for centuries.

26:33 | 4321 views

Experience Stonehenge with us on:

London Museums

London is home to an astonishing array of world-class museums that offer something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff or transportation enthusiast, a visit to one of the city’s museums is the perfect way to spend a free afternoon—and as an added bonus, most are free.

Art lovers should go to the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square; guarded by magnificent stone lions, this museum houses one of the largest collections of European art in the world. Stop by the East Wing to take in the 18th-century English greats—Gainsborough, Turner, and Constable all have pieces here.

Or step back in time in the British Museum. This imposing Bloomsbury fixture is dedicated to history, art, and culture, and contains century-spanning artifacts from around the globe. Under the museum’s iconic glass roof, you can see the Rosetta Stone up close, mingle with Egyptian mummies, or gaze upon the controversial Elgin marbles.

For a more experimental dose of art, take a stroll along the South Bank to one of London’s newest and most popular museums, the Tate Modern. Housed in the former Bankside Power Station, the Tate is a darling of industrial design and is visited annually by more than five million people. Inside, you’ll find an expertly-curated collection of modern art, including pieces by Matisse, Rothko, Warhol, and Pollock.

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Hampton Court Palace

A fusion of Tudor, Baroque, and Gothic architectural styles, Hampton Court Palace is one of the biggest royal residences in Europe. Built in the early 16th century, Cardinal Wolsey wanted to create a palace that matched the splendor of its counterparts at The Vatican. Encompassing over 60 acres of gardens, six acres of grounds, and one of the largest collections of work from the Renaissance masters, Hampton Court allows modern-day visitors to step into the grandeur that was 16th-century English royal life.

Often the most important room in a palace, the Great Hall is where Henry VIII would have meals and company. Deeper in the heart of the palace, the Chapel Royal features breathtakingly intricate golden-trim woodwork, often called one of the most magnificent chapels in Britain. The Chapel was a destination for the greatest English composers of the time, and now anybody may attend religious services there. Since its construction, the Chapel has housed one of the longest-running all-male choral music traditions.

Experience Hampton Court Palace with us on:

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