Small group tours to England

England, despite its modest size (equivalent to that of New York state), boasts a profoundly rich history that sets it apart within the realm of Great Britain. An expertly guided tour through the country unfolds a tapestry of historical and cultural insights, weaving together a narrative unrivaled across the British isles.

The historical tapestry of England is intricately intertwined with its iconic architectural marvels like St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey in London, along with revered landmarks like the UNESCO World Heritage site Stonehenge and the ethereal beauty of Lake District National Park, all beckoning exploration. These sites not only stand as testaments to England’s past but also serve as beacons of inspiration, resonating globally with the enduring legacy of England’s historical influence.

Crafted for mature World Travellers

Tours of England

Roman Britain

On this small group tour explore with a tour director and local guides the world of Roman Britain. The Romans occupied Britain for some 400 years and left behind a lasting legacy from roads Hadrian’s wall to Roman Baths many are UNSECO World heritage listed.

22 days
Departing Aug
Prehistoric Britain small group history tour
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Prehistoric Britain small group history tour including standing stones

This guided tour invites you to explore UNESCO World heritage sites at Skara Brae in the Orkneys, Isle of Skye, and Stonehenge in a prehistoric tour. This escorted tour has trips to key sites in Scotland, and the Irish sea in Wales such as Gower Peninsula and National Museum in Cardiff and England. Each day tour is supported by local guides.

 

21 days
Departing Aug

Ireland and Lake District walking small group tour

A guided small group tour for senior walkers that starts in the capital of Ireland, Dublin. This escorted tour with local guides also explores the Giant’s causeway, a UNESCO World heritage site. It transfers from Ireland to Scotland to head to walk in the National park of the Lake district. 

 

 

25 days
Departing Aug

Habsburg Spain vs Tudor England: small group tour exploring 16th century history of England & Spain

This holiday with a leading tour operator allows the escorted tour for seniors to explore the life and times of the royal families responsible for making England and Spain so significant in the 16th century with local guides providing the travel experience for the detailed itineraries. We spend 10 days travelling from London to Madrid.

21 days
Departing May, Aug, Sep

Seven Ages of Britain, snapshots of Britain through the ages.

This guided small group tour starts in Scotland and finishes in England. On Orkney we have a day tour to the UNESCO World heritage site, Skara Brae, before travelling to city of York. Your tour leader continues to share the history from the Neolithic to the Victorian era. The tour concludes in the capital city, London.

22 days
Departing Apr, Aug
Jane-Austen
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Discovering the art and literature of England: Jane Austen, Shakespeare, and more

Stratford upon Avon, Shakespeares birthplace and Anne Hathaway’s cottage as well as the Lake district a UNESCO World site and Dicken’s London are part of guided tour for a small group tour of like minded people learning about the art and literature of England. Your tour leader and local guides share day tour itineraries to create a unique travel experience.

 

22 days
Departing Aug

Small Group Tour along the Wainwright Walking trail

Part of the small group tour of the British isles series, this walking tour goes west to east across England. The tour leader takes you into the national park of the UNESCO World heritage site in  the Lake district and the North Yorkshire moors. This trip concludes in York. It is designed for senior walkers seeking authentic experiences.

 

 

27 days
Departing Jun, Aug, May

Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow

Spend 22 days in 3 cities in England and Scotland. Your tour leader and Knowledgeable local guides examine the history of these great cities. Liverpool & Glasgow faced onto the Irish sea, and Newcastle onto the North sea,  and all where connected to the city of London.

21 days
Departing Jun, Aug

Vikings in Britain; small group tour

Vikings in Britain, escorted educational small group tour for senior couples and mature solo travellers who for 27 days explore Ireland, the isle of Man, Scotland and England and the viking history. 

28 days
Departing Jun, Sep, May, Aug

Rural Britain | Walking Small Group Tour

A walking tour into England, Scotland and Wales provides small group journeys with breathtaking scenery to destinations such as  Snowdonia national park ,  the UNESCO world heritage site Hadrians wall and the lake district.  each day tour provides authentic experiences often off the beaten path from our local guides.

 

22 days
Departing Sep, Jun

Queen Victoria's Great Britain: a small group tour

A small group tour of England that explores the history of Victorian Britain. This escorted tour spends time knowledgeable local guides with travellers in key destinations in England and Scotland that shaped the British isles in this period including a collection of UNESCO world heritage locations.

21 days
Departing Sep, Jun

Small group tours Medieval England

A small group tour of England focused on Medieval England and Wales. Spend 21 days on this escorted tour with tour director and local guides travelling from Canterbury to Cambridge, passing through Winchester, Salisbury, Bristol, Hereford and Norwich along the way. Castles, villages, Cathedrals and churches all feature in the Medieval landscapes visited. 

22 days
Departing Apr, Sep

Devon and Cornwall, England

Our guided small group tour of Devon and Cornwall in England, designed for mature and senior travellers who are travelling with their partner or as a solo traveller. A journey filled with medieval treasures, charming fishing villages in the north Cornish coast, stunning cliff-top coastal views of the blue Atlantic, and atmospheric destinations traditionally linked to the legends of King Arthur.

17 days
Departing Sep, Apr

Walking Ancient Britain

A walking tour of England & the border of Wales. Explore on foot UNESCO World Heritage sites, Neolithic, Bronze age and Roman landscapes and the occasional Norman castle on your journey. Your tour director and tour guide walk you through the Brecon beacons, the Cotswolds and Welsh borders on this small group tour.

 

 

20 days
Departing May, Sep, Jun

England’s villages small group history tours for mature travellers

Guided tour of the  villages of England. The tour leader manages local guides to share their knowledge to give an authentic experience across England. This trip includes the UNESCO World heritage site of Avebury as well  as villages in Cornwall, Devon, Dartmoor the border of Wales and the Cotswolds.

 

 

19 days
Departing Jun, Sep

Yorkshire, Northumberland and the Lake District

Small group tour for senior couples and mature solo travellers exploring Northern England. Not just the historic cities of Leeds, Newcastle and Manchester but the Viking shaped landscapes, villages and the Lake District are visited on this program.

25 days
Departing Sep, Mar

Canals and Railways in the Industrial Revolution Tour | Tours for Seniors in Britain

A small group tour of Wales, Scotland & England that traces the history of the journey that is the Industrial revolution. Knowledgeable local guides and your tour leader share their history with you on this escorted tour including Glasgow, London, New Lanark & Manchester, Liverpool and the Lake district.

 

23 days
Departing Oct, Apr, Sep

Opera Tour Europe | Theatre-Opera-Ballet and Classical Music Small Group Tour for Seniors

This 22-day small group program visits the major arts centres of Hamburg, Amsterdam, Paris, and London. We travel in winter avoiding crowds and enjoy a different perspective of the places visited. At Odyssey Traveller we have sought to assemble entry and show tickets to what many will consider the best arts experiences available in those cities during each program.

22 days
Departing Dec
mount of Mont Saint Michel, France
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Anglo French Tour | Normandy, Brittany, Channel Islands tour

Our 21 night program has daily itineraries with plenty of authentic experiences provided by passionate local guides in the key destinations in France, Channel Islands and England for this small group of like minded people.  For Solo travellers minimal single supplement applies for this European tour.

Departing Apr, May, Sep

Agrarian and Industrial Britain | Small Group Tour for Mature Travellers

A small group tour of England that will explore the history of Agrarian and Industrial period. An escorted tour with a tour director and knowledgeable local guides take you on a 22 day trip to key places such as London, Bristol, Oxford & York, where the history was made.

 

 

23 days
Departing Apr
Shakespeare Drama small group tour Stratford England
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World of Shakespeare | Small Group Tour

This small group tour for mature couples and solo travellers visits Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford upon Avon and Anne Hathaway’s cottage all form part of this small group tour escorted by a tour director and local guides sharing their knowledge on this guided tour. Included are performances in London at the Globe & RSC in Shakespeare’s Stratford upon Avon.

 

 

10 days
Departing May, Apr

British Gardens Small Group Tour including Chatsworth RHS show

This small group tour will explore gardens in Scotland and England with knowledgable local guides and a tour leader. We explore the gardens in and around Edinburgh, Chester, Stratford upon Avon – Shakespeare’s birthplace, Oxford and London in a 22 day tour.

16 days
Departing Jun

England boasts a rich tapestry of history and culture, showcased through its diverse array of museums and galleries, including iconic institutions like the London Museum, the British Museum, and The Tate. Beyond these urban treasures, one can delve deeper into England’s heritage by exploring Roman baths in Bath, medieval churches, and Tudor castles, each revealing a chapter in the country’s intriguing narrative.

While England’s historical saga is undeniably captivating, its natural landscapes are equally worthy of acclaim. The Cotswolds, for instance, exemplifies England’s scenic beauty, made even more remarkable by being the sole European country with a public coast path encircling its entirety. Traveling from Cornwall’s idyllic white sand beaches to the enchanting Lake District or the serene North York Moors offers a remarkable glimpse into the country’s diverse topography.

From grand regal palaces and elegant Georgian mansions to picturesque villages and rugged coastlines, England’s scenery is a testament to its status as a haven for storytellers. Within its borders lie medieval marvels like York Minster and Tudor castles, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the allure of ages past. It is evident how England, with its rich tapestry of landscapes and historical sites, has inspired legendary tales and iconic literary figures, from Charles Dickens to Beatrix Potter, shaping a narrative that is truly timeless.

Small group tours of England for seniors

Odyssey’s England tours tailored for seniors offer a blend of iconic landmarks and hidden treasures, spanning both countryside and cityscapes. For those intrigued by England’s rich tapestry of history, culture, architecture, cuisine, and landscapes, embarking on a guided tour with like-minded individuals is the optimal way to immerse oneself in the experience. Catering to solo travelers or couples, our small group tours in England are crafted to provide an intimate exploration led by seasoned tour managers and knowledgeable local guides. Our itineraries are thoughtfully curated to venture off the conventional tourist paths, encompassing not only the renowned London but also the captivating Oxford and vibrant Manchester.

Presently, Odyssey Traveller extends a selection of 20 tours to England, in addition to journeys encompassing Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Our England tours delve into the era of Queen Victoria, delve into Shakespeare’s world with a pilgrimage to his birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon, offer a glimpse into the realm of cricket, and unveil the splendors of medieval England through visits to majestic cathedrals and grand castles. The exploration of Agrarian and Industrial Britain unravels the significant impacts of the Agrarian and Industrial Revolutions on contemporary Great Britain, with stops in Lincoln, Manchester, and York. Engaging in a tour of England’s quaint villages, travelers will encounter the mystical standing stones at Avebury, a Neolithic World Heritage Site, and indulge in the Tudor opulence of Hever Castle, the childhood abode of Anne Boleyn. When contemplating an England tour, considerations include preferred destinations, timing, and the most suitable mode of transportation within the country.

Regardless of the sightseeing voyage chosen for your England escapade, whether spanning the entire nation or delving into a specific region, Odyssey Traveller ensures ample time to absorb and appreciate the profound cultural heritage, history, and charm of England during your journey as a solo traveler or in the company of a companion.

FAQs

Bath

Revel in the architectural marvels of Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting Georgian splendor and immaculately preserved Roman baths. Guided tours cater to mature travelers, showcasing the city’s elegant architecture, historical jewels, and charming period tearooms. Fans of Jane Austen can delve into her life and literary legacy at the Jane Austen Centre, adding depth to their visit.

York

Step into a vibrant medieval tapestry by exploring York, a city steeped in history within its ancient walls dating back to the 13th century. Discover the awe-inspiring York Minster, a Gothic masterpiece that stands as one of the world’s most stunning cathedrals. For discerning travelers, York offers a rich tapestry of day tours to enrich their English travel experience.

Travelling to York is like stepping back in history to a more magical and colourful version of the Middle Ages. Explore the fascinating walled city that is tucked within 13th-century walls and visit York Minster, one of the most stunning Gothic cathedrals in the world. For mature travellers, the city is well placed for a number of day tours as your tour England .

Oxford

With its iconic spires and medieval allure, Oxford stands as one of England’s most picturesque cities, ideal for leisurely walks among its historic lanes. The compact historic center invites mature travelers to immerse themselves in quaint British pubs and savor traditional meals. Literature enthusiasts will find inspiration in the city that has fueled the works of many renowned authors, thanks to its prestigious university and rich literary history.

Cambridge

Cambridge’s enduring allure is characterized by its captivating architecture and rich centuries-old legacy, setting it apart from the vibrant charm of Oxford. For senior travelers, the city offers a serene retreat amidst riverside gardens, lush meadows, and impeccably manicured college lawns. A day excursion in Cambridge exposes visitors to its deep historical significance, ideal for immersing oneself in the intellectual ambiance of this academic hub.

Stonehenge

Stonehenge, a UNESCO World Heritage site, stands as one of Europe’s most renowned prehistoric monuments. Visiting Stonehenge continues to inspire countless individuals, drawing millions of visitors who are captivated by the enigmatic collection of stones. The newly established visitor center enriches the experience, offering detailed insights into the history of Stonehenge, believed to have existed for over five millennia. Exploring the site with knowledgeable local guides unveils the intriguing theories proposed by archaeologists and anthropologists who have dedicated their efforts to unraveling its mysteries.

Hadrian’s Wall

Hadrian’s Wall, constructed by the Romans in 122 AD, stretches 117 kilometers and was designed to separate the Roman Empire from the Scottish tribes. Constructed in less than six years by a workforce of 15,000 men, Hadrian’s Wall stands as a testament to remarkable engineering and ambitious vision. A visit to this ancient wall, guided by local experts, unveils not only its historical significance but also the sheer scale of this Roman feat.

Tower of London

The Tower of London, once a royal residence and a notorious prison, has transformed into a UNESCO World Heritage site and a premier tourist attraction in England. Housing the illustrious Crown Jewels, a trip to the Tower of London offers a captivating glimpse into the rich tapestry of England’s past, steeped in both grandeur and intrigue.

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle, a functioning royal residence and the weekend retreat of the Royal Family, serves as a key destination for day tours departing from London. With a history dating back almost a millennium to its selection by William the Conqueror, Windsor Castle epitomizes regal opulence and fortitude. Exploring the lavish State Apartments under the guidance of a tour leader, visitors can admire the exquisite family portraits and marvel at the intricate details of Queen Mary’s Doll House, encapsulating centuries of royal heritage.

The Royal Pavilion

The Royal Pavilion in Brighton, a highlight of guided tours through England, was commissioned by King George IV as a lavish seaside retreat. Reflecting the king’s extravagant tastes and flamboyant lifestyle, the Royal Pavilion showcases a fusion of Regency splendor with exotic influences from Indian and Chinese architecture. This decadent palace provides a vivid glimpse into a bygone era of lavish indulgence and royal excess.

In England, the nation’s robust transportation system and expansive rail network facilitate hassle-free travel.

During our Odyssey Traveller small group tours of England, we utilize coaches for transportation between locations. This approach enables us to make stops at significant sites between major cities and explore lesser-known historic landmarks. Opting for an escorted tour of England with an Odyssey tour director alleviates the need to concern yourself with intercity travel logistics, allowing you to rely on us to manage the journey between cities effortlessly. Moreover, on our Industrial Revolution tour, we incorporate various modes of transport such as canal boats, steam trains, and ferry rides to immerse ourselves in the essence of that era.

The best time to visit the United Kingdom is in spring (late March to early June) and autumn (September to November), when it’s usually warm and dry. You’ll see beautiful spring flowers or the leaves changing hue in autumn, and avoid the much busier summer period.

Odyssey specialises in educational small group tours, for seniors, typically groups between 6 to 12 people, and no more than 18 travellers. Odyssey has been offering this style of adventure and educational programs, since 1983.

We offer a wide range of educational, cultural and heritage journeys that expand horizons and broaden the mind. Our tours are designed for active, inquisitive travellers in a small group environment.

Odyssey Traveller specializes in catering to travelers over 50, 60, 70, or 80 years of age, ensuring that your fellow travelers share similar interests and a mutual understanding. Our programs are specifically designed with the mature traveler in mind, whether you are journeying solo, as a couple, or with friends. Even when traveling alone, you are not isolated, as there are opportunities to meet and explore with other solo travelers or couples in the group, with around a third of our travelers being singles who often become repeat companions.

Beyond the typical tourist experience of visiting museums and monuments, Odyssey Traveller offers a dynamic journey focused on interactive learning and immersion in the rich culture of the world’s most captivating destinations. We understand the importance of free time during your travels, so our itineraries are crafted to allow for personal exploration and relaxation at your own pace.

Odyssey welcome enquiries for private groups, at a minimum of 6 participants.

Odyssey Tours typically range from two to three weeks in duration, with each small group tour designed to spend 2 to 3 nights in quality 3 or 4-star hotels at each location. These tours, led by knowledgeable guides, offer a perfect mix of sightseeing and relaxation. They also provide opportunities for solo travellers to immerse themselves in the experience, whether by taking a break from the group for a few hours or exploring with a companion before continuing to the next destination.

For solo travellers over 50, Odyssey offers a diverse selection of holidays tailored to individual preferences. While river cruises and dedicated solo travel tours are not part of our regular offerings, there is a single supplement applied to all small group tour programs. This supplement covers the cost of single occupancy of a hotel room with a double bed (single bedded rooms are uncommon in Europe) or a single cabin on a cruise. We prioritize transparency in pricing, ensuring that our clients over 50 are only required to cover the single supplement without any extra fees.

Odyssey Traveller offers an array of captivating tours spanning the globe, including EuropeThe British IslesAsiaAfricaThe Middle East, and The Americas. Embark on an enchanting journey to witness the mystical Aurora Borealis in the remote corners of Norway, delve into the lush jungles of Madagascar to immerse yourself in its breathtaking landscapes and wildlife, or marvel at the ancient splendor of Machu Picchu in South America. For those intrigued by history, partake in a thematic exploration of Britain’s historic canals and railways. If cruising is your preference, join our unforgettable venture through Mongolia and Russia, featuring a 10-night river cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg, or set sail on the legendary Nile River during our Egypt tour.

For travelers seeking adventures closer to home, we offer an exceptional selection of tours in Australia, ranging from Western Australia, South Australia, and the Northern Territory to Kata Tjuta, Outback Queensland, Kangaroo Island, Tasmania, and New Zealand. Explore the scenic wonders of both the North and South Islands, including the majestic landscapes along the east coast, the geothermal marvels of Rotorua, the serene beauty of Milford Sound, and the adrenaline-pumping activities in Queenstown.

Odyssey specialises in educational small group tours, for seniors, typically groups between 6 to 12 people, and averages at 12 participants per tour, a mix of singles and couples

Odyssey provides a curated selection of authentic small group tours, which are strategically priced to mirror the intimate nature of these experiences. Unlike larger tour operators accommodating groups of 18 or more, our small group tours typically consist of 6 to 12 individuals. This ensures a personalized setting where travelers can relish evening meals together around a single dinner table. By prioritizing smaller group sizes, we prioritize creating an atmosphere where our clients can immerse themselves fully in the unique and engaging experiences we offer, rather than aiming for the economies of scale achievable with larger groups on coaches – an aspect of travel that distinguishes our tours at Odyssey.

Odyssey tours are genuinely based around;

  • A Small group tour of less than 18 people for the mature traveller as holidays for a couple and holidays for solo travellers over 50.
  • Knowledgeable local expert guides and a great tour leader who has an interest in the theme of the tour.
  • Inclusive pricing, including all entrances, tipping and the majority of meals included. That means, no hidden extras with respect to cost. Transparent pricing of the single supplement for the single traveller.
  • A learning based escorted tour with a like minded fellow traveller.
  • Accommodation in 3 & 4 star hotels and self catering apartments.
  • A blend of group learning, touring activities and free time to explore a place further, whether on a discovery or walking holiday program.
  • No name badges or flags to follow when out and about.
  • Travel to places that extend your learning and curiosity, often where others will not follow.
  • Spending typically between 60 to 85% of the operating cost of the tour in the country visited, benefiting the local communities directly.

Best walking tour, England for older travellers

Britain is renowned for its extensive network of walking trails, attracting global adventurers seeking to explore its picturesque landscapes. What better way to immerse oneself in the diverse terrain than from the rugged granite clifftops, meandering through lush countryside, and traversing historic tunnels and bridges that narrate our rich human legacy? A walking tour of Britain offers an opportunity to savor the crisp air wafting through the Yorkshire Dales or the Lake District, taste the tang of salt spray along the rugged coastline, and feel the gentle caress of the breeze and sun while tracing the path of Hadrian’s Wall along the Scottish border. Walking not only invigorates our senses but also fosters a profound connection with the land, making it a unique and enriching travel experience.

Embark on a captivating journey through the beautiful English countryside and quaint country lanes with our small group tour of England, thoughtfully curated by Odyssey Traveller for senior and mature travellers. With a dedicated tour director and knowledgeable local guides, these walking tours cater to various fitness levels, ensuring inclusivity for couples and solo adventurers alike. Whether you prefer leisurely tea breaks overlooking picturesque landscapes or crave the thrill of exploration, each walking tour is meticulously planned, accentuating the essence of the British Isles. Discover the world at a leisurely pace, allowing the earth to ground you as you traverse the diverse landscapes of England.

The Walking Tour of Rural Britain presents an itinerary where each night at a hotel is complemented by two days of immersive exploration, demanding a good level of fitness rewarded by awe-inspiring scenery. Trek through the enchanting regions of Kent, Cornwall, the Welsh/English borders, the captivating Lake District, and a rejuvenating day on scenic Arran Island in Scotland.

For history enthusiasts keen on delving into Britain’s ancient past, the Walking Tour of Ancient Britain offers a fully guided 20-day expedition led by experienced tour directors and local guides. Unravel the mysteries of Britain’s ancient towns and pathways steeped in over 5,000 years of human history, meandering through Salisbury, Bath, Stroud in the southwest of England, and along the Welsh border, exploring some of the most historically significant walkways in the country.

Embark on the iconic Walking the Wainwright Tour along the famed England’s Coast to Coast trail, also known as Wainwright’s Walking Trail. This 192-mile (309-km) scenic route stretches from the coastal town of St Bees in Cumbria overlooking the Irish Sea to the charming Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Sea coast. Traversing the picturesque Pennines and passing through three national parks – the UNESCO-designated Lake District National Park, the scenic Yorkshire Dales National Park, and the captivating North York Moors National Park – this journey promises an unforgettable fusion of natural beauty and historical allure.

What to look for in a guided tour of England

When booking an Odyssey small group tour, some things to consider before you book include:

  • Gratuities included: Tipping can often become cumbersome and costly, creating uncertainty around proper etiquette. By having gratuities already incorporated into the total price, travelers can save both time and money, ensuring a worry-free journey without the added stress of navigating cultural norms.
  • Number of fellow travellers: Opting for a small group tour in England ensures a more intimate experience, preventing individuals from feeling lost in large crowds, especially in bustling destinations like London. With Odyssey tours limited to an average of eight participants and a maximum group size of 18, travellers can expect a personalized and immersive exploration.
  • Knowledgeable guides: With its plethora of museums, ancient landmarks, and regal heritage, having an expert tour director and local guides is paramount for a comprehensive understanding of England’s past, present, and future. By enlisting the expertise of informed guides, travellers can delve deep into the historical and cultural significance of each destination, whether in metropolitan hubs like London or quaint rural villages.
  • Unique locations: England’s diverse landscape offers something for every traveller – from lush gardens to historic cities. By selecting tours like the British Gardens tour, for example, participants can embark on a journey through centuries of garden design, gaining profound insights and appreciation for this timeless art form.
  • Culture and History: immersing oneself in England’s culture and history is a transformative experience that goes beyond textbooks. Odyssey’s educational and heritage journeys provide unparalleled access to lesser-known facets of English history, art, and architecture. Travelers can explore ancient Roman ruins, indulge in Gilbert and Sullivan’s iconic operas, visit esteemed institutions like Oxford University, and marvel at majestic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace – offering a comprehensive and enriching exploration of England’s rich cultural heritage.

Articles about England

England’s Cathedrals

20 mins read British IslesEngland

Article about the Cathedrals of England, the design, place and history  and their settings for travellers curious about places such as York, Salisbury, Winchester, Ely, Chester, Canterbury or London where  the church was a beacon linking the pilgrims paths as well through to Europe. This article links to understanding Britain's churches.  An Antipodean travel company serving World Travellers since 1983 with small group educational tours for senior couples and mature solo travellers.

Albert Dock, Liverpool,UK

The Rise of Liverpool, UK

Liverpool was the outlet for Britain's trade (and imports). This article shares part of the history of the Port, social and architectural  with readers as the Georgian era evolved, the empire grew and the industrial revolution followed including canals, the railway and Manchester. An Antipodean travel company serving World Travellers since 1983 with small group educational tours for senior couples and mature solo travellers.

Chambered Tomb

Lumps and Bumps: How to Read the British Landscape

The British landscape has been worked and re-worked. It is secrets of this palimpsest landscape is revealed through drainage patterns and prehistoric features all the way through to the modern day. These small group tours for mature and senior travellers examine the landscape from the Neolithic, to Roman, through the seven ages of Britain in walking tours and history tours of Britain.

Affordable small group tours with Odyssey Alumni

Walking tours for active travellers – tips for seniors

For the active mature and senior traveller be they a couple or solo traveller this article outlines preparation for walking tours even for the over 80's. It may on the Wainwright, the lake district or a pilgrims walk across Europe or St James Way, the Camino. This artices give advice on getting fit, shoes and socks including for particular advice for women on this topic.

England village tour

Touring England’s villages

16 mins read British IslesEngland

Touring England’s villages For many travellers, London is synonymous with England. This lively, cosmopolitan capital is a must see, of course, but there is more to England than booming cities and industrial centres. Instead, what…

The need to know

Touring England

Getting around

Odyssey’s travel itineraries meticulously detail the modes of transportation, incorporating coach travel along with occasional usage of local transport like trains and ferries. England boasts a centralized and remarkably vast rail network that effectively connects towns to major cities, with the Eurostar serving as a prominent choice linking England to Europe by rail. London stands out with one of the world’s most expansive metro systems, with several stations doubling as noteworthy tourist attractions in their own regard.

Accommodation

In major cities, Odyssey stays in centrally located 3-4 star hotels, with easy access to public transport. In smaller towns or rural areas, we usually stay in family-run hotels or guesthouses. On our longstay tours, during which you spend the length of the tour in a single location, we use serviced apartments.

Tour guides

Odyssey always engages a tour director and  local guides with regional knowledge to ensure an authentic experience during which you can learn as much as possible about the history and culture of places you visit.

Geography, environment, & weather

England, a crucial part of the United Kingdom alongside Great Britain and Northern Ireland, is bordered by Scotland to the north and Wales to the west, with the North Sea and the English Channel serving as natural boundaries from the rest of Europe. While England predominantly consists of low hills and plains, it boasts notable uplands in the north, such as the Lake District, and in the west, encompassing Dartmoor and the Shropshire Hills.

Characterized by a temperate maritime climate, England experiences relatively mild temperatures ranging from 0 to 32 degrees Celsius. The English coastline, particularly during the winter months of January and February, tends to be notably cool. The country is susceptible to damp and changeable weather patterns, attributed to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, higher latitude, and the moderating influence of the warm Gulf Stream. Therefore, it is advisable to carry wet-weather gear and anticipate rainfall throughout one’s stay in England.

World Heritage Sites

England is home to a rich tapestry of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with a significant portion of the 31 sites located within its borders. The official list of these sites can be accessed on the UNESCO website for a comprehensive view. While visiting each site is highly recommended for those with the opportunity, certain highlights stand out. The Tower of London, a masterpiece of Norman military engineering, remains a captivating historical landmark. Stonehenge and Avebury, ancient pre-historic monuments, continue to intrigue and fascinate visitors from around the globe. The Lake District offers a striking blend of towering peaks and serene villages, creating a harmonious contrast that is truly captivating to explore.

Festivals & events

In England, a realm of eccentric festivals and vibrant events thrives, where the more eccentric the gathering, the stronger the fervour among participants. Take, for instance, Glastonbury, hosting one of the globe’s most massive contemporary music festivals, or the more serene Latitude Festival set in Suffolk. Come August, Leicester pulsates with the excitement of the Leicester Castle Classic, a prominent cycling race, while November sees commemorative revelries for Guy Fawkes. Amongst these noteworthy occasions stands the annual Shrovetide football match in Ashbourne and its environs, a tribute to one of the UK’s ancient sports traditions. In this boisterous event, two rival factions strive to manoeuvre a ball towards goal posts positioned at opposite ends of the town, amidst passion and disorder, sometimes involving unexpected plunges into the town’s waterways by opposing players. England indeed proffers a diverse tapestry of events to cater to every predilection.

Reading List

  • The Making of the British Landscape: From the Ice Age to the Present by Nicholas Crane.
  • Iron, Steam and Money: The Making of the Industrial Revolution by Roger Osbourne
  • Britain Begins by Barry Cunliffe

Eating & Drinking

England’s culinary scene, although not traditionally a primary draw for tourists, is experiencing a notable shift towards diverse international cuisine options. While the country is in a phase of culinary evolution, offering an array of quality restaurants serving global dishes, navigating budget eateries can sometimes be hit or miss. The iconic fish and chips, typically featuring deep-fried haddock or cod, remains a staple across the nation. Additionally, the term “curry” has become synonymous with England’s culinary identity, with Indian restaurants dotted throughout villages, catering to diverse palates.

In addition to these ubiquitous dishes, England boasts a range of regional delicacies. From the renowned Melton Mowbray pork pies originating in Leicestershire to the pancake-like oatcakes indigenous to Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, and Derbyshire, each locality offers unique flavours worth exploring. Lancashire boasts culinary delights such as the hearty Lancashire hotpot and the flaky pastry Eccles cake adorned with raisins. For a quintessential British dining experience, indulging in a classic Sunday roast featuring the iconic Yorkshire puddings is highly recommended.

On the beverage front, British ale stands out as a globally acclaimed libation, best savored in a “real ale pub” to ensure top quality. Despite its renowned status, British ale is best consumed fresh due to its shorter shelf life compared to foreign beers. It’s imperative to be discerning when selecting a pub to avoid a potentially unpleasant vinegary taste caused by serving ale past its prime.

How safe is England?

In terms of safety, while England is generally considered a safe travel destination, it’s prudent to remain vigilant and alert to any unusual occurrences. Visitors are often cautioned about pickpockets in tourist-frequented areas, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding personal belongings at all times.

What power adapter do I need?

When traveling to England, ensuring you have the right travel adaptor is essential due to the country’s electricity supply operating at 230V, 50Hz. British plugs, featuring three flat, rectangular pins arranged in a triangular fashion, are compatible with those in Ireland, Malta, and select former British colonies, but not with Australian outlets. Adhering to these practical guidelines enhances the overall travel experience while exploring the diverse offerings of England.

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Tour Reviews

The tour was compact, well planned and intense of course, having to include so much in a short space of time, compared with what we would do and see normally at home. A bit overwhelming, but wonderful for looking back, and a challenge to see how much one can remember.
Participant -17
We found all the guides in each place excellent, some more than others, but always knowledgeable and obviously in love with their chosen careers. David our coach driver was excellent also, coping with some difficult situations with a cool head and providing us with a running commentary on a country he knows so well - especially Norfolk his home county!
Sally and Angus H. June 2017
Wife Brenda and I just completed Odyssey tour in UK entitled “Canals and Railways” led by Mal Bock. Absolutely superb, and Mal’s leadership faultless. Extremely good value considering only seven guests, superb local guides and drivers, a most comfortable coach with seating for 24. . Hotels chosen were excellent, most with real character, not places one would have chosen without local knowledge and recommendation, . My wife and I have visited the UK many times- I was born there, but we saw so many places which were new to us. Thank you Odyssey!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ian Sanderson
I was impressed by the number of places we visited. It was a very full itinerary which I like. We saw things of interest every day. I see no fault with the tour.
Participant 2017
Excellent itinerary, transport and local guides!
Participant 2016
Overall the trip was great and met my expectation.
Errol H. June 2017
This trip could have been planned for me as all my interests were included - ballet, theatre, concerts, opera and visits to magnificent museums and galleries.
Participant -17
Robert was an excellent leader who made things run smoothly. He had great knowledge about all aspects of the content of this expedition. He interacted with all members of the group. I would be very happy to go on another tour with Robert as leader.
Participant -17

FAQs

England has a single time zone (excluding its overseas territories), Greenwich mean time . The nation observes daylight saving time from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October.

If you’re on an Odyssey tour, we take care of tipping so you don’t need to give it a second thought. However, in your free time, or if travelling independently, it’s essential that you make sure you tip an appropriate amount for services, as is the case throughout much of Europe. It’s customary to tip 10-15% of the bill at restaurants, or 1 to 3 GBP at a more casual establishment. It’s polite to round a bill up to the nearest whole figure or leave the change when buying drinks.

Internet access is easily accessible, and most hotels and many cafes will be able to offer it.

Check with your cell phone provider to see whether you’re able to make calls and use data while in England. Many providers will offer a daily fee that allows you to make calls and check the internet while only being charged your regular rates. However, be certain to inform your provider that you’re heading overseas, because just like a bank they can turn off your service as a result of unusual activity.

Articles about England published by Odyssey Traveller.

For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.

External articles to assist you on your visit to England.

Responsible travel tips for England

  • When exploring rural areas for sightseeing, it is essential to show respect for the residents who call these places home, as they are not just tourist attractions but also lively communities.
  • To navigate unfamiliar territories comfortably, it’s advisable to keep a card from your hotel in your wallet or purse. This can serve as a useful aid in finding your way back if you happen to get lost during your adventures.
  • One crucial aspect of traveling is ensuring you have adequate travel insurance coverage. Should you require guidance on selecting the right insurance plan, do not hesitate to reach out to Odyssey for expert assistance.
  • For independent travellers, it is wise to confirm the operating hours of local establishments such as shops and museums to avoid missing out on unique experiences. Note that museums and galleries typically close on Mondays, and it is prudent to check for any public holidays that may affect your itinerary.
  • Notify your bank in advance about your travel plans to prevent any disruptions in card transactions while abroad. Additionally, research ATM and bank compatibility with your cards to minimize withdrawal fees and ensure seamless financial access during your trip.
  • Before embarking on your journey, it is recommended to have a variety of pound denominations on hand. While carrying excessive cash is discouraged, having sufficient cash reserves allows for easy transactions at locations that do not accept credit cards. This practice not only simplifies tipping but also helps circumvent additional card charges.

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