An Antipodean travel company serving World Travellers since 1983
Small group tours of England for seniors
Odyssey’s England tours for seniors focus both on the must-see sights and the hidden gems, across both rural and urban landscapes. If you’re interested in a trip discovering more about England’s history, culture, architecture, cuisine, or landscapes, the best way is to see it all for yourself with like-minded people on a guided tour. Our small group tours of England are ideal for solo travellers or couples seeking an intimate guided tour led by an expert tour manager and local guide. Odyssey tour England and select day tour destinations with an eye to getting off the beaten path while also providing the opportunity to explore the major cities including the inimitable London, golden-hued Oxford and effervescent Manchester.
Currently Odyssey Traveller offers 20 tours to England as well as tours that visit Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Our tours of England delve into Queen Victoria’s Britain; examine the world of Shakespeare with a visit to Shakespeare’s birthplace at Stratford upon Avon; attempt to understand cricket if you need too; and explore the sights of medieval England, visiting some of the country’s most magnificent cathedrals and grandest castles. On our tour of Agrarian and Industrial Britain we investigate critical elements of Agrarian and Industrial Revolutions and the impact that they had on the Great Britain we know today, visiting Lincoln, Manchester and York. On a tour of England’s villages we explore the haunting standing stones at Avebury, with its very own Neolithic World Heritage Site, and view the Tudor mansion and glorious gardens of Hever Castle, childhood home of Anne Boleyn. If you are considering joining a tour of an England, some of things to think about include what places you would like to visit , when you would like to go and the best way to travel around the country.
Whatever sightseeing tour you choose for your England vacation, from a tour of the entire country to immersing yourself in a particular region, Odyssey Traveller makes sure you have time to learn about and appreciate England’s rich culture, history and people when on vacation as solo travellers or with your companion.
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.
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.
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.
This guided 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.
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.
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.
Habsburg Spain vs Tudor England: small group tour exploring the history of 16th century England and 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With a treasure trove of architectural wonders to explore, the whole city of Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mature travellers will appreciate the guided tour to see the exquisite Georgian architecture, well-preserved Roman baths and period tearooms. For Jane Austen fans, you can visit the Jane Austen Centre and discover more about her life and works.
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 .
Undoubtedly one of England’s most beautiful cities with its dreaming spires and medieval atmosphere, Oxford is a great walking tour destination for mature travellers. The historic core is small enough to walk around easily and there are plenty of old-fashioned British pubs to visit and enjoy a hearty meal. For lovers of literature, there is a lot to explore, with many authors’ works being inspired by Oxford and its formidable university.
Cambridge, like Oxford, offers captivating architecture and centuries of history but with a slightly more tranquil atmosphere than ‘the Other Place’ (as Oxford is referred to by Cambridge locals). Senior travellers can enjoy the idyllic riverside gardens, surrounding verdant green meadows and beautifully manicured lawns of colleges as a day tour expands their knowledge of this historic city.
A UNESCO world heritage site, Stonehenge is one of the most famous prehistoric monuments in Europe. To visit Stonehenge remains an inspiration to many who take the trip. Stonehenge has drawn millions of visitors over the years, mystified by the mysteries collection of stones. A new visitor centre provides more information on the history of Stonehenge, thought to have been around for over five millennia, and explores with a local guides some of the startling ideas of archaeologists and anthropologists who have worked on the site.
Hadrian’s Wall was built by the Romans in 122 AD and, at 117 km long, it was intended to separate the Romans from the barbarians of Scotland. As local guides explain on a trip to Hadrian’s wall, this wall was built in under six years by a force of 15,000 men, it’s as impressive today for its sheer vision as it is for its remarkable engineering.
Tower of London
The Tower of London was once a royal palace and infamous prison but today is it a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. Home to the dazzling Crown Jewels, a visit to the Tower of London offers a gripping insight into England’s history.
Still a ‘working’ castle, Windsor Castle is the weekend holiday house of the Royal Family and one of our day tours from London. Windsor Castle has been a Royal residence and fortress for almost 1000 years since the site was picked out by William the Conqueror. At Windsor Castle on this trip you can explore the grand State Apartments with the tour leader , view the impressive family portraits and pour over Queen Mary’s Doll House.
The Royal Pavilion
Another one of our day tours as part of a small group tour of England is to the The Royal Palace,in Brighton, was built by King George IV as a seaside pleasure palace. George IV was a notorious womaniser and gambler and the splendid summer house is obscene experience in extravagance, mixing Regency grandeur with the visual style of Indian and Chinese palaces.
In England, the country’s efficient transportation system and extensive rail network make travelling relatively painless..
Best walking tour, England for older travellers
The Walking Tour of Rural Britain is designed to have two days to explore per every night based at a hotel. These are rambles requiring a good level of fitness, which is repaid with postcard-worthy scenery. We will walk through Kent, Cornwall, and on the Welsh/English borders, as well as the Lake District and a day on Arran Island in Scotland.
If you want to learn more about British history, consider joining the Walking Tour of Ancient Britain, a fully escorted, small-group, 20-day program that will take you through Britain’s ancient towns and walkways, steeped in over 5,000 years of human history. We will walk through the region surrounding Salisbury, Bath, and Stroud in the southwest of England and along the border with Wales. The tour includes some of the greatest walkways in England.
The Walking the Wainwright Tour travels along Wainwright’s Walking Trail, also known as England’s Coast to Coast trail. The 192-mile (309-km) scenic footpath takes the walker from St Bees in Cumbria overlooking the Irish Sea, to Robin Hood’s Bay by the North Sea coast, crossing the Pennines and passing through three national parks: the UNESCO world heritage site Lake District National Park, the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and the North York Moors National Park.
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 per person, per day, for all different services can quickly add up and leave you out of pocket. As well as this, it can be stressful working out how much and how often you should be tipping. When tipping is included in the price, it saves you both time and money, while giving you peace of mind that you’re not committing any type of cultural faux pas.
- Number of fellow travellers: When booking a England small group tour, you want to ensure that you are not going to get lost in a big crowd of people. This is particularly pertinent when visiting a popular holiday destination such as England, especially when travelling to major cities like London. Odyssey tours have an average of eight participants per tour with a maximum of group size of 18.
- Knowledgeable guides: England has a long, rich and compelling history, demonstrated by its multiple museums, ancient churches and infamous kings and queens. Ideally, you want to be able to gain a sense of England’s past, present and future and for this reason, an informed tour director and knowledgeable local guides are essential to a fulfilling travel experience. All Odyssey Traveller England tours include a tour director (program leader) who accompanies the group for the duration of the trip. In addition, we engage 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 the different destinations as you tour England, whether you be in a large city like London or a small rural village.
- Unique locations: England has something for everyone and when looking for a England guided tour, it is useful to consider where you might want to visit and the kind of holiday you would like. Odyssey Traveller offers tours that allow you to tour England and others that allow you to immerse yourself in one city. The British Gardens tour, for example, will guide you on an unforgettable trip through some of the best gardens across the UK and by the tour’s end, you will have a greater understanding of three centuries of garden design in Britain and an even greater appreciation for this enduring form of expression.
- Culture and History: When visiting somewhere like England, you want to return with a better understanding of English periods of history, art and architecture. Odyssey offers a wide range of educational, cultural and heritage journeys that will let you see a side of England you don’t always get from the history books. Walk through well-preserved Roman ruins, discover the beguiling operas of Gilbert and Sullivan, visit Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking world and marvel at the Royal Palaces such as Buckingham palace, some of which are still in use.
Stratford Upon Avon is a town in England's west midlands, located within Warwickshire county. Stratford's most prominent claim to fame comes from its history as the birthplace of William Shakespeare, arguably the most famous playwright…
The counterpart to Mont St Michel. On the Devon and Cornwall escorted small group tour for senior and maturer travellers the group learn about the abbey of St Michael's mount built in the middle ages complete with gargoyles and grotesques.
Escorted small group tours for mature and senior travellers to England. Designed for couples and solo travellers who like to explore and enjoy learning as they travel to Devon and Cornwall, Manchester or Newcastle, or learn about English villages and the romanticism of the Lake district and beyond.
This walking path along the English east coast links up the Wainwright Walking trail that has crossed from West to East, through the Lake district, the Yorkshire dales and the North York Moors. For the active walker be they men or women this is a great historical walk through the British landscape. You may wish to join an Odyssey small group walking tour to enjoy this experience with like minded people.
The Lake District is the glittering crown jewel of England’s countryside and sure to capture any traveller’s heart with its magic. Picture expanses of lush meadows swathed in flowers and shimmering blue lakes against craggy…
Chester was originally founded as Roman fort and has over 2000 years of history, but it is best known as a medieval city due its well-preserved Tudor architecture and observable legacies of its medieval past.…
Throughout the nation, from Yorkshire to Orkney, miles of moss-covered dry stone walls snake their way through the open land. You would be forgiven for not looking twice. However, dry stone walls offer an alternative…
Rome's roads constitute the most remarkable culmination of its technological, logistical and bureaucratic achievements. Even a brief understanding of their history and significance can enrich your experience walking tour of Britain.
With 800 or so years of history, the university has not only shaped the city Oxford but has become a significant part of the fabric of English history, enduring through times of social upheaval and…
Learning about Manchester’s Early History Well-known parts of Manchester’s history include their textile boom during the Industrial Revolution and the first steam engine railway to Liverpool. But what about its precursor? Manchester saw different leaders…
Victorian Women’s Fashion The Young Queen Victoria by Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1842). Photographic reproduction from Wikimedia Commons. Victoria ascended the throne at the age of 18. In British history, the Victorian era refers to the…
Victorian England Rural Life In this post we will look at what rural life was like on a country estate in Victorian England. Janet Sacks’ Victorian Country Life is a good reference for those who want…
New Discoveries about Britain’s Stone Circles We’ve written about Britain’s prehistoric stone circles before, but recent studies from 2017 to 2019 show there are likely more secrets to uncover about these Neolithic monuments. In this…
Victoria’s Britain (Part 1 of 2) This two-part article on Queen Victoria’s Britain was prepared by one of our Odyssey Program Leaders, Mal Bock. She will be leading this small group tour especially designed for…
Explore Britain's literary heritage on small group package holidays and tours for mature and senior travellers each year from Odyssey Traveller. Small group tours for couples and solo travellers with a passion for exploring and learning.
England’s Liverpool: Port City, Architecture Marvel The Beatles and the Merseybeat era, football, and the waterfront. Liverpool’s vibrant culture and rich history has more to offer than what you may already know. In 1207, King…
Life in the Medieval British Village In a previous article, we looked at the icons of the British village–the pub and the cottage–and looked at their history and evolution from Roman and Norman times. In…
Exploring Newcastle Newcastle (or Newcastle upon Tyne) in northeast England is rich in architectural wonders and steeped in history. It was an important settlement on the River Tyne during Roman times, a thriving commercial hub in…
Icons of the British Villages: Pubs and Cottages The British pub and cottage figure prominently in the image of a (often romanticised) quintessential “British village”. In this article, we will give special attention to these…
Exploring Britain’s Prehistoric Past Scattered across the islands of Great Britain are countless stone circles and monoliths. As successive waves of different peoples settled and lived in Britain, many would erect stone monuments and carve…
UNESCO World Heritage sites are well represented in Britain, beyond Stonehenge. This collection of Small group tours across England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland incorporates visits to these current and future sites in its programs for mature and senior travellers of up to 12 people, a mix of couples and solo travellers. Often on Walking tours and History in depth programs.
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.
Roman Roads in Britain Roads were crucial in the Roman Empire: they facilitated the speedy deployment of troops and the free movement of supplies. Later, when Roman towns began growing into urban centres, the roads…
Victorian Architecture of London London’s architecture during the Victorian Era was defined by the transformation of British society, due to the rapid changes of the Industrial Revolution. Industrialisation transformed British life, leading to innovative new…
British Churches Through the Years “How old is this church?” asks Mary-Ann Ochota in a chapter of her book, Hidden Histories: A Spotter’s Guide to the British Landscape (Francis Lincoln, 2016, p. 250). In this article, we…
Studying Gargoyles and Grotesques Gargoyles and grotesques were a hallmark of the Gothic period of architecture, which grew popular in Western Europe from the 12th to the late 15th centuries, and which was carried over…
Famous Personalities from Queen Victoria’s Britain (Part 2 of 2) This article related to Queen Victoria’s Britain was prepared by one of our Odyssey Program Leaders, Mal Bock. She will be leading this small group tour especially…
Queen Victoria’s Britain (Part 2 of 2) This two-part article on Queen Victoria’s Britain was prepared by one of our Odyssey Program Leaders, Mal Bock. She will be leading this small group tour especially designed for…
Britain: The First Industrial Nation In the mid-18th century, the Industrial Revolution was largely confined to Britain. Historians and economists continue to debate what it was that sparked the urbanisation and industrialisation that would change…
Bees in Manchester: a surprising symbol of the Industrial Revolution The bee is an intriguing symbol for the city of Manchester. The city’s damp climate provided the ideal conditions for milling cotton. But this is…
The Lake District poets: Romanticism and inspiration for Travellers “I wandered lonely as a cloud” Did a simple daffodil usher in the Romantic era? Poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy came upon a “host”…
10 Books to Read If You Are Planning to Visit Britain For Odyssey Travellers, Britain has and remains a key destination in the organisation’s collection of escorted small group educational tours offered each year. For…
Odyssey travels by coach and occasionally uses local transport, including trains and ferries. Specifics are always outlined in your tour itinerary. England has a centralised and impressively extensive rail network which links towns to the major cities. The Eurostar is among travel options that connect England with Europe via rail. London itself is home to one of the most extensive metro systems in the world, and a number of the stations are tourist attractions in their own right.
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.
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 forms part of the United Kingdom, along with Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It borders Scotland to the north and Wales to the west and is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea and English Channel. Low hills and plains make up the majority of England’s landscape, but it is punctuated by uplands in the north, including the Lake District, and to the west, with Dartmoor and the Shropshire Hills.
England’s climate is temperate maritime. This translates to relatively mild temperatures, barely exceeding 0 to 32 degrees celsius in scope. The English coast is particulary chilly, especially in the winter months of January and February. England is prone to damp, changeable conditions. This is influenced by its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, northern latitude and warmer Gulf stream. It is best to pack wet-weather clothing and be prepared for the rain.
World Heritage Sites
The United Kingdom boasts 31 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, many of which are located in England. You can view the official list of the sites here https://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/gb. It is well worth visiting every site, if you are able. But here’s a few highlights from the bunch:
The Tower of London, marvel of Norman military architecture
Stonehenge and Avebury, pre-historic monuments that capture the imagination of the world
The Lake District, where the imposing peaks and depths are balanced by the warmth of the villages throughout.
Festivals & events
England is home to some eccentric festivals and events. In fact, it seems the more eccentric, the greater the fervour of participants. Glastonbury hosts one of the world’s largest contemporary music festivals; the Latitude Festival in Suffolk is a little more sedate. There’s a major cycling race around Leicester in August called the Leicester Castle Classic, and commemorative celebrations for Guy Fawkes in November. Among the most unusual calendar events is the annual Shrovetide football match held in Ashbourne and surrounds. Honouring one of the UK’s oldest sporting traditions, two competing sides must move a ball to posts at opposing ends of town. It is passionate, unruly, and can involve being plunged into waterways by your competitors. There’s truly something for every taste in England.
- 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
Cuisine is not one of England’s primary attractions for travellers. But despite its unfortunate reputation, quality restaurants serving international dishes are on the rise. England is now experiencing a transition stage, while the eating culture catches up on the progress. In the meantime, some budget options can be hit and miss. Fish and chips is ubiquitous, usually deep fried haddock or cod. As is “curry” – a catch all term for what is arguably England’s national dish! Indian restaurants can be found in just about every village. England boasts some regional dishes too. Melton Mowbray pork pies originated in Leicestershire, and are served cold. Pancake-like oatcakes are a speciality of Stoke-on-Trent, Stafforshire and Derbyshire. Lancashire was the birthplace of the hearty Lancashire hotpot, as well as Eccles cake, a flaky pastry with raisins. If possible, indulge in a Sunday roast, which is likely to feature famous Yorkshire puddings. As for drink, a real British ale is regarded among the world’s best, but it must be sourced from a “real ale pub”. It doesn’t have the shelf life of foreign beers, and some pubs serve it past its prime – a vinegary taste is not a good sign.
While much of England is usually safe to travel around, it’s important to stay alert to anything unusual. Also, you will often see signs warning of pickpockets in areas popular with tourists, so it’s important to keep a close eye on your belongings at all times.
England’s primary travel advice is ‘see it’ say it, sorted for potential threats on public transport.
Whenever you travel overseas, it’s always wise to take an appropriate travel adaptor. The electricity supply runs at 230V, 50Hz. British plugs have three flat, rectangular pins which form a triangle. These are shared by Ireland, Malta and some former British colonies, but Australia is not one of them.
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.
- The London Underground
- Victorian Women’s Fashion
- Queen Victoria’s Britain, Part 1 and Part 2
- Understanding British Churches
- Studying Gargoyles and grotesques
- Georgian Architecture
- London’s Victorian Architecture
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
- If sightseeing in rural areas, remember to be respectful of residents and locals. As well as being tourist attractions, these are peoples’ homes!
- Carry a card in your wallet or purse from your local hotel, to assist you with the return journey if you do become lost.
- Always ensure that you are covered by travel insurance. If you need advice on this feel free to contact Odyssey and we’ll be able to help.
- When travelling independently, make sure you check the opening hours of shops and museums so that you don’t miss out! Museums & galleries are often closed on Mondays. Also be certain to check whether your trip coincides with any public holidays, so you can plan accordingly.
- Consider contacting your bank to inform them that you may be making purchases overseas. Otherwise, they may flag any activity on your account as suspicious. Also, check which ATMs and banks are compatible with your cards, to ensure you can withdraw cash with minimal fees.
- Before departing, make sure you have a number of pounds in a range of denominations. You don’t want to be carrying around enormous amounts of cash, but take enough to make it easy to pay in locations that might not accept credit card. It will also help you avoid card transaction fees, and it makes tipping a breeze.