WOOCS 2.1.6

England is a great tourist destination, attracting people from all across the world. Yet much of it remains under explored. Odyssey tours of England focus both on the must-see sites and the less explored areas, across both rural and urban landscapes. If you’re interested in discovering more about England’s history, culture, architecture, food or landscape, the best way is to see it all for yourself.

Crafted for mature World Travellers

Tours of England

mount of Mont Saint Michel, France
Guaranteed

Our 21 night program explores the north-west corner of France before hopping across the English Channel to the tiny autonomous islands of Jersey, Guernsey and Sark as well as the historic Isle of Wight. The tour combines the dramatic scenery of Normandy and Brittany with the quirky history and natural beauty of the Channel Islands together with the natural and historic splendour of the Isle of Wight in the English Channel.

22 days
British Isles, Europe
Level 2 - Moderate
Shakespeare Drama small group tour Stratford England
On Sale

Reserve your tickets to Odyssey’s 9 day Discover Shakespeare tour. Be entertained by the Royal Shakespeare Company, viewing performances in Stratford-upon-Avon.

10 days
British Isles, Europe
Level 1 - Introductory to Moderate

This tour allows us to explore the life and times of the royal families responsible for making England and Spain so significant in the 16th century. We spend 10 days in England visiting sites made famous by Henry VIII and his daughters Mary and his Elizabeth. From there we fly to Spain to spend the final 10 days looking at towns and palaces established by the Catholic monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, and their Habsburg descendants.

21 days
British Isles, Europe
Level 2 - Moderate
Small Group Tour of British Gardens
Pre-guaranteed

From medieval Knot Gardens to the English landscapes of Capability Brown, to the modern incarnations of Sackville-West and the Duchess of Northumberland, our 22-night tour traces and explores garden styles through the ages. We explore the gardens of Kent, England’s South West, Oxfordshire, Wales, The Borders and Edinburgh, Northumbria and the Peak and Lake Districts.

18 days
British Isles
Level 2 - Moderate
Whitby Abbey walking britain
Pre-guaranteed

This is an upgraded walking program with new paths including the Brecon-Monmouthshire canal walk and tracks on Arran in Scotland. The program is designed for participants who enjoy seeing the countryside on foot and is appropriate for active walkers. We stay at comfortable hotels with two days of walks followed by a day of travel to the next site.

22 days
British Isles, Europe
Level 3 - Moderate to Challenging
Modern-day London

Short tour of London of up to 5 days. Designed as a short tour for those who wish to spend additional time in places at the conclusion of their tour.

5 days
British Isles
Queen Victoria's Great Britain, Leadenhall arcade
On Sale

An era of enormous change, change which occurred in almost all areas of life. Developments in technology, science, medicine, politics, art and architecture. Enjoy talks and short lectures from a collection of knowledgeable guides on Victorian Britain in a small group.

 

21 days
British Isles
Level 2 - Moderate
England’s villages small group history tours for mature travellers
Guaranteed

Our 18 night program takes us on a journey through England’s timeless countryside and picturesque villages. A visitor to England’s villages is a time-traveller encircling the semi-tropical fishing villages of Cornwall, then across Dartmoor, now more desolate than ever. Then to the Cotswolds, the storybook villages now busier than ever. On the English-Welsh border the villages and towns have found new importance as repositories and exchanges for the artefacts of England’s past.

19 days
British Isles
Level 1 - Introductory to Moderate

This small group tour allows the traveller to come to a greater appreciation of the long history of art and literature in England. We visit many of the places which inspired the great English writers and painters through the ages. With such an enormous field to choose from, our tour concentrates on the period before the Second World War and concentrates on just some of the many people significant in these fields. H

22 days
British Isles
Level 1 - Introductory to Moderate

Learn about the history of Liverpool, Newcastle & Glasgow by studying the history, culture & people who created these incredible cities. Spend one week in each place with local  guides who share their knowledge with you.

22 days
British Isles
Level 2 - Moderate

This programs gives participants a chance more to learn about this fascinating operatic duo, experiencing live performances and hearing from Gilbert and Sullivan experts. The tour also includes visits to several important museums, including the Black Country Living Museum, the Haymarket Theatre, and the Royal Academy of Music. The tour promises to be an unforgettable introduction to the world of Gilbert and Sullivan.

9 days
British Isles
Prehistoric Britain small group history tour
On Sale

This program examines human occupation in Britain some 500,000 years before the Romans arrived. It begins in Shetland, the northern extremity of Britain and works its way south to Stonehenge, exploring the landscapes that represent some of the most important prehistoric sites in Britain. Most of the focus of this program will be experiencing these megalithic and earthen structures constructed between the Stone Age and Iron Age.

21 days
British Isles
Level 2 - Moderate

On this tour explore the world of Roman Britain as we trace the visible remains of the Roman occupation. The Romans occupied Britain for some 400 years and left behind a lasting legacy. Many of their buildings were pulled down and reused but there is still a lot left for us to discover. Join us as we travel in the footsteps of the legions through England and Wales, exploring what remains of their cities, fortresses, villas, bath houses and roads.

22 days
British Isles
Level 2 - Moderate
Lake district walking small group tour
Pre-guaranteed

A program that explores some of the visual stunning scenic landscapes of Northern Ireland and the Lake district of Britain that have inspired painters and writers over the centuries. The program spends 9 days in each country enjoying a daily walking program through these historic landscape accompanied by local guides all with stories to tell and share. The walks require a good level of fitness. We typically stay at comfortable small hotels of character in both locations in village or small towns.

19 days
British Isles
Level 3 - Moderate to Challenging
Ancient Britain Walking Tour
On Sale

This 20-day walking tour will take us 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.

20 days
British Isles
Level 3 - Moderate to Challenging
Industrial revolution
On Sale

The Industrial Revolution brought great change to Britain with the linking of major rivers with canals and the development of railways. During our program we learn how engineers overcame geographical obstacles through the use of viaducts, bridges, aqueducts, tunnels and locks. Fortunately for us many of these impressive structures have been restored and now carry recreational boating with branch railways through spectacular landscapes.

23 days
British Isles, Europe
Level 2 - Moderate
Classical Music Small group tours
Pre-guaranteed

This is a round–the-world, 23 day program that visits two continents, staying in the major arts centres of Vienna, Paris, London and New York. For Odyssey Travellers, 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.

23 days
British Isles, Europe
Level 1 - Introductory to Moderate

Continental invaders brought with them many components that added to the mix of what makes Britain today, including their genetic characteristics, the roots of the English language, various spiritual and religious beliefs, models of land ownership, place names and technologies that began with the Stone Age Celts. We explore the places and events that created this mélange.

23 days
British Isles, Europe
Level 2 - Moderate
The need to know

Touring England

Getting around

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.

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 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 Lakes 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 Lakes 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.

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

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.

See All

Tour Reviews

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
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
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
Overall the trip was great and met my expectation.
Errol H. June 2017
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
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
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

FAQs

Responsible travel tips for England

  1. If sightseeing in rural areas, remember to be respectful of residents and locals. As well as being tourist attractions, these are peoples’ homes!
  2. Carry a card in your wallet or purse from your local hotel, to assist you with the return journey if you do become lost.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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