Tours Christmas & New Year Tours Great Britain Christmas

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Summary

Celebrating Christmas in England, Scotland and Wales is a magical thing! On this Great Britain Christmas group tour, enjoy awe-inspiring landscapes, must-see historical destinations and festive cheer. Visit York, Bath and Cardiff. See Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace, and Liverpool - home of The Beatles! Explore the beautiful Scottish Highlands, England’s Lake District and the famous Loch Ness. Tuck into traditional pub fare and drink a dram with the locals. Spend Christmas Day in Edinburgh and embrace the Scottish Yuletide festivities! Make your festive season one to remember with a fun-filled Christmas tour. 

Highlights

  • Enjoy Christmas Day in Edinburgh
  • Explore the Scottish Highlands
  • Visit Cambridge and York
  • Experience Liverpool; home of The Beatles

Start Point

Outside Novotel London Greenwich hotel | 06:30 AM
Hotel lobby at Holiday Inn Express London - Greenwich | 07:00 AM

End Point

Outside Hotel Novotel at Greenwich station | 06:00 PM
DAY 1: Start of tour in London - Cambridge - York

Welcome to your Christmas tour of Great Britain! Today, depart London and get ready to fill your lungs with fresh, English countryside air. Arrive in Cambridge, and embark on a punting trip along the river. The age-old tradition offers great views of the stunning scenery and epic, historical buildings as you float along the water. Travel towards York this afternoon. This city is a hotspot for history buffs and lovers of fine architecture and culture. Head out on a walking tour for fascinating insights into York’s history and stories. Tonight, enjoy a traditional pub dinner in an authentic British pub!

Meals: Dinner

DAY 1: Start of tour in London - Cambridge - York

Welcome to your Christmas tour of Great Britain! Today, depart London and get ready to fill your lungs with fresh, English countryside air. Arrive in Cambridge, and embark on a punting trip along the river. The age-old tradition offers great views of the stunning scenery and epic, historical buildings as you float along the water. Travel towards York this afternoon. This city is a hotspot for history buffs and lovers of fine architecture and culture. Head out on a walking tour for fascinating insights into York’s history and stories. Tonight, enjoy a traditional pub dinner in an authentic British pub!

Experiences

Cambridge punting trip: Take part in the age-old Cambridge tradition of punting down the river on a punt (a long flat-bottomed boat). Cruise down the River Cam and take in the sights and surroundings along the way.

Walking tour of York: Take a walking tour around this historic walled city with your Expat Explore tour leader.

Dinner in York: Tuck into a delicious dinner at a local restaurant in York. Toast to the first night of this tour of Great Britain and get to know your fellow travellers over dinner this evening.

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

Hotel


DAY 2: Angel of the North - Hadrian's Wall - Gretna Green - Glasgow - Scottish Highlands

Get ready for a jam-packed day full of beautiful and historic sights! Depart York and travel to the Angel of the North for a photo stop at this iconic sculpture in northern England. Then, travel to Hadrian’s Wall; a defensive fortification constructed by Emperor Hadrian centuries ago! Next, visit the historic village of Gretna Green. This romantic village is world-famous for weddings and once saw young lovers crossing the border to wed without their parents’ permission. Later, travel to the vibrant city of Glasgow and enjoy some free time to shop at the city’s charming Christmas markets! This evening, arrive at tonight’s accommodation in Arrochar which is a village located on Loch Long. Enjoy an included dinner tonight.

Experiences

Photo stop at the Angel of the North: Enjoy a stopover at this famous contemporary sculpture in the north of England. Be sure to snap some photos!

Photo stop at Hadrian's Wall: Visit the Roman fortification on the border between England and Scotland, constructed under the orders of Emperor Hadrian across the final frontier of the Roman Empire in what was then the Roman province of Britannia.

Visit Gretna Green: Found on the Scottish side of the border between England and Scotland, Gretna Green is a beautiful historic village that is one of the world’s most popular wedding destinations! This town is where lovers used to get married without their parent’s permission, many years ago, giving it a lasting legacy as a great spot to tie the knot.

Shop at Glasgow’s Christmas markets: Enjoy some free time in the vibrant Scottish city of Glasgow and soak up the festive spirit with a spot of shopping at the enchanting Christmas markets.

Spend the night in the Scottish Highlands: Enjoy an overnight stay in the heart of the iconic Scottish Highlands. Look forward to enchanting scenery and warm hospitality!

Meals

BreakfastDinner

Accommodation

Hotel


DAY 3: Glen Coe - Loch Ness - Edinburgh

Start today with a stop at Glen Coe. Admire the spectacular views and learn about the infamous Massacre of Glencoe. Then, head onwards to Spean Bridge and keep an eye out for Ben Nevis (the highest mountain in the British Isles) as you travel through the Highlands. At lunch time, arrive in Fort Augustus at the base of the famous Loch Ness. Join the optional cruise excursion and see if you can spot ‘Nessie’, the mythical Loch Ness Monster! Afterwards, the scenic drive continues through the Scottish Highlands and along the edge of the picturesque Cairngorms National Park. Then, it's onwards to Edinburgh, passing over the Queensferry Crossing while admiring the views before arriving in the city.

Experiences

See Glen Coe: Make a photo stop at one of the most beautiful valleys in the Scottish Highlands (a glen is a deep valley in Scotland) which is infamous for the tragic events of the massacre that happened here in 1692.

Visit Loch Ness: Will you be the person to spot the Loch Ness monster, as we make a stop in what is said to be her home? You’ll have free time to explore or take an optional cruise to see if you can spot her in the loch’s water.

Drive along Cairngorms National Park and over the Queensferry Crossing: Sit back, relax and enjoy the picturesque views of the Scottish landscape.

Meals

Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotel

On Tour Excursions

DAY 4: Dundee - St Andrews - Edinburgh (Christmas Day)

Merry Christmas! This morning, head to the coastal city of Dundee, Scotland’s cultural and commercial hub. On arrival, enjoy an orientation tour with your tour leader. Learn more about Dundee’s history and see some of its top attractions, including the only V&A Museum outside of London! The tour then makes its way to the stunning university town of St Andrews. Get to know this charming town on an orientation tour and admire the ruins of St Andrews Cathedral which was first built in 1158! Then, celebrate and soak up the Scottish festive spirit with an included Christmas lunch. Later, head back to Edinburgh where the rest of the evening is free to spend as you wish.

Experiences

Festive lunch: Celebrate Christmas and enjoy great Scottish hospitality with a delicious festive lunch.

Meals

BreakfastLunch

Accommodation

Hotel


DAY 5: Edinburgh - Carlisle - Lake District - Liverpool

Depart Scotland and travel back across the border to England. Stop in Carlisle, an important historic city known for its centuries-old castle. Next, head to Bowness-on-Windermere, a lovely town in the picturesque Lake District. Here, join the Winter at Windermere optional excursion to enjoy a scenic cruise and traditional fish and chips lunch! Later, arrive in Liverpool and enjoy a driving tour of the city. The evening is free to explore the city that is the home of The Beatles and two world-famous premier league football clubs! The Beatles played hundreds of shows at the Cavern Club - this is the perfect place for a fan to spend the evening!

Experiences

Visit Carlisle: Enjoy a comfort stop and some free time in Carlisle, a cathedral city in Cumbria which holds great historical significance. Why not pay a visit to its castle, which was first built in 1092, or soak up some art, science and history at the Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery?

Experience the English Lake District: This is truly your chance to experience lunch with a view - enjoy the scenery of this beautiful part of England, and find a spot to enjoy lunch in Bowness-on-Windermere while surrounded by a scenic landscape. The beauty of the English Lake District inspired many renowned poets and writers such as William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter.

Driving tour of Liverpool: Enjoy seeing some of Liverpool’s top sights on a driving tour of the city. Highlights include Anfield football stadium, Liverpool Cathedral, and the Albert Docks.

Meals

Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotel

On Tour Excursions

DAY 6: Liverpool - Stratford-Upon-Avon - Wales

Enjoy a “Magical Mystery” driving tour of Liverpool this morning, and see the city’s top sights associated with The Beatles! Next up, venture on to the birthplace of William Shakespeare. The town of Stratford-Upon-Avon is home to numerous Shakespearean attractions and fascinating historical locations. Enjoy free time to wander the streets once home to the famous playwright. Next, travel to the south of Wales where you'll have the chance to see a medieval castle. After snapping great photos of the centuries-old building, head onwards to the Welsh capital of Cardiff and enjoy an orientation driving tour of the city.

Experiences

Liverpool Beatles driving tour: Hop aboard the coach to see and learn about a variety of locations connected to The Beatles on an early morning Beatles Magical Mystery Tour!

Visit to Stratford-Upon-Avon: Make a stop in this quaint town, which is the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Wander the city during your free time, and view many of the Shakespearean attractions, including the 16th-century house where the famous writer grew up.

Castle photo stop: On the road to Cardiff, enjoy the chance for a short stop at the medieval Raglan Castle and capture some photos.

Orientation driving tour of Cardiff: Arrive in the Welsh capital, and go on a driving tour of the city. Your tour leader will show you all the best highlights before you head back to the hotel.

Meals

BreakfastDinner

Accommodation

Hotel


DAY 7: Bath - Stonehenge - London

As the last day of this British tour arrives, there is no sign of slowing down! The first stop today is Bath – a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring some of the finest architecture in Europe. Enjoy an orientation tour of the town for insight into the town’s history and the famous Roman Baths. Next up is an optional excursion that could have you unravelling one of the worlds’ greatest mysteries! Visit Stonehenge to see the ancient and awe-inspiring structure, which has baffled scientists, tourists and historians for centuries. Arrive back in London to end your tour this evening after a fantastic week of exploring Great Britain!

Experiences

Bath Orientation tour: Learn all about Bath’s fascinating history and its top attractions, including the famous Roman Baths, with your tour leader.

Meals

Breakfast

On Tour Excursions

What's Included

Accommodation

  • 6 nights in 2, 3 & 4* hotel accommodation in twin rooms with private bathrooms
  • Single travellers have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure a private room (subject to availability)

Meals

  • 6 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 3 Dinners
    *Vegetarian options available for all meals on request

Transport

  • Modern air-conditioned coach with reclining seats and toilet onboard
  • Any public transport used as part of the tour (excludes free days)

Tour Leader

  • Fully guided tour with experienced tour leader
  • Tour leader will accompany group throughout and manage all logistical details

20 Experiences!

  1. Go punting down the River Cam in Cambridge
  2. Stroll through the historic streets of York
  3. Enjoy a group dinner in York
  4. Visit the Angel of the North statue
  5. Take a photo at Hadrian’s Wall
  6. Visit world famous wedding destination Gretna Green
  7. Shop at Glasgow’s Christmas markets
  8. Spend a night in the Scottish Highlands
  9. See Glen Coe; one of Scotland’s most beautiful valleys
  10. Search for the mythical monster at Loch Ness
  11. Admire the views of Cairngorms National Park and the Queensferry Crossing
  12. Enjoy Christmas Day lunch in Edinburgh
  13. Visit Carlisle, an important historic city
  14. Experience the beauty of the English Lake District
  15. Embark on a Liverpool driving tour with your tour leader
  16. See Liverpool spots connected to The Beatles
  17. Explore Stratford-Upon-Avon; home of Shakespeare
  18. Enjoy a photo stop at a medieval Welsh Castle
  19. Experience Cardiff on a driving tour
  20. Discover Bath on an orientation walking tour

Accommodation

Hotels are chosen closer to departure date. We do use a variety of hotels in each destination, so you may stay in a hotel different to that listed here.

Yorkshire

Photos of the tour

Loch Ness Cruise

Visit the home of the mysterious Loch Ness monster and enjoy a 1-hour cruise on the loch. Take in the sights and enjoy the serene surroundings. Have your cameras ready as you may even spot old Nessie.

Optional Excursions

Unless marked as “Pre-Book”, all optional excursions can be booked on tour and paid for in cash (in the stated currency) to your tour leader.
Prices and availability are subject to change

Dates & Rates

2025 dates for this tour will go on sale soon! To book now with early access to the lowest price, please complete this enquiry form

Our pricing model: Lowest-priced seats are sold first, then the price increases slightly. The quicker you book, the less you pay. Select a date below to secure your seat.
Years
Start Date / End DateFlexible BookingStatusPrice Per Person
22 Dec 2024 - 28 Dec 2024Flexible booking date for 22 Dec 2024 - 28 Dec 2024Seats selling fast - Book now!€ 1,225 € 1,125

Number of travellers

Payment option

Flexible booking: flexible booking

Additional Information

For pre-departure and visa information, as well as frequently asked questions regarding preparing for and travelling on this tour, please visit our Help Centre.

Additional Information Help Centre

Reviews

Reviews powered by: Power Reviews

441 reviews
L
Lisa Verified Buyer 2024-01-12
Excellent your guide Lee and Minty the driver
Lee and Minty were such nice hosts. My fiance and I travelled from Cali and just loved the tour. I hope we can return next year and visit again. Lee and Minty are a great duo. Such nice gentlemen and super sweet thank you ex pat
M
Minn Verified Buyer 2023-12-20
Amazing Experience
Excellent tour. The tour guide Peter M. Was very knowledgeable, compassionate, professional and patient. Our driver, Minty rock.
J
Jane Verified Buyer 2023-10-11
Amazing Trip
Well organized trip with a great Tour guide!! Best way to see loads of sights in a very short period of time.
A
Andri Muller Verified Buyer 2023-10-10
It was a wonderful experience.
Well structured and organised.
D
Dee Verified Buyer 2023-09-30
Great way to explore Scotland, England and Wales
Lee was a fabulous tour guide! He understood the area very well and let us know all the best spots to eat and drink. Were given lots of advice and options of alternatives to excursions. Tony drove our bus around some pretty tight areas in the older narrow streets. Thank you for a wonderful week of travel!

Why this tour?

Great Britain is one of the best places to celebrate the festive seasons! From historical sites decked out in decorations and the charming Christmas markets to the carolers filled with joy and delicious festive food fare! Celebrate Christmas in Britain on the Expat Explore Great Britain Christmas tour. Over one week, travel across England, Scotland and Wales to experience the top attractions and local charms of a number of fantastic destinations. 

There are several exciting highlights on this Britain Christmas winter holiday, including: 

  • Make memories on Christmas Day in Edinburgh, as you enjoy a free day in Scotland’s capital city. Embark on a tour of the city and then spend the day as you wish; tour Christmas markets, stroll through the Old Town and New Town and enjoy tasty food! This is a great way to spend Christmas Day in Great Britain!
  • Spend the night in the Scottish Highlands which are filled with quaint towns, historic monuments and breathtaking scenery. A must-see on a Great Britain Christmas holiday.
  • Make your Christmas holiday in Great Britain unforgettable with an optional visit to the the mysterious Stonehenge!
  • Visit the historic cities of Cambridge, York, Bath, and Cardiff and get to know the history and traditions from your tour leader. You’ll also enjoy stops in the quaint towns of Jedburgh and Gretna Green along the Scottish borders.
  • Admire the beautiful scenery on drives through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, the English Lake District and the hauntingly beautiful Glen Coe. A Christmas tour in Great Britain would be incomplete without the scenery!
  • Explore the hometowns of literature and cultural icons Shakespeare and The Beatles during visits to Stratford-upon-Avon and Liverpool.
  • Tuck into classic British cuisine including a traditional Sunday Roast and a pub carvery lunch to complete your Great Britain Christmas vacation! 

Is this the right tour for me?
What will the accommodation be like on tour? 
Tour accommodation is twin-share rooms in hotels vetted by our expert team. You will be paired up with a traveller of the same gender and if you would prefer your own room, you are able to pay a single supplement.

How fit do I need to be for this tour? 
There will be easy walks included on orientation tours of cities and towns. Nothing rigorous or intense. 

What are the best places to visit in Britain? 
With so many amazing destinations in England, Scotland and Wales, this one is difficult to narrow down! Stonehenge and Loch Ness are popular bucket-list destinations. Historic cities such as Cardiff and York are beautiful to visit. The whole trip is a treat for travellers!

What is the weather like on a UK Christmas tour? 
It usually gets very cold in Great Britain during winter so be sure to pack accordingly! Wrap up warm in coats, scarves, beanies and gloves so you can explore destinations and stay cozy. 

How busy is it at this time of year? 
Great Britain is a popular winter destination so there are usually big crowds. However, the people help create a fantastic Christmas atmosphere! The tour itinerary has a great balance of quiter spots as well as top attractions. 

Do I need cash for the Christmas markets? 
It is always a good idea to carry a small amount of cash for small towns and Christmas markets. ATMs are available in all major cities and most towns. 

Overall, this trip is a memorable way to enjoy Christmas and the festive season. Accommodation, transport, most meals and many activities are included in the price making it a fun and affordable way to enjoy a Great Britain Christmas vacation. Travel is the best gift so share this Christmas tour with your loved ones!