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Great Britain &...

Great Britain & Ireland tours

From the lovely English countryside to the charming cities of the Emerald Isle—there's so much to experience on our trips to Great Britain and Ireland.

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Grand Tour of Ireland
14 days | 17 days with Glasgow & Edinburgh extension

4.6 star rating

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What travelers are say about their trips to Great Britain and Ireland

Having fun traveling with Go Ahead Tours
04/29/19 by 5th-time traveler Ed
On all the tours we have been on, we have always been satisfied with all the aspects of the trips. We have always had great guides on the trips and each tour. We keep coming back because we appreciate all done to make our trips as great as possible.
Highlights of England, Scotland & Ireland tour
Wonderful experience
07/06/18 by 2nd-time traveler Lisa
Overall I had a wonderful time on the Tour of Great Britain. Our tour guide David grew up there so I loved hearing childhood stories and driving past his sisters’ farm. Just added a personal touch.
Grand Tour of Great Britain
The Trip of a Lifetime
09/07/19 by 17th-time traveler Dorothy
The Wild Atlantic Way was our 17th trip, including 4 previous trips to Ireland, with Go Ahead, & it stands out above all the rest. The itinerary far exceeded our expectations. The locations we visited were beautiful beyond description, but the whole experience was enhanced by the best tour director.
Ireland: The Wild Atlantic Way tour
First of MANY!!!!
06/18/19 by 1st-time traveler Jodi
This was our first GoAhead tour, and what a memory-making adventure it was! We arrived in London with our best friends, not knowing that we were going to leave Dublin 17 days later with a bus-load of new friends! Our tour guide, Nick Jones, and our local guides were incredible!
Landscapes of Scotland & Ireland tour

Travel tips for Gret Britain & Ireland trips

What type of currency is used in Great Britain and Ireland?

Great Britain—the island that’s home to England, Scotland, and Wales—and Northern Ireland use the British Pound Sterling (£), commonly called the pound. Ireland, which is separate from Northern Ireland, uses the euro (€).

To stock up, order some euros and pounds from your bank before departing or use your debit card at an ATM once you arrive. For tips on using the pound or euro while on our tours of Great Britain and Ireland, check out our blog on currency exchange →

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What language is spoken in Great Britain and Ireland?

English is the primary language spoken across Great Britain and Ireland, but other national languages are also recognized. You might hear Irish in Ireland; on our Great Britain tours, you might hear Welsh, Gaelic, and Scots.

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How many days are ideal for a trip to Great Britain or Ireland?

We recommend spending at least five days on a tour of Great Britain or Ireland.

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What are the most popular activities to do in Great Britain and Ireland?

Both countries have plenty of things to do. Here are some of the most popular to try on our Great Britain and Ireland tours:

Great Britain:

  • Visiting historical sites. Great Britain is rich in history, and there are many iconic historical sites to explore: think the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Stonehenge, Edinburgh Castle, and the Roman Baths.

  • Enjoying the countryside. You’ll find beautiful landscapes, national parks, and picturesque villages across Great Britain. Some of our favorites include the Lake District, the Scottish Highlands, and the Cotswolds.

  • Taking afternoon tea. To enjoy this quintessentially British experience, head to a traditional tearoom or hotel. You’ll savor a brew served alongside sandwiches, scones, and cakes.


  • Exploring castles. Ireland’s filled with numerous castles—some ruined, others restored. Popular picks include Blarney Caste, Dublin Castle, and Bunratty Castle.

  • Experiencing pub culture. This country’s famous for the live music, traditional dance, and hearty food of its pub culture. Don’t leave Ireland without taking in the friendly atmosphere of a local haunt.

  • Touring the Wild Atlantic Way. This spectacular driving route runs along the western coast of Ireland and is lined by rugged cliffs and dotted with charming seaside towns.

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What are Great Britain’s and Ireland’s top attractions?

Both are home to some of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. Here are a few to visit after booking one of our Great Britain and Ireland trip packages:

Great Britain:

  • The British Museum (London, England). One of the world’s most renowned museums, it houses a vast collection of art and artifacts from different civilizations spanning over 2 million years.

  • Edinburgh Castle (Edinburgh, Scotland). Dominating the skyline of Scotland’s capital, this historic fortress offers panoramic views of the city and houses the Honours (Crown jewels) of Scotland.

  • Stonehenge (Wiltshire, England). An ancient prehistoric monument consisting of large standing stones, this UNESCO World Heritage Site continues to be an enigmatic symbol of human history.


  • Cliffs of Moher (County Clare). One of Ireland’s most iconic natural attractions, these majestic cliffs offer breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding coastline.

  • Guinness Storehouse (Dublin). Built as an interactive exhibit attached to the St. James’s Gate Brewery, Dublin’s most popular tourist attraction offers insights into the history and creation of Ireland’s most famous beer.

  • Trinity College and the Book of Kells (Dublin). Housed in the regal library of Ireland’s oldest university, the Book of Kells is an illuminated religious manuscript that dates to the ninth century.

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What are some experiences unique to Great Britain and Ireland?

On our Great Britain and Ireland tours, you’ll have the chance to partake in one-of-a-kind experiences that cater to diverse interests. Here are four that’ll leave you with cherished memories and a deeper appreciation of these countries’ heritage:

Great Britain:

  • Punting in Cambridge (Cambridge, England. To participate in this classic English pastime while on one of our Great Britain tours, rent a punt (a flat-bottomed boat) and glide past historic university buildings along The Backs of the River Cam.

  • Attend the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Edinburgh, Scotland). If you visit Edinburgh in August, you’ll want to take in the world’s largest arts festival. A wide range of performances—from comedy to theater, dance, and music—are held in various venues throughout the city all month long.


  • Experience traditional Irish music in a pub (throughout Ireland). Immerse yourself in Ireland’s vibrant musical culture by visiting a traditional pub. Enjoy the lively atmosphere and foot-tapping tunes, and perhaps even join in on the craic (fun) with the locals.

  • Visit the Giant’s Causeway at sunrise or sunset (County Antrim, Northern Ireland). Witness the stunning, hexagonal basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway during the magical moments of sunrise or sunset. The interplay of colors against the unique rock formations is a sight to behold.

Ready to experience the Emerald Isle? Check out our Ultimate Ireland Travel Guide

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What are some cultural customs and etiquette to be aware of while on trips to Great Britain and Ireland?

On any guided tour of Great Britain and Ireland, staying mindful of cultural customs and etiquette will ensure a positive and respectful experience. Here are two important things to consider:

  • Respect for personal space. Both in Great Britain and Ireland, people generally value their personal space. Maintaining an appropriate physical distance when interacting with others is customary, especially in public places or queues. Invading someone’s personal space may be seen as intrusive or impolite.

  • Politeness and small talk. Politeness and good manners are highly regarded in both countries. When engaging in conversation, using “please” and “thank you” is customary, as is addressing people with courtesy titles (e.g., “Mr.,” “Ms.,” or the gender-neutral “Mx.”) until you are invited to use their first names. Small talk is also a significant part of social interaction: It’s considered polite to inquire about someone’s well-being, family, and interests before getting into business matters.

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What’s the weather like in Great Britain and Ireland?

The weather in Great Britain and Ireland is influenced by their maritime climates, with mild temperatures, frequent rainfall, and relatively small temperature fluctuations throughout the year. However, both regions can experience considerable weather variations due to geographical diversity. 

Great Britain:

  • Summer. The warm season’s mild, and temperatures can range between 59–77 F on average. However, occasional heatwaves may push them higher.

  • Winter. The cold season’s relatively cool, with average temperatures ranging from 36–45 F. Snowfall is possible, particularly in the northern regions and at higher elevations.


The weather in Ireland is quite similar to Great Britain’s: Rainfall is frequent throughout the year, with the west coast receiving more rain than the east.

  • Summer. The warm season’s generally mild, with average temperatures ranging from 57–68 F.

  • Winter. The cold season’s also relatively mild, with average temperatures ranging from 39–46 F.

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When’s the best time of year to take a tour of Great Britain or Ireland?

Your preferences for weather, crowd levels, and travel style determine the best time to book a Great Britain or Ireland tour package. Here are some considerations for each season:

Spring (March–May):

  • Weather. Spring brings milder temperatures and blooming landscapes. It’s a pleasant time to explore outdoors as the days start to warm up.

  • Crowd levels. Tourist crowds are generally lower than in peak summer months, making it easier to visit popular attractions.

  • Highlights. The season’s beautiful blooms paint gardens in full color.

Summer (June–August):

  • Weather. Summer offers the warmest temperatures, making it an excellent time for outdoor activities and exploring the countryside.

  • Crowd levels. Summer’s peak tourist season, and popular attractions can be more crowded.

  • Highlights. Festivals and events are abundant during summer, and you can make use of the longer daylight hours for sightseeing.

Autumn (September–November):

  • Weather. Autumn brings cooler temperatures, but it’s still relatively mild. The landscapes are adorned with colorful foliage, providing picturesque views.

  • Crowd levels. Crowds start to thin out as the summer season comes to an end, creating a more relaxed tour experience.

  • Highlights. Admire the beauty of fall foliage and try to visit seasonal festivals that pop up in various locations.

Winter (December–February):

  • Weather. While generally milder in coastal areas, winters can be chilly, especially in the northern regions.

  • Crowd levels. Winter is the least crowded season, offering a quieter, more intimate experience at tourist sites.

  • Highlights. Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere of Christmas markets, especially in cities like London and Dublin.

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What are the best places to visit in Great Britain and Ireland?

Great Britain and Ireland are filled with an abundance of fascinating places to visit; here are some of the best to consider:

Great Britain:

  • London (England). England’s largest city is a must-visit destination on any Great Britain tour, boasting iconic landmarks like the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, the British Museum, and the London Eye. It offers a vibrant cultural scene, excellent shopping, and diverse culinary experiences.
  • Edinburgh (Scotland). Scotland’s capital is steeped in history and culture. Explore Edinburgh Castle, walk along the Royal Mile, and take in the breathtaking views from Arthur’s Seat.
  • Cambridge (England). World-famous for its prestigious university and beautiful architecture, this city is also home to King’s College Chapel, the Mathematical Bridge, and the Fitzwilliam Museum.


  • Dublin (Republic of Ireland). Ireland’s capital city is full of energy and charm. Visit Trinity College, see the Book of Kells, tour the Guinness Storehouse, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the Temple Bar neighborhood.

  • Ring of Kerry (County Kerry). This scenic driving route takes you through some of Ireland’s most stunning sights—rugged coastlines, lush mountains, and charming villages.

  • Cliffs of Moher (County Clare). These dramatic sea cliffs rise majestically over the Atlantic Ocean, offering awe-inspiring views.

These are just a few of the remarkable places to visit on our tours of Great Britain and Ireland. Each has a distinct charm and character, making the region an ideal destination for a variety of travel experiences.

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What foods are popular in Great Britain and Ireland?

Great Britain and Ireland have unique culinary traditions that have yielded flavorful dishes and delicacies. Here are three from each region:

Great Britain:

  • Fish and chips. This classic British dish consists of battered and deep-fried white fish (typically cod or haddock) served with thick-cut potato chips (fries). Mushy peas and tartar sauce often accompany it.

  • Sunday roast. A traditional Sunday dinner in Great Britain, this meal typically includes roasted meat and potatoes, served with Yorkshire pudding, a variety of vegetables, and gravy.

  • Afternoon tea. An archetypical British tradition, afternoon tea is a light meal that includes a selection of sandwiches; scones served with clotted cream and jam; and an assortment of cakes and pastries, all accompanied by a pot of tea.


  • Irish stew. A hearty and comforting dish, Irish stew is made with lamb or mutton; potatoes; onions; and carrots, slow-cooked until tender in a flavorful broth.

  • Boxty. This traditional potato pancake made with grated potatoes, flour, and buttermilk or milk. It can be served as a side dish, with savory fillings like meat, or sweet with sugar or syrup.

  • Soda bread. A simple and popular bread made with flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk, Irish soda bread is typically served with butter and enjoyed with meals or as part of an Irish breakfast.

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What should I pack for a tour of Great Britain or Ireland?

When packing for one of our Great Britain or Ireland tour packages, it’s essential to prepare for the variable weather you may encounter and the wide range of activities you’ll participate in. Here are three necessary items to bring:

  • Layered clothing. Weather there can be unpredictable, so it’s crucial to pack clothing that you can layer for varying conditions. Bring a mix of t-shirts, long-sleeved tops, sweaters, and a waterproof, windproof jacket. (And don’t forget a scarf and hat to stay warm on chilly evenings!)

  • Comfortable walking shoes. Exploring cities, the countryside, and historic sites often involves a fair amount of walking. Bring comfortable and sturdy walking shoes or sneakers to keep your feet happy throughout your trip.

  • Electrical adapter. To use electrical appliances in Great Britain and Ireland, you’ll need a Type G electrical adapter. Known as “British plugs,” these have three rectangular pins: two flat and one angled.

Once you’ve reserved one of our guided tours of Great Britain or Ireland, we’ll send you detailed information about what to bring. Download the free Go Ahead Tours app before you take off, so you’ll have all the info you need about your trip right in your pocket.

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