London is a city like no other! Enjoy three days exploring this magnificent metropolis and some of its most famous sites, recognizable the world over. From a stroll along the banks of the Thames to Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the London Eye, the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace. The independent Essential London package offers the perfect add-on for any self-drive or rail tour of England or Britain.View this tour
Our guide to visiting Westminster Abbey
Since its construction in the 11th century Westminster Abbey has played a pivotal role in the history and heritage of London and Britain as a whole, home to the crowning of our greatest monarchs and more recently the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Westminster Abbey has seen the crowning of the British Monarchy throughout the centuries since the invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066 right through to our current Queen Elizabeth II who celebrated her Diamond Jubilee (60 years on the throne) in 2012. Classed as a World Heritage Site, the Abbey is a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture boasting opulent interiors and a treasure trove of paintings, stained glass windows, pavements, textiles and other artefacts – Westminster Abbey is certainly a venue befitting of grand state ceremonies such as coronations and Royal Weddings!
Whilst the structure dates back to the 11th century and many of the interiors from the 13th century when it was developed by King Henry III, the Abbey has seen continued additions over the centuries namely in the form of tombs of monarchs and monuments dedicated to great Britons and statesman and women throughout the ages. Today the Abbey is widely considered the most significant collection of monumental sculpture anywhere in Britain.
The first monarch to be buried at Westminster was Edward the Confessor whose tomb is central within the Abbey, whilst the tombs of Queens Elizabeth I and Mary I are close by. There are also a number of memorials dedicated to those who have perished fighting for Britain over the years such as the tomb of soldier Thomas Wolfe dedicated to Canadian forces who have fought for Britain whilst the Tomb of the unknown soldier marks the sacrifice of British servicemen defending the realm. Many other significant Brits are remembered in the Abbey including Churchill, Gladstone and Franklin D Roosevelt not to mention poet and author Chaucer around which many other key cultural figures are commemorated in the area called Poets Corner.
Some of the highlights within the Abbey include the Chapter House, home to medieval paintings of the Revelations of St John depicting eerie scenes of judgement day and the stunning coronation chair built by Edward I , which has been used in the coronation of every King and Queen of England since 1308.
With its historic and modern connections with British culture and Monarchy, a visit to London is incomplete without a visit to Westminster Abbey.
A Great Britain Rail Tour - Make use of Britain's extensive rail network on this comprehensive rail tour through England, Scotland and Wales. Your journey will take you from the bustling city of London over scenic rail routes to the remote Highlands of Scotland. You’ll experience Britain’s many cultural highlights along the way including the historic cities of Cardiff, Bath, York and Edinburgh. In selected destinations your trip is complemented with small-group day tours to ensure you reach those out-of-the-way highlights such as Stonehenge, the rustic scenery of the Lake District and Loch Ness.View this tour
The British Journey tour is a Britain driving tour that takes you on an expedition from the capital of Scotland to the capital of England touching upon Wales and enjoying a wealth of cultural highlights along the way. Explore Scotland’s “Highlands in miniature” and the historic city of Edinburgh before passing south through the inspiring landscapes of the Lake District, Cotswolds and Wye Valley to glorious historic cities including Chester, Cardiff, Stratford upon Avon and Bath. Your trip ends in the thriving metropolis of London.View this tour
An England Rail Tour – Make use of England’s extensive and far-reaching rail network to explore the corners of this great nation. From the capital city of London your journey will take you to England’s farthest reaches in on the Cornish Peninsula and the Lake District. Along the way you’ll visit a host of heritage cites including Plymouth, Bath, Oxford, Chester and York. You’ll take in scenic rail rides along the Cornish Coast and over the Yorkshire Dales and enjoy small-group day tours to reach those less accessible spots including Stonehenge, the Cotswolds and the dramatic scenery of the Lake District.View this tour
A British Rail Tour – Get two countries for the price of one as you use the British rail network to explore the rails England and Wales. Your itinerary will include scenic rail rides through the scenic Welsh border Marches and over the Yorkshire Dales whilst overnight stops include the historic cities of Chester and York and the cosmopolitan Welsh capital city of Cardiff. In order to best explore the rural landscapes of Wales we’ve included two separate day tours to explore the South Wales countryside the Mountains of Snowdonia in the North.View this tour
A Great Britain driving tour - experience all that is great about Britain on the ultimate tour of England, Scotland and Wales. See it all, from the thriving capital cities of London, Edinburgh and Cardiff to the remote Scottish Highlands, tranquil Lake District an d spectacular Snowdonia National Park. Along the way you’ll experience diverse cultures and histories and see world-famous landmarks including Stonehenge, the Roman Baths, Cardiff Castle, the Cotswolds, Hadrian’s Wall, Loch Ness and Edinburgh Castle.View this tour
A Britain Rail Tour – Experience the cities and landscapes of two great nations on this rail journey of discovery through England and Scotland. Travelling from vibrant London in the South to romantic Edinburgh in the North and back again your itinerary will take you through the historic cities of Oxford, Glasgow and York. Along the way you’ll experience scenic rail-rides through the rolling British countryside and enjoy hand-picked day tours to reach the rural sites and villages of the Cotswolds, the Lake District and Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park.View this tour
A driving tour of England and Scotland - indulge in a unique trip taking in two of Britain’s most unique nations. Your self-drive vacation will take you through the rural landscapes of England and Scotland before returning your vehicle in Edinburgh and returning to London by rail. The trip will take in the beautiful landscapes of the Cotswolds, Yorkshire, Lake District and Scottish Highlands not to mention a host of elegant cities including York, Glasgow, Edinburgh and London.View this tour
Rail Tour of Britain – Travel by train on this rail adventure through Britain touching the highlights of England, Scotland and Wales. Visit the elegant historic cities of York, Bath and Chester and enjoy scenic rail journeys through the rolling hills of the English Lake District, the Scottish Lowlands and the Welsh border Marches. Your trip is rounded off with stays in no fewer than three capital cities in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff and includes selected day-tours to reach more rural sites such as the Cotswolds and Stonehenge.View this tour
Enjoy an England and Wales driving tour to experience the contrasts of two distinct British cultures on this in-depth tour of two of Britain's intriguing nations. Enjoy the contrasting vistas of the patchwork fields of the Cotswolds, the rustic Yorkshire Dales, the mountains of Snowdonia and the coastlines of the Pembrokeshire National Park. Not to mention icons of English and Welsh history at Conwy Castle, York Minster, Shakespeare’s Stratford, Cardiff Castle and Stonehenge.View this tour
Enjoy a week in England staying in the thriving capital city of London, a bustling city of iconic landmarks and the undoubted heart of English history and culture. An unrivalled destination in its own right, London also offers the perfect base from which to explore South and central England; enjoy fully guided tours of London’s highlights as well as Bath City, Stonehenge, Oxford the Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon. London and Beyond is an ideal mix of English city and countryside and is perfect for those looking to explore without wanting to drive overseas.View this tour
A Britain Escorted Tour - Spend ten days exploring the very best of Britain on this journey to discover the nation's highlights. We'll stay in the exciting captial cities of London, Edinburgh and Cardiff and in between we'll discover Britain's historic charm and beautiful landscapes. Highlights include Royal Windsor, the rustic Cotswolds, Medieval York and the Lake District.View this tour
A Britain Castle Tour - Indulge in the history and heritage of England, Scotland and Wales by day and see its character reflected in your unique and distinguished accommodation each night on this deluxe tour of Britain. With your overnight accommodation in quality castle or manor house hotels, your tour will take you through the elegant cities of York, Bath, Oxford and Edinburgh as well as the natural beauty of the Cotswolds, the Yorkshire Moors, the Scottish Lowlands and the mountains of Snowdonia.View this tour
"When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life...". London is home to the richest of histories but remains at the cutting edge of British culture; take five days to explore this colossal city and all that it has to offer from iconic landmarks and the best of British shopping and culture. And if that’s not enough, enjoy a day-tour to explore the English gems of Stonehenge and Bath.View this tour