A small group tour of England and Scotland – Beauty of Britain is an epic journey exploring the history, heritage and natural landscapes of England and Scotland. We’ll pass from the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, through the rustic landscapes of Yorkshire and the Lake District to the barren wilderness of the Scottish Highlands. Our journey is punctuated with visits to Britain’s heritage cities, including Oxford, York and Edinburgh, and we’ll enjoy a host of local experiences including a countryside steam train ride, ancient castle visits, traditional afternoon tea and a whisky distillery tour. The true beauty of Britain is waiting to be discovered.View this tour
Our guide to visiting York Minster
Dominating the skyline of the city, York Minster is one of the grandest cathedrals in Britain and indeed is one of the largest Gothic buildings in Europe.
Located at the very heart of York in the North of England, the minster started life as a humble wooden chapel and resembled nothing like the magnificent edifice we see today. It was however, in this wooden structure, that the Saxon King Edwin was baptized in 627, which perhaps initiated its rise of importance in English religious history. Later constructed in stone and dedicated to St Peter, the Saxon holy building was then replaced by the Normans in the 11th Century and was again rebuilt in the year 1220. A further 250 years of development saw the addition of many intricate features and results in the impressively grandiose structure that we enjoy today.
There is no doubt that the Minster is visually impressive – towering over the historic city of York, the cathedral stretches 175 yards long and the cathedral spire reaches 65 yards tall and can be seen throughout the city’s cobbled lanes. The magnificent Gothic architecture shows off grand pillars, towers, arches and comical ornamental gargoyles. The central tower is large enough to fit the leaning tower of Pisa inside and if you’re brave enough to climb the 275 step spiral staircase to the viewing platform you’ll gain magnificent panoramic views of the York and the rolling Yorkshire countryside beyond.
Inside the Minster there is a wealth of historical and striking features to explore; the choir screen is lined with statues of former Kings of England, whilst exploring the vaults of the Chapter House will offer the chance to spot beasts and gargoyles amidst the decorative carvings. In the Vaults and Crypt you’ll find the treasures of York Minster which include the church’s silver plate and jewels belonging to the archbishops. The visual highlight however must be the magnificent stained-glass windows, some of which date to the 12th century – be sure to look out for the Great East window which dramatically depicts the beginning and end of the world!
Whilst visually impressive York Minster also retains its religious importance; as the seat of the Archbishop of York , the Minster is second only to Canterbury Cathedral in terms of its status in the Anglican Church.
The ultimate example of medieval Gothic architecture and with massive significance in England’s religious history, York Minster is a must-see on any visit to York as part of a driving tour in the North of England.
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
A Castle Tour of England - Enjoy the history and grandeur of an ancient land on this tour of England. By day you'll explore castle ruins, opulent manor houses, historic sites, stunning landscapes and England’s cultural jewels such as Oxford, Stratford, Chester, York and Bath whilst by night you'll live like royalty as you experience historic and characterful castle hotels and country manor house accommodation!View this tour
A Northern England Driving Tour – enjoy a journey of contrasts from bustling cities to the rustic, rural charm of the English countryside. The northern counties of England offer guests a unique and truly traditional experience; having inspired poets, artists, novelists and musician’s alike, uncover the rugged beauty of the the Yorkshire Moors and Dales and the Lakes and Waterways of the English Lake District. Along the way also discover the Peak District, and some of England’s most renowned historic and cultural cities including York, Durham, Chester Liverpool and Manchester.View this tour
A small group tour of Britain – discover what makes Britain Great on this small group journey through the diverse cultures and landscapes of England, Scotland and Wales. This comprehensive itinerary takes you from the peaceful coasts and mountains of Wales, through rustic landscapes of rural England and north in to remote wilderness of the Scottish Highlands. We’ll see iconic landmarks and hidden gems, visit Britain’s quaint villages and heritage cities and enjoy a host of local experiences from steam train rides through the English countryside to whisky tasting in the Highlands. In the company of your local guides, the Great British Journey is the ultimate way to explore Britain.View this tour
A small group tour of England and Wales – Enjoy an epic journey of discovery through the varied histories and landscapes of England and Wales. We’ll see many of Britain’s most beautiful natural landscapes from the golden coasts of Pembrokeshire and the mountains of Snowdonia in Wales to the rustic hills and vales of Yorkshire and the Lake District in England. Along the way we’ll sample traditional fare and enjoy a host of local visits including archetypal medieval fortresses, stately English manors, ancient cathedrals and historic steam train journeys; the ideal tour to discover the very essence of Britain.View this tour
A week-long tour of England - Icons of England takes you on a journey of discovery of England’s most renowned sites, cities and landscapes. You’ll experience English icons including Stonehenge, Bath’s Roman Baths, the rolling hills of the Cotswolds countryside, Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon Avon, York Minster, the colleges of Cambridge and a wealth of attractions across the English Capital London.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
A Northern England Rail Tour – Travel by train to explore the rustic landscapes and historic cities of the North of England. Your scenic rail journeys will take you over the Yorkshire Dales and through the rolling hills of Cheshire whilst overnight stays in Chester and York offer an insight into England’s medieval and Roman history. A true highlight will be a two night stay in Windermere with an included day-tour to explore the dramatic landscapes of the Lake District National Park.View this tour
An England driving tour - England Explorer is a comprehensive tour of this great nation taking you from the heart of England to its far-reaching corners including the beautiful Lake District and the coastlines of Cornwall. You’ll experience classic English countryside including the Cotswolds and Yorkshire Dales and a host of historic cities including York, Chester and Bath not to mention a couple of nights in the vibrant English capital city, London.View this tour
A Small Group Tour of England – Discover the rich history and rustic landscapes of England on this diverse journey from the far South West to England’s Northern territories. England’s Coastline and Countryside takes you from the golden bays and craggy cliffs of Cornwall through the quintessential villages of the Cotswolds to the rugged landscapes of Yorkshire and the Lake District. Along the way we’ll visit the elegant cities of Bath, Oxford and York and enjoy a host of local visits and experiences to truly immerse ourselves in England’s unique charm and heritage.View this tour
A small group tour of England – England’s Rustic Charm is a leisurely tour exploring the highlights of central and Northern England. Departing the medieval university city of Oxford, you’ll enjoy a journey through the rolling hills and honey-coloured villages of the Cotswolds to the ruggedly beautiful landscapes of the English Lake District and Yorkshire Dales. Along the way we’ll experience the dreaming spires of Oxford, the Tudor streets of Chester and spend two nights in the charming city of York. A leisurely journey that will leave you charmed by England’s unique heritage and rustic landscapes.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 Rail Tour of England – Experience the highlights of England on this concise but attraction packed tour as you traverse the comprehensive English rail network. Enjoy overnight stays in some of England’s best-known heritage cities including Bath, Oxford and York to see iconic sites such as ancient Roman Baths, medieval university colleges and towering cathedrals. You’ll also experience England’s quintessential countryside as included small-group tours take you in to the heart of the Cotswolds villages and Lake District National Park.View this tour
A small group tour of Britain – Aspects of Britain offers a leisurely tour through England, Scotland and Wales for an engaging insight in to British culture and countryside. Your journey will take you through the rural regions of the South Wales valleys, the Cotswolds, the North Yorkshire Moors and the Scottish Lowlands to the heritage cities of Cardiff, York and Glasgow. Along the way we’ll visit medieval castles, roam Shakespeare country, wonder at stately homes, discover ancient abbey ruins and see shimmering Scottish lochs. The highlights of Britain are waiting to be explored.View this tour
Classic Britain Driving Tour - a snapshot of the countryside and historic cities of England, Scotland and Wales. Enjoy the rolling hills and thatch villages of the Cotswolds to the towering mountains and fortresses of North Wales. Pass through the lakes and dales of the English Lake District and the rolling hills of the Scottish Lowlands and Yorkshire Dales. Historic cities to explore on route include Regency Bath, Medieval York, and the capital cities of Edinburgh and London.View this tour
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
A Small Group Tour of England and Scotland – From the southernmost tip of the Cornish Peninsular to the remote wilderness of the Isle of Skye, enjoy an epic small-group journey through the diverse cultures and landscapes of England and Scotland. Discover the quaint fishing towns of Cornwall, the rolling hills and honey-coloured villages of the Cotswolds, the ruggedly beautiful landscapes of the English Lake District and Yorkshire Dales, and finally the barren moorlands of the Scottish Highlands. Along the way we’ll visit the heritage cities of Bath, Oxford, York, Chester, Inverness and Edinburgh, and experience regional food, drink and hospitality. South Coast to Skye is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the culture and panoramas of England and Scotland.View this tour