Travel through the Peak District, Shakespeare country, Welsh mountains, and beautiful Brittish cities.
Stratford-upon-Avon - The birthplace of Shakespeare has an impressive array of black and white Tudor buildings.
Ironbridge World Heritage Site - The oldest iron bridge in the world is the centrepiece of an area that was the cradle of the 18th century's Industrial Revolution.
The mountains of Snowdonia - These mountains offer a sense of scale and rugged beauty rarely seen in the UK.
Conwy Castle - Set on a river bank near an impressive pair of bridges, this brilliantly preserved 13th century estuary fortress is a visual treat.
Peak District National Park - Broadleaved woodlands give way to deep valleys in this geological wonderland.
Chatsworth House - The magnificent grand house of the Devonshire family lies in a stunning estate, famed for its amazing fountains and verdant maze.
York and the Dales - The north of England’s remote sheep-rearing valleys lay beside the bustling, history-rich city of York.
Cambridge - A towering Gothic chapel dominates the heart of this charming university city and its beautifully maintained colleges.
Travel through 2,000 years of history on this journey through Wales and England.
You roam the lively, Roman-walled city of York. You admire the magnificent medieval military architecture at Conwy. You experience the surroundings of Shakespeare’s Tudor England. And you wander amongst ancient college buildings in the beautiful university city of Cambridge.
But it’s not just history.
You also explore the rugged mountainous area around Wales’ highest peak and the verdant rolling landscapes of the Peak District National Park.
It’s a trip that lets you learn about how England and Wales developed into the countries they are today.
So, if you like a combination of historic highlights and wonderful scenery, then join this tour and travel through the best of England and Wales.
Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old)
You leave London and travel to the birthplace of William Shakespeare, Stratford-on-Avon. Home to the bard’s birthplace, schoolhouse, and resting place, you have time to explore this charming market town and enjoy lunch in one of the many restaurants and riverside pubs.
You then head to the World Heritage site of Ironbridge, the world’s first ever bridge fully made of iron. Built during the age of Industrial Revolution, explore how it was pieced together or simply enjoy the views from above the lazily-flowing River Servern.
You make your way to the county town of Shrewsbury; the narrow-streets of the town centre is almost completely encircled by the River Severn.
Charles Darwin was born in this bustling market town, and its timber-framed black and white Tudor buildings are your home for the next two nights.
Your tour takes you to the heart of North Wales today.
Firstly, you explore the imposing might of Conwy and its medieval castle. Built by Edward I in the 13th century, this fortress offers spectacular views from the battlements.
Next, you roam the impressive mountains and valleys of the Snowdonia National Park, its slate quarries, and travel through the dramatic Pass of Llanberis in the shadow of Snowdon, Wales’ highest peak.
Learn about Welsh struggles for independence and the tales of the rebellious Owain Glyndwr as you head back over back over the English border to your accommodation.
Lying northeast of Shrewsbury is the Peak District National Park, an expanse of rugged moorland with walled pastures and wooded valleys. Picturesque villages and unbeatable scenery line your route as you wind through this area’s unique landscape.
After a spectacular drive, you arrive in the charming village of Castleton. Overlooked by William the Conqueror’s Peveril Castle, this hospitable place offers a chance for a picnic of fine local fare.
In the afternoon, you make your way to the Duke of Devonshire’s famous stately home and gardens at Chatsworth. This renowned building is regularly named the UK’s favourite country house thanks to its immense collection of furniture, priceless paintings, and neoclassical sculptures.
Travelling northwards, you pass through some of the old industrial heartlands of northern England to the historic walled city of York, where you spend the next two nights.
Today there are two options. You can choose to spend the day exploring the medieval heart of York, an ancient city with a colourful history dating back to the times of the Romans, Vikings, and Normans.
Alternatively, you can journey out with your guide on a half day excursion across the Yorkshire Dales to the handsome market town of Knaresborough. Here, you experience famed Yorkshire hospitality at its best before heading to some of the more remote areas and impressive scenery of the Eastern Dales.
Whichever option you choose, you spend your evening enjoying the sights and sounds of York.
Departing the fair city of York in the morning, you begin your journey south to London.
You stop in the town of Stamford, famed for its abundance of historic stone buildings. This town was declared ‘the finest stone town in England’ by Sir Walter Scott, and it has more than 600 listed buildings made from mellow limestone.
Leaving Stamford, you continue south to the city of Cambridge. The iconic King’s College Chapel dominates the heart of the city. Take a guided punting ride along ‘the backs’ of the colleges, or climb the steps of St Mary’s tower to get a skyline view before heading back to London.
Enjoyed our tour with Steve. Since returning to US, I've been listening to Teachg Company Great Courses lectures by Prof. Patrick Allitt, Emory Univ on Victorian Britain. I'd recommend them to anyone taking this tour, as he mentions several of the places we visited: Chatsworth, York Railway Museum, Ironbridge, etc. and describes historical context. Steve did an excellent job as well.
Originally uploaded by Liza Neft on 9/10/2014 I had a wonderful time on the Heart of England Tour earlier in September (12th – 16th). Steve was an excellent tour guide and added so much to the trip. There were only a few of us on the journey and we received such personalized attention. Rabbies is to be commended for running their tours regardless of the number of people who sign up. The tour began on Friday morning, departing from Victoria Coach Station, and we drove to Stratford upon Avon. Although I did not visit the Shakespeare museums, I enjoyed exploring the town and having lunch. We then drove on to the Ironbridge area on the River Severn where there was time to walk around and go the museum, before driving the rest of the way to Shrewsbury where the tour spent two nights. The bed and breakfast where we were booked, The Trevellion House, was delightful. Sonia took excellent care of all of her guests, there was a cooked to order breakfast, and the single room that I stayed in had a very comfortable double bed and a spacious bathroom. Saturday was spent in Wales. In the town of Conwy, we explored the ruins of Conwy Castle and did a tour of Plas Mawr, an Elizabethan house that was really amazing. In the afternoon we drove into the Snowden National Park and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and learned that the sheep outnumber people in Wales 10 to 1. Stopped at the National Slate Museum before returning to Shrewsbury, where my fellow tour-mates and I had a great dinner at Koochini’s restaurant. On Sunday morning we said goodbye to Shrewsbury and drove into the Peak District. Our first stop was at the spa town of Buxton, known as the Bath of the North. Then onto Chatsworth! It surpassed all expectations I had after watching the different specials on PBS over the years. The house and gardens were truly something to see, you could easily spend an entire day there. After driving to York, Steve dropped us off at our accommodations, and I had a great dinner at Jamie’s Italian restaurant. I stayed at The Groves in York, which was a B&B style hotel. My room was in one of the annex buildings across the parking lot from the main hotel, and I had a huge room with three single beds and a very nice bathroom. The hotel was a short walk to the walled city centre, and I spent Monday exploring the city on my own. (There was an option to drive into the countryside in the afternoon, but there was more than enough to do in the city so I decided against it.) I had a fun day seeing York Minster, the York Castle Museum, Clifford Tower, and walking around city, and had a nice late lunch at the most popular restaurant in the city, Rustique. Tuesday was the last day of the tour, and we visited Cambridge for a few hours before returning to London. Overall it was a great trip and I hope to take a Rabbie’s Tour again in the future.
You stay two nights in the historic town of Shrewsbury and two nights in the medieval city of York. Please note – on some dates this tour may stay in Chester for the first two nights.
Your tour excludes accommodation; but when you book, you can ask us to reserve local accommodation for you, or you can choose to reserve your own accommodation in the overnight locations.
Once you've booked your tour, we'll reserve all your accommodation, and your driver will drop you off with your hosts. You’ll pay your accommodation directly. Most don’t accept credit cards, so be prepared to pay cash.
Changes to accommodation cannot be guaranteed and are subject to availability. An amendment charge will apply.
You’ll need to contact us with your accommodation details. Please only reserve accommodation within the overnight towns that your tour stops in. Your driver will drop you off at your chosen accommodation as long as it’s relatively central. You can find a selection of hotels at hotels.rabbies.com.
If you cancel less than three days before departure, you may be liable for the cost of your first nights’ accommodation. And occasionally you may be liable for all your accommodation costs.
We try to reserve accommodation that’s no more than a 20-minute walk from the town centre. We regularly check our accommodation suppliers to ensure they reach a certain standard. The prices below are for guidance only.
B&B (Bed and Breakfast) Standard
The toilet and showering facilities are shared with at least one other room in the house, and the price includes breakfast. The cost is £35 - £40 per person per night. A single standard room is £40 - £60 per night.
B&B En suite
The showering and toilet facilities are private, and breakfast is included in the price. The cost is £45 - £55 per person per night. A single en suite is £60 - £80 per night.
Hotels have a bar or restaurant and provide evening meals. Breakfast is included in the price. The cost is £70 - £85 per person per night. A single is £85 - £130 per night.
A hostel consists of dormitory rooms with 4 to 16 bunk beds. The bathroom facilities are a short distance from the dorm room. Kitchen facilities are equipped so you can make your own meals. The cost based on dorm beds is £19 - £25 per person per night.
Please note that SYHA hostels only offer same gender dorms. Some independent hostels will offer mixed rooms (males and females together).
The UK and Ireland's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure, we only pick up from our central meeting points. What's more is leaving the city using the most direct route also reduces the carbon footprint of our tours.
We don't recommend bringing your car into the centre of our departure cities. It can be hard to find parking, and there are excellent public transportation services.
Arrive 15 minutes before your departure time. Due to waiting restrictions, we can't wait for you if you're late.
If you're late for your tour, our cancellation policy applies.
We have a cancellation period of three days for our one day tours, and 21 days for longer tours. If cancelled outside this period, we'll give you a full refund minus a 10% admin charge. If you cancel inside this period, refunds are at our discretion. Click here to view full terms and conditions.
It's simple: you book, you go. This means we'll never cancel your tour because of a minimum numbers policy.
Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable 16-seat mini-coaches have huge windows. So, you'll always get a good view.
Unfortunately, we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you'll have regular comfort breaks.
We regret we don't carry children under the age of five on our scheduled tours.
You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.
We want you to enjoy Britain and Ireland. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of time to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.
We exclude visitor attractions in your tour price because it lets you travel your way. It means you can pamper yourself with a luxury lunch or skip an attraction whenever you feel like it.
You don't need to. We stop in small towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.
Let's be honest, our driver-guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.
We advise you take out travel insurance. You can click here for excellent rates.
Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or less
You'll have a guaranteed experience, or your money back
Guaranteed departures: you book, you go
Internationally recognised for our award winning experiences
Highlights: beaches, unesco heritage sites, prehistoric sites, national parks, castles
Highlights: prehistoric sites, unesco heritage sites, beaches, cathedrals, walks, roman ruins
Highlights: castles, cathedrals