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  • Canterbury's River Stour
  • Beachy Head
  • HMS Victory, Portsmouth
  • Stonehenge
  • Dartmoor
  • St. Michael's Mount
  • Tintagel Castle
  • Bath

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Best of South England in 13 Days Tour

from $4,195 per person + air

Single Supplement $825

See Dates & Prices

Starting in Canterbury and ending in Bath, our Best of South England tour brings you to the very roots of British history and culture. Your Rick Steves guide will introduce you to locals who have talents to share and stories to tell. You'll learn about and taste the delicious seafood, traditional Cornish pasties, and hearty ales crafted from generations-old recipes. You'll marvel at the sights as well, from the iconic White Cliffs of Dover to the sweeping moorlands of Dartmoor, ancient stone circles to secluded seaside coves, and cliff-perched villages to great sailing ships. Join us for the Best of South England in 13 Days!

Dates & Prices

2022

What's Included

You'll get at least 23 group sightseeing events — at no extra cost!

Here's what you'll see and do on our South England tour:

  • Canterbury orientation
  • Canterbury Cathedral
  • Meet with stone and stained-glass conservators
  • River Stour punt tour
  • Dover Castle and Wartime Tunnels
  • White Cliffs of Dover
  • English beer tasting
  • Battle Abbey
  • South Downs Way–Beachy Head walk
  • Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, including HMS Victory and the Mary Rose Museum
  • Salisbury Cathedral
  • Stonehenge
  • Jurassic Coast
  • Dartmoor National Park walk
  • Merrivale Stone Rows
  • Village church tour
  • Tintagel Castle
  • Pasty-making demonstration
  • Cornish fishing village
  • Cornwall coastal walk
  • St. Michael's Mount
  • Traditional Cornish folk music performance
  • Bath walking tour

Plus you'll get all this, too.

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of England come alive for you
  • All group transportation from Canterbury to Bath
  • 12 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (when available) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2022
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions for important details regarding everything listed above.

Group sightseeing events subject to change.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to England

The beautiful medieval city of Canterbury is an easy train ride from central London — and the perfect jumping-off point for our Best of South England adventure. We'll meet at our hotel at 5 p.m. for a "Welcome to England" get-together. Then we'll take an evening walking tour along Canterbury's colorful lanes and get acquainted over dinner.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. No bus. Sleep in Canterbury.

Day 2: Canterbury Cathedral

This morning we'll make our own little pilgrimage to the impressive Canterbury Cathedral, one of the most important churches in England. After touring the cathedral (and learning about the dramatic martyrdom of Thomas Becket), we'll meet with conservators who are tasked with preserving some of England's most treasured stone masonry and stained glass. After lunch you'll have some time to explore the historic layers of this pilgrimage city, finishing with a punt trip along the River Stour. Tonight is a perfect evening to enjoy an evensong performance at the cathedral.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. No bus. Sleep in Canterbury.

Day 3: Dover Castle and the White Cliffs

After breakfast, we'll meet our coach and driver and head to the White Cliffs and the imposing fortress of Dover Castle. We'll explore the Great Tower and Medieval Tunnels before entering the WWII-era Secret Wartime Tunnels (from which the British directed the perilous evacuation from Dunkirk in 1940). After lunch we'll take a short walk to explore the White Cliffs, famous for their geology and historic role. We'll return to Canterbury, where we'll have a beer tasting at a local brewery. The evening is yours to find a cozy restaurant for dinner.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Bus: 2½ hours. Sleep in Canterbury.

Day 4: Battles and Beaches

Today we'll discover more of England's southeast coastline, beginning with a visit to Battle Abbey, the site of the Battle of Hastings. It was here in 1066 that the army of William the Conqueror invaded across the English Channel and killed King Harold, ushering in the Norman conquest of England. After lunch we'll stroll the South Downs Way for a view of England's famous white chalk cliffs at Beachy Head. We'll end our day peacefully, amidst the thatched roofs and timber-framed buildings of eastern Sussex.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Bus: 3 hours. Sleep in or near the village of Alfriston.

Day 5: The Great Ships of Portsmouth

This morning we'll drive to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for a day devoted to Britain's rich nautical history. You'll have a chance to tour HMS Victory, the warship of Admiral Lord Nelson that defeated the French at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. We'll also visit the newly renovated Mary Rose Museum, built to showcase Henry VIII's sunken warship that was raised from the sea in the 1980s. You'll also have the opportunity for a look at traditional woodworking skills in action at the historic boat workshop. Late this afternoon we'll drive to Salisbury, where we'll enjoy an orientation followed by dinner together.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 3 hours. Sleep in Salisbury.

Day 6: Soaring Salisbury Cathedral

We'll begin the day touring the magnificent Salisbury Cathedral, famous for its rich lore and towering Gothic spire. In addition, we'll visit the Chapter House, which is home to one of four original copies of the Magna Carta, the 1215 document that first established that everyone — even the king — was subject to the law. The remainder of the day is yours to explore more of this attractive town, including its lively local market and lovely riverside walks.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. No bus. Sleep in Salisbury.

Day 7: Stonehenge and the Jurassic Coast

This morning we'll travel back in time with a visit to Stonehenge, where we'll learn about and ponder the origins of these iconic stones that are as old as the pyramids. Then we'll travel west to discover the natural beauty of the Jurassic Coast and its geologic formations, which date back 185 million years. Our day ends in the cozy village of Chagford — within Dartmoor National Park — where we'll enjoy dinner together.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Dartmoor National Park.

Day 8: Dartmoor National Park

Today we'll explore the natural wonders of Dartmoor National Park, home to wooded forests, desolate moors, and the prehistoric Merrivale stone rows. We'll learn about this compelling and varying landscape that inspired great literature, including The Hound of the Baskervilles, and have lunch together. This evening we'll enjoy a village church tour, followed by free time to enjoy one of Dartmoor's cozy country pubs.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 3 hours. Sleep in Dartmoor National Park.

Day 9: Castles and Cornwall

We'll drive into Cornwall today, known for its striking, wave-swept coast and charming fishing villages. Our first stop is a visit to the dramatic, cliff-hugging ruins of Tintagel Castle, long associated with King Arthur. After lunch, we'll continue our drive deeper into Cornwall and along its famed, rugged coastline. We'll end the day with dinner together and enjoy a performance of traditional Cornish folk music.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Falmouth.

Day 10: Coastal Cornwall

Today we'll explore the wild and remote Cornish coast, home to rugged, windblown scenery and dotted with quaint fishing harbors and 19th-century Industrial Age ruins. We'll start our day with a scenic trek along grassy cliff tops, marveling at craggy rock formations and the crashing surf below. After lunch we'll visit a picturesque fishing village, where you can stroll the narrow lanes, poke around the shops and galleries, or grab some ice cream and people-watch at the beach. We'll return to our home village with time for some exploration and dinner on your own.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 3 hours. Sleep in Falmouth.

Day 11: St. Michael's Mount

We'll begin the day learning all about Cornwall's most famous culinary contribution — the pasty — with a demonstration (and sampling!) of how these traditional one-handed meals are made. Then we'll conquer St. Michael's Mount, the dramatic rock island first inhabited by monks more than 1,500 years ago. We'll have time to explore the castle and gardens — now a stately home — before returning to our home village for a free evening.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Bus: 2 hours. Sleep in Falmouth.

Day 12: Georgian Bath

This morning we'll head north to our final destination: the elegant Georgian city of Bath (a wonderful place to extend your England vacation — or easily pop back to London). After a walking tour and some free time, we'll enjoy a final dinner together and raise a hearty toast to our adventures. Cheers!

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Bath.

Day 13: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. Bath is an easy 90-minute train ride to central London, with connections to Heathrow and Gatwick airports. For those not yet ready to return home, Bath is a delightful city with many sightseeing options. Cheerio!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

Our tours are physically active! It's an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of South England in 13 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily…

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (possibly several blocks) and up stairways to reach your hotel, then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing, for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate around places on your own.
  5. Hike over steep, slippery, cobbled, and uneven terrain at several sites, including Dover Castle, St. Michael's Mount, and Tintagel Castle.

Reviews

Hiroko

Rochester, NY

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent and wonderful tour covering interesting and charming places and also enough free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour of renovation sites at Canterbury Cathedral; narrow roads in the country."

Catherine

Columbus, OH

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall experience was wonderful. We had a few unexpected experiences, like cream tea at Corfe Castle and lunch in Port Issac/Port Wenn. Our guides, Liz and Lorraine, were exceptional - dealing with a few unexpected circumstances (a fall, a submersion in a stream, a pickpocketing) without missing a step. They were both great and went out of their way to make sure we had a good experience. This was my 15th RS tour and it lived up to my high expectations!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is always a hard question to answer. This tour started out with the "wow" experience of going up in the scaffolding with the restoration masons at Canterbury Cathedral. I've been in many cathedrals, but I've never been able to examine one "up close and personal" as we did with this experience. It was amazing!! A second "wow" was Corfe Castle, in its lovely, charming, picturesque setting, and our castle visit was followed by a wonderful, surprise cream tea! Final wow was Cornish coast!"

Martha

Everett, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded all of my hopes and expectations! This was my first trip to Europe, and I had been wanting to see England all of my life. I was so impressed by the level of planning, preparation, and professionalism that went into this whole tour. Our tour guide made everything so easy and accessible for us, and everything we did or saw, was fun and/or educational, and left me in awe of the history, and life in these villages we were experiencing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to say that the ruins of the castles we visited was a highlight for me. My favorite day was visiting the bakery and learning to make Cornish pasties; followed by our picnic on the beach, and ending our day by visiting St. Michael's Mount. I also loved the beautiful cathedrals we visited, and our side trip to Rye, and the ploughman's lunch in Dartmoor at The Warren House pub. So many wonderful moments and experiences, it is hard to pick one."

Melody

Grand Terrace, CA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This really was a delightful tour along the south of England. Our accommodations and transportation were varied and excellent. We enjoyed a variety of meals e.g. Thai, cream tea, ploughman's lunch, and always a solid English breakfast, if desired. We learned a lot of history and saw sites dating from Neolithic to WWII times. The little towns and villages are welcoming and charming, the countryside beautifully green, and we saw a lot of the coastline on this route. Enjoyed more new friends :)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many special events and sights/sites every day. The most unexpected activity was when Liz gathered us on the beach and explained the basic rules of cricket to a group of Americans :) What resulted was, possibly, the worst game of cricket in the history of the game, but what marvelous fun we all had in the process! Also, the privilege of seeing Canterbury Cathedral as only God, the pigeons, and stonemasons typically get to see it - from atop scaffolding higher than the roof!"

Mark

College Station, TX

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent itinerary, great locations/lodging/dining, fun and active group led by an enthusiastic guide - overall amazing experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many options, but seeing Stonehenge essentially alone in the early morning has to top the list!"

Julie

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Liz and Lorraine are wonderful guides and fun people to be with. The itinerary is super, we truly enjoyed staying in places three nights. Our group was fantastic, smiles all around.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely going up on the roof of Canterbury Cathedral, such a fascinating experience. This set the tone for the entire tour, unexpected wow moments every where we went, Seven Sisters, Dartmoor, Liz kept bringing on the wows."

Cynthia

Columbus, OH

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was another fabulous tour. Liz and Lorraine enhanced the entire tour with their knowledge and tour guide expertise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't limit the "wow" moment to just one moment or one day. Wow moments were the view on top of the Canterbury Cathedral, Dover and the WWII secret tunnel, Stonehenge, Dartmoor, the Seven Sisters cliffs, cricket on the beach, St. Michael's Mount and Bath."

Daniel

Albany, OR

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour. Our tour leader, Roy, was great. He knew the history of each area we visited and made sure we saw the local things worth seeing. We had some down time and lots of well directed time. Just over all very well done.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was seeing the actual Magna Carta in Salisbury."

Mary Boyd

Springfield, VA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I sill gave this an outstanding rating even though it rained everyday! Loved staying in the ancient hotels. Strenuous days were accurated rated. top notch everything.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Mary Rose exhibit in Portsmouth. Best scientific/artistic display in a museum I've every seen. Other wow moments were the coastal views as we neared Cornwall and the Beachy Head Cliffs."

Paula

Clarksville, TN

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was wonderful to see the unique sites and villages of southern England.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking on the Moors"

Hilda

East Wenatchee, WA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had the most wonderful time! I'm still amazed at all we got to see/do and learn about, people keep asking me what my favorite part was and I just can't pick! My whole reason for picking this tour instead of others was I wanted to go to Cornwall. I had completely forgotten we were even going by day 3!! Don't worry, when I remembered I was even more excited about it. Our guide, driver and tour were perfect for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing in the ruins of my favorite childhood legend (Tintagel), baking with THE Cornish Pasty expert, and the Cornish singers all brought happy tears. Devon/Chagford and the cheese - oh the cheese! Divine. Alfriston was the most charming, perfect time capsule of a village. The little stone circle out on the moors in Devon and the Mead toast. Dan expertly manipulating the full sized coach through the 'New' Forest and all the little, scenic, barely 1 lane roads/streets. The Mary Rose."

Steve

East Wenatchee, WA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first time I had done a trip like this. I didn't know if I was going to like it. I am not used to being herded around in a large group. To my surprise, I loved it! The people were great, Roy was fantastic. I really enjoyed his talks and appreciated his knowledge. The tour was organized very well, and paced very well. It was the trip of a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Mary Rose blew me away."

Linda

Tulsa, OK

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved it. For me, it was physically aggressive--lots of steps and climbing and only short bus interludes--but what a joy to see as much as we did. We encountered our share of wind and rain (remember Tropical Storm Lorenzo) and that was certainly a factor in my overall tour experience. All of that climbing was made harder by the weather.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from. Possibly the afternoon/evening we spent in the village of Chagford. First my husband and I stumbled onto Bowden's hardware store, Chagford's answer to WalMart. Then a tour of St. Michael's Church where the needlepoint rivaled the amazing church bells. And somewhere in there we sandwiched in drinks with the entire group at the hotel's pub. England at its finest."

Jo

Chicago, IL

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I learned so much. Our tour guide, Roy, was so knowledgeable, professional, yet "one of us." Despite the rain (thanks US hurricanes), we all had a wonderful time. Our coach driver, Dan, was a great driver and even keeled. I could not do what he does. Beforehand, I had slight apprehensions about being a solo traveler. I felt comfortable and felt welcome and had fun with my fellow travelers. So glad I got to get to places and have experiences I may not have been able to do on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One? People keep asking me that question. Each was amazing. Art- Visiting Canterbury's Stained Glass Workshop! Scenery and learning - Dartmoor Moors."

Penny

Leawood, KS

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall the tour itinerary met my expectations however it didn't seem to be as well planned as other Rick Steve tours. I would have preferred on less day in Canterbury , one additional day in Alfriston, more time at the White Cliffs, less time at Portsmouth more time at Tintagel Castle, one less night at St. Ives and more time in Bath. We went so quickly through some areas we had no time to enjoy the villages and spent too much times in other. No local culture was added to tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views at Tintagel Castle and going up to the top of Canterbury castle to see the construction work. The little village at Tintagel Castle was beautiful but we didn't even get time for a cup of coffee."

Cheryl

Delta, BC

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was fascinating. Very well run and organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire visit at St. Michael's Mount."

Chris

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fantastic tour! Loved the guides, the Villages, the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved attending Evensong at the Canterbury Cathedral-magical! Enjoyed making pasties with Marion."

Thomas

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Construction tour of Canterbury cathedral. Bakery visit to make Cornish pasties."

Mary

Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Traveling with a smaller group of like minded people was our goal and it sure met that goal. Very knowledgeable, friendly and hard working tour guides and bus driver. Enjoyed the beautiful country side and learning about the history of this wonderful country where many of our ancestors came from.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The amazing different views of the shore line."

Jeffrey

Santa Fe, NM

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nice combo of major attractions (Stonehenge, Canterbury, Dover, etc) with out-of-the-way "finds". Nice variety of provided meals. Comfortable coach. Charming/ hilarious driver. Articulate, organized guide. Helpful, sweet tour asst. Enthusiastic, mostly punctual group. Outstanding accommodations. Great cooking class (pasties). Stayed healthy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything about Dartmoor National Park: our quaint but sumptuous inn (the 3 Crowns), hiking the moors near Merrivale, lunch at Warners Pub, locals generous enough to provide a church tour, cow varieties, even somber Princetown & its history, everything!"

Jenna

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steves' Tour. What an exciting, inspiring and breath taking tour we have been on thus far. I have to say that over 70% had to with our magnificent, intelligent, informative and heartfelt sensational guide Steven Back. By far he was energetic, helpful, kind and was an Angel when I hurt I knee. My gosh please keep terrific guide. We are hoping that when we tour Paris he will be our gifted guide!! Steven was fair and very accessible to everyone as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"StoneHenge left me speechless, such an amazing and profound effect. Such a marvel to see the tremendous ingenuity of mind, matter and strength. Second was the Seven Sisters."

John

Harrisville, NH

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the entire trip. Steven gave a wonderful mix of history and the present. Driver Paul was a good complement. Great driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visit to the tin mine."

Jean

Harrisville, NH

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful from the beginning to the end. Even the weather cooperated! Beautiful scenery, lovely small villages, delicious food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking on the scaffolding at the top of the tower at Canterbury Cathedral. Amazing! The view, history, and workmanship--ancient and present day."

David

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is an excellent tour. It has a variety of history, culture, natural resources and architecture. Every day was a stimulating experience. The food and hotels were great. Steven is a brilliant guide. I highly recommend this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" day was the visit to Dover and touring the WWII tunnels."

Alison

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour. I liked all the places we visited and the cities/villages we stayed. The pace was perfect. Wish we could have spent a night in Wells. Maybe cut out one day in St Ives

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No wow moments this time. Learned a lot on this tour. It was all good."

Bill

Cleveland, TN

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoy a RS Tour. The centrally located hotels encourage us to explore the areas. You mix educational experiences with free time to explore our interests. You attract active and inquisitive participants that are fun to get to know. The group meals are a high light of the country cuisine. I am fascinated with your well planned and executed tour. We were one of the first coaches at Stonehenge. You provided the tickets and off we go. You break our group into 2 smaller local tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit with conservators who are preserving the Cathedrals stone masonry and stained glass. We rode a construction elevator up nine stories on the outside of the cathedral. The sturdy scaffolding allowed exploring the restoration work outside and inside for access of the ceiling. The extensive tours of Canterbury and Salisbury Cathedrals were great. The hiking at Tintagel Castle, St. Michael's Mount and Beachy Head highlight the rugged country. Local guides and fellow tour member great."

Berta

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very knowledgeable and entertaining tour guide. Loved the locations we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Penzance with the castle was beautiful."

Judy

Ontario, OR

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The places we stayed were nice and gave a good feel about Village quaintness. Roy was very informative, knowledgeable about English history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This was my first overseas tour since I was 16. Everything was wow for me, I can't say that there was one exact thing that stood out from all the rest."

Sylvia

St George, UT

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had toured extensively around the world with my husband. When he died I was at a loss as how to fulfill my wanderlust. I found the perfect solution with Rick Steve's Tours. I was extremely impressed with the quality of the hotels, the expertise and knowledge of guide Roy Nichols, and the balance of free and planned exploring time. Even though I was traveling alone I never felt alone. It was a wonderful overall experience that I plan to repeat many times in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having the free time to explore the public footpaths of England and interact with the local people."

Debra

Auburn, CA

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed seeing the English countryside and the hotels we stayed in were very quaint. We had time to explore on our own and we enjoyed having some meals as a group and some to do on our own. The other travelers were great as they have been on other Rick Steves tours. The guide, Roy was a wealth of knowledge and there was not a question he could not answer in wonderful detail. The English people were so open and ready to kick up a conversation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Bath and stayed an extra day. Enjoyed St. Michaels castle also."

Diane

Corbett, OR

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing tour. Roy our guide is a gem. Daniel our driver got us expertly through narrow. Country roads. Appreciated staying more than one night in the same hotel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying inside the walls in Canterbury & waking up to the Cathedral each morning."

Jeffrey

Corbett, OR

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great tour. There were a many sites to see and plenty of time to roam on our own. The bus driver was very smooth.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Geevor Tin Mine and mineral processing tour was impressive. The mine tunnels following veins of metal ores were only large enough to allow the miners to work. They manually had to dig the ore and manually haul the waste rock or ore to a small gauge rail line with one ton transport rail cars. There is a lot of mineral processing that has to be done before the final concentrates can be fire refined. Canterbury was more impressive than described in the literature."

Bob

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We (my wife and I) felt the tour was very good. It was our 6th tour with RS so we knew what to expect and we were not disappointed. From start to finish the hotels were great, the restaurants we ate at as a group were also very good. Our guide Roy was very knowledgeable about the whole itinerary, having lived in many towns and villages in that area over the years. The history of the region is undeniably rich and it was brought to life on this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the city of Salisbury and the cathedral there. The city was friendly and easy to get around and we were luck enough to be there for Saturday market. The cathedral is one of the best I have seen"

Grace

Corbett, OR

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic tour of Southern England. We hit all the major areas and had a great tour group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment for me would be our stay in Canterbury. Our hotel there was great, the cathedral is amazing and the surrounding town is a great place to take a stroll."

Abbey

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous trip! Was hoping for a more "village" experience - towns were bigger than expected. Really appreciated Roy's efforts to arrange car service so a few of us could go to Port Issac & see where Doc Martin was filmed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the pasty making! St. Michael's Mount was lovely."

Dennis

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was an overall great trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick one."

Linda

Charlevoix, MI

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was outstanding. As usual the instructions for getting to the beginning hotel were excellent. All of the hotels were charming and we had some glorious views of Cathedrals, harbors and even somber and spooky cemeteries. The strenuous rating for the tour was apt. We walked and hiked and climbed spiral stairs to the tops of castle towers. Group dinners were very good. The tour members on this group related very well to one another, possibly the closest knit group we've had.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Far and away the WOW moment was our tour to the roof top of Canterbury Cathedral. Being under scaffolding there was not much of a view, but Mark arranged with the construction supervisor to take us up in the work elevator to inspect the repairs and see the stone masons in action. We enjoyed the panoramic views of the surrounding area. We then went into the vaulted ceiling over the nave to see what was to be done there and peek over the edge down into the nave below."

Mary

Yankton, SD

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous, especially the emphasis on history and geology. We are English literature/history buffs but Mark provided much needed information to fill in blanks in our knowledge. Hotels were fine (although some mattresses could be retired), the bus time wasn't taxing, and the free time was invaluable. Splendid balance between tourist attractions and off-the-grid activities. Bus driver Paul was delightful. Mark ALWAYS scheduled us to beat the crowds. Loved that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many. Tour bookends of the special rooftop Canterbury Cathedral tour and the glorious time in Glastonbury. Brilliant schedule of pasty making in the morning and tin mine in the afternoon. Tintagel. Lanhydrock. St. Michael's Mount."

Marilyn

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is a Very busy tour and I loved every minute of it! It was filled with Cathedrals, Beaches, Castles, Pasties, Beer tasting and more. And wonderful tour members to share it with! Thank You! My 7th Rick Steves tour that exceeded my expectations! Looking forward to the next adventure

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tintagel was my WOW moment. We had a beautiful clear day and from the moment I crossed that new Bridge I felt the magic! Other favorites were: Beachy Head Geevor Tin Mine Pasty making"

Robert

Yankton, SD

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, every experience on this tour was worthwhile. I saw the villages of southern England, and more - the beauty of its countryside, its impressive cathedrals and castles, its warm local color. I travel to learn and to understand different cultures, so adding in 4,000 years of geologic, political, and historical information made this journey even more valuable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two "Wow" moments: first, standing on the top of Canterbury Cathedral for its unique perspective on restoration and for its views of the Kent countryside. Second, walking through the tunnels of the Geevor Tin Mine and appreciating the incredible courage, skill, and pride of the Cornwall miners. The statue of King Arthur at Tintagel was memorable as well."

Leonard

Edwardsville, IL

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After our 4th Rick Steves Tour we struggle with the question of "Which was the best?" Each tour has exceeded our expectations and left us eager to sign up again. This was a great trip. Southern England charmed us. Great guide and a comfortable and friendly group of fellow travelers. Very well run and efficient. You know it is a good trip when you hate to see it end (as we did this trip!).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Making pasties with Marion. She has an inspiring story to tell. What a role model for all of us! I have not much experience or talent for baking, but this was great fun. Marion had us all smiling and laughing as we struggled to make our pasties. Also candidates - Viewing the Canterbury Cathedral from the scaffolding, the white cliffs at Beachy Head, experiencing the Moors in the fog and mist, views from Tintagel Castle ruins"

Lynn

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour is filled with history; recent and ancient. It is a very busy tour and each day has at least two, if not three major sites and activities. There are beaches, moors, castles, cathedrals, manor houses, cottages and mines. You learn to bake a pasty and how to wear a hard hat. You stand where King Arthur was born and where Lord Nelson died. You climb up tors and down mine shafts. You relax with a cuppa and toast with a pint. A wonderful slice of England.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After a mostly sunny first week we awoke to a steady rain the day we were to explore Dartmoor. My companions and I were well prepared for rain so donned our rain coats, pants, hats, and waterproof boots. When our bus pulled over we were alone on the moor. We followed our guide through the misty rain, between gorse and heather, and came to long rows of standing stones where he told vivid tales of the people who lived there around 3000 BC. Wow!"

Gordon

Grapeview, WA

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent guide, Bus driver extremely nice. The group of travelers with us were wonderful and enjoyable!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Overall scenery"

David

Ellsworth, WI

Tour: 08/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was very well planned and went very smoothly. Our group of travelers was awesome - no whiners, no one ever late, everyone really pleasant. Our guide Liz was really top notch, the best guide I have ever had! This was my first Rick Steve's tour and I would certainly take another. Several of our group have been on a dozen or more of your tours who ch speaks for itself.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was a wow and a surprise when we took the optional, extra tour up the spire at Salisbury Cathedral. To see the construction of the roof and ceiling of the main structure was truly amazing,especially when one remembers when it was built and the tools they had at their disposal. The climb up the spire was very interesting and the view from the balconies was super!"

Patricia

Simpsonville, SC

Tour: 08/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our fifth tour with rick steves. Liz was a great guide, we enjoyed her sense of humor and learning about the English people. I loved the variety of places we went, the history we learned and the interesting and beautiful place we visited. I recommend this tour. Very active

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the cliffs of tintagel castle and mount st Michael gardens"

Angela

Stuart, FL

Tour: 08/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The adventure was great, wonderful tour mates, guides really made all the difference in success. Activity level good, lodging and meals adequate. Transportation superlative!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Salisbury- especially viewing Magna Carta, but equally the historical battle sites- especially WW11"

Christopher

Palo Alto, CA

Tour: 08/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very active tour, short bus rides and lots of free time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cliffs of Dover were amazing and getting to see the the brand new 3 billion dollar HMS Queen Elizabeth set sail for North America out of the Portsmouth Navel Yard...very special."

Don

Boulder, CO

Tour: 08/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 13th RS tour. Liz was the best tour guide I have had on m several tours. This is the first time I have completed a tour evaluation.

David

San Jose, CA

Tour: 08/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Taking this tour was actually a bit of a compromise for us. However, I (and my wife) ended up loving it. Liz and Steven made it a total success. We were adequately informed in a helpful and entertaining manner, our life on the tour (and our own time off, when we needed help) were managed effectively, and it was a real pleasure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dover secret tunnels, the white chalk cliffs (7 Sisters), and the Geevor Tin Mine. I also loved the Portsmith dockyard."

Samuel

Salt Lake City, UT

Tour: 08/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Not really any complaints. The tour guide, Liz Boardman was excellent and always helpful as was the apprentice, Steven Black. The bus driver was good and I was really he was doing the driving.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Liked the WWII tunnels at Dover and the Naval Museum at Portsmouth although I wish I had gone on the tour of the Submarines instead of going through the Mary Rose. Liked the Pasty making experience and the Tin mine tour."

Linda

Fulshear, TX

Tour: 08/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great tour. This was our 13th RS tour so I guess you could say we enjoy the RS style of travel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day we were at Portsmouth was a wow day for me. In addition, to the regular sites available, we also saw the Queen Elizabeth leave the port on her way to the US to be outfitted with her planes. A day we will never forget! Another great day was the day at Tintagel as the coast line there is breathtaking!"

Linda

Ellsworth, WI

Tour: 08/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous! You nailed it!. We did so much that until I looked at my photos I couldn't even remember what all we did. Even tho we did a lot it didn't seem like too much at the time. I loved having our own time. I loved the Buddy system, so much nicer than the guide counting. I like it that tour members are capable and ready to do anything and not complainers. You set expectations before the tour and people understand it, you get a different kind of traveler, we love that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My husband and I did the extra walk to the upper level of the Salisbury Cathedral. It was fabulous to see the inner workings of a cathedral. We see so many cathedrals and after the Notre Dam fire it had even more meaning. I would really recommend it and perhaps it could be talked about so everyone interested is aware of it. I also loved the Moor walk."

Marianne

Fair Oaks, CA

Tour: 08/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Mark Seymour, our guide was part geologist, part historian and mind opening Enthusiast. I loved the scenery, the tours, wish we had more time in Bath. Perfect time to visit. Mark's early mornings got in to places before any crowds and worked great for us. The small group of 16 was very cordial. I was glad it wasn't just old folks.

Kathy

Waxahachie, TX

Tour: 08/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the countryside of England.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking up the hill and looking over the Dover Cliffs. It was breathtaking."

Neil

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 08/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip out of the country. My wife and I chose the Rick Steves tour because a friend highly recommended it, and our own research led us to this choice. We were thrilled with the experience! Everything was handled so well with what we came to know as "the Rick Steves way", being informative, educational, ethical, and above all, great fun! It was abundantly clear that the tour plan was well researched for the best overall experience. We had an amazing guide and an expert bus driver

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was astonishing to see Canterbury Cathedral, not just with the usual tour, but a specially arranged visit to the roof, hosted by the construction crew! We took the construction elevator up to take in an amazing view across the rooftop and also watch a traditional stone mason chisel away at a replacement stone block. We also went inside the roof for a closeup view of the roof timbers and the barrel vaults just below us. We were informed that we were only the second group there in 800 years!"

Angela

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 08/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was absolutely perfect for my husband and me. I have wanted to visit England since I was a kid, so this was a dream come true and the Rick Steves tour did not disappoint! I enjoyed every single stop on the tour, the hotels and inns were charming and full of personality, and the group meals were outstanding. The tour group was small enough so that everything felt very personal. We learned so much and met great people and had a fabulous time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting to take a lift up to the scaffolding on the roof of Canterbury Cathedral was amazing. Not only were the views spectacular, but we had almost unprecedented views of this amazing structure and got to talk to people working on the restoration. I think I have to put Tintagel as a very close second, though. The ruins were fascinating and the location unparalleled."

Jill

Eugene, OR

Tour: 08/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations. I couldn't possibly have organized so many experiences in 13 days on my own. That said, I never felt rushed or stressed - and I would have been stressed if I was trying to do this itinerary without the tour. There were so many extra benefits, for example, our guide and driver knew just when to get us to locations to avoid crowds. My fellow travelers were such a fun group. It was a pleasure to share the experience with them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So difficult to choose just one. In general, Mark's narratives about the places we visited really brought the history vividly to life. Hiking in Dartmoor, he wove a tale about the people who lived there and built the stone circle graves. The beautiful setting and Mark's story was definitely a favorite "wow" moment."

Ricci

Tampa, FL

Tour: 08/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several, but walking around the Battle of Hastings grounds and listening to the audio program imagining what took place there really brought it home for me. The tour also gave me a new perspective on world war II."

Laura

Tampa, FL

Tour: 08/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very impressed that they were able to cover so many sites and experiences, over a significant distance, without killing us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The coastal scenery was unbelievably beautiful. The cliffs, the wind, the history, the sheep, - all of it goes right through you. The english people were lovely, lovely, lovely."

Edward

Austin, TX

Tour: 08/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a a small, very congenial group. Trip was relaxing with beautiful scenery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tintagel. Naval yard at Portsmouth. Dover castle. White cliffs at Beachy head. Scenery in Dartmoor national park. Stonehenge."

Yvonne

Austin, TX

Tour: 08/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

So much fun! Very close interactive group and great tour guide. I think we learn so much more with a good guide. It enriches the experience so much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked the pasty demonstration. I connect with a culture through its cuisine."

Russell

Waxahachie, TX

Tour: 08/12/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Visiting so many historical places and experiencing them with sixteen friendly tour members was truly memorable. Our guide was both a native to the region and the US. His knowledge, experience and insights were impressive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Difficult to pick just one. Stonehenge early in the morning, the white chalk cliffs at Birling Gap, the Mary Rose at Portsmouth, the Gregor tin mine in Pendeen. Great tour itinerary."

Jeanne

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 07/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the tour and the guide who made the history come alive

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many from Stonehedge, white cliffs of dover, under ground tunnels to the thatched roofs, the bronze age ruins"

Randy

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 07/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great group wonderful guide Deb was very personable and informative

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stonehenge"

Josefa

Houston, TX

Tour: 07/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed this tour of the villages of south England tour very much. The tour helped me to connect the places and events with the history I learned a long time ago in school in the Philippines. There was a good variation of villages to tour and have a fair idea about the country side. Deborah, our tour guide, gave our group a very comprehensive description of the places and course of events that was very easy to follow. She helped promote good camaraderie among the tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being in the Stonehenge, feeling the atmosphere of the place, the "ancientness" of the stones."

Jo

Sun City, AZ

Tour: 07/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another good tour and a great overview of southern England. Really enjoyed the smaller group (21) and Deborah was another great group leader.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have made pasties for most of my like but really enjoyed making pasties with the group at the Portreath Bakery. I learned how to make a better pasty and enjoyed hearing Marion's story."

David

Spanish Fort, AL

Tour: 07/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great group and guide. Everything we have come to expect from a Rick Steves tour. Have already booked our next trip

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I love history and that was the reason for selecting this tour. Dover and the ships at Portsmouth were special to me. Also enjoyed a few beautiful hikes along the way."

Leila

Pea Ridge, AR

Tour: 07/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There were GREAT group guided activities that were thoughtfully planned out to maximize our experience ( most notably getting to Stonehenge before the maddening hordes), plenty of free time, thankfully several days of a little later morning start, and a wonderful coach and driver (big shout out to Dan!!!) The food was fabulous and the group was fun loving.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Eating an ice cream cone in a pull out with the Wild Ponies of Dartmoor."

When To Go & Weather

Any time between April and October is a good time to visit England. However, the months of April, May, September, and October are best for offering fewer crowds, mild weather, and the full range of tourist fun. Summer has its advantages, with long days and the best weather (though never guaranteed).

England / London

London Weather

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

In case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations, the contact information for the tour's first and last hotels is included in your tour confirmation email as well as in the Itinerary section of your tour account. One month prior to the tour departure, you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour in the Documents section of your tour account. About one month prior to the tour departure, in your tour account you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour.

Please note: There are no triple rooms available on this tour.

Flights

Our tours don't include airfare, so your flight arrangements and transfers are completely up to you.

Most tour members arrange to fly in and out of London's Heathrow (LHR) or Gatwick (LGW) airports, and take a train or bus to Canterbury (where the tour begins) and from Bath (where the tour ends). Trains are available to and from central London. Both Heathrow and Gatwick airports are served direct by National Express coach (schedules are available at the National Express website).

We suggest arriving a day or two before your tour begins to allow ample time to get over jet lag and be well-rested for the first few days of your tour. For more information about transportation options to get to and from your tour, see your Rick Steves England guidebook.