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England and Scotland

2 Oct 2010 cdm115 said

I just took this tour with the new itinerary, but I really liked the new itinerary. But this tour is a bit different then the european circuit tours. We never did introductions, i think because we didn't have long times on the bus in the first few days. Also the tour isn't supposed to have a day song, though my TM did give us one. <BR><BR>It is a modulated tour so there were people doing Great Britain and Ireland, England and Scotland, Scotland and Ireland and just Scotland. But most people seem to do England and Scotland, Great Britain and Ireland or Ireland. <BR><BR>Until you get to Edinburgh the days are well broken up. You'll drive an hour, maybe a bit more and be in a city for your break for a few hours. I don't think we ever stopped at a traditional rest stop. From Edinburgh to Glasgow you're kinda in the middle of nowhere so the stops are a little more timed to either be in a city or one stop was at a ski lodge where they set up for lunch for us. <BR><BR>The optionals were all pretty good. The ghost tour in York was really good, Clive was very authentic and seemed to love the ghost stories and there weren't any theatrics with the tour. Even if you get a bit scared by ghost stories, which I do, it was a good tour, I didn't have any nightmares. The Scotish dinner was good, and cheaper then some of the other ones I saw advertised in Edinburgh. It was a nice dinner and then a bagpiper came in and played a couple songs for us and answered some questions. <BR><BR>Windermere Cruise was just ok, I think if the weather had been better it would have been better, but it seemed quite short for the price of it. The Loch Ness cruise was a little better, but it rained on ours so it wasn't much fun to go outside. If you skip the Loch Ness cruise the only other thing to do is go into the shop there or sit in the restaurant. There is more to do in Windermere though if you skip that optional.<BR><BR>The activities optional was either kayaking, canoeing or doing a ropes course. The people who did it seemed to have enjoyed it, but it's probably not a good optional for those who are out of shape. Instead you can take a bit of a hike in the area, or if your driver will do it you can go into town for lunch and a walk around Keswick, but the trip into town is dependent on the driver being willing to do it. <BR><BR>Stonehenge is well, Stonehenge. You get an audio tour and it does take a bit of time. If you don't do it there's nothing else to do there. <BR><BR>Hotels were generally pretty good. It was a combination of chains and country types of hotels. The Ibis's were very similar, basic but good. The worst hotels were the two before Glasgow. The one in the Scottish Highlands by Loch Ness wasn't a bad hotel unless you like hot water for your shower. The hotel in the West Highlands was fairly old, but the shower was HOT. Many of the hotels had wifi, but only in the lounge areas. The Ibis's in Bristol and Glasgow and the Holiday Inn in Edinburgh all charged for wifi.<BR><BR>Food overall was pretty good. Breakfasts were some of the best I've had on Contiki. They typically had eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, yogurt, cereal and some fruit of varying quality. The dinners were also quite good. Some dinners you were given a choice of starters, mains and desserts and other dinners you got what they gave you. But there was always a soup as a starter, no salads. Then it was usually a meat, veggie, potato. And there was always a dessert. The vegitarians seemed to have pretty decent meals.
  • Read the responses 11 responses so far
  • 27 Jan 2011 Jbird910 said


    I’m doing this tour in April and your review was great answered a lot of questions and concerns for me. Thanks so much for posting it.

  • 4 Feb 2011 Britters said


    This was extremely helpful!

  • 20 Feb 2011 Explorer1234678 said


    Where did the tour start from?

  • 21 Feb 2011 cdm115 said



  • 22 Feb 2011 Explorer1234678 said


    was hoping for the hotel/backpackers that it started from, so i could book a room there

  • 14 Mar 2011 Claudia K said

    Claudia K

    This was really helpfull! thanks!!

  • 14 Mar 2011 cdm115 said


    It leaves from the Royal National.

  • 18 Mar 2011 Claudia K said

    Claudia K

    Hi CM! I was wondering how much money did you spend on food each day, just an idea? …thanks!

  • 18 Mar 2011 cdm115 said


    I wrote a blog post about the costs on this trip:
    But as for food, it’s hard to give an amount per day. We ate at one place in the Highlands for lunch, it was 5 pounds, but then if you went and had a pub meal you’re looking at 10-15 pounds. Prices in the cities were higher then they were in country areas. But the breakfasts were hearty, as were the included dinners. I think we all paid for a dinner at one of the hotels in the highlands and I think that was 10 pounds a person. So, I would budget for about 10 pounds a meal, maybe a bit more if you want a drink with it too.

  • 19 Mar 2011 Claudia K said

    Claudia K

    Hi again! I just loved your blog!..I’m learning a lot with your comments, it will save me lots of time.. Thanks..Claudia

  • 20 Mar 2011 Explorer1084121 said


    This sounds like a great tour.I am disappointed though None of Contiki’s Britain Programmes includes Wales.

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