Ales, Ciders and Historic Pubs of England
Hopscotch Tour of Scotland

Ales, Ciders, and Historic Pubs of England

The unique beers and ciders of England are the result of a rich history of brewing that sets them apart from continental Europe.  To some tastes, there is nothing better than savoring a proper pint of cask ale or craft cider, especially in an English pub steeped in a long and colorful history.  Thanks to the efforts of Britain’s original Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), this tradition has been kept alive, and is available for visitors to partake in!  On our unique tour of England, we’ll enjoy many fine craft ales and ciders, from the haunted taverns of London’s shining streets, to the beloved countryside where local folk carve out a serene life intimate with nature.  Our tour will take us to opulent castles and manor houses, picturesque villages, and scenic seashores, and back to London for the CAMRA Great British Beer Festival, featuring over 900 beers and ciders!

HopScotch - Beer and Whisky Tour of Scotland

CITIES & TOWNS

  • London
  • Windsor
  • West Wycombe
  • Oxford
  • The Cotswolds
  • Bath
  • Salisbury
  • Exeter
  • St. Ives
  • Glastonbury

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Historic London Pub Crawl
  • Windsor Castle
  • Hellfire Caves
  • West Wycombe Manor
  • Oxford University
  • Hook Norton Brewery Tour
  • Shakespeare’s Birth House
  • Malmesbury Abbey
  • Roman Baths
  • Avebury Stone Circle
  • Stonehenge
  • Salisbury Cathedral

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Exeter Cathedral
  • Powderham Castle
  • St. Ives Beach
  • Victorian Country Mansion
  • Glastonbury Abbey
  • The Chalice Well
  • Glastonbury Tor
  • Wells Cathedral
  • CAMRA Great British Beer Festival
  • British Museum
  • Leicester Square
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Big Ben
England Tour

Some testimonials from England Tour Director Craig Bresett’s recent travellers:

“What a great experience. We would not hesitate to recommend your tours – our tour exceeded our expectations in every way!!” Greg and Ronda – Grand Tour 2014

“We had an exceptional trip. Craig was amazing.  Very knowledgeable and professional. This was our first tour and it was fun, informative and a very rich experience.” Mark, Ashley and Jonathan – Grand Tour 2012

“My husband and I have travelled three times to Europe with Craig as our tour guide.  Craig is very knowledgeable about Europe and appears to get great pleasure in sharing it with others.  We always felt we got more than our money’s worth because Craig respects that to travel often means people work hard to save for special lifetime memories.  We would not hesitate to travel again with Craig and hope to in the near future.”
Bob and Mary – Grand Tour 2006; Grand Tour 2009; Best of the East 2010

July 30 – August 12, 2017
Sorry you missed out this year!

July 27 – August 8, 2018

$3795

Special Price for 2018!

$3395

Per Person + Air Based on Double Occupancy
All prices in US dollars.  Payment in other currencies possible – contact us.

Book Your England Tour Now!

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Day 1: London's Historical and Haunted Pubs

Day 1:  London’s Historical and Haunted Pubs

We begin our tour in the early evening with a pub crawl to some of the most historic pubs in London, where patrons from the past refuse to leave!  We’ll raise a glass, enjoy some superb pub food, and hear some fascinating tales and history of these extraordinary pubs.

Sleep in London / Bus: none / Walking: Moderate

Meals provided: Dinner

Day 2: West to Windsor

Day 2:  West to Windsor

In the morning, we visit the breathtaking St Pauls’ Cathedral, very close to our hotel. Our private coach shall then chauffeur us to the Queen’s infamous Windsor Castle, a royal residence for 1000 years. We’ll tour the State Apartments and the grand St. George’s Chapel, final resting place of famous be-header Henry VIII and famously be-headed Charles I.  After some hearty refreshments in a nearby 16th century pub, you can explore this charming little town at your leisure, or catch up on rest at our lovely hotel in the town centre.

Sleep in Windsor / Bus: 1 hr / Walking: Moderate

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3: Mysterious England

Day 3:  Mysterious England

We leave late morning after our full English breakfast to visit the mysterious “Hellfire Caves” which were frequented by famous historical characters of the late 1700’s. We then have a sumptuous lunch at an ancient pub in the village before strolling through the scenic West Wycombe Park, where we take a tour through the mansion of the eccentric Sir Francis Dashwood. Many films, including the series “Downton Abbey”, have been filmed at this beautiful location. In the afternoon, we take in the town of Oxford and a walking tour of olde Oxford’s most historic (and haunted!) pubs.

Sleep in Oxford / Bus: 2 hours / Walking: Moderate

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4: Victorian brewery tour, Shakespeare’s home, and England’s beloved countryside

Day 4: Victorian brewery tour, Shakespeare’s home, and England’s beloved countryside

We leave Oxford in the late morning to tour the Victorian “Hook Norton Brewery” and sample its award-winning beers! Prepare for a top-notch lunch at a 15th century thatched pub, the oldest pub in Stratford Upon Avon, which William Shakespeare must have frequented; very close by is his birth home, which we will visit. Later in the evening, we enjoy a gourmet dinner of local Bibury trout in one of England’s most charming and picturesque villages. Our hotel is a beautiful 1500’s Cotswold-stone house with a walled garden in Cirencester, one of the Cotswold’s premier market towns.

Sleep in Cirencester /Bus: 2.5 hours / Walking: Light to moderate

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5: The Charming Cotswolds

Day 5: The Charming Cotswolds

We have another night in our beautiful Cotswolds home, and a day to explore some of England’s most beautiful and picturesque villages. We visit England’s oldest pub, and visit a Cotswold’s gem, Sudeley Castle and its lovely Queens’ Garden.

Sleep in Cirencester / Bus: 1.5 hours / Walking: Moderate

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: On the Old Roman Road

Day 6: On the Old Roman Road

We visit the 7th century Malmesbury Abbey in the morning sunlight, on the road to Bath; we’ll do what visitors to Bath love to do, explore the unique shops or visit attractions such as the Fashion Museum, as you like. In the evening, we have a torchlit tour of the ancient Roman Baths and Roman temple, and a fabulous 3-course torchlit dinner at the Baths! Some of us may follow that with a visit to one or more of Bath’s lively pubs!

Sleep in Bath / Bus: 2.5 hours / Walking: moderate

Meals provided: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7: Stonehenge: ||Where the Banshees live, and they do live well”

Day 7: Stonehenge: “Where the Banshees live, and they do live well”

We continue our tour of ancient England with a visit to the mysterious stone circles of Avebury and Stonehenge. We’ll stop for lunch at Avebury’s infamous pub with views of the stones and the windswept Salisbury Plain. We’ll also visit the manor of Alexander Keiller who restored the stone circle at a time when many still believed it to be the work of devils. The stately home demonstrates 5 periods: Tudor, Queen Anne, Gregorian, Victorian, and 20th century. You may enjoy Evening Song at the beautiful Salisbury Cathedral, before another delicious dinner!

Sleep in Salisbury / Bus: 1.5 hours / Walking: Light to moderate

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: “As I was going to St Ives…”

Day 8: “As I was going to St Ives…”!

On our way to St. Ives, we visit the exquisite Powderham Castle. We enjoy a superb lunch at a farm-to-table gastro brew house in Exeter, and a visit to the gorgeous Exeter Cathedral. Our hotel in St. Ives is an 18th century castle overlooking the Cornish seashore and surrounded by acres of gardens, where we’ll enjoy a delicious and fresh, locally-sourced dinner.

Sleep in St. Ives / Bus: 5 hours / Walking: Light to moderate

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9: St. Ives

Day 9: St. Ives

Today, feel free to explore the rare sandy beaches, and rock pools with their abundant wildlife; or alternatively, wander the shops and art galleries of this gorgeous seaside town.  The more adventurous can take a surfing lesson, hit the water on a fishing or sight-seeing tour, or perhaps do some ocean kayaking! We spend another night in our beautiful castle hotel (which also has a golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool…).

Sleep in St. Ives / Bus: None / Walking: Up to you!

Meals provided: Breakfast

Day 10: In Search of the Holy Grail

Day 10: In Search of the Holy Grail

As we leave St Ives, we visit Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm, hailed by Jamie Oliver as the best cider in England. You may want to bring a jug with you! Also en route, we visit a magnificent late Victorian country mansion where we enjoy a fancy Cornish Cream Tea. Our final destination today is Glastonbury, a magical town rich in legends of King Arthur, The Holy Grail, the Lady of Avalon, and Mary Magdalene. That evening we see King Arthur’s Tomb and the awe-inspiring ruins of Glastonbury Abbey with its soaring arches. We stay in B&Bs in the town centre.

Sleep in Glastonbury / Bus: 4 hours / Walking: Light to moderate

Meals provided: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 11: In Search of the Holy Grail... continued

Day 11: In Search of the Holy Grail… continued

In the morning, we visit the spectacular Wells Cathedral and its gorgeous cathedral green and surrounding medieval streets. Afterwards, we experience a breathtaking view as we climb the hill of the Glastonbury Tor. We continue our walk to the enchanting Chalice Well gardens and lunch at a close-by historic pub. Afterwards, feel free to explore the curious shops of Glastonbury.  Later that evening, we’ll beat the traffic and head back to jolly old London.

Sleep in London / Bus: 4 hours / Walking: Moderate

Meals provided: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 12: The Great British Beer Festival and Classic London

Day 12: The Great British Beer Festival and Classic London

Today we enjoy the Campaign for Real Ale’s Great British Beer Festival with its enormous array of great British craft beers and ciders to taste. Afterwards, you may want to take a nap at the hotel, or join us on a jolly walking tour of Leicester Square (where you can buy tickets for one of London’s fabulous musicals for that evening), Trafalgar Square and Big Ben.  You can also visit the British Museum, the British Library, or the National Gallery this afternoon.  We will end the tour with a celebratory meal at London’s oldest pub, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese.

Sleep in London / Walking: Light to moderate

Meals provided: Breakfast

Day 13: Cheerio!

Day 13: Cheerio!

The tour is over after our final Full English breakfast.  Your tour director can assist you with transport to the airport or further travel plans.  Want to stay on further in London? – let us know early and we can assist you with accommodations.

Meals provided: Breakfast

The Fine Print – What You Get:


Not so much fine print: 
We believe in up front pricing, not a hard-to-read long list of extra costs.
Group Size: We run small group tours, less than half the size of a normal big bus tour. Our average group size is 14-18 travellers, plus a tour director and a driver.
Transportation: Most transportation is in a private chartered coach. Lots of free space on the bus to stretch out and relax! Transportation to and from airport is your responsibility. London is well served by train connections to the airports.
Activity level:  This tour is suitable to people with a basic fitness level. You will need to carry your own bags, climb hotel stairs, and keep a leisurely to moderate pace on city walking tours. This trip is suitable for adults. It is not suitable for young children.
Accommodations: We choose generally smaller, family-run hotels, in the 3-4 star category, that are close to the action, rather than large impersonal hotels in some industrial park outside of town. All rooms have private ensuite bathrooms with shower or bathtub. Most rooms are doubles.

  • Solo travelers: You may choose to pay extra for one of the limited number of single private rooms, or you can room with another solo traveler in the group of the same gender and skip the extra fee.  See the registration form for specific prices.
  • Couples: Couples will usually share a room with one double or queen bed (large King beds are not common in Europe).
  • Two friends traveling together: Two friends or siblings traveling together will be roomed together with two beds in a twin room. Note: some European twin beds share one headboard but they will always have separate sheets.
  • Triple room: A typical triple room will be one double bed and one single bed.

Sightseeing tours and attractions: This is the main reason you are in England, and we understand this! Led by your tour director, and local guides when appropriate. Entrance fees to all attractions are included. Most tour companies sell many of their attractions as expensive “optional excursions” which add up really quickly. Not us.

Meals: Breakfasts are always included. Note that because we stay in characteristic English hotels, breakfasts will reflect local preferences . Many lunches/dinners are on us – the rest are up to you. See itinerary for breakdown.

Gratuities: Unlike most tour companies who ask you to pay a “mandatory” tip to the driver and guide, with us tipping is neither requested nor required.

Book Your England Tour Now!

Book Online
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