This weeklong adventure around England and Scotland is wonderful for families — and travelers young at heart! Start in London with a ride on the Hop-on, Hop-off Bus and an interactive Harry Potter-themed tour. Then you'll visit Kensington Palace, the Roman Baths, and mysterious Stonehenge before catching the Caledonian Sleeper train to Scotland. On the other side of the border, sample street food and local specialties on a food tour, then ride a Jeep around Cairngorms National Park on a wildlife tour. Finish the itinerary with an unforgettable train ride — best known to Harry Potter fans as the Hogwarts Express — and a boat cruise across the famous Loch Ness.

Highlights

  • Go on a Harry Potter-themed walking tour of London
  • Visit key attractions including Kensington Palace, Windsor, and the Roman Baths
  • Learn about the mysterious ancient site of Stonehenge with a private guide
  • Sample smoked salmon and artisanal coffee on a food tour of Edinburgh 
  • Look for wildlife on a Jeep tour around Cairngorms National Park
  • Cruise across the legendary waters of Loch Ness

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in London & Explore on Hop-on, Hop-off Bus London
Day 2 Enjoy a Harry Potter Walking Tour & Kensington Palace London
Day 3 Tour Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge London
Day 4 Go on a Food Tour Around Edinburgh  Edinburgh
Day 5 Explore Cairngorms National Park on a Wildlife Tour  Inverness
Day 6 Ride the Jacobite Train & Cruise on the Canal in Lochness Fort William
Day 7 Depart Edinburgh - End of Trip  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in London & Explore on Hop-on, Hop-off Bus

Buckingham Palace

Welcome to London! After arriving and transferring to your hotel, you'll have the afternoon for sightseeing. Board the Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus to explore the city at your own pace. The circuits feature a series of stops around London's landmarks and key attractions. Highlights include Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, 10 Downing Street, Piccadilly Circus, the London Eye, Covent Garden, Tower Bridge, City Hall, Hyde Park Corner, Notting Hill, and many more. You'll have unlimited access to all routes for 24 hours.

Top off the day at an open-air film screening with the Rooftop Film Club. Held at one of several venues around town, the screening includes sunset views over the city skyline, comfortable deck chairs, gourmet food and drinks, and state-of-the-art wireless headphones so you don't miss a minute of dialogue. Enjoy a cult classic or a new release with a local crowd on your first evening in London. 

Day 2: Enjoy a Harry Potter Walking Tour & Kensington Palace

Harry Potter Walking Tour in London
On the Harry Potter-themed walking tour in London
Harry Potter fans, unite! Today you'll go on a walking tour around London with a specialized guide to see some of the series' key locations and sites that inspired J.K. Rowling, from Shakespeare's Globe to the alleys that inspired Knockturn Alley. Find out which Hogwarts House you belong in, then stroll down Diagon Alley, where Harry buys his first wand. Visit the Leaky Cauldron, the secret wizarding inn, and see iconic London sites like Borough Market and Trafalgar Square. Other highlights include Southwark Cathedral, Winchester Palace, the 900-year-old Clink Prison, Millennium Bridge, Sherlock Holmes' Pub, Gringotts Wizarding Bank, and the Palace Theatre. For part of the guided tour, you'll choose between a short boat trip down the River Thames or a ride on the world-famous London Underground
 
Kensington Palace is your next destination today. Once a suburban villa known as Nottingham House, the estate was chosen by new monarchs William III and Mary II in 1689 as a country retreat. Over the years, Stuart and Georgian monarchs transformed the palace into a fashionable home for Britain’s young royal families. Queen Victoria spent her childhood here, though she left to live in Buckingham Palace in 1837. Kensington later became home for minor royals, including her daughter, the talented sculptor Princess Louise.

More recently, the palace has been home to Diana, Princess of Wales, Princess Margaret, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. It is also the London home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children. An admission ticket includes access to all public areas of the palace and gardens and takes you on a tour through the palace to see the King’s Stairs, the King’s Gallery, and the Queen's State Apartments.

Day 3: Tour Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge

Small Group Tour to Windsor, Bath and Stonehenge
The mysterious Stonehenge
Today you'll visit England's largest and most historic royal residence, Windsor Castle, with a private guide. The castle dates back over 900 years! On a castle tour, you'll explore the magnificent State Apartments and St. George's Chapel, the burial place of former Kings and Queens of England. One highlight is Queen Mary's onetime dollhouse, furnished with tiny handmade beds, carpets, silver candlesticks, and chandeliers.
 
Next, you'll visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bath, the onetime home of one of England’s most famous writers, Jane Austen. Bath is also home to the Roman Baths, considered one of the finest historic sites in Northern Europe. Tour the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House, and the Grand Pump Room.

This last stop on your tour today will be to the 5,000-year-old Neolithic stones of Stonehenge. Set on Salisbury Plain, Stonehenge is one of the most mysterious places in the world. How did the stones get there? What do they represent? Who put them there? See if you can piece together the evidence at Stonehenge on a guided visit.

Day 4: Go on a Food Tour Around Edinburgh 

The Old Town of Edinburgh
You'll overnight on the Caledonian Sleeper, a comfortable train that travels to and from Scotland. On arrival in Edinburgh, you'll embark on a guided food tour. The walk takes you through the up-and-coming area of Stockbridge, stopping in at a select group of food shops and market stands, depending on the season and the day of the week. You may visit Scotland’s oldest and most famous specialist deli and wine merchant to discuss the influence that Italian immigrants had (and still have) in Edinburgh's food scene. Stop in the city's first independent coffee shop to learn about the renaissance of good coffee in the Scottish capital, then taste smoked salmon, haddock, trout, and seafood from an award-winning smokehouse. Along the way, you'll meet shop owners, taste artisanal products, and discover some of the best-kept secrets of Scottish culinary traditions.

Day 5: Explore Cairngorms National Park on a Wildlife Tour 

Cairngorm National Park, Scotland
Get ready for stunning scenery. Cairngorms National Park offers some of the best wildlife diversity in the United Kingdom — the pristine landscape is home to a quarter of the UK's threatened species. You'll get to see these landscapes up close on a wildlife safari with a private guide. Exploring the terrain in a 4x4 vehicle, you'll stop at lookout points and keep your eyes open for wildcats, deer, golden eagles, and a wide variety of birdlife.  

Day 6: Ride the Jacobite Train & Cruise on the Caledonian Canal 

 The Jacobite Train passing over the Glenfinnan Railway Viaduct in Scotland 
A memorable journey awaits today. The Jacobite Train is a steam locomotive-hauled tourist train service that operates over part of the West Highland Line in Scotland. The Jacobite runs between Fort William and Mallaig, passing through an area of great scenic beauty including alongside Loch Eil, Glenfinnan Viaduct, and Arisaig. Trains cross with regular service trains at Glenfinnan station. The route was made famous in the Harry Potter films — fans know it as the Hogwarts Express. 

You'll enjoy a ride that starts near the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis, and passes close by the deep freshwater loch known as Loch Morar. Roll past the shortest river in Britain, River Morar, before arriving at the deepest seawater loch in Europe, Loch Nevis. The end of the line, Mallaig, is a busy fishing port. Once you arrive, you'll have some time to enjoy a stroll around, stopping in some of the port's many shops, bars, and restaurants. This is a perfect time to break for a lunch of fish and chips!

The trip comes to its conclusion in grand fashion with a cruise on the Caledonian Canal. Board at Dochgarroch, enjoying castle views on an unforgettable journey that continues across the legendary waters of Loch Ness. Spend the night in Fort William. 

Day 7: Depart Edinburgh - End of Trip

Looking down over Edinburgh

Today the trip comes to an end. After breakfast, you'll head to the airport to catch a flight out. Safe travels! 

More England Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to England? Check out these other England itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

Or, describe your ideal trip and we will connect you with a local specialist to make it happen.