- See the most famous sights in London on a "Harry Potter" tour
- Visit historic palaces and enjoy High Tea at the Savoy Hotel
- Savor a foodie tour of Edinburgh and discover new Scottish gastronomy
- Travel to the stunning locales in the Scottish Highlands
- Tour Loch Ness by boat and ride the famous "Hogwarts Express"
|Day 1||Arrive in London & City Tour via the Hop-on, Hop-off Bus||London|
|Day 2||"Harry Potter" Walking Tour & Kensington Palace||London|
|Day 3||Day Trip to Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge||London|
|Day 4||Globe Theatre, Tower of London & High Tea at the Savoy||London|
|Day 5||Ride the Caledonian Sleeper to Scotland & Edinburgh Food Tour||Edinburgh|
|Day 6||"Outlander" Castle Tour||Edinburgh|
|Day 7||Edinburgh Free Day||Edinburgh|
|Day 8||Edinburgh to Inverness & Full Day Loch Ness Tour||Inverness|
|Day 9||Ride the "Hogwarts Express"||Fort William|
|Day 10||Transfer to Edinburgh, Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in London & City Tour via the Hop-on, Hop-off BusWelcome to London, one of the most exciting and historic cities in the world! Upon arrival at the airport, a personal driver will be waiting to take you and your family to your hotel. There's no time to waste because after checking in and dropping off your bags, you'll head right back out for a sightseeing tour of London. The mode of transport for this unforgettable experience is the famous Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus.
Day 2: "Harry Potter" Walking Tour & Kensington PalaceThe first of your day tours are geared to the young and the young at heart. Get ready to see the magical side of London on a 2-5-hour "Harry Potter"-themed group tour of the city. The wizarding enthusiast leading this walking tour will begin by designating which Hogwarts House you belong to, and you'll compete against other houses in an interactive quiz as you go.
After immersing yourself in the myth and lore of wizards and witchcraft, you'll discover some of England's real-life royal history. Kensington Palace dates to the 17th century and is the London home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children. It's also where Queen Victoria was born in 1819 and has been home to Princess Diana, Princess Margaret, and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Day 3: Day Trip to Windsor, Bath & StonehengeIn the morning, you'll leave London for a full-day tour to explore some of the UK's most historic and unique locales. This small-group tour will take you to the 11th-century Windsor Castle, the ancient city of Bath, and the mysterious Stonehenge. The smaller nature of the tour means you'll have more personal attention from your guide and can feel free to ask as many questions as you like.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 4: Globe Theatre, Tower of London & High Tea at the SavoyStart the day with a short tour of the London Globe Theatre. This is a reconstruction of the 1599 Elizabethan theatre where William Shakespeare staged his plays. The Globe has seen a lot of history in the intervening 400 years, as it's survived plagues, fires, and political oppression. Built from oak beams, lime-plaster walls and a water-reed roof, it remains the only thatched-roof building in London.
The rustic craftsmanship is easy to admire as you walk through the galleries and theatre floor. What's harder to imagine is how thousands of Londoners once packed this snug space to see the greatest actors of the day. Shakespeare called his theatre a "wooden O," as the Globe is a 360° auditorium. It also remains an open-air theater, as it has for centuries. Like back then, audiences who attend performances and tours are told to dress for the weather.
You may also see the Yeoman Warders, also known as the Beefeaters, who are the ceremonial guardians of the Tower. Other highlights include visiting the legendary murder (group) of ravens that have been at the Tower for over 300 years and seeing the famous Crown Jewels. This collection of royal regalia is still used in the coronation ceremony of each new monarch and symbolizes the divine right of kings.
Then you may enter the White Tower, the oldest part of the Tower of London. You'll get to explore this Norman fortress and royal palace. Alternatively, you can visit the many other towers, such as the Beauchamp Tower, where two young princes were said to have been murdered in 1483.
Day 5: Ride the Caledonian Sleeper to Scotland & Edinburgh Food TourYou and the family will have boarded an overnight train bound for Scotland during the previous day's evening. But this is no ordinary railway journey—it's the historic Caledonian Sleeper, an overnight train line known for its comfort and amenities like wifi, double beds, and room service. After 12 hours of good rest and service, you'll arrive in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland.
You may even stop in at the first independent coffee shop in Edinburgh to savor locally roasted beans and learn about the renaissance of great coffee in the city. Perhaps have a look at this season's wild game in the window of a butcher shop and pop inside to taste some game pies. You'll sample both hot and cold smoked salmon, haddock, and trout from an award-winning smokehouse in the market.
Throughout the tour, you'll examine how all of these shops, restaurants, and produce purveyors factor into the Scottish diet. You'll also learn how poverty and wealth have influenced Scottish eating and drinking habits. The tour reveals firsthand how Edinburgh and its surrounding areas have become the epicenter of Scotland's fine dining and cutting-edge food trends. Afterward, you'll return to your hotel.
Day 6: "Outlander" Castle Tour
You'll leave Edinburgh by car on a full-day "Outlander" excursion in the morning. This countryside tour is based on the bestselling series of historical fiction novels by Diana Gabaldon. Throughout the tour, you and your family will see the actual Highland locales mentioned in the books and used in the filming of the popular TV series.
After departing Edinburgh, you'll travel in the footsteps of the books' main characters, Jamie and Claire. Highlights include stops at Blackness Castle, a 15th-century fortress that doubled as Fort William in the TV series, plus a hike to the forest cave that served as Jamie's hiding place.
On your way to a local farm shop (convenience store/café) for lunch, you'll pass the Kelpies. These 98-foot (30-m) silver sculptures resemble horses but represent shape-shifting water creatures called kelpies. You'll get to stop and walk around the sculptures to snap photos with the kids. After lunch, you'll visit more "Outlander" TV series locales, such as the 15th-century Doune Castle and the 16th-century village of Culross. Afterward, you'll return to Edinburgh.
Day 7: Edinburgh Free Day
You'll now have an entire day to head out and see Edinburgh in all its historic splendor. Travel at your own pace and go where you want. There's a lot to see and do here, like strolling the Royal Mile (Edinburgh's main thoroughfare) and admiring the city's Gothic architecture. You'll want to head up Castlehill, a short and steep road that ends at the city's most famous landmark: Edinburgh Castle. Feel free to take a self-guided audio tour of the fortress.
Other famous sights include the 12th-century St Giles Cathedral, Holyrood Palace (home of the British monarchy in Scotland), and Princes Street Gardens, one of the loveliest green spaces in the city. You can also head to the end of the Royal Mile and hike up Arthur's Seat, a hill that rises up 823 feet (251 m) from an extinct volcano and offers stunning panoramic views of Edinburgh and the countryside.
Kids and literary fans will be interested to know that in Scotland's capital, author J.K. Rowling began plotting the adventures of a certain boy wizard. You'll notice that the city's architecture has much in common with the settings in the books and films. The café where she wrote some of the early chapters, Elephant House Café, still exists (although it's currently being remodeled after a fire) and is a good place for gourmet tea or coffee.
Day 8: Edinburgh to Inverness & Full Day Loch Ness TourIn the morning, your family will travel north from Edinburgh to the city of Inverness. This will be the base for your full-day tour around legendary Loch Ness, home to the mythical monster. Your big day out includes a boat cruise on the lake as well as a walk around the shore led by an expert guide.
The guide will also lead you to the less frequented but equally beautiful south roads around the loch. And even if the typically shy monster doesn't show up, we can assure you that your guide will bring this region to life with intriguing tales rich in folklore and history. Afterward, you'll return to Inverness.
Day 9: Ride the "Hogwarts Express"
Today, you and your family will transfer from Inverness to the charming fishing village of Mallaig. From here, you'll experience "the greatest railway journey in the world." The Jacobite is a steam train that passes through some of the most beautiful parts of the western Highlands. The roundtrip journey runs 84 miles (135 km) between Mallaig and the town of Fort William.
After leaving Mallaig, the trip passes incredible scenery as extreme as it is beautiful. It begins near Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain at 4,413 feet (1,345 m); then passes Loch Morar, the deepest freshwater loch in Britain; and it also travels alongside River Morar before, the shortest river in Britain. Other incredible sights you'll see include Loch Eil, the white beaches around the town of Arisaig, and the Glenfinnan Viaduct.
Glenfinnan is a railway viaduct built at the turn of the 20th century that runs 1,000 feet (304 m) amid towering peaks, violet heathlands, and the glassy waters of Loch Shiel. Because of the stunning scenery, both Glenfinnan and the Jacobite locomotive were featured in the "Harry Potter" films.
The end of the line is the town of Fort William, which sits in the shadow of Ben Nevis. Upon arrival, you'll check in to your hotel and then can walk around and enjoy the atmosphere. There are shops, pubs, restaurants, and plenty of fish and chips to enjoy. Afterward, retire to your hotel for the evening.
Day 10: Transfer to Edinburgh, Depart
Unfortunately, all great adventures must eventually come to an end. In the morning, you'll return to Edinburgh and transfer to the airport for your flight home at the appropriate time. As they say in Scotland, haste ye back—you're always welcome here!
More Great England & Scotland Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to England and Scotland? Check out these other England and Scotland itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.