It's hard to beat the British Isles when the sun shines every day of your trip. We hit the weather of the decade: sunny and warm every day except 2, and we were traveling 5 1/2 weeks! The weather gods did the heavy lifting, but the travel company was not far behind by booking us into some very nice and comfortable B & B's. Out of the many different places we stayed in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, only 2 places fell short and we would not recommend them. The rest were wonderful finds: small, friendly, quiet, well appointed and close to restaurants.
We had done a lot of work in terms of deciding exactly what we wanted to see and do. The agency did a great job fitting our ambitious schedule into a manageable itinerary. In hind sight, we should not have tried to do so much. It would have been better to linger longer as each place was so special.
Our prearranged guides in the cities were all great. Their collective body of knowledge of their respective areas was superb. The only tour experiences that were not good, were two arranged bus tours. They were both too long and too generic. We avoided city "packages" and instead took advantage of the many local walking tours available.
Overall, we give this travel company very high marks. We did have a few details fall through the cracks....nothing insurmountable. If you use their services in the future, review every detail of the itinerary no matter how small in order to avoid omissions and/or errors. We would give them an overall rating of 4.5
The most memorable parts of our trip were the hikes we took in the local regions. Cities are wonderful for museums, culture and art, but the countryside is best experienced on foot. There are local well marked footpaths everywhere and we tried to use them all! We met many interesting people this way.
We would not try to visit so many different places. 5 1/2 weeks sounds like a lot of time, but driving on small roads makes distances much farther than they appear on a map. We spent many days just driving to the next place when we would have preferred hiking and spending more time in the local area.
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