England tours & Ireland tours.
Small group, leisurely guided tours. Lots of history & fun!
BUNRATTY CASTLE, SHANNON.
INCLUDED banquet in this authentic 15c MacNamara castle.
Enjoy an INCLUDED trip along Dublin Bay.
DURTY NELLY'S PUB, SHANNON.
Enjoy INCLUDED drinks in this historic tavern opened in 1620.
INTER-CITY EXPRESS TRAIN.
Enjoy INCLUDED train trips in Scotland & England.
DEVON CREAM TEA.
Enjoy an INCLUDED yummy Devon cream tea in Dartmoor.
BAKER STREET STATION.
Enjoy FREE travel on London Underground trains.
Enjoy INCLUDED dinners in ancient pubs like 800 years old Turf Tavern, Oxford.
THE MERRY PLOUGHBOY PUB, DUBLIN.
Enjoy INCLUDED music nights with dinner in Irish pubs.
IRISH SEA FAST-FERRY.
The Club Class Lounge is INCLUDED on certain routes.
Enjoy INCLUDED porterage at hotels.
THE ROCK OF CASHEL.
Enjoy an INCLUDED guided tour of St. Patrick's spectacular Rock of Cashel.
Enjoy an INCLUDED pint or two or three of Guinness in Ireland.
Enjoy your INCLUDED River Thames cruise.
England tours & Ireland tours : Smaller groups.
ENGLAND TOURS & IRELAND TOURS.
MAX. GROUP SIZE 28.
From 2013 our maximum group size on all England tours & Ireland tours will be 28 (24 on the April Ireland/Great Britain Combo Tour.) & will simply be called SPACE-BUS tours.
Other tour operator’s small group England tours & Ireland tours.
- “Traditional” small group tours are much more intimate as they usually only consist of a maximum 16/17 travelers in a minibus. We say “Traditional” because there is a trend for tour operators to be flexible with the definition of a ‘small group’. Nowadays ‘small’ is being used to describe numbers up to 36 by one tour operator! The Tour Guide must be Snow White and her 36 dwarfs.
- Minibuses are perfect for wild locations like the Sahara Desert or Glasgow city center on a Saturday night.
- Being a smaller vehicle, minibuses can access narrower country lanes that larger touring coaches like our SPACE-BUS can’t get along. In reality however there are very few roads in Ireland & Great Britain where this situation arises. Very rarely are they included in small group minibus tour itineraries anyway.
- Minibuses usually don’t have an on-board restroom.
- Luggage is often piled up in the passenger cabin where you sit.
- On a social level it is much harder to escape a fellow traveler you would prefer to avoid because of the confined space!
- There is usually only a driver/guide so you have to wait around for walking tours while he/she parks the bus in cities etc..
- The price of these tours is around an astronomic $421-$563 per person per night for 2013 & even then dinner is not necessarily included every night & optional extra trips are frequently sold during the tours!
- A major point almost always overlooked! In Ireland & Great Britain there are about 350,000 miles of ancient hedgerows. (Field and country lane boundaries.) Much of the time you cannot see over the top of the hedgerows from a minibus because the hedgerow is higher than the windows so you miss a lot of countryside.
Other tour operator’s large group Ireland tours & England tours.
- Because these types of England tours & Ireland tours carry about 50 people tour prices are lower due to group size, around $250-$350 per person per night for 2013 when all non-included dinners, extra trips sales etc. are taken into account.
- Conveniently luggage is not stored in the passenger cabin but down below in the coach hold which makes life more pleasant.
- Usually there is an on-board emergency restroom.
- Normally you have the services of a Tour Driver and a Tour Guide so there is no waiting around for walking tours etc..
- The big plus is that you can see over those pesky (but necessary) hedgerows most of the time as the coach windows are higher.
- Conversely often every seat is sold so there can be around 50 people on-board. Many touring coaches have 53 seat capacity & every seat is usually available for sale which means that someone has to sit in middle seat of 5 at the back.
- It takes much longer to disembark the coach.
- It takes longer to get served meals at stops.
- The lines are longer at the lady’s ‘loo’ too. (Those men get it easy!)
- It is harder to hear the Tour Guide on walking tours if you are standing at the back of 50 people.
- With so many people on-board there is a statistically higher chance of people getting lost at stops and holding up the tour.
- Tour Guides frequently conduct back-to-back tours without a break.
- It can be difficult finding hand luggage space in the overhead locker on sold out tours just like flights.
- Most tour operators in this category tend to be more ‘commercially biased’. For example usually lots of optional extra trips are sold during the tour & so called ‘tourist trap’ stops are more common although we confess to not knowing exactly what the definition of a ‘tourist trap’ is.
THE JOLLY GOOD TOURS HAPPY MEDIUM WAY.
- Our England tours & Ireland tours use standard length 49-53 seat touring coaches but we only sell 28 seats max. on our SPACE-BUS tours allowing you more ‘elbow room’ & ‘b-r-e-a-t-h-i-n-g space’ on-board. If a slightly shorter extra legroom touring coach is available for a particular tour we will utilize it. This means that there are around 40-44 seats with more space between seats. Extra legroom touring coaches are few and far between however.
- Single travelers get two seats each on the coach. Helps to make up a bit for those annoying and sadly unavoidable hotel single supplements.
- Suitcases are stored down below in the coach hold not in the passenger cabin on our tours.
- There is much more hand luggage space in the overhead lockers as you are not competing with 50 other people for it so you don’t end up with hand luggage around your seat.
- On a social level it is even possible to escape your husband if you want to because of the space in our touring coaches.
- Our touring coaches have an on-board emergency restroom.
- We always have a Tour driver and a Tour Director (Posh word for a Guide!).
- Frequently we have an on-board Lady Hostess as well.
- You can easily see over almost all hedgerows as our touring coach windows are higher.
- It is quicker for 28 people to get off a coach than 50+ so you get more time at stops.
- Our style gets rid of that ‘herded’ feeling you can get with 50+ people on a coach.
- Our Tour Directors don’t do back-to-back tours so they are as fresh as a daisy just for you.
- Definitely no ‘tourist trap’ stops meaning we don’t stop at a shop located in the middle of nowhere just for the sake of shopping when you can buy the stuff for half the price in the town later.
- Irish & UK bus operating regulations are some of the toughest in the world. We utilize ultra-modern, seat-belt, restroom & a/c equipped touring coaches from the best companies either side of the Irish Sea but not in it.
- The Tour Driver, lady or gentleman, is the most important member of the crew. In addition to being ultra professional our Tour Drivers are civil and courteous. We have known many of them for years. In our opinion they deserve to be paid as much as airline pilots.
- Our Tour Directors, lady or gentleman and some we are not sure about, are Irish or British or a combo, very knowledgeable, friendly and fun.
- It all adds up to more space, more time without premium pricing! Compare our guided England tours & Ireland tours with other operators.