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Don’t forget your brolly…

From Stonehenge and the Jurassic Coast to The Shard and Dublin’s revitalised Docklands; from sailing on the Norfolk Broads to hiking in the Highlands, cream teas in the Cotswolds or literary trails in the Lake District… the British Isles offer an incredible diversity of landscapes and experiences.

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Carbis Bay is a beautiful sandy cove in a sheltered position near the pretty seaside town of St Ives. Ideal for the more independent traveller, these bright, modern apartments are built into the hillside behind the Carbis Bay Hotel and are equipped with everything you need for an enjoyable holiday.

Carbis Bay QQQQ

Stay and Relax

Take time out to explore the picturesque Cornish coast or just relax and enjoy the views from the spa at this family-run hotel close to charming St. Ives.

Indulge in a variety of treatments while you relax amid the glorious parkland of this Georgian estate.

Indulge in a variety of treatments while you relax in this modern retreat surrounded by water.

Indulge in a variety of treatments at Champney's flagship spa while you relax in this stately home in the Chilterns.

Indulge in a variety of treatments while you relax at this secluded lakeside spa.

Explore the scenic Cornish coast or simply relax and enjoy the fresh sea air from this family-run hotel in the heart of Looe.

Set on a coastline of outstanding natural beauty, Bournemouth provides all you'd expect from a leading seaside resort. The 3-star Queens Hotel is in the elegant East Cliff area.

Savour the country house experience in the charming Cotswolds at the Tortworth Court Four Pillars Hotel in Wotton-Under-Edge.

Overlooking the the beach in the quiet North Shore area of Blackpool, this vintage-style hotel is the perfect place from which to discover the seaside delights of the town.

Enjoy an unforgettable concert by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at Poole’s Lighthouse Centre.

Explore southern England's hidden gem. Age-old forest, sun-dappled clearings and rolling heaths – there's a wealth of beautiful scenery for you to discover.

From Chopin and Beethoven, to the gems of the music salon, celebrate some of the finest music written for the piano.

Recapture the magical music of Vienna with live music sessions, talks and original recordings …

The Royal Hotel QQQ

Stay and Relax

Savour the wonderful location of the Royal Hotel in Bideford, Devon, on this relaxing holiday.

Queens Hotel QQQ

Stay and Relax

Set on a coastline of outstanding natural beauty, Bournemouth provides every facility you would expect from a leading seaside resort. The 3-star Queens Hotel is ideally situated in the elegant East Cliff area.

Enjoy a relaxing stay in this graceful spa town surrounded by the natural grandeur of the Peak District.

Explore the stunning and romantic west coast of Wales.

Harrogate is an elegant spa town distinguished by exclusive boutiques, galleries and shops, where tree-lined boulevards give way to exquisite parks and gardens.

With a picturesque seafront location, overlooking the English Riviera, this elegant hotel is the perfect base from which to explore Torquay.

Enjoy a traditional seaside holiday and explore the South Downs from The View Hotel in Eastbourne.

Seek out the important artistic collections of Dorset's grand houses, country estates and historic galleries on three included excursions which encompass four visits.

Enjoy the combination of top-class jazz in a beautiful seaside setting on this lively holiday

The Dunoon Hotel QQQ

Stay and Relax

The Dunoon Hotel in Llandudno is the perfect retreat for exploring the wonderful coast of North Wales

Embrace the seaside nostalgia and dancing heritage of Blackpool on this lively stay at a charming Victorian-style hotel.

Explore the ancient West Saxon kingdom and venture further back into antiquity with visits to Stonehenge, Maiden Castle and Maumbury Rings.

Carbis Bay QQQQ

Stay and Relax

Take time out to explore the picturesque Cornish coast or just relax and enjoy the views from the spa at this family-run hotel close to charming St Ives

If you'd love to learn more about the life and music of the celebrated 'Rat Pack', then you'll enjoy this light-hearted holiday with charismatic crooner Robert Habermann

From Conwy's harbour headland to Dolbardan's mountain hideaway, some of Wales’s finest citadels are set in magnificent locations.

Enjoy four evenings of live jazz sessions from four very different jazz<nbs/>bands…

Enjoy four evenings of live jazz sessions from four very different jazz bands....

Enjoy two opera performances by the Welsh National Opera amid the splendid setting of the Wales Millennium Centre.

In this brand new programme you'll look at the lives and music of three 'Great American Songbook' composers.

Discover the history of St Helier and peaceful beauty of Jersey to a soundtrack of cool jazz…

Merton Hotel QQQ

Stay and Relax

Enjoy an island escape as you explore the beautiful bays and beaches of Jersey from the top-performing Merton Hotel in St Helier

Look forward to a range of festive activities and entertainment in Sheffield, exclusively for solo travellers.

See Dorset in full bloom during visits to six exquisite gardens.

Enjoy four evenings of live jazz sessions from four talented jazz bands…

Enjoy professional operetta performances in the stunning town of Harrogate.

Queens Hotel QQQ

Stay and Relax

Explore the beautiful Dorset countryside with visits to the New Forest, local villages, and gardens at Compton Acres on this holiday which is exclusively for solo travellers.

Visit a selection of horticultural gems on three full-day excursions with five visits to a variety of gardens, from restored masterpieces to national collections. The glorious gardens of south Wales beckon on this lovely holiday to Llanelli.

Forest, moorland, coast – you'll walk them all with expert guides on this wonderful holiday. Discover more about the legends and landscapes of this fascinating corner of England.

Be uplifted on this fun singing holiday, no matter what your ability, joining your expert singing host and vocal coach

2015 marks the 200th anniversary of the Duke of<nbs/>Wellington's narrow victory over Napoleon at Waterloo. This fascinating tour visits the key sites associated with this battle and explores other historic events at Mons and Agincourt. Expert guides bring the events to life and reveal how the Kent coastline has been shaped by events in Napoleonic France. You also enjoy time at leisure in Brussels and at picturesque Namur.

Standing on the shore of a stunning loch in Perthshire, the Macdonald Loch Rannoch Hotel is the ideal base from which to explore the Scottish Highlands.

Discover the floral delights of North Wales as you explore a variety of well-known grounds and secret gardens on three included excursions.

A scintillating concert performance by the Royal Northern Sinfonia is just one highlight of this marvellous music holiday.

View important collections during visits to the Laing and Baltic galleries as well as the Bowes Museum.

Step back in time on visits to five imposing castles, including Carreg Cennan, Kidwelly and Llansteffan.

Experience the magnificent Welsh National Opera performing Carmen and William Tell in Llandudno

Enjoy four evenings of live jazz sessions from four popular jazz bands.

Delve into the fascinating world of antiques with special guest Eric Knowles, from BBC1's Antiques Roadshow

Taste real ales and whiskies, try your hand in a smokehouse and learn to cook Cumbrian-style from this rustic inn in the Lake District.

Based in the spa town of Harrogate, this holiday includes some of Yorkshire's most beautiful gardens.

Explore the scenic Cornish coast or simply relax and enjoy the fresh sea air from this family-run hotel in the heart of Looe.

Enjoy the many excellent facilities and the company of other solo travellers at this sociable hotel, which is close to the beach and the centre of St Helier.

Discover six of the region's delightful gardens during three full-day excursions.

Discover the treasures of some of Scotland's great art collections during included visits and three talks by your expert art host.

Seek out artistic treasures across a range of galleries and tour the mighty Gloucester Cathedral.

Road of Remembrance

Escorted Tour Pace 2

Explore sites associated with The Great War, visit some of Europe's most fascinating war museums and enjoy two relaxing days in Bruges.

Cruise the Thames

Escorted Tour Pace 1

This new cruise aboard the African Queen takes you on a relaxing journey along the River Thames.

Some of England's finest gardens await your discovery in the glorious Cotswolds…

Combine three evening concerts in Hereford Cathedral with free time to explore the local area, plus an included piano recital at Elgar's birthplace museum.

Legends of the Emerald Isle

Escorted Tour Pace 1

Historic castles, towering cliffs, pretty towns and exciting cities - this tour of Ireland has it all and more...

A Channel Island Sojourn

Active Explorer Footprint 2

Discover a unique combination of British and French traditions on this lively escorted tour, which includes opportunities to visit idyllic Sark and tour Guernsey's highlights.

See in the New Year at the Carbis Bay Hotel and Spa, close to the popular town of St Ives.

Sea is for Comedy

Cruise World

Tipples and Tapas

Cruise World

Unravel the rich maritime heritage of Lorient, walk among the historic streets of La Rochelle, take in the art and architecture of Bilbao and stop for Tapas in Avilés…

Isles of Scilly Adventure QQQ

Active Explorer Footprint 2

The Isles of Scilly are five inhabited islands set amongst countless outcrops and islets. Although just 28 miles from Land’s End in Cornwall, their mild climate makes them a haven for flora and fauna.

French Reverie

Ocean Cruise

Discover the unspoilt Atlantic coast of France, from sandy coves and white cliffs, to pretty fishing ports and medieval towns.

Soak up the festive atmosphere as you enjoy included transfers to the Christmas markets of Bremen and Bruges, filled with the aromas of freshly-baked gingerbread and hot Glühwein, to peruse the stalls for unique handmade gifts and decorations to take back home.

Enjoy a taste of the Continent on this mini cruise to Guernsey and France.

Join Fred. Olsen's Braemar for an Easter-time cruise to the historical and cultural cities of Hamburg, Amsterdam and Antwerp.

Enjoy a short cruise tracing the curve of the Bay of Biscay and calling at three historic and cultural cities – La Coruña, Bilbao and La Rochelle.

A land of wonder and amazement awaits on this cruise through Norway's greatest scenery – deep blue fjords framed by sheer mountains, roaring waterfalls that plunge into still waters and tiny villages that cling to the very edge of the sloping banks.

This tour brings home the momentous events of June 6, 1944 with visits to the key sites of Operation Overlord accompanied by expert guides. You can also enjoy time to relax and discover the cultural and gastronomic delights of Normandy, including historic Bayeux, Honfleur and Rouen.

Combine Asturias and Cantabria on this two-centre holiday in Spain.

Embark on a Viking adventure to the glorious fjords, peaks and pinnacles of Norway, discovering its capital, charming towns and maritime history.

Head for the Highlands with Boudicca and explore the tucked-away towns, distant islands and Gaelic heritage of Scotland.

Head for the horizon with Boudicca on an incredible Norwegian voyage, discovering picturesque pockets of unspoilt fjords and the peaks of lush mountains.

Sail to the spellbinding shores of Norway where you'll cruise beautiful fjords, admire snow-capped mountains reflected in glassy waters and explore remote maritime ports.

Nordic Delights

Ocean Cruise

Breathtaking fjords, soaring snow-capped mountains and quaint villages rich in maritime history… it's easy to see why Norway is a top cruise destination.

The incredible natural wonders and picturesque towns of Norway will unfold on this week-long cruise aboard Saga Pearl II.

Uncover the rich history and impressive scenery of our own shores on this fascinating cruise around the coasts of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Look forward to the lavish pomp and ceremony of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and take the chance to see the Highland Games in action on this Gaelic-themed cruise.

Discover a realm of cascading waterfalls, snow-crested mountain tops and delightful towns on this Fred. Olsen cruise that celebrates all things fjordland.

Discover Norway's charming villages full of history, flower-strewn meadows, roaring waterfalls and awe-inspiring fjords framed by snow-capped cliffs.

Discover the glistening geysers, impressive fjords and towering snow-capped peaks on this unforgettable voyage of Iceland.

Embark Black Watch and set sail for three of the sunny Canary islands, also calling at the floral island of Madeira and Portugal's historic capital, Lisbon.

Tempted by Saga's world of classic cruising? Then take a look at this voyage reserved exclusively for newcomers.

Get a taste of the Caribbean on this fabulous fly cruise from Barbados, explore the islands of Antigua and St Maarten and embark on a transatlantic voyage to the Azores.

Join Braemar on this scenic Norwegian fjords cruise and cross the remote Arctic Circle. Discover frozen landscapes bathed in the ethereal midnight sun as you cruise Norway's spellbinding fjords on a course to the ‘top of the world’.

Experience the magic of the midnight sun as you cross the Arctic Circle. Explore ancient seaports and see spectacular fjords, mountains and glacial scenery.

Enjoy a spring-time cruise south to the balmy warmth of the Canary Islands, with calls at ports in Spain, Portugal and Madeira.

From soaring mountains and quaint villages to historic maritime ports, experience the UNESCO-protected landscapes of Norway's stunning fjordlands first hand…

Combine the natural beauty and scenic charm of the Azores with an overnight mooring in the 'floating garden' that is Madeira.

Enjoy the winter sun as you explore the capital cities of Portugal and Madeira, and discover the unusual landscapes of the Canary Islands.

Contrast Morocco's ancient medinas and exotic souks with the historic cities of Spain on this exciting cruise.

World-famous fjords, quaint villages and impressive snow-capped mountains will be some of the sights to behold, as Saga Pearl II explores Norway.

Revel in the romance of Casablanca as you sail south to the Canaries, alive with the colours of summer.

Follow in the wake of New World explorers on this voyage to the sun-drenched shores of the Azores, Madeira and Portugal.

Arctic Norway

Cruise World

Sail north to the entrancing fjords of Norway and a realm of maritime heritage and epic scenery on the very northern edge of the continent.

Celtic Charms

Ocean Cruise

Soak up the lively ‘craic’ of Ireland and discover Guernsey's continental flair on this enchanting short cruise.

On this summer voyage aboard Boudicca, sail to the Baltic to experience the white nights of St Petersburg and visit Denmark, Estonia, Sweden and Norway.

Cruise across the centuries aboard Boudicca on this voyage around the Baltic where elegant maritime cities recount tales of the past in full technicolour glory.

Compare the beautiful Atlantic isles of the Azores, Madeira and the Canaries on this enchanting cruise.

Enjoy the festivities on board as you celebrate Christmas at sea, and see spectacular New Year fireworks over Funchal.

Discover the contrasting landscapes of five Canary Islands

Discover inspiring landscapes, colourful cultures and cities brimming with history on this charming cruise to the Canary Islands aboard Saga Pearl II.

The Canary Islands – famous for their unique volcanic landscapes, lush green valleys and historic architecture – will be revealed on this island-hopping voyage aboard Saga Pearl II.

Contrast the varied scenery of the Canary Islands and North Africa on this island-hopping cruise.

Famed for their world-class wines, delicious cuisine and vivid cultural heritages, France and Spain have so much to discover.

Explore six fabulous islands on this new year voyage.

A Nordic Eclipse

Ocean Cruise

Witness a solar eclipse, visit Norwegian coastal towns, ride the Rauma Railway and discover the ancient island landscapes of the Shetlands, Faroes and Orkneys.

Visit Portugal's elegant capital and lively Agadir in Morocco en route to the sun-kissed Canary Islands. You'll also call at the floral island of Madeira.

Spanish Adventure

Ocean Cruise

Uncover the centuries of history and fascinating cultures at the heart of some of the most famous cities of the Iberian Peninsula.

Baltic Capitals

Ocean Cruise

Enjoy a host of Arctic activities in this winter wonderland.

Explore the rugged and beautiful scenery of the Canaries before calling at the exotic shores of Morocco.

Take a thrilling transatlantic voyage to the breathtaking Canadian provinces of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Labrador, aboard Black Watch.

Step aboard Black Watch for this epic Mediterranean voyage that takes in a dazzling and diverse array of cities on the Adriatic coast and beyond.

Explore the fascinating Viking heritage of the Jutland peninsula on this memorable voyage.

Wander among the inspiring landscapes of Norway's mountainous fjords as the last vestiges of winter melt away into spring and you go in search of the Northern Lights...

Sail to Africa to explore Morocco, Senegal and the isolated Cape Verde islands, return via balmy Tenerife and Madeira, and drop into Lisbon.

Swap the British winter for the sun-blessed shores of the Canaries for a Christmas with a difference.

Join this special cruise reserved exclusively for past Saga cruisegoers and celebrate 18 years of Saga cruising as Saga Sapphire traces the coasts of France, Spain and Portugal, visiting a host of destinations including Lisbon and Santander. An overnight stay in beautiful Bordeaux is bound to be a highlight.

Discover some of the many gems of Britain and Ireland as Saga Pearl II traces this familiar, yet beautiful coastline.

Baltic Treasures

Ocean Cruise

Visit the pretty Danish town of Rønne, historical Stockholm and stay overnight in St Petersburg on this enchanting Baltic cruise.

Cruise to Iceland and discover dramatic landscapes sculpted by ice and fire.

Baltic Gems

Ocean Cruise

Admire the opulent architecture of St Petersburg, the fairytale skyline of Tallinn and the cultural delights of Riga on this breathtaking cruise.

Step aboard Saga Sapphire as she heads to the Mediterranean Sea and traces the coast of the Iberian Peninsula.

Voyage across the Atlantic to eastern Canada. Call at Montreal and Quebec, and discover Canada's coast is as rich and varied as its cities.

Combine classic Baltic sights with lesser-known destinations on this summertime cruise.

Join this springtime cruise to the Mediterranean and discover a succession of sun-drenched shores.

Admire the gardens and scenery of the Azores, Canaries and Madeira, plus drop into exotic Casablanca.

Join Fred. Olsen on this Caribbean adventure with a South American twist and spend 43 magical nights on board Braemar.

Voyage across the Arctic Circle with Saga Pearl II

The subtropical Canary Islands set the scene for this magical Christmas and New Year cruise.

Visit a host of beautiful and exotic treasures on this spectacular fly-cruise to the Far East, Egypt and the Mediterranean aboard Fred. Olsen's Balmoral.

Step aboard Fred. Olsen's newest ship, Balmoral, for this cruise across the North Atlantic Ocean to the coasts of Canada and the USA.

Join Black Watch on this leisurely transatlantic crossing before discovering a host of beautiful Caribbean islands.

A Grecian Odyssey

Ocean Cruise

Immerse yourself in classic mythology and Mediterranean sunshine on this voyage to Greece.

Spend the festive season taking in the rich history, awe-inspiring architecture and coastal charm of the Mediterranean.

Delve into the fascinating cultures of the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas on this month-long cruise.

Adriatic Explorer

Ocean Cruise

Uncover the fascinating history surrounding the Mediterranean and the Adriatic Sea as you explore the UNESCO-protected cities of Valletta and Dubrovnik, and visit timeless Venice.

Escape the British winter on this month-long voyage to the Caribbean.

Commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign on this voyage through the Mediterranean.

Mystery abounds on this fun and adventurous cruise aboard Saga Pearl II! You'll be left guessing right up until the last minute as your itinerary is revealed day by day, with destinations disclosed only as the ship docks.

Spend a memorable Christmas at sea as Saga Sapphire makes her way from pretty Tortola to the tropical Turks and Caicos Islands, and you can begin 2016 in style after spending some time in beautiful Bermuda.

Board Fred. Olsen's Boudicca and circumnavigate the African continent – only made possible by the Suez Canal – visiting 16 countries and four fascinating island nations.

Seek out the white nights of summer on this Baltic cruise to the Gulf of Bothnia.

Around the World

Cruise World

For the ultimate cruise, join this full circumnavigation of the globe to discover a world of variety and contrasts...

See the vast grandeur and vibrant autumnal colours of Canada's Atlantic Coast with visits to historic cities too...

Set sail for the southern hemisphere on this grand voyage encompassing great cities, great landscapes and the Panama Canal.

Language

English -

English is generally spoken in England, although being a cultural melting pot it is possible you will also hear Polish, Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, Arabic, French, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, Tamil, Turkish, Italian, Somali, Lithuanian, German and Romanian.

There are also many regional dialects, including Cockney in London, Geordie in Newcastle, Scouse in Liverpool and West Country in the, er, West Country. Additionally, there’s Welsh English and Scottish English.

Tipping

Leaving around 10% of the bill is normal in British restaurants where a service charge has not been added to the bill. Taxi drivers also expect a small tip, especially in London.

Population and size

The population is 63 million, slightly less than France’s 65 million.

At 24,2900 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is half the size of Spain.

Currency

Pound -

Despite being part of the European Union, Britain has resisted adoption of the Euro and still retains Sterling as its currency.

Culture

The United Kingdom is proud of its multi-cultural society, so you’ll find a diverse mix of cultural influences. Each country has its own set of customs and national pride.

Britain is, of course, a cultural superpower and has given the world:

  • Chaucer
  • Shakespeare
  • Mr Darcy
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Heartbeat
  • Susan Boyle
  • The Beatles
  • Tom Jones
  • Aled Jones
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • nursery rhymes
  • Christmas carols
  • Winston Churchill
  • roast dinners
  • fish and chips
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Charlie Chaplin
  • Britain’s Got Talent
  • Tommy Cooper
  • John Constable
  • Bobby Moore
  • the BBC
  • Sean Connery
  • The Krankies
  • Helen Mirren
  • Judi Dench
  • James Bond
  • Harry Potter
  • Wallace and Gromit
  • Rudyard Kipling
  • Mr Kipling
  • Bridget Jones
  • Andy Murray
  • Alan Partridge

Phrases

Travellers to London may wish to brush up on their Cockney rhyming slang…

Baked bean – Queen

Ache and pain – rain

Near and far – bar

Bees and honey – money

Currant bun – sun

Dog and bone – phone

Bob Hope – soap

Hank Marvin – starving

Ruby Murray – curry

Scotch mist – drunk

Timezone

Clocks read the same in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands.

Electricity

Mains voltage is 230 volts AC (50 cycles) and sockets take 13-amp plugs with three rectangular pins.

Climate

Brits are obsessed with the weather – but when it changes as often as it does it’s not surprising!

Climates are influenced by the Atlantic, so regions closest to the Atlantic Ocean, such as Northern Ireland, Wales and the western areas of England and Scotland will be milder, and experience wetter and windier weather.

To the east the climate is drier and cooler. There is a north/south divide when it comes to weather, with the south enjoying generally warmer temperatures, thanks to the continental tropical air mass from the European mainland.

Health

There are no serious health threats to people holidaying in the UK, although it has been known for women to catch a slight cold and men suffer from the male equivalent, a condition known as ‘man-flu’.

Passports and visas

You can enter the UK with either a valid passport or national identity card issued by a EEA (European Economic Area) country.

Travellers from other countries must have a valid passport for the duration of their stay and will require a visa.

Smoking

Smoking is banned in all enclosed public places and if you are caught you can expect a minimum of six months in the Tower of London.

Flight time

Flying is a great time-saving alternative to road or rail when travelling around Britain, and aeroplanes are particularly useful if you want to reach the more remote parts of Scotland and the Channel Islands.

For instance, it takes just one-and-a-half hours to fly from Gatwick to Inverness, a journey of 468 miles.



Climate

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