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Here you can find answers to the most popular questions about our service. If you can't find what you are looking for please get in touch. For information about the practicalities of UK travel please see our visiting Britain section.
  • Your Holiday

    • Why should I book a holiday with Great British Escapes?

      Great British Escapes offers unique holidays in England, Scotland and Wales. For each holiday we create, we use our in-depth local knowledge to tailor-make a UK trip that suits you. We have searched high and low for the best, most interesting accommodation, the most exciting sights and activities and the greatest places to eat and drink that Britain has to offer.

      We take the hassle out of planning your perfect UK tour while still allowing you to travel independently, at your own pace, seeing the things that interest you.

      Great British Escapes not only plans your itinerary and books your accommodation and transport, but also provides you with all of the information you need to make sure that your UK holiday is the trip of a lifetime.

    • How do I make a reservation?

      Please use our request a tailor-made holiday form to let us know your requirements and interests. When we receive your form, we will prepare a 'no obligation' draft itinerary for your UK tour. Once you are happy with the itinerary, we will confirm and book your holiday.

      See a more detailed explanation on our how we work page.

      If you are not ready to request a draft itinerary but simply have a query or enquiry, then give us a call, request a call back or send us an email. All of our contact details can be found on the right.

    • There are certain places that I want to visit or stay, can they be included in my itinerary?

      Yes. Let us know anywhere in particular that you have in mind, be it an area, a town, a sight, an activity or a hotel, and we will do our very best to make sure that it fits into your UK itinerary. 

    • Can I stay with friends and family for part of my UK trip?

      Yes. We would be very happy to fit your itinerary around any commitments that you have. Let us know the details and we will make sure that your holiday itinerary fits around your other plans. 

    • Can I book my holiday at the last minute?

      Yes. We are very happy to arrange holidays with late notice. Of course not all of the accommodation that we use may have availability if your booking is last minute but it is usually possible to plan a fantastic itinerary even with very limited time. 

    • How much will my holiday cost?

      Because each of our UK tours are bespoke, the overall cost of your holiday will depend on the choices you make about duration, accommodation and transport. Guidelines for the cost of our UK holidays can be found on our prices and payment page and we have included guide prices on each of our example itineraries.

    • Do I need travel insurance and do you arrange it?

      Great British Escapes requires all of its customers to take out travel insurance to cover them in case they need to cancel or curtail their UK holiday.

      We do not arrange travel insurance for our customers but it is easily available online.

      If you would like some advice on where to get it, let us know.

    • Where can I find your terms and conditions?

      You can read our terms and conditions at any time by following the link in the footer of our website.

  • Accommodation

    • What sort of accommodation does Great British Escapes use?

      We have hand-picked all of the accommodation that we use and only select properties with character, excellent service and a great location. We focus on ‘boutique’ accommodation, from luxury hotels to top quality B&Bs. We use a lot of historic properties such as castles, country houses and traditional village inns.

      We think that it is important that your accommodation is a fantastic part of your trip, not just a bed for the night and we hand pick our accommodation on that basis. We never use standard chain hotels with hundreds of identikit rooms!

      We will discuss the accommodation options for your itinerary with you at the time of booking, to ensure that your accommodation suits your taste and budget.

    • What do your ‘classic’ and ‘luxury’ categories mean?

      Accommodation ratings in the UK can be complex and vary depending on the type of accommodation you are looking at. In order to keep things simple our example UK itineraries include pricing for two separate categories of accommodation: ‘classic’ and ‘luxury’.

      Typical Classic Accommodation

      • 3 or 4 star Hotels
      • 4 or 5 star:
        • Bed & Breakfasts
        • Pubs with Rooms
        • Restaurants with Rooms
        • Guesthouses

      Typical Luxury Accommodation

      • 4 or 5 star Hotels
      • Best rooms in 5 star:
        • Bed & Breakfasts
        • Pubs with Rooms
        • Restaurants with Rooms
        • Guesthouses

      When you tell us whether you would prefer ‘classic’ or ‘luxury’ accommodation, we use this as a guide to the budget we are working with. You are in no way limited to a certain type of accommodation. If you want ‘classic’ accommodation for most of your trip but want to splash out on ‘luxury’ as a one off, that is not a problem.

      If you are looking for something even grander than our normal luxury properties or rooms, let us know and we will organise something extra special.

      We will discuss your accommodation options and pricing with you at the time of booking to ensure that your UK itinerary includes the accommodation most well suited to you.

      Example prices for both classic and luxury accommodation are included in our suggested itineraries.

  • Transport

    • Do you book flights to the UK?

      Our holidays do not include flights or other transport to the UK. Our service begins when you arrive in the UK. It is usually easier and better value for customers to book their own flights online or in their home country.

      However, if you need help with your flight booking or want some advice on where to find the best deals or which airports to use, just let us know and we will be happy to help. 

    • Which airport should I fly to?

      This depends on where you are coming from and where you would like to visit. Most people arrive into one of the London airports (often Heathrow) and this is usually an easy place from which to begin your UK tour.

      However, there are international flights to many other UK airports, such as Edinburgh or Manchester, which might make a good starting point for your trip. We will discuss all of the options with you when we are planning your trip.

      It is also easy to take internal flights in the UK. It may be that, for example, arriving into a London airport is the easiest option for you but you then connect to an internal flight to Edinburgh. Again, we will discuss these options with you before your trip is finalised.

    • Do you arrange my transport within the UK?

      Yes. Our example itineraries are designed as self-drive UK tours, which include car hire for our customers. There is often also a requirement for one train journey because it is usually easier to travel in or out of London by train rather than car and pick your car up at the next destination. We also arrange any necessary airport transfers.

      If you would prefer to arrange any of these elements yourself, you are welcome to do so. Equally, if you will have access to your own car for your holiday, that is not a problem.

      If you would prefer to use a different type of transport – all public transport or to have a private driver – we are very happy to arrange that for you as well.

    • Is it easy to drive in the UK?

      The road system is good and clearly marked and most people find it easy to get used to driving on the left.

      There are some areas where roads get very busy but it is usually easy to avoid them with a bit of planning.

      Many rural areas have narrow and winding country roads, which can take a little bit of getting used to, but these scenic drives can be one of the highlights of your UK holiday.

      For some extra help, satellite navigation systems are available to hire from car hire providers or you can bring your own if it covers the UK.

    • Do I need an international drivers licence to drive in the UK?

      Provided you have a full and valid licence from your home country, you are allowed to drive a car in the UK for a period of 12 months from the date that you enter the UK without any requirement for a UK or international drivers licence.

    • Can I hire an automatic car?

      Yes. Automatic cars are widely available to hire even though manual (stick shift) cars are more popular in Britain. The cost of hiring an automatic car is usually a little higher than the price for a manual car.

  • Sights and Activities

    • Do I need to book tickets or passes for activities and attractions in advance?

      You don’t need to but in some cases it is good value to do so. We will advise you on any passes that might be suitable for you at the time of booking. 

    • Do I need to book restaurants in advance?

      Only in a limited number of circumstances. If you want to eat at a very popular or famous restaurant it may be necessary to book several weeks, or even months, in advance. In other restaurants, booking usually only needs to be made a couple of days in advance and often not at all.

      If you want to eat in the restaurant at your hotel, this sometimes needs prior booking. If this is the case, we will let you know at the time of booking and ask you if you want us to make that reservation on your behalf.

  • Payment, Cancellation and Amendments

    • Is my money safe with Great British Escapes?

      Yes. As required by the UK Package Travel Regulations 1992, all money that you pay to Great British Escapes is protected for you in the unlikely event that Great British Escapes is unable to provide your holiday.

      All money that you pay to us in advance of your holiday is held on your behalf in a trust account and will be returned to you in full if Great British Escapes is unable to provide your holiday. If you would prefer to continue with your holiday as planned, the money can be used to pay the intended accommodation and transport providers.

    • How can I pay?

      You can pay by bank transfer or most major debit and credit cards. Unfortunately we do not accept American Express.

      If you choose to pay by credit card, we will have to charge you a fee of 2% of the cost of your holiday, to cover our costs of processing the payment.

    • What happens if I need to cancel my holiday?

      Our cancellation terms are set out in full in our terms and conditions. In summary, the 20% deposit you pay at the time of booking is not refundable in the event of cancellation as this covers costs that have been incurred by Great British Escapes. If your cancellation takes place less than 60 days in advance of your holiday there will be additional cancellation charges.

      Should you have to cancel your holiday, you should be able to recoup some or all of your costs incurred from your travel insurance provider. We strongly recommend you ensure that your insurance covers you in the event of cancellation. 

    • Can I amend my holiday after I have booked?

      We will do everything we can to accommodate any amendments you want to make to your holiday after you have booked. However, we cannot guarantee that we will always be able to fulfil your requests and there may be a cost associated with any amendments.

      Should you request an amendment, we will discuss any costs with you in full before they are made.

  • Healthcare and Other Practicalities

    • Can I get access to healthcare in the UK?

      The National Health Service provides free emergency health care to all visitors to Britain, irrespective of nationality. However, should you need treatment that goes beyond emergency treatment (for example, if you are required to be admitted as an in-patient in a hospital), you may have to pay NHS charges for the treatment. We therefore strongly recommend that your travel insurance includes cover for medical expenses.

      Visitors from the EU and EEA are entitled to entirely free health care from the NHS providing they can show a European Health Insurance Card. You should therefore ensure that you obtain an EHIC card in your home country before your holiday.

      The UK also has reciprocal agreements in place with some other countries, including Australia, meaning that nationals of those countries are entitled to free NHS health care. We advise that you check whether your country has such an arrangement in place before you travel.

    • What is the telephone number for the emergency services in the UK?

      The telephone number for all emergency services in the UK is 999 from a landline telephone and 112 from a mobile/cell (although 999 will also work). 

      This number is the same for all emergency services: Police, Ambulance, Fire Brigade and Coastguard.

    • Do I need any vaccinations in order to visit Britain?

      No. Our understanding is that no countries have any mandatory immunisation requirements for visiting Britain. However, we suggest checking the travel health website in your own country before you travel. 

    • Will I be able to get access to wifi during my holiday?

      The vast majority of our hotels and other accommodation provide free wifi access for its guests. Free wifi is also available in many cafes, restaurants and pubs.

      Internet cafes are widely available in large cities but less so in towns and rural areas. However, the need for them is reducing due to the widespread availability of wifi.

    • Will my mobile phone/cell phone work in the UK?

      Most mobile phones will pick up reception from UK networks while in the UK. However, mobile/cell phone reception in rural areas can be poor even for UK mobile phones so there may be times when you are without reception.

      Calls made from mobile/cell phones from a foreign country usually attract a very high tariff (although there are now stricter limits on this for calls between EU countries). If you are planning to make a lot of calls using your mobile phone while you are in Britain, we suggest buying a UK pay-as-you-go sim card, which can be obtained very cheaply.

      However, if you want to make telephone calls home while you are in the UK, we suggest that you use Skype via an internet connection rather than your mobile phone, as this is usually a much cheaper option. 

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