Customised tours of the UK and Ireland
Caring for visitors to the UK and Ireland since 2002
We provide experienced tour guides and driver guides with high-end vehicles, offering you an insight into our culture, landscapes, history and experiences.
Your Itinerary: Britain and Ireland have the most incredible landscapes, castles, gardens, historic towns, and lovely places to dine. We tailor a trip around your passion for photography, art, architecture, food, wine, history, sport, anything you wish.
Your guide: We are confident our tour guides are the best in the UK and Ireland. We understand what ingredients make a person a TOP NOTCH GUIDE.
Your accommodation: Part of what makes your vacation unique is where you stay. We have the knowledge to match accommodation preferences with your budget.
Your transportation: We provide luxury chauffeur-driven cars, vans, and coaches to match the volume of passengers and luggage.
Experiences: We always search for unique travel options, such as Snorkelling with Grey Seals, coasteering and fly fishing lessons. We like to encourage visitors to get out of their comfort zone and see places and do things that may not have occurred to them.
Our Tour Guides
The UK and Ireland's best guides
Our driver-guides, chauffeurs and office staff all share the same great attitude and commitment to customer care.
We have a team of experienced and professional guides and driver-guides. Some speak another language apart from English. All have received additional guide training to provide the skills and knowledge to complete our service to a high-end level.
We like people who have experienced life to the full, travelled extensively and have led interesting lives. Knowledgeable, professional and entertaining. Our tour guides are chosen for their ability to show empathy, have great character and the likeability factor. These are the personality types who go the extra mile and make your vacation to Britain special.
Meet the team
Our office team is here to tailor your tour to match your interests, pace of travel, and preferred hotel style. We will use our expertise and knowledge to enlighten you on options you may not have thought about, we are here to make your vacation special - Regards, Andrew Stevens, Director and guide
Tour Designer and Operations
Since studying various aspects of travel at college, my love and passion for exploring new places have continued to grow.
I have now worked in the industry for over 12 years - visited many countries and experienced the cultures of the Far East, America, and of course, Europe. You still can not beat a walk with the family in the beautiful British countryside, exploring villages and a quick trip to a country pub of course.
My role at Luxury Vacations UK, involves making sure your tour goes planned, checking those fine details and asking you if there are any other services that your require. Whether it is booking hotels, tickets or a bespoke day out. We work as a great team, and it is a joy to be part of the journey to ensuring our clients have a fantastic, unforgettable holiday.
Hi, my name is Trevor Carpenter. I would like to share with you my passion for the great outdoors and the many beautiful historical places of interest located within the UK and Ireland. Contact me, and I will immerse myself in your travel project.
I have over 25 years of experience working in the Hospitality Industry. My career has mainly involved working as a Head Concierge in several top 5 star hotels in England including; Claridges Hotel - London, The Four Seasons - Hampshire and London, Park Lane. As a Concierge, I concentrated on providing my clients with memorable experiences and service of an exceptionally high level; I'm always determined to meet our clients needs to enable their visit to be enjoyable and stress-free.
In my current position of Tour Designer, I am using my knowledge and experience to arrange and provide clients of LVUK with a memorable vacation that they will enjoy and remember for a lifetime.
Operations Manager and Tour Designer
My earliest childhood memories are of spending my summer holidays exploring Britain and Ireland with my family. My favourite place has to be the Lake District National Park where my Grandparents lived – I knew when I was there, every day would be an adventure. We would go boating, exploring, and walk up the odd mountain.
My knowledge of the UK as grown even further in the nine years I have worked at Luxury Vacations UK. When I am planning itineraries, I aim to ensure you leave Ireland or Britain with memories that will last a lifetime – just like mine.
I met Andrew in 2001 when he was a young tour guide starting to build his clientele. My background working in a Law Firm meant that I had the administration skills to be able to help Andrew with his client base while he was touring the country.
Quickly as our relationship grew with marriage and children, so did our business, especially when I joined Andrew to work full time for Luxury Vacations UK. The fun we had exploring the country researching new itineraries and discovering unique hotels for our clients. I soon realised I had a passion for the British Isles.
It is an absolute pleasure to be trusted with our client's vacation plans, and I especially enjoy researching special requests or putting together multi-generational celebratory trips. I also take pride in cultivating those all-important relationships with travel agents.
Director and Guide
After travelling around the world in my early 20’s, I knew that I wanted a career that involved meeting people and helping them get the most out of their travelling experiences.
My goal is to make every vacation we design to be dynamic, memorable, and full of laughter. I have been in a privileged position to see the reaction you receive from people when you do an excellent job as a tour guide. My first tour guiding job was on the open-top buses in London; it was brilliant fun, I gained experience and then moved on to personalised driver-guiding. Having the experience of being the private guide for a family or couple for a week or two teaches you many things, patience is one and having sensitivity to family dynamics is vital. Knowledge and confidence, but, without arrogance is a winning formula – and lastly, to help people relax and have a bit of old fashioned fun.
The years as a guide has allowed me to know what it takes to be a successful guide with the right attitude and character, along with knowing how to plan and design superb itineraries for all different kinds of people with a multitude of interests.
Our Tour Guides
Our driver-guides, chauffeurs and office all share the same great attitude and commitment to customer care.
We have a large team of experienced and professional guides and driver-guides, some of whom speak another language apart from English. All have received tailored tour guide training to match your expectations.
Check our Career OpportunitiesCareer
Vast knowledge of everything from football to castles
I have been working as a tour guide with LVUK for the last seven years, and I have had many people return and tour with me for a second and even third time, which is lovely. In the past, I worked in advertising and event management, which I enjoyed immensely.
Having been brought up in the South of England, Scotland and London my knowledge of the UK is extensive from the grandest castles to places that are off the beaten track, whether it’s particular sites or out of the way pubs. I thoroughly enjoy meeting a variety of different people and showing them the best the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland has to offer.
I cannot wait to meet you all
After 34 years in the criminal defence profession, its time for a change - I can't wait to meet you all.
I am fortunate enough to have travelled extensively, and life experience has given me the gift of communication with all. My interests are diverse from scuba diving to my rescued horses. Walking and swimming to reading a good book or two.
If you listen to my friends, they will tell you that I am a caring, honest, open and straight forward person, who loves nothing more than a good get together over good food or a drink.
I keep bees and love London
A fifth-generation Londoner, I have London deep in my DNA. That said I’m also entirely at home in the country. I have a deep affection for London and love sharing with our visitors my knowledge of the alleys and courts, history, architecture and little gems that are scattered throughout London and make it an endlessly fascinating place to visit. Two years of specialist study have resulted in me becoming a qualified guide for both the City of London and the City of Westminster - who knew that London had two cities?
I live deep in the Chiltern Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the west of London, and love showing visitors around some of Britain’s breath-taking countryside.
I’d welcome the opportunity to show you some of the many treasures of London and also to introduce you to some of Britain’s traditional countryside and scenery with its varied landscapes and traditions. We might even be able to squeeze in a visit to a typical British pub. I look forward to meeting you.
I'm a Londoner, born and bred
Welcome, I aim to ensure each member of a tour party enjoys their vacation to the full. My background is from the retail motor industry and had loved nearly 30 years of customer service before switching to luxury travel. I delight in meeting new people, so my role is a real pleasure as it’s continually motivational, getting to know new folk and exceeding their expectations.
I grew up and have worked mostly in London, albeit, with family all over Europe, I have travelled extensively, including North America. Laughs and stories will dominate your time spent with me! I spent my spare time spent coaching youth sport.
My passions for history, dogs, tennis, and gardening
I spent my childhood in Malaysia. Educated at a boarding school in Sussex (sadly we only played lacrosse and not Quidditch) but you can see where the inspiration for Quidditch comes. After qualifying as a Physiotherapist, I spent the next 35 years working in the NHS and the middle east before starting my private practice.
During this time, I also managed to fit in getting married and raising two beautiful daughters. My passions are history, dogs, tennis and gardening.
My mid-life crisis led me to change my profession and become a driver-guide. I thought what better way to earn a living by visiting amazing places while giving people the opportunities to fulfil their dreams? I endeavour to go above and beyond by paying attention to even the little things and keeping my tours flexible and fun.
'Nothing is too much trouble'
Born in the heart of England, gregarious by nature, I am now on my third career, spanning Engineering, Catering and Tourism, my most important role being a Mother of 3. My motto is ‘nothing is too much trouble.’
The History of Great Britain and Ireland fascinates me at every turn of our evolution during the past 5000 years. I shall revel in absorbing you, your family and friends in the elegance and grandeur of our buildings, the beauty and diversity of our Landscapes and the majesty & magic of our Towns, Cities and Pretty Villages. I have driven in 14 countries, which in its self is character building.
'Born and bred in the Cotswolds'
I’m an art historian, and like Paddington Bear, I am devoted to marmalade. Born, bred and schooled in the Cotswolds, I’m a bit of a country bumpkin, and one of my loves in life is trekking through the countryside in my wellies with my family spaniels Gillie and Dora.
I like adventures, spending my childhood summers in Europe, my gap year exploring Italy with art history tutors, and living on a sailing yacht in Dubrovnik, Croatia. I am gregarious, a little eccentric, love to laugh, and my passion is historical storytelling. Before becoming an LVUK guide, I was managing historical sites from a 17th century grandstand to a Tudor Castle.
Let's make your trip special
After working for a large charity, the London youth service, and spinning vinyl as a pub and club DJ, I decided to tour the world. I sold my DJ gear and travelled through Russia, China, South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the Hawaiian Islands and rest of the United States.
Sharing the joy of travel, learning and discovery with people became my new ambition. I became a tour guide on the double-decker buses in London and graduated to become a driver-guide. I worked for several companies before founding Luxury Vacations UK back in 2002. I have very much enjoyed making-it-special for visitors to the UK and Ireland and still love meeting people and showing them those off-the-tourist-trail places.
'Every tour is a new adventure'
I started guiding to pay off University loans and I have been touring on and off for the last 30 years. A particularly dull school teacher who preached that history was about dates convinced me that great storytelling is the key to enjoying and understanding heritage.
My mantra is, ‘Every tour is a new adventure’. I particularly enjoy exploring less well-known highways and byways. Our clients, young and not so young, will enjoy creating lifelong memories while gaining a great appreciation of Britain’s magnificent natural and built environment.
Skiing in the winter, tour guide in the summer
I have travelled the world working as a sports coach in tennis and skiing and undertaken studies in sports psychology in the US. It is my interest in people that fuelled my desire to become a tour guide, along with my passion for showing the fantastic cities and countryside on offer in the United Kingdom.
I delight in surprising people of how and where iconic buildings and landscapes have arisen and developed, along with my never-ending thirst for travel, results in me enjoying the tours as much as the people who I guide.
Overview of our resources and things to know
Our Hotels - We offer an incredible variety of accommodation. Stay in a castle, historic manor house, and a luxury guesthouse all on one tour of Britain and Ireland.
Start and end your day in a refined and grand hotel with the best service. Known as Britain’s finest Hotels, enjoy the grandeur, history, architecture along with high-end facilities. The Classic British, five-star hotel, has world-class restaurants, up to date spas, and beautifully designed golf courses. These hotels will have manicured gardens and extensive grounds to explore. Rooms tend to have antiques and valuable works of art.
There’s nothing quite like arriving at an authentic medieval castle or manor house and knowing you are staying the night. Every portrait, grand staircase and corridor has a tale to tell. Each chamber will be unique, have quirks and exciting features. This style of hotel will have historic landscaped grounds, gardens, and produce grown onsite. Some have golf courses and other leisure facilities such as spas.
Location, location, location, your traditional townhouse hotel will be centrally situated right in town. Walk out the door and be surrounded by shops, cafes, restaurants and historical landmarks. The boutique versions of these town centre locations will have a contemporary feel with designer bars and lounges. There is a choice of out of town boutique hotels too.
Contemporary and Designer Hotels
Cutting edge design with elegance, setting new standards of luxury. Contemporary British hotels embody comfort, style and tech. Britain’s designer hotels are just that. Every last detail created for that place to stay and that place only. Door handles, keyholes, wine glasses and spa have seamless themes and motifs, generating the feeling of being inside a work of art.
Guesthouses and B&B’s have come a long way in the past 20 years. High-end bedding, luxurious surroundings, and refined touches are now much more common. You get a massive bang for your buck with this category of accommodation. Stay in a private castle, gatehouse, folly, fort, lighthouse or historic country cottage is the way the British enjoy Britain. Be surrounded by glorious countryside, walking distance to a genuine village pub, and be intrigued by living if but for a short time somewhere special.
Accessible tours - Offering access for people of all abilities
Accessible Harlech Castle, Wales.
We provide accessible tours for people that need a little assistance or partial use of a wheelchair. We provide accessible vehicles for full-time wheelchair users too
It may be that you need a wheelchair for some of the day. We book ground-level rooms and design a tour around your abilities. We plan access to castles, gardens and stately homes for people of all levels of capability, and you will have a personal guide with you to help whenever you need it.
We will tailor the tour to match your energy levels, with as many stops built-in as required.
We provide foldable wheelchairs and ramps complimentary. Extra charges only apply to specialised equipment, such as adapted vehicles with wheelchair lifts.
Chauffeur-driven service - Our cars are fully sanitised, vacuumed, and polished
We provide friendly and professional drivers, who have experience touring the country and skills to negotiate city centres. It is a pleasure to be driven by a prepared, safe and skilful chauffeur. Helping with doors, luggage and showing concern for your comfort and safety, that’s what it means to be a professional chauffeur.
We match the car, van or coach to your individual requirements. Being very tall or travelling with a large amount of luggage will dictate what vehicle is best. We will consider the information provided and make transportation suggestions.
Our fleet of cars includes Mercedes S-Class, Jaguar XJ, BMW 5 series, and Mercedes E-Class. Our fleet of SUV's include Range Rover and Lexus. Our luxury vans include: Mercedes V-Class and VW transporter.
We have accessible vehicles that can accommodate wheel chair users and we also have ramps, wheelchairs, and motorised mobility scooters.
Vehicles - Our fleet of fine vehicles includes sedans, SUV’s, passenger vans and coaches.
Our luxury sedans are ideal for up to three passengers. Models include and are not limited to Mercedes S-Class, E-Class, Jaguar XJ, some with extended wheelbases. Luggage capacity: two medium cases, plus two small carry-ons.
Perfect for multiday country touring, our large SUV’s have the latest safety and comfort features, some have panoramic roofs. Models include and are not limited to Range Rover, Lexus, and Mercedes. Luggage capacity: 2 large cases, plus two small carry-ons.
Luxury Passenger Vans
The Mercedes V-Class van can transport a family of up to seven in comfort with limited luggage. Our VW Vans can carry seven adults in complete comfort with decent legroom. Luggage capacity: Mercedes V-Class; eight medium or six large cases. VW van; eight large or ten medium cases.
Luxury Mini Coaches
This vehicle is ideal for extended families or small private groups. These vehicles feature large windows, cool boxes, and quiet, efficient engines. Some models have tables. Models include and are not limited to Mercedes Sprinter variants. Luggage capacity: from sixteen to twenty-five cases depending on vehicle configuration.
Luxury Motor Coaches
Our luxury coaches can cater for groups up to forty-nine. All have seat belts, air-suspension and PA systems. Cool boxes are standard, and some vehicles depending upon models have WC and TV’s. Luggage capacity: This ranges from forty to forty-nine cases.
We have access to accessible vehicles that can accommodate wheel chair users and we also have our own ramps, wheelchairs, and motorised mobility scooters.
Travelling to Britain - Essential information regarding your vacation to the United Kingdom
Luxury Vacations UK office number:
Telephone: +44(0)20 8669 3666. Office hours: 07.30 am to 10.30 pm Monday to Friday, and Saturday 9.00 am to 1.00 pm London time. Outside of these hours, please leave a message, and we will call back within 30 minutes.
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: luxuryvacationsuk.com
In an emergency call 999 for either the POLICE, FIRE, AMBULANCE, or COASTGUARD.
Tipping and gratuities
All gratuities are completely discretionary. However, we would recommend the following: Chauffeur transfers from £15 - £35 depending on the distance. Driver-Guided tours from £50-£70 per day. Restaurants: 10-15% of the total. On occasions, a "service charge" of 12% is sometimes added to restaurant bills, in this case only tip a small amount and only if you have had exceptional service. Porters fees: £1.50 per bag
The British climate is officially Marine Temperate; this means changeable weather, the prevailing wind is from the south-west therefore usually mild. The western regions of the UK are wetter, eastern regions dryer with northern regions cooler. The temperature and levels of rainfall vary a great deal from one region to another; it is worth noting that London is dryer than Paris, New York, Chicago, Detroit, Seattle, Rio and Rome! Along with many other cities around the world.
The warmest and driest month is July, it can be in the 90's F with powerful UV rays - This can be followed by damp, overcast, wet and very cool days - British weather is odd. We always suggest visitors bring thin layers of clothes along with a waterproof light coat of some sort. Our winters are milder compared to North America and mainland Europe, which makes touring the southern regions of the UK a viable option during winter months. Touring the Highlands of Scotland during the winter is a challenge. Summer days are long and winter days short, for example, the day length in London is 16 hours and 38 minutes during late June and 7 hours 49 minutes during late December.
Credit Cards and Cash Machines
Widely accepted cards are Visa and Mastercard. American Express and Diners Club cards are less commonly accepted. There are plenty of cash machines (also known as cashpoints or ATMs) around. Most accept international cards with the Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus or Maestro symbols. Some other systems are also recognised, but it's a good idea to check with your bank or card company before you travel. If you have a non-UK bank, you will almost certainly have to pay a charge when you withdraw cash. Again, contact your bank before travelling to find out details. You might see cash machines in some corner shops and small supermarkets. Check before using them as they are likely to charge a fee for every transaction.
Public holidays, or "bank holidays" as they are known, are spread throughout the year and mark religious, historical and special events. Many shops and attractions stay open throughout the public holidays. Public holidays, or "bank holidays" as they are known, are spread throughout the year and mark religious, historical and special events. Most offices are closed. However, many shops and attractions stay open throughout the public holidays.
2022 UK Bank Holiday Dates
New Year's Day Saturday, 1st January (substitute day; Monday, 3rd January)
Good Friday Friday, 15th April
Easter Monday, 18th April
Early spring bank holiday Monday, 2nd May
Spring bank holiday, Thursday, 2nd June
Summer bank holiday, Monday, 29th August
Christmas Day, Sunday, 25th December
Boxing day Monday, 26th December
Christmas Day (substitute day) Tuesday, 27th December
Electricity in the UK
UK appliances are fitted with three-pin plugs that can be connected to the UK mains supply through wall sockets. Unlike the outlets in many other countries, these have a switch to turn the power supply on and off make sure you've turned it on if you're trying to charge your appliance. Purchase a simple adapter for your electrical equipment at airports and retail shops.
Smoking is banned in the UK in all indoor public places including platforms at train stations.
You must note which vehicle you have been allocated and take note of the luggage limits below. Limits exceeded, will result in additional charges. Luggage must be stored in the trunk and cannot be carried inside the vehicle on seats or otherwise - a legal requirement in the UK and Ireland.
Vehicle: Luxury Sedan, luggage capacity: two medium cases plus two cabin-sized cases.
Vehicle: Passenger Van, luggage capacity: Six large cases plus four cabin-sized cases.
Capacity and dimensions of luggage
Checking out of your accommodation (if booked by Luxury Vacations UK)
Please contact our office or the guide so that we can deal with any bill discrepancies immediately. It is much easier for us to deal with issues while our rep or guide is still onsite.
As a standard, entrance fees are pre-paid as per your itinerary. Any other places which are not detailed on your itinerary that you may visit are to be paid for directly on the day. Refunds are issued if venues are closed on the day of your visit.
HEAD OFFICE: 23 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London, W1J 6HE, United Kingdom.
Telephone: +44(0)20 8669 3666
Company number: 6818843. VAT number: 972 4343 11
Our Travel Partners
- ETOA: The Luxury Vacations UK staff play an active role within ETOA, the European Tour Operators Association. ETOA lobby the government on our behalf, ask for our advice and spend time building relationships with suppliers and other industry partners.
- VIRTUOSO: The Virtuoso network is a vast collection of travel professionals, travel agents and advisors who specialise in Luxury Travel. Virtuoso is an Invitation-only organisation.
- UK-INBOUND: Established in 1977 as a trade-only association supporting and presenting UK based companies that offer services to the inbound visitor. The organisation lobby on behalf of members, provide networking opportunities and recently a huge amount of moral support during the covid crisis.
- SELECTED ESCAPES: Provide high-end representation in the United States for hotels and tour operators. We work closely with the team at Selected Escapes to gauge prospective clients requirements and operate familiarisation tours for travel professionals.
- VISIT BRITAIN: The Visit Britain organisation and other regional “visit” government-supported groups help keep us in touch with new products and services.
Insurance - Full and comprehensive travel insurance is required before booking
We require that you obtain adequate travel insurance to cover any loss of personal belongings or financial loss as a consequence of flight cancellations, train cancellations, personal illness or any other circumstances that would stop you from travelling and therefore prohibit you using our services.
Don't get caught short
By booking tours or services through Luxury Vacations UK (Howard Stevens Ltd) you agree to these terms and conditions and therefore are required to obtain adequate insurance to cover the cost of services booked with Luxury Vacations UK (Howard Stevens Ltd).