About Us

Creating luxury tours since 2002

We create tailor-made tours, and experiences for individuals, couples, families, groups and corporations.

Customised tours of the UK and Ireland

We provide top-notch guides, luxury transportation, accommodation and well crafted tours and experiences within 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 insight into our culture, landscapes, history and experiences.

Your Itinerary:  Britain and Ireland have everything, from breathtaking landscapes and historic castles to charming gardens and towns. We craft a personalised trip around your passions—photography, art, architecture, food, wine, history, sport, or anything else you desire.

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:  Where you stay is part of what makes your vacation unique. We have the knowledge to match your 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 are always on the lookout for unique travel options that go beyond the ordinary. From snorkelling with Grey Seals to coasteering and fly fishing lessons, we strive to inspire our visitors to step out of their comfort zone and discover places and activities they may not have considered before.

Our Tour Guides

We like our guides to have led interesting lives and have a great sense of humour

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.

Our team of experienced and professional guides and driver guides are not just fluent in English; some also speak other languages. What sets them apart is the additional guide training they have received, which equips them with the skills and knowledge to provide our service at a high-end level.

We like people who have experienced life to the fullest, travelled extensively, and led interesting lives. Knowledgeable, professional and entertaining.  Our tour guides are chosen for their ability to show empathy, character, and likeability. These personality types 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 are here to make your vacation special.

Natalie

Operations Manager

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 that every day would be an adventure when I was there. We would go boating, exploring, and walking up the odd mountain.

My knowledge of the UK has grown even further in my 13 years at Luxury Vacations UK. I am behind the scenes, ensuring all the bills are paid, your personal data is safe, and everything is in order.

Elizabeth

Managing Director

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 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. We had fun exploring the country, researching new itineraries, and discovering unique hotels for our clients. I soon realised I had a passion for the British Isles.

Trusting with our clients' vacation plans is an absolute pleasure. 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.

 

Andrew

Director and Guide

After travelling around the world in my early 20s, I wanted a career that involved meeting people and helping them get the most out of their travelling experiences. 

I aim to make every vacation we design dynamic, memorable, and full of laughter. As a guide, I have been privileged to see the reaction you receive from people when you do an excellent job. 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.

The job teaches you many things about people and yourself; You must be patient and consider people's anxiety and stress levels. I've always believed it was my job to make any concerns disappear. I then have the pleasure of watching visitors enjoy their vacation when they realise I will look after them and have their back at every turn. My wife Elizabeth demonstrates the same level of care when designing itineraries, we are a superb team.

It may seem obvious, but not to everyone; To be an excellent guide, you need knowledge, confidence, and the ability to listen. 

Roy

Travel Consultant

My passion for travel started when I travelled to Australia as a 20-year-old (a few years ago), and I have worked in the industry for most of my life since then. I love meeting people from different cultures and exploring new places. I have a young daughter, and she has started sharing my passion for travel and exploration.

I am also interested in sports, mainly football and American traditional pub sports like darts and pool. I was once a semi-professional pool player.

I like to put together complex, bespoke and wonderful vacation itineraries for my guests and show off our wonderful country.

Hayley

Travel Consultant

I started my journey in Travel as an apprentice when I was 17 years old, working in a well-known high-street shop. I then decided I loved working in travel and would make it my career, so here I am 20 years and more later.

I’m quite active in my lifestyle. I used to be a professional ice skater and have had the pleasure of skating with Torvill, Dean, and Robin Cousins. In my spare time, I have been an active member of a large, well-known Bonfire society.

My passion has always been creating itineraries and travel arrangements for lifetime experiences. Everyone looks forward to their annual vacations, and I love to be part of creating their perfect vacations.

Our Tour Guides and Tour Planners

Devoted to making sure you have a wonderful time

Our driver guides, chauffeurs and office all share the same attitude and commitment to customer care.

We have a substantial team of experienced and professional guides and driver guides. Our guides are flexible on the day, caring by nature and have vast knowledge.

Our office staff explore and inspect hotels and collaborate with our guides to create special journeys around the UK, Ireland and Europe. 

Check our Career Opportunities

Career

Chris

DRIVER-GUIDE - Football, castles and Scotland

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.

 

Neal

DRIVER-GUIDE - A privilege to show you my country

I grew up in South East London, and my childhood role model was my uncle, the British boxing legend Sir Henry Cooper, who fought Clay/Ali in the 1960s. After studying German and French literature at Durham University I lived in France for the best of 20 years and called Montmartre my home.

 

My career as an opera singer has taken me to many interesting places, including turbine factories in the Paris suburbs, film sets in the south of France, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, La Scala in Milan, and the Royal Opera House in London. I have also trained many people in public speaking and am interested in working with and serving people from all walks of life.

 

I am hooked on learning new skills and am a keen photographer, artist and aspiring motorcycle mechanic. It will be a privilege to accompany you to our beautiful country.

Glyn

DRIVER-GUIDE - Ex-Pro footballer, Ex-teacher and now driver-guide

My true passions in life have always been travel and sports. As a secondary school teacher with 24 years of experience, I have used many of my school breaks to travel and explore these beautiful islands of ours. I have been to every corner and explored every county.

 

I hugely enjoy meeting new people and sharing with them fascinating stories about this wonderful country of ours and its incredible history.

 

When not touring the UK, I’m a football coach. I’m sure we can debate the Premiership Football clubs while on the road.

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Nick

DRIVER-GUIDE - A passion for castles and historic tales

I spent my early career working at adventure activity centres, which led me to teach sports in secondary schools. A break from teaching led to a job in the Italian Alps, where I hiked in summer and skied in winter.

 

I have loved the history of England since I was a boy, and I enjoy sharing the stories of Royalty, battles and historic towns.  My boyhood passion for castles has never left me, add to that stately homes, quaint villages and enjoying our glorious countryside.

 

I am a big sports fan. I’ll explain Cricket to you if you want and show you that our food and drink are amongst the best in the world. I'm looking forward to touring the UK with you.

Paul

DRIVER-GUIDE - ​Global drinks business to driver-guide

I have been fortunate to have travelled the world extensively over the years for business and leisure and have visited some amazing places. But few match what the British Isles can offer, with its beautiful buildings, rich history and inspiring landscapes.

 

After a career in the drinks industry, which I greatly enjoyed, I’m pleased to do something that I truly love, sharing insights and knowledge into the intriguing places of interest that Britain has in abundance. I have a great passion for history and look forward to telling you the extraordinary stories of these islands over the years. We should have lots of fun, and you will be left with long-lasting memories as I help you to discover the wonders of the British Isles.

John

DRIVER-GUIDE - 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.

 

Eliot

DRIVER-GUIDE - A passion for music and history

I have been lucky enough to lead a dynamic life, play the guitar, sing, and be a driver-guide for Luxury Vacations UK.

 

From 12 years old, and I have been a member of the Order of the Rye Longbowman. Which sounds very Harry Potter-ish, I know. Taking part in events sparked my early interest in all things history. I would love to tell you some of the tales that have fascinated me; most seem pretty unbelievable, but they are true.

 

I'm an avid reader and enjoy discovering gems of knowledge to bring great places alive. My skill is interacting with young people and getting them interested in culture, architecture, and history. I look forward to touring the UK with you very soon.

Ian

LONDON GUIDE - '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.

 

Carol

DRIVER-GUIDE - '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. 

 

Sue

DRIVER-GUIDE - 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.

Andrew

DRIVER-GUIDE - 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. 

 

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.

Cliveden House HotelClassic and Britain’s finest Hotels

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. 

Dalhousie Castle, ScotlandCastles and Manor House Hotels

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. 

11 Cadogan Gardens, LondonTown House and Boutique Hotels

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. 

Chelsea Bar, LondonContemporary 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.  

Bed and Breakfast, Edinburgh, ScotlandGuesthouses and Unique Historic Properties

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

Harlech Castle with accessible rampAccessible 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

Ian the chauffeurProfessional chauffeurs

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.

Vehicle models

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.

Jaguar XJ interiorLuxury Sedan

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.

BMW X5 interiorLuxury SUV’s

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.

V-class Mercedes vanLuxury 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.

Mercedes mini coachLuxury 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.

Mercedes coachLuxury 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.

Accessible vehicles

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

Pre-arrival information

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.

In an emergency call 999 for either the POLICE, FIRE, AMBULANCE, or COASTGUARD. 

Country signTipping 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

British Money

The UK's currency is the pound sterling (£ / GBP). There are 100 pence (p) to the pound (£). Notes come in denominations of £5, £10, £20 and £50. Coins come in 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2. There are numerous bureaux de change in the UK – often located inside banks, travel agents or post offices, as well as airports and major train stations. It's worth shopping around to get the best deal – compare the exchange rates on offer and don't forget to ask about the commission. A good tip is to ask how many pounds you will receive in total after all charges deducted.


British weather

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.

Bank Holidays

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

Smoking is banned in the UK in all indoor public places including platforms at train stations.

Luggage

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

Handbag: H13 inches x W10 inches x D8 inches
Cabin: H21 inches x W13.5 inches x D8 inches
Medium: H26 inches x W15.5 inches x D11 inches
Large:   H30 inches x W17 inches x D13 inches


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.

Entrance fees

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.
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Registered office: 6th Floor, 2 London Wall Place, London, England, EC2Y 5AU.

Howard Stevens Ltd, trading as Luxury Vacations UK, a limited company incorporated in England trading from John de Mierre House, Hayward Heath, RH16 2AR. 

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.

Stocks at Warwick CastleDon'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).

Read our company's Terms & Conditions

Terms and Conditions