Great Trips... Made Better With Beer!

Real Ale, Real England: York to London

July 25 - August 4, 2024
Departs every year in July/August


Explore Real Ale and Real England while discovering some of the UK's best New and Traditional Breweries.


From York and Masham in the North, through Sheffield, the historic Midlands, and the fairy-tale Cotswolds, enjoy a thorough investigation of English brewing along the way to London.


York | Masham | Sheffield | Stow-on-the-Wold | London



Start in York, after an easy rail trip from London or Manchester, to explore classic pubs and meet many friendly locals in this walled city. Next we head further north to Masham and the Yorkshire Dales, for a couple breweries and scenery. Along the way to London, we'll stop in the Midlands and the Cotswolds to see breweries, old and new, and take in a few great pubs, spectacular countryside, rich history, castles, and some special beer meals. We will also stop by England's only Trappist Brewery - Mount Saint Bernard Abbey. All this before we hit London -- where we will find centuries-old pubs, historic neighborhoods and markets, and the birth place of all things British. Riverside diversions, green parks, old churches, many museums, and beer venues of all types -- the true national treasure -- await our discovery. Not to mention noteworthy breweries, market squares, and beery legends.


Beer Highlights & Brewery Visits


York: A city of historical treasures and a lot of good, old pubs, situated amongst the castles and abbeys of rugged northern England


Masham: Home to beer history, Theakston's Brewery, and Black Sheep Brewing.


Sheffield: Gritty, historic, protector of Real Ale.


Stow-on-the-Wold: Fairy tale Cotswolds landscapes, unique villages, local history, and country pubs make it one of England's classic, quintessiantially English regions.


London: The Real Ale capital of the world and one of the world's great cities: packed with history, architectural splendor and countless beer engines.


Beer, Breweries, Beer Cuisine: Cask Conditioned Ales, beer engines, museums, city pubs, country pubs, visits to cool breweries old and new!


Fine Hotels: Hand selected from our assortment of quality, well-located hotels, all in the 3- to 4-star category.


The Beer Bus: A traveling tasting room of local products of all types and good folks to travel with and share the adventure!


 Trip Price (Land-only, Based on double occupancy)

$3,499 per person | Single Room add extra $885


 Beer Highlights & Brewery Visits

York Pubs and Local Breweries | Masham: Theakston's and Black Sheep Brewing | CAMRA Pubs in Sheffield | England's Sole Trappist Brewery | Tollgate Brewery | Hook Norton | Kernel Brewing | Bermondsy Beer Mile | Meantime Brewing


 Included Tours

Guided Walk / Pub Crawl in York | Richmond Castle | Drive Through the Dales | Sheffield Pub Crawl | London Street Art Walk / PubTour | Thames River Water Taxi to Greenwich


 Include Meals

Breakfasts Daily, 3 Beer Dinners, 4 Beer Lunches


 Arrival & Departure

Trip Begins in York, England | Trip Ends in London, England

Daily Itinerary*


Day 1 - Thursday, July 25

Fly to the United Kingdom

Depart the US, bound for the UK - we'll start in York, after an easy rail trip from London or another airport, to explore classic pubs and meet many friendly locals in this walled city.

Overnight on a plane.  


Day 2 - Friday, July 26

Arrive York, Walking/Pub Tour, Welcome Dinner, Pies and Ales

Arrive in York and transfer to our well-located hotel, an easy walk from the train station. Meet the group this afternoon ready to explore historic York on foot, with two beer stops along the way for a bit of banter and history. Tonight we'll enjoy Pies and Ales in one of York's many lauded pubs. Overnight in York (Beers, Dinner)


Day 3 - Saturday, July 27

Free Day in York, Late PM York brewery tasting session

Today is totally free to explore York's museums, historic pubs, movie-set streets, and walk the city ramparts. Meet at the York Brewery this afternoon for an informal tasting session. This evening is free to visit a "famous" pub or two. Overnight in York (B)


Day 4 - Sunday, July 28

Yorkshire Dales, Richmond Castle, Tan Hill Pub Lunch

This morning we head north for a busy day. Our first stop will be the beautiful ruins, castle grounds and fortified keep at Richmond Castle, a huge 13th century Norman stronghold set on a riverside cliff. After time to explore and contemplate, we will drive through a bit of the Yorkshire Dales National Park on our way to the highest (and possibly most isolated) pub in England, the Tan Hill Inn. Sunday Roast will be on, as well as other menu items, and several real ales. Enjoy this remote, authentic, historic pub while we are here. We won't linger too long before making the scenic drive to Masham, home to Theakston's and Black Sheep Brewing, as well as our hotel for the night. The remainder of the evening is free to explore and dine and drink as you wish. The hotel has a nice pub and dinners. Overnight Masham (pronounced Massum)  (B, L)


Day 5 - Monday, July 29

Theakston's Brewery Tour, Black Sheep lunch and beers, To Sheffield, Pub Crawl

Explore or sleep in this morning until we walk over to Theakston's Brewery for a tour and tasting of their beers in optimum, at-the-brewery condition. After the tour, walk down to the other Brewery founded by a Theakston family member, Black Sheep Brewery. No tour  today, but it is pretty easy to see and photogr  aph the very pretty brewhouse set up. We will have lunch in their brewery bistro, before traveling south to Sheffield, the founding location of CAMRA, and current stronghold for Real Ale. Our night here involves a beery pub dinner, and visits to some old-school real ale pubs. Nerdy beer conversations with locals are likely. Overnight in Sheffield (B, L, D)


Day 6 - Tuesday, July 30

England's Only Trappist, Tollgate Brewing, Milk Parlour Pizza and Beer, To the Cotswolds

Today, after a lovely breakfast, we'll drive to Leicestershire, specifically Coalville and The Mount Saint Bernard Abbey. They are Roman Catholic, Cistercians of the Strict Observance, and Trappists. They brew one beer, England's sole Trappist Ale – Tynt Meadow; and they have a lovely abbey, gardens, and a gift shop that sells their beer and other Abbey products (as Trappist are apt to do). After some time here will make the short drive back west, to Tollgate Brewery and The Milking Parlour Tap room and pizza maker. We'll eat, drink, and be merry. After the stop, we continue to a truly quintessential Cotswolds town: Stow-on-the-Wold, our home for the next two nights, and a chance to slow down a bit before we hit the bustle of London. The evening is free to explore this charming Cotswold village. Overnight in Stow-on-the-Wold (B, L)


Day 7 - Wednesday, July 31

Free Day on the Wold

Lots to do and explore in and around this classic Cotswold town. Lovely architecture, antiques, walking trails, shops, pubs, museums, or buses to other scenic spots, there are many choices! If we are lucky, we will walk down the hill for a visit to Donnington Brewery, known as the lovliest brewery in The Costswolds, and beyond. Pub games and banter this evening. Dinner is open. Overnight in Stow-on-the-Wold (B)


Day 8 - Thursday, August 1

Hook Norton Brewery Tour, Sun Inn Lunch, To London

This morning we visit a truly classic Victorian tower brewery – Hook Norton. A tour and tasting to start, meet the horses, see brewing history first hand in this once very innovative gravity-aided brewing system. We'll have a nice local lunch in a nearby pub, then continue to London, our home for the next 3 nights. Dinner and this evening are open. Overnight in London (B, L)


Day 9 - Friday, August 2

Funky London Street Art Walk, Beer and Culture Exploring, Live Music or Theatre Tonight?

This morning we'll meet up with our local guide for an exploration of "not-so-posh" London, as we check out neighborhood street art and ecclectic pubs. Prepare to learn all sorts of silly historical stuff! The tour will end near food trucks or food pubs for a late lunch. The rest of the day is free to explore the never ending diversions, museums, attractions - and pubs of London. Plans will no doubt ferment. Overnight in London (B)


Day 10 - Saturday, August 3

Borough Market, Bermondsy Beer Mile, WaterTaxi to Greenwich, Meantime Brewing, Farewell Dinner

Today is totally free to explore the city on your own. Visit Borough Market on a Saturday, oysters and champagne anyone? The Bermondsy Beer Mile and the Kernel Brewery may draw some of our attention this afternoon. London, of course, offers a HUGE array of museums, parks, public spaces, and pubs to find. Late this afternoon, we'll travel along the Thames to Greenwich, home to maritime history, the Prime Meridian (0° longitude) and Greenwich Mean Time -- as well as Meantime Brewing, London's original craft brewery, founded in 1999. Museums and monuments in honor of nautical acheivements are everywhere. After dinner, and beer and happy stories, the illuminated monuments, buildings, and bridges of London await, as we cruise up stream, back to our part of town. Busy pubs and live music will be afoot tonight. Late night revelers may convene. Cheers! Overnight in London (B, D)


Day 11 - Sunday, August 4

Airport Transfer, Fly Home

Many ways to get to the airport, ask us or the hotel for more information and best options.  Overnight at your house (B)


Trip Deposit (per person)


Number of person:

* The deposit is refundable less a $50 cancellation fee up to 60 days prior to departure. For cancellations made less than 60 days prior to departure, the full deposit will be forfeited. For cancellations made after final payment, refunds will be made (where possible) according to service contracts and supplier guidelines; these refunds will be based on recoverable expenses. See the full Terms and Conditions here.



Air Travel is not included. Travelers are encouraged to use mileage awards, travel outside group dates, or visit other European cities while abroad to make the most out of the trip. Please confirm the trip's operation before purchasing air tickets.


Most Trips officially begin in the lobby of the first hotel. Meeting times, information about getting from the airport or train station to the hotel, the detailed itinerary, hotel addresses, and a trip roster will be included with your Final Trip Documents, which you'll receive 2 - 3 weeks before the trip.


How we travel on tour: All included excursions and visits include transportation. Within the cities, we rely on walking and private or public transportation (uber, taxis, busses, trams, etc.). Travel between cities is by private motor coach, luxury van, ferry, and/or rail. 



We don't mess around when it comes to food and beer.  Restaurants -- tried and true -- have been carefully selected, based on quality, local knowledge, and insider tips. On a Beer Trip, included meals mean you may order as you please - including beer, appetizers, dessert, etc. We are not stingy -- a lot of food and beer is included on every Beer Trip.



A BeerTrips beer tour is best suited for somewhat adventurous, beer-loving travelers who want the camaraderie and structure of a tour, as well as the opportunity to explore independently. Planned events, brewery visits, locally guided tours, and some excursions are, of course, formally "guided". Travel days, on trains, public means, or the beer bus, as well some group walks, are blissfully unstructured, though travelers can always rely on the support and assistance of the trip leader.



In rare cases, it may be necessary to alter the itinerary based on brewery or hotel availability, force majeur, acts of dieties, common sense, or bad weather, etc. Smaller breweries, as well as the Trappists, are often unable to commit to hosting groups until a couple of weeks before we arrive. Substitutions, when necessary, will be as good as what we replaced. And, don't worry, the beer is always good!