Get ready for the ultimate UK experience! On this British adventure, be whisked away to royal cities, fairytale castles, and breathtaking mountains. This trip is perfect for adventurous teens who want to combine outdoor adventure with exciting cities. You’ll ride the London Eye for stunning city views, shop the famous Camden Markets, live like a local while enjoying high tea, and catch an authentic Shakespeare play at the famous Globe Theater. In Wales get ready for adventure! You’ll go on a spectacular gorge scrambling journey while climbing, swimming and jumping through rock formations, enjoy a high ropes course, hike famous Mt. Snowdon, and visit the spectacular Penrhyn Castle! After our Welsh adventures, we will head to Edinburgh to finish our trip with some Scottish charm. Climb Arthur’s seat, stroll the Royal Mile, try to spot the Loch Ness Monster and visit Edinburgh Castle and Holyroodhouse Palace. What are you waiting for? The United Kingdom awaits!
During this program, you will…
- Ride the London Eye and cruise the Thames
- Enjoy high tea for an afternoon at St. Paul’s cathedral
- Experience Shakespeare’s world at the Globe Theatre
- Channel your inner Harry Potter at Platform 9 ¾
- Walk through Diagon Alley, the Great Hall and more at the Harry Potter filming studios*
- Delight in an evening at the theater in London’s hip West End district
- Tour the back streets of London by night to learn about Jack the Ripper
- Go on a gorge scrambling adventure and climb through natural rock formations, swim in rock pools and jump your way down waterfalls in Snowdonia
- Work as a team to complete a high ropes course
- Hike mighty Mt. Snowdon, the tallest mountain in Wales
- Climb Arthur’s Seat for incredible views of Edinburgh
- Look out for Nessie on Loch Ness
- Go for a horseback ride through the rolling green hills of the Scottish countryside
- Step back in time at Edinburgh Castle
- Feel like royalty at Holyrood Palace
*This is an optional excursion
DAY 1: DEPART FROM NEW YORK (JFK)
DAYS 2-5: LONDON
Our trip begins in the vibrant and cosmopolitan city of London, England. Attend a play at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and shop ‘til you drop in Camden Market with its hip urban vibe. Explore some of the greatest museums in the world and walk in the steps of the Beatles at Abbey Road. Don’t forget to go for a spin on the London Eye, visit Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, and stop for high tea at Kensington Palace! Learn about England’s gory history on our immensely popular Blood and Tears Walk, and go further back in time to learn about Royal England at the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey.
DAYS 6-8: LLANBERIS > MT. SNOWDON
In Wales, get ready for adventure! We’ll take a beautiful train ride from London along Wales’ northern coast to the mountain town of Llanberis in Snowdonia for fresh mountain air and beautiful scenery. Take a historical steam engine train all the way to the top of mighty Mt. Snowdon for amazing panoramic views. We will also go on a gorge scrambling adventure, where the scenery is so stunning you might think you are in Jurassic Park instead of Wales! Challenge yourself to complete a high ropes course, and of course eat at Llanberis’ most famous climbers café for the best food in town.
DAY 9-12: EDINBURGH > LOCH NESS
Our journey continues onward to Scotland, where we will discover Edinburgh, known for being both one of the most haunted and culturally rich cities in the United Kingdom. Stroll the Royal Mile and see the best of Edinburgh’s royal history, including Holyroodhouse Palace, the Camera Obscura, and of course Edinburgh Castle! Climb to the top of Arthur’s Seat to see all the way to the sea, and go on a nighttime ghost walk to learn the spookier bits of Scottish history. Plus, no trip to Scotland would be complete without a trip to the Highlands and Loch Ness. See if you can spot Nessie from our boat cruise, and explore majestic Urqhart Castle in Inverness. You’ll also have time to do a horseback riding excursion. We’ll conclude our time in Scotland with a fancy final dinner and reflect on this amazing trip throughout the United Kingdom.
DAY 13: RETURN FLIGHT TO THE USA
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of teen typically participates in this program?
Teens from all over the world join this program! Typically, our participants are culturally curious individuals who are excited to make new friends, experience something unique, and interested in stepping out of their comfort zones and expanding their horizons.
This program is exclusively for students who are currently in grades 9th through 12th and approximately 14 to 18 years old. Students living outside of the USA are welcome to join!
Where do we stay?
Our hotels are chosen specifically in safe areas and are well suited to facilitating group supervision. We stay in centrally located accommodations, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. We do not use large, impersonal chain hotels on the outskirts of cities; we prefer to select smaller, family-run hotels where we establish personal relationships with the owners.
Our London hotel is right in the heart of the city, right near two main train stations and dozens of wonderful restaurants and museums. Our accommodations at Llanberis will feel like your home away from home, as it is a cozy, recently-renovated guesthouse with a fireplace and wonderful lounge to relax. In Edinburgh our accommodations are just next to the Royal Mile, allowing us easy access to all of the best sights.
For safety reasons, we do not publish the names of the accommodations we use. We do not feel it is safe to publish the name of a hotel where a group of teenagers is staying abroad. After registering, participants and parents are given access to our secure parent website where you will be able to see the names of all of the accommodations for the program.
Do most travelers go on their own?
Yes! In fact, over 75% of students who travel with us choose to come independently. This encourages teens to step further outside their comfort zone and make new friends. We believe that one of the most rewarding and exciting elements of travel is the new friendships that form along the way. When we travel by ourselves, we are bound to make new friends from all over the country and even the world. The best part is, you can travel again with your new friends on another TFT program the next summer!
If you are thinking about joining a TFT program by yourself but you are feeling unsure, please let us know! We have plenty of references from solo travelers who had great experiences and would be happy to chat with you about it.
Can I bring a friend?
Absolutely! We ask that if you do come with a friend, you and your friend(s) maintain openness to meeting new people and sharing this special experience with the entire group.
What do students like the most about this program?
Students love that they are able to explore three of the United Kingdom’s most breathtaking regions while learning about the different cultures that can be found there, from the Scotch Gaelic to Welsh. The rolling green hills dotted with fluffy white sheep never hurt either!
What is unique about this program?
Between the adrenaline-pumping adventure component in Wales, a stop at Hadrian’s Wall, the chance to see the best London has to offer and finishing off the trip in gorgeous Edinburgh, this is one trip you won’t want to miss.
What is included?
Tuition cost includes ground transportation; accommodation; chaperones and guides; program-related activities and admissions; taxes and tips; all breakfasts and dinners.
Not included in cost (this is not intended to be an exhaustive list): airfare; lunches; visas and visa application fees; personal and medical expenses; activities and admissions that are not program-related or referenced in the itinerary; beverages other than filtered water at meals; participant expenses that are outside of the program description, such as excess baggage fees and damage to hotels; expenses related to unforeseen circumstances, such as transportation strikes and natural disasters.
How do the optional group flights work?
Upon registration, you will be contacted by our International Logistics Team to discuss the program’s flight details. There is no requirement to take the group flight, but there are several advantages to doing so. The group flight is usually chaperoned by a TFT staff member, and it also offers an opportunity for the students to get to know one another prior to the start of the program. Parents are responsible for coordinating transport to the departure airport – however, the logistics team will send out instructions detailing the exact meeting spot and airport point person. For additional information about flights, visit our dedicated flight page.
Who leads the program?
Our staff is a cut above the rest! We seek out two main characteristics in our counselors – extensive knowledge of and experience in our destinations, and a passion for working with teens. Our staff’s backgrounds include living abroad and working in summer camps or other educational settings. Team members are proven leaders and role models, who connect easily with others and form genuine friendships with each student – all while bringing each destination to life.
We celebrate diversity! Our staff represents 49 different nationalities, speak a combined total of 21 languages, and visited 142 countries. Additionally, 80% of our staff lived or worked abroad in their lives. With so many unique experiences to share, you are sure to gain a global perspective.
Our average minimum ratios are one staff member to every seven participants. Each program has one Trip Director with several support staff, depending on the group size. Directors must be at least 25 years old and have prior experience working with TFT.
What are the safety qualifications for our staff?
Our staff members undergo a rigorous hiring process. They receive the same background check as school educators, an extensive training process to go over all safety precautions and protocols, and are required to be certified in CPR and First Aid. We exclusively hire responsible, multi-talented individuals who are safety-minded and are as passionate about teen travel as we are.
What is the average group size?
We pride ourselves on small group sizes to create a more authentic and personalized experience. Our group sizes fall between 14 and 21 students – the perfect size to facilitate new friendships without feeling lost in a crowd! We believe smaller groups eliminate the likelihood of cliques, and allows for a well-rounded, healthy group dynamic.
How does this program connect to other programs?
Our program dates are designed specifically so that participants can opt to combine trips throughout the summer. When connecting to another program, your counselor will escort you to the airport on the last day of the program and assist you in meeting your next group at your new destination.
Families who sign up for more than one program will also receive a 15% discount on the lesser-priced program.
What is the food like on this program?
In a word – delicious! At TFT, we believe food should be an integral part of the travel experience and always make an effort to eat at authentic establishments when we can. What better way to immerse yourself in the culture of a place than by sampling the local delicacies, and we encourage students to do so whenever possible! Just as we stay away from Americanized hotel chains, we try to avoid restaurants with menus that cater only to tourists because every good traveler knows the best food is found wherever the locals are eating!
Even though a lot of food will look familiar to you, we encourage you to be adventurous, and step out of your comfort zone, try something new! Most British food will be similar to American food, although we will try fish and chips, meat pies, scones, and other local delicacies.
Of course, we are always willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
Do we ever get time to go off on our own?
Our staff and teens are nearly always together, but we do provide the opportunity to break up into smaller groups to allow for flexibility and customization within the itinerary.
We offer free time in defined safe areas – for example, shopping in a market or exploring a museum. During these times, students remain in groups of at least two and are given no more than an hour. Of course, the counselors remain nearby and available. Additionally, a lifeguard-certified counselor supervises the campers any time they are involved in water activities.
Do I need any vaccinations for this program?
We recommend checking with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the destination you are visiting. For more information, please check the World Health Organization’s website. Upon registration, we provide a list of recommended vaccinations that can be discussed further with your doctor.
What kind of visa do you need for this trip?
Any US citizen that enters the UK is automatically granted a free 180-day tourist visa.
When joining a TFT trip from outside of the US, please be sure to check your country’s specific visa requirements.
Do I need to speak the language?
No, our skilled staff members will help you get around and even teach you a few fun phrases!