This is my guide to planning a tour of the best tearooms in the UK. Read more below to find out more about how you can plan your own tearoom trip to the UK.
If you’re looking for a special and unique travel itinerary, why not consider going on a tearoom tour of the UK? This tour is perfect for people who only have a couple of weeks to spend and want to see as much as possible, but still take the time to sit and enjoy a leisurely afternoon tea. Taking a few hours to soak in the ambience of a place is something you might otherwise overlook as a tourist when going from one famous tourist site to the next.
Why afternoon tea? Afternoon tea is a long-standing tradition in the UK and one of the most quintessentially British experiences you can possibly have. Not to mention, it’s absolutely delicious! If you’ve never had clotted cream with scones, then you are in for a treat!
This 11-day itinerary allows you to visit four major cities in the UK, including London, Bath, York and Edinburgh. The British railway system makes travel within the country relatively easy and affordable. Traveling by rail also gives you the opportunity to see more of the countryside than if if you were traveling by plane.
This itinerary focuses on visiting tearooms and major sites in each of these four cities. It also focuses on places of historical importance and fabulous food destinations.
After months of research I chose 11 different tearooms, based on six different criteria, which I discuss in this post here. You can read more about my experiences at these tearooms in my reviews (with links at the bottom of this post).
In addition to the tearoom reviews, I also have more comprehensive guides to the best places for afternoon tea in London, Bath, York and Edinburgh.
I’ll also be providing some suggestions for cultural activities such as plays, musicals, festivals and other seasonal events.
Although this is a self-guided tour, I’ve included one organized day trip to the Scottish highlands with a company called Rabbie’s, based out of Edinburgh.
I’ve also included links to where you can make reservations for afternoon tea at each tearoom, as well as book train tickets, make reservations at restaurants and purchase tickets to major attractions.
Here’s my itinerary for the perfect afternoon tea tour of the UK:
London: Afternoon Tea at the Promenade at The Dorchester—London
- Arrive in London in the late morning/early afternoon.
- Check in to your hotel
- Take an afternoon stroll through Hyde Park
- Arrive at the Dorchester for your first afternoon tea
- Dinner options: Have a drink & a late dinner in Notting Hill or nearby Belgravia
Bath: Afternoon tea at the Hands Georgian Tearoom—Bath
- Take the train to Bath Spa Station from London’s Paddington Station
- Walk from the station to the historical center for a tour of the Roman Baths
- Take a tour of Bath Abbey
- Afternoon tea at the Hands Georgian Tearooms
- Walk up the road for a tour of the Jane Austen Center
- Head North towards the Circus and the Royal Crescent Park
- Take a stroll along the River Avon, crossing the beautiful Pulteney Bridge
- Pre-dinner aperitif at Same Same But Different cafe
- Dinner at Clayton’s Kitchen, a modern British restaurant serving cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients
- Take the train back to Paddington Station from Bath Spa Station
London: Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason’s Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon—London
- Early afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason’s Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon
- Take the train to York Station from Kings Cross Station in London
- Check in to your hotel or bed & breakfast
- Dinner at Cafe Bistro No. 8
Day 4: York:
Afternoon Tea at the Belmont Room at Betty’s—York
- Take a walk around the city walls
- Afternoon tea at the Belmont Room at Betty’s of York
- Take a stroll through the Shambles
- Visit the Jorvik Viking Centre
- Visit the York Castle Museum
- Tour of York Minster—enjoy walking to the top of the spires and listening to the evensong
- Dinner at the Rattle Owl—Modern British cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients from Yorkshire, housed in a historically protected building
Edinburgh: Afternoon Tea at the Palm Court at The Balmoral—Edinburgh
- Take the train to Edinburgh’s Waverley Station from York Station
- Check in to your hotel
- Afternoon tea at the Palm Court at the Balmoral Hotel
- Stroll along the Royal Mile—Check out St. Giles Cathedral; pick up some Scottish gin, whisky or shortbread at one of the many shops on the Royal Mile
- Dinner at the Grain Store, a modern Scottish restaurant serving locally sourced cuisine, housed in a 400 year old building
Edinburgh: Afternoon Tea at the Colonnades at the Signet Library—Edinburgh
- Tour of Edinburgh Castle
- Afternoon tea at the Colonnades at the Signet Library
- Take a tour of the Whisky Experience
- Visit Holyrood Palace
- Dinner at Wedgwood on the Royal Mile—excellent six course dinners focusing on locally sourced Scottish ingredients
Scottish Highlands: Afternoon Tea at Mhor Tearoom—Callander, Scotland
- Tour of Loch Ness and the highlands with Rabbie’s
- Early casual afternoon tea at Mhor Tearoom in Callander
- Dinner on the Royal Mile: the Witchery by the Castle or Angels with Bagpipes
London: Afternoon Tea at Harrods Tearooms on the Fourth Floor—London
- Take the train to London’s Kings Cross Station from Edinburgh’s Waverley
- Check in to your hotel
- Afternoon tea at Harrods
- West End musical: Wicked the Musical at the Apollo Victoria Theatre
London: Afternoon Tea at Céleste at The Lanesborough—London
- Chelsea in Bloom
- Shopping on Kings Road in Chelsea
- Afternoon tea at Céleste at Lanesborough Hotel
- The RHS Chelsea Flower Show
- Dinner at Made in Italy on Kings Road in Chelsea
London: Afternoon Tea at the Drawing Room at Brown’s Hotel—London
- Breakfast at Farm Girl Cafe in Notting Hill (adorable cafe with outdoor seating)
- Visit the Tower of London
- Afternoon tea at the Drawing Room at Brown’s Hotel
- Stroll through Covent Garden—stop for loose leaf tea at Whittard of Chelsea
- Early dinner at a sidewalk cafe in Covent Garden
- West End musical: Waitress the Musical at the Adelphi Theatre
London: Afternoon Tea at the Dining Room at The Goring Hotel—London
- Traditional English Breakfast at the Wolseley, a former car showroom
- Watch the changing of the guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace
- Walk through St. James Park to Westminster—photo op at the red phone booths
- Walk across the Westminster Bridge for photo ops of the London Eye, the Thames River, the Parliament buildings (Palace of Westminster) & Big Ben
- Lunch at the Red Lion Pub, serving traditional British pub fair (excellent meat pies)
- Tour of Westminster Abbey (purchase timed tickets ahead)
- Walk back towards the palace through St. James Park and down the Mall for excellent views of the palace, then walk past the Royal Mews to the Goring Hotel
- Afternoon tea at the Dining Room at the Goring Hotel
- Watch a play at The Other Palace Theatre: “Toast” play
- Late dinner in nearby Victoria or Belgravia