Tipping guidelines in Britain!

DerDani / Pixabay

Tipping has become increasingly widespread in all areas of the service industry, particularly in restaurants, cafes, bars and taxis worldwide.

The UK is no different, but knowing when to tip and how much can be confusing.

See below for some tipping guidelines when visiting Britain:



In British restaurants where you place your order with a waiter or waitress at your table, it is common to tip around 10%.

This can be done by either leaving a cash tip after paying the bill or adding an amount to your total bill if paying by credit card.

In some restaurants, a service charge of 10% – 12.5% is added to the bill, and this should be noted clearly on the menu.

Do not leave a tip if you are not happy with the service.

Birte / Pixabay


Cafes and Coffee Shops

Similar to a restaurant, if you receive waitress service in a British cafe or coffee shop at your table, a tip of 10% would be appropriate.

In coffee shops, such as Starbucks or Costa, there may be a tip jar on the counter, but very few customers offer tips as you usually collect your own order.

In cafes, where you collect your food, place it on a tray and pay at the end counter, there is no need for a tip.


Unsplash / Pixabay

Bars and Pubs

You do not usually tip barmaids or bartenders in British pubs and bars.

However,  you can offer to buy them a drink if you have had great service or are on friendly terms.

Generally though, tips are not expected.



tookapic / Pixabay



It is not a requirement to tip in taxis, but most people round up the fare to the nearest £1 as a polite gesture.

If a minicab driver helps with your luggage on a longer journey or from an airport, you may want to tip a little more.

If taking a black cab or licensed minicab in London, a 10% tip is the average amount, although not a requirement.


Takeaway Food

When picking up food from a British takeaway restaurant, tipping is not required.

If your food is delivered to your hotel or apartment, although not required, tipping the delivery driver with the change or £1 would be a polite gesture.


Hans / Pixabay



In Britain, if a porter takes your bags to your room, a £2 cash tip is reasonable.

Tipping for food and drinks being brought to your room is at your discretion.

Again, leaving a tip for your chambermaid is at your discretion, but not a requirement.

Coach Tours and Guides

Tips are not included in the price of most tours.

However, it is customary to show gratitude to your tour director and driver for a satisfactory service.

CIE Tours recommend below the minimum amount Per person per day:

Driver/Guide (1 person crew) £5
Tour Director (part of 2 person crew) £3
Driver (part of 2 person crew) £3
Guide for walking or city tour £1
Driver for chauffeur vehicle £12



St Patrick’s Green Grandeur!

Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle because of its great beauty and vast amounts of green countryside.

However, on St Patrick’s Day, every one wants to be green!

But did you know that St Patrick was not actually from Ireland?

In fact he was captured and enslaved by the Irish for six years when he was just 16 years of age.

However, he used this captivity to  great effect by learning the Irish language and culture. After escaping captivity in Ireland, he was again captured and held captive in France! During this time he learned about French monasticism and had a vision of Victoricus (a martyr and saint) giving him the quest of teaching Christianity in Ireland.



Symbol of Christianity


Using the knowledge about Ireland he had acquired previously, St Patrick brought Christianity and monasticism to Ireland and managed to have over 300 churches built and over 100,000 Irish people baptised!



One of many churches


The colour green and the shamrock are still significant symbols for St Patrick, and you will find both of these in abundance in the evergreen country of Ireland!



Gorgeous green shamrock


Did you know that there are numerous tours that can take you all the way around the stunning Beauty of Ireland? You can go full circle from Dublin to Killarney to Bunratty and back again.



Bridge over Liffey River in Dublin


You can visit many places on the way including Blarney Castle to kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence.”



Blarney Castle


Drive around the Ring of Kerry  or take a 20-minute ferry ride across the wide River Shannon Estuary. Even continue along the Clare coast to the Cliffs of Moher, a spectacular wall of limestone that reaches nearly 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean.


Stunnimg Cliffs of Moher

You can also travel north bound and  visit the Titanic Belfast to learn about this ill-fated famous liner that traces the development, building and sinking of RMS Titanic through state-of-the-art displays –  a must see!

Also see the Giant’s Causeway, huge hexagonal columns formed by volcanic activity 60 million years ago.



There is so much to see and do in Ireland that it is difficult to know where to start, but the start of the journey is only the beginning of a deep and meaninful journey that will take you to some of your wildest dreams!!








Live like a Queen Bee with CIE!



CIE Tours uses three classes of hotels – first class (3-star), superior first class (4-star) or deluxe (5-star) properties on all their tours. They choose hotels in central locations or scenic regions and  deluxe hotels offer luxurious features which are often in unique settings.



 For a royal experience, choose one of the CIE deluxe tours where you can stay in 5-star properties including Ashford Castle or Dromoland Castle. Many other tours stay in 4-star castle hotels such as Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel, Clontarf, Cabra or Kilronan Castle, giving you the experience on a more moderate budget.



Ashford Castle


5 star hotel

This famous castle dates back to the 13th century and now is one of Ireland’s most luxurious retreats. There are 83 bedrooms to choose from which are all individually designed with stunning views. Dine on superb cuisine in the elegant restaurant or enjoy afternoon tea or a snack in the lounge. The hotel offers spa facilities, golfing, horse riding, fishing and more. 



Enjoying Ashford castle!



Dromoland Castle Hotel

5 star hotel

One of Ireland’s premier hotels, this magnificent castle Hotel offers guests every imaginable facility and comfort. Guest rooms are furnished to an amazing standard of comfort whilst the spacious public rooms are filled with numerous antiques. The Finest cuisine is enhanced by an impeccable service. You can relax in the spa and health facilities or play a round of golf on the lovely landscaped grounds with a lake and 18-hole golf course. 

What’s more, just down the road is Bunratty Village for an opportunity to visit Bunratty Castle!



Enjoy a medieval feast at Bunratty Castle.


 CIE Tours also feature Bunratty Castle, as well as Knappogue and Cardiff Castle  on a number of tours offering Banquets.



Amazing view from Cardiff castle!

Plus, all itineraries visit plenty of more castles throughout Ireland and Britain – WOW!



Edinburgh Castle

The majestic Edinburgh Castle!


Windsor Castle

The very Royal Windsor Castle!



 What’s more, on all CIE Tours’ holidays that visit Edinburgh during the Tattoo dates, prime tickets to this event are included!

Delightful Discounts for the New Year!

The chaos of Christmas can be exhausting at this time of year what with all the stress over present buying and food preparing, not to mention the the school nativity plays and the need to make your child some sort of half decent outfit to wear!



It’s hardly surprising that come January people are turning their attention to something a bit more exotic or different to look forward to.

It’s also why many people start to look into booking their holidays for the year ahead and even start looking while still on their Christmas holiday.


The good news is that there are plenty of bargains to be had if you look around a bit.

Trafalgar Tours are specialists in escorted coach tours and have a great deal on at the moment that offers 10% off selected European coach tours if you pay the full amount by the end of January.

Trafalgar Special Offers

Save 10% on Trafalgar 2016 Europe Tours.

Pay in full by 29 January


Trafalgar Tour Coach 2005

European Supreme 2016

Classic favourites meet the roads less discovered, to give a complete view of Europe’s many faces, from well-known characters Rome and Paris, to the lesser known personalities and secrets places of Be…  read more»

  • Lasting for 29 Days
  • Prices Starting From £146 per day



Insight Vacations also offer a similar deal on some of their outstanding tours, including  the wonderful ‘European Breakaway (2016)’ tour.

Insight Vacations coach

European Breakaway (Summer 2016)

A sensational sojourn designed to capture the very essence of Europe in a short period of time. Travel from the canals of Amsterdam to the Swiss Alps and elegant boulevards of Paris. Tour Pace – Livel…  read more»

  • Lasting for 8 Days
  • Prices Starting From £194 per day




Another great saving can be made when you book with  CIE  Tours.


2016 Early Booking Discount

Save 10% (up to £600 per couple) on any 2016 escorted coach tour of Ireland, Scotland, England & Wales departing in 2016. Book and pay the standard deposit per person by December 31st, 2016.




Grand Tour of Britain & Ireland

Starts and ends in London  read more»

  • Lasting for 24 Days
  • Prices Starting From £128 per day



Great saving on fantastic holidays so don’t delay and get that bargain now before they’ve all gone !

CIE Britain and Ireland!

Granted, the continent has some of the most amazing sights to see, but when it comes to islands, you just cannot beat  Britain and Ireland for their magic and mystery!

As Islands go, Britain and Ireland are not exactly the biggest Islands in the world, but then again, they are not the smallest – that honour goes to Bishop Rock which is situated 4 miles west of the Isles of Scilly in Cornwall and is 46 meters long by 16 meters wide!

With Britain, it’s the fascinating and ancient  history that so attracts thousands upon thousands of inquisitive people to its shores each year. Britain’s history is so rich you can even find layers of it in the earth! Take York for example, their Museum Gardens contain a whole array of historical buildings ranging from the Romans to the Middle Ages with layers of walls depicting each period. The actual museum itself was completed just before the Victorian period and still attracts hundreds of people a day to its doors! The majestic York minster is still of course another major attraction which cannot be ignored as you make your way around this beautiful city.


The majestic York Minster


Then, of course there is the wonderful Capital City of London to be captivated by. See the historical Houses of Parliament, the legendary Big Ben and the traditional Yeomen of the Queen’s Body Guard to name but a few!

London at twilight

London at twilight



Whereby Britain is the island that is steeped in history and tradition, it can be said that Ireland is the more magical ‘Emerald Isle’. Ireland was given this poetic name of ‘Emerald Isle’ due to its green and luscious countryside. and it’s not hard to see why!

Ireland has that certain magical and mystical feel about it, at every turn you are reminded of  myths and legends and the scenery only reinforces those feelings.

Find a way to explore Ireland and take full advantage of this green and wonderful land!

Ireland – Your Heaven on Earth!

CIE Tours International


You may or may not recognize the logo above for CIE Tours, but you will soon as this leading Irish tour operator has and continues to build its excellent reputation year in year out!



They have a wonderful Irish classic tour for 2016 which features some of the most stunning sights anyone can have the privilege to see!


Irish Classic

Meet in Dublin at the airport or hotel. Optional flight or train to Dublin from the UK.  read more»

  • Lasting for 12 Days
  • Prices Starting From £91 per day

Highlights include:

    • Bunratty Castle Medieval Banquet
    • Taylor’s Three Rock Pub
    • Giant’s Causeway
    • Sheepdog Trials
    • Walking Tours of Waterford & Derry
    • Jaunting Car Ride

Tour Includes:

    • Sightseeing by luxury coach
    • Professional tour director
    • 11 nights in hotels listed
    • Full breakfast daily (B) except on day 1
    • 7 dinners (D) including

      – Bunratty Castle Medieval Banquet

      – Taylor’s Three Rock Pub dinner and traditional show

      – 5 table d’hote dinners

    • 2 lunches (L)
    • Welcome get-together drink
    • Tours of Dublin and Belfast
    • Walking tours of Belfast, Derry, Galway and Waterford with local guides
    • Killary Fjord catamaran cruise
    • “The Quiet Man” walking tour of Cong
    • Horse-drawn jaunting car ride in Killarney
    • Sheepdog trails on Ring of Kerry
    • Irish coffee and music session at the Marine Bar in Dungarvan
    • Visits and admissions to Dublin Castle, Down Cathedral, St. Patrick Centre, Ulster Folk Park, Titanic Belfast, Giant’s Causeway, Donegal Castle, W. B. Yeats’ Grave, Ballintubber Abbey, Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle, Blarney Woollen Mills, House of Waterford Crystal, Dunbrody Famine Ship and JFK Homestead
    • Headsets for walking tours
    • Deluxe carry-on backpack, ticket wallet, luggage tags & strap
  • All local taxes, hotel service charges & porterage for one suitcase per person

The Giant’s Causeway is one particular highlight to witness and is close to some of the locations where the world famous ‘Games of Thrones’ is filmed.

The Giant’s Causeway, renowned for its thousands of interlocking hexagonal basalt columns, was created by cooling lava bursting from a volcanic eruption some 60 million years ago. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is steeped in myth and legend, especially about the mighty giant, Finn McCool. It’s setting within a dramatic coastal landscape rugged cliffs and magnificent views make for a breathtaking and surreal sight.



The Titanic Belfast is also a must see! This amazing monument to Belfast’s maritime heritage and world renowned visitor attraction is the birthplace of the infamous and tragic RMS Titanic which sank on her maiden voyage in 1912. Titanic Belfast’s fascinating exhibition consists of nine interactive galleries, covering a host of various themes which start with Titanic’s construction during 1909-1911.


So there you have it, over the years CIE Tours have built up an enviable reputation for security and reliability with satisfied clients throughout the world. Their standards are high, their holidays are excellent, they have state -of-the-art luxury coaches, prompt and pleasant customer service, the best hotels, and the all important outstanding visits and entertainment put on just for you!

6 Reasons to Love CIE Tours!

CIE Tours International

It’s official , Spring is here!! The 20th March 2014 is the date of the Spring equinox which marks the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere and it is now upon us.

Catbells-62 edit

Cute lambs with their mums.

What better time then to think about that glorious break to some of the most beautiful places on earth.

My dream has always been to visit the breathtaking scenery and magical mystery of Ireland!

I’ve found that CIE Tours offer some of the best tours in this majestic land. 1.They are based in Dublin, Ireland so are at the heart of the country they are touring. 2. During their 82 years of providing travel excellence, CIE have built up an enviable reputation for security and reliability with satisfied clients throughout the world. 3. They deliver excellent holidays with state-of-the-art luxury coaches. 4. They have fantastic customer service. 5. They offer the best and most gorgeous hotels and 6.They carefully choose the visits and entertainment they know will blow you away!

What’s more, they always seem to have some special discount on offer throughout the year, so don’t delay, get that special holiday booked and look forward to the magic that is Ireland!


Explore romantic Ireland as a Valentine’s Day treat!

I’d been trying to think of romantic destinations to visit as a Valentine’s Day present for my hubby Rick as he had been working hard all year and could really do with a treat. It wouldn’t have to be a trip on the actual day but just something to present to him as a gift for a future date.  I’d pondered on the usual Paris and Venice trips but  wanted to find something a little bit more different, something that my ‘adventure seeking’ and ‘inquisitive’ hubby would appreciate. Eventually, I came across some  tours of Ireland organised by CIE Tours which looked extremely tempting.

CIE Tours Coach - travel in the height of comfort aboard one of our state-of-the-art touring coaches


As I wanted it to be quite a long trip, I chose the ‘Jewels of Ireland’ tour which lasts 14 days and ticked many of the boxes I thought Rick might like. It also had the added bonus of having 5% off which is always a winner in my eyes.

Tour Map

As you can see on the map, the amount of places you visit are extensive but with just the right amount of travelling in between. I also liked this CIE tour because there are no hidden costs, or in other words,  no optional extras to purchase once you get there which saves a lot of hassle as far as I’m concerned.

Below are some places that I’m looking forward to visiting – Giant’s CausewayCabra Castle and hopefully some lively Irish music and dancing!


There are also trips to Cong village, where “The Quiet Man” movie was made in 1952, and  Belfast to see Victorian buildings and the shipyards where RMS Titanic was built in 1912.  There is also a visit to Titanic Belfast, a state-of-the-art museum with amazing displays – Rick will absolutely love this.

The amazing looking Titanic Belfast


The Hotels are absolutely gorgeous as well and are superior first class.

This list goes on and they are all gorgeous accommodations.  The list also goes on and on for what is also included in the tour – see below and be amazed:

  • Airport transfers at start and end of tour
  • Sightseeing by luxury coach
  • Professional tour director
  • 13 nights in hotels listed
  • Full breakfast daily (B) except on day 1
  • 10 dinners (D) including
    – Taylor’s Three Rock Pub dinner and traditional show
    – Knappogue Castle Medieval Banquet
    – Dinner and Irish step-dancing display at Cabra Castle Hotel
    – 7 table d’hote dinners
  • Welcome get-together drink
  • Tours of Dublin & Belfast
  • Walking tours of Kinsale & Derry with local guides
  • Horse-drawn jaunting car ride in Killarney
  • Irish coffee at the South Pole Inn
  • “The Quiet Man” walking tour of Cong
  • Killary Fjord catamaran cruise with an Irish coffee
  • Slieve League sea cliffs followed by home-baked scones with coffee or tea
  • Dublin open-top bus tour with a visit and drink at Guinness Storehouse or Old Jameson Distillery
  • Visits and admissions to Dublin Castle, Irish National Stud & Japanese Gardens, House of Waterford Crystal, Muckross House & Gardens, Dingle Brewing Company, Foynes Flying Boat Museum, Cliffs of Moher, Burren Display Centre, Poulnabrone Dolmen, Kylemore Abbey Visitor Centre, Knock Shrine, W. B. Yeats’ Grave, Belleek Pottery Factory, Triona Design, Donegal Castle, Giant’s Causeway, Titanic Belfast and Battle of the Boyne Centre
  • Deluxe carry-on backpack, ticket wallet, luggage tags & strap
  • All local taxes, hotel service charges & porterage for one suitcase per person


Impressed? I was and cannot wait to go, the sooner the better. I’m hoping by the end of it, we will be looking like this lot below!

All-inclusive adventure with CIE Tours!

CIE Tours International - Like travelling with friends
Did know that most other tour companies sell optional extras to clients while on tour?
When you travel with CIE Tours, you get an all-inclusive adventure that doesn’t have any fine-print expenses for extra side trips.

With the CIE Tours 350 pound Advantage, your holiday money goes a lot further!

It  can cost most couples up to £350 per week for optional extras such as medieval banquets, dinner/shows, walking tours and more.

CIE Tours coach tours include airport transfers, daily sightseeing programs with prepaid admission fees, full breakfasts,  medieval banquets and cabarets to make your holiday perfect! They include these features so that you are free to enjoy your holiday without daily sales pitches or unexpected additional costs. Their tour directors do not sell optional tours so that they can focus 100% on your enjoyment and interests. So from the moment you get to your start location, you’ll be escorted by an experienced tour director who has intricate knowledge of the local history while keeping your tour exciting.

With all the attractions to see in Ireland, it can be hard to plan a trip that is efficient while including as much sightseeing as possible. CIE’s 10- or 11-day trip packages are the perfect solution: step back in time in an ancient castle, discover old battlefields, and take in the breathtaking countryside views on the “Taste of Ireland and Scotland” tour, all for less than 100 dollars a day.
On the “Taste of Wales and Ireland” tour, you get to kiss the famed Blarney Stone, visit the luxurious House of Waterford Crystal, and travel to extraordinary castles dating back centuries.
If it’s a shorter trip you’re looking for, there’s something for even the getaway traveler. Going by coach allows you to cover a lot of ground in a little time, so that you can soak in as much of Ireland and its surrounding areas as possible, all in only a week. From traditional Irish music and pubbing with the locals on the “Irish Fling” tour, to castle and peninsula exploration on the “Southern Gems” tour, you can’t go wrong no matter which option you choose.
Map of
Map of
Unlike other tour companies that charge hidden fees, with CIE Tours you won’t have to stress about getting to your location only to realize that you have to pay more to go on additional side trips. Get a discounted rate when you buy through Global Coach Tours.

Fun and Exciting CIE Tours

CIE Tours offers the best tours of Britain and Ireland. The company, which has been in business for 81 years, is an industry favorite among travelers. One of the main reasons for this is the high level of customer service provided by the tour guides. These tour guides, who are extremely friendly, work tirelessly to ensure that each tour is a huge success. The tours offered by CIE are guaranteed to start on time and are well worth the money one will pay to participate.

CIE Tours Coach - travel in the height of comfort aboard one of our state-of-the-art touring coaches

Relax and travel in style aboard one of the state-of-the-art CIE coaches

CIE offers tours of many different travel destinations. Some of the most popular and well-known of these places are Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, Italy, and Eastern Europe.

Each one of these wonderful travel destinations offers visitors a fun and unique experience. People have the option to register for an independent or a group tour. The independent tours are highly organized and give travelers a multitude of attractions to choose from. These tours are customized to meet each individual person’s desires.

The same holds true for the group tours. These tours are classified as either a brochure tour or a customized tour. CIE gives travelers a list of tourist sights and attractions. It is up to the traveler to choose which places they want to visit. The professionals at CIE are always available to help people out with these decisions. They make it a point to do everything in their power to ensure that each one of their clients has a safe and exciting travel experience.