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Your whirlwind journey through the United Kingdom and Ireland launches in its exhilarating capital. After checking in, explore this multicultural city your way, embracing all the pomp and pageantry of Britain's capital. Visit one of the many museums that reveal the history and culture of the world, pay your respects to Her Majesty or pop into your neighbourhood 'local' for a pint or two to kickstart your exploration of Britain and Ireland in style.
This morning meet your Travel Director and fellow travel companions. Your whirlwind journey through Great Britain and Ireland launches in London. As the boroughs of the Old Smoke give way to the beautiful shires north of its skyscrapers, you'll enjoy a scenic drive through lush green landscapes bound for Shakespeare country. Visit Stratford-upon-Avon where you'll come face to face with the legacy of England's beloved bard before heading to York. Your Travel Director will take you for an orientation walk through its medieval streets to the sacred York Minster, where every piece of stained glass and limestone block was placed for the glory of God. Continue to your hotel in Bradford where tonight you'll dine in a local restaurant.
You're in for a serene start to your morning as you wind your way through the limestone hills and valleys of the Yorkshire Dales. Rustic stone villages, sheep-filled pastures, castles and abbeys line your route to England's celebrated Lake District. At Lake Windermere, an Optional Experience could take you back to the days of Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth who proclaimed the area 'the loveliest spot that man hath found'. Board an optional cruise on a private boat, skimming the northern coastline, deserted islands and Wray Castle. Then cross the Scottish border and stop in Gretna Green where eloping couples would tie the knot over the anvil. Continue to Glasgow later today. Your afternoon orientation of this former industrial hub turned vibrant modern metropolis will include views of the cathedral, the Clyde River and George Square where many of Scotland's most famous sons are immortalised in stone.
A day spent exploring Scotland's exquisite capital will leave you in no doubt as to why it captured the hearts of Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte and even Queen Victoria. Your Local Specialist will reveal all the highlights of 'Auld Reekie'. View the Royal Mile, the Palace of Holyroodhouse in the shadow of Arthur's Seat and Edinburgh Castle which watches over the city from Castle Rock. Exchange the medieval façades of the Old Town for grand Georgian-lined boulevards of the 18th century New Town. You'll have some time to explore Edinburgh your way or consider joining one of two special Optional Experiences, boarding the Royal Yacht Britannia for a brush with royalty or exploring what lies behind the impenetrable walls of Edinburgh Castle. This evening surrender to the skirl of bagpipes during an optional dinner in Stirling with views of its Castle and the Wallace Memorial by night.
Your visit to Scotland culminates in a scenic drive along the Ayrshire coast, the rugged landscapes where Robert Burns, Scotland's National Poet, was born and raised. Pass Ailsa Craig, the figurative stepping stone from Scotland to Ireland before boarding your short ferry crossing to Northern Ireland. You won't dally in its trendy capital, but there's time to see the City Hall, Queen's University and the dock where the ill-fated Titanic was built. Head south to Dublin, your home for the next two nights. There's no better way to embrace the energy of the city than joining an optional dinner at one of its most popular restaurant-pubs. Rub shoulders with the locals as you enjoy dinner and a solid dose of Irish craic.
You're in for a 'grand' time in the Irish capital this morning as your Local Specialist shares all the highlights. See Trinity College and St. Patrick's Cathedral, founded in the 12th century. Its 43-metre spire makes this the country's tallest church. See the stately Georgian Squares then spend the rest of the day on your own. Head down to Grafton Street or Temple Bar for a pint of the 'Black Stuff' or stroll along the Liffey through the heart of Dublin. This evening, an optional dinner and Irish show will have your toes tapping and taste buds craving another round of Irish coffee.
You won't need to don your Sunday best to visit stylish County Kildare, although the heart of Ireland's horseracing community with its elegant estates will have you wishing you could linger a little longer. Continue through the splendid countryside bound for Kilkenny where you'll see its beautiful 12th-century castle, an enduring symbol of Norman occupation. Later you'll arrive in Waterford where a visit to the Waterford Crystal Showroom will reveal a wonderland of delicate crystal, from stemware to fine china. You're in for a riveting history lesson when you join an Optional Experience for a walking tour with a Local Specialist and visit one of the area's oldest pubs for a pint. Dinner tonight is at your hotel.
Say your goodbyes to the 'Emerald Isle', crossing St. George's Channel to Wales. Small in size but significant in stature, Wales is the fifth country on this journey across the United Kingdom and Ireland. Its vibrant capital is your final destination today. Here you'll view the Millennium Centre, the National Assembly and the historic castle at its heart. Climb the 900-year-old Norman keep and perhaps walk on the battlements during an optional private tour of Cardiff Castle this afternoon. This evening could see you venture into the Welsh countryside for dinner at a 14th-century inn or enjoy an evening of Welsh music, culture and humour at an Optional Experience.
Cross the Severn Estuary into England and venture to Bath with its elegant Georgian architecture. The city's healing waters saw it emerge as a wellness centre as far back as Roman times and you could choose to visit what remains of its Roman Baths before heading to Windsor to view the world's oldest and largest inhabited castle. There's time for a quiet stroll along the banks of the river and shop for Royal souvenirs before arriving in London.
It's time to close the curtain on your epic adventure across the England and Ireland. You'll say a fond farewell to new friends as you prepare for your return journey home. A London Heathrow airport shuttle service is available to purchase. Conditions apply.
Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.
Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.
Enjoy an exclusive cruise on a private boat on England's most beautiful and largest lake, taking in the northern coastline, beautiful houses, gardens and Wray Castle. You’ll see deserted islands, boats and birdlife as you explore the area loved by Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth.
Adult Price: £18
A chance to view the glorious scenery of the Lake District as we cruise across England’s largest lake. Then step back in time as we board the steam train for a short journey from Lakeside to Haverthwaite. Occasionally this experience will be operated in reverse.
Adult Price: £22
Join us tonight for a chance to explore more of Glasgow, get beneath its skin and learn about its music scene and folk culture. After a guided walking tour, we'll enjoy a two-course dinner with live music from the city's up-and-coming folk performers. Afterward, an informal trad folk session will see us through the night.
Adult Price: € 49
See Stirling Castle and the Wallace Memorial by night. A truly local experience, you'll be piped in to your evening meal in the historic Scottish city and enjoy an evening of Scottish delights.
Adult Price: £44
Dominating the skyline of the city, Edinburgh Castle has been on Castle Rock in one form or another since the 12th century. With our Local Specialist, we'll pay a visit to visit the castle, a royal residence until 1633 which is famous for being the most besieged place in Great Britain and one of the most attacked in the world. Historians have identified 26 sieges in its 1,100-year-old history. We’ll also see the Scottish regalia, known as the Honours of Scotland and the National War Museum of Scotland.
Adult Price: £25
You’ll explore this magnificent ship, which has played host to some of the most famous people in the world. Now berthed in Leith, you’ll be welcomed on board to discover the heart and soul of this most special of royal residences – the former honeymoon sanctuary for four royal couples.
Adult Price: £23
Come to one of Dublin's most locally-loved restaurant-pubs. You'll enjoy dinner and charming hospitality that this part of the world is renowned for.
Adult Price: € 49
Enjoy a visit to one of the most important monastic sites in Europe, which dates back to the 6th century. Your Local Specialist will tell tales and show you around this sacred area, famous for its tranquil beauty amidst the rolling countryside of County Wicklow, the garden of Ireland.
Adult Price: € 25
Join us on a visit to EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum. It's a moving experience, walking with your ancestors and learning how the Irish diaspora influenced the four corners of the world. Afterward, we'll enjoy a taste of the famous Irish Coffee.
Adult Price: € 37
Enjoy an evening of fine food and fun as Ireland’s history unfolds with comedy, song and dance. You’ll be tapping your toes and joining in the show, all in the spirit of Irish humor. And you’ll even be served an Irish coffee to round off your dinner.
Adult Price: € 72
Come with us on a visit to one of Dublin's top attractions; the Guinness Storehouse. We'll learn why this legendary stout is one of Ireland's favorites and discover how Guinness is made. After exploring the seven-story visitor center, we'll finish on the top floor with a pint and a magnificent view of Dublin. Afterward, we'll tuck into a pub lunch nearby.
Adult Price: € 47
Join us in Waterford, where the history dates back as far as the Vikings. Your Local Specialist will bring the historic area to life through stories and anecdotes; one guest even described the trip as the "best history lesson ever." Afterward, we stop off for a drink in one of the area's oldest pubs for a pint or drink of your choice.
Adult Price: € 24
During this evening of entertainment, you'll get the chance to experience Irish hospitality in the best folk tradition. Enjoy a drink while locals sing and play music for you.
Adult Price: € 29
You’ll explore this unique castle on a private tour and hear tales about the eclectic refurbishments. Done in the 1800s by architect William Burgess, his influences included Islamic art, Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tales and even Aesop's fables. You’ll also walk on the battlements and climb the 1,000-year-old Norman keep for superb views over Cardiff.
Adult Price: £21
Join us for a traditional Welsh country dinner. We'll take you to a 14th-century thatched inn called The Blue Anchor. While you're eating and enjoying your drink, you'll be entertained with a performance from a Welsh harpist.
Adult Price: £41
Enjoy an evening of Welsh music, culture and humor. The venue for the evening is a stunningly-renovated deconsecrated church. After a warm reception, we'll enjoy a first-class meal of seasonal Welsh specialties, sourced and produced locally. Quality wine or soft drinks are included and the meal will be accompanied by our enchanting Welsh harpist. You'll then be entertained by the finest local singers presenting the beautiful music of Wales.
Adult Price: £55
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