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This epic adventure illuminates the hidden corners of the British Isles. Along the way, encounter the full arc of Celtic heritage, cultures, legends and traditions.
Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).
Check into your hotel, then there is time to relax, explore or shop.
An included half day sightseeing tour of London’s West End shows you all the major sights - Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace. Your Insight Vacations Representative is also on hand today for help and advice.
After a warm welcome from your Tour Director, settle into your luxury coach and head westwards through the green Chiltern Hills. Stop in Oxford for an orientation tour of the 'City of Dreaming Spires' and home to the world's most famous university. With time at leisure, why not enjoy a visit to the world famous Ashmolean Museum or browse through the local indoor market, before continuing via pretty Cotswolds villages to Stratford-upon-Avon? Visit the half-timbered house where the bard was born, now a museum full of memorabilia relating to his life. Later, join your Tour Director for a warm and friendly Welcome Reception, with drinks and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.
A leisurely drive brings you to the historic city of York, its story going back to the time of the Romans and the Vikings. Inside the ancient city walls, see the Minster, the largest medieval church in northern Europe, then go exploring through the maze of narrow streets to the topsy-turvy ‘Shambles', where warped, over hanging timber-framed houses lean so far that they almost touch! Spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Travel across the Yorkshire Dales and wild Pennines to the picturesque English Lake District. Here a scenic wonderland awaits - rugged mountains and tranquil waters, inspiration to a host of English poets including Wordsworth, Coleridge, Tennyson and Shelley. After a visit to Wordsworth's grave in the village of Grasmere, cross into Scotland and stop briefly at Gretna Green. This is the famous spot where runaway lovers were married over the anvil at the Blacksmith's shop. Then it's on to the majestic Scottish capital.
Join a Local Expert and drive along Princes Street to see the ornate Victorian Gothic monument to Sir Walter Scott. Then tour the elegant 18th century New Town with its classical Adam facades. Over in the Old Town, visit the castle, home of Mons Meg, the Stone of Destiny and Scotland's glittering crown jewels. At the bottom of the Royal Mile, stands the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official Scottish residence of the Queen. The rest of the day is at leisure. Perhaps research your family tartan in the Tartan Centre or visit the art treasures in the National Gallery? At night, selected departures attend the spectacular Military Tattoo - a colorful mix of pipes and drums, dance and display, set against the floodlit backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.
Cross the Firth of Forth into Fife and make your way to St. Andrews, the home of golf. After some time to explore, cross the Tay and drive to the charming Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, famous for its salmon leap. Continue via Blair Atholl and over the Grampian Mountains to the sparkling Spey Valley. Travel to Culloden Moor, where Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite army was finally crushed in 1746. Visit the Culloden Visitor Centre before continuing to stately Inverness, where your centrally-located hotel looks over the River Ness and up to Inverness castle.
Start the day with a journey of discovery on a Loch Ness cruise. Soak up the scenery, historic monuments and intriguing tales of 'Nessie' in the heart of Scotland's great glen. Next, follow the rugged coast north to the fishing port of Wick. Pause at the Old Pulteney Distillery to taste a wee dram of whisky and learn about the production of the national drink. Don't blink as you drive on to your hotel - you pass Ebenezer Place, which at 2.06m, is the world's shortest street!
Visit the most northerly town on the British mainland, John O'Groats. Board the ferry to the beautiful Orkney Islands - where the hardy locals live ‘below the wind and above the water'. Guided sightseeing includes visits to the 5,000-year-old village of Skara Brae, the mysterious Ring of Brodgar, Kirkwall and the small chapel built by Italian prisoners of war during WWII. Return to your hotel for your evening meal.
Relax and enjoy the pristine landscapes of lochs and mountains on your way to the fishing town of Ullapool. Then drive alongside Loch Carron and through Glen Carron, before crossing to the magical Isle of Skye - the largest and most beautiful island of the Inner Hebrides. Hear the story of the song 'Over the Sea to Skye', which tells of young Flora MacDonald and how she helped to rescue Bonnie Prince Charlie, who fled in disguise after his defeat at Culloden. Admire the scenic splendour on the way to your hotel in Broadford.
Return to the mainland to see remote Eilean Donan castle, which under a clear sky offers a perfect reflection in its loch. Move on to the WWII Commando Memorial where there are views of Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain. Continue on to the Valley of Glencoe, its dramatic peaks still echoing with the ghastly cries of massacred clansmen. Stop on the ‘Bonnie Banks' of Loch Lomond, the 'Queen of Scottish lakes' according to Sir Walter Scott, before arriving in Glasgow.
Cross the Irish Sea, enjoying views of the Island of Arran on the way. Prepare yourself for miles of breathtaking beauty! The road clings to the coastline at the mouth of the famous 'nine glens of Antrim', alongside sandy beaches beneath towering basalt cliffs. Stop at the Giant's Causeway, and hear the legends which surround this geological masterpiece, created by the cooling of lava which burst through the Earth's crust millions of years ago. Continue to the ancient walled city of ‘Derry'.
Meet Ronan, one of the nation's great story tellers, as he takes you inside Derry's well-preserved walls, still topped with cannons, and down steep Shipquay Street, with its elegant Georgian houses, to the Gothic Guildhall. Cross the border to see O'Donnell's Castle in Donegal. Drive south to visit the Belleek Pottery centre, nestled on the banks of the River Erne. Meet some of the specialist crafts people and see artisan techniques in action during your visit. Continue to the churchyard at Drumcliff, the last resting place of Irish poet WB Yeats. Then it's on to your country retreat, set on the scenic shores of Sligo Bay.
Experience the beautiful rugged landscape of Connemara, a wonderland of rivers, lakes and silent hills. Continue to Galway and see St. Nicholas Cathedral, the Spanish Arch and Eyre Square, dedicated to the late US President John F. Kennedy. Move on to your hotel in Limerick, famous for rhymes, lace and Georgian houses.
An orientation tour shows you King John's Castle, St. Mary's Cathedral and the treaty stone. Continue through the land of song and legend via the picturesque thatched village of Adare, into County Kerry and your Killarney hotel.
In the morning, enjoy a trip around the Ring of Kerry, one of the world's greatest scenic journeys. See towering cliffs, lush lakelands, remote villages, Ireland's highest mountain range and the three peaceful Lakes of Killarney. With time at leisure, perhaps hire a bicycle and take advantage of the many cycle trails that Killarney has to offer, around the lake or through the National Park? At night your Dine-Around evening offers you authentic and intimate dining at a selection of local restaurants, ranging in style and ambience.
Cross the rugged Derrynasaggart Mountains this morning and head for Blarney. Visit the ruined castle, the home of the famous Stone of Eloquence, once kissed - never forgotten! Continue on to Cork, Ireland's second most populous city, built on the River Lee. See the City Hall and St. Finbarr's Cathedral, before a delightful coastal drive brings you to historic Waterford, with its 9th century Reginald's Tower and remains of the old city walls.
First admire the sparkling display of crystal on your guided visit to the world famous crystal factory and meet a master craftsman. Then drive to Kilkenny where you will experience first hand the ancient Celtic game of Hurling. Hear all about the world's oldest and fastest field game and learn first hand about the art of making the Hurley. Continue to Ireland's lively capital, Dublin, and spend a leisurely evening relaxing, exploring or taking in a famous Irish Cabaret show.
Before it opens to the public, experience Ireland's national and world-famous drink with a guided visit to the Guinness Storehouse. Gain a fascinating insight into the history and traditions behind its production and enjoy a tasting with a Guinness expert. Our sightseeing tour with a Local Expert shows Dublin's elegant Georgian squares, Irish President's home, O'Connell Street and The Customs House. The afternoon is at leisure.
Bid farewell to Ireland as you board the ferry to Wales. Cross the Isle of Anglesey (via the village bearing Britain's longest name), then continue over the Menai Straits for a stop in the walled market town of Conwy. Next, follow the north coast of Wales, to re-enter England at Chester. This fine town still boasts relics of its history as a Roman fortress, as well as the unique black and white shopping arcades known as the 'Rows'. Your sightseeing tour shows you the well preserved city walls, Jubilee Clock and impressive cathedral.
Follow the Welsh border to ancient Ludlow. This bustling town is still dominated by the massive castle, built to resist the frequent Welsh raids, while the medieval timber framed buildings and Georgian mansions reflect a later time of peace and prosperity. Continue through the countryside to the Welsh capital and see the Millennium Stadium and civic buildings before checking in.
Cross the soaring Severn Bridge to reach the elegant Georgian city of Bath, built amphitheatre-style on the surrounding hills. An orientation tour shows you the impressive Royal Crescent and Pulteney Bridge, both built in mellow local stone. See the angels climbing Jacob's Ladder on Bath Abbey before visiting the Pump Room and ancient Roman Baths. Journey on to Glastonbury, known as the resting place of the legendary King Arthur and the Holy Grail. After some time to explore, continue on to the Cornish Countryside for the night.
In the morning, cross the moorlands of Dartmoor, home to 'wild' ponies, on your way to maritime Plymouth. Numerous famous voyagers have set off from this ancient port and you will see the 'Mayflower Steps', from where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America. Visit a picturesque Cornish fishing village, where contraband was once landed in the dead of night. Experiences shared lead to lasting friendships. Back in Saltash, enjoy a glass of wine with your newfound friends at the delectable Celebration Dinner and toast to an inspiring journey of discovery. Cheers!
Travel across Salisbury Plain to visit pre-historic Stonehenge, whose strange and awe-inspiring monoliths are reputed to be up to 5,000 years old. In the afternoon, return to you London hotel.
Your journey draws to a close after breakfast this morning.
21 Full Breakfasts (FB), 8 three-course Dinners (D); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 1 Dine-Around (DA) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||AvailabilityPrice|
|16 Apr 17||11 May 17||$5,695pp||
|23 Apr 17||18 May 17||$5,695pp|
|27 Apr 17||22 May 17||$5,695pp||
|30 Apr 17||25 May 17||$5,695pp|
|4 May 17||29 May 17||$5,695pp||
|11 May 17||5 Jun 17||$5,695pp||
|14 May 17||8 Jun 17||$5,695pp|
|18 May 17||12 Jun 17||$5,695pp||
|21 May 17||15 Jun 17||$5,695pp|
|25 May 17||19 Jun 17||$5,695pp|
|28 May 17||22 Jun 17||$5,695pp|
|1 Jun 17||26 Jun 17||$5,695pp|
|4 Jun 17||29 Jun 17||$5,695pp|
|8 Jun 17||3 Jul 17||$5,695pp|
|11 Jun 17||6 Jul 17||$5,695pp|
|15 Jun 17||10 Jul 17||$5,695pp|
|18 Jun 17||13 Jul 17||$5,695pp||
|22 Jun 17||17 Jul 17||$5,695pp|
|25 Jun 17||20 Jul 17||$5,775pp||
|2 Jul 17||27 Jul 17||$5,895pp||
|6 Jul 17||31 Jul 17||$5,895pp|
|9 Jul 17||3 Aug 17||$5,895$5,453pp||Early PaymentPay by Feb 28||
$5,895 $5,453 pp
|13 Jul 17||7 Aug 17||$5,895pp|
|20 Jul 17||14 Aug 17||$5,895$5,453pp||Early PaymentPay by Feb 28|
|23 Jul 17||17 Aug 17||$5,895$5,453pp||Early PaymentPay by Feb 28||
$5,895 $5,453 pp
|27 Jul 17||21 Aug 17||$5,895pp|
|30 Jul 17||24 Aug 17||$6,095pp|
|3 Aug 17||28 Aug 17||$6,095pp|
|6 Aug 17||31 Aug 17||$6,095pp|
|10 Aug 17||4 Sep 17||$6,095pp|
|13 Aug 17||7 Sep 17||$6,095pp|
|17 Aug 17||11 Sep 17||$6,095pp|
|20 Aug 17||14 Sep 17||$6,095pp|
|24 Aug 17||18 Sep 17||$5,895pp||
|27 Aug 17||21 Sep 17||$5,895pp||
|31 Aug 17||25 Sep 17||$5,895pp|
|3 Sep 17||28 Sep 17||$5,895$5,453pp||Early PaymentPay by Feb 28||
$5,895 $5,453 pp
|7 Sep 17||2 Oct 17||$5,725pp||
|10 Sep 17||5 Oct 17||$5,725pp|
|17 Sep 17||12 Oct 17||$5,725$5,296pp||Early PaymentPay by Feb 28||
$5,725 $5,296 pp
|24 Sep 17||19 Oct 17||$5,675pp|
These departures include Edinburgh Tattoo.
Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.
Single Room Supplement: from $1,540 p.p.
Triple Supplement: from $130 p.p.
Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $188 per person.
Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.
AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift! Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.
Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation.
The currency in the UK is the Pound (£) and in Ireland is the Euro (€). While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate in your destination. The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in the UK and Ireland. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling. It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.
English specialties include fish and chips, Yorkshire pudding, sausages, stilton cheese, and scones with clotted cream. Culinary experiences to not to miss include a traditional pub meal, afternoon tea, and full English breakfast. In larger cities like London you’ll also find restaurants serving a variety of international cuisine.
Irish national specialties including Irish stew, coddle, potato bread, corned beef and whiskey cake. Be sure to try an Irish breakfast, visit a chip shop for fresh fish and chips, and enjoy hearty lunch at a good local pub.
The climate in the UK and Ireland is temperate, with regular rainfall throughout the year. We suggest packing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. A few important items to bring include sturdy walking shoes and a waterproof jacket with a hood. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.
Tipping in Britain and Ireland is less common than in the U.S. When dining out, some restaurants will add a service charge of 12.5 percent to your bill, especially for groups. If a service hasn’t been added, it’s appropriate to leave 10 – 15 percent gratuity.
At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director. Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit. A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.
Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.
You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions. All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers. In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group.
If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.
We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo takes place every year in August and is included on seven departures in 2017:
July 30, August 3, August 6, August 10, August 13, August 17, and August 20.
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, often referred to as "the most spectacular show on earth," is an exciting celebration showcasing the best of Scottish music, dance, and military pageantry. In 2017 it will take place in Edinburgh from August 4th to August 26th, and is sure to draw entertainers and spectators from around the world.
Tickets and arrangements have been included on these select departures. Book early as they will sell out quickly!
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