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"Trip included all the major highlights"
The scenery was breathtaking throughout the trip. Every day brought new adventures and our travel group was wonderful!
Welcome to London. After checking into your hotel, the afternoon is free to enjoy a city that is famous for its pomp and pageantry. Perhaps relax with a walk along the Serpentine in Hyde Park or window shop in the elegant boutiques of Knightsbridge? Alternatively, you may want to stroll along the Thames to the iconic Tower Bridge and Tower of London.
At 08:00 meet your Travel Director at the trip's hotel in London. After a warm welcome, settle into your luxury coach and head westwards through the green Chiltern Hills. Stop in Oxford where your Travel Director will introduce you to 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? Continue via pretty Cotswolds villages to Stratford-upon-Avon. Visit the half-timbered house where William Shakespeare was born, now a museum full of memorabilia relating to his life. Later, join your Travel Director and fellow travellers at a local restaurant for a warm and friendly Welcome Dinner with drinks and the opportunity to get to know each other over a pleasant evening.(Breakfast / Dinner with 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 York Minster, the largest medieval church in northern Europe. Explore the maze of narrow streets to the topsy-turvy Shambles, where warped, overhanging timber-framed houses lean so far that they almost touch! Spend the rest of the day at leisure.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Travel across the Yorkshire Dales and wild Pennines to the picturesque 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. At night, select departures will attend the spectacular Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo - a colourful mix of pipes and drums, dance and display, set against the floodlit backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.(Breakfast)
Join a Local Expert for a trip along Princes Street to see the ornate Victorian Gothic monument to Sir Walter Scott and the elegant 18th century New Town with its classical Adam facades. Over in the Old Town, see the Palace of Holyroodhouse - the official Scottish residence of Her Majesty, the Queen and visit the castle, home of Mons Meg, the Stone of Destiny and the Honours of Scotland, Scotland's glittering Crown Jewels. 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?(Breakfast)
Cross the Firth of Forth into Fife and make your way to St. Andrews, passing the Old Course where golf was born in the 15th century. Enjoy free time to explore. Perhaps stroll to West Sands Beach where the famous 'Chariots of Fire' scene was filmed? Alternately, wander to St. Andrews University where the love story of Kate Middleton meeting her Prince Charming began. Cross the Tay and journey to the charming Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, famous for its salmon run. Continue via Blair Atholl and pass the Grampian Mountains on the way to the sparkling Spey Valley. Stop at Culloden Moor, where Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite army was finally crushed in 1746 and visit the Culloden Visitor Centre. Travel to Inverness, where your centrally located hotel is set on the banks of the River Ness and looks up to Inverness Castle.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Start the day with a journey of discovery on a private Loch Ness cruise. Soak up the scenery, historic monuments and intriguing tales of Nessie in the heart of Scotland's great glen. Your travels then 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 2.06 m, is the world's shortest street!(Breakfast / Dinner)
Visit the most northerly community 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.' Our included sightseeing with our Local Expert takes us to 5000 year old village of Skara Brae, the mysterious Ring of Brodgar, Kirkwall and the small chapel built by Italian prisoners of war during World War II.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Relax and enjoy the stunning landscapes of lochs and mountains on your way to the fishing town of Ullapool. Continue 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.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Return to the mainland to see the remote Eilean Donan Castle, which under a clear sky offers a perfect reflection in its loch. Move on to the WWII Commando Memorial for a chance to view 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, known as the 'Queen of Scottish Lakes' according to Sir Walter Scott, before arriving in Glasgow.(Breakfast)
Cross the Irish Sea, enjoying views of the Island of Arran along the way. Once you arrive in Northern Ireland, 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'.(Breakfast / Dinner)
In the morning, meet Ronan, one of the nation's great storytellers, as he takes you inside Londonderry's well-preserved walls, still topped with cannons. Walk down steep Shipquay Street, with its elegant Georgian houses, to the Gothic Guildhall, and cross the border to see O’Donnell’s Castle in Donegal. Journey south to the Belleek Pottery & Visitor Centre, nestled on the banks of the River Erne. Meet some of the specialist craftspeople and see artisan techniques in action during your visit. Continue to the churchyard at Drumcliff, the last resting place of Irish poet W.B. Yeats. Then it’s on to your country retreat, set on the scenic shores of Sligo Bay.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Experience the beautiful rugged landscape of Connemara, a wonderland of rivers, lakes and silent hills. Continue to Galway, where your Travel Director will show you St. Nicholas Cathedral, the Spanish Arch and Eyre Square, dedicated to the late US President John F. Kennedy. Move onto your hotel in Limerick, famous for rhymes, lace and Georgian houses.(Breakfast)
Start the day with an exploration of Limerick where you will see King John’s Castle, St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Treaty Stone. Continue your journey through the land of song and legend via the picturesque thatched village of Adare, into County Kerry and onto your Killarney hotel.(Breakfast)
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 as you choose from a hand-picked selection of local restaurants, ranging in style and ambience.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Cross the rugged Derrynasaggart Mountains this morning and head for Blarney. Visit the ruined 15th century castle and home to the famous Stone of Eloquence. It is said that those whose lips caress the Stone of Eloquence are bestowed with the power to persuade, flatter and coax. Continue on to Cork, Ireland's second most populous city, built on the River Lee. Enjoy a city tour before checking into your hotel.(Breakfast)
Travel to the medieval city of Kilkenny, home of the world's fastest field game. The ancient Celtic sport of hurling is over 3,000 years old and Ireland's national sport. Meet a player who will share his passion as you test your skill during a lesson. Continue to Ireland’s lively capital, Dublin, and spend a leisurely evening relaxing, exploring or perhaps taking in a famous Irish Cabaret?(Breakfast)
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 private masterclass where you will learn to pour the perfect pint. Then meet your Local Expert who will show the sights of the city, including Dublin's elegant Georgian squares, O’Connell Street and the Custom House. The afternoon is at leisure.(Breakfast)
Bid farewell to Ireland as you board the ferry to Wales. Cross the Isle of Anglesey, via the village bearing Britain's longest name, and continue over the Menai Straits for a stop in the walled market town of Conwy to see the castle. Travel along the north coast of Wales and cross the English border to arrive 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. An exploration with your Travel Director will show you the well-preserved city walls, Jubilee Clock and impressive cathedral.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Head south as you follow the Welsh border to The Hall at Abbey Cwm Hir. Meet the proud owner of the home, Paul Humpherston, as he explains the history and restoration of the stunning building and its surrounds. Enjoy a light lunch of locally-sourced delights including Welsh favourites such as a cheeseboard featuring Welsh cheeses, artisan breads and Welsh chutney, bara brith - a traditional Welsh bread served with butter, Welsh cakes and fresh fruit. Continue through the countryside to the Welsh capital and see the Principality Stadium and Cardiff Castle.(Breakfast / Lunch)
Cross the soaring Severn Bridge to reach the elegant Georgian city of Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in amphitheatre-style on the surrounding hills. An orientation of the city will show 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 to see the incredibly well-preserved remains of one of the greatest spas of the ancient world, still ﬂowing with the natural hot water from the springs. Journey on to Glastonbury, rumoured to be the resting place of legendary King Arthur and the Holy Grail. After some time to explore, continue on to the Cornish countryside for the night.(Breakfast)
Explore Devon with Insight Choice. Choose between a walk and foraging experience in Dartmoor or a scenic cruise of Plymouth harbour and see the Mayflower Steps, where 400 years ago the pilgrim ship, Mayflower 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, and back in Saltash you will enjoy a glass of wine with your newfound friends at your delectable Celebration Dinner. Toast to an inspiring journey of discovery. Cheers!(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Travel across Salisbury Plain to visit the prehistoric and mysterious Stonehenge, where the strange and awe-inspiring monoliths are reputed to be up to 5,000 years old. Your discovery of Britain and Ireland concludes upon your return to the trip's hotel in London where the evening is at your leisure.(Breakfast)
Your journey comes to an end after breakfast.(Breakfast)
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo takes place every year in August.
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 2020 it will take place in Edinburgh from August 7th to August 29th, 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!
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.
Join us for a lively and memorable evening of traditional Scottish song, dance, tartan and bagpipes. In addition to wine and dinner, your kilted hosts will lead you through some of the best-loved Scottish music and songs. You'll learn a Highland dance or two and sample Scotland’s national dish - haggis. An exceptional Scottish experience!
Adult Price: £60
Join our Ghouls and Ghosts to embark upon a scary and mirth-filled tour of Edinburgh's old town as never seen before! We'll enjoy a drink afterwards to calm our nerves before returning to the land of the living.
Adult Price: £27
This magnificent ship has hosted some of the most famous people in the world. But, above all, Britannia was home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family. For four royal couples, Britannia was to provide a honeymoon sanctuary before the onset of married life in the world's most photographed family. Now berthed in Leith, you are welcomed on board to discover the heart and soul of this most special of Royal residences.
Adult Price: £23
Edinburgh has more eateries per head than any other city in the UK and your Travel Director knows which ones shine and which ones to shun! Join your fellow companions for a fun evening out in this vibrant city. Visit a prized local restaurant for a delicious three course dinner with a glass of wine, beer or soft drink included.
Adult Price: £40
Journey into the fascinating past with a visit to the ancestral home of the Dukes of Atholl. Brimming with treasures inside and out, magnificent Blair Castle is set in its own grounds against a backdrop of glorious scenery. During your informative tour, see how the castle has been transformed through the ages and learn how Queen Victoria's famous stay led to the creation of Europe's only private army.
Adult Price: £20
A rare opportunity to enjoy an introduction to the Gaelic culture that is so unique to the Highlands. Stories, song, music and Highland history await you in the warm atmosphere of a centuries-old Highland hostelry
Adult Price: £25
Visit the much loved holiday home where the late Queen Mother spent many happy summers for nearly 50 years. Spectacularly set on the Caithness Coast with views across the Pentland Firth, Britain's most northerly castle is very much a family home and offers a rare glimpse into the relaxed Royal lifestyle away from the public eye. Your tour takes in the Queen Mother's bedroom, library, drawing room, Princess Margaret's room and kitchens. Of special interest are the greenhouses and the old fashioned shrub roses and climbers of the Shell Garden, where she loved to sit in the afternoon with her dogs.
Adult Price: £20
A wonderful opportunity to experience the spectacular scenery of the Trotternish Peninsula with a local expert. Hear about the way of life on this remote inner Hebridean island, steeped in myth and legend. While touring the 'Isle of Mist' see the Old Man of Storr, the red and black Cuillin Mountains and picturesque Portree, the largest town on the Island. This is an opportunity not to be missed.
Adult Price: £15
In recent years, Glasgow has developed a fearsome culinary reputation. With its elegant and chic atmosphere, this restaurant is very much at the forefront. In the hub of Glasgow's vibrant cosmopolitan capital, enjoy an evening of Scottish fayre and experience the unique atmosphere of the city at night.
Adult Price: £40
Calling all Lords and Ladies! Please be seated for a delicious banquet in the great hall of the castle. In the splendour of a bygone age, entertainment is provided by the court jester, castle musicians and attendants of the medieval court. It won’t be long before you're making merry with the fine music, singing, dancing, good food and laughter. You'll be sure to take home warm memories of this delightful evening.
Adult Price: €73
Clip-clop your way through Killarney National Park, the first Irish National Park and a land of lakes and lore. A local "jarvey" will inform us of the history, legends and folklore of this beautiful setting while aboard one of these famous carts.
Adult Price: €21
A tour de force of traditional Irish song, music and dance, Gaelic roots showcases Ireland at its best. Using traditional instruments, Irish dance and time-honoured folk songs, this energetic show will have you tapping your feet and singing along in no time.
Adult Price: €34
Join an extremely knowledgeable and entertaining historian for an insightful walking tour of Ireland's oldest city. Meet a range of colourful characters and learn about the town's history from the arrival of the Vikings through to British rule as you stroll to various key sights. Afterwards, rub shoulders with the locals with a drink in a typical pub.
Adult Price: €23
Visit a 300-year-old Irish pub and experience how pubs become part of their community, while sipping a drink or two and listening to fine Irish music.
Adult Price: €28
Over an excellent dinner of quality Irish food, enjoy a nonstop show of comedy, dance, song and music. Ireland’s musical history unfolds in a cabaret that will delight you long after the night has ended. The cast will have you tapping your toes and joining in the fun, and it’s all wrapped up in the spirit of Irish humour. At the end of your meal, cap off one of Ireland’s best nights out with an Irish Coffee.
Adult Price: €71
Stroll with your Travel Director along the Banks of the Liffey to view the historic architecture of Custom House Quay, including the Triumphal Arch of 1813 and the ever poignant Famine Memorial statues. Enter the two-century-old Vaults, for an exclusive reception of canapés and drinks, before touring "Epic". Here, walk with your ancestors to hear how the emigrating Irish influenced the four corners of the world and modern life as we know it.
Adult Price: €43
Join us for some warm Irish hospitality a three course dinner in a family run pub, that was formerly the haunt of nobility and notorious highwaymen. Lovely exposed brick walls and dark wood make for a cosy atmosphere in which to enjoy your hearty pub meal.
Adult Price: €45
Take an ‘insider’ look at this unique Castle started by the Romans 2,000 years ago where we have our own private tour. The refurbishments done in the 1800s have been described as outrageous to opulent, bogus to brilliant and some even say the architect, William Burgess, smoked his opium pipe too much! His influences include Arab and Islamic art, Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tales and even Aesop's fables. In addition, we can 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 lively night celebrating Welsh food and culture at the stunning Welsh Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Enjoy a traditional and locally-sourced three-course meal whilst being entertained by Welsh stories, enchanting music and renowned Welsh singers.
Adult Price: £54
There can be nothing better on a long summer's evening, then a delightful meal in a quintessential English country pub. Enjoy a three-course dinner of superb local food with wine. Cheers!
Adult Price: £40
Join us for a pleasant cruise around the harbour of this most famous seaport. Your skipper provides all the informative commentary as you enjoy panoramic vistas of Plymouth Hoe, site of Drake’s legendary game of bowls. View the Mayflower steps, where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America, and ships weighed anchor for Australia, New Zealand and Newfoundland. Continue into the Royal Navy Dockyard for a chance to see some of the more modern vessels of the Royal Navy
Adult Price: £15
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