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"Everything was wonderful"
We saw and experienced so much that I came home exhausted, but wouldn't trade a moment of what we did. I would love to see other places with them.
All the highlights of Britain and Ireland lie ahead as your epic journey across two mystical islands kicks off in London. After checking in, spend the rest of your first day in Old Blighty exploring the sights on your own. You could delve into the history of the British Empire at one of its many museums or plant yourself outside Buckingham Palace, keeping a keen eye out for the Queen.
Your time is your own today so plan your exploration of Britain's capital wisely. You'll want to soak up all its pomp and pageantry as you stroll along leafy avenues lined with great monuments, museums and historic landmarks. London is intoxicating no matter your interests and you'll have a full free day to discover it your way.
This morning, meet your Travel Director and travelling companions as you set off onto your adventure. The Big Smoke's skyscrapers and boroughs give way to an idyllic countryside as you wind your way to Windsor, the Queen's favourite weekend getaway. Arriving in Bath, you'll admire the honey-coloured Georgian architecture which gives this ancient Roman city its elegant aspect. Cross the Severn Estuary, the border between England and tiny Wales, where tonight its capital sets the stage for the rest of your memorable holiday.
Join this morning's Optional Experience to Cardiff Castle, a medieval fortress which has enjoyed a colourful history spanning centuries. Ancient ruins and lush countryside lie between the Welsh capital and your first stop at Pembroke Castle. But first, your scenic drive will pass Carmarthen, the oldest town in Wales and, legend has it, the birthplace of Merlin. See the 11th-century castle in which King Henry VII, the first of the Tudor line, was born, then board your ferry across the Irish Sea to Ireland where tonight you'll dine in your hotel in Waterford.
The delicate crystal for which Waterford is so famous takes centre stage this morning during a visit to the Waterford Crystal Showroom. Leave all that Viking history behind and head along the southern coast to Youghal, the former home of famous explorer and courtier Sir Walter Raleigh. Your next stop is Blarney Castle, where a quick kiss of the Blarney Stone will grant you the 'gift of the gab'. Your scenic drive continues across the Cork and Kerry Mountains. You'll pass Killarney, where you could hop on an optional Jaunting Car ride, before continuing to Tralee, renowned for its annual Rose of Tralee International Festival.
There won't be a moment you're not fixated on this wild landscape of stone monuments, deserted beaches and verdant pastures. Today's drive through the Dingle Peninsula is one filled with tiny villages, colourful fishing harbours and landscapes that have inspired poetry. Those incredible views will linger long after you leave Ireland's most westerly point, but there's more to see as you head to the prettiest village in Ireland, Adare. Continue to Limerick to see its medieval-era St. Mary's Cathedral and view King John's Castle, before arriving at your hotel in Shannon.
Your first stop today is Ireland's first City of Culture, Galway, or join an Optional Experience to the 15th-century Bunratty Castle and Folk Park delving into what Ireland was like in the 19th century. After a chinwag with the 'locals', drive through the wild landscapes of County Clare bound for Galway, the 'place of foreigners'. See its modern cathedral before heading to the whimsical Irish capital. This evening, an optional dinner and cabaret evening will have your toes tapping and taste buds craving another round of Irish coffee.
You're in good hands this morning as your Local Specialist reveals all their secrets about this charismatic capital city with a small-town feel. View Trinity College, St. Patrick's Cathedral and Dublin Castle, the 13th-century Norman fortress turned museum. This afternoon explore Dublin on your own or join an optional visit to one of the most important monastic sights in Europe. Your Local Specialist will bring the ancient stories of Glendalough to life and show you around the beautiful landscapes of the garden of Ireland.
Say a fond slán go fóill to the 'Emerald Isle', crossing the Irish Sea bound for Holyhead on the Welsh Island of Anglesey. Get ready for a tongue twister you could only capture in a panoramic shot. View the station boasting one of the longest names in the world, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, then head through the north coast of Wales to Chester, to explore its Roman heritage. There's time to walk along its defensive 1st-century walls and view the famous black and white half-timbered buildings before heading to Liverpool where the musical 'Fab Four' had their start. Join an Optional Experience guided tour of the city, exploring its glorious maritime past and vibrant cultural present, before continuing to Manchester.
After a busy week of sightseeing, you deserve an idyllic stop in "the loveliest spot" that has inspired poetry and prose. Board an exclusive and optional cruise on Lake Windermere, skimming the northern coastline, deserted islands and Wray Castle. See the Lake District landscapes that William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter so admired before crossing the Scottish border bound for Gretna Green. Here you'll learn how eloping couples would tie the knot over the legendary anvil against their parents' wishes. Tonight, an Optional Experience could see you join your travel companions for a delicious traditional dinner at a local restaurant.
Discover the Edinburgh's mystical allure which has captivated writers, poets, politicians and royalty. Your Local Specialist will guide this morning's sightseeing tour past the Palace of Holyroodhouse and Edinburgh Castle. You'll explore the medieval Royal Mile and cross the Liffey to the grand Georgian boulevards of New Town. The rest of the day is free to explore Edinburgh on your terms. 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, an Optional Experience could see you visit the ancient village where Knights Hospitaller once settled or dance up a storm to the skirl of traditional bagpipes. Time your visit to coincide with the rousing Edinburgh Tattoo with tickets included on certain departures.
Your journey south ventures through what was once referred to as "The Debatable Lands" where all that remains of Jedburgh Abbey are its 12th-century ruins. Admire the expansive Cheviot Hills at Carter Bar, snapping a selfie at the Anglo-Scottish border. Continue into Northumberland National Park to view Hadrian's Wall, the largest Roman archaeological feature anywhere in the world. Then cross the Tyne River at Newcastle and stop in York where an orientation tour will reveal the city's medieval heritage and spiritual heart, its Gothic Minster. Wander down the narrow cobbled Shambles, then continue to your hotel in Leeds where dinner is served this evening.
The streets and squares of Stratford-upon-Avon remain much as they did in the time of Shakespeare. Embark on your own exploration of the historic market town where England's famous bard was born and buried, including a visit to Anne Hathaway's cottage and his grave which he said to have famously cursed. There's time to join an Optional Experience to Warwick Castle and even see the firing of the greatest of medieval siege weapons, the Trebuchet.
Take a step back in time to the Cotswolds, a glorious collection of tiny thatched villages and rolling green hills. Your scenic drive through this historic corner of Britain will bring you to Bladon, where Sir Winston Churchill is buried in the unassuming churchyard at St Martins Church. Churchill, widely credited with delivering the British nation from the brink of defeat to victory in World War II, loved the Cotswolds and spent his retirement here. Next up is a visit to Oxford, England's oldest university city. See several of its iconic landmarks before continuing south to London.
It's time to close the curtain on your epic adventure across Britain and Ireland. You'll say farewell to new friends as you prepare for your return journey home. A London Heathrow Airport shuttle service is available to purchase. Conditions apply.
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.
You’ll explore this unique castle on a private tour and hear tales about the eclectic refurbishments. Finished 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
Enjoy a traditional pony and trap ride through the beautiful Bourn-Vincent National Park. During your journey, your Local Specialist will share fascinating anecdotes about the area and Ireland.
Adult Price: €21
Join us for a unique Irish cultural experience nestled in the shadow of the ancient Rock of Cashel. A warm Céad Míle Fáilte will greet you before this unique show, that combines the best aspects of Irish music and dance, will leave you with unforgettable memories.
Adult Price: €55
Come on a visit to the 15th-century Bunratty Castle and admire its fine furnishings, antiques and paintings. With your local specialist, you’ll experience an Ireland of the past, as you wander through the folk park with its thatched cottages and smoky turf fires. In the village, we'll have free time to explore the quaint shops and relax in the local tea room.
Adult Price: €22
Enjoy an evening of fine food and non-stop fun as Ireland’s history unfolds in a cabaret of comedy, song and dance. The cast will have you 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: €71
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: €45
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: €24
Come along on a guided tour of Liverpool. From its glorious maritime past to its famous cultural present, you’ll discover the two magnificently different cathedrals, see Mathew Street, birthplace of The Beatles, and admire the Mersey Sound.
Adult Price: £16.50
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: £17
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.
Adult Price: £19
Join us and your traveling companions for a delicious traditional dinner and drink at a local restaurant.
Adult Price: £38
Enjoy a scenic drive to the ancient village of Torphichen, associated with Scottish kings and Knights Templar. At the haunted Torphichen Inn, your arrival will be toasted by our gracious host before enjoying an excellent dinner of local specialties and entertainment.
Adult Price: £46
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
Dominating the skyline of the city, Edinburgh Castle has been on Castle Rock in one form or another since the 12th century. The site was a royal residence until 1633 and was then used mostly for military purposes. 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 1100-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 visit the magnificent State Apartments, see the wax-works, explore the exhibitions and climb Guy and Caesar’s Towers for panoramic views—before visiting the Gaol. You may even get to see the firing of the greatest of medieval siege weapons, the Trebuchet. 'The Castle Dungeon' is a separate experience and not included.
Adult Price: £25
Tonight is your chance to put on that tartan and join us for an evening of singing, dancing and bagpipe playing at an internationally famous venue. You’ll enjoy delicious food and wine, join in the singing and watch a Highland dance or two. There's even a chance to sample Scotland’s national dish—haggis.
Adult Price: £60
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