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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 King.
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 residence. 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.
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 enjoy the charming scenery en-route to 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 where tonight you'll dine in your hotel.
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 Irish show 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.
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 Forth 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 is your chance to enjoy delicious food and wine, join in the singing and watch a Highland dance or two. 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. 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. Martin's 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.
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.
Available on Day 2
Explore this unique castle on a private tour and hear tales about the eclectic refurbishments that blend cultural styles. Completed in the 1800s by architect William Burgess, his influences included Arabic art, Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tales and even Aesop's Fables. You’ll also walk on the battlements and climb the 1000-year-old Norman Keep for superb views over Cardiff.
Adult Price: £21
Available on Day 3
Enjoy a unique experience with 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 park and historic house, as well as offer tales of beautiful Ireland.
Adult Price: € 22
Available on Day 4
Travel is all about immersing yourself in local culture, and there’s no better way to do it than joining in traditional customs! Come along and experience the craic (good times) at a special Ceilidh evening complete with music, dancing and storytelling. Enjoy a drink and some local specialties as you watch Irish dancing and sing along to familiar Irish melodies.
Adult Price: € 64
Available on Day 5
Join us for a tour of the 15th Century Bunratty Castle and admire its fine furnishings, antiques and paintings. Led by your Local Specialist, you'll experience an Ireland of the past as you venture out through the folk park to explore thatched cottages and smoky turf fires, uncovering how the other half lived. In the village, enjoy free time to check out quaint shops and relax in the local tearoom.
Adult Price: € 23
Available on Day 5
Take your tour of Ireland to the next level, with an evening of fine food and toe-tapping fun in the vibrant city of Dublin. Watch as Ireland’s history unfolds before your eyes with comedy, song and dance in an interactive Irish Show. After indulging in a delicious dinner, you’ll top off the evening with a quintessential travel experience: drinking an Irish Coffee.
Adult Price: € 72
Available on Day 6
Famous for its heritage buildings and authentic local culture, Dublin is a charm-filled city for travelers to explore – and what better way to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Irish capital than with an evening in one of the most locally loved restaurant-pubs? You'll enjoy dinner and experience the charming hospitality for which this part of the world is known.
Adult Price: € 51
Embrace the outdoors and enjoy a motivational audio guide to fitness from a local specialist. Follow the suggested routes and listen to the commentaries of the places as you walk/run past them to really get to know the city like a local while exercising. Enjoy visiting Dublin at your own rhythm!
Adult Price: € 8
Enjoy a visit to one of the most important monastic sites in Europe, which was built in the Early Medieval style and dates back to the 6th Century. Your Local Specialist will tell historic 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
See another side of Ireland as we take a tour of EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum. Enjoy an eye-opening and moving experience as you ‘walk alongside your ancestors’ and learn how the Irish diaspora influenced the four corners of the world. After the tour, embrace another side of local culture as you enjoy a taste of the famous Irish Coffee.
Adult Price: € 54
Available on Day 8
Enjoy an exclusive cruise on Lake Windermere to discover the beauty of the northern coastline, admiring picturesque homes, gardens and the neo-gothic architecture of Wray Castle along the water. You'll be left inspired as you encounter deserted islands, unique wildlife and scenic vistas as you explore the area beloved by famous writers Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth.
Adult Price: £18
Take in the glorious scenery of the Lake District as we cruise across England's largest lake, admiring beautiful homes, castles and more from our private boat. Then, step back in time as we board the historic steam train from Lakeside to Haverthwaite, enjoying the thrill of riding the heritage railway and taking in scenic views as we travel.
Adult Price: £22
Available on Day 8
We'll drive into the old city of Edinburgh to see the city’s historic buildings illuminated at night, with photo opportunities of the Castle and Grassmarket. When possible, we’ll also visit one of the most haunted graveyards and see the grave of Greyfriars Bobby, the famous Skye Terrier. Then, we'll make our way to a local restaurant to embrace the Scottish lifestyle and enjoy a delicious dinner and drink.
Adult Price: £42
Available on Day 9
Dominating the skyline of the city, Edinburgh Castle has stood strong on Castle Rock since the 12th century. Led by our Local Specialist, we'll pay a visit to the castle that is famous for being the most besieged place in Great Britain and one of the most attacked fortresses in the world. We’ll also see the crown jewels, known as the Honours of Scotland, and the National War Museum of Scotland.
Adult Price: £25
We’ll drive out of Edinburgh to the tiny village of Rosslyn, where we’ll hear the inside story of the famous Rosslyn Chapel from a Local Specialist. One of Scotland's most unusual 15th-century buildings, Rossyln is famed for its associations with the Knights Templar, the Masonic movement, and now 'The Da Vinci Code.'
Adult Price: £22
Make your Scottish travel dreams a reality 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 with singing, and watch a Highland dance or two. There's even a chance to tick an iconic experience off your bucket list as you sample Scotland's national dish, haggis.
Adult Price: £62
Available on Day 11
Experience life in medieval times as we take an insightful tour of Warwick Castle. 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
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