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Discover what's 'great' about Great Britain as you kick-start your lengthy love affair with Britain and Ireland in London. After checking in, spend your leisure time exploring the city your way. You could shop up a storm on Oxford Street, board the London Eye for panoramic views of the city or stroll along the Thames soaking up all its pomp and pageantry in preparation for a memorable trip.
You may not be royalty, but London rolls out its red carpet today as you enjoy a full free day to explore the city on your terms. There's no shortage of things to do and places to visit, so spend your time wisely embracing all the cosmopolitan verve this multicultural global capital has on offer, from its museums to its monuments, its leafy parks to its lively pubs.
This morning, meet your Travel Director and travel companions before you set off from London. Discover what's ‘great' about Great Britain as you kickstart your lengthy love affair with Britain and Ireland in London. The multicultural capital, with all its colour, history and culture, waves you on towards the lush green counties north as you wind your way to Stratford-upon-Avon. There's time to explore the town where England's favourite bard was born and laid to rest. You could delve into his life during a visit to Shakespeare's Birthplace and Visitor Centre before continuing your journey to York. Wander through its medieval streets to the city's geographic and spiritual heart, the York Minster. Then walk along The Shambles, a street so old it was mentioned in the Domesday Book. Continue to your hotel in Bradford.
All that lies between you and bonnie Scotland is Hadrian’s Wall. Unlike the barbarians it sought to keep out, you’ll have free reign not only to view it but to cross it bound for the 12th-century ruins of Jedburgh Abbey. See how this symbol of power and authority over 'The Debatable Lands' still impresses today before heading to the Royal Burgh of Airth. This evening, an Optional Experience could see you visit the ancient village of Torphichen where Knights Hospitaller once settled or time your visit to coincide with the rousing Edinburgh Tattoo with tickets included on certain departures.
Poets, writers, kings and queens have all found it impossible to resist Edinburgh’s allure. From its medieval Old Town to the elegant Georgian façades across the Leith, you’ll soon discover why it captured the hearts of so many famous people throughout the ages. Your Local Specialist reveals all the colourful tales of 'Auld Reekie' as your sightseeing tour rolls past the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle, perched atop Castle Rock. Explore the city your way during your free afternoon or consider joining one of two special Optional Experiences, discovering Rosslyn Chapel or exploring what lies behind the impenetrable walls of Edinburgh Castle. Don your tartan if you please this evening. Tonight, you’re in for a memorable Optional Experience featuring the skirl of traditional bagpipes.
A scenic drive through the ancient kingdom of Fife this morning reveals a time when these lush green hills were under the feudal rule of a Pictish king. Your first stop, however, is in the seaside town of St. Andrews, most noteworthy for its 15th-century university and inspiring the origins of golf. Put aside your dream of a hole-in-one and head to Pitlochry next, your gateway to the Highlands. You could choose to explore this salmon fishing centre on your own or walk in the footsteps of queens during an optional visit to Blair Castle, home to Europe’s last remaining private army. Later, an exhilarating optional encounter with a shepherd and his sheep could be on the cards. But it’s the enthusiastic border collies on this Highland farm that are the stars of the show on this Optional Experience.
Straight out of a scene in 'Outlander', the Scottish Highlands has a mystical air about it which you’ll come to discover as you explore its rugged beauty, evocative history and enchanting Highland ways. On your visit to Loch Ness this morning, keep a keen eye out for ‘Nessie’ before arriving in Inverness, the capital of the Highlands. Today’s poignant highlight is a visit to Culloden, where Bonnie Prince Charlie’s brave clansmen fought in the 1745 Jacobite Rising. Return to your hotel in the Highlands for dinner.
With its head in the clouds, Ben Nevis offers a majestic backdrop to today’s scenic drive to Fort William, the self-proclaimed ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’. Views of Scotland’s highest peak accompany the drive to Loch Linnhe. Continue to Glencoe where the tragic 17th-century massacre of the MacDonalds turned the wild beauty of this valley into a 'Glen of Weeping'. Travel along the banks and braes of Loch Lomond, where an optional cruise experience could take you to Rob Roy’s cave, before arriving in gritty Glasgow later today. Your orientation tour of the city will include views of Glasgow Cathedral and George Square where many of Scotland’s famous sons are immortalised in stone. An evening of good food and characteristic Glaswegian fun lies ahead if you choose an Optional Experience night out on the toon.
Elope to Gretna Green, as many young couples once did to tie the knot over its marriage anvil. While the practice of handfasting was outlawed less than a century ago, this Scottish town remains a haven for romance and runaway lovers. Continue south through tiny northern villages and vast pastures fringed by ancient stone walls to the Lake District. Today’s highlight is a stop at Lake Windermere where an Optional Experience brings this 'loveliest spot that man hath found' to life. Board an optional cruise on a boat and take a step back in time aboard an old-world steam train before arriving at your hotel later.
See the legacy of Roman rule during this morning’s visit to the ancient walled city of Chester. You’ll view its defensive 1st-century walls and the characteristic black and white half-timbered buildings, famously known as 'The Rows' before heading to the west coast. Cross St. George’s Channel to Ireland and its youthful capital, Dublin. You’ll arrive just in time for an Optional Experience at a local restaurant-pub that will deliver the craic for which Ireland is so renowned.
Embrace your playful side on this morning’s sightseeing tour through Ireland’s whimsical capital with a Local Specialist. View St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin Castle and Trinity College, where the 9th-century Book of Kells, and Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure, is housed. This afternoon, explore Dublin your way or join one of two Optional Experiences to visit important monastic sight 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, or explore and an eye-opening and moving experience at the EPIC, Irish Immigration Museum. This evening, an optional dinner and cabaret evening will have your toes tapping and taste buds craving another round of Irish coffee.
Cross the 'Emerald Isle', passing lush green counties as you wind your way north to Bundoran. There’s no better way to admire the scenery than joining an optional cruise along the Shannon River. Later, view the ruins of the 12th-century Boyle Abbey before continuing to Donegal, the gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way.
Begin your day with views of the 15th-century Donegal Castle, formerly the home of the O’Donnells, one of the most powerful and ancient Gaelic families in Ireland. Leaving civilisation behind for the day, your scenic drive through County Donegal will deliver a multitude of dramatic landscapes. Golden beaches, rugged cliffs and uninhabited islands dot your route so keep your camera at the ready to capture these perfect gifts of Mother Nature. Nothing says sophistication quite like fine porcelain and this afternoon’s visit to Belleek Pottery, across the border in Northern Ireland, reveals over a century of craftsmanship and art, the results of which can still be seen on dining tables the world over.
Galway’s ancient reputation as a 'place of foreigners' is long gone, but much of its captivating heritage remains as you’ll see first-hand during a stroll around Eyre Square. View Galway Cathedral, then leave the city behind for the plunging Cliffs of Moher. Take a deep breath and let the fresh sea air fill your lungs as you peer over the edge of the emerald-topped cliffs to the crashing waves of the Atlantic below. With a squint you may just be able to see the distant Aran Islands, but without much effort you’ll spot the curious and colourful beaked puffins which are eager residents of the area. You’ll visit the interactive Cliffs Exhibition before heading to your hotel in Shannon.
See the Ireland you’ve only encountered in pictures and on the big screen until now. Your drive around the stunning Dingle Peninsula reveals a land of stone monuments, wild beaches and verdant pastures. See tiny Gaelic settlements, colourful fishing villages and landscapes that 'catch the heart off guard', in the words of Irish poet, Seamus Heaney. Later arrive in Tralee in County Kerry, where the Rose of Tralee International Festival attracts 'lovely and fair' Irishwomen from around the world to compete for the crown of 'Rose'. A fitting way to end the day would be to join an Optional Experience with the Gaelic Roots show of Irish dancers. Embrace the spirit of old Ireland life and times and enjoy a hearty Irish meal.
Kiss the Blarney Stone and acquire the 'gift of the gab' on your visit to Blarney Castle this morning. Show off your silver tongue throughout your scenic drive through Cork to Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city. From the ancient Vikings to the Normans, they all made their mark on Waterford, but it is the city’s glittering crystal mastery spanning the years since 1783 that have made it world famous. Visit the Waterford Crystal Showroom (when open) to see its artistry before an optional walking tour with a Local Specialist followed by a drink in a pub.
Board your return ferry to the United Kingdom this morning, arriving in Wales later where its tiny capital Cardiff waits to be explored. Your orientation tour will take you past its Millennium Centre, the National Assembly and the historic Castle at its heart. Join an optional tour of Cardiff Castle followed by an optional evening of Welsh music, culture and humour.
There's time to fit in some last-minute sightseeing before returning to London. Cross the Severn Estuary into England and venture to Bath, with its elegant Georgian architecture and the Roman Baths which have given this ancient spa town its name. Visit Windsor and view the world's oldest and largest inhabited castle before shopping for Royal souvenirs. The Queen's favourite weekend home is a sight to behold before you continue to London.
It's time to close the curtain on your epic adventure across Britain and Ireland. You'll say cheerio 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
Kick back and relax as we enjoy a scenic drive to the ancient village of Torphichen, historically associated with Scottish Kings and Knights Templar. At the Torphichen Inn, your arrival will be toasted by our gracious host before enjoying an excellent dinner of local specialties and cultural entertainment.
Adult Price: £56
Available on Day 3
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 4
Travel to a real Highland Sheep Farm to meet Neil the Shepherd and discover the charms of local life in the Scottish Highlands. Meet his beautiful border collies and learn how he uses different whistles to command each dog, before having the opportunity to feed the lambs yourself. This hands-on tour is one for the bucket list!
Adult Price: £15
Step inside the enchanting gardens and grand halls of Blair Castle, taking in 750 years of Scottish history spanning significant events such as the Civil War and hosting notable figures such as Mary, Queen of Scots. Home to the Dukes of Atholl for centuries, the historic castle is rich in cultural stories and artifacts for you to discover on your tour.
Adult Price: £20
Available on Day 6
Discover the vibrant character and joy of Glasgow as the city transforms at night, heading out on the town with your Travel Director for an evening of good food, drinks and unique experiences. Home to cozy bars, a famous live music scene and historic Victorian architecture; Glasgow offers a delightful mix of venues for travelers to explore.
Adult Price: £37
Available on Day 6
Discover the wild beauty of the 'Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond' as we set sail on one of Scotland's most impressive destinations. As we cruise along the loch, the skipper will share mystical stories of the area and point to landmarks, such as Rob Roy's Cave, as you relax and savor the stunning scenery.
Adult Price: £17
Available on Day 7
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
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
Available on Day 9
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
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 10
As the longest river in Ireland, the picturesque River Shannon is immortalized in song and legend. Join us for a cruise on this majestic river, cruising through the beautiful rolling countryside of Counties Leitrim and Roscommon and visiting ancient sites along the riverbanks. You’ll also enjoy refreshments on the luxurious Moon River Pleasure Cruiser.
Adult Price: € 33
Available on Day 11
Join us for a scenic drive through the beautiful landscapes of Ballyshannon, taking a step off the beaten track with your Travel Director. Be sure to have your camera at the ready as we uncover picturesque scenery! Later, soak up the atmosphere of the Irish township as you enjoy dinner in a local restaurant with your choice of drink included.
Adult Price: € 49
Available on Day 13
A tour de force of traditional Irish song, music and dance, Gaelic Roots showcases Ireland at its best. Listen to the rhythmic sounds of traditional instruments and time-honoured folk songs, marvelling at the skill of the Irish dancers as they perform. This energetic show will have you tapping your feet and singing along in no time!
Adult Price: € 34
Available on Day 14
Travel is all about immersing yourself in local culture – so, what better way to see the real Waterford than with an evening of authentic entertainment? Experience famous Irish hospitality in the best folk tradition, enjoying a drink while locals sing and play music for you with classic instruments like the fiddle, tin whistle and bodhrán drum.
Adult Price: € 29
Discover a world of Vikings and medieval legends in Waterford, where a Local Specialist will bring the historic era to life as they share thrilling stories and anecdotes. One traveler even described the tour as the “best history lesson ever”. Later, stop off for a drink in one of the area’s oldest pubs for a pint or drink of your choice.
Adult Price: € 24
Available on Day 15
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
Step off the tourist trail and experience a unique evening in a Cardiff landmark, enjoying dinner and music inside a stunningly renovated deconsecrated church. Enjoy a delicious meal of seasonal Welsh specialties in this must-visit destination, with quality wine or soft drinks included. Listen to an enchanting harpist as you dine, before being entertained by the finest local singers.
Adult Price: £55
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