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Britain & Ireland Explorer

19 Days from $2,755 per person

Style: Value | Pace: Active

Go behind the scenes on an exploration of the vibrant capitals of Britain and Ireland. Visit the scenic Dingle Peninsula, dramatic Cliffs of Moher, rugged Scottish Highlands and Nessie of course, before learning about the delicate craft of Waterford crystal.

Travel to Europe often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1.

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Overview

Go behind the scenes on an exploration of the vibrant capitals of Britain and Ireland. Visit the scenic Dingle Peninsula, dramatic Cliffs of Moher, rugged Scottish Highlands and Nessie of course, before learning about the delicate craft of Waterford crystal.

Travel to Europe often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1.

  1. Welcome to London. After checking in to your hotel, the rest of your day is free to explore this magical city.

    *Local Host is with you during your stay in London. Your Travel Director will join you on Day 3.

    hotel:Hilton Olympia
  2. Today is yours to see the sights of London, one of the most fascinating and exciting cities in the world! Perhaps visit Harrods or one of the many incredible museums the city has to offer.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
  3. This morning meet your Travel Director and traveling companions to board your coach and set off from London. Stop to visit the picturesque Stratford-upon-Avon. In your free time, why not visit Shakespeare's Birthplace and Visitor Center for an in-depth look at the great man's life? Later arrive at your hotel in Bradford where you dine tonight.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel:Jurys Inn
  4. See the sights of York, including the Minster and picturesque 'Shambles.' Head north, stopping to view Hadrian's Wall and the ruins of Jedburgh Abbey, to your hotel in Airth. During the Festival, tickets to the spectacular Edinburgh Tattoo are included.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
    hotel:Airth Castle
  5. This morning's sightseeing tour with your Local Specialist includes views of the Georgian New Town, Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle. Tonight why not attend a lively Scottish banquet with traditional haggis and bagpipes?

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
  6. Crossing into the ancient Kingdom of Fife, we head for the coastal town of St. Andrews, the home of golf. Later, we stop in the town of Pitlochry before heading to your Highland hotel for a two-night stay.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel:Carrbridge
  7. Today is dedicated to the beauty of the Scottish Highlands. Visit Loch Ness, and keep a look out for the famous monster. Visit Inverness—the capital of the Highlands. Later visit the battlefield of Culloden where Bonnie Prince Charlie fought the English. Dine tonight at your hotel.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast, Dinner
  8. Drive in the shadow of Ben Nevis to Fort William then follow the shores of Loch Linnhe to Glencoe—the Glen of the Weeping. Travel along the 'banks and braes of Loch Lomond' before continuing your journey to Glasgow. View Glasgow Cathedral and George Square during your orientation tour.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
    hotel:Holiday Inn Express Theatreland
  9. Visit Gretna Green, where eloping lovers famously went to marry. Continue south through breathtaking scenery in the English Lake District to your hotel.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel:Holiday Inn
  10. On arrival in Chester, view the medieval city walls and the half-timbered buildings known as the 'Rows.' Later cross the Irish Sea to Dublin.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
    hotel:Maldron Newlands Cross
  11. Your Local Specialist shows you the sights of this historic city, with views of Trinity College, St. Patrick's Cathedral and Dublin Castle. This afternoon enjoy free time to explore the city.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
  12. View the ruins of the Cistercian Abbey at Boyle and stop at Yeats's grave in Drumcliff. Continue through lush countryside to Donegal, your home for the next two nights.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel:The Abbey
  13. View the 15th-century castle this morning in Donegal town, followed by an excursion to explore the County Donegal region, famed for its rugged beauty and as part of the Wild Atlantic Way west coast touring route. Visit the Belleek Pottery center in Northern Ireland.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
  14. This morning, travel to Galway on the banks of the Corrib River. View the cathedral and stroll around Eyre Square. At the Cliffs of Moher, view the dramatic cliffs and visit the Atlantic Edge exhibition. Later arrive at your hotel.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel:Park Inn
  15. Leave Shannon and take a drive to enjoy the scenic landscape along the Dingle Peninsula. See the unspoiled and colorful villages and fishing harbors. Later, arrive in the town of Tralee, famed for its annual 'Rose of Tralee' festival and beauty pageant.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
    hotel:Earl of Desmond/Benners
  16. Explore Blarney Castle, where you can kiss the Blarney Stone and acquire the 'gift of the gab.' Continue through Cork and along the coast to Waterford, famous for its crystal ware. Visit the Waterford Crystal Showroom (when open).

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
    hotel:Treacys
  17. Travel from Waterford to Rosslare, then by ferry to Wales. Arrive in Pembroke and drive on to Cardiff and see the Principality Stadium and Castle during your orientation.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
    hotel:Copthorne
  18. Cross the Severn Estuary to Georgian Bath. Admire the Georgian architecture and enjoy free time to visit the Roman Baths. Visit Windsor and view the castle en route to London where your amazing vacation comes to an end.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
    hotel:Hilton Olympia
  19. Say goodbye to your traveling companions before your return flight home.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
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  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

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  • Definite Departure
  • Edinburgh Tattoo
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
31 May 19 18 Jun 19 checkmark $2,780pp AARP members save an additional $100 Call 1-877-622-9109
7 Jun 19 25 Jun 19 checkmark $2,780pp AARP members save an additional $100 Call 1-877-622-9109
14 Jun 19 2 Jul 19 checkmark $2,780pp AARP members save an additional $100 Call 1-877-622-9109
21 Jun 19 9 Jul 19 checkmark $3,125pp AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
5 Jul 19 23 Jul 19 checkmark $2,780pp AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
19 Jul 19 6 Aug 19 checkmark $2,780pp AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
Edinburgh Tattoo
2 Aug 19 20 Aug 19 checkmark $3,225pp AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
Edinburgh Tattoo
9 Aug 19 27 Aug 19 checkmark $3,225pp AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
Edinburgh Tattoo
16 Aug 19 3 Sep 19 checkmark $3,225pp AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
23 Aug 19 10 Sep 19 checkmark $2,780pp AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
30 Aug 19 17 Sep 19 checkmark $2,780pp AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
6 Sep 19 24 Sep 19 checkmark $2,780pp AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
13 Sep 19 1 Oct 19 checkmark $2,780pp AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
20 Sep 19 8 Oct 19 checkmark $3,105pp AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
27 Sep 19 15 Oct 19 checkmark $2,755pp AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
  • Edinburgh Tattoo: This departure includes the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo event.

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Supplement: from $760 per person

Triple Room Discount: $10 per person

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $153 per person

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.

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  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels

Meal Summary

23 meals: 18 Full breakfasts, 5 Three-course dinners.

Sightseeing Experiences

  • Stratford-upon-Avon  Visit the town of Shakespeare's Birth
  • York  View York Minster and the Shambles
  • Hadrian’s Wall  View the remains of the Roman wall
  • Jedburgh  View the Jedburgh Abbey ruins
  • Edinburgh  Sightseeing with your Local Specialist includes Princes Street, the Royal Mile and views of the Castle
  • St. Andrews  View the 18th green
  • Loch Ness  View the most famous loch of them all
  • Inverness  Visit the capital of the Scottish Highlands
  • Culloden  Visit the famous battlefield
  • Glencoe  See Glencoe, also known as the Glen of the Weeping
  • Glasgow  View Glasgow Cathedral and George Square on your orientation tour
  • Gretna Green  Visit this town, popular with eloping couples since 1754
  • Lake District  View Lake Windermere
  • Chester  View the timbered buildings known as the ‘Rows'
  • Dublin  Sightseeing with a Local Specialist. See St. Patrick's Cathedral and Trinity College
  • Boyle  View the Cistercian Abbey
  • Donegal  View the 15th-century castle
  • Belleek  Visit the Belleek Pottery Center
  • Galway  View Galway Cathedral
  • Cliffs of Moher  View the cliffs and visit the Atlantic Edge exhibition
  • Dingle Peninsula  Enjoy the beautiful scenery
  • Blarney  Kiss the Blarney Stone
  • Waterford  Visit the Crystal Showroom (when open)
  • Cardiff  See the Principality Stadium and view Cardiff Castle
  • Bath  Visit the Georgian spa town
  • Windsor  View the castle

First Class Highlight

  • Ferry across the Irish Sea from Wales to Ireland and return 
Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

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Reviews

Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Nyla Frye
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The Travel Guide and Driver are the reason the trip went so well. all the planning that went into scheduling and locations for the sights were all done ahead of time and implemented by those two people to get us there. The passengers were fine, but some didn't seem as engaged as they should have considering they came all the way from Australia. I think the USA passengers interacted better and were in better health to travel on a bus tour such as that. Great scenery, views and educational cultural activities all along the way. Thanks
Vacation : Great trip and well planned for all to go smoothly.
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Absolutely! I would buy again. GET provided a complete and professional travel package for my husband and I.
Vacation : Great value. The Cost Saver trip was great value for the time spent.
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Carol Wartenberg
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Booking was a little crazy at first, but everything worked out and we had a marvelous trip. This was my second tour with them and would use them again for another trip somewhere else!
Response from Grand European Travel:
So sorry to hear that your initial booking was not as smooth as you hoped, but vry happy to see that it all worked out and you were able to enjoy your trip.
Thank you fro bringing this to our attention.
Friday, August 4, 2017
Vacation : Great trip to Great Britain and Ireland. Saw everything it seems and our guide was great!
Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

Print Itinerary
  • U.S. citizens traveling to UK and Ireland must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering the UK or Ireland.

  • 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 24 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.

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

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.

Edinburgh

Dinner And Drive To Historic Torphichen

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

Royal Yacht Britannia

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

Scottish Show With Dinner

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

Edinburgh Castle Experience

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

Scottish Highlands

Highland Farm Experience

Visit a real Highland sheep farm and meet Neil the Shepherd and his border collies. He’ll show you how he uses different whistles to command each dog to carry out different tasks. You’ll also have the opportunity to try your hand at sheep shearing, feeding the pups and discover his training techniques. Weather permitting.
Adult Price: £14

Pitlochry

Pitlochry. Visit Of Blair Castle

Set in its own grounds against a backdrop of glorious scenery, we'll discover the ancient home of the Dukes of Atholl, home to Europe's last remaining private army. Unique amongst Scottish castles, Blair has hosted royalty from Mary Queen of Scots to Queen Victoria.
Adult Price: £20

Glasgow

Glasgow City Evening

You'll enjoy a chance to experience a night out in the city of Glasgow. Your Travel Director will take you for an evening of good food, a drink, and undoubtedly interesting conversation.
Adult Price: £37

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond Boat Trip

Discover the wild beauty of the 'Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond.' As we cruise across the loch, the skipper will share stories of the area and point out Rob Roy's cave as you relax and ssavorthe stunning scenery.
Adult Price: £15

Windermere

Private Cruise On Lake Windermere

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

Windermere Cruise And Steam Train Ride

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

Dublin

Dinner in Dublin City

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

Dublin Dinner and Cabaret

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 humour. And you’ll even be served an Irish coffee to round off your dinner.
Adult Price: €71

Experience the Ancient Monastic Site of Glendalough

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

Ballyshannon

Luxurious River Shannon Cruise

The longest river in the British Isles, the River Shannon is immortalised in songs and legends. Come with us for a cruise on this majestic river, through the beautiful rolling countryside of counties Leitrim and Roscommon. You’ll also enjoy refreshments on the luxurious Moon River Pleasure Cruiser.
Adult Price: €30

Donegal

Scenic Drive and Dinner

This evening you'll discover the beauty of the land, as we take a scenic drive off the beaten track. Later, enjoy dinner in a local restaurant with a choice of drink included.
Adult Price: €45

Tralee

Celtic Steps

Enjoy a spectacular evening of Irish music, song and dance performed by champion dancers and musicians and showcasing the music of Kerry and beyond.
Adult Price: €36

Waterford

Irish Folk Fun

During this evening of entertainment, you'll get the chance to experience Irish hospitality in the best folk tradition. Enjoy a drink while locals sing and play music for you.
Adult Price: €27

Explore Waterford's History and Local Pub

Join us in Waterford, where the history dates back as far as the Vikings. Your Local Specialist will bring the historic area to life through stories and anecdotes; one guest even described the trip as the "best history lesson ever." Afterward, we stop off for a drink in one of the area's oldest pubs for a pint or drink of your choice.
Adult Price: €23

Cardiff

Cardiff Castle Tour

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

Welsh Evening At Millennium Centre

Enjoy an evening of Welsh music, culture and humor. The venue for the evening is the Welsh Millennium Centre, an iconic building in the fashionable Cardiff Bay area. After a warm reception, you'll enjoy a first-class meal of seasonal Welsh specialties, sourced and produced locally. Quality wine or soft drinks are included and the meal will be accompanied by our enchanting Welsh harpist. You'll then be entertained by the finest local musicians presenting the beautiful music of Wales.
Adult Price: £54

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.