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Britain & Ireland Highlights

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Active
London's Buckingham Palace
Tour Style: First Class
11 Days from $2,025 per person

Go beyond the ‘great' and see the best of Britain and Ireland on one trip, starting your tale of two islands in London and exploring such city gems as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin and Cardiff. 

Explore the countryside traveling through the Yorkshire Dales and the rugged Ayrshire Coast, before saddling up for a visit to the Irish National Stud Farm.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Welcome to London. Relax after your flight or spend time exploring the city on your own.
    hotel:Park Plaza Riverbank
  3. A scenic drive through beautiful countryside brings you to Stratford-upon-Avon. Visit Shakespeare's Birthplace and Visitor Center. In the Viking city of York enjoy a walk along its historic streets. View the cobbled Shambles, the ancient city walls and the magnificent York Minster. Later, enjoy a Welcome Reception in a traditional pub.
    meal(s):FB, WR
    hotel:Crowne Plaza
  4. From quaint villages around the Yorkshire Dales National Park to the glory of the Lake District, your journey is scenic. Traveling past England's largest lake, Windermere, and through the countryside that inspired the Romantic poets, you reach Grasmere. View the grave of William Wordsworth, buried at St. Oswald's Church. Cross the Scottish border and visit Gretna Green, where eloping couples would make their vows over the anvil. This afternoon your orientation tour of Glasgow includes views of the Cathedral and the magnificent George Square.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Radisson Blu/MacDonald Crutherland House
  5. Today visit Edinburgh. Your Local Specialist takes you on a sightseeing tour of this wonderful city, including a visit to Edinburgh Castle, perched high above the city. See the Royal Mile, the elegant Palace of Holyroodhouse in the shadow of Arthur's Seat and the new Scottish Parliament building. Admire the elegant Georgian architecture in the New Town. Later enjoy free time to explore at leisure, before returning to Glasgow for a delicious meal at a local restaurant.
    meal(s):FB, RM
  6. Follow the rugged Ayrshire coast past the island of Ailsa Craig, the stepping stone from Ireland to Scotland, to board the ferry to Northern Ireland. View City Hall, Queen's University and the dock where the Titanic was built with your Local Specialist. Later arrive in Dublin, your home for the next two nights.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Ballsbridge/Mespil
  7. See Trinity College, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Phoenix Park and the stately Georgian Squares with your Local Specialist. Visit the Guinness Brewery for a Storehouse tour and tasting technique demonstration. Spend the rest of the day as you please. Why not explore Temple Bar or Grafton Street, famous for its street performers? This evening consider joining an Optional Experience to an Irish cabaret.
    meal(s):FB
  8. This morning gain a Cultural Insight into rearing world-class thoroughbreds when visiting the Irish National Stud Farm established in 1946. After a guided walk through the farm, take some time to stroll through the tranquil Japanese Gardens, regarded as the best in Europe. In Kilkenny, see the imposing medieval castle and enjoy free time for lunch. This afternoon enjoy a Cultural Insight when you visit the House of Waterford Crystal. Watch the master craftsmen at work during your tour of the workshop, and see the exquisite completed pieces in the showroom.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Marina
  9. Cross the Irish Sea to Wales by ferry, and continue your journey to Cardiff Bay to view the Millennium Center and the National Assembly. View the historic Cardiff Castle and see the Millennium Stadium before arriving at your hotel. Tonight, join your Travel Director and travel companions for a memorable Be My Guest Farewell Dinner.
    meal(s):FB, BG
    hotel:Park Inn City Center
  10. Travel across the Severn Estuary into England and the glorious city of Bath. See splendid Georgian architecture during your orientation. Enjoy an included visit to the Roman Baths from which the city derives its name. In Wiltshire, visit the mysterious monolithic stone circle at Stonehenge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later, return to London.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Park Plaza Riverbank
  11. Say farewell to your traveling companions at the end of your vacation, as you prepare to fly home with wonderful memories.
    meal(s):FB
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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.

2018 Preview

Preview itineraries and content are based on selected vacations featured in our 2017 Collection, however, items such as (but not limited to), hotels, meals, sightseeing inclusions, trip destinations, transfers and transportation, are subject to change. The final composition of your trip will be published in our 2018 Collection due out in September. By paying your deposit, you are agreeing to accept the finalized version of your trip itinerary.

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

Meal Summary

9 nights, 9 full breakfasts, 3 dinners, On-trip transport.

Included Highlights

Be My Guest

  • Enjoy a hearty Welsh dinner with a farming family and their animals in the beautiful award-winning vineyards of Wales

Cultural Insight

  • Admire Ireland's finest thoroughbreds at the Irish National Stud Farm and learn how delicate Irish crystal is crafted at the House of Waterford Crystal during a workshop tour

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Edinburgh, Belfast and Dublin

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin
  • Orientation of York, Glasgow, Cardiff, Bath
  • Visit Shakespeare's Birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon, Edinburgh Castle, Gretna Green, the Irish National Stud farm and Japanese Garden, the Waterford Crystal Showroom, the Roman Baths in Bath, the ancient stone circle at Stonehenge
  • View York Minster, Glasgow Cathedral and George Square, Kilkenny Castle and Gardens
  • See the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff
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Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $600 p.p.

Triple Discount: from $10 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $57 per person.

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.

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.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation.

  • 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.

    Food and drink in Scotland goes far beyond haggis, porridge, and whiskey.  Specialties to try include kippers, fish and chips, Scotch broth, smoked salmon, sausages, shortbread, and Dundee cake.  For a meal that’s inexpensive and authentic, try a pub meal with a pint of Scottish ale.

    Irish specialties including Irish stew, coddle, potato bread, corned beef and whiskey cake. Be sure to visit a local chip shop for fresh fish and chips, and sample Irish ales in a traditional 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 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 48 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.

Reviews

Sunday, June 4, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Rob was a great tour guide. Really enjoyed the trip except for the two hotels that had no fans or a/c. Realize the weather was unseasonably warm but a fan?
Vacation : Great trip, especially when you got away from the larger cities

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.

Dublin

Dinner in Dublin City

Adult Price: € 45

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.

Experience the Ancient Monastic Site of Glendalough

Adult Price: € 20

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.

Dublin Dinner and Cabaret

Adult Price: € 71

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.

Dinner in Dublin City

Adult Price: € 45

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.

Experience the Ancient Monastic Site of Glendalough

Adult Price: € 20

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.

Dublin Dinner and Cabaret

Adult Price: € 71

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.

Edinburgh

Royal Yacht Britannia

Adult Price: £ 17

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.

Royal Yacht Britannia

Adult Price: £ 17

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.

Glasgow

A Stirling Evening

Adult Price: £ 44

See Stirling Castle and the Wallace Memorial by night. A truly local experience, you'll be piped in to your evening meal in the historic Scottish city and enjoy an evening of Scottish delights.

A Stirling Evening

Adult Price: £ 44

See Stirling Castle and the Wallace Memorial by night. A truly local experience, you'll be piped in to your evening meal in the historic Scottish city and enjoy an evening of Scottish delights.

Waterford

Explore Waterford's History and Local Pub

Adult Price: € 23

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". Afterwards, we stop off for a drink in one of the area's oldest pubs for a pint or drink of your choice.

Irish Folk Fun

Adult Price: € 27

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.

Explore Waterford's History and Local Pub

Adult Price: € 23

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". Afterwards, we stop off for a drink in one of the area's oldest pubs for a pint or drink of your choice.

Irish Folk Fun

Adult Price: € 27

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.

Windermere

Private Cruise On Lake Windermere

Adult Price: £ 16

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.

Windermere Cruise And Steam Train Ride

Adult Price: £ 18

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.

Private Cruise On Lake Windermere

Adult Price: £ 16

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.

Windermere Cruise And Steam Train Ride

Adult Price: £ 18

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.

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