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Welcome to the multicultural melting pot that is London - its culture and heritage shaped by the nations that once contributed to its great empire are found around every turn. Spend your day easing into the energy of a cosmopolitan city that effortlessly blends old and new and is the perfect springboard to a grand adventure through Britain and Ireland.
Join your Local Specialist today to see the iconic sights, including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, meandering through the picturesque Royal Parks, shopping for the best of British wares on Carnaby Street or delving into natural history and royal heritage at one of the many fascinating museums.
Meet your Travel Director this morning and travel to Stratford-upon-Avon. Venture through the lush green countryside of Warwickshire to Stratford-upon-Avon to delve into the lyrical legacy of one of the world's favourite writers. Visit Shakespeare's Birthplace and Visitor Centre and see Anne Hathaway's cottage, before arriving in York. Wander along its cobbled Shambles and ancient city walls, and see the magnificent York Minster, one of the greatest cathedrals in the world. This evening, we join our Travel Director and travel companions for a delicious Yorkshire dinner in our hotel.
Journeying through Northumberland National Park's dramatic landscapes, we arrive at the remarkably intact ruins of the 12th-century Jedburgh Abbey en route to the enchanting Scottish capital, Edinburgh. During the Edinburgh Festival, enjoy a rousing display of music, dance and precision at the spectacular Edinburgh Tattoo held in the grounds of the beautiful Edinburgh Castle.
Join your Local Specialist this morning for a sightseeing tour through Auld Reekie's elegant New Town, Princes Street and the Royal Mile, enjoying views of the exquisite Palace of Holyroodhouse and Arthur's Seat. Embark on a guided visit of Edinburgh Castle, perched atop Castle Rock. Later, consider a traditional Scottish night out this evening, savouring up the flavours of haggis and exhilarating sounds of bagpipes which fill the air.
Today, we travel across the Firth of Forth to St. Andrews to view its celebrated ancient university and explore centuries of golf heritage. Our next stop is Pitlochry on the banks of the Tummel River. You could choose to join an Optional Experience to visit Blair Castle, the ancestral home to the Dukes of Atholl, before spending the night at one of Trafalgar's 'Stays With Stories' - Laggan Gaskmore Hotel located within Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands.
Drive to the rugged coast of Scotland this morning, passing the Glenfinnan Monument commemorating the site where the 1745 Jacobite Rising began. We cross the sea to the Isle of Skye, driving up the Sleat Peninsula and admiring the spectacular scenery of the 'Garden of Skye' before enjoying free time for lunch. Cross a road bridge to view scenic Eilean Donan Castle on the mainland and continue past the lochs and glens of the Scottish Highlands. Pay tribute to the brave men who lost their lives during the final confrontation of the Jacobite uprising on Culloden battlefield, returning to your hotel in Laggan later.
Our first stop today is the World War II Commando Memorial, near Fort William, for views of Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Continue south through the 'Glen of the Weeping', paying tribute to the MacDonald clansmen who were massacred for failing to pledge allegiance to Scotland's new monarchs. Arriving in Glasgow, we enjoy an orientation tour including views of the Cathedral and magnificent George Square. We'll also visit the Necropolis where we'll 'Dive Into Culture' and gain insights into one of Europe's most important 19th-century burial grounds.
Cross the border into England and 'Connect With Locals', joining Farmer John and his wife Christine on their Cumbrian working farm for a Be My Guest lunch. Learn about traditional farming methods before continuing your journey through the beautiful Lake District and its landscapes that have inspired poets and painters for centuries. See Lake Windermere, England's largest lake, before travelling to Liverpool, the haunt of Britain's 'Fab Four'.
The half-timbered Tudor 'Rows' in Chester are our first stop today as we travel to Holyhead in North Wales to catch our ferry across the Irish Sea to Dublin. Soak up Irish hospitality and delicious local flavours during a Regional Meal at EPIC - the Irish Emigration Museum.
Visit the Guinness Storehouse to learn about Ireland's famous brew, before delving into Dublin's iconic sights with a Local Specialist. See Trinity College, St. Patrick's Cathedral and the stately Georgian Squares. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure or consider an Optional Experience at an Irish Cabaret.
Journey to the West Coast and the vibrant cultural centre of Galway, where you will have an opportunity to view Galway Cathedral and Eyre Square, with its tribute to former US president John F. Kennedy, before travelling to Limerick.
Admire Ireland's enduring scenic beauty on one of the most beautiful drives in the world. Circling the spectacular Ring of Kerry, we see mountains, valleys, lakes and sea blend into a soul-stirring landscape. We arrive in Cork and enjoy a delicious dinner at our hotel
In the pursuit of acquiring the 'gift of the gab', we visit Blarney Castle and kiss the famous Blarney Stone, before stopping in Cobh for a walking tour with a Local Specialist. This seaside city was the final port of call for the tragic Titanic on its fateful voyage. This afternoon, we 'Dive Into Culture' during a visit to the House of Waterford Crystal and witness talented master craftsmen at work.
We cross the Irish Sea to Wales and its capital, Cardiff, where we will see the Principality Stadium and view the Millennium Centre, National Assembly and Victorian fantasy castle at the heart of the city.
Cross the Severn Estuary to Bath, so named for the ancient Roman Baths that have made the city a popular retreat for centuries. Admire the elegant Georgian façades and visit the Roman Baths, before some free time to explore on your own. We wind our way to mystical Glastonbury to visit the 7th-century Abbey where King Arthur is believed to be buried. Later, we arrive in the city of Plymouth, our home for two nights.
The springboard to a 'New World' takes centre stage as we start our day with an orientation of Plymouth. View the Mayflower Steps, where brave pilgrims embarked on their epic voyage to America, and see the Royal Citadel overlooking Plymouth Sound. Visit the fishing village of Polperro with its narrow streets and picturesque harbour, before enjoying a scenic drive through the brooding landscapes of Dartmoor, keeping a keen eye out for the area's wild ponies. Our epic adventure through Britain and Ireland almost at its end, we join our travel companions and Travel Director for a memorable Farewell Dinner.
Meander across the Salisbury Plain and visit the mystical ancient monoliths of Stonehenge, whose myths have yet to be fully revealed. We journey back to London this afternoon where we spend our final evening in Britain celebrating a memorable journey with new friends.
Say a fond farewell to Britain and Ireland as you prepare to return home with treasured memories of your trip.
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo takes place every year in August.
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, often referred to as "the most spectacular show on earth," is an exciting celebration showcasing the best of Scottish music, dance, and military pageantry. In 2019 it will take place in Edinburgh from August 2nd to August 24th, and is sure to draw entertainers and spectators from around the world.
Tickets and arrangements have been included on these select departures. Book early as they will sell out quickly!
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.
We'll drive into the old city of Edinburgh to see the city at night with photo opportunities of the Castle and the Grassmarket, famous for historic executions and when possible 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 for a delicious dinner and drink.
Adult Price: £42
Join us and your travelling companions for a delicious traditional dinner and drink at a local restaurant.
Adult Price: £40
We’ll drive out of Edinburgh to the tiny village of Rosslyn, where you’ll hear the inside story on the famous Rosslyn Chapel. 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: £21
Enjoy a scenic drive to the ancient village of Torphichen, associated with Scottish kings and Knights Hospitaller. At the haunted Torphichen Inn your arrival will be toasted by our convivial host before enjoying an excellent dinner of local specialties and entertainment.
Adult Price: £46
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
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
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 lambs and discover his training techniques. Weather permitting.
Adult Price: £14
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 savour the stunning scenery.
Adult Price: £15
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
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: €25
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
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
Come along and experience the craic at a special ceilidh evening. Enjoy a drink and some local specialities, watch some traditional Irish dancing, and sing along to some familiar Irish melodies.
Adult Price: €64
Join us for a traditional Welsh country dinner. We'll take you to a 14th century thatched inn called The Blue Anchor. While you're eating and enjoying your drink, you'll be entertained with a performance from a Welsh harpist.
Adult Price: £41
Enjoy an evening of Welsh music, culture and humour. 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 specialities, 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 singers presenting the beautiful music of Wales.
Adult Price: £54
You’ll explore this unique castle on a private tour and hear tales about the eclectic refurbishments. Done 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 900-year-old Norman keep for superb views over Cardiff.
Adult Price: £21
A scenic drive across the mysterious moors takes us to the capital of the moors, Princetown. Here you’ll see the infamous prison before driving to a lovely old Inn for a drink and a delicious home-cooked dinner, followed by stories and legends about the area.
Adult Price: £35
Relax on a boat trip round the harbour of one of England’s most famous seaports. As your skipper commentates, you’ll see the Mayflower steps monument, where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America and ships sailed for Australia, New Zealand and Newfoundland and enjoy panoramic vistas of Plymouth Hoe. We’ll also enter the Royal Navy Dockyard, where you’ll see some of the modern vessels of the Royal Navy.
Adult Price: £15
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