2017 British & Irish Grandeur 14 Days / 13 Nights
Your vacation starts at your London hotel at 2:00 pm when you meet your tour director. Head out on a panoramic tour of central London to see famous landmarks including Piccadilly Circus, Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Join your tour director for a welcome drink and discuss your trip before dinner.
This morning discover the magnificence of Hampton Court Palace, Henry VIII's favorite royal residence. Move at your own pace through the breath-taking grandeur of Henry's State Rooms, vast Tudor kitchens and more. The afternoon and evening are free so you may use your included Oyster card to explore central London by public transport.
Take a stroll around Cambridge to view some of the famous university colleges, including King’s College, and the Mathematical Bridge over the River Cam. Head north to York for a walking tour to appreciate narrow streets and medieval houses. The stately York Minster, with towers and stained glass, is the highlight of the walk. Check in to your hotel and relax before dinner.
Head north to visit Alnwick Castle, the second largest inhabited castle in England. View the lavish State Rooms with a stunning array of artifacts, an exhibit on Downton Abbey, and take a stroll through Alnwick Garden. Travel through the Northumberland National Park and on to your hotel near Edinburgh where you’ll experience a Scottish Evening with bagpipes and fun music.
Discover Edinburgh’s highlights on a city tour. See the elegant Georgian “New Town” with spacious streets and the compact medieval city along the Royal Mile. Tour Edinburgh Castle to view the Crown Jewels of Scotland and the Stone of Destiny. The rest of the day is free for independent activities. On August 06 to 20 departures, experience the world-famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
This morning will be an early start as you drive to Cairnryan for a short ferry ride to Belfast. Tour the city highlights to see Victorian buildings, the impressive City Hall and the shipyards where RMS Titanic was built in 1912. Visit Titanic Belfast to learn about this ill-fated famous liner through state-of-the-art displays. Pub dinner at the Cultra Inn on the grounds of Culloden Hotel.
Travel along the scenic coastal route of the Nine Glens of Antrim and visit the Giant's Causeway, hexagonal columns formed over 60 million years ago. Stop for photos at the ruins of Dunluce Castle and head to Derry for a walking tour around the medieval city walls with a local guide. Drive south to your Victorian hotel located on Dublin Bay, a few miles from the city.
This morning tour central Dublin to see spacious Georgian squares and streets, landmark public buildings and graceful townhouses. Take a guided walking tour of Trinity College’s campus and view the priceless Book of Kells. The afternoon is free and in the evening enjoy dinner at Taylor’s Three Rock Pub followed by Irish music and dance.
Travel south, pausing for photos at the stately Rock of Cashel, with 12th century church ruins. Just outside Cork, visit the famous Blarney Castle and climb to the ramparts to kiss the “Stone of Eloquence.” You may shop at the Blarney Woollen Mills for quality Irish-made goods. Continue your drive to Killarney, famous for its exquisite location.
Drive to the delightful town of Kenmare for a look around and savor a casual lunch. Travel along part of the awesome Ring of Kerry route to view spectacular scenery at Moll’s Gap and at Ladies’ View. Stop at a sheep farm to see demonstrations of sheep herding and shearing before returning to Killarney where the evening is free.
Head east to Midleton to tour the Jameson Experience, a journey through the story and making of Irish whiskey. Enjoy a sample at the end of the tour. Travel to Waterford and at the House of Waterford Crystal see how glass is blown and cut by master craftspeople. In the evening take a gentle walking tour with a local guide to discover the history of this old port city.
Depart Waterford early this morning to catch the ferry from Rosslare to Pembroke Dock. Journey through the gentle, green countryside to Cardiff, the capital of Wales. Head to Cardiff Castle, developed in Roman times and transformed into an elaborate 19th century Gothic-style residence, for a tour of the magnificent and varied chambers. In the evening head to a Welsh evening for dinner and local music and entertainment.
This morning drive east to explore the mineral-rich hot springs at Bath. Tour the Roman Baths and Pump Room, first built by the Romans 2,000 years ago and revived during the 18th century. Drive to Salisbury Plain to view the prehistoric circle of vast monoliths at Stonehenge. Continue to London and check in to your hotel. The evening is at leisure.
Your tour ends after breakfast.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner
All components of this tour (hotels, meals, visits and attractions) for 2017 are subject to change until finalized in September 2016.
(Updated March 29, 2016)