2017 British & Irish Voyager 14 Days / 13 Nights
Your vacation starts at your London hotel at 2:00 pm when you meet your guide. Head out on a panoramic tour of central London to see famous landmarks including Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Stop at St Paul’s Cathedral, with its world-famous dome, to tour the awe-inspiring interior. Join your guide to discuss your trip over a welcome drink and dinner.
Today plan your own day of discovery around London’s attractions when you take an open-top bus tour. There is a choice of routes, a walking tour and a River Thames cruise. Visit the Tower of London to view the magnificent Crown Jewels, guarded by Beefeaters in distinctive Tudor uniforms or you may prefer to visit Kensington Palace, former home of Princess Diana. Dine independently this evening.
Drive through the Cotswolds, a delightful hilly region with mellow-hued stone houses. Take a panoramic tour around Stratford-upon-Avon to see places associated with William Shakespeare and view charming black-and-white houses dating back hundreds of years. Continue to Liverpool and a local guide will show you around places associated with the “Fab Four.”
Travel through the glorious Lake District, associated with the children’s author, Beatrix Potter, and the poet, William Wordsworth. In the charming village of Grasmere visit Dove Cottage, where Wordsworth lived and wrote. Near the Scottish border stop at the Famous Blacksmith’s Shop in Gretna Green, a popular shopping venue for quality Scottish goods. Enjoy a Scottish dinner and ceilidh, a fun show at your hotel near Edinburgh.
Explore central Edinburgh, starting in the 200-year-old “New Town” with its planned streets and elegant Georgian houses. See the Royal Mile where medieval houses are clustered and tour Edinburgh Castle to see the Crown Jewels of Scotland and the Stone of Destiny. The afternoon is free for independent activities. On August 04 to 18 departures, experience the world-famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Travel north to St Andrews, famous for golfing and Scotland’s oldest university. Take a walking tour around the town with your guide who will tell you about the famous people and happenings here. Visit the picturesque ruins of St Andrews Cathedral. Take a break in Pitlochry and continue to Inverness, a major town in the Highlands. Check in to your hotel beside the River Ness in the town center.
Travel south through more wonderful Highland scenery today, passing the shoreline of Loch Ness with views of this deep lake. Drive past Ben Nevis, Britain's highest peak, and through the towering mountains of Glen Coe, which is famous for the Massacre of Glen Coe in 1692. Take a scenic cruise on Loch Lomond, Britain's largest lake. Enjoy a brief drive around Glasgow before checking in to your hotel in time for dinner.
Make an early start this morning as you travel south through Ayrshire to Cairnryan for a short ferry journey to Ireland with your tour group and coach. In Belfast visit Titanic Belfast to learn about the famous liner. Stop for dinner and some entertainment at the Glyde Inn before arriving in Dublin.
This morning tour Dublin to see Georgian squares with elegant row houses, public buildings, public parks and lively shopping streets. Visit Kilmainham Gaol where many of Ireland’s leaders, including Robert Emmett, Eamon DeValera and Padraig Pearse, were imprisoned during the 19th and early 20th centuries. In the afternoon use your vouchers for an independent open-top bus tour around the city and a visit to one attraction.
Travel south through farming country and stop to view the stately Rock of Cashel, which rises high above the surrounding plain. Just a few miles outside Cork, visit Blarney Castle to kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence.” Also stop at the Blarney Woollen Mills before driving through Macroom and into County Kerry, where the scenery becomes more mountainous. Check in to your hotel in Killarney and relax before dinner.
Take a jaunting car ride to majestic Ross Castle on the shores of Lough Leane. Then discover the scenic Dingle Peninsula, made famous by two movies – “Ryan’s Daughter” and “Far & Away.” Drive to Slea Head at the western tip of the peninsula for spectacular views. Stop in the town of Dingle and embark on a short cruise around Dingle Harbour and Bay for more great panoramic views. Return to Killarney and dine at Kate Kearney’s Cottage and watch lively music, song and dance.
Visit Foynes Flying Boat Museum to learn about the early days of flight when this was the landing place for Pan Am Clippers. Cross the River Shannon Estuary by ferry and then view the Cliffs of Moher, an impressive wall of rock that rises 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. In Galway take a brief walking tour around the city center with a local guide.
Stop at Rathbaun Farm for tea and scones and watch trained dogs herding sheep. Drive to Dublin and check in to your elegant castle hotel, located on the south side of Dublin. Take a short ride to historic Dalkey Village, now an upmarket suburb for a gentle guided walk and visit the imposing Dalkey Castle. Enjoy a special farewell dinner with your fellow travelers.
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)