2017 The Scots Irish Tour 15 Days / 14 Nights
Your Scottish trip starts at 2:00 pm from your hotel, located on two golf courses a few miles from the city center. Drive to Leith for a tour around the Royal Yacht Britannia, the floating home of The Queen on many of her travels around the world. See the various parts of the ship, including staterooms and public spaces, together with photos of important visits. Return to your hotel for a welcome drink with your tour director and guide. Then you are free for independent dining this evening.
Tour central Edinburgh to see the highlights. Drive along the bustling Princes Street and through the 200-year-old Georgian New Town. Walk along part of the Royal Mile and visit Edinburgh Castle, which contains the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Scone. The balance of the day is free. Dine at a Scottish Evening and enjoy a lively show with bagpipes, kilts and Highland dancing. On August 06 to 22 departures attend the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle, and your Scottish Evening will be the day before.
Travel north to St Andrews, famous for golfing and Scotland’s oldest university. Take a walking tour around the town to learn about the famous people and happenings here. Visit the picturesque ruins of St Andrews Cathedral. Take a break in Pitlochry and continue through majestic Highland scenery to your hotel in Inverness (Sun departures) or Nairn (Tue departures).
Drive alongside Loch Ness and through wild Highland scenery, pausing for photos at the picturesque Eilean Donan Castle and cross to the Isle of Skye by bridge. Discover some of the island and visit the Clan Donald Centre at Armadale Castle to understand the history of the powerful Lords of the Isles. Return to the mainland by ferry and take the “Road to the Isles” through some majestic Highland scenery, stopping for photos at the Glenfinnan Monument.
This morning enjoy final views of the magnificent Highlands as you drive south through Glen Coe and alongside the lovely shores of Loch Lomond. Stop briefly in Alloway to visit the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum to learn about the famous poet’s life and poetry. Travel along the coast to Cairnryan for a short ferry ride to Belfast. Check in to your hotel where dinner is served.
Take a gentle walk with a Belfast guide to see the imposing City Hall in Donegall Square and Victorian buildings, including the Opera House and the Crown Liquor Saloon. Visit Titanic Belfast to learn about this famous liner through state-of-the-art displays. Browse around the city on your own in the afternoon and in the evening visit the Ulster Folk Park for a fun country-style dinner and traditional music.
Drive along the scenic route of the Nine Glens of Antrim, for views of mountains, valleys and coastline. Stop at the Giant’s Causeway, enormous hexagonal columns which have spawned legends about the mythical giant, Finn McCool. Pause for photos at ruined Dunluce Castle. In Derry join a local guide for a short walking tour around the defensive walls before driving to Letterkenny.
Travel to Glenveagh National Park where Captain Adair built Glenveagh Castle in 1870. Learn about the history of the mansion on a guided tour and walk around the extensive gardens filled with exotic plants. Stop in Donegal town and visit the beautiful Cistercian ruins of Boyle Abbey before continuing to Kilronan Castle.
Drive north this morning to Enniskillen, strategically situated on the banks of the picturesque River Erne. Tour Enniskillen Castle, which was once the home of the Gaelic Maguire chieftains and take a look around the town on your own. In the afternoon relax in your lovely castle hotel.
Head to Galway city for a walking tour with a local guide to see Lynch’s Castle and Eyre Square. View the Cliffs of Moher, a dramatic wall of rock that plunges to the Atlantic Ocean. In the early evening head to 15th century Bunratty or Knappogue Castle for a fun medieval-style banquet and check in to your hotel in Ennis afterwards.
Travel across the River Shannon Estuary by ferry to discover the glorious Dingle Peninsula. Drive to Slea Head at the westernmost tip for wonderful views. Stop in the town of Dingle for a look around and sip a creamy Irish coffee at the South Pole Inn, owned by an Antarctic explorer. Head to Killarney in time for dinner. (B, D)
Take a traditional horse-drawn jaunting car ride to Ross Castle for views of Lough Leane, Killarney’s largest lake. Drive to the delightful town of Kenmare where brightly-painted buildings are enhanced with flowers and sit down to a light lunch. Travel along part of the Ring of Kerry, pausing for a sheepdog demonstration. Return to Killarney to relax and explore the town.
Drive through County Cork to climb Blarney Castle to kiss the famous stone. Also shop at the Blarney Woollen Mills for quality Irish-made products. Pause for photos at the stately Rock of Cashel as you head north to Dublin. A short drive will bring you to the popular Abbey Tavern for a farewell dinner with Irish songs and step-dancing.
Explore Dublin at your own pace today. You may use your vouchers for an independent open-top bus tour around the city and a visit to one attraction.
Your tour ends after breakfast.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner