2018 ESSENCE OF BRITAIN & IRELAND 11 DAYS / 10 NIGHTS
Tour begins 2:00 PM, London hotel. Head out on a panoramic drive around central London to see many famous landmarks including Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London. In the evening enjoy a welcome drink with your group before dinner.
Head to Salisbury Plain to view the prehistoric circle of vast monoliths at Stonehenge. Continue to Bath to tour the Roman Baths and Pump Room, first built by the Romans 2,000 years ago. In Cardiff, enjoy a Welsh evening of local specialties and traditional entertainment.
After a panoramic tour of Cardiff visit Cardiff Castle, developed in Roman times and transformed into an elaborate Gothic style residence in the 19th century. Journey through the gentle, green countryside to the west coast. At Pembroke Dock embark on an afternoon ferry crossing to Rosslare and on to Waterford.
Start the day with a walking tour of historic Waterford. Witness the creation of crystal masterpieces at the House of Waterford Crystal. At Jerpoint Park enjoy a sheep herding demonstration and sample scones with tea. Stop briefly in Kilkenny before heading to Dublin. Dine at the lively Merry Ploughboy Pub with an entertaining show.
Tour Dublin city to see elegant Georgian squares with brightly-painted doorways and the General Post Office where the 1916 Rebellion started. Visit Glasnevin Cemetery Museum, Ireland’s national cemetery, which is a who’s who of modern Irish history. The afternoon and evening are free to use your vouchers for an independent open-top bus tour and a visit to one attraction.
Head to Belfast where you’ll enjoy a panoramic tour to see Victorian buildings, the Harland & Wolff shipyards where the Titanic was built and the Falls Road and Shankill residential areas. Take a ferry from Belfast to Cairnryan. Travel through gentle pasturelands to the central belt of Scotland. Stop en route for dinner before continuing to Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city.
Take a drive around central Edinburgh to see the main points of interest, including the 200-year-old “New Town” with elegant Georgian houses and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Walk along part of the Royal Mile where medieval houses are clustered closely together. Tour the massive Edinburgh Castle to see the Crown Jewels of Scotland and the Stone of Destiny. The afternoon is free for independent activities. On August 3 to August 17 departures watch the spectacular Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle.
Travel through the charming Borders region with many quaint towns, manor houses and abbeys. Stop in Jedburgh to see the picturesque ruins of Jedburgh Abbey. Continue to York for a walking tour to appreciate narrow streets where the medieval houses almost touch across the street. Tour the stately Gothic York Minster, which dates back to the 12th century and is noted for its magnificent medieval stained glass windows.
In Stratford-upon-Avon visit Shakespeare’s birthplace to see an exhibition about his life and work. Walk through the furnished house where he was born and take a look around the town with its many black-and-white buildings. Drive through the Cotswolds to London for an independent evening.
Enjoy London sightseeing with an open-top bus tour around the many famous landmarks. There are a number of different bus routes and a walking tour and a cruise on the River Thames. Visit either the Tower of London to view the magnificent Crown Jewels or Kensington Palace, former home of Princess Diana.
Your tour ends after breakfast.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner