2018 TASTE OF SCOTLAND & IRELAND 11 DAYS / 10 NIGHTS
Tour begins 2:30 PM, Glasgow hotel. Set out on an introductory tour of central Glasgow -- a city that flourished in Victorian times due to the shipbuilding industry and international trade. Drive around George Square with its ornate City Chambers and visit Provand’s Lordship, Glasgow’s oldest house built in 1471. Enjoy a welcome drink with your group before dinner.
Travel alongside the famous Loch Lomond, renowned for its unsurpassed beauty. Drive across the haunting Rannoch Moor and through Glencoe, notorious for the Campbell massacre of the Clan Macdonald in 1692. Continue through Fort William and stop at a woollen mill to shop for quality Scottish goods and have a snack. Embark on a short cruise on Loch Ness before heading to Nairn.
Visit Blair Athol Distillery to see how whisky is distilled and enjoy a sample. Travel to St Andrews, best known as the “Home of Golf”. Take a panoramic drive around and spend some time exploring independently. Continue to Edinburgh to your gracious manor house hotel, set on 4 square kilometres with two golf courses and spa facilities. Enjoy a Scottish evening with traditional cuisine, a lively show of songs, stories and dancing.
Explore the principal sights of central Edinburgh from the bustling Princes Street and through the gracious, wide streets of the 200-year-old Georgian New Town. Walk along part of the Royal Mile where compact medieval houses reach 11 floors tall. Visit Edinburgh Castle perched high above the city on volcanic rock. The castle contains the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Scone. The balance of the day is free. On July 31 to August 21 departures, seats are reserved for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Depart Edinburgh and travel through Ayrshire and along the coast. Embark on a ferry ride to Belfast with a casual lunch on board. At Titanic Belfast, immerse yourself in the history of this famous through state-of-the-art displays. Head to Dublin for a free evening in this lively city.
A local guide will help you discover central Dublin. See the shopping areas around Grafton and Nassau Streets, elegant Georgian squares and the General Post Office, where the 1916 Uprising started. Take a guided walk through Trinity College to view the illuminated manuscript of the 8th century Book of Kells. Tonight, board a former Guinness barge for a canal dinner cruise complete with traditional Irish music.
Travel through the midlands of Ireland, stopping for photos at the stately Rock of Cashel. Immerse yourself in farm life with tea and scones at a farmhouse visit and watch skilled sheep dogs herd sheep. Head to Blarney Castle and kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence.” Treat yourself to Irish goods at the Blarney Woollen Mills before heading to Killarney, picturesquely set beside lakes and mountains.
Step back in time as a jaunting car drives you past Ross Castle set on Lough Leane. Embark on the Ring of Kerry drive – a winding route with breathtaking sights of mountains and coastal views. Cross the bridge to Valentia Island to visit the Skellig Experience, which explains the life of early Christian hermits on Skellig Michael, a rocky offshore island featured in the “Star Wars VII” movie. Enjoy a casual lunch and later stop in the pretty village of Sneem. Pause at Moll’s Gap for panoramic mountain views and return to Killarney where the evening is free.
Take in the enormity of the Cliffs of Moher, a spectacular wall of sandstone that reaches 200m above the Atlantic Ocean, as you ferry across the River Shannon. Walk along the Cliffs for spectacular views. Later, at Bunratty Castle Hotel, you’ll have time to visit the Folk Park, have a drink in the 200-year-old Durty Nelly’s Pub or shop at the Bunratty Mills. In the evening head out for a memorable medieval-style feast where the lords and ladies will serenade you with song and harp music, evocative of the Middle Ages.
Head to Galway for a walking tour around the central part of the city. Visit Clonmacnoise Monastic Site, founded in 546 AD by Saint Ciaran. Back in Dublin, enjoy a free night out on the town.
Your tour ends after breakfast today.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner