2017 British & Irish Elegance 11 Days / 10 Nights
Your vacation starts at your London hotel at 2:00 pm when you meet your tour director. Head out on a panoramic drive around central London to see many of the 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 join your tour director and your fellow travelers for a welcome drink to discuss your trip. Then enjoy dinner in your hotel.
This morning head out of London to Salisbury Plain to view the prehistoric circle of vast monoliths at Stonehenge. Continue west 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. Dine at a Welsh evening on local specialties and appreciate fine entertainment.
Take a panoramic tour of Cardiff to see the principal areas and buildings in the city center and tour 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 for your next overnight stay.
After breakfast take a walking tour around historic Waterford, founded by the Vikings over 1,000 years ago. Visit the House of Waterford Crystal to learn about glass blowing and cutting. At Jerpoint Park Farm see a deserted 12th century town, watch trained dogs herd sheep and sample scones with tea. Stop briefly in Kilkenny before heading to Dublin. Drive to the Merry Ploughboy Pub for a dinner of Irish specialties and a lively show.
Tour Dublin city to see elegant Georgian squares with brightly-painted doorways; in O’Connell Street see the General Post Office where the 1916 Rebellion started. Visit Glasnevin Museum, Ireland’s national necropolis, which is a who’s who of modern Irish history. The afternoon is free so that you may use your vouchers for an independent open-top bus tour around the city and a visit to one attraction. The evening is free.
Depart Dublin early this morning and drive north to take a ferry from Belfast to Cairnryan. Travel through gentle pasturelands to the central belt of Scotland. Continue to Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city, and check in to your hotel. Head to a Scottish Evening to dine on excellent Scottish cuisine, including Haggis, followed by lively Highland dancing with bagpipes and kilts.
Join a local guide on 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 4 to 18 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 for a look around and view the picturesque ruins of Jedburgh Abbey. Continue south to York for a walking tour to appreciate narrow streets, especially the Shambles, 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.
Travel to Stratford-upon-Avon to 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 and check into your hotel where the evening is at leisure.
schedule your London sightseeing when you take an open-top bus tour around the many famous landmarks. There are a number of different bus routes as well as 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, home of Princess Diana.
Your program 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)