2017 British & Irish Landmarks - 19 Days / 18 Nights
Your vacation starts at your London hotel at 2:00 pm when you meet your tour director and head out on a panoramic tour of central London. See famous landmarks including Piccadilly Circus, Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament and visit the impressive St. Paul’s Cathedral. Meet your tour director and fellow travelers for a welcome drink and dine in your hotel.
Today schedule your London sightseeing as you wish on an open-top bus tour. 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. You are free to choose a restaurant to dine independently.
Drive north to the attractive town of Stratford-upon-Avon and visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace to see an exhibition about his life and work. Then enter the house where he was born to see rooms furnished as they would have been in his day. Continue your journey north to the medieval city of York and check in to your hotel in time for dinner.
This morning join a local guide for a walking tour around central York to appreciate narrow streets and medieval houses. The stately York Minster, with towers and stained glass, is the highlight of the walk.
Travel north and stop briefly in Melrose to view the ruins of the abbey. Drive to Edinburgh and dine at a Scottish Evening with bagpipes and lively music.
Discover Edinburgh’s highlights on a city tour. See the elegant 200-year-old Georgian “New Town” and the compact medieval city centered on the Royal Mile. Tour Edinburgh Castle to view the Crown Jewels of Scotland and enjoy splendid views of central Edinburgh. 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 tour director who will tell you about the famous people and happenings here. Visit the picturesque ruins of St Andrews Cathedral. Stop in Pitlochry on the way to your hotel in Inverness, in the Highlands.
Enjoy more wonderful Highland views as you travel along the shoreline of Loch Ness and take a scenic cruise to admire great views and perhaps spot “Nessie.” Drive along the west coast to Oban and visit Oban Distillery to see how whisky is distilled and sample some at the end of the tour.
Take a ferry ride from Oban to the Isle of Mull, one of the Inner Hebrides. Tour many of the historic chambers of Duart Castle, home of Sir Lachlan Maclean, the present Clan Chief. Drive to the colorful coastal town of Tobermory for a look around before returning to Oban by coach and ferry.
This morning bid farewell to the Highlands as you drive through Glen Coe and alongside Loch Lomond. Stop briefly in Alloway at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum to learn about the famous poet’s life and poetry. Continue to Cairnryan for a short ferry ride to Belfast.
Tour the highlights of Belfast to see the impressive City Hall and Victorian buildings. Travel along the scenic Nine Glens of Antrim and visit the Giant’s Causeway, hexagonal columns formed by volcanic activity over 60 million years ago. Pause at Dunluce Castle and head to Derry.
Start your day with a short walk around the medieval city walls of Derry. Then drive around the Inishowen Peninsula. Admire great views as you follow the coastline and stop at Malin Head, the most northerly point and sip an Irish coffee.
Travel through the Blue Stack Mountains to Donegal town where you will tour Donegal Castle, built in the 15th century by an O’Donnell chieftain. Continue your drive south passing through Counties Sligo and Mayo to Galway. Join a local guide for a walking tour around the compact center of the city before dinner.
Take a drive through the stunning scenery of Connemara and in Cong take a short walking tour to see movie locations from “The Quiet Man.” Return to Galway for an afternoon at leisure to explore the city.
Drive through the Burren to view the majestic Cliffs of Moher, which rise 700 feet above the foaming Atlantic Ocean and cross the River Shannon Estuary by ferry. Stop at J B Keane’s Pub in Listowel for tea with scones and head to Killarney.
Drive to the delightful town of Kenmare and journey along part of the Ring of Kerry route to view spectacular mountain scenery. Visit a farm to watch trained dogs herding sheep. Just outside Killarney tour the gracious 19th century Muckross House. Lunch is included and the evening is at leisure.
Travel to Blarney Castle to kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence.” Also shop at the Blarney Woollen Mills before heading to Cobh to visit the Titanic Experience which tells about the 123 Irish people who embarked on the RMS Titanic. Continue to Waterford and after dinner take a walking tour.
Tour the famous House of Waterford Crystal to watch molten glass being transformed into shimmering trophies by skilled blowers and cutters. Visit Dunbrody Famine Ship, a replica of a Famine vessel. Travel to Dublin and dine at Taylor’s Three Rock Pub with a lively show.
Tour central Dublin to see the main sights. Take a guided walking tour through the campus of Trinity College to view the illuminated manuscript of the Book of Kells. Afternoon and evening are free.
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)