2017 Grand Tour of Britain & Ireland 24 Days / 23 Nights
Your vacation starts at your London hotel at 2:00 pm when you set out on a panoramic tour of central London with a visit to St Paul’s Cathedral. Meet your tour director for a welcome drink and dinner.
Today travel on an open-top bus tour. There are different bus routes as well as a walking tour and a River Thames cruise. Visit either the Tower of London or Kensington Palace.
Drive to Stratford-upon-Avon and visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace. See an exhibition about his life and walk through the house which is furnished as it would have been in his day. Journey north to the medieval city of York.
Take a walking tour around central York and visit York Minster, renowned for its stained glass. Cross into Scotland and pause to view ruined Melrose Abbey. In Edinburgh dine at a Scottish Evening with a lively show.
Discover Edinburgh’s highlights on a city tour. See the elegant Georgian “New Town” and the medieval Royal Mile. Tour Edinburgh Castle to view the Crown Jewels of Scotland. On August 04 to 18 departures, experience the world-famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Travel north to St Andrews, famous for golfing. Take a walking tour around the town center and visit the picturesque ruins of St Andrews Cathedral. Stop in Pitlochry on the way to Inverness, in the Highlands.
Enjoy wonderful Highland views on a scenic cruise of Loch Ness. Stop at a woolen mill and take photos at majestic Glencoe. Visit Oban Distillery to see how whisky is distilled and sample some.
Take a ferry ride from Oban to the Isle of Mull. Tour many of the historic chambers of Duart Castle, home of the present Clan Chief. Drive to the colorful coastal town of Tobermory before returning to Oban.
Drive south alongside scenic Loch Lomond. Stop 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 in time for dinner.
Tour the highlights of Belfast and travel along the scenic Nine Glens of Antrim coast. Visit the Giant’s Causeway, hexagonal columns formed 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. Enjoy great views as you follow the coastline and stop at Malin Head, the most northerly point.
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.
Head to the delightful town of Kenmare and journey along part of the Ring of Kerry route. Watch trained dogs herding sheep and tour the gracious 19th century Muckross House. Lunch is included today and the evening is free.
Travel to Blarney Castle to kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence” and shop at the Blarney Woollen Mills. In Cobh 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. Tour the Dunbrody Famine Ship, a replica of one used during the 1840s Famine. In Dublin dine at Taylor’s Three Rock Pub.
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.
Take a short ferry ride from Dublin to Holyhead and drive to Conwy. Tour Conwy Castle, a huge 13th century fortification built by King Edward I. Take a guided walk around the walled town.
Travel through Snowdonia National Park to view the highest peaks in Wales and continue south. Cross the scenic Brecon Beacons National Park. Tour Cardiff, visit Cardiff Castle and dine at a fun Welsh banquet there.
This morning head east to tour the Roman Baths and Pump Room, renowned for the mineral-rich hot springs. Stop in Glastonbury, associated with King Arthur and drive to Cornwall.
Drive to Land’s End, the most westerly point of Britain and view the majestic rocky island of St. Michael’s Mount. Browse around the charming village of Mevagissey.
Drive to Salisbury Plain to marvel at the vast monoliths of Stonehenge. Continue to Windsor to visit Windsor Castle, residence of The Queen. After dinner take a brief walking tour around the historic town.
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)