2019 ESSENCE OF BRITAIN & IRELAND 11 DAYS / 10 NIGHTS
Tour begins 2:00 PM at your London hotel. Take 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 a free evening for independent dining.
Head to Salisbury Plain to view the prehistoric circle of vast monoliths at Stonehenge. Continue to Bath to tour the Roman Baths, first built by the Romans 2,000 years ago. In Cardiff, enjoy dinner at your hotel.
Visit Cardiff Castle, first inhabited in Roman times and transformed into an elaborate Gothic-style residence in the 19th century. You will enjoy breakfast there. 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. You’ll see the grave of St Nicholas, the inspiration for Santa Claus, whose remains were moved there in the 12th century. Head to Dublin, dine at the lively Merry Ploughboy Pub and enjoy 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, Dine on your own at Dublin’s many fine pubs and restaurants.
Head to Belfast where you’ll enjoy a short panoramic tour. Take a ferry from Belfast to Cairnryan. Travel through gentle pasturelands to the central belt of Scotland. Stop en route for dinner before reaching your hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city.
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 to explore and dine on your own. The August 2 - 16 departures watch the spectacular Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on the Castle Esplanade.
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 of streets are so narrow the medieval houses almost touch. Tour the stately Gothic York Minster, which dates back to the 13th 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. Walk around the town with its many charming black-and-white buildings. Drive through the picturesque Cotswolds to London for a free evening to explore and dine on your own.
Enjoy a day of independent sightseeing in London by Hop-On, Hop-Off bus tour around the many famous landmarks. There are a number of different routes to choose from including 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 program ends after breakfast.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner
All components of this tour (hotels, visits and attractions) for 2019 itineraries are subject to change until finalized in September 2018.