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Essence of Britain & Ireland | CIE Tours

Essence of Britain & Ireland

  • 2020 Essence of Britain & Ireland – 11 Days/10 Nights
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Starts London
Ends London
  • Tour Highlights
  • Itinerary
  • Dates and Prices
  • Reviews

Tour Highlights

Authentic Local Experiences:

  • Expect an unforgettable evening of music, ceremony, theater, and dance with reserved seats for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on August 7 – 21 departures.
  • Experience 2,000 years of history as you tour the opulence of Cardiff Castle and enjoy breakfast there. The medieval castle was lavishly transformed in the Victorian era, with marble, gilding and elaborate wood carvings.

Trip Highlights:

  • Cardiff Castle with Welsh Breakfast
  • Edinburgh Castle
  • Glasnevin Cemetery Museum
  • House of Waterford Crystal
  • Roman Baths & Pump Room
  • Shakespeare’s Birthplace
  • Stonehenge
  • York Minster

Dining Experiences:

  • 10 breakfasts (B) including one at Cardiff Castle on most departures and 5 dinners (D) including an evening of dining and entertainment at the Merry Ploughboy Pub.

Hotels:

  • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London – West End, London (1 night) 
  • Mercure Holland House Hotel & Spa, Cardiff (1 night) 
  • Granville Hotel, Waterford (1 night) 
  • North Star Hotel, Dublin (2 nights) 
  • Hotel Indigo Edinburgh York Place, Edinburgh (2 nights) 
  • York Marriott, York (1 night) 
  • Radisson Blu Edwardian Vanderbilt Hotel, London (2 nights) 

Hotels

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DoubleTree by Hilton London – West End, London

DoubleTree by Hilton London – West End, London Description:

With its beautiful Edwardian façade, this hotel combines historic charm with modern convenience. Inviting guest rooms feature generous space and modern amenities. Pre-theater meals served in Bar 92 and international cuisine in The Level Restaurant. It is located at 92 Southampton Row, near Russell Square, in the historic Bloomsbury district and close to public transportation. The British Museum, Covent Garden, the West End and Oxford Street shops are all within walking distance.

Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel & Spa, Cardiff

Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel & Spa, Cardiff Description:

This modern hotel’s 165 bedrooms offer guests a range of rooms with facilities such as air conditioning, Wi-Fi and satellite TV. The First Floor Restaurant has developed an enviable reputation for style, ambience and culinary excellence. The menu provides a varied and irresistible range of modern cuisine, all served with style. Located in the heart of Cardiff, all of the sights of Cardiff, such as the iconic Millennium Stadium and Cardiff Castle, are within easy walking distance.

Granville Hotel, Waterford

Granville Hotel, Waterford Description:

This family-run hotel is one of Ireland’s oldest, with significant historical connections, old-world charm and unique features. The friendly and professional staff are dedicated to making your stay pleasant and memorable. Enjoy delicious menus in the attractive dining room. The bar is a lively meeting place, often with live music. Comfortable and well-appointed guest rooms make for a great stay. Set on the waterfront, in the heart of Waterford city, this hotel is within easy walking distance of shopping, Reginald’s Tower and the House of Waterford Crystal.

North Star Hotel, Dublin

North Star Hotel, Dublin Description:

This newly refurbished hotel is located in the heart of Dublin at Amiens St, Mountjoy, Dublin, D01 X6P6, and is within walking distance of a host of tourist attractions. The property boasts 160 exceptionally appointed guest rooms offering every amenity to ensure a comfortable and luxurious stay to each CIE Tours guest. Each bedroom is tastefully decorated, warm, inviting and designed to international standards. The extensive buffet selection offers both a Continental breakfast choices or a traditional hot Irish buffet using only the highest quality of freshly cooked products and is sure to satisfy every taste.

Hotel Indigo Edinburgh

Hotel Indigo Edinburgh Description:

Hotel Indigo Edinburgh is a stylish boutique hotel with 60 individually designed guest rooms. With supremely comfortable beds, rainfall showers and stocked mini-bars, the spacious rooms are the perfect haven after a busy day shopping and sight-seeing. The Turquoise Thistle Restaurant, Bar & Lounge features contemporary thistle prints and a striking modern artwork of the local landmark Arthur’s Seat, which was commissioned specially for the hotel.

York Marriott, York

York Marriott, York Description:

This modern, stylish hotel is an ideal base for exploring York. The Chase Bar & Grill is open for all meals with an international menu. 151 luxuriously appointed guest rooms offer satellite TV, a hairdryer and tea and coffee facilities. Guests can enjoy one hour of free Wi-Fi access in public areas. The leisure club features a heated pool and spa facilities. York city center is within 2 miles of the hotel with York Minster being a 40-minute walk.

Radisson Blu Edwardian Vanderbilt Hotel, London

Radisson Blu Edwardian Vanderbilt Hotel, London Description:

Dating from 1874 and originally a terrace of sumptuous townhouses, this hotel’s classical English façade conceals a French-inspired interior with superb fresco ceilings, statues of Napoleon, original oil paintings, stained-glass windows and a huge open fireplace.

Itinerary

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2020 ESSENCE OF BRITAIN & IRELAND - 11 DAYS / 10 NIGHTS/15 MEALS

B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner

Day 1LONDON TOUR & WELCOME DRINK

Tour begins at 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, 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 of independent dining.

Day 2STONEHENGE & ROMAN BATHS

Head to Salisbury Plain to view the prehistoric circle of vast monoliths at Stonehenge. Continue to Bath for a tour of the Roman Baths, first built by the Romans 2,000 years ago around mineral-rich hot springs. In Cardiff, enjoy dinner at your hotel. (B, D)

Day 3CARDIFF & FERRY TO WATERFORD

Visit Cardiff Castle – first inhabited in Roman times and transformed into an elaborate Gothic-style residence in the 19th century – where you will enjoy a traditional Welsh breakfast. Journey through the rolling, green countryside to the west coast. At Pembroke Dock, embark on an afternoon ferry crossing to Rosslare and on to Waterford. (B, D)

Day 4WATERFORD CRYSTAL & SHEEP HERDING

Start the day with a walking tour of historic Waterford. Witness the creation of crystal masterpieces at the House of Waterford Crystal Guided Factory Tour. 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. Proceed on to Dublin. In the evening, enjoy some time on your own to dine at one of Dublin’s many fine pubs and restaurants. (B)

Day 5GLASNEVIN CEMETERY MUSEUM & DUBLIN SIGHTSEEING

Tour Dublin city to see the elegant Georgian squares, houses with brightly painted doorways, and the General Post Office where the 1916 Rebellion started. Visit Glasnevin Cemetery Museum, Ireland’s national cemetery, a virtual 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 to visit to one of Dublin's top attractions: Guinness Storehouse, Teeling Distillery, EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum or GPO Witness History. In the evening, enjoy a traditional dinner and a lively show at the Merry Ploughboy Pub. (B,D)

Day 6FERRY TO SCOTLAND & EDINBURGH

Head to Belfast where you’ll take a ferry to the Scottish port of Cairnryan and travel through green pasturelands to the central belt of Scotland. Stop en route for dinner before reaching your hotel in central Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city. (B, D)

Day 7EDINBURGH CASTLE & CITY TOUR

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 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. August 7 – 21 departures will attendthe spectacular Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on the Castle Esplanade. (B)

Day 8SCOTTISH BORDERS & YORK

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 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. (B, D)

Day 9SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHPLACE & LONDON

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. Stroll 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. (B)

Day 10INDEPENDENT LONDON SIGHTSEEING

Enjoy a day of independent sightseeing in London on a Hop-On, Hop-Off bus to tour 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. (B)

Day 11TOUR ENDS IN LONDON

Your tour ends after breakfast. (B)

Dates and Prices

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All prices listed below are per person, double-occupancy.
If you would prefer a single room, there is a single-room supplement of US $930.

Start End Price
Friday Apr 24, 2020 from London Monday May 4, 2020 to London 11 Days $3729 Small Group Book Now
Friday May 22, 2020 from London Monday Jun 1, 2020 to London 11 Days $3329 Guaranteed Book Now
Friday Jun 5, 2020 from London Monday Jun 15, 2020 to London 11 Days $3879 Guaranteed Small Group Book Now
Friday Jun 19, 2020 from London Monday Jun 29, 2020 to London 11 Days $3399 Guaranteed Book Now
Friday Jul 3, 2020 from London Monday Jul 13, 2020 to London 11 Days $3449 Book Now
Friday Aug 7, 2020 from London Monday Aug 17, 2020 to London 11 Days $3599 Tattoo/Tour Guaranteed Book Now
Friday Aug 21, 2020 from London Monday Aug 31, 2020 to London 11 Days $4149 Tattoo/Guaranteed Small Group Book Now
Friday Sep 4, 2020 from London Monday Sep 14, 2020 to London 11 Days $3399 Guaranteed Book Now
Friday Sep 18, 2020 from London Monday Sep 28, 2020 to London 11 Days $3349 Book Now
Friday Sep 25, 2020 from London Monday Oct 5, 2020 to London 11 Days $3899 Small Group Book Now
Friday Oct 2, 2020 from London Monday Oct 12, 2020 to London 11 Days $3199 Book Now

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