This trip is a whirlwind of sightseeing, history & culture as you hit the highlights of England, Scotland & Ireland. Practice your Liverpudlian accent in the home of rock & roll's original Fab Four - The Beatles! Stroll Edinburgh's Royal Mile, then grab some binoculars to search for the Loch Ness monster. Add in drinking Guinness, kissing the Blarney Stone, castles, cathedrals & you've got an one awesome experience!
Check-in to your hotel after 2pm and the remainder of the day is free to relax before meeting your fellow travellers for your Kickstart meeting this evening. Afterwards why not grab some dinner at one of the local restaurants or take a short walk to explore nearby Covent Garden
Meet up with your fellow travellers and Trip Manager and jump on the coach for a look at London’s iconic buildings and UNESCO World Heritage sites in our included tour. Start your tour by learning about the Royal Family’s place of residence (Buckingham Palace), the horror tales of the Tower of London and the magnificent Westminster Abbey, where Prince William and Catherine Middleton were married in 2011. Head out of the big city today, we're off to Liverpool! This place is famous for its football team, accents & it's most famous ex-residents, The Beatles. On arrival, get in the know with a tour to learn all about the 'Fab Four' & explore this cool water-side city. If you're feeling like getting into Liverpool by night then you could opt to party at the city's famous Cavern Club, where Beatlemania was born!
Spend more time exploring Liverpool this morning. Then, back on the coach, take in the wild countryside as we head to York. It’s soaked in history and English traditions. Your Trip Manager will wind back the clock and fill you in on York’s 2000-year-old history as you walk through the web of little lanes within the medieval city walls. You’ll see the impressive York Minister, the Shambles and Clifford’s Tower. For legends and folklore, opt for a night-time ghost tour that takes you through dark historic alleyways of York. Our expert Local Guide, a typical story-teller, will give you the low down on whose ghosts haunt which houses!
Back on the coach, we wind our way through the jaw-droppingly beautiful Lake District. The area has a reputation as England’s most scenic region and you’ll soon understand why. Filled with 16 major lakes, high peaks and cute, stone-built settlements, this region is all about picture-perfect countryside. This morning we travel to Bowness-on-Windemere. With free time, opt for a cruise on Lake Windermere and see for yourself why this region inspired so many poets. Otherwise, walk through this bustling town and find a cute tea room. If you’re keen, try a traditional English afternoon tea with tasty scones and hot tea. Then if you feel like getting some adrenaline pumping, try a high ropes course. For those who want to keep their feet firmly on the ground, there’s plenty of hiking trails through the beautiful English countryside.
Northbound, we’ll drop by the 2000-year-old Hadrian’s Wall, the Roman Empire’s most impressive engineering feat, before traveling on through the English countryside. Afterwards, we say farewell England and cross the border into Scotland, where we visit the small village and romantic hot spot of Gretna Green, famous for holding runaway marriages. Later, we pull into the buzzing city of Edinburgh. Home to loads of festivals, cutting-edge Edinburgh serves up a fun, creative mix of ancient and modern. You’ll get a good look around this striking city as your Trip Manager fills you in on the core sites of the Old and New Towns. Check out the Robbie Burns statue, the National Gallery and the Grass Market, where local artists, designers and craftspeople sell their wares. Tonight, there’s a chance to experience a hearty Scottish meal, complete with haggis and a traditional bagpiper. After dinner, round up some friends and head out into the city’s pumping nightlife. Edinburgh has so much on offer – so ask your Trip Manager for some tips on the city’s cosy pubs, basement bars and happening clubs.
With a free day, decide how you want to shape your Edinburgh experience and explore this living time-line. Explore the scene-stealing Edinburgh Castle, perched high up above the city on an extinct volcano, where the Scottish crown jewels and famous Stone of Destiny are housed. Retrace Scottish royalty’s footsteps and walk the Royal Mile with its jumble of medieval houses and buildings. See the Holyrood Palace, former home to Mary Queen of Scots. For a one-stop shopping spot, make the most of Princes Street. From kilts and tartans to modern labels and cashmere, this street has it all. At lunch, go local and order some traditional fish’n’chips and a deep fried chocolate bar if you’re feeling adventurous! For a relaxing afternoon, spend some time in Edinburgh’s famous Botanical Gardens. Explore the 72 acres of grounds, exotic plants and stunning glass houses.
Stop by St. Andrews, Scotland’s oldest university town and the “home of golf” where you’ll see the famous course of the same name that is used in major international tournaments. Then roll on through the Scottish Highlands, packed with wild mountain scenery, rugged green hills and the tales of old clans. Next up is the stuff of legends – a cruise on the gorgeous & world-famous Loch Ness. This afternoon find out more as your Trip Manager fills you in on the lake’s mythical monster. Back on the coach, plug in your headphones, sit back and take in the dramatic scenery. We drive past turreted castles and surging rivers before stopping for the night in this spectacular spot.
This morning, we continue on past tiny villages, emerald green moors, lakes and seaside cliffs that the West Highlands are so famous for. On the stunning Isle of Skye, we visit the seaside town of Portree, known for its brightly coloured houses and charming fishing port. Your Trip Manager will tell you the stories and legends connected too this remote inner Herbridean Island and fill you in on how people live in this dramatic environment. Later, we pass Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, as we continue through the remote West Highlands.
We make our way to Glasgow this morning. Your Trip Manager will tell you all about this historic area and of the conflict and battles that took place here before we reach Scotland’s largest city. We arrive in Glasgow this afternoon. It’s pulsing with urban soul, pubs filled with colourful characters and the most happening live music scene in the country. There’s free time to explore this UNESCO city of music. Walk around the down town and see the city’s famed Victorian architecture, including Glasgow’s Gothic cathedral, the impressive City Chambers and St. George’s Square – located right in the city’s heart. Tonight, get out amongst the locals and try some of Scotland’s tasty produce. Order yourself some of the country’s world-renowned salmon, trout or Aberdeen Angus beef and grab yourself a pint. Later, make the most of the live music scene and ask your Trip Manager where to go for door-to-door music venues.
Ferry across the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland and travel through County Meath and Boyne Valley - former seat of power for ancient kings and the site of one of Ireland’s most bloody battles. Continue on to dynamic, down-to-earth Dublin. This bustling student town has a whole lot of heart and loads of things to do. Discover Dublin’s fascinating heritage with your Trip Manager who’ll show you Trinity college, the 120m high Monument of Light, Parnell Square and St. Stephen’s Green, once the site of Dublin’s public floggings and hangings. Afterwards, make the most of the night and head to the cultural hot spot of Temple Bar, where pubs, bars and cafes spill out onto cobbled lanes.
En route for Cork we stop at charming Kilkenny for lunch & there is a chance for an optional bike ride if you feel like a different perspective on exploring the city. Discover Kilkenny’s medieval charm and its signature sites, Kilkenny Castle and St. Canice’s Cathedral. Later, it's onto the next destination on our list, colourful Cork, set on the banks of the River Lee. Stop off enroute in Midleton at the Jamesons Distillery. Opt in for a tour of the distillery dating back to 1795, take a journey through history and see the old kilns, mills and malting, water wheel and old warehouses. And of course try a little tipple at the end!
Another day, and there's more to see...so let's go! See the famous medieval Blarney Castle, where you can kiss the magical Blarney Stone if you’re keen – your Trip Manager will fill you in on the legend. Continue on past the vertical Cliffs of Moher, through the moors and woodlands. FIlled with good luck, we head to the traditional town of Galway. Loaded with Irish soul and packed with lively pubs, Galway gives you a chance to experience the typically Irish locals and it's bound to be packed with character and laughs. Get a feel for this pretty town’s atmosphere, where street performers, magicians and traditional musicians busk outside colourfully painted buildings. Make the most of your free night tonight, round up a group of friends and head to the pub. Listen out for locals speaking Irish as you try out traditional Irish stew, listen to some traditional live music or order some of the region’s famous oysters, no doubt over a few pints of Guinness.
Get out there and discover this quintessential Irish town where Gaelic is still spoken on the streets. If you feel like travelling a little further out, there's the option to jump on a ferry and cruise out to the stunning Aran Islands for a day away from it all. With rugged cliffs, wild flowers and pounding seas, the Aran Islands are all about natural beauty. Grab a bike and explore, stopping of course for some pics with some of the islands furrier locals like donkeys and horses that dot the country farms.
We head North today through Donegal, and onto Londonderry. On arrival get straight out to see the city’s famous 17th century walls. They’ve got a rep for a reason – standing at 8m high and 9m long, no enemy has ever succeeded in getting through them. Explore more of Londonderry with our Local Guide in a fascinating optional tour around the historic city. Learn about epic battles of the past before taking a step back in time with the People’s Gallery in Bogside. Our Local Guide will explain how the colourful murals sum up and commemorate key events from the Troubles. We leave the walled city of Londonderry behind as we head to Belfast, home of the Troubles (political conflict in Ireland) and learn about the city's difficult past.
Today you have the opportunity to be amazed by the natural wonder and UNESCO World Heritage site - the Giant’s Causeway. With approximately 40 000 rock columns packed together, reaching heights of 12m (36ft), this unbelievable rock formation will give you goose bumps Then we head into Belfast, learn more about this intriguing city on a driving tour, before arriving at the Titanic museum where you can join a tour of the iconic structure, see the spot where she was launched and hear some fascinating facts about the great ship.
Back into buzzing Dublin, you’ve got time to explore more of this charismatic capital. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Guinness Storehouse and get the low down on Ireland’s national drink. Find out how the “black stuff” is made and how to pull a pint the Irish way. You’ll even get to satisfy your taste buds with a Guinness at the end. Dublin has it all shopping-wise so get some pointers from your Trip Manager and hit the shops on Grafton Street or poke around Dublin’s many bookstores. For a bite to eat, head to the open air food and fresh produce markets and live a bit of the local lifestyle. Cap off your tour with a night out with the group and opt for authentic Irish experience, complete with a traditional meal and Irish dancing in one of Dublin’s most popular pubs.
Ferry back across the Irish Sea to Wales. Travel past the unspoilt and rock-strewn Snowdonia National Park and show off your pronunciation skills when we pass by the town with the longest name in the UK, Llanfairpwllgwyngyll. Then it’s back to London where the tour ends, so make sure you get your new friends’ email addresses.
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Trip Name: Great Britain & Ireland
Duration: 17 Days
From Price: 2309
Trip Code: 160278
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