Have a hankering for all things Scottish and Irish? This tour combines two of the most picturesque countries in Europe. Scotland is famous for its whisky, haggis, bagpipes, an elusive lake monster and men who wear kilts! Ireland is famous for Guinness, the Blarney Stone, good music and craic! Join this tour to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Check in to your hotel this evening in the buzzing city of Edinburgh. Home to loads of festivals, cutting-edge Edinburgh serves up a fun, creative mix of ancient and modern. Later, meet up with your fellow travellers and Trip Manager. Round up some of the group and head out into the city for a fun night out. 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.
We slide by Belfast, former hotspot of the Troubles (political conflict in Ireland) and learn about the city’s difficult past. Our Local Guide will introduce Belfast’s iconic political murals and Victorian buildings, while telling you the story behind the city’s history. Later on you have the opportunity, with our ME Time Optional, 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. Next up: riverside Londonderry. With loads of artistic activity, it’s the central point of Northern Ireland’s cultural renewal.
Your Trip Manager will show you 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. Cruise on 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. 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, round a group of friends and head to the pub. Listen out for locals speaking Irish as you try out traditional Irish stew or order some of the region’s famous oysters.
Get out there and discover this quintessential Irish town where Gaelic is still spoken on the streets. You also have 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.
Continue on, past the vertical Cliffs of Moher, through the moors and woodlands. See the 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. Later, we pull into colourful Cork, set on the banks of the River Lee. Make the most of your free time and enjoy some shopping. Rummage through the lively markets, bustling with friendly locals. There’s the rowdy Coal Quay street market where you’ll find local produce or the historic English Market, operating since 1785.
Visit portside Cobh and its Heritage Centre, and get the background on the Titanic and her last port of call. Also find out about how 2.5 million people left Ireland from this spot during the famine. En route for Kilkenny, you’ll see the Rock of Cashel. The former seat of power to the region’s kings is now a striking green hill topped with ancient ruins. Afterwards, discover Kilkenny’s medieval charm and its signature sites, Kilkenny Castle and St. Canice’s Cathedral.
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.
The trip ends after breakfast & it's time to say farewell to your new friends.
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Trip Name: Scotland & Ireland
Duration: 13 Days
From Price: 1815
Trip Code: 160314
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