Day 1: Overnight Flight
Discover the true cultural treasures of Britain and Ireland on a comprehensive journey through England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland.
Day 2: London, England - Tour Begins
Your journey opens in the regal city of London. A capital of culture and commerce, the city blends traditional with modern. Tonight, meet your fellow travelers at a traditional English pub for dinner.
Day 3: London
Discover the pageantry of London as we join a local guide for a city tour. See Big Ben, Westminster, Whitehall, Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to explore this iconic city or perhaps partake in an optional excursion to Windsor Castle.
Day 4: London - Stonehenge - Bath – Cardiff
Travel to Stonehenge, the mysterious formation that dates back to the Stone Age. Explore various theories on how the colossal stones arrived at the location and their purpose. Continue to the elegant Georgian town of Bath to visit the Roman Bath Museum’s 2,000-year-old elaborate spas. Enjoy some time to stroll through Bath’s cobblestone streets and soak in its old-world atmosphere. Your day ends in the Welsh capital of Cardiff.
Day 5: Cardiff - Ferry to Ireland – Waterford
Join a local expert on a leisurely paced walking tour of Cardiff. Learn about the city’s deep ties to the coal industry, its connection to ancient Rome and its famous Victorian shopping arcades. Take in the beautiful countryside of Wales en route to the coastal village of Fishguard. There we board the ferry for Ireland, crossing the Irish Sea. Upon arrival in Rosslare, travel to Waterford, your home for the evening.
Day 6: Waterford - Blarney – Killarney
This morning, it’s your choice! Tour the House of Waterford Crystal factory featuring a fascinating visitor’s center and a retail store housing the largest collection of Waterford Crystal in the world. Or, enjoy a leisurely paced walking tour of Ireland’s oldest city and discover its rich Viking, Norman and Cromwellian history. Later, travel to historic Blarney Castle. Make your way to the top of the castle, lie back and kiss the famous Blarney Stone. Legend has it that if you do, you will be blessed with the "gift of eloquence." This evening it’s Diner’s Choice…tonight’s dinner is included and you’ll choose the perfect spot from a ‘menu’ of Killarney’s great restaurants.
Day 7: Killarney - Ring of Kerry – Killarney
This morning explore Killarney National Park on a traditional jaunting car ride.* Then travel along the glorious Ring of Kerry where you’ll find some of Ireland’s most magical scenery. Pause for a moment at the Gap of Dunloe to browse for traditional Irish handcrafted goods. As we continue our journey, marvel at the vistas created by windswept cliffs, rugged mountains, lakes and picturesque villages. Later, see border collies in action during a traditional sheepdog demonstration at a family-run farm.
Day 8: Killarney - Rock of Cashel – Dublin
Today we venture through the “Golden Vale” en route to the awe-inspiring Rock of Cashel. Be amazed by its imposing facade and visit the spot where St. Patrick preached. Tonight, give traditional Irish cuisine a modern twist during a cooking class and dinner at one of Dublin’s premier culinary institutions. Top off the evening by making your very own Irish coffee!
Day 9: Dublin
Discover Dublin’s past and present on a locally guided tour highlighting the Bank of Ireland, O’Connell Street, Grafton Street, Phoenix Park and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Later, experience for yourself the welcoming nature of the Irish as you set out to explore the “Fair City” on your own.
Day 10: Dublin - Ferry Crossing - Wales – Cheshire
Ferry across the Irish Sea to Holyhead, Wales. As you traverse northern Wales, pass Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, the town with the longest name in the world. Make a stop at majestic Caernarfon Castle, where Charles was crowned Prince of Wales. Then, continue through the Welsh countryside and discover some of the most magnificent scenery in all of Britain. Tonight, experience dinner at a traditional English carvery.**
Day 11: Cheshire - Lake District - Gretna Green, Scotland – Edinburgh
Travel north into England’s scenic Lake District. Here you’ll feel the inspirational appeal of the region’s quintessential English villages, Lake Windermere, Ambleside and Grasmere. Crossing into Scotland, stop in the town of Gretna Green where generations of runaway couples eloped. Continue to Edinburgh, Scotland’s majestic capital city.
Day 12: Edinburgh
Today it’s your choice! Come to know this regal city during a locally guided panoramic city coach tour. Or, for a different perspective, join a local expert and explore the city on foot. Both tours include a visit to Edinburgh Castle, home of the Scottish Crown Jewels, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse,*** the Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh and former home of Mary, Queen of Scots. The remainder of the day is at leisure to relax or explore the city independently.
Day 13: Edinburgh - York, England
En route to England, visit Hadrian’s Wall. Construction of this ancient structure began in A.D. 122 and since that time, it has served as the northern border of the Roman Empire. Continue to the historic city of York. Find yourself surrounded by the charms of history as you explore its quaint narrow streets. Walk on the famous “Shambles” and see the magnificent 13th-century Minster.
Day 14: York - Stratford-upon-Avon
Journey to charming Stratford-upon-Avon. Step back in time as we visit William Shakespeare’s birthplace. Afterward, it’s your choice! Tour Anne Hathaway's thatch-roofed cottage, the childhood home of the author's wife. Or, set out on a leisurely cruise along the Avon River. This evening we gather to say farewell to this captivating region over dinner.
Day 15: Stratford-upon-Avon - Tour Ends
Depart today with many fond memories of lovely Britain and Ireland.