Britain & Ireland Explorer (2013)

17 day tour

Day 1 - Depart USA

Board your overnight flight (not included).

Day 2 to Day 3 - Discovering London

Welcome to London! Check in to your hotel, then relax or explore. In the morning, a half day sightseeing tour of London’s West End shows you Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace. Your Tour Director is on hand today for help and advice.

Hotel: Thistle Marble Arch

Meals: Full Breakfast

Day 4 - Shakespeare's Stratford and Medieval York

Drive to Stratford to visit the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Continue on to York where you walk within the old city walls to the crooked houses of the Shambles and see York Minster, England’s largest medieval cathedral. Settle into the hotel with a Welcome Reception and light informal meal.

Hotel: Marriott York

Meals: Full Breakfast / Welcome Reception

Day 5 to Day 6 - Durham and Edinburgh, Athens of the North

Stop in Durham to see the castle and Romanesque cathedral. Then view part of Hadrian’s Wall, Britain’s most impressive Roman monument. Cross the wild Northumberland moors into Scotland, passing the ruins of Jedburgh Abbey en route to the capital of Edinburgh. After a restful night’s sleep, walk with your guide inside Edinburgh Castle for spectacular views of the town. Continue down the Royal Mile to the Queen’s Holyroodhouse Palace before crossing over to the ‘New Town’. The afternoon is free to shop on Princes Street. Tonight, selected departures enjoy the Military Tattoo – a colourful mixture of historic battles and military manoeuvres, complete with pipes and drums.

Hotel: Apex European

Meals: Full Breakfast / Full Breakfast

Day 7 - St Andrews and the Highland Capital

Drive to the university town St Andrews, home of golf! Continue over the River Tay, through Dundee and Perth to Pitlochry, and cross the Grampian Mountains to the stately town of Inverness. Your hotel is in the heart of town with enviable views over the River Ness and up to Inverness Castle.

Hotel: The Columba

Meals: Full Breakfast / Dinner

Day 8 - Scottish Lochs & English Lakes

Keep your eyes peeled for the monster as you drive along the shores of Loch Ness. Mountains and glens greet you as you continue through dramatic Glencoe. From the ‘bonnie banks of Loch Lomond’ board your guided cruise on the ‘Queen of Scottish lakes’. Head south into the Southern Uplands before crossing the English border to arrive at your lakeside hotel in the beautiful Lake District.

Hotel: Macdonald Old England Hotel and Spa

Meals: Full Breakfast / Dinner

Day 9 - The Walled City of Chester

Enjoy the beauty of the Lake District this morning; its fells, lakes and valleys combining to make it one of England’s best loved regions. Perhaps take a cruise on the tranquil waters of Lake Windermere? Visit the village of Grasmere, where the poet William Wordsworth is buried before continuing to Chester.

Hotel: Queen

Meals: Full Breakfast / Dinner

Day 10 to Day 11 - In Dublin’s Fair City

Step back into Roman times in Chester. See the city’s ancient encircling walls and remarkable 13C black and white ‘Rows’. Continue into Wales, past the massive Conwy Castle before crossing over to the Isle of Anglesey. The village with the longest name in Europe is coming up now - see if your Tour Director can recite it for you! From the port of Holyhead, set sail for Ireland and its fun-loving capital, Dublin. In the morning, a guided sightseeing tour takes you past the Georgian squares, Customs House, along O’Connell Street and through Phoenix Park. Visit the Old Library of Trinity College which houses the 8C Book of Kells, its delicate paintings one of the treasures of the Middle Ages. The afternoon is at leisure.

Hotel: Burlington

Meals: Full Breakfast / Full Breakfast

Day 12 to Day 13 - Across the Emerald lsle to Killarney and the Ring of Kerry

Drive to Ireland’s premier thoroughbred horse breeding region for a guided tour of the National Stud. You also visit the finest Japanese Gardens in Europe. Continue to view St. Patrick’s great Rock of Cashel, crowned with the noblest group of medieval monuments in Ireland. Cross the rolling pastures which encircle Tipperary, (a long way, according to some), before reaching Killarney. This evening, for your dining pleasure, choose from a selection of restaurants. In the morning join a delightful excursion around the Ring of Kerry, a world of towering cliffs, lush lake lands and remote villages. Get a sense of the unhurried pace of Irish life as you pass through Ireland’s highest mountain range, the MacGillicuddy Reeks, and make your way to the three peaceful Lakes of Killarney. In the afternoon, perhaps take an optional ride with the locals on one of Killarney’s jaunting cars.

Hotel: Killarney Towers/Killarney Plaza

Meals: Full Breakfast / Diner Around / Full Breakfast

Day 14 - A Gift of the Gab on the way to Waterford

Cross the rugged Derrynasaggart Mountains to visit Blarney Castle, the home of the famous stone of eloquence, once kissed, never forgotten! Travel on through the scenic port of Dungarvan to the historic walled city of Waterford, where you can admire a sparkling display of crystal. Enjoy a glass of wine with your Celebration Dinner at the hotel tonight.

Hotel: Dooleys

Meals: Full Breakfast / Celebration Dinner

Day 15 - Across the Irish Sea to the Welsh Capital

Drive to Rosslare to take the ferry across the Irish Sea. Now a pleasant drive takes you into the rural scenery of Pembrokeshire. Continue past the valleys of South Wales to the gracious Welsh capital, Cardiff, famous for its imposing castle and the brilliant Millennium Stadium.

Hotel: Radisson Blu

Meals: Full Breakfast

Day 16 - The Stonehenge Megaliths & London

Cross the Severn bridge, spanning the Bristol channel between England and Wales, then on to Bath with its Georgian streets and crescents, and visit the Roman Baths. Cross Salisbury Plain and visit the mysterious megaliths of Stonehenge. From here, travel to London, where your tour ends at the Thistle Marble Arch Hotel.

Hotel: Thistle Marble Arch Hotel

Meals: Full Breakfast

Day 17 - Return to USA

Your comes to an end after breakfast this morning. (FB)

Meals: Full Breakfast

*Tour prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All tour information is correct at time of tours going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.