Britain and Ireland

Britain & Ireland

Country Roads

Best of Ireland and Scotland (Summer 2018)

Duration: 15 days Visiting: Ireland, Scotland

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Reviews
  • Dates & prices

Despite the many regional variations between Ireland and Scotland, they share a natural affinity, tracing back to their Gaelic roots, together with stunning landscapes, and warm-hearted communities.

  1. Day 1

    Your Journey Begins

    Board your overnight flight to Europe (Please ask about our great deals).

  2. Day 2

    Welcome to Dublin.

    On arrival at Dublin airport, your airport transfer service leaves for your hotel at 08:30, 11:00 and 13:30. Join your Travel Director at 18:30 for a warm and friendly Welcome Dinner with drinks and the opportunity to mingle over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.

  3. Day 3

    In Dublin’s Fair City.

    An orientation with your Travel Director will take you past the Custom House and along O'Connell Street. Travel along the River Liffey to see the Guinness Storehouse and Dublin Castle before admiring the historic buildings of the Georgian section of the city. Enjoy your VIP priority entrance to the 9th century Book of Kells and a walk through the cobbled courtyards of Trinity College accompanied by a University insider, gaining their insight into modern life and the establishment's impressive history.

  4. Day 4

    Waterford and Cork.

    Kildare offers a look behind-the-scenes at one of the country's main racehorse breeding centres. You will also visit the finest Japanese Gardens in Europe, for a 'journey through life' as you wander by the beautiful floral displays. Then head for Waterford to see Reginald's Tower, the ruined city walls and for a guided visit of the House of Waterford Crystal to meet a master craftsman. Continue on to Cork, Ireland's second most populous city, built on the River Lee.

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    Travel to Blarney Castle and Killarney.

    In the morning, travel along the Grand Parade and see Cork's City Hall and Opera House. Continue to the ruined 15th century Blarney Castle, home of the famous Stone of Eloquence - once kissed, never forgotten! Then, onto Killarney where you join a local Jarvey onboard a traditional horse-drawn jaunting car. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure.

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    Ring of Kerry Experience.

    Tour the superb seascapes, towering cliffs and spectacular mountains of the Ring of Kerry. Journey past lush lakelands and through delightful villages like Sneem. Cross the peat bogs of the Black Mountains to Moll's Gap and admire Queen Victoria's Ladies View. Upon returning in the mid-afternoon, the rest of the day is at leisure.

  7. Day 7

    The Cliffs of Moher and Dromoland.

    Begin the day with a delightful ferry ride across the Shannon Estuary. Journey to the Visitors' Centre at the 700-foot Cliffs of Moher. Enjoy magnificent views of the Clare Coast before continuing to your hotel located at the gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way near the Dromoland Castle Estate.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Glorious Galway to Sligo Bay.

    Join your Travel Director in Galway to see the infamous Lynch Memorial and the Church of St. Nicholas, where Christopher Columbus reputedly prayed before his discovery of America. Also see the aged Spanish Arch and Eyre Square, dedicated to the late US President, John F. Kennedy. Tour the wild Connemara region, a scenic wonderland of rivers, lakes and silent hills. In the evening, your perfect country retreat is set on the scenic shores of Sligo Bay.

  9. Day 9

    Walk in the Giant’s Steps on the way to Ballygally.

    The day begins in Drumcliffe, with a visit to the final resting place of Ireland's famous poet, William Butler Yeats. Cross into Northern Ireland to visit Londonderry. What better way to experience sightseeing than with one of Northern Ireland's best storytellers, Ronan, as he walks with you inside the city walls, still topped with cannons. Walk down steep Shipquay Street, with its elegant Georgian houses, to the Gothic Guildhall. Continue around the coast to the amazing Giant's Causeway, then take a spectacular drive along the Antrim Coast to your hotel, overlooking the sea at the head of Ballygally Bay.

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

    High tea at Ardgowan Estate.

    Cross the Irish Sea by ferry and journey to Ardgowan, set on a stunning 10,000-acre coastal estate. Meet Sir Ludovic Shaw Stewart for a tour of the expansive house and learn the history of the area, family, estate and its contents - you may even hear about the ghost! Delight in freshly-made, traditional Scottish Tea and Scones. Continue to Glasgow where your Travel Director will show you the city's grand public buildings, including George Square and St. Mungo's Cathedral.

  11. Day 11

    Journey through Glencoe and Loch Ness to Inverness.

    In the morning, head north for a scenic drive along the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond. Absorb the dramatic landscape of Glencoe, still echoing with the cries of massacred clansmen, before reaching Fort William. Pause at the Commando Memorial for a view of Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Continue on to Loch Ness and embark on a cruise to soak up the scenery, historic monuments and intriguing tales of Nessie in the heart of Scotland's great glen.

  12. Day 12 - Relaxed Start

    A Highlands Experience.

    In the morning, see the sights of Inverness before travelling to the Culloden Moor Visitor Centre, where Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite army was finally defeated. Not much more than a cannon shot away lies the prehistoric Clava burial cairns, dating back to around 2,000 B.C. Then have a 'wee dram' during a visit to the Glen Ord Distillery, hear stories of the whisky smugglers as you delve into the fascinating world of the single malt.

  13. Day 13

    St. Andrews and Edinburgh.

    A scenic drive takes you through the Grampian Mountains past the Duke of Atholl's Blair Castle. Drive down and cross the Tay to visit St. Andrews. As you arrive, pass the Old Course, the home of golf since its invention in the 15th century. Enjoy free time to explore. Why not wander to St. Andrews University where the love story of Kate Middleton and Prince William began? Alternately, stroll to West Sands Beach where the famous 'Chariots of Fire' scene was filmed. Continue across the majestic Forth Road Bridge to the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. In the evening, select departures attend the spectacular Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

  14. Day 14

    Edinburgh, Scotland’s Capital of Culture.

    In the morning, join your Local Expert for a visit to Edinburgh Castle, housing the Honours of Scotland, its Crown Jewels. See the Stone of Destiny and Mons Meg. At the bottom of the Royal Mile stands the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official Scottish residence of Her Majesty, the Queen. Turn onto Princes Street, past the Scott Memorial to see Edinburgh's famous Georgian New Town, with its Adam facades. In the afternoon, you are at leisure to continue exploring as you wish, or perhaps go shopping. Join your friends at a stylish restaurant for a grand finale Celebration Dinner with wine.

  15. Day 15

    Farewell Edinburgh.

    Your journey comes to an end after breakfast with transfers arriving at Edinburgh airport at 06:15 and 09:00.

Highlights

 

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES

  • Edinburgh: Your Local Expert walks with you inside the walls of the Edinburgh Castle to view the Scottish Crown Jewels, the Stone of Destiny and Mons Meg.
  • Dublin: Enjoy VIP priority entrance to the Book of Kells and a guided walk though Trinity College with a University insider.
  • Kildare: Join an equine professional for a behind-the-scenes look at the Irish National Stud and visit the Japanese Gardens.
  • Waterford: Meet a master craftsman and see the showroom on your guided tour of the House of Waterford.
  • Killarney: A local Jarvey informs you of the history, legend and folklore of Killarney aboard a famous jaunting car ride.
  • Londonderry: What better way to experience sightseeing than with one of Northern Ireland's best storytellers, Ronan, as he walks with you inside the city walls.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Loch Ness: Soak up the scenery and hear intriguing tales of Nessie during a cruise.
  • Highlands: During your exploration of the Highlands, find out why the Battle of Culloden changed the Highland way of life forever at the Culloden Moor Visitor Centre. You will also visit the prehistoric burial Cairns of Clava.
  • Blarney Castle: It is said that those who kiss the Blarney Stone are bestowed with the power to persuade, flatter and coax. But to do so, you must dangle from the ramparts!
  • Killarney: Venture into a world of towering cliffs, lush lakelands and villages, as you travel the magical Ring of Kerry.
  • Cliffs of Moher: Look out over the Wild Atlantic Way from these majestic cliffs.
  • Galway: Enjoy an orientation tour of the many landmarks in Galway such as the Lynch Memorial, Church of St. Nicholas, Spanish Arch and Eyre Square.
  • Giant's Causeway: Steeped in legend, the awe-inspiring coastal scenery is a spectacle to behold.
  • Cork: Your Travel Director will show you the Grand parade and South Mall, along with City Hall and the Opera House.
  • Drumcliffe: Visit the final resting place of Irish poet William Butler Yeats.
  • Dublin: During your orientation with your Travel Director, see the Custom House, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin Castle and the Georgian townhouses as you travel down O'Connell Street and along the River Liffey.
  • Edinburgh: Explore the city as you travel along Princes Street to see the Scott Memorial, the neoclassical Adam facades of New Town and the official Scottish residence of the Queen, Palace of Holyroodhouse.
  • Edinburgh: A hush descends and eyes turn to the castle. The skirl of the pipes rises and drums crack the night air as a tide of tunics and tartan flood from the drawbridge. For a limited time in August, witness the incredible spectacle of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
  • Fort William: Enjoy an excellent view of Ben Nevis from the World War II Commando Memorial.
  • Inverness: See the sights during your orientation of the city with your Travel Director.
  • Scenic Drives: Ireland and Scotlan boast some of the most spectacular scenery. Relax and take it all in you travel the Ring of Kerry, through Connemara, along the Antrim Coast and Ayrshire Coast, past Loch Lomond, Glencoe and Loch Ness, along Culloden Moor and past the Grampian Mountains.
  • St. Andrews: Visit the university town where the famous beach scene from 'Chariots of Fire' was filmed and see the golf course where the sport was created.
  • Waterford: Explore the town and see Reginald’s Tower and the remains of the city walls.

AUTHENTIC DINING

  • Highlands: Sample a ‘wee dram’ and learn the fascinating process of whisky production at the Glen Ord Distillery.
  • Edinburgh: An unforgettable Celebration Dinner sees you dining on a sunny evening, watching the occasional estuary traffic, and toasting to new-found friends!
  • Ardgowan: Sir Ludovic Shaw Stewart welcomes you with a tour of his property, set on a 10,000-acre coastal estate. Learn of the histories of the area, the Shaw Stewart family and the house, followed by the delightful and elegant tradition of a Scottish High Tea.
  • Dining Summary:: 13 Full Breakfasts (FB), 1 Afternoon Tea (AT), 5 Dinners (D) and 2 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES

  • Additional 5 Star Services
    • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
    • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
    • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
    • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
    • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency
    • Additional 5 Star Services We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
    • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
    • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
    • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times
    • Additional 5 Star Services If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trips. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.

Irish Countryside & Glendalough

An afternoon drive takes you through the rural countryside of County Wicklow - the garden of Ireland. With our Local Expert, we'll pass through the pretty Wicklow Mountains to the picturesque setting of St. Kevin’s great 6th Century monastic site at Glendalough. Afterwards, we'll explore the monastic remains before returning to Dublin via the Great Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Adult Price: EUR 24.00

Code: DUB0006

Dinner & Irish Cabaret

Over an excellent dinner of quality Irish food, enjoy a nonstop show of comedy, dance, song and music. Ireland’s musical history unfolds in a cabaret that will delight you long after the night has ended. The cast will have you tapping your toes and joining in the fun, and it’s all wrapped up in the spirit of Irish humour. At the end of your meal, cap off one of Ireland’s best nights out with an Irish Coffee.

Adult Price: EUR 71.00

Code: DUB0008

Port Of Cobh Excursion

Drive to the pretty riverside village of Cobh (pronounced "Cove") which was the last port of call for the Titanic. Explore the Heritage Centre and relive the story of the emigration of Irish people and the life of this once great passenger port.

Adult Price: EUR 22.00

Code: COR0001

Cork Dinner

Lively and fun loving, Cork city is justly celebrated for fine local produce and great restaurants. Tonight, take the opportunity to dine out and enjoy the great atmosphere and vibrant heart of Ireland's 'rebel' city. Three course dinner with a drink.

Adult Price: EUR 45.00

Code: COR0002

Gaelic Roots

A tour de force of traditional Irish song, music and dance, Gaelic roots showcases Ireland at its best. Using traditional instruments, Irish dance and time-honoured folk songs, this energetic show will have you tapping your feet and singing along in no time.

Adult Price: EUR 33.00

Code: KIL0008

Shannon Castle Banquet

Calling all Lords and Ladies! Please be seated for a delicious banquet in the great hall of the castle. In the splendour of a bygone age, entertainment is provided by the court jester, castle musicians and attendants of the medieval court. It won’t be long before you're making merry with the fine music, singing, dancing, good food and laughter. You'll be sure to take home warm memories of this delightful evening.

Adult Price: EUR 69.00

Code: LIM0001

Glasgow Dinner

In recent years, Glasgow has developed a fearsome culinary reputation. With its elegant and chic atmosphere, this restaurant is very much at the forefront. In the hub of Glasgow's vibrant cosmopolitan capital, enjoy an evening of Scottish fayre and experience the unique atmosphere of the city at night. This meal may be offered as a lunch.

Adult Price: GBP 37.00

Code: GLA0001

Doune Castle and the Trossachs Drive

We enjoy a drive through the beautiful Trossachs to visit Doune Castle, overlooking the beautiful village of Doune. Famous for its association with Monty Python, Doune Castle is now used as a film location for Game of Thrones. Doune is also the main Castle in the new hit show, Outlander.

Adult Price: GBP 26.00

Code: LOC0003

An Evening with Nessie

Join us at the only pub on the shores of Loch Ness, overlooking Dores beach. Enjoy a drink whislt listening to the tales of Steve, a man who has devoted over twenty-five years of his life to hunting for the elusive Loch Ness Monster. A unique evening, following the journey of the ultimate "Nessie Hunter"!

Adult Price: GBP 20.00

Code: INV0001

Scottish Dinner & Cabaret

Join us for a lively and memorable evening of traditional Scottish song, dance, tartan and bagpipes. In addition to wine and dinner, your kilted hosts will lead you through some of the best-loved Scottish music and songs. You'll learn a Highland dance or two and sample Scotland’s national dish - haggis. An exceptional Scottish experience!

Adult Price: GBP 60.00

Code: EDI0002

Blair Castle

Journey into the fascinating past with a visit to the ancestral home of the Dukes of Atholl. Brimming with treasures inside and out, magnificent Blair Castle is set in its own grounds against a backdrop of glorious scenery. During your informative tour, see how the castle has been transformed through the ages and learn how Queen Victoria's famous stay led to the creation of Europe's only private army.

Adult Price: GBP 20.00

Code: SCO0002

Royal Yacht Britannia

This magnificent ship has hosted some of the most famous people in the world. But, above all, Britannia was home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family. For four royal couples, Britannia was to provide a honeymoon sanctuary before the onset of married life in the world's most photographed family. Now berthed in Leith, you are welcomed on board to discover the heart and soul of this most special of Royal residences.

Adult Price: GBP 23.00

Code: EDI0003

Edinburgh's Most Haunted

Join our Ghouls and Ghosts to embark upon a scary and mirth-filled tour of Edinburgh's old town as never seen before! We'll enjoy a drink afterwards to calm our nerves before returning to the land of the living.

Adult Price: GBP 27.00

Code: EDI0005

Accommodation

 

Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane Dublin

Dublin (Traditional) - Ireland

Located in the heart of the docklands, the Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane is walking distance from Dublin city centre shopping and iconic venues.

The Kingsley Cork

Cork (Traditional) - Ireland

A sophisticated hotel close to the centre of bustling Cork.

Killarney Avenue Hotel

Killarney (Traditional) - Ireland

The 4-Star Killarney Avenue Hotel echoes old-world charm and is located in the heart of downtown Killarney.

The Inn At Dromoland

Dromoland (Contemporary) - Ireland

Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa Sligo

Sligo (Contemporary) - Ireland

Ballygally Castle

Ballygally (Historic) - Northern Ireland

Ballygally Castle is a stunning 17th century castle which overlooks the golden sands of the bay and offers excellent facilities.

Radisson Blu Hotel Glasgow

Glasgow (Contemporary) - Scotland

The Radisson Blu Glasgow features award-winning architecture, boasting a stunning atrium and rooms with wall-to-ceiling windows

Kingsmills Hotel Inverness

Inverness (Traditional) - Scotland

Originally the mansion of a prominent local family, today the Kingsmill Hotel is a luxury accommodation in the heart of the Highlands. Renovated with contemporary rooms, the hotel is well-known for it's impeccable hospitality.

The Holyrood Hotel

Edinburgh (Traditional) - Scotland

The hotel is situated in Edinburgh’s beautiful old town, within walking distance of the Scottish Parliament building.

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on
10664 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 17 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Enjoyed the visit with Sir Ludi Shaw Stewart ! He was very down to Earth and informative. The tour had a very good mix of attractions and the pace was moderate for us older people. Keith could have used a little more help with the luggage ! He was working very hard to fit all the large bags into the storage under the bus ! Climbing in and out dealing with customers and lifting 40 & 50 lb. bags. No I am not related to him, but I watched him bust his butt for 16 days and he should at least get a very big ATTA BOY !! Keep up the good work !! Mr. & Mrs A. F. Hay

    Service: WE thought that the driver ( Keith ) & the tour guide (Mike) were amazing. Keith, took the bus through heavy traffic and tight spots that would challenge the worlds greatest drivers. Mike was very knowlegable and entertaining with all his stories and narratives of the local attractions. He addressed the problem we had with the shower in the one hotel in a prompt fashion. The breakfasts were top notch and the suppers very good.

  • 17 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: More two night stays would have been better.

    Service: Our tour guide was so knowledgeable and entertaining.

  • 17 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The Itinerary was well thought out and most of the places we stayed were very nice. It was unfortunate that the major heat wave in Scotland and Ireland made sleeping a bit difficult without air conditioning. However our guide worked with each hotel to try and have fans in every room. Each stop was amazing and the history and information we received from the resident experts was excellent.

    Service: The trip was amazing. The bus had so much more leg room than other coaches I have been on and was very comfortable. Our tour guide Mike Doughty was not only knowledgeable but was extremely attentive to our needs, sharing information and kept all of entertained with his story. Our driver Keith has to be the best I have ever experienced we always felt very safe. The entire trip met and exceeded our expectations and I would definitely travel with Insight again.

  • 16 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: This was an excellent trip. We enjoyed every city and excursions that we went on. Mike Doughty, our tour director was excellent. He enhanced an already good trip with his expertise!! Our bus driver was very professional and our traveling companions great. Ireland and Scotland are beautiful.

    Service: This was an excellent trip. We enjoyed every city and excursions that we went on. Mike Doughty, our tour director was excellent. He enhanced an already good trip with his expertise!! Our bus driver was very professional and our traveling companions great. Ireland and Scotland are beautiful.

  • 16 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Great overview of the countries. The tour made me want to come back and explore areas and experience more of the great people.

    Service: Everything was organized, hotel arrangements, bus driver, Keith, amazing, our tour director, Mike, was incredible. His knowledge of the history, culture, and human interest events made the trip. He was able to help with events that were out of his control, the heat. First heat wave in 70 years. Fans were made available in most hotels. A beautiful trip for my grandson, friend and daughter.

  • 16 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: It really focused on the history, culture and people of the real countryside, not just the touristy cities.

    Service: The whole trip was excellent! The itinerary was just what we wanted; the hotels were good; often quaint and fun. The food was very good, the coach very comfortable. The driver, Keith *Personal information removed by Feefo*, and the guide, Michael *Personal information removed by Feefo* were probably the best i’ve Ever experienced. Mike was knowledgeable, friendly, really concerned about the comfort and safety of passengers, and kept us laughing with his wonderful storytelling talents. I’d go anywhere with him as the tour director.

  • 16 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Excellent overview of both countries.

    Service: Well organized with an excellent tour guide. Saw many sights without feeling rushed. Local experts were a joy. Coach was very comfortable.

  • 16 July, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: We experienced a wide variety of things from one end to the other country scenery, city life, shows, castles, horse farm and the list is endless. Michael has a passion for history and kept us interested as we traveled through beautiful country.

    Service: Michael and Keith were an excellent team. Michael attended to ever detail and request on our tour and Keith was an amazing and safe driver. They exceeded our expectations.

  • 16 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Most of the stops were wonderful.

    Service: Our tour guide Mike went out of his way to accommodate any special requests. He helped us make reservations for a special 40th Anniversary dinner.

  • 15 July, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: We thoroughly enjoyed the itinerary. You just have to be careful that you don't visits very popular locations that are almost impossible to enjoy due to the queues. Blaney Stone in particular. 700 in the line!

    Service: This is our second Insight trip. We booked through our travel agent. We enjoy the whole Insight experience and would recommend them to friends and family

  • 15 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Itinerary was well planned and at the perfect pace.

    Service: Our tour director could not have been more accommodating , and on top of every aspect of our trip, and all the tours. Everything went very smoothly, and needed adjustments in the schedule (unexpected weather, excursion availability etc.) were very professionally managed.

  • 14 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Very comprehensive! It was a bit too rushed.

    Service: Great travel guide, Robbie! Very capable driver, Jason! Accommodations could have been a bit better.

*Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Prices displayed reflect available discounted rates such Early Payment Discount or Last Minute Deals (discounts are not combinable). Discounts may be withdrawn at anytime, book early to confirm space. All trip information is correct at time of trips 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.
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