Full English breakfast daily; 1 lunch; 4 three-course dinners with wine and choice of menus, including a welcome dinner in Limerick
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
Arrive in Shannon, Ireland–Limerick. Céad míle fáilte—a hundred-thousand welcomes! After checking into your hotel, free time to relax and perhaps enjoy the hotel’s leisure amenities or explore the city. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner with wine at your hotel.
Limerick. Cliffs of Moher & Galway Excursion. Your vacation starts in earnest with a drive to the breathtaking CLIFFS OF MOHER, rising 668 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, to savor the magnificent panorama of the Clare coast. Then, visit Galway, a popular seaside destination and a buzzing cosmopolitan center with colorful shops and a busy café and bar culture. And finally, a special treat: at RATHBAUN FARM, watch the farmer shear a sheep and maneuver a flock with the help of a sheep dog. Then, enjoy a [LF] TRADITIONAL TEA in the 150-year old farmhouse. A suggestion for a unique night out: an optional medieval banquet at Bunratty Castle.
Limerick–Adare–Ring of Kerry–Killarney. A day full of splendid scenery. Head south and stop at quaint Adare with its pretty thatched cottages. At Killorglin, join the famous RING OF KERRY for a 100-mile panoramic drive around the island’s southwestern tip. Plenty to focus your camera on here: sparkling seascapes, mountains dotted with brightly colored farmhouses, winding lanes bordered with subtropical vegetation, and the breathtaking panorama of the Lakes of Killarney from Ladies View. Overnight is in the popular resort of Killarney.
Killarney–Blarney–Cashel–Dublin. On the way to Dublin, stop in Blarney, renowned for its castle and magical Kissing Stone, and Cashel to take your photographs of the rock where St. Patrick preached in the 5th century. Later, why not join an optional cabaret evening with dinner, followed by dance, song, and laughter?
Dublin. The morning’s orientation drive in the “Fair City” includes statue-lined O’Connell Street, elegant Georgian squares, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Oscar Wilde’s Trinity College. The afternoon is at leisure for you to enjoy this vibrant city. Tonight, maybe take in an optional dinner outing to the Guinness Storehouse.
Dublin–Lisburn, Northern Ireland–Giant’s Causeway–Belfast. Cross the Boyne River and stop in Lisburn on your way to the awe-inspiring GIANT’S CAUSEWAY. Hear how millions of years ago, the earth cracked open, lava forced its way out, and as it cooled slowly and evenly, more than 40,000 interlocking basalt columns were formed, leading from the cliff foot into the sea. Spend the night in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland.
Belfast–Edinburgh, Scotland. First thing this morning, visit the fascinating TITANIC EXPERIENCE and learn all about the building of the largest passenger steam ship, its maiden voyage, and the tragic night of April 14, 1912. Next, board your FERRY and cross the North Channel to Cairnryan on Scotland’s southwest coast, and continue through the scenic Scottish border country to Edinburgh. Tonight, enjoy our optional Scottish evening with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and the Ceremony of the Haggis.
Edinburgh. Morning city sightseeing with a local expert introduces you to the 200-year-old “New Town” and the famous scientists, inventors, and novelists who lived there. In the “Old Town,” drive up the narrow Royal Mile to EDINBURGH CASTLE to admire Scotland’s Crown Jewels. The afternoon is free to enjoy the Scottish capital at your own pace. Later, a unique optional experience: board the former Royal Yacht Britannia, and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. For departure numbers August 2, August 9 and August 16, tickets are included for tonight’s performance of the world-renowned MILITARY TATTOO, a vast spectacle of massed Scottish pipe bands that takes place in an arena on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle.
Edinburgh–Alnwick, England–York. This morning at ALNWICK CASTLE, the choice is yours: visit the CASTLE itself, the opulent ancestral home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, featured in Harry Potter and Downton Abbey, or explore ALNWICK GARDEN, where the fountains and waterfalls are a breathtaking feature. In York, England’s most complete medieval city, follow your Tour Director through a maze of quaint streets, including the narrow Shambles.
York–Stratford-Upon-Avon–Bath. Head for Stratford-upon-Avon to take your photographs of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, then visit SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHPLACE, enjoy [LF] a light lunch, and take some time to wander around the historic market town. In the afternoon, drive to elegant Georgian Bath and explore the amazing excavations of the ROMAN BATHS, built nearly 2,000 years ago. (B,L,D)
Bath–Stonehenge–London. A drive through Salisbury Plain brings you to STONEHENGE, the most famous monument of prehistoric Europe. First, explore the visitor center with its imaginative exhibitions, then take the shuttle to the stone circle and admire its magnificence up close. In London, your final destination, why not take in a Shownight Theater Evening?
London. Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide includes all the famous landmarks: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben beside the Thames River, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall’s mounted horseguards and the Prime Minister’s Downing Street, Piccadilly Circus, Buckingham Palace, and the ceremonial pageantry of the Changing of the Guard, if held. Free time in the afternoon for independent activities or to join an optional excursion to Windsor Castle or the Tower of London with its fabulous Crown Jewels. Later, an optional dinner, followed by a relaxed nighttime cruise on the Thames River, viewing some of the capital’s most beautiful illuminated sights, would be an incredible finale to your vacation.
London. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.