Duration: 15 Days
On this Best of Britain & Ireland tour, see Britain’s and Ireland’s highlights—from the bustling cities to the small towns and from the breathtaking scenery to the ancient ruins. Traveling through the lands of queens, kings, and leprechauns, begin and end in London and pass through England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. On this Britain and Ireland tour, stop in some historic towns and cities, including Oxford, home to some of England’s most famous colleges; York, England’s most complete medieval city with its cobbled streets and the magnificent York Minster, England’s largest Gothic cathedral; Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of Shakespeare; Chester, where a walking tour highlights its Roman remains and black and white half-timbered buildings; Adare, founded in medieval times and known today as one of Ireland’s prettiest villages; and Bath, known for the excavations of Roman baths used for bathing and socializing 2,000 years ago.
Britain and Ireland are known for their green countryside and stunning scenery, and on this Britain and Ireland tour, you’ll witness some of their gorgeous landscapes. Travel through the incomparable landscapes of Snowdonia National Park in Wales, with picturesque villages, mountains, and lakes. Follow Ireland’s Ring of Kerry, a 100-mile panoramic drive with sparkling seascapes, brightly hued farmhouses, and the breathtaking panorama of the Lakes of Killarney. Visit the spectacular 668-feet Cliffs of Moher, with breathtaking views of rugged cliffs dropping into the ocean. Drive through the Cotswolds, with the rolling hills and picturesque villages, Northumberland National Park, with its wide-open spaces, and the serene Lake District, England’s largest natural park. All of this and more—including time in Dublin and Edinburgh—await you on this brilliant holiday in Britain and Ireland!
Adventure is knocking with everything you need for perfectly affordable touring. Cosmos includes hand-selected accommodations, guided sightseeing, and seamless transportation between destinations—with value-minded travel lovers in mind. Explore with expert Cosmos Tour Directors and Local Guides, complimentary headsets, private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach with free Wi-Fi and a return Irish Sea ferry crossing. Enhance your free time to explore like a local with your CosmosGO mobile app!
Departures July 27 and August 10 include the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Please note: Itinerary is based on 2024, and is subject to change. Full details will be confirmed in 2024.
Check into your hotel. In the afternoon, there's time to rest or start exploring the lively British capital. Uniformed hosts are available to help you make the most of your stay.
Today is free for exploring on your own or enjoying our exciting program of optional activities. You may choose to join a Local Guide for an optional morning sightseeing tour of the city's famous landmarks: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall's mounted horseguards and the Prime Minister's Downing Street residence, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace. The highlight is a visit to St. Paul's Cathedral, Sir Christopher Wren's masterpiece built between 1675 and 1708. Later, maybe visit Windsor Castle or the Tower of London with its spectacular Crown Jewels. Tonight, we recommend our optional Taste of London excursion with dinner, followed by a guided illumination cruise on the Thames River. (B)
Meet your Tour Director and travelling companions and depart at 8 am for Oxford. A walking tour takes in the colleges where Britain's elite receive their outstanding education. Then, travel through the lovely Cotswold Hills to Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon. Take photos of Anne Hathaway's Cottage and explore the town at your own pace. Your overnight destination is Leeds. Today's Distance: 249 mi/ 400 km (B,D)
This morning, head north to York. Stand in front of the great structure of York Minster, then follow your Tour Director through a maze of quaint streets, including the narrow Shambles. Leaving York, head north and spend some free time in the charming market town of Thirsk, famous for its association with James Herriot. On the way to Newcastle, savour spectacular views of the North Yorkshire Moors. Today's Distance: 108 mi/ 174 km (B)
See a section of Hadrian's Wall, then motor through wild Northumberland National Park to the Scottish border. Stop for photos at Jedburgh before arriving in Edinburgh. Here, sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the 200-year-old "New Town." In the "Old Town," visit Edinburgh Castle to admire Scotland's Crown Jewels. A suggestion for this evening: a traditional Scottish night out with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and, of course, the Ceremony of the Haggis. Today's Distance: 117 mi/ 188 km (B)
Your choice today: an optional morning excursion to Rosslyn Chapel, made world-famous by Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code", and also one of Scotland's most remarkable buildings. You will have ample time to visit the 15th-century medieval chapel and the visitor centre, and to take photographs of the ruins of Rosslyn Castle. Later, join an optional tour with dinner. For departures July 27 and August 10, tickets are included for tonight's performance of the world-renowned Military Tattoo. (B)
South through the history-steeped Lowland Hills and a visit to Gretna Green, where the blacksmith used to wed runaway couples. Drive through beautiful scenery in the Lake District, considered to be the finest of England's national parks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Chester, the historic county town on the Dee River, your walking tour takes in the Roman remains, black and white half-timbered buildings, and the two-tiered shopping arcades called the "Rows." Today's Distance: 268 mi/ 431 km (B,D)
A scenic North Wales drive through the incomparable landscapes of Snowdonia National Park brings you to lovely Betws-y-Coed. Then, head over spectacular Llanberis Pass and, finally, across Britannia Bridge to the Isle of Anglesey. Take your photos at tongue-twisting Llanfairpwllgwyngyll. At Holyhead, board the ferry for the Irish Sea crossing to Dublin. Today's Distance: 162 mi/ 260 km (B)
A day in the "Fair City" starts off with an orientation drive through Eire's capital and includes statue-lined O'Connell Street, elegant Georgian squares, and St. Patrick's Cathedral. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy Dublin at leisure. Why not join an optional dinner evening at the Guinness Storehouse? (B)
Head for dairy-farm country in the heart of the "Emerald Isle." Stop in Galway, a popular seaside destination and a buzzing cosmopolitan district with vibrant shops and a busy cafe and bar culture. Then, cross the limestone plateau of The Burren to visit the spectacular 668-foot Cliffs of Moher before heading for Ennis, county town of Clare. Tonight, we offer an optional medieval-themed banquet. Today's Distance: 214 mi/ 344 km (B)
Stop for photos in Adare, a village known for its prize-winning thatched cottages and monastic ruins. In County Kerry, join the road known as the Ring E251of Kerry for a 100-mile coastal panoramic drive. Focus your camera on sparkling seascapes, mountains dotted with brightly hued farmhouses, winding lanes, and views of the Lakes of Killarney from Ladies View. Later, in Killarney, discover why this is such a popular resort. Today's Distance: 189 mi/ 304 km (B,D)
Cross the Kerry Mountains and through County Cork to Blarney, famous for its magical Stone of Eloquence. Time to see the castle, and shop for Irish crafts and handmade crystal. Drive past Cork, the country's second-largest city, and via Dungarvan to Tramore. Why not join an optional pub tour before dinner at your hotel? Today's Distance: 131 mi/ 210 km (B,D)
An early start for the short drive to Rosslare. In just under four hours, you cross St. George's Channel by ferry to South Wales. Continue through rich dairy farmland to Cardiff, where an orientation drive introduces you to the capital's major attractions: Cardiff Castle, Cathays Park, Millennium Stadium, and the [Travellers Notes] Headsets throughout the tour except London Departures July 31 30 and August 14 13 include the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. [Transportation] Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach with free Wi-Fi; round-trip Irish Sea crossings by day ferry. stately civic buildings. Tonight, why not join an evening of Welsh entertainment and dinner? Today's Distance: 159 mi/ 257 km (B)
A day packed with highlights begins as you cross the spectacular Severn Bridge into England. Stop in the elegant Georgian city of Bath, famous for its Roman relics, before visiting Stonehenge, still an intriguing mystery. Explore the visitor centre with its imaginative exhibitions, then admire the magnificence of the monument up close. After returning to London around 3:30 pm, how about celebrating the success of your tour with a night out on the town? Today's Distance: 171 mi/ 275 km (B)
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)