Best of Ireland & Scotland (Summer 2020)
from $5850
Duration: 14 Days
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.
Day 1
Welcome to Dublin.
On arrival at Dublin airport, your airport transfer service leaves for your hotel at 08:30, 11:00 and 13:00. Join your Travel Director at 18:30 for a warm and friendly Welcome Dinner, an opportunity to get to know each other over a meal with wine.(Dinner with Wine)
Day 2
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.(Breakfast)
Day 3
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.(Breakfast)
Day 4
Blarney Castle and Killarney.
In the morning, travel along the Grand Parade and see Cork's City Hall and Opera House. Continue on to visit the ruined 15th century Blarney Castle, home of the famous Stone of Eloquence - once kissed, never forgotten! Start your day with Insight Choice. Choose between a memorable ride on a horse-drawn jaunting car with the local jarveys or join a gentle hike with a Local Expert along the lake shore and past the farmlands of the Muckross Estate, admiring the incredible scenery. While there aren't any mountains to climb, walkers should be fit, have good walking shoes or boots, sunscreen and rain gear. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Day 5
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.(Breakfast)
Day 6
The Cliffs of Moher.
Begin the day with a short ferry ride across the Shannon Estuary. Enjoy magnificent views of the Clare Coast as you journey to the Visitors' Centre at the 700-foot Cliffs of Moher. Continue to your hotel located at the gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way.(Breakfast)
Day 7
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.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Day 8
Walk in the Giant’s Steps.
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.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Day 9
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, scones, cakes and a selection of sandwiches. Continue to Glasgow where your Travel Director will show you the city's grand public buildings, including George Square and St. Mungo's Cathedral.(Breakfast / Afternoon Tea)
Day 10
Glencoe and Loch Ness.
A scenic drive takes you 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.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Day 11
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.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Day 12
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 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.(Breakfast)
Day 13
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 the stylish Grazing by Mark Greenaway, located in the heart of Edinburgh's West End. Your grand finale Celebration Dinner is a mouthwatering meal of modern Scottish cuisine with a Parisian twist, and is of course served with wine.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 14
Farewell Edinburgh.
Your journey comes to an end after breakfast with transfers arriving at Edinburgh airport at 06:15 and 09:00.(Breakfast)
  • 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.
  • 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 at the stylish Galvin Brasserie de Luxe, located in the heart of Edinburgh's West End. Your grand finale Celebration Dinner is a mouthwatering meal of modern-Scottish cuisine with a Parisian twist, and is of course served with wine.
  • Dining Summary: 13 Breakfasts (B), 1 Afternoon Tea (AT), 5 Dinners (D) and 2 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.
  • 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. Then visit the finest Japanese Gardens in Europe, for a ‘journey through life' as you wander by the beautiful floral displays.
  • Waterford: Meet a master craftsperson and see the showroom on your guided tour of the House of Waterford.
  • 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. See the Georgian houses of Shipquay Street on your way to the Gothic Guildhall.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Waterford: Explore the town and see Reginald’s Tower and the remains of the city walls.
  • Cork: Your Travel Director will show you the Grand Parade and South Mall, along with City Hall and the Opera House.
  • 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: Enjoy hearing of the history of Killarney during your city orientation.
  • Ring of Kerry: 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.
  • Sligo: Learn all about this coastal town in an orientation as you take in the scenery.
  • Drumcliffe: Visit the final resting place of Irish poet William Butler Yeats.
  • Giant's Causeway: Steeped in legend, the awe-inspiring coastal scenery is a spectacle to behold.
  • Ballygally: Explore this seaside town with your Travel Director.
  • Larne: Board your ferry to cross the Irish Sea to Cairnryan.
  • Glasgow: During your orientation with your Travel Director, drive past the civic buildings and St. Mungo’s Cathedral.
  • Fort William: Enjoy an excellent view of Ben Nevis from the World War II Commando Memorial.
  • Loch Ness: Soak up the scenery and hear intriguing tales of Nessie during a cruise.
  • Inverness: See the sights during your orientation of the city with your Travel Director.
  • 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.
  • Highlands: Visit the prehistoric burial Cairns of Clava.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Edinburgh: Continue to explore the city with your Local Expert 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.
  • Scenic Drives: Ireland and Scotland 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.
Start Date: 2020-04-09
End Date: 2020-04-22
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