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18 Day Luxury Romantic Britain and Ireland

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18 Day Luxury Romantic Britain and Ireland

18 Day Trip exploring Britain and Ireland, take in the picturesque scenery whilst learning the history of amazing sacred sites with legend and tradition all coming together, invoking a sense of romance on this tour.

 

Our adventure map

 

 

Day by day

First Day go from London to Oxford and then on to Stratford

This morning, drive to the famous university town of Oxford with its beautiful spires. With time at leisure, why not enjoy a visit to the world famous Ashmolean Museum or just browse through the local indoor market, before continuing via pretty Cotswolds villages to Stratford-upon-Avon. Discover the story of Shakespeare's early years during a visit to his birthplace. Your cosy hotel is nestled on the banks of the River Avon. Later, join your Tour Director for a warm and friendly Welcome Reception, with drinks and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.

Hotel:          Alveston Manor/Swan's Nest, Stratford-upon-Avon

Second Day see Lincoln's Magna Carta and on to Medieval York

Travel through the heart of ‘Robin Hood Country' on your way to visit Lincoln Castle, one of the finest examples of a Norman castle in England. Your tour will include a chance to witness one of the four remaining copies of the Magna Carta that will be on display to celebrate its 800th anniversary. Later, continue to York, once the Viking capital of Britain. Saunter along the Shambles to reach York Minster, in the heart of this medieval gem. Your hotel lies within the walls facing Clifford's Tower.

Hotel:         Hilton York

Third Day Journey through the English Lakes to Edinburgh

Drive through the Lake District National Park, a scenic wonderland of rugged mountains and tranquil lakes, inspiration to a host of English poets. Stop in Wordsworth's village of Grasmere and see the poet's grave in the churchyard before crossing the border at Gretna and continuing to the Scottish capital.

Hotel:        Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian, Edinburgh

Fourth Day its Edinburgh, Athens of the North

In the morning, walk with your local expert 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.

Hotel:        Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian

Fifth Day Travel to St. Andrews and on to the Highland Capital of Inverness

Cross the Firth of Forth into Fife and make your way to St. Andrews, the home of golf. After some time to explore, cross the Tay and drive to the charming Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, famous for its salmon leap. Continue via Blair Atholl and over the Grampian Mountains to the sparkling Spey Valley. The Scottish Border Collie is world renowned for its herding abilities. Visit a working Highland farm for a personal insight into the daily life of a shepherd and his dogs. Continue to stately Inverness, where your grand hotel is perfectly placed in the centre of town. Perhaps sit outside and enjoy a quiet drink overlooking the river and castle?

Hotel:       The Columba Hotel, Inverness

Sixth Day along the shores of Loch Ness and across the Sea to Skye

First highlight is a stop at Culloden Moor, scene of the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1746. Then a drive along the banks of Loch Ness (eyes open for that most infamous inhabitant ‘Nessie'!) Pause for a photo of Eilean Donan Castle, set idyllically on a promontory on Loch Duich. Then hear tales of Flora MacDonald and her vain defence of the Bonnie Prince as you cross the Isle of Skye.

Hotel:       Dunollie, Broadford

Seventh Day drive through Glencoe to Glasgow

Return to the mainland and drive to the Commando Memorial in the shadow of Ben Nevis. Then on through the dramatic scenery of Glencoe and along the 'bonnie banks of Loch Lomond' to Glasgow. Enjoy an orientation tour en route to your hotel.

Hotel:       Crowne Plaza, Glasgow

Eighth Day across the Irish Sea to Titanic Belfast

Bid farewell to Scotland as you cross the Irish Sea and drive to the vibrant Northern Ireland capital of Belfast. Meet your local expert to see the City Hall, Queen's University and Stormont Castle. RMS Titanic was built in Belfast - follow the story of the ill-fated ship at the new state of the art Titanic Belfast exhibition.

Hotel:       Europa, Belfast

Ninth Day go through the Mountains of Mourne to Dublin

Travel alongside the Mountains of Mourne before crossing the historic Boyne Valley, site of the battle where William of Orange defeated the forces of Catholic King James. This afternoon, on your guided tour of Ireland's ‘fair city', see O'Connell Street, historic Phoenix Park and St. Patrick's Cathedral. Then experience Ireland's National and world famous drink with a guided visit to the Guinness Storehouse. Learn how to pour the perfect pint and gain a fascinating insight into the history and traditions behind its production.

Hotel:       Ballsbridge Executive Rooms/Clyde Court, Dublin

Tenth Day enjoy Free Time in Dublin

The whole of the next day is yours to shop, continue sightseeing or just enjoy a pint of Guinness at the local pub! Maybe take an optional drive to the ruined monastic site of Glendalough?

Eleventh Day head to Galway, the Cliffs of Moher and on to Limerick

Travel west to Galway the “City of the Tribes” for an orientation tour. Continue across the limestone landscape of the Burren, to the Visitor Centre at the 700-foot Cliffs of Moher for breathtaking vistas of the Clare Coast. Now it's on to Limerick.

Hotel:       George Boutique Hotel, Limerick

Twelth Day around the Dingle Peninsula to Killarney

See the 12th century St. Mary's Cathedral, King John's Castle and the Treaty Stone before setting off via the picturesque thatched village of Adare, to Tralee. Enjoy more spectacular scenery as you make your way into the great cliffs, wide skies and ocean views of the Dingle Peninsula. Now on to Killarney for two nights.

Hotel:        Killarney Towers

Thirteenth Day its the Ring of Kerry Experience

A delightful morning excursion takes you around the Ring of Kerry, a world of towering cliffs, lush lakelands and remote villages. Continue through Ireland's highest mountain range, the MacGillicuddy Reeks, to the three peaceful Lakes of Killarney. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to relax and enjoy. Choose from a selection of restaurants in Killarney this evening.

Hotel:       Killarney Towers

Fourteenth Day make your way to Blarney Castle then to Waterford

Visit Blarney Castle, a the home of the famous stone of eloquence. Travel on through the port of Dungarvan to the walled city of Waterford, for a guided visit of the world famous crystal factory a and to meet a master craftsman.

Hotel:        Dooleys Hotel, Waterford

Fifteenth Day Travel across the Irish Sea to Cardiff

Take the ferry across the Irish Sea to Pembroke, continue on to the Welsh capital, Cardiff, famous for its imposing castle and the brilliant Millennium Stadium.

Hotel:       Radisson Blu Cardiff/Mercure Holland House, Cardiff

Sixteenth Day your off to Roman Bath, Glastonbury and on to Torquay

Cross the Severn Bridge to reach Bath. Visit the Roman Baths. Then drive to mystical Glastonbury to view the Abbey, reputedly the legendary burial place of King Arthur. It's not far now to seaside Torquay.

Hotel:      Imperial, Torquay

Seventeenth Day Journey to Plymouth and the Cornish Coast Excursion

In the morning, drive to Plymouth to see the Mayflower Steps, Barbican, Citadel and Plymouth Hoe. Move on to a quaint Cornish fishing village. Return to Torquay across rugged Dartmoor. Enjoy a glass of wine with your Celebration Dinner tonight - a fitting finalé to your tour.

Hotel:      Imperial, Torquay

Eighteenth Day Over Salisbury Plain to Stonehenge and return to London

Cross Salisbury Plain and stop to visit the mysterious megaliths of Stonehenge. Your tour draws to a close on your return to London's Thistle Marble Arch Hotel.

 

Whats included

Sightseeing Highlights

Stratford, Visit the timber-framed building where Shakespeare was born and grew up.

Visit Lincoln Castle and witness one of the four remaining copies of the Magna Carta, celebrating its 800th anniversary.

Edinburgh, Visit the Castle to view the Scottish Crown Jewels, Stone of Destiny and Mons Meg.

For a limited time in August, you are witness to the breathtaking spectacle of the Military Tattoo.

Highlands,  Visit a working Highland farm and witness sheep dog training.

Culloden Moor,  Stop at the famous battlefield.

Belfast, At the world's largest Titanic visitor attraction, relive the story behind the ill-fated ship.

Dublin, Visit the Guinness Storehouse and learn the history and traditions behind its production.

Cliffs of Moher, Stop by the Exhibition Centre and look out over the Wild Atlantic Way from these towering cliffs.

Killarney, Venture into a world of towering cliffs, lush lake lands and remote villages, as you tour the magical Ring of Kerry.

Blarney, It is said that those whose lips caress the Stone are bestowed with the power to persuade, flatter and coax. But to do so, you must dangle from the ramparts!

Waterford, A guided visit of the crystal factory.

Bath, Visit the Roman Baths, where offerings and curses were thrown to the Roman Goddess Sulis Minerva.

Stonehenge, Walk around the strange and awe-inspiring monoliths that have reputedly stood for 5,000 years.

See the ‘dreaming spires' and colleges in Oxford.

Visit one of England's finest Medieval Castles in Lincoln.

See York Minster, city walls and medieval “Shambles”.

Visit William Wordsworth's grave in Grasmere in the Lake District.

Enjoy a guided city tour down the Royal Mile past Holyroodhouse and over to the 18C ‘New Town' in Edinburgh.

Visit the birthplace of golf at St.Andrews.

Drive along the shores in search of the monster at Loch Ness.

Great Glen: View the Commando memorial and Ben Nevis.

Enjoy an orientation tour in Glasgow.

Drive past the ruined Abbey in glastonbury.

See O'Connell Street and historic Phoenix Park in Dublin.

See the Cathedral, Spanish Arch and Eyre Square in Galway.

See King John's Castle and St Mary's Cathedral in Limerick.

See the main street lined with thatched cottages at Adare

See Reginald's Tower, the ruined city walls and enjoy a guided visit to the Waterford Crystal Factory and Showrooms.

See the castle and Millennium Stadium in Cardiff

View Bath Abbey and the fine Georgian architecture.

View the Abbey at Glastonbury.

See Plymouth Hoe, Citadel and Mayflower Steps.

Visit the picturesque fishing village in Looe.

Scenic drives: Cotswolds, Highlands, Isle of Skye, Dingle, Severn Bridge, Ring of Kerry, Dartmoor.

 

Dining

Dining

Killarney, Choose from a fine selection of local restaurants on your Dine Around evening.

Torquay, Enjoy a rousing end of tour Celebration Dinner.

Welcome Reception 

17 full Breakfasts 

1 Dine-Around 

5 three-course Dinners with choice, or buffets, plus tea or coffee and 1 Celebration Dinner.

Highlight Hotels and Locations

Edinburgh, Beautifully refurbished, this former Victorian railway hotel is nestled in the shadow of historic castle.

Torquay, Stay at the Imperial Hotel, a favourite haunt of Agatha Christie, who featured it in several of her novels.

Optional Extras

Sottish Dinner and Cabaret, Join us for a lively and memorable evening of traditional Scottish song, dance, tartan and bagpipes. Besides the wine and gourmet dinner, your kilted hosts will lead you through some of the best loved music and songs. Learn a Highland dance or two and sample Scotland’s national dish - haggis. An exceptional Scottish experience!

Dinner in Edinburgh, Edinburgh has more eateries per head than any other city in the UK and your Tour Director knows which ones shine and which ones to shun! Join your fellow companions for a fun evening out in this vibrant city. Visit a prized local restaurant for a delicious three course dinner with a glass or wine, beer or soft drink included.

Royal Yacht Brittania, 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.

Lake Cruise, Enjoy a relaxing cruise around picturesque Loch Lomond - the largest stretch of inland water to be found in the British Isles. Settle with a complimentary cup of tea or coffee and enjoy the flawless natural beauty, while all the history and legend is brought to life by on-board commentary.

Isle of Skye Tour, A wonderful opportunity to experience the spectacular scenery of the Trotternish Peninsula with a local expert. Hear about the way of life on this remote inner Hebridean island, steeped in myth and legend. While touring the 'Isle of Mist' see the Old Man of Storr, the red and black Cuillin Mountains, KiltRrock and the graveyard where Flora McDonald is buried. This is an opportunity not to be missed.

Glasgow Dinner, In recent years, Glasgow has developed a fearsome culinary reputation and your grand restaurant, with its elegant and chic atmosphere, 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.

Dinner and 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.

Irish Countryside and Glendalough, An afternoon drive takes you through the rural countryside of County Wicklow - the garden of Ireland. Pass through the pretty Wicklow Mountains to the picturesque setting of St. Kevin’s great 6th Century monastic site at Glendalough. After exploring the monastic remains return to Dublin via the Great Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Dublin Dinner, Join us for some warm Irish hospitality a three course dinner in a family run pub, that was formerly the haunt of nobility and notorious highwaymen. Lovely exposed brick walls and dark wood make for a cosy atmosphere in which to enjoy your hearty pub meal.

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.

Jaunting Car Ride, Clip-clop your way through the charming streets of Killarney into the beautiful Bourne Vincent National Park. A local “jarvie” informs you of the local history, legend and folklore aboard one of the famous jaunting cars.

Liam O` Connor, A spectacular explosion of music, song and dance rooted in the Irish music tradition. Experience a spellbinding display of raw energy, passion and melodic genius. Liam O'Connor is an internationally renowned multi-instrumentalist and his show has a long running residency in Killarney. Your Tour Director will advise ticket availability.

Waterford Walking Tour, Join an extremely knowledgeable and entertaining historian for an insightful walking tour of Ireland's oldest city. Meet a range of colourful characters and learn about the town's history from the arrival of the Vikings through to British rule as you stroll to various key sights. Afterwards, rub shoulders with the locals with a drink in a typical pub.

Pub Dinner, Visit a traditional country pub with its stone floors, real ale, and cosy atmosphere where you can relax and enjoy a mouth-watering meal  featuring freshly cooked traditional British food.

Cardiff Castle Tour, Take an ‘insider’ look at this unique Castle started by the Romans 2,000 years ago where we have our own private tour. The refurbishments done in the 1800s have been described as outrageous to opulent, bogus to brilliant and some even say the architect, William Burgess, smoked his opium pipe too much!  His influences include Arab and Islamic art, Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tales and even Aesop's fables. In addition, we can walk on the battlements and climb the 1,000-year-old Norman keep for superb views over Cardiff.

Plymouth Harbour Cruise, Join us for a pleasant cruise around the harbour of this most famous seaport. Your skipper provides all the informative commentary as you enjoy panoramic vistas of Plymouth Hoe, site of Drake’s legendary game of bowls.  View the Mayflower steps, where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America, and ships weighed anchor for Australia, New Zealand and Newfoundland. Continue into the Royal Navy Dockyard for a chance to see some of the more modern vessels of the Royal Navy

 

Where you stay

All hotels included in your tour package are hand-picked, of an outstanding standard and far better value than if booked individually. Our valued travel partners who organise these tours also own the Red Carnation Hotel Group and where possible Red Carnation Hotels are used and please see our link for further details.

Travel Highlights

Guarantees, Bonds and Awards

  • This tour is run by our outstanding travel partners who are multi-award winning Globe Best Tour operator in the world 2013, 2014 and 2015.
  • Tours are fully bonded, protected and guaranteed and you pay the operator directly when booking.
  • ABTA, IATA and ATOL protected
  • Part of the Trade Right Foundation

Best prices, more information and booking

Great Discounts are available – please speak with our expert who can arrange extra unique discounts.

Only £100 per person deposit required (except for last minute bookings).

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