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The cosmopolitan capital that is London is yours to explore today - the perfect launch pad to discover what's great about Great Britain. Spend the day relaxing in the Royal Parks, amble along the Thames or visit one of the many museums showcasing the art, culture and antiquities of what was once the British Empire.
Join a Local Specialist today for a memorable encounter with London's most iconic sights. See Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey where Britain's kings and queens have been crowned for centuries. Spend the rest of the day exploring London on your terms - shop for the best of British on Carnaby Street, admire the bright lights of Piccadilly Circus or visit 'The City' with Christopher Wren's great St. Pauls Cathedral.
Meet your Travel Director today before journeying west to the Wiltshire landscapes of Salisbury Plain where you'll ponder the myths of the ancient mystical monoliths at Stonehenge which remain largely unsolved to to this day. Continuing through Devon, arrive in the historic naval port of Plymouth, your home for the next two nights.
MealsBreakfast, Welcome Reception
Embark on an orientation tour and see the Royal Citadel and Mayflower Steps. Explore the Cornish peninsula and visit the seaside villages of Looe and Polperro.
Arriving in Bath, we admire the city's stylish Georgian façades and ancient Roman Baths from which it derives its name. We continue to the vibrant Welsh capital, Cardiff, where we'll have a free evening to enjoy this modern city's proud heritage.
HotelPark Inn by Radisson City Centre/Holiday Inn
This morning, we explore Cardiff's iconic sights - the Principality Stadium, Millennium Centre and Victorian fantasy castle before crossing the Irish Sea to Waterford, most famous for the delicate crystal that graces elegant homes the world over. This evening we dine in our hotel.
HighlightsWaterford, Pembroke, Rosslare
Our first stop today is at the House of Waterford Crystal where we Dive Into Culture, watching a demonstration with master craftsmen. In pursuit of the 'gift of the gab', we journey to Blarney Castle where you'll have the chance to kiss the Blarney Stone, before arriving later in picturesque Killarney.
HighlightsWaterford, Killarney, Blarney
Ireland's enduring natural beauty accompanies our leisurely drive circling the enchanting Ring of Kerry. We pass the fishing village of Waterville, Moll's Gap and the Black Valley - renowned for being the last place in Ireland without power and telephone networks.
We stop in Limerick and view St. Mary's Cathedral, the Treaty Stone and King John's Castle. Our next stop is the magnificent Cliffs of Moher which plunge into the Atlantic, before arriving in Galway, where we'll spend the night.
This morning see the great stone Galway Cathedral and stroll through Eyre Square, a tribute to former US president John F. Kennedy, who visited Galway in 1963. Enjoy an orientation of Sligo on your way to Donegal to see its 15th-century castle and explore the city your way before dining at your hotel.
We cross the Irish border into Northern Ireland, joining a Local Specialist in Londonderry to stroll along its 17th-century city walls. See the street murals of the Bogside before continuing to the mythical stepping stones of the Giant's Causeway. Our visit to the haunt of Finn McCool will Make Travel Matter by helping conserve this iconic natural landmark. Our final stop today is in Belfast, where we'll enjoy an orientation, followed by free time to explore the capital city's sights.
HotelPark Inn by Radisson/Stormont
HighlightsLondonderry, Belfast, Bushmills
We spend the morning with a Local Specialist 'Cabbie' who will take us on a journey through the recent history of Belfast in their taxi. Heading south to Dublin later, we see St. Patrick's Cathedral and other iconic sights in the company of a Local Specialist. Tonight, consider an Optional Experience to enjoy the rousing sounds and warm hospitality of a traditional Irish Cabaret performance.
Beat the crowds and gain entry to the Guinness Storehouse before general admission. Here you'll Dive Into Culture and embark on a tour and tasting technique demonstration. The rest of the day is yours to explore the Irish capital. Amble along Grafton Street with its colourful performers, head to Temple Bar or stroll through Phoenix Park, Dublin's playground.
Cross the Irish Sea to Wales and continue to the ancient town of Chester, where your orientation tour will take you past its Roman walls and famous half-timbered Tudor Rows. Later, we head to the haunt of the 'Fab Four', edgy Liverpool, where we'll spend the night.
HighlightsLiverpool, Dublin, Holyhead
Head north to the idyllic Lake District, which has inspired poets and writers for centuries, and admire the spectacular surrounds of Lake Windermere.
HotelNorth Lakes / Castle Green
The runaway wedding capital, Gretna Green is our first stop today, where we'll tread in the footsteps of eloping couples who would take their vows over the Marriage Anvil. We arrive in Glasgow for an orientation tour including views of the Cathedral and magnificent George Square, lined with statues of Great Britain's most celebrated sons. We visit Falkirk Wheel where you'll Dive into Culture learning about the legacy of Scotland's canals and experience the world's only rotating boat lift.
HotelHilton Garden Inn City Centre/Park Inn by Radisson City Centre
Journey past the site of the tragic 1692 massacre at Glencoe, known as the 'Glen of the Weeping' and see Britain's highest mountain - Ben Nevis. We'll view the 13th-century Eilean Donan Castle, where three lochs meet, before visiting the Isle of Skye.
Travel through the scenic Scottish Highlands via Glen Shiel and along the banks of Loch Ness, home to the mythical monster affectionately known as 'Nessie'. View the site of the bloody Battle of Culloden, where Bonnie Prince Charlie and his army of Jacobites were defeated in 1746.
We continue south and stop in Pitlochry before travelling to the historic town of St. Andrews, home to one of the oldest golf courses in the world. We cross the Firth of Forth to the enchanting Scottish capital, Edinburgh, our home for the next two nights.
Join a Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour including a visit to Edinburgh Castle, overlooking the town from Castle Rock. See the Royal Mile, Palace of Holyroodhouse and new Scottish Parliament building.
Visit the medieval market town of Alnwick before stopping in York where we'll embark on an orientation walk along the picturesque Shambles and to York Minster, one of the greatest cathedrals in the world. This evening Connect With Locals over dinner at a Be My Guest experience, a grand private home of a Yorkshire family enjoying traditional flavours and hospitality.
MealsBreakfast, Be My Guest
Travel to Stratford-upon-Avon to view Anne Hathaway's thatched cottage and visit Shakespeare's Birthplace and Visitor Centre before returning to London this afternoon for our last evening at leisure.
We leave the bright lights of Old Blighty behind after an epic encounter with Britain and Ireland.
- 22 breakfasts
- 8 dinners (including Be My Guest)
- Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
- Daily breakfast and up to half your evening meals
- Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
- The services of a Brendan Vacations Local Host at your London hotel
- Use of Brendan Vacations's London Reception Centre offering a range of services including tickets for day trips and local attractions
- Return ferry across the Irish Sea between Wales and Ireland
- Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
- Optional Experiences and free time
- All porterage and restaurant gratuities
- Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
- An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
- All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
- London airport transfer service is available to purchase. Conditions apply. See airport transfer page for details
- Handcrafted Highlights
- Explore London, Londonderry, Belfast, Dublin and Edinburgh with a Local Specialist
- Discover Salisbury Plain, Plymouth, Bath, Cardiff, Limerick, Galway, Sligo, Chester, Glasgow and York
- Visit the ancient stone circle at Stonehenge, the Roman Baths in Bath, Waterford Crystal Showroom, Blarney Castle to kiss the stone, the magnificent Cliffs of Moher, Giant's Causeway, the Falkirk Wheel, Isle of Skye, Edinburgh Castle, Alnwick and Shakespeare's Birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon
- View the Mayflower Steps in Plymouth, the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, St. Mary's Cathedral and King John's Castle in Limerick, the scenic Lake District, the 18th hole at St. Andrews, Eilean Donan Castle, Culloden Battlefield and York Minster
- See Galway Cathedral
- Scenic Drive on a Cornish Excursion, experience the Ring of Kerry
- Connect with Locals Enjoy a traditional British Be My Guest hosted by a local family in the dining room of either their elegant town house in the city or in their impressive country house overlooking picturesque scenery in the Vale of York. (Day 21)
- Dive into Culture Learn how delicate Irish crystal is crafted at the House of Waterford Crystal during a workshop tour. (Day 7) Visit the Guinness Storehouse to see how the world’s most famous stout is created then enjoy the distinctive taste of a perfectly chilled pint of Guinness. (Day 13) Visit Falkirk Wheel to learn about Scotland's canal system at the world's only rotating boat lift. (Day 16)
- Make Travel Matter In Northern Ireland, where your visit to Giant's Causeway helps conserve this iconic natural landmark. (Day 11)
Brendan Vacations's Airport Transfers 2021-22
Park Inn by Radisson City Centre/Holiday Inn
Park Inn by Radisson/Stormont
North Lakes / Castle Green
Hilton Garden Inn City Centre/Park Inn by Radisson City Centre
*Price is per person, land only and based on double occupancy. Subject to availability; varies by inclusions and travel dates. CST#2084503-20