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Welcome to the multicultural melting pot that is London - its culture and heritage shaped by the nations that once contributed to its great empire are found around every turn. Spend your day easing into the energy of a cosmopolitan city that effortlessly blends old and new and is the perfect springboard to a grand adventure through Britain and Ireland.
HotelPark Plaza Riverbank
Join your Local Specialist today to see the iconic sights, including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, meandering through the picturesque Royal Parks, shopping for the best of British wares on Carnaby Street or delving into natural history and royal heritage at one of the many fascinating museums.
Meet your Travel Director this morning and travel to Stratford-upon-Avon. Venture through the lush green countryside of Warwickshire to Stratford-upon-Avon to delve into the lyrical legacy of one of the world's favourite writers. Visit Shakespeare's Birthplace and Visitor Centre and see Anne Hathaway's cottage, before arriving in York. Wander along its cobbled Shambles and ancient city walls, and see the magnificent York Minster, one of the greatest cathedrals in the world. This evening, we join our Travel Director and travel companions for a delicious Yorkshire dinner in our hotel.
MealsBreakfast, Welcome Reception
Journeying through Northumberland National Park's dramatic landscapes, we arrive at the remarkably intact ruins of the 12th-century Jedburgh Abbey en route to the enchanting Scottish capital, Edinburgh. Tickets to see the spectacular Edinburgh Tattoo are included on departures that coincide with performance dates.
Join your Local Specialist this morning for a sightseeing tour through 'Auld Reekie's' elegant New Town, Princes Street and the Royal Mile, enjoying views of the exquisite Palace of Holyroodhouse and Arthur's Seat. Embark on a guided visit of Edinburgh Castle, perched atop Castle Rock. Later, consider a traditional Scottish night out this evening, savouring up the flavours of haggis and exhilarating sounds of bagpipes which fill the air.
Today, we travel across the Firth of Forth to St. Andrews to view its celebrated ancient university and explore centuries of golf heritage. Our next stop is Pitlochry on the banks of the Tummel River. You could choose to join an Optional Experience to visit Blair Castle, the ancestral home to the Dukes of Atholl. We continue to the Scottish Highlands, our home for two nights.
Drive to the rugged coast of Scotland this morning, passing scenic Eilean Donan Castle. We cross to the Isle of Skye, admiring the spectacular scenery of the 'Garden of Skye' before enjoying free time for lunch. A Local Specialist will take us on a journey to admire the remarkable Cuillin Mountain. Cross back to the mainland and continue past the lochs and glens of the Scottish Highlands.
Our first stop today is the World War II Commando Memorial, near Fort William, for views of Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Continue south through the 'Glen of Weeping', paying tribute to the MacDonald clansmen who were massacred for failing to pledge allegiance to Scotland's new monarchs. Arriving in Glasgow, we enjoy an orientation tour including views of the Cathedral and magnificent George Square. We'll also visit the Necropolis where we'll Dive Into Culture and gain insights into one of Europe's most important 19th-century burial grounds.
Cross the border into England and Connect With Locals, joining farmer John and his wife Christine on their Cumbrian working farm for a Be My Guest experience. Learn about traditional farming methods and enjoy lunch before continuing your journey through the beautiful Lake District and its landscapes that have inspired poets and painters for centuries. See Lake Windermere, England's largest lake, before travelling to Liverpool, the haunt of Britain's 'Fab Four'.
HotelMercure Atlantic Tower
MealsBreakfast, Be My Guest
HighlightsLiverpool, Hesket Newmarket
The half-timbered Tudor Rows in Chester are our first stop today as we travel to Holyhead in North Wales to catch our ferry across the Irish Sea to Dublin. Soak up Irish hospitality and delicious local flavours during a Regional Dinner at EPIC - the Irish Emigration Museum.
MealsBreakfast, Regional Dinner
Dive Into Culture and visit the Guinness Storehouse to learn about Ireland's famous brew, before delving into Dublin's iconic sights with a Local Specialist. See Trinity College, St. Patrick's Cathedral and the stately Georgian Squares. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure or consider an Optional Experience at an Irish Cabaret.
Journey to the West Coast and the vibrant cultural centre of Galway, where you will have an opportunity to see Galway Cathedral and Eyre Square, with its tribute to former US president John F. Kennedy, before travelling to Limerick.
Admire Ireland's enduring scenic beauty on one of the most beautiful drives in the world, circling the spectacular Ring of Kerry. Later, we check into our Stays With Stories accommodation, the historic Maldron Shandon Hotel. Originally Cork's first general hospital opened in 1720, the building has a colourful history that has seen it survive wars, political upheaval, fire and calls for it to be demolished before it opened its doors as a grand hotel.
In the pursuit of acquiring the 'gift of the gab', we visit Blarney Castle where you might kiss the famous Blarney Stone, before stopping in Cobh for a walking tour with a Local Specialist. This seaside city was the final port of call for the tragic Titanic on its fateful voyage. This afternoon, we Dive Into Culture during a visit to the House of Waterford Crystal and witness talented master craftsmen at work.
HighlightsWaterford, Blarney, Cobh, Wexford
We cross the Irish Sea to Wales and its capital, Cardiff, where we will see the Principality Stadium and view the Millennium Centre, National Assembly and Cardiff Castle.
HighlightsCardiff, Rosslare, Pembroke
Cross the Severn Estuary to Bath, so named for the ancient Roman Baths that have made the city a popular retreat for centuries. Admire the elegant Georgian façades and visit the Roman Baths, before some free time to explore on your own. We wind our way to mystical Glastonbury to visit the 7th-century Abbey where King Arthur is believed to be buried. Later, we arrive in the city of Plymouth, our home for two nights.
HighlightsGlastonbury, Bath, PLYMOUTH
The springboard to a 'New World' takes centre stage as we start our day with an orientation of Plymouth. View the Mayflower Steps, where brave pilgrims embarked on their epic voyage to America, and see the Royal Citadel overlooking Plymouth Sound. Visit the fishing village of Polperro with its narrow streets and picturesque harbour, before enjoying a scenic drive through the brooding landscapes of Dartmoor, keeping a keen eye out for the area's wild ponies. Our epic adventure through Britain and Ireland almost at its end, we join our travel companions and Travel Director for a memorable Farewell Dinner.
MealsBreakfast, Farewell Dinner
Meander across the Salisbury Plain and visit the mystical ancient monoliths of Stonehenge, whose myths have yet to be fully revealed. We journey back to London this afternoon where we spend our final evening in Britain celebrating a memorable journey with new friends.
HotelPark Plaza Riverbank
Say a fond farewell to Britain and Ireland as you prepare to return home with treasured memories of your trip.
- 18 breakfasts
- 1 lunch
- 5 dinners
- 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
- The services of a Brendan Vacations Local Host if you stay at Brendan Vacations's recommended London hotel
- 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
- Handcrafted Highlights
- Explore London, Edinburgh, the Isle of Skye, Dublin and Cobh with a Local Specialist
- Discover York, Glasgow, Chester, Galway, Cork, Cardiff, Bath and Plymouth
- Visit Shakespeare's Birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon, Edinburgh Castle, Isle of Skye, the Necropolis in Glasgow, the Guinness Storehouse, EPIC - The Irish Emigration Museum, Blarney Castle to kiss the stone, the Waterford Crystal Showroom, the Roman Baths in Bath, Glastonbury Abbey, the fishing village of Polperro and the ancient stone circle at Stonehenge
- View Eilean Donan Castle, the battlefield of Culloden, Anne Hathaway's thatched cottage, York Minster and the Mayflower Steps in Plymouth
- See Galway Cathedral and the Principality Stadium in Cardiff
- Scenic Drive around the Ring of Kerry
- Connect with Locals Meet Farmer John and his wife Christine and enjoy a few hours of Cumbria farm-life with a traditional Be My Guest lunch and some Highland cow company thrown in for good measure. (Day 9)
- Dive into Culture Visit the Necropolis in Glasgow, one of Europe's most significant burial grounds. (Day 8) Visit the Guinness Storehouse to see how the world’s most famous stout is created the nenjoy the distinctive taste of a perfectly chilled pint of Guinness. (Day 11) Learn how delicate Irish crystal is crafted at the House of Waterford Crystal. (Day 14)
- Stays with Stories Discover centuries of tumultuous history staying at the Maldron Shandon hotel, a building that has survived wars, fires and threats of demolition to become the grand hotel it is today. (Day 13)
Brendan Vacations's Airport Transfers 2021-22
Mercure Atlantic Tower
Park Plaza Riverbank
*Price is per person, land only and based on double occupancy. Subject to availability; varies by inclusions and travel dates. CST#2084503-20