British & Irish Focus

B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; D=Dinner

Day 1: Dublin Arrival and Dalkey Village

Your Irish trip starts at 2:00 pm when you meet your tour director and fellow travelers at your Dublin hotel, located a few miles south of Dublin. Take a short ride to historic Dalkey Village for a guided walking tour of Dalkey Castle. In the evening enjoy a welcome drink and meet your tour director.

Day 2: Dublin Tour & Taylor’s Three Rock

This morning tour Dublin’s main attractions and visit St. Patrick's Cathedral. Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels and Dean of the Cathedral, is buried here. The afternoon is free and in the evening head to Taylor’s Three Rock Pub for dinner and a great show with lively music and step-dancing. (B, D)

Day 3: Clonmacnoise & Galway City Tour

Leave Dublin and journey across the rolling pastures of Ireland’s heartland to visit Clonmacnoise. This monastic settlement was founded in 545 AD by St. Ciaran and is set on the banks of the mighty River Shannon. See elaborate high Celtic crosses decorated with biblical scenes. Walk around the many church ruins and two round towers. Drive to Galway and join a local guide on a gentle walk through the city center before checking into your hotel. Your hotel is located within easy walking distance of lively streets with fun specialty stores, cafés and pubs. Enjoy free time to browse around on your own before dining in your hotel. (B, D)

Day 4: Cliffs of Moher & Killarney

Stop at Rathbaun Farm to see traditional farm animals and farming practices. Watch a farmer demonstrate how his trained dogs herd mountain sheep and then sit down to tea or coffee with some home baking. Travel through the Burren to view the Cliffs of Moher, an impressive wall of rock that plunges to the Atlantic Ocean. The cliffs stretch along the coast for five miles and reach heights of almost 700 feet. Take a ferry across the River Shannon Estuary and drive to your hotel in the center of Killarney. (B, D)

Day 5: Jaunting Car & Ring of Kerry

Take a jaunting car ride through part of the Killarney National Park to admire scenic views of some of Killarney’s lakes and mountains. Visit Muckross Schoolhouse for a taste of traditional Irish country life as you watch butter churning and bread making. Drive to the delightful town of Kenmare for a look around and savor a casual lunch. Travel along part of the awesome Ring of Kerry route to view spectacular mountain scenery at Moll’s Gap and at Ladies’ View. Return to Killarney where the evening is free for independent dining and perhaps visit a pub with live music. (B, L)

Day 6: Blarney Castle & Waterford

Visit Blarney Castle to kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence.” If you do not wish to climb to the top of the castle, take a walk through the lovely grounds with magnificent trees and colorful borders. Shop at the Blarney Woollen Mills for quality Irish-made souvenirs. Travel along the south coast to Cobh to visit the Titanic Experience. Learn about the 123 Irish passengers who embarked on the ill-fated RMS Titanic bound for New York. Continue to the famous House of Waterford Crystal to watch molten glass being transformed into elaborate and shimmering trophies by the skilled blowers and cutters. View a huge array of stemware in the showrooms and you may purchase pieces also. Check in to your hotel in the center of Waterford and, after dinner, take a gentle walking tour with a local guide to learn about the region’s history. (B, D)

Day 7: Cardiff & Welsh Evening

Depart Waterford early this morning to catch the ferry from Rosslare to Pembroke in South Wales. Journey through South Wales, where coal used to be mined, to Cardiff, the capital of Wales. Tour Cardiff Castle, developed in Roman times and transformed into an elaborate Gothic-style residence in the 19th century. In the evening enjoy a fun Welsh evening with dinner and entertainment. (B, D)

Day 8: Roman Baths & Stonehenge

This morning drive to Bath, popular for its natural hot springs with the Romans 2,000 years ago and again in the 18th century. Tour the Roman Baths and Pump Room, well preserved after two millennia and renowned for hot springs. Drive to Salisbury Plain to view the prehistoric circle of vast monoliths at Stonehenge. View displays in the Visitor Center which give the story of the moving the huge stones with primitive tools to build this amazing circle. Continue into London in time for dinner in your hotel. (B, D)

Day 9: London Tour & Tower of London

This morning take a panoramic tour of central London to see famous landmarks including Piccadilly Circus with its statue of Eros, Nelson’s Column flanked by huge lions in Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Visit the mighty Tower of London to see the many fortresses, Beefeaters, ravens and the priceless Crown Jewels. The afternoon is free for further exploring and there is no shortage of great things to see and do. In the evening you are free for dinner. (B)

Day 10: Depart for home or extend your stay in London

If you are on the 10-day tour, your program ends after breakfast. Thos on the 11-day tour may schedule London sightseeing by open-top bus tour around the many famous landmarks. There are a number of different bus routes to choose from as well as a walking tour and a cruise on the River Thames. (B)