British & Irish Landmarks

B= Breakfast; L= Lunch, D= Dinner

Day 1: London Arrival & Tour

Your vacation starts at your London hotel at 2:00 pm when you meet your tour director and head out on a panoramic tour of central London. See famous landmarks including Piccadilly Circus, Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament and visit the impressive St Paul’s Cathedral. Meet your tour director and fellow travelers for a welcome drink and dine in your hotel. (D)

Day 2: Tower of London & City Sights

Today schedule your London sightseeing as you wish on an open-top bus tour. You may choose to stay on the bus for the complete circuit or get off and on at various places of interest along the route. There are different bus routes as well as a walking tour and a River Thames cruise. Visit either the Tower of London or Kensington Palace. You are free to choose a restaurant to dine independently. (B)

Day 3: Shakespeare’s Birthplace & York

Drive north through the Cotswolds to Stratford-upon-Avon and visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace. See an exhibition about his life and work and walk through the house where he was born where rooms are furnished as they would have been in his day. Continue your journey north to the medieval city of York. (B, D)

Day 4: York Minster & Scottish Evening in Edinburgh

Take a walking tour around central York to see medieval streets and houses and visit the stately York Minster, renowned for its stained glass and wonderful Gothic architectural details. Travel north into Scotland and stop briefly in the Borders region in Melrose to view the ruins of the abbey. Drive to Edinburgh and dine at a Scottish Evening with bagpipes and lively music. (B, D)

Day 5: Edinburgh Castle & Guided City Tour

Discover Edinburgh’s highlights on a city tour. See the elegant 200-year-old Georgian “New Town” and the compact medieval city centered on the Royal Mile. Tour Edinburgh Castle to view the Crown Jewels of Scotland and enjoy splendid views of central Edinburgh. The afternoon and evening are free for independent activities and dining. On August 05 to 19 departures, experience the world-famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. (B)

Day 6: St Andrews & Highland Scenery

Travel north to St Andrews, famous for golfing and Scotland’s oldest university, for a walking tour around the town and visit the picturesque ruins of St Andrews Cathedral. Stop in Pitlochry and drive through the awesome Highland scenery of the Grampian Mountains on the way to your hotel in Inverness, the main market town of the region. (B, D)

Day 7: Loch Ness Cruise & Oban Distillery

Enjoy more wonderful Highland views as you travel south. Relax on a scenic cruise of Loch Ness, Britain’s largest and deepest lake and home to the elusive monster, “Nessie”. Drive along the west coast to the town of Oban. Visit Oban Distillery to see how whisky is distilled and sample some at the end of the tour. (B, D)

Day 8: Isle of Mull & Duart Castle

Take a ferry ride from Oban to the Isle of Mull, one of the Inner Hebrides. Tour many of the historic chambers of Duart Castle, home of Sir Lachlan Maclean, the present Clan Chief. Drive to the colorful town of Tobermory on the north side of the island for a look around before returning to Oban on the mainland by coach and ferry. (B, D)

Day 9: Glen Coe & Rabbie Burns

This morning bid farewell to the Highlands as you drive through Glen Coe and alongside Loch Lomond. Stop briefly in Alloway at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum to learn about the famous poet’s life and poetry. Continue to Cairnryan for a short ferry ride to Belfast. The evening is free for independent dining, either in your hotel or in one of the many restaurants very close by. (B)

Day 10: Belfast & Giant’s Causeway

Tour the highlights of Belfast to see the impressive City Hall and Victorian buildings as well as the shipyards where RMS Titanic was built. Travel along the scenic Nine Glens of Antrim and visit the Giant’s Causeway, hexagonal columns formed by volcanic activity over 60 million years ago. The huge columns have given rise to many legends. Continue to Derry for your overnight stay. (B, D)

Day 11: Derry & Inishowen Peninsula

Start your day with a short walk around the medieval city walls of Derry. Then drive around the Inishowen Peninsula. Enjoy great views as you follow the coastline and stop at Malin Head, the most northerly point and sip an Irish coffee. (B, D)

Day 12: Donegal Castle & Yeats’ Grave

Travel through the Blue Stack Mountains to Donegal town. Tour Donegal Castle, built in the 15th century by an O’Donnell chieftain. Pause at Drumcliffe Churchyard to view the grave of W. B. Yeats, the Nobel Prize-winning poet, and again at Knock Shrine before continuing to Galway for a walking tour. (B, D)

Day 13: Connemara & "The Quiet Man"

Today explore scenic Connemara to admire how constantly-changing cloud formations give granite hills, sparkling lakes and peat bogs an added dimension. While visually stunning, this area is not good for farming with many tracts of bogland and sturdy sheep that wander over the hills. In Cong take a walking tour with a local guide to see locations for “The Quiet Man” movie, made in the village in 1952. Return to Galway for a panoramic drive around the city center. (B) 

Day 14: Cliffs of Moher & Killarney

Drive through the Burren to view the majestic Cliffs of Moher, which rise 700 feet above the foaming Atlantic Ocean. Cross the River Shannon Estuary by ferry and stop in Listowel at a pub for tea and scones before heading to Killarney. (B, D)

Day 15: Ring of Kerry & Sheepdogs

Drive to the delightful town of Kenmare where gaily-painted shops display flowers. After a look around journey along part of the Ring of Kerry route to view some of the spectacular mountain scenery which is all around you. Visit a farm to watch a shepherd give his trained dogs commands to round up sheep and bring them back to the pen. Just outside Killarney tour the gracious 19th century Muckross House and enjoy a casual lunch before returning to Killarney. The rest of the day is at leisure. (B,L)

Day 16: Blarney Castle & Waterford

Travel to Blarney Castle to kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence” located in the battlements of the castle. Also shop at the Blarney Woollen Mills, which have a great selection of quality Irish-made merchandise. Then head to Cobh to visit the Titanic Experience which tells about the 123 Irish people who embarked on the RMS Titanic. Continue to Waterford and after dinner take a walking tour with a local guide to learn about this 1,000-year-old port city. (B, D)

Day 17: Waterford Crystal & Taylor’s Three Rock

Tour the famous House of Waterford Crystal to watch molten glass being transformed into shimmering trophies by skilled blowers and cutters. Visit Dunbrody Famine Ship, a replica of a Famine vessel. Travel to Dublin and dine at Taylor’s Three Rock Pub with a lively show. (B, D)

Day 18: Dublin & Book of Kells

Spend the morning on a guided tour of Dublin to view elegant Georgian townhouses and brightly painted doors. Join a student guide on a brief walk through Trinity College’s campus to view the illuminated manuscript of the Book of Kells. The afternoon is free for independent activities and dining. (B)

Day 19: Tour Ends in Dublin

Your tour ends after breakfast. (B)