Scottish & Irish Gold Tour

B= Breakfast; L= Lunch, D= Dinner

Day 1: Glasgow City Tour

Your Scottish trip starts at 2:30 pm when you meet your tour director at your Glasgow hotel and set out on an introductory tour of central Glasgow. See the main attractions of Glasgow including parks and squares and view art collections in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Chat with your tour director and fellow travelers over a welcome drink before dinner in your hotel. (D)

Day 2: Loch Lomond & Inveraray Castle

Embark on a short cruise of Loch Lomond to appreciate views of Highland peaks. Drive to Inveraray and browse around the town before touring Inveraray Castle, home of the Campbells and used as a location for the Downton Abbey series. Drive through Glen Coe, a spectacular valley renowned for a skirmish between the Campbell and Macdonald Clans in 1692 and on to the coast to your hotel in Ballachulish. (B, D)

Day 3: Isle of Skye & Clan Donald Centre

Travel on the scenic “Road to the Isles” and take a ferry to the Isle of Skye to visit the Clan Donald Centre at Armadale Castle. Drive through the island and return to the mainland by bridge, stopping for photos at the famous Eilean Donan Castle. Then drive along the beautiful shores of Loch Ness, famous for its monster. Continue to your hotel in Nairn, a manor house property set in spacious grounds near the North Sea. (B, D)

Day 4: Culloden Battlefield & Distillery

A short distance from Nairn is the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre. Learn about the battle which took place on 16th April 1746 when British Government forces defeated the army of Prince Charles Edward Stuart. This changed the traditional Highland way of life for the clans. Drive south through the high peaks of the Grampian Mountains to the town of Pitlochry. Visit Blair Athol Distillery to learn about whisky making and sample a “wee dram”. Check in to your gracious manor-style hotel. (B, D)

Day 5: Royal Deeside & Castles

Drive along the charming River Dee Valley, called Royal Deeside as it was made popular by Queen Victoria. Tour the grounds of the Royal Family’s Balmoral Castle (Apr-Jul). When Balmoral is closed (Mar & Aug-Nov) visit Crathes Castle. This is an enchanting 16th-century tower house with turrets and towers. Stop in Ballater, where many shops show royal warrants. Return to your hotel and enjoy free time to stroll through the spacious gardens or the nearby town. (B, D)

Day 6: Glamis Castle & St Andrews

Visit Glamis Castle, legendary setting of Macbeth and childhood home of the late Queen Mother. Drive across the Tay Bridge to St Andrews, the “Home of Golf.” See the famous Royal and Ancient Clubhouse and the Old Course and enjoy free time to look around. If you prefer, browse through the medieval town with its ruined cathedral and castle. Drive south into Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital and enjoy a Scottish Evening with dinner and entertainment. (B, D)

Day 7: Edinburgh Castle & City Tour

This morning explore Edinburgh on a sightseeing tour. Compare the wide streets of the Georgian 200-year-old “New Town” with the narrow lanes and medieval townhouses along the Royal Mile, the oldest part of the city. Visit Edinburgh Castle and admire splendid views. Spend the afternoon and evening at leisure. On August 2 to 23 departures enjoy the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle. (B)

Day 8: Titanic Belfast & Vibrant Dublin

Depart Edinburgh early this morning and drive south through Ayrshire and along the coast. At Cairnryan take a ferry ride to Belfast. Visit Titanic Belfast to learn about this famous liner through state-of-the-art displays. Drive south to Dublin and check in to your centrally-located hotel. You are free to dine independently (B)

Day 9: Clonmacnoise & Galway City Tour

Leave Dublin and visit Clonmacnoise Monastic site, founded in 545 AD by St. Ciaran on the banks of the River Shannon. See elaborate high crosses as well as many church ruins and round towers. Drive to Galway for a walking tour before checking in to your hotel, located near specialty stores, cafés and pubs. Enjoy free time before dinner. (B, D)

Day 10: Connemara & Catamaran Cruise

Drive through the heart of Connemara to Leenane to embark on a short cruise of Killary Harbour, a 9-mile fjord (Mar 15 – Oct 25 departures). Enjoy views of hills where traces of “lazy beds” of potato ridges from the 19th century can still be seen. Stop for lunch and tour Kylemore Abbey, an impressive mansion that is set in a lovely location by a lake. Return to Galway where the evening is free. (B, L)

Day 11: Cliffs of Moher & Jarvey’s Pub

Travel south around Galway Bay to see the Cliffs of Moher, which rise almost 700 feet above the pounding Atlantic surf. Watch trained dogs herd sheep and take a ferry across the River Shannon. Drive to Killarney, a town that is world-famous and check in to your hotel in the center of the town. In the evening head to Jarvey’s Pub for a hearty dinner and some lively local music and step dancing. (B, D)

Day 12: Muckross House & Ring of Kerry

Take a horse-drawn jaunting car ride to Muckross House. Tour the house to see period furnishings and learn of its prominent guests and owners. Travel around the Ring of Kerry where the road winds between mountains and Atlantic coastline. Visit the Skellig Experience to learn about the rocky offshore islands and savor a casual lunch. Stop at Moll’s Gap for great views and enjoy free time back in Killarney. (B, L)

Day 13: Blarney Castle & Waterford Walk

Drive through the mountains to Blarney Castle to kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence.” Drive along the coast to the Marine Bar in Dungarvan for a creamy Irish coffee and an informal traditional music session. Continue to Waterford and check into your historic hotel, located on the waterfront of this ancient port city. Take a fun walking tour to discover Waterford’s long history. (B, D)

Day 14: Waterford Crystal & Dublin

Tour the House of Waterford Crystal to watch glass blowing and cutting by master craftspeople and see a huge display of elegant tableware and magnificent trophies. In New Ross visit the Dunbrody Famine Ship, a replica of a vessel which took emigrants from Ireland during the 1840’s Famine. Continue to your hotel in Dublin and in the evening drive to O’Connell’s Restaurant for an elegant meal and some live music. (B, D)

Day 15: Tour Ends or Extend in Dublin

For clients on our 15-day tour, your program ends after breakfast. If you have booked our 16-day tour, spend an additional day in Dublin with an independent open-top bus tour (valid for 48 hours), plus a visit to Guinness or Jameson. (B)

Day 16: Depart Dublin for Home

Your tour ends after breakfast. (B)