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Package details include
Begin your adventure with a free day in the world-class city of London. Top attractions you won’t want to miss include Big Ben and Parliament, Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London. Then head north to Stratford-upon-Avon where you’ll stop for visits to William Shakespeare’s birthplace and Anne Hathaway’s cottage.
In York, marvel at York Minster, one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in the world, and in the Lake District, visit the village of Grasmere, once home to the poet William Wordsworth. Enjoy spectacular views of Lake Windermere as travel north to the Scottish border and the city of Glasgow. Spend a day exploring Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh on a sightseeing tour that includes the Georgian New Town, Holyrood Palace, the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle, a 12th century castle set on a dramatic bluff above the city.
Then cross the Irish Sea by ferry to Belfast, the capitol city of Northern Ireland. After a tour of the city’s main attractions, travel along the dramatic Irish coast to Dublin. Originally founded by the Vikings in the 8th century, Dublin has a centuries-old cultural heritage and many world-famous novelists, poets and artists have called the city home. A guided tour of Dublin includes St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Phoenix Park, Trinity College and a visit to the Guinness Storehouse for a tour of the brewery and perhaps some time to raise a pint. Your Ireland exploration continues with a visit to Kilkenny Castle and the Irish National Stud Farm, home to some of the world's finest thoroughbreds. Watch master craftsman at work at the famous House of Waterford Crystal before browsing for bargains in the factory showroom.
On to Wales and its capitol, Cardiff. A vibrant city with a lively arts and cultural scene, Cardiff also boasts a long history which you’ll learn about on a specially included tour of Cardiff Castle. Located in the heart of the city within beautiful parklands, the castle’s walls and fairytale towers conceal 2,000 years of history. Conclude your trip with a visit to the ancient monoliths at Stonehenge and the city of Bath. Admire Bath's Georgian architecture and visit the Roman Baths before spending a final night in London.
• 9 nights in first-class hotels: 2 nights in London, 1 night in Harrogate, 2 nights in Glasgow, 2 nights in Dublin, 1 night in Waterford and 1 night in Cardiff
• 11 meals - Daily breakfast and 2 dinners
• On-tour transportation by deluxe motor coach and ferry
• Services of a professional Travel Director
• Tour of historic Cardiff Castle plus sightseeing with unique Insider Experiences
• Airport transfers on arrival and departure days (at specified times, conditions apply)
• All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes
Day 1 - Arrive in London
Welcome to London! Relax or spend time exploring this fascinating city on your own. At the least, we suggest visiting Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. Take a ride on the London Eye for spectacular views of the city.
Accommodation: Park Plaza Riverbank – 1 night
Day 2 - Stratford-upon-Avon, York & Harrogate
A scenic drive through the beautiful countryside brings you to charming Stratford-upon-Avon. Engaging Experience: Visit William Shakespeare’s Birthplace and Visitor Center and see Ann Hathaway’s thatch-roofed cottage, the childhood home of the author’s wife. Continue to the Viking city of York and explore its narrow historic streets. Walk in the famous cobblestone Shambles, see the ancient city walls and marvel the magnificent 13th century York Minster. This evening, get to know your companions and travel director at a welcome pub reception, which includes a typical British pub meal and drinks.
Accommodation: Harrogate Holiday Inn – 1 night
Day 3 - Lake District & Glasgow
From quaint villages around the Yorkshire Dales National Park to the scenic glory of the Lake District, your journey north is impressive. Traveling along the shores of England’s largest lake, Windermere, and through countryside that inspired the Romantic poets, you reach Grasmere. View the grave of William Wordsworth, buried at St. Oswald’s Church.
Continue north to cross the Scottish border for a stop in the town of Gretna Green, where generations of eloping couples would say their vows over the anvil. Upon arrival in Glasgow, an orientation tour includes views of the Cathedral, the magnificent George Square and the River Clyde, former heart of the shipbuilding industry.
Accommodation: Radisson Blu Glasgow or Marks Hotel - 2 nights
Day 4 - Edinburgh Excursion
Today visit Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city. Engaging Experience: A local guide takes you on a sightseeing tour of this wonderful city, including a visit to the famous Edinburgh Castle, perched high above the city and home of the Scottish crown jewels. See the Royal Mile and the elegant Palace of Holyrood house, the Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh and former home of Mary, Queen of Scots. Admire the new Scottish Parliament building and the elegant Georgian architecture in the New Town. Later, enjoy free time to explore at leisure. This evening enjoy a delicious meal at a local restaurant in Glasgow.
Day 5 - Belfast & Dublin
Follow the rugged Ayrshire coast past the island of Ailsa Craig, the stepping stone from Ireland to Scotland, to board the ferry to Northern Ireland. In Belfast, view City Hall, Queen’s University and the dock where the Titanic was built with your local guide. Cross the border into the Irish Republic and later arrive in the thriving city of Dublin.
Accommodation: Mespil Hotel - 2 nights
Day 6 - Dublin Sightseeing
A locally guided tour of Dublin highlights Trinity College, Phoenix Park, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the city’s stately Georgian Squares. Engaging Experience: Then, your choice of sightseeing gives you the opportunity to visit the Guinness Brewery for a Storehouse tour and pint-pulling demonstration or the Little Museum of Dublin. Later, enjoy leisure time to explore the city independently. Why not stroll down Grafton Street or stop by the historic Temple Bar, where the narrative in James Joyce’s monumental novel Ulysses first begins? This evening consider joining an optional excursion to an Irish cabaret.
Day 7 - Kildare, Killkenny & Waterford
Depart Dublin and visit the Irish National Stud Farm dedicated to nearing world-class thoroughbreds since 1946. After a guided walk through the farm, enjoy the tranquil Japanese Gardens, regarded as the best in Europe. In Kilkenny, see the imposing medieval castle and enjoy free time for lunch. Engaging Experience: This afternoon, visit the House of Waterford Crystal factory featuring a fascinating visitor’s center and a retail store housing the largest collection of Waterford Crystal in the world. Watch the master craftsmen at work during your tour of the workshop and see the exquisite completed pieces in the showroom.
Accommodation: Waterford Marina Hotel - 1 night
Day 8 - Cardiff, Wales
Cross the Irish Sea to Wales and continue our journey to Cardiff Bay to view the Millennium Centre and the National Assembly. AAA Complimentary Inclusion: Tour the medieval Cardiff Castle located in the capitol city of Wales. See the Millennium Stadium before arriving at your hotel. Tonight, join your travel director and travel companions for a memorable farewell dinner.
Accommodation: Maldron Hotel - 1 night
Day 9 - Bath & Stonehenge
Cross the Severn Estuary into England and the glorious city of Bath. See splendid Georgian architecture during your orientation. Enjoy a visit to the Roman Baths from which the city derives its name. In Wiltshire, visit the mysterious monolithic stone circle at Stonehenge. This evening return to London.
Accommodation: Park Plaza Riverfront - 1 night
Day 10 - Depart London
This morning after breakfast, bid farewell to London as your vacation comes to an end.