A treasure trove of historic sights, rolling countryside and cultural jewels are yours to discover on this whirlwind tour of the British Isles offered by Trafalgar. Explore the best that England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales have to offer, from dazzling London, Edinburgh Castle, Dublin and the Irish countryside, Cardiff Castle, mystic Stonehenge and much more!
Engaging experiences and highlights include:
• Learn how to pour the perfect pint at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.
• Enjoy typical Welsh dishes at a Be My Guest dinner with a Welsh family.
• See Shakespeare’s birthplace, tour Edinburgh and visit Stonehenge.
• AAA Complimentary Inclusion: Tour the medieval Cardiff Castle in Wales.
$25 per person optional excursion credit
AAA Complimentary Inclusion: Tour of historic Cardiff Castle in Wales
AAA Vacations® Best Price Guarantee and 24/7 Member Care**
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, the Houses of 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 atop 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 with many world-famous novelists, poets, actors and playwrights having 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 the imposing 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 at the heart of the city within beautiful parklands, the castle’s walls and fairytale towers conceal 2,000 years of history. Learn more about Welsh culture at a memorable Be My Guest dinner with the owners of small local farm. Enjoy typical Welsh dishes prepared with fresh ingredients as you get to know your hosts and their friends. Then head east to the ancient monoliths at Stonehenge and the city of Bath, where two of Jane Austen’s novels were set. 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
• 12 meals - Daily breakfast and 3 dinners, including a Be My Guest dinner
• On-tour transportation by deluxe motor coach plus ferries to/from Ireland
• 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
• Travel wallet with your documentation plus complimentary keepsake photo
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, Marks Hotel or MacDonald Crutherland House - 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.
En route back to Glasgow this afternoon, visit the Falkirk Wheel Visitor Centre to see this modern technological marvel in action. 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: Discover the great history and tradition of the Guinness Brewery during a Storehouse tour and pint-pulling demonstration. 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 excursion to an Irish cabaret or seeing one of many live pub bands that play traditional Irish music.
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.
Engaging Experience: Tonight, join your travel director and travel companions for a memorable Be My Guest farewell dinner. Enjoy a warm welcome from the owners of a pretty smallholding just outside Cardiff. Meet all the animals and later enjoy typical Welsh dishes prepared with fresh ingredients grown on the farm and cooked by your hosts.
Accommodation: Park Inn City Center - 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.
*Prices are per person based on double occupancy, are subject to availability at time of booking, and may change without notice. Price given based on April 4, 2014 departure; rates for other departure dates may be higher. Single supplement may apply. Except for packages including air transportation, unless stated otherwise, airfare, taxes and government fees are not included. Offers valid for new bookings only. Member Benefits are per person and apply to first and second traveler only. Member Benefits are available only with advertised fare and are subject to change without notice. Your travel arrangements may be modified or canceled subject to the travel providers’ policies. Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply. We make every effort for accuracy at time of printing but reserve the right to correct errors. AAA Travel strongly recommends the purchase of trip protection insurance. Except for packages including air transportation, fares may not reflect additional fuel supplement or port charges and vary by provider.
**Restrictions apply to the AAA Vacations® Best Price Guarantee and 24/7 Member Care. Should you find a valid better rate for the exact same itinerary within 24 hours of booking, AAA will match the lower rate. Ask your AAA Travel Counselor for details.
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