This itinerary offers the ultimate British trifecta, exploring England, Ireland and Scotland on a fully-escorted tour. Discover London’s history on a tour of the trendy West End and view iconic Trafalgar Square, Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Visit Scotland’s Edinburgh Castle high above the city. ...
DAY 1, Thursday - Depart for England
Depart for England from Australia, flying with full service airline
DAY 2, Friday - Arrive in London
Arrive in London, the cosmopolitan capital of England and the United Kingdom; transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore this energetic city on your own. Tonight, join your Tour Manager and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception and briefing on the exciting journey that awaits you,
DAY 3, Saturday - London City Tour
Discover London’s history and pageantry on a tour of the trendy West End that begins with a drive through fashionable Kensington with its elegant squares and parks. Pass Harrods, the luxury department store on the way to Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square, and Westminster Abbey, an architectural masterpiece. Continue to the historic Houses of Parliament, one of the world’s most iconic buildings and view Big Ben. The afternoon is at leisure for individual interests. Perhaps head to the Mall, a tree-lined royal road leading to view Buckingham Palace, the official residence of Her Majesty the Queen or, join the optional tour of St. Paul's Cathedral and the Tower of London,* a former fortress and Royal Palace. The evening is yours to explore London at your own pace.
*May 10 Departure, visit to St Paul’s Cathedral will be a view only due to local events
Optional: Tower of London & St. Paul's Cathedral (PM)
DAY 4, Sunday - Stratford-upon-Avon, Medieval York
From London, head to Stratford-upon-Avon, a charming market town on the River Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. In this beautiful, rural village, trace the footsteps of England’s most famous poet and playwright. View the thatched cottage where Anne Hathaway lived before continuing to Shakespeare’s school and his home on Henley Street. At Holy Trinity Church, view his final resting place before free time in this celebrated town where the Bard's plays are still performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Then, travel to the walled medieval city of York in northeast England with its rich history dating back to the Romans. Dinner together at the hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
DAY 5, Monday - York Minster, Edinburgh
View the massive York Minster, a remarkable 13th-century Gothic cathedral with magnificent medieval stained glass and two functioning bell towers, considered one of the largest and most beautiful cathedrals in the world that dominates this historic city. Drive past the city walls that form a walkway on both sides of the River Ouse on the way to Hadrian’s Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Britain’s most impressive Roman monument. Crossing into Scotland, drive via Jedburgh Abbey one of the four great abbeys built on the border during the Middle Ages. One of the country's most spectacular ancient monuments, that has endured a turbulent 900-year history. After lunch en route, arrive in dramatic Edinburgh, Scotland's capital city with its exquisite Georgian and Victorian architecture.
DAY 6, Tuesday - Edinburgh’s Heritage, Holyrood and Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh’s rich heritage is revealed today on a tour of this historic city. Pass the elegant mansions of the 200-year-old Georgian “New Town” on the way to the Museum of Scotland and the Scottish Parliament at the foot of the Royal Mile. Admire regal Holyrood Palace, the Queen’s official residence in Scotland. Later, visit stately Edinburgh Castle perched high above the city; view Scotland’s magnificent crown jewels, St. Margaret’s Chapel and the Stone of Destiny, returned from London after 700 years. After stunning panoramic views from its ramparts, return to the center of the city for leisure time to explore this endlessly fascinating city on your own. Tonight, don’t miss the fun-filled optional Scottish Dinner with tartan-clad entertainers, bagpipers and Highland dancers.
Optional: Scottish Dinner & Show
DAY 7, Wednesday - Ferry to Belfast
Morning drive to the small village of Cairnryan, to board a luxury high-speed ferry that whisks you to Belfast in Ireland across the Irish Sea. Upon arrival, free time to independently discover Northern Ireland's capital with its beautifully restored Victorian architecture, glittering waterfront lined with European-style cafes and rich cultural life. Tonight’s dinner* highlights popular Irish specialities.
*Jul 5 departure will have dinner aboard a ferry.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
DAY 8, Thursday - Explore Belfast, Titanic Museum
Today’s exploration of Belfast* begins at the towering dome of the Edwardian City Hall, the university district, and the newly-renovated Ulster Museum, a repository of historic treasures. Stop in a neighbourhood where buildings are still scarred from “The Troubles” which ended with the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. Visit the gleaming Titanic Belfast Museum constructed in the actual dockyard where the doomed ship was built; its multimedia presentation follows the history of Belfast and the creation of the world’s most famous ocean liner. Exhibits include a high-tech ride through a re-creation of the city’s shipyards, details of the Titanic’s construction and old film footage of the actual ship. The rest of the day is yours to discover Belfast on your own.**
*Jul 5 departure the Belfast city tour may be altered due to local events. Details will be provided locally by your Tour Manager.
**Jul 5 departure, dinner included at the Belfast hotel.
DAY 9, Friday - Giant’s Causeway & Discovery Center, Derry’s Medieval Walls
The day starts with a breathtaking scenic drive through the Glens of Antrim to the North Coast of Ireland, known as the Causeway Coast, an area of outstanding beauty. Here, visit Giant's Causeway, the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland, where unusual hexagonal columns formed by 60 million years of volcanic activity stretch into the sea. Marvel at this natural phenomenon! The Giant’s Causeway is also steeped in myth and legend. Some say it was carved from the coast by the mighty giant, Finn McCool who left behind an ancient home full of folklore. Look out for clues of his existence - including The Giant’s Boot and Wishing Chair. After a visit to the informative Discovery Center, on to the pretty city of Derry (also called Londonderry) with its glimpses of Northern Island’s past and present. In the afternoon, a walking tour of the artistic cultural hub of Derry that includes St. Columb’s Cathedral and the neo-Gothic Guildhall with its beautiful stained glass windows. View the preserved medieval city walls with its four original gates that completely encircle the old city, protecting Derry throughout centuries from foreign invaders. Dinner in Derry.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
DAY 10, Saturday - Belleek Pottery Factory, Picturesque Sligo, Knock Shrine, Westport
Morning drive to the famed Belleek Pottery Factory founded in the 19th century. Watch expert craftspeople shape and decorate this world-famous China; visit the museum with exhibits of original pieces dating back to 1857. On to Sligo, with its renowned natural beauty, home to the young poet William Butler Yeats, one of the most picturesque places in Ireland. Next, to the village of Knock in County Mayo, where many believe that the Virgin Mary appeared; pause at the sacred Knock Shrine, a Roman Catholic pilgrimage site. The day ends in bustling Westport, in the northern West Coast well-known for its outdoor activities, spas, and international nightlife. Upon arrival, enjoy a dinner of local favourites.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
DAY 11, Sunday - Glen Keen Sheep Farm, Kylemore Abbey & Gardens
A day in the Irish countryside! Visit the unique Glen Keen Farm* with its stunning natural beauty. One of the largest farms in Ireland, this single family-owned working sheep farm is larger than some national parks. Learn more about this center of agritourism designated as a special area of conservation for its natural beauty. After lunch, travel into the heart of Connemara with its crystal lakes, towering mountains and striking expanses of emerald green to visit Kylemore Abbey and its Victorian Walled Garden. Stroll through the restored rooms of the Abbey and the magnificent Victorian Walled Garden with its colourful floral displays. Perhaps, stop for a cup of fresh herbal tea at the Tea House, before returning to Westport. The evening is at leisure.
*Farm activities are dependent of weather.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
DAY 12, Monday - Seaside Galway, Discover Dublin
Today, travel to Galway, once a seafaring town, nestled on the shores of Galway Bay, one of the fastest growing cities in Europe. Walk the picturesque winding streets in the downtown area to Eyre Square and the trendy Latin Quarter. At Lynch’s Castle, view 14th-century stonework that includes ghoulish gargoyles before arriving at imposing Galway Cathedral on the banks of the River Corrib. Lunch on your own in this lively bohemian city with its brightly painted pubs, cafes, and galleries. Then, it’s off to Dublin, the capital of Ireland. At Trinity College, marvel at the 8th century Book of Kells, a superb example of early Irish manuscript illumination on display in the Old Library before continuing to St. Stephen's Green, Phoenix Park and legendary St. Patrick's Cathedral. The evening is at leisure in Dublin with its wide choice of fine restaurants, non-stop nightlife and friendly pubs on every corner.
DAY 13, Tuesday - Dublin at Leisure, Irish Pub Farewell Dinner
Enjoy a full day of leisure in Dublin, to further explore this fascinating city on your own. Then it’s time to get ready for a fabulous Farewell Dinner at one of Ireland’s oldest pubs. It will be a rip-roaring evening of traditional Irish music and dance accompanied by a great selection of quality Irish food to delight your palate.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
DAY 14, Wednesday - Depart Ireland
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight back home to Australia.
Meals: Breakfast & in-flight
Park Plaza Victoria London, United Kingdom: The spacious rooms are decorated with modern decor and furnishings. All rooms are equipped with air conditioning, a minibar, and standard bathroom amenities. The hotel is about a 15-minute walk away from Buckingham Palace. The Westminster Cathedral is about a 10-minute walk away.
York Marriott Hotel York, United Kingdom: The accommodations are fitted with wooden furnishings and stylish decor. All rooms are non-smoking and equipped with a range of convenient amenities, such as internet access (surcharge), air conditioning and a safe. The hotel is a five-minute drive away from the York Racecourse.
Apex Grassmarket Edinburgh, United Kingdom: The rooms are decorated with colourful decor that perfectly complements the comfortable furnishings. All rooms feature amenities such as complimentary internet access, a flat-screen television and standard bathroom amenities. The hotel is within one mile of Edinburgh Castle, National War Museum, Camera Obscura and World of Illusions.
Apex Waterloo Place Hotel, Edinburgh: The modern rooms are decorated with stylish decor and comfortable furnishings. All rooms are well equipped with an assortment of amenities that will ensure a pleasant stay. The hotel is within a half mile walk of Princes Street and the Edinburgh Waverley railway station. Edinburgh Castle, St Giles' Cathedral and the National Museum of Scotland are within a mile walk.
Courtyard Edinburgh Edinburgh, United Kingdom: The guest rooms are comfortable and spacious with crisp linens and modern decor. All are equipped with a variety of amenities for a delightful stay. The hotel is located nearby the Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre. Princes Street and the Edinburgh Waverley railway station are both about a half mile walk away. The Palace of Holyroodhouse is within a mile walk.
Novotel Edinburgh Centre Edinburgh, United Kingdom: Guest rooms provide comfortable accommodations with a wide variety of modern amenities. Enjoy the on-site fitness center and indoor heated pool. The hotel is less than a mile from the Grassmarket, Edinburgh Castle, and Usher Hall.
Maldron Belfast City Belfast, United Kingdom: The hotel has 237 comfortable guest rooms that are equipped with a variety of modern amenities. The hotel is ideally located on Brunswick Street in the city center of Belfast. Belfast City Hall, the Grand Opera House and the Great Victoria Street railway station are within walking distance.
Maldron Hotel Derry Derry, United Kingdom: Guest rooms are comfortable and warmly decorated. Some rooms overlook the historic city walls. All rooms are well equipped with amenities and disabled facilities are available upon request. The hotel is situated at an enviable central location with a number of shops, bars and attractions nearby.
Inishowen Gateway Hotel County Donegal, Ireland: Guest rooms are bright and comfortable with tasteful modern style decor. Some rooms have a view of Lough Swilly and the Buncrana Golf Course. All are equipped with a variety of modern amenities. The hotel is situated on the Inishowen Peninsula, and has wonderful views of Lough Swilly.
Castlecourt Hotel Resort County Mayo, Ireland: The guest rooms are classically designed and beautifully decorated. All rooms are non-smoking and equipped with amenities for a comfortable stay. The hotel is situated in the town centre of Westport. The Westport train station is about a ten minute walk away. Enjoy the hotel’s spa and C Club Leisure Centre with fitness center, sauna, steam room and pool.
Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge Dublin, Ireland: The comfortable rooms are decorated with classical and elegant decor. Some rooms have a balcony. All rooms are equipped with amenities for a relaxing stay, such as tea and coffee making facilities, a hairdryer and free WiFi internet access. The hotel is located in the Dublin suburb of Ballsbridge. The RDS Main Arena and the Sandymount Dart station are about a five minute walk away.
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8 Day Taste of NZ's North Island
Japan fully escorted tour! No cherry blossom surcharge!
2018 DEPARTURE DATES
MAY: 10, 24
JUN: 11, 25
AUG: 6, 27
SEP: 10, 24
OCT: 15, 22
2019 DEPARTURE DATES
MAR: 4, 11, 18, 25
APR: 8, 15, 22
MAY: 13, 20, 27
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8 Day Norfolk Island Tour
Nov: 2 - From $2890 pp twin share - includes Saving of $100 pp on this departure
Dec: 21 - From $2890 pp twin share - includes Saving of $100 pp on this departure
Nov: 3 - From $2890 pp twin share - includes Saving of $100 pp on this departure
Dec: 22 - From $2890 pp twin share - includes Saving of $100 pp on this departure
13 Day Escorted Tour of Canada
Travel between Jun – Sep 2018.