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Best of UK & Ireland Tour

Places Covered: Stonehenge, Bath and Cardiff, Liverpool, Dublin, Waterford & Killarney, Scotland, Edinburgh, Yorkshire, Cambridge
Duration: 13 days
Tour Cost: € 629

Our new tour, ‘Best of UK & Ireland’ combines the finest highlights of the very popular Great Britain tour with another favourite, the Irish Explorer tour, offering coach tours to Ireland from the UK and an unequalled holiday experience. Explore legendary landmarks, medieval castles, rolling green hills and beautiful scenery!

Setting off from London, we call at ancient Stonehenge (optional) and Bath, before the Welsh capital of Cardiff. Liverpool, home of The Beatles, is next. A ferry crossing takes us to Dublin where your tour includes some of Ireland’s greatest attractions – the historic coastal town of Waterford, Blarney Castle (with its famous stone) and the picturesque town of Killarney. Other sights include the Ring of Kerry, the cliffs of Moher and Giant's Causeway.

After crossing the Irish Sea, we tour the rugged horizons of the Highlands, before arriving in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, overlooked by its landmark castle. Next, we head south towards Northumberland where we call at Alnwick Castle, well known from the critically acclaimed Downton Abbey television series and Harry Potter films. It is also the home of the Duke of Northumberland. Yorkshire is the next port of call, before our journey onwards to the university city of Cambridge and try our hand at traditional river punting. After this amazing 13 days of touring we then return to London.

DAY 01

Visit Stonehenge, Bath and Cardiff

Welcome to your tour of the UK and Ireland! Departing from London, we make our way to Stonehenge (optional), the ancient archaeological wonder which has stood for thousands of years in the countryside of south-west England. Ponder the mysteries of this ancient site for yourself and learn about the history of the area. Once we’ve had a chance to look around, we’re off to the beautiful and historic city of Bath, famous of course for the Roman baths built here during the reign of the Empire. Heading into nearby Wales, Caerphilly Castle is our next stop, where you’ll be able to snap a few photos of this ancient attraction, built in the 13th century by Gilbert de Clare, a red-headed Norman nobleman. Finally, we arrive in the Welsh capital of Cardiff, where we’ll stop for the night.

Dinner, overnight accommodation.

DAY 02

Visit Liverpool

Prepare for your second day of adventure! After breakfast in Cardiff we make for Stratford, the hometown of William Shakespeare! A market town with more than 800 years of history, the town still has many buildings that would be familiar to Shakespeare if he was still around today. Then we’re off to Liverpool! Liverpool is a famous British port city with a rich history; there’s something for everyone here. Football fans will be delighted to be in the home city of Liverpool and Everton football clubs, while music fans will be enthralled to be in the home of The Beatles. Spot the famous sites with our driving tour of the city, and explore the city yourself during your free time this evening. Why not head to Mathew Street, the beating heart of the live music scene and home to the world-famous ‘Cavern Club’, where The Beatles first made their mark on modern music?

Breakfast, overnight accommodation.

DAY 03

Visit Dublin

Today we catch the ferry across the Irish Sea to Dublin! Once we arrive, we’ll take a drive tour of the city, and spot a few of the city’s more famous highlights. Afterwards, enjoy some free time in this 1000 year-old city. From the city’s Viking past, its medieval castles and its cathedrals, to its many museums which illustrate some of the city’s more turbulent episodes, Dublin is big enough to keep you entertained, but small enough to get across town in no time at all. Tonight there’s also the option to visit the Merry Ploughboy Music Pub for a taste of traditional Irish music! Definitely not to be missed – check our Optional Excursions documents for more information.

Breakfast, overnight accommodation.

DAY 04

Free day in Dublin

Enjoy a free day in the city of Dublin! One of the city’s most famous exports is of course Guinness, and today there’s the option of visiting the Guinness Storehouse to see how this famous dark beer is made. Alternatively, visit the National Museums of Ireland, take a walk along the South Wall, visit the city’s most famous park, St Stephen’s Green, see the Irish Museum of Modern Art – or try out the many pubs and eateries.

Breakfast, overnight accommodation.

DAY 05

Visit Waterford & Killarney

Leaving Dublin behind us, we travel onward to Waterford, the oldest city in Ireland! Founded by Vikings in 914, Waterford has a fascinating history and rich maritime tradition. Following our stop here, we’ll travel on to the famous Blarney Castle, where you can kiss the Blarney Stone and hopefully gain the ‘gift of the gab.’ Built nearly 600 years ago by one of Ireland’s most famous chieftains, Blarney Castle is one of Ireland’s most famous attractions. After that it's onward to the pretty town of Killarney in County Kerry, where we’ll stop for the night.

Breakfast, dinner, overnight accommodation.

DAY 06

Visit the Ring of Kerry

Today you'll have a free day in Killarney. There are incredible trails to hike, amazing golf courses & beautiful churches to visit. Alternatively, join our free optional excursion as we drive the incredible Ring of Kerry. Keep your camera fully charged and at the ready – it’s going to be a day of stunning scenery! The Ring of Kerry is home to breath-taking coastal views, emerald-green pastures and charming villages – including Caherciveen and Kenmare where we’ll make comfort stops. Both Caherciveen and Kenmare are quaint and pretty – take the opportunity to amble down the high street of Kenmare and try the culinary treats on offer from the cute cafes, bars and restaurants. Finally, Muckross House & Gardens is a stunning Victorian mansion in the heart of Killarney National Park where we’ll have the option of heading into this stunning house and garden to enjoy the scenery.

Breakfast, overnight accommodation.

DAY 7

Visit Adare, Limerick, the Cliffs of Moher & Galway

Today’s another day for epic Irish scenery! Making our way up the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’, we’ll be stopping in Adare and Limerick on our way to the famous Cliffs of Moher and the town of Galway. Adare is often called Ireland’s prettiest village, and with its preserved 19th century thatch-roofed cottages housing craft shops and fine restaurants, it’s not hard to see why. We’ll travel on through the county of Limerick and make our way to the Cliffs of Moher, one of the best-known attractions in all of Ireland. These incredible cliffs rise over 200 meters from the frothing ocean below, and the views on a clear day are absolutely breath-taking. Finally we’ll arrive in Galway, a bright, bohemian city renowned for its oysters, its live music venues, cafes, weekend parties and contemporary vibe. Explore the city for yourself during your free time and experience all the charms that Galway has to offer.

Breakfast. Overnight accommodation

DAY 08

Visit Derry / Londonderry, the Giant's Causeway and Belfast

Leaving Galway behind, we journey on to Northern Ireland, stopping first in Derry / Londonderry. Fresh from its makeover following its moment in the limelight as UK City of Culture 2013, Northern Ireland’s second city has a lot to offer. Next we’ll stop at the Giant’s Causeway, a famous natural oddity made up of around 40 000 interlocking basalt columns. Learn about the myths and legends surrounding the area, and then prepare for the final stop in the Irish leg of our adventure – Belfast! Here we’ll have a driving tour with a local guide, taking time to see some of the city’s most famous attractions and learning more about the city’s past. Having pulled off quite a transformation in recent years, Belfast is shaking off its reputation which lingered after the times of The Troubles, and the city’s skyline is constantly changing as redevelopment continues. Fans of Game of Thrones will be pleased to know that a large portion of the series is filmed here too!

Breakfast, dinner, overnight acommodation

DAY 09

Visit Scotland

Today we make our way to Scotland! Boarding a ferry in Belfast, we’ll arrive back in England and then head to Stirling in Scotland, where we’ll be able to admire the famous Wallace Monument. Built to commemorate one of William Wallace’s most famous victories at The Bridge of Stirling, the monument is a tower standing on the summit of Abbey Craig, a hilltop near Stirling. Then we’re off into the Scottish Highlands! Admire the scenery as we travel to our accommodation in the highlands!

Breakfast, dinner, overnight accomnmodation.

DAY 10

Visit the Highlands, Loch Ness and Edinburgh

Today we set off into the Highlands to further explore this famous region of Scotland. We’ll be stopping at the famous Loch Ness, reputedly the home of the Loch Ness monster! Go for a cruise on the Loch (optional) and see the ruins of Urquhart Castle. We'll then stop off at a local whiskey distillery, where you’ll have the chance to taste this most famous Scottish export! Heading out of the Highlands, we’ll arrive finally in Edinburgh, and enjoy a walking tour of the Scottish capital. Apart from Holyrood House, the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle, keep in mind that this is the city where JK Rowling famously penned the first Harry Potter novel! Fans might find the city strangely familiar!

Breakfast, dinner, overnight accommodation.

DAY 11

Free day in Edinburgh

Your time is yours today – revisit some of the highlights from yesterday’s walking tour, or strike out on your own and discover the city for yourself. Explore Edinburgh Castle in full, or if the weather allows, take a stroll up to Arthur’s Seat for panoramic views of the city below. Tonight we offer a traditional Scottish dinner, complete with the famous traditional haggis! Check our Optional Excursions documents for more information.

Breakfast. Overnight accommodation

DAY 12

Visit Yorkshire

Saying goodbye to Scotland, we make for the famous Alnwick Castle, the home of the Duke of Northumberland and the second-largest inhabited castle in England after Windsor Castle. This castle has also featured in many famous films and TV shows, including two Harry Potter films (The Philosopher’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets), Downton Abbey, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (and the more recent Ridley Scott incarnation), The Black Adder, Star Trek: The Next Generation and many more! Visiting the castle is an optional excursion, details of which are available in our optional excursion documentation. Next we travel into Yorkshire, and to the county capital, York. Home to the largest gothic cathedral in northern Europe (York Minster) York is a charming city of winding cobbled streets, lined with little boutiques selling all manner of fascinating things – and there are a number of sweet-shops too if you’re looking to satisfy that sweet tooth! We’ll take you on a walking tour of the city to see its most famous sites before heading to our accommodation in Yorkshire.

Breakfast, dinner, overnight accommodation

DAY 13

Visit Cambridge, return to London

It’s the last day of your UK and Ireland tour, but we're finishing off with a real treat - today we make our way to the historic university town of Cambridge! Along with the exquisite architecture, quirky traditions and deep history, there are a significant number of bright sparks who have passed through the city’s famous university: John Milton, Charles Darwin, David Attenborough, Sacha Baron Cohen, Siegfried Sassoon, John Cleese, Nick Drake, Stephen Fry, William Wordsworth, Hugh Laurie, Rachel Weisz and of course countless others. We’ll do the traditional thing and go punting along the river before we return to London where our tour concludes. What a ride! Be sure to share your details with your fellow travellers, we hope you’ve enjoyed exploring the British Isles as much as we enjoyed introducing them to you!

Breakfast

What's Included:

  • 12 Nights accommodation in twin rooms. Single travellers have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure a private room
  • 12 Breakfasts, 6 Dinners
  • 22 Experiences (including guided walking tours, orientation walks, driving tours plus other exciting experiences.
  • Public transport used during sightseeing tours is now included. (Not on free days)
  • Modern air-conditioned motorcoach with reclining seats.
  • Services of tour leader who will be on hand with advice and tips and ensure that you get the most from your trip. You can also book any of the optional excursions available during your tour with your tour leader.
  • All taxes and fees.
  • Experienced tour leader.
  • Free tour souvenir.
  • Free Info Guide Book. Sightseeing as described.

REMEMBER ALL COMFORT TOURS ARE GUARANTEED DEPARTURES AND WILL OPERATE.

Many other companies that operate tours of Europe cancel tours if minimum numbers are not achieved or will only guarantee some departure dates. All tours operated by us are guaranteed departures and will operate.∗

Tour Experiences



Stonehenge

1 Optional Experience

OptionalVisit Stonehenge

We continue onto Stonehenge, an ancient and awe inspiring structure which has mystified tourists and historians alike for centuries.



Bath

1 Included Experience

1 Optional Experience

Included Bath Orientation tour

Your tour leader will point out all the main attractions of Bath, so you can make the most of your time here.

Optional Excursion: Bath pump house

Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting some of the finest architectural sights in Europe, and undoubtedly one of the highlights is the Roman Baths. Around Britain's only hot springs, the Romans built the finest religious spa in northern Europe. This great temple and bathing complex still flows with natural hot water. The extensive remains and a Roman museum of international significance lie beneath the Pump Room and Abbey Church Yard in the centre of Bath.



Caerphilly

1 Included Experience

Included: Caerphilly Castle Photo stop

On our way to Cardiff we stop off for a quick photo stop at this impressive 700-year old castle.



Cardiff

1 Included Experience

Included Visit to Cardiff

We continue on to the Welsh capital where you have some free time to spend the evening as you wish.



Stratford-upon-Avon

1 Included Experience

1 Optional Excursion

IncludedVisit to Stratford-Upon-Avon

Visit the birthplace of William Shakespeare. You will have free time to wander the city and visit the Shakespearean attractions.

Optional Excursion:

Visit the house where William Shakespeare was born, grew up and played. He ate meals in the hall and he slept and dreamt in these rooms. Shakespeare also spent the first five years of married life in this house with his new wife, Anne Hathaway. Other famous writers have also visited here, including Charles Dickens, John Keats, Walter Scott and Thomas Hardy.



Liverpool

1 Included Experience

Included Liverpool driving tour

Take a driving tour and see the Albert Dock, Anfield football stadium and a variety of locations connected to the Beatles.



Dublin - Killarney

1 Included Experience

1 Optional Excursion

Included Experiences:

On our way to Killarney we stop at Blarney Castle, where you can kiss the famous Blarney Stone and hopefully gain the ‘gift of the gab.’ We also stop in Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city. Feel the atmosphere of medieval Ireland here like nowhere else!

Optional Excursion:

Celebrate the first night of the Irish leg of your tour with an optional Irish music evening, including dinner and a show at the Merry Ploughboy Irish Music Pub, winner of the “Best Music Pub” in Ireland 2011. Located in the Irish countryside, this is an authentic experience, held in a pub run by traditional musicians who specialise in all aspects of Irish Music and Dance.



Killarney & the Ring of Kerry

3 Included Experiences

An incredible day of sightseeing awaits as we drive one of Ireland’s most scenic roads. Take in breath-taking coastal views, emerald-green pastures and charming villages. Comfort stops at both Caherciveen & Kenare: These are quaint and gorgeous towns. Amble down the high street of Kenmare and take advantage of the culinary treats on offer from the cute cafes, bars and restaurants. We also stop at Moll’s Gap, where you’ll be blown away by the scenery of this beautiful green valley.



Killarney - Galway

4 Included Experiences

Next we stop in Adare for a photo stop, often called ‘Ireland’s prettiest village’ and featuring perfectly preserved thatch cottages, home to craft shops and restaurants. The Cliffs of Moher: We’ll stop at the Cliffs of Moher for the chance to get some photos of the spectacular view. We visit Bunratty Castle – a beautiful 15th century tower house in County Clare, Bunratty Castle is a piece of Irish history, with the original structure on this site dating back to the 10th century. Folk Park adjoins the castle, and here you’ll get a peek at a traditional reconstructed Irish village, complete with cottages, weavers, pie-makers, a forge and a working blacksmith.



Galway

1 Included Experiences

Free time in Galway – enjoy the bohemian vibe of this lively town, where you’ll find plenty of bars and cafes. Look out for live music! Alternatively, find the remnants of the medieval city walls or walk down the promenade to Salthill on Galway Bay.



Giant's Causeway

1 Included Experiences

The Giant’s Causeway is one of Ireland’s most famous sights, a natural geological wonder that is the result of ancient volcanic activity in the area. Or perhaps a giant did actually build it as the legend suggests… Either way, we’ll stop here and give you the chance to explore it for yourself.



Belfast

1 Included Experiences

Enjoy a driving tour of this historic city with a local tour guide!



Stirling

1 Included Experiences

IncludedView National Wallace Monument

See the National Wallace Monument commemorating Sir William Wallace in Stirling.



Scottish Highlands

2 Included Experiences

1 Optional Experience

Included: Whiskey Tasting, Highlands Scenic Drive

Whiskey tasting at one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries. As we drive, behold the grandeur of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, and Glen Coe, a spectacular glen with a fascinating history.

Optional: Cruise on Loch Ness

Prepare for your breath to be taken away by the stunning scenery of the Scottish Highlands. You’ll have some free time where you may choose to embark on a cruise of Loch Ness – see if you can spot Nessie and the ruins of Urquhart Castle!

Edinburgh

1 Included Experiences

Included: Edinburgh walking tour

Arrive in the capital of Scotland and experience the sights and sounds as your tour leader takes you on an evening walking tour of this magnificent city.

Other places of interest you could visit in your free time:

  • Edinburgh Castle
  • Take a step back in time as you wander the cobbled streets of the Royal Mile down to the Grass Market
  • Botanical Gardens
  • The National Gallery of Scotland
  • Edinburgh Zoo
  • The National War Museum of Scotland
  • Holyroodhouse Palace
  • Evening Ghost tour


Yorkshire

1 Included Experiences

1 Optional Excursion

Included: Walking tour of York

Take a walking tour round this historic walled city with your tour leader. See York Minster, the largest gothic cathedral in Northern Europe, as well as countless other historic highlights.

Optional Excursion:

Visit Alnwich Castle! Home to the Duke of Northumberland and the second-largest inhabited castle in England after Windsor Castle, this castle has also featured in many famous films and TV shows. These include two Harry Potter films (The Philosopher’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets), Downton Abbey, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (and the more recent Ridley Scott incarnation), The Black Adder, Star Trek: The Next Generation and many more!



Cambridge

1 Included Experiences

Included: Cambridge River Punting

We visit this historic city renowned for its leading university. Savour the history and marvellous views as we punt along the river.



Tour Dates & Rates

Dates

Tour Price

EarlyBird

Status

Description

21 Jun to 03 Jul 2015

€1860

€1360

Guaranteed to depart

Less than 19 seats left

19 Jul to 31 Jul 2015

£2005

£1415

Guaranteed to depart

Less than 8 seats left

16 Aug to 28 Aug 2015

£ 2005

£1400

Guaranteed to depart

Less than 12 seats left

13 Sep to 25 Sep 2015

£ 2005

£1475

Guaranteed to depart

Less than 10 seats left

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