Authentic Local Experiences:
- Expect an unforgettable evening of music, ceremony, theatre and dance with reserved seats for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on August 2 – 23 departures.
- Sample a “wee dram” as you explore whiskey making at Blair Athol Distillery.
- Blarney Castle
- Cliffs of Moher
- Edinburgh Castle
- Inveraray Castle
- Isle of Skye
- Skellig Experience
- St Andrews
- Titanic Belfast
- 12 Breakfasts (B), 2 Lunches (L) and 8 Dinners (D) including a festive Scottish evening in Edinburgh, a dinner and show at Dublin’s Merry Ploughboy Pub and a lively medieval castle banquet.
- Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor | Glasgow (1 night)
- Isles of Glencoe Hotel | Ballachulish (1 night)
- Muthu Newton Hotel | Nairn (1 night)
- Atholl Palace Hotel | Pitlochry (2 night)
- Macdonald Holyrood Hotel | Edinburgh (2 nights)
- Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge | Dublin (2 nights) *
- Killarney Towers Hotel | Killarney (2 nights)
- Bunratty Castle Hotel | Bunratty (1 night)
*Or alternate hotel of similar quality
2020 SCOTTISH &
IRISH DREAM – 13 DAYS / 12 NIGHTS / 22 MEALS
Day 1: Glasgow City
Tour begins at 2:30 PM at your Glasgow hotel. Set out on a tour of central Glasgow’s highlights including red sandstone Victorian buildings, delightful parks, Glasgow Cathedral, and the River Clyde, once important for shipbuilding. Visit the extensive and varied art collections in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Join your group for a welcome drink at the hotel and enjoy a free evening for independent dining and exploration.
Day 2: Loch Lomond Cruise & Inveraray Castle
Embark on a short cruise of Loch Lomond to appreciate the beauty of this famous loch and admire panoramic views. Browse around the town of Inveraray and have lunch on your own before taking a guided tour of Inveraray Castle, featured in “Downton Abbey”. Journey across Rannoch Moor and through Glencoe, often considered one of Scotland’s most spectacular and beautiful places. Continue to Ballachulish on the shore of Loch Leven.
Day 3: Isle of Skye & Loch Ness
Travel on the scenic “Road to the Isles”, stopping for photos at the Glenfinnan Monument. Ferry to the Isle of Skye to visit Armadale Castle, taking some free time for lunch. Back on the mainland, travel along the shores of Loch Ness. End the day at your hotel in Nairn, a lovely manor house set on spacious grounds near the North Sea.
Day 4: Culloden Battlefield & Sheepdog Trials
A short distance from Nairn is the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre where the British government forces defeated the army of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, popularly known as Bonnie Prince Charlie. Walk around the moorland and the visitor center. Continue through majestic Highland scenery to a local farm for a demonstration of trained dogs herding sheep. Travel through the high peaks of the Grampian Mountains to your gracious manor-style hotel near Pitlochry.
Day 5: Blair Castle & Whisky Tasting
Visit Blair Castle, home of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl. Delve into the history of Mary, Queen of Scots, Bonnie Prince Charlie, and how Queen Victoria’s famous stay led to the creation of Europe’s only private army, the Atholl Highlanders. Go behind the scenes at Blair Athol Distillery for a tour and sample of the finished product. Spend the afternoon at leisure exploring the gardens, hotel museum, or browsing around Pitlochry.
Day 6: Glamis Castle & St Andrews
Travel through lush countryside to visit Glamis Castle, the legendary setting of “Macbeth” and childhood home of the late Queen Mother. This majestic building is filled with priceless artifacts and furnishings. Head to St Andrews, the “Home of Golf,” to see the famous Royal and Ancient Clubhouse and the Old Course. Enjoy free time to browse around the medieval town. In Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, enjoy a traditional Scottish evening with dinner, haggis, bagpipes, kilts, and Highland dancing.
Day 7: Edinburgh Castle & City Tour
Explore Edinburgh to compare and contrast the wide streets and elegant mansions 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. Tour the imposing Edinburgh Castle with its splendid views of the city. The rest of the day is free for independent exploring, shopping, and dining. August 2 – 23 departures enjoy the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on the Castle Esplanade.
Day 8: Titanic Belfast & Dublin
Say farewell to your Scottish guide and embark on a ferry ride to Belfast with lunch provided onboard. Visit Titanic Belfast, a state-of-the-art attraction that will immerse you in the full story of the ill-fated ocean liner, built in the nearby ship yards in 1912. Journey on to Dublin, where you’ll check into your hotel and have the evening free to check out the local pubs and have dinner on your own.
Day 9: Dublin & Merry Ploughboy Pub
Enjoy the morning exploring Dublin with the included Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour vouchers. Your city tour starts at 2:00 PM from the hotel lobby with a local guide for a panoramic tour of ancient and modern Dublin. Drive through the main streets to see historic buildings such as Trinity College, rows of Georgian houses with colorfully painted doorways and the new buildings around the Financial Centre beside the River Liffey. Take a guided tour through parts of Dublin Castle, which was the seat of power and government for many centuries and today plays a leading role in European Union activities. Return to your hotel for a welcome drink with your group. In the evening, head to the Merry Ploughboy Pub for a dinner of Irish specialties and a lively show with popular Irish songs and intricate step-dancing
Day 10: Blarney Castle & Killarney
Depart Dublin and travel through the midlands of Ireland, which has many farms. Stop for photos of the stately ruins of the Rock of Cashel, rising high above the surrounding plain. Continue your drive south and, just a few miles outside Cork, visit Blarney Castle to kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence. Drive through Macroom, built around a fine old castle, and into County Kerry where the scenery becomes more mountainous. Arrive in Killarney, picturesquely set beside lakes with Ireland’s highest mountains, Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, forming a backdrop. Check in to your hotel and relax before dinner.
Day 11: Ring of Kerry & Skellig Experience
Embark on Ireland’s most popular 100-mile scenic drive – the Ring of Kerry. This winding route reveals breathtaking views of Macgillycuddy’s Reeks as well as the scenic coast of beaches and cliffs. There will be plenty of stops for photos at the best vantage points. After a casual lunch in a cozy restaurant, you’ll continue your scenic drive to Valentia Island where you’ll visit the Skellig Experience. Learn about the island of Skellig Michael where early Christian monks lived in austere conditions and how it was used as one of the locations for the film “Star Wars VII.” Pause for a stroll around Sneem, with its brightly painted houses, and at Moll’s Gap for panoramic views of Ireland’s highest mountains and deep valleys. Get a taste of farm life with a demonstration of a sheepdog herding flocks, a shearing demonstration (seasonal), and see different breeds of sheep. Return to Killarney and enjoy a free evening for independent dining or exploring the many pubs in the town.
Day 12: Cliffs of Moher & Medieval Castle Banquet
Leave Killarney and drive north to Tarbert for a 20-minute ferry ride across the wide River Shannon Estuary. Your tour continues along the coast of County Clare to the Cliffs of Moher, a spectacular wall of sandstone that reaches almost 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. Drive past Lahinch Golf Course, one of Ireland’s most famous, to Bunratty. Check into Bunratty Castle Hotel, which is near Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. In the evening, head out for a medieval-style feast of excellent traditional dishes and wine. During and after the meal the lords and ladies will serenade you with songs and harp music evocative of the Middle Ages. (Please note that January departures may offer a different dining experience.)
Day 13: Tour Ends inShannon
Your tour ends after breakfast.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner
All components of this tour (hotels, visits and attractions) for 2020 itineraries are subject to change until finalized in September 2019.