The Scots and the Irish
On this fascinating tour we'll discover the very best of these close neighbours. Explore the great cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast and Derry then enjoy relaxed touring through the Scottish Highlands and Ireland's scenic west coast.
Edinburgh & Stirling Castle
Your trip starts in Edinburgh Airport with a group transfer to your hotel, departing at 8:00 am, 10:00 am or 12:00 noon. At 2:00 pm depart your hotel for a short drive to visit the massive Stirling Castle, associated with "Braveheart” William Wallace and Mary, Queen of Scots. Return to Edinburgh for a welcome drink and you are free for independent dining this evening.
Hotel: Marriott Dalmahoy Hotel, Edinburgh (or similar) (2 nights)
Edinburgh & Royal Yacht Britannia
This morning tour 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. In Leith tour the Royal Yacht Britannia, floating home of The Queen on many of her travels around the world.
After dinner in a popular restaurant, take a ghost walking tour around the oldest part of Edinburgh. On August 3 to 19 departures enjoy the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle.
Whisky Tasting & Ceilidh
Travel north to Pitlochry to visit Blair Athol Distillery to see how whisky is made and enjoy a "wee dram.” Continue through majestic Highland scenery to Leault Farm where dogs herd sheep through various obstacles.
Drive to Inverness, the major city in the Highlands and check in to your hotel beside the River Ness in the heart of the city. After dinner, take part in a ceilidh, a musical evening.
Hotel: Columba Hotel, Inverness/The Newton Hotel, Nairn (or similar)
Isle of Skye & Clan Donald Centre
Drive alongside Loch Ness and through wild Highland scenery, pausing for photos at the picturesque Eilean Donan Castle and cross to the Isle of Skye by bridge. Drive through part of the island and visit the Clan Donald Centre at Armadale Castle to discover the history of the powerful Lords of the Isles. Return to the mainland by ferry and take the "Road to the Isles” through some lovely scenery, stopping for photos at the Glenfinnan Monument.
Hotel: Isle of Glencoe Hotel, Ballachulish (or similar)
Glen Coe & Rabbie Burns
This morning enjoy final views of the magnificent Highlands as you drive south through Glen Coe and alongside the lovely shores of Loch Lomond.
Stop briefly in Alloway to visit the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum to learn about the famous poet's life and poetry. Travel along the coast to Cairnryan for a short ferry ride to Belfast. The evening is free to explore and choose a restaurant to dine on your own.
Hotel: Europa Hotal, Belfast (or similar) (2 nights)
Titanic Belfast & Mount Stewart
This morning a Belfast guide will show you Victorian buildings, the imposing City Hall in Donegall Square and the shipyards where RMS Titanic was built in 1912. Visit Titanic Belfast to learn about this famous liner through state-of- the-art displays.
In the afternoon tour Mount Stewart House and Gardens to see antiques and world-famous paintings. Take a walk through the extensive gardens before returning to Belfast.
Drive along the scenic route of the "Nine Glens of Antrim,” for views of mountains, valleys and coastline. Stop at the Giant's Causeway, enormous hexagonal columns formed by volcanic activity 60 million years ago which have spawned legends about the mythical giant, Finn McCool.
In Derry join a local guide for a short walking tour around the defensive walls of the compact city before driving to Letterkenny.
Hotel: Station House Hotel, Letterkenny (or similar)
Ulster American Folk Park & Kilronan Castle
Visit the Ulster American Folk Park to see traditional cottages and learn about folk crafts in the Ulster American Folk Park. Board a replica ship bound for the "New World” to see how emigrants travelled and lived in their new homeland. Continue to Kilronan Castle for a 2-night stay and relax in the great setting.
Hotel: Kilronan Castle Hotel, Ballyfarnon (or similar) (2 nights)
Rose of Innisfree Boat Ride & Belleek
Visit the historic 17th century Parke's Castle, set on the shores of Lough Gill followed by a boat ride on the scenic lake. View the tiny island of Innisfree, which inspired many works of W. B. Yeats, the Nobel prize-winning poet. View his grave in Drumcliffe and visit the Belleek Pottery Factory to see the creation of delicate china. Return to Kilronan Castle Hotel for leisure time before dinner.
Galway Bay & Cliffs of Moher
Travel south to Galway city for a panoramic drive around the main sights and take some free time to browse around. Drive through the Burren to view the Cliffs of Moher, a dramatic wall of rock that plunges to the Atlantic Ocean. Check in to your hotel in Ennis and in the evening head to 15th century Bunratty Castle for a fun medieval-style banquet.
Hotel: Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis (or similar)
Tour ends in Shannon Airport
Take a group transfer from your hotel in Ennis to Shannon Airport for your flight home.