Explore the best of Ireland, Wales, and England on this exciting vacation. Begin your trip with free time in London, then head out to explore enigmatic Stonehenge, majestic Salisbury with its magnificent cathedral, and elegant Georgian Bath with its famous Roman ruins. Overnight in Bristol, where John Cabot set sail to discover America in 1497. Cross into Wales and enjoy an orientation drive in Cardiff, capital of Wales. Motor through rich dairy farmland to Pembroke, where you’ll ferry across St. George’s Channel to Ireland. Take time in Blarney, famous for its legendary “Blarney Stone,” and visit the castle or shop for Irish handicrafts. Travel to the bustling resort of Killarney. Next, enjoy an exciting drive along the “Ring of Kerry” with spectacular views of seascapes, mountains, and verdant vegetation. Stop in Adare, known for its remarkable thatched cottages, and see the sites on an orientation tour of Limerick. Travel east to Dublin, Ireland’s capital, where the orientation drive shows you statue-lined O’Connell Street and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Leave Ireland and cross the Irish Sea to Wales, arriving in Holyhead on the Welsh Isle of Anglesey. Then, drive through scenic Snowdonia National Park and Llanberis Pass to Llangollen, home of an annual competition for poets and musicians. Spend the night in Wrexham before traveling south to England. Stop in Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon and take photos of Anne Hathaway’s cottage and tour the town on your own. Return to London for the finale of your wonderful adventure.
Day #1 Arrive in London, England. Check into your hotel. In the afternoon there’s time to rest or explore the lively British capital; uniformed hosts are available to help you make the most of your day.
Day #2 London–Stonehenge–Salisbury–Bath–Bristol. Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions and depart at 8 am for a memorable day of sightseeing: Stonehenge, one of England's most intriguing mysteries; Salisbury with its vast cathedral, the ultimate in Early English Gothic architecture; and the elegant Georgian city of Bath, famous for its Roman relics. Overnight in Bristol, from where John Cabot sailed in 1497 to discover America. (B,D)
Day #3 Bristol–Cardiff, Wales–Tramore, Ireland. Cross the River Severn to the Welsh capital. An orientation drive here introduces you to the major attractions: Cardiff Castle, Cathays Park, Millennium Stadium, and the stately civic buildings. Vistas of rich dairy farmland on the way to the departure point for the ferry across St. George’s Channel to Ireland, arriving at Rosslare in just under four hours. Overnight is in the seaside resort of Tramore. (B,D)
Day #4 Tramore–Dungarvan–Youghal–Cork–Blarney–Killarney. Discover why Ireland is called the “Emerald Isle.” Dungarvan, Youghal, and Cork, the country’s second-largest city, are milestones on the way to Blarney, renowned for its Stone of Eloquence. Time at your leisure to see the castle and shop for Irish crafts and handmade crystal. After lunch, head through the Cork and Kerry mountains for the resort town of Killarney. (B,D)
Day #5 Killarney–Ring of Kerry–Adare–Ennis. This morning, take a 100-mile coastal panoramic drive known as the “Ring of Kerry”—sparkling seascapes, mountains dotted with brightly colored farmhouses, winding lanes bordered with subtropical vegetation, and spectacular views of the Lakes of Killarney from Ladies View. Drive via Adare, a village well known throughout Ireland for its prize-winning thatched cottages, to Limerick. Tonight, an optional banquet at Knappogue Castle is recommended. (B)
Day #6 Ennis–Limerick–Dublin. Start the day with an orientation drive of Limerick that features King John’s Castle and the Treaty Stone of 1691. Head east for the Irish capital via County Kildare and horse-racing country. Your afternoon in the “Fair City” starts off with an orientation drive along statue-lined O’Connell Street. Then, admire elegant Georgian squares and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Top the day with an optional dinner outing to the Guinness Storehouse. (B)
Day #7 Dublin–Llangollen, Wales–Wrexham. Across the Irish Sea to Holyhead on the Welsh Isle of Anglesey with its tongue-twisting place names. Enjoy the best of North Wales on a scenic drive through Snowdonia National Park, including spectacular Llanberis Pass, then on to Llangollen, home of an annual national competition for poets and musicians, before arriving in Wrexham. This evening, why not join an optional excursion by barge along the Llangollen Canal? (B,D)
Day #8 Wrexham–Ironbridge, England–Stratford-upon-Avon–London. First stop this morning at Ironbridge, “Cradle of the Industrial Revolution.” More scenic highlights on the last leg of your journey. In Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, take your pictures of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and explore the town at your own pace. After returning to London around 4 pm, how about celebrating the success of your tour with a night out on the town? (B)
Day #9 London. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)