Journey through the lands of kings, queens, and leprechauns! Begin in London with two overnights and guided sightseeing that features the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and visits to St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Changing of the Guard, if held. Depart the city to admire the breathtaking gardens at Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace, then venture on to prehistoric Stonehenge, picturesque Salisbury, and the Roman excavations at Bath. Cross into Wales and spend the night in Newport before ferrying across the Irish Sea to the Emerald Isle. Highlights are a guided visit of the House of Waterford Crystal, Blarney, the resort town of Killarney, the Ring of Kerry, Limerick, the Irish National Stud in Kildare, and an orientation drive in Dublin that includes Trinity College and the 1,200-year-old Books of Kells. Travel into Northern Ireland for a visit to Downpatrick and Belfast, where you explore the Titanic Exhibition. Return across the Irish Sea and through the Scottish Lowlands to Edinburgh for visits to Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace. On your way back to England, see Alnwick. Stop to visit the impressive gothic York Minster, explore Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, and visit beautiful Blenheim Palace before returning to London for the end of your adventure.
Day #1 Arrive in London, England. Welcome to London! Uniformed Globus Hosts are available to help you make the most of your stay.
Day #2 London. Your morning sightseeing with a Local Guide includes all the famous landmarks: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben beside the River Thames, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall’s mounted horseguards and the Prime Minister’s Downing Street, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace. Highlights are a visit to ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL and the ceremonial pageantry of the Changing of the Guard, if held. This afternoon, why not join an optional excursion to the Tower of London or Windsor Castle, and later, maybe an optional dinner followed by a cruise on the River Thames? (B)
Day #3 London–Stonehenge–Salisbury–Bath–Newport, Wales. Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions, and depart London at 8 am for a memorable day of sightseeing: a special visit to admire the breathtaking [LF] ORNAMENTAL GARDENS of Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace; prehistoric STONEHENGE; picturesque Salisbury with its vast cathedral; and in the elegant Georgian city of Bath, the amazing excavations of the ROMAN BATHS. Cross the River Severn into Wales, and tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner at your hotel. (B,D)
Day #4 Newport–Cardiff–Waterford, Ireland. An orientation in the Welsh capital features the major attractions: Cardiff Castle, Cathays Park, and the stately civic buildings. Continue along the South Wales coast to Fishguard, where your FERRY is waiting. Sail across St. George’s Channel to Rosslare and proceed by coach to Waterford, a stronghold founded by the Danish Vikings in 853. After dinner this evening, enjoy a traditional [LF] IRISH COFFEE. (B,D)
Day #5 Waterford–Blarney–Killarney. First of the day’s highlights is a guided tour of the HOUSE OF WATERFORD CRYSTAL. Via the port city of Cork, motor to Blarney, renowned for its magical Kissing Stone, and then on to Killarney for a two-night stay. Later, join an entertaining optional evening in Tralee with dinner followed by tickets for Siamsa Tire National Folk Theatre. (B)
Day #6 Killarney. Ring of Kerry Excursion. Follow the road known as the RING OF KERRY for a spectacular 100-mile panoramic drive around the island’s southwestern tip and take your photos of the Lakes of Killarney from Ladies View. This afternoon, maybe an optional fun-filled horse-drawn jaunting car ride. (B)
Day #7 Killarney–Adare–Limerick–Kildare–Dublin. Drive to quaint Adare, and in Limerick, your orientation drive acquaints you with St. Mary’s Cathedral, King John’s Castle, and the stone where the Treaty of Limerick was signed in 1691. The Rock of Cashel, where St. Patrick preached, is on the way to the IRISH NATIONAL STUD at Kildare. Tonight, you may wish to enjoy an optional Irish cabaret evening including dinner, dance, song, and laughter. (B)
Day #8 Dublin. Get an overview of Ireland’s capital as you drive to statue-lined O’Connell Street, elegant Georgian squares, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Visit Oscar Wilde’s TRINITY COLLEGE, famous for the 1,200-year-old Book of Kells and the magnificent Old Library. Why not join an optional dinner evening at the Guinness Storehouse? (B)
Day #9 Dublin–Downpatrick, Northern Ireland–Belfast. On your way to Northern Ireland, cross the River Boyne, then drive in the lee of the Mountains of Mourne to Downpatrick. Stop at the SAINT PATRICK CENTRE, an exciting interpretative exhibition that tells the fascinating story of Ireland’s Patron Saint. Then, travel on to Belfast for a “Living History” tour in the company of a Local Guide. See all the famous landmarks including the Parliament House at Stormont, City Hall, the Albert Memorial Clock Tower, and Queens University. (B,D)
Day #10 Belfast–Edinburgh, Scotland. First thing this morning, visit the fascinating TITANIC EXHIBITION, where you learn all about the building of the largest passenger steam ship, its maiden voyage, and the tragic night of April 14, 1912. As a reminder of this unique experience, take home your [LF] TITANIC SOUVENIR. Next, board your FERRY to cross the North Channel to Cairnryan on Scotland’s southwest coast and continue through the scenic Scottish border country to Edinburgh. Tonight, enjoy our optional Scottish evening with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and the Ceremony of the Haggis. (B)
Day #11 Edinburgh. Morning city sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the 200-year-old “New Town” and famous scientists, inventors, and novelists. In the “Old Town,” drive up the narrow Royal Mile to EDINBURGH CASTLE to admire Scotland’s Crown Jewels, then explore HOLYROOD PALACE (except when the Queen is in residence). Afternoon at leisure. Later, a unique optional excursion: board the former Royal Yacht Britannia to see how the Royal Family and crew of 240 lived and worked on board. For departures July 23 through August 13, tickets are included for the world-renowned MILITARY TATTOO. (B)
Day #12 Edinburgh–York, England. Relax and enjoy vistas of the beautiful North Sea coastline as you drive via Berwick-upon-Tweed to Alnwick, voted the “best place to live in Britain” in a national survey. In York, England’s most complete medieval city, visit YORK MINSTER, the largest gothic cathedral in Northern Europe. Then, follow your Tour Director through a maze of quaint streets, including the narrow Shambles. (B,D)
Day #13 York–Coventry–Stratford-Upon-Avon. In Coventry, view the splendid modern cathedral that rose from the rubble of severe World War II bombings, and in Stratford-upon-Avon, take your pictures of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and visit SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHPLACE. (B,D)
Day #14 Stratford-Upon-Avon–London. Today’s spectacular highlight is a guided tour of magnificent BLENHEIM PALACE, home of the 11th Duke of Marlborough and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Depart after lunch and return to London at about 3:30 pm. How about celebrating the success of your vacation by taking in one of the great West End shows? (B)
Day #15 London. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)