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Package Tour | Insight Vacations | 13 Days Britain and Ireland Explorer

13 Days Britain and Ireland Explorer

Price: US$2517
Book by 2nd May 2010 to enjoy discounted price!

Departure Dates:
June: 15, 22, 27
July: 6, 18, 20, 25
August: 3, 31

The unhurried pace and beauty of Ireland is blended with the delights of the English countryside and austere Scottish Highlands for a truly memorable tour. A well paced tour with some longer touring days, moderated by the two separate Irish Sea ferry crossings. The itinerary is interspersed with two-night stays in the contrasting cities of Edinburgh, Dublin and the town of Killarney.

Accommodation on this tour varies from modern and conveniently located hotels like the Hotel 53 in York and the new Radisson Blu in central Cardiff, to the beautifully located Windermere Hydro in the Lake District.

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Day 01 London - Stratford - Tork
After a warm welcome from your Tour Director, drive through the Oxfordshire countryside into the ‘heart of England’ to Stratford-upon-Avon to visit the birthplace of the Bard, William Shakespeare. Head north to York, the ancient capital of Viking Britain, and see history unfold before your eyes as you pass the crooked houses of the ‘Shambles’ to reach York Minster, England’s largest medieval cathedral. Settle into the hotel with a Welcome Drink with your fellow travellers.
Hotel: Hotel 53.

Day 02 York - Durham - Edinburgh
Stop off in Durham to see the castle and the fine Romanesque cathedral before moving on to see Hadrian’s Wall, Britain’s most impressive Roman monument. Cross the wild Northumberland moors into Scotland, passing Jedburgh Abbey and the house of the ill-fated Mary Queen of Scots en route to the capital of Edinburgh, your base for two nights.
Hotel: Royal Terrace

Day 03 Edinburgh Sightseeing (Breakfast)
A guided tour takes you inside Edinburgh castle, dominating the city from its rocky crag. Continue down the Royal Mile, past the venerable St Giles’ Cathedral, to see the Queen’s Holyroodhouse Palace before crossing over to the 18th century New Town. The afternoon provides time to shop on Princes Street. Tonight, selected departures enjoy the Military Tattoo – a colourful mixture of historic battles and militarymanoeuvres, complete with pipes and drums.

Day 04 Edinburgh - Highlands (Breakfast / Highlight Dinner)
After breakfast drive towards the Fife coast to St Andrews, a picturesque university town and home of the famous golf course. Over the River Tay, through Dundee and Perth to Pitlochry, to cross the Grampian Mountains for a warm Highland welcome at your hotel. This evening enjoy a Highlight Dinner with haggis, accompanied by dancing and the sound of the bagpipes. Hotel: Laggan Country Hotel.

Day 05 Highlands - Lake District (Breakfast / Dinner)
Mountains and glens greet you as you drive through dramatic Glencoe. On the ‘bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond’ you’ll board a guided Highlight cruise on one of Scotland’s most beautiful lochs. Afterwards, continue south through Glasgow into the Southern Uplands of Scotland before crossing the border to arrive at your hotel in the beautiful English Lake District. Hotel: Windermere Hyrdo.

Day 06 Lake District - Grasmere - Manchester (Breakfast / Dinner)
Time to enjoy the beauty of the Lake District, its fells, lakes and valleys combining to make it one of England’s best loved regions. There is time take an optional cruise on Lake Windermere, before stopping in Grasmere where the Lakeland poet William Wordsworth is buried. Then it’s on to our hotel in Manchester for the evening. Hotel: Park Inn.

Day 07 Manchester - Chester -Dublin (Breakfast)
Step back into Roman times in Chester. See the city’s ancient encircling walls and its remarkable 13th century black and white galleried ‘Rows’, now shopping arcades. Continue into Wales, glimpsing the massive Conwy Castle before crossing the Menai Straits to pass through the world-famous village with the very Welsh name of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. From the port of Holyhead, sail across the sea to Ireland and its fun-loving capital, Dublin, for a two-night stay. Hotel: Burlington.

Day 08 Dublin Sightseeing (Breakfast)
A local guide will show you Dublin’s elegant Georgian squares and the equally impressive castle, which you will visit (if open). Also see the Irish President’s home in Phoenix Park, famous O’Connell Street and the historic Customs House. The afternoon is yours to shop in elegant Grafton Street or to continue sightseeing. In the evening, why not treat yourself to an Irish cabaret show and dinner?

Day 09 Dublin - Killarney (Breakfast / Dinner)
Drive to County Kildare, Ireland’s premier thoroughbred horse region, for a guided tour of the National Stud, and admire the adjoining Japanese Gardens. Continue to view one of the great sights of Ireland, St. Patrick’s great Rock of Cashel, crowned with the noblest group of medieval monuments in Ireland. Cross the rolling pastures which encircle Tipperary, which is immortalised in the famous song, before reaching Killarney. Hotel: Killarney Towers.

Day 10 Ring of Kerry Excursion (Breakfast)
A delightful excursion takes you around the magical Ring of Kerry, a world of towering cliffs, lush lake lands and remote villages. As you pass through Ireland’s highest mountain range, the MacGillicuddy Reeks, a sense of the unhurried pace of Irish life will surround you, especially as you reach the three peaceful Lakes of Killarney. In the afternoon, perhaps take an optional ride with the locals on one of Killarney’s jaunting cars.

Day 11 Killarney - Waterford (Breakfast / Dinner)
Cross the rugged Derrynasaggart Mountains to visit the famous 15th century Blarney Castle, the home of the famous stone of eloquence, once kissed, never forgotten! Travel on through the scenic port of Dungarvan to the historic walled city of Waterford, where you can admire a sparkling display of crystal before settling into your hotel for the night.
Hotel: Dooleys.

Day 12 Waterford - Cardiff (Breakfast)
Drive to Rosslare to take the ferry across the Irish Sea to Pembroke. Continue past the valleys of South Wales to the Welsh capital, Cardiff, famous for its imposing castle and the brilliant Millennium Stadium. Hotel: Radisson Blu.

Day 13 Cardiff - Bath - Stonehenge - London (Breakfast)
Cross the Severn bridge, spanning the Bristol channel between England and Wales, then on to Bath with its Georgian streets and crescents, and visit the Roman Baths. Cross Salisbury Plain and stop to visit the mysterious megaliths of Stonehenge. From here, travel to London, where the tour ends.
Updated 17 April 2010
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