DAY 1Arrive in London, England
Welcome to London! Tour guides will be waiting to welcome you. After checking into your hotel and an afternoon at leisure we recommend our optional Taste of London excursion with dinner followed by a guided illuminations cruise on the River Thames.
DAY 2London–Stonehenge–Salisbury–Bath–Newport, Wales
Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions and depart London at 8 am for a memorable day’s sightseeing. Try to figure out the riddle of STONEHENGE; take a stroll in picturesque Salisbury with its vast cathedral, the ultimate in Early English Gothic; and, in the elegant Georgian city of Bath, see the amazing excavations of the ROMAN BATHS. Cross the River Severn for a late-afternoon arrival in Wales. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner at your hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)
"Built in several stages starting around 3,000 BC, Stonehenge remains one of humankind’s biggest mysteries. While science is still trying to determine the purpose behind this famous prehistoric monument, it is generally assumed to be some sort of astronomical observatory that reflects the changing trajectory of the sun through the sky and the seasons"
DAY 3Newport–Cardiff–Waterford, Ireland
A morning orientation drive in the Welsh capital features all the major attractions. Then, take a guided tour of CARDIFF CASTLE, and discover its history of invasions, abductions, and conflicts over the past 2,000 years. Continue along the South Wales coast to Pembroke, where your FERRY will be waiting. Sail across St. George’s Channel to Rosslare on the Emerald Isle and proceed to Waterford, a stronghold founded by the Danish Vikings in 853. After dinner this evening, enjoy a traditional IRISH COFFEE. (Breakfast, Dinner)
This morning, enjoy a guided tour of the HOUSE OF WATERFORD CRYSTAL, and at Avoca, visit Ireland’s oldest HANDWEAVING MILL and watch the WEAVERS at work. Travel on to GLENDALOUGH, the early Christian monastic site founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century. See the engaging audiovisual Ireland of the Monasteries, then let your Local Guide show you the remains of this ecclesiastical settlement. On arrival in Dublin, top the day with an optional Irish cabaret evening including dinner, dance, song, and laughter. (Breakfast)
An orientation drive in Ireland’s capital city includes statue-lined O’Connell Street, elegant Georgian squares, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Then, visit Oscar Wilde’s TRINITY COLLEGE, famous for the 1,200-year-old Book of Kells and the magnificent Old Library. Afternoon at leisure. Tonight, maybe take in an optional dinner outing to the Guinness Storehouse. (Breakfast)
DAY 6Dublin–Belfast, Northern Ireland–Edinburgh, Scotland
On your way to Northern Ireland, cross the River Boyne, then skirt the Mountains of Mourne. In Belfast, where the Titanic was built, take in the city’s vibrant history and view the impressive City Hall. 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, relax and enjoy our optional Scottish evening with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and the Ceremony of the Haggis. (Breakfast)
Morning city sightseeing with a local expert 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. A small SPECIALTY TREAT will add to your stay in the Scottish capital. The afternoon is free to enjoy the Scottish capital at your own pace. Later, a unique optional excursion: board the former Royal Yacht Britannia, and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. For departure numbers July 30 through August 15, tickets are included for tonight’s performance of the world-renowned MILITARY TATTOO, a vast spectacle of massed Scottish pipe bands that takes place in an arena on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. (Breakfast)
DAY 8Edinburgh–York, England
This morning, drive past the abbey ruins at Jedburgh and the house of Mary, Queen of Scots, into wild Northumberland National Park. Later, see a section of Hadrian’s Wall, the Roman coast-to-coast defense against marauding northern tribes. In York, England’s most complete medieval city, stand in awe in front of the great structure of York Minster, then follow your Tour Director through a maze of quaint streets, including the narrow Shambles. (Breakfast, Dinner)
On the last leg of your journey, stop at Stratford-upon-Avon. Take your pictures of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, visit SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHPLACE, and enjoy lunchtime exploring this fascinating Elizabethan town at your own pace. On return to London at about 3:30 pm, a Shownight Theater Evening would be an incredible finale to your vacation. (Breakfast)
DAY 10 London