Day 1 : London – Stonehenge – Bath – Cardiff
Ponder the mysteries of the ancient monoliths of Stonehenge this morning, as we drive west to Bath with its elegant Georgian façades and the Roman Baths. Crossing the Severn Estuary to the Welsh capital, we view the Millennium Centre and the National Assembly in Cardiff Bay. Enjoy warm hospitality and traditional Welsh pub fare and drinks this evening at a rousing Welcome Reception with your travel companions and Travel Director.
Accommodation : Park Inn City Centre
Day 2 : Cardiff – Waterford
This morning, we view the Principality Stadium during our orientation of Cardiff. Enjoy some leisure time in this modern capital. Perhaps visit the Victorian Gothic fantasy of Cardiff Castle at the heart of the city. We cross the Irish Sea by ferry to the Emerald Isle and travel to historic Waterford, where we'll dine in our hotel tonight.
Accommodation : Marina/Treacys
Day 3 : Waterford – Blarney – Killarney (2 Nights)
'Dive Into Culture' and watch the master craftsmen of the renowned House of Waterford Crystal. Then, kiss the Blarney Stone to acquire the 'gift of the gab', before travelling to the picturesque town of Killarney.
Accommodation : Killarney
Day 4 : Ring of Kerry Excursion
Today we experience the enduring beauty of Ireland's most scenic coastal drive around the Iveragh Peninsula - the emerald green hills, centuries-old stone villages and vivid blue seascapes provide an exquisite backdrop for our leisurely drive around what has become known as the Ring of Kerry. See Daniel O'Connell's Cahirsiveen, the fishing village of Waterville, the Black Valley and Moll's Gap with its panoramic views. This evening, we 'Connect With Locals' at Molly Gallivan's 200-year-old cottage, sharing a memorable 'Be My Guest' dinner with the O'Sullivan family and their Kerry cows.
Day 5 : Killarney – Cashel – Dublin Sightseeing (2 Nights)
Celtic art and history take centre stage this morning as we visit the Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary, the seat of Irish kings for centuries. Perched atop a limestone outcrop in the Golden Vale, the historic ruins house one of the most remarkable collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture in Europe. We arrive this afternoon in Dublin, where we will join our 'Local Specialist' for a sightseeing tour to see Trinity College, St. Patrick's Cathedral and the stately Georgian Squares. This evening, consider joining an Optional Experience to enjoy the rousing sounds of an Irish cabaret.
Accommodation : Sandymount/Clayton Leopardstown
Day 6 : Dublin Free Time
Beat the crowds and explore the Guinness Brewery for a tour of the Storehouse including a tasting technique demonstration. The rest of the day is yours to soak up the cosy atmosphere of the Irish capital. Ramble through the buzzing streets of Temple Bar or visit Grafton Street, famous for its colourful street performers.
Day 7 : Dublin – Chester – Liverpool
Admire the spectacular landscape of Snowdonia National Park as you travel to the ancient city of Chester, with its characteristic Tudor Rows and medieval walls. We arrive later in Liverpool, the haunt of the 'Fab Four', joining our companions for a tasty Regional Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodation : Jurys Inn
Day 8 : Liverpool – Lake District – Gretna Green – Edinburgh (2 Nights)
The beautiful landscape, which for centuries inspired the Romantic poets, provides a mesmerising backdrop for our scenic drive from the lush green hills of Lancashire to the Lake District. Skirt the shores of England's largest lake, Windermere, as we travel through countryside made famous by poet William Wordsworth. We cross the Scottish border and visit the runaway wedding capital that is Gretna Green. This evening, we arrive in beguiling Edinburgh, where we'll spend the next two nights.
Accommodation : Apex City
Day 9 : Edinburgh Sightseeing and Free Time
Join a 'Local Specialist' this morning for a memorable sightseeing tour of this captivating capital, including a visit to Edinburgh Castle, perched high above the city on Castle Rock. See Auld Reekie's Royal Mile and the elegant Palace of Holyroodhouse in the shadow of Arthur's Seat, and admire the Georgian façades in Edinburgh's New Town. Tickets to see the spectacular Edinburgh Tattoo are included on departures that coincide with performance dates.
Day 10 : Edinburgh – Alnwick – York
We venture south to the medieval market town of Alnwick with its impressive castle and Tenantry Column, upon which the Percy Lion sits imposingly overlooking the town's beautiful gardens. Marvel at the magnificent scenery as you cross Northumberland and the River Tyne at Newcastle en route to York where you'll walk through the charming Shambles, see the medieval walls and York Minster, one of the greatest cathedrals in the world.
Accommodation : Novotel Centre
Day 11 : York – Stratford-upon-Avon
We visit Shakespeare's Birthplace and Visitor Centre in Stratford-upon-Avon to see where the 'Avon Bard' was born and raised. View Anne Hathaway's thatched cottage, then enjoy some free time to explore. This evening we join our fellow travellers and Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner.
Accommodation : Stratford Manor
Day 12 : Stratford-upon-Avon – Bladon – Oxford – London
Journey to the Cotswolds this morning and the little churchyard at Bladon where Sir Winston Churchill is buried. Arriving in Oxford, the oldest university city in the British Isles, we'll enjoy an orientation tour of the city to view the Radcliffe Camera and the Bodleian Library and visit one of the university's famous colleges (when open). We return to London this afternoon and bid a fond farewell to our Travel Director and newfound friends at the end of a wonderful holiday.