Day 1: Welcome to London.
On arrival at London Heathrow Airport, you will begin your journey with a transfer in an executive car, along with other guests arriving at a similar time, to the luxurious Rubens at the Palace, an exquisite five-star hotel overlooking Buckingham Palace. A part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, the Rubens is yours to explore, as you spend the day at leisure. At 18:00 meet your Travelling Concierge and travel companions for a Welcome Dinner hosted at the English Grill Restaurant.(Dinner with Wine)
Day 2: Traditions and Treasures of London.
A modern-day hub of culture and commerce, and once the centre of an empire, London is undoubtedly one of the world 's greatest cities, teeming with millions of stories. Your Travelling Concierge will introduce you to a Local Expert - a passionate resident who will share fascinating stories about the city, as you explore the city to see Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. You will then continue past Downing Street, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus. Visit the Household Cavalry Museum, uncover the secret messages hidden within a cavalryman's uniform and try on the royal uniform for yourself. Spend the afternoon shopping at Harrods, listening to the soapbox orators of Speaker 's Corner or viewing the masterpieces in the National Gallery. Enjoy dinner as you please. Should you want to venture beyond your hotel, ask your knowledgeable Travelling Concierge for restaurant recommendations. In the evening, once the crowds have gone home, experience a private tour of the Tower of London. A serving Yeoman Warder will greet you on arrival, accompanying you through the grounds and regaling you with stories of the history and importance of this seat of British power. You will then learn about the Ceremony of the Keys, carried out every night by the Yeoman Warder, without fail, for the past 700 years. The Yeoman Warder provides a history of the tradition and explains the etiquette of handling the keys before you are privy to witnessing this ancient gate-closing ritual.(Breakfast)
Day 3: Stonehenge and Georgian Bath.
Begin your journey this morning at the mysterious Stonehenge, and stand in awe of the scale of arguably Britain's most best-known UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue your travels to the Georgian city of Bath where people have been indulging in the healing waters for millennia. Take a walk along streets lined with exquisite architecture and immerse yourself within the city's contemporary atmosphere. This evening unwind in chic cocktail bars and welcoming traditional pubs, or explore the evening scene that embraces comedy, live music and theatre. Ask your Travelling Concierge for recommendations.(Breakfast)
Day 4: Explore Bath.
Start the day with a visit to the original Roman Baths and Georgian Pump Room, one of the greatest religious spas of the ancient world and imagine how Romans once gathered to relish the good life. The rest of the day is yours to explore the many different sites that Bath has to offer and walk the streets that Jane Austin did. For many Bath is synonymous with the English writer Jane Austen. The author of Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion lived here in the early 1800s and used the city as a setting for two of her novels. This evening enjoy a spectacular Highlight Dinner at Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park, a Michelin-starred restaurant.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 5: Cotswolds, Stratford-Upon-Avon and York.
Journey through the Cotswolds, famous for gentle rolling hillsides known as "wolds", green river valleys and historic market towns. Arrive in Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare with time to explore this famous market town and have lunch. Your journey continues to the medieval city of York. York is like nowhere else in England with cobbled streets, quaint tearooms and gothic buildings.(Breakfast)
Day 6: Medieval Wonders of York.
Step back in time as you explore the medieval streets of York and learn about its lively characters. Once an important centre of Roman occupation in England, this is a storybook city surrounded by a large stone wall dating back to the 13th century. Experience York Your Way with a choice of two outstanding experiences today. Either join a Local Expert for a historic walk on the famous city walls - the longest medieval walls in England - and appreciate spectacular views of the river and the Old Town. Alternatively, embark on a leisurely guided tour to the York Minster, the largest medieval cathedral in Northern Europe and one of the most outstanding Gothic buildings in the world. This afternoon, journey to Castle Howard, one of Britain's finest historic houses. On arrival you will be escorted to the Grecian Hall for a delicious, traditional English afternoon tea. Once the castle has closed its doors, receive a private, after-hours visit with a guide who will show you the intricate architecture and share with you the history of the house. You will have some time to explore the best parts of the gardens before returning to York for an evening at leisure.(Breakfast / Afternoon Tea)
Day 7: The Wild and Poetic Lake District.
The rugged and dramatic beauty of the English Lake District famously inspired 19th century writers such as Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth. Experience the charms of a bygone era, as you step onboard a historic steam train at the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway Station for a short ride along the southern banks of the lake. Journey through mystical forests to the lakeside town of Bowness-on-Windermere with a chance to explore, before continuing to your hotel located at Ullswater, considered by some to be the most beautiful of the English lakes. This evening, enter the dramatic ruins of Lowther Castle and take time to explore the ancient grounds. Enjoy a private dinner in the sculpture gallery which overlooks the castle gardens.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 8: Alnwick Castle.
Journey to majestic Alnwick Castle and explore its magnificent interiors. Join a Local Expert for an in-depth exploration of the 11th century castle, with its striking medieval architecture and see why it was featured in the Harry Potter films. Your travels continue to the beautiful Scottish capital of Edinburgh where you have an evening to enjoy at your leisure. Your Travelling Concierge is a treasure-trove of knowledge and will happily guide you to the best local restaurants and attractions. During August, you 're invited to witness The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, one of the most spectacular military concerts on earth and a celebration of the history, heritage and colours of Scotland 's regiments both near and far. Hosted every August, this renowned international showcase of military pageantry boasts performers from forty-eight countries. Enjoy the sounds and sights of bagpipes rising, drums cracking through the night air and performers dressed in tunics, kilts and tartans with Edinburgh Castle, lit up in colour, providing a dramatic backdrop. [CC] If you are travelling on a Chairman's Collection departure, you will meet Her Grace, The Duchess of Northumberland as she personally welcomes you for a private tour of her beloved garden. You are also introduced to the Head Gardener, Trevor Jones, who will lead you past a labyrinth, the serpent garden and ornate fountains, as you listen to the fascinating story of how The Duchess restored this exquisite garden to its former 18th century glory over the last twenty years. Admire this masterpiece of passion and dedication, which remains a work in progress, before indulging in a seasonal lunch. This experience will be in addition to the existing itinerary. [/CC](Breakfast)
Day 9: Highlights of Beautiful Edinburgh.
Enjoy a visit to magnificent Edinburgh Castle, Scotland's most visited landmark. Skip the queue and join a Local Expert for a guided exploration of the castle grounds. Learn about the castle 's tumultuous history and appreciate panoramic views of the city below. Travel along Princes Street, past the Gothic Sir Walter Scott Monument, and continue down the Royal Mile to the gates of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the principal residence of Scottish royalty since the 16th century. In true Gaelic style, meet a professional bagpiper, who is said to have been the Queen Mother 's favourite. Be enchanted as you listen to iconic music and fascinating tales about Scottish culture, whilst enjoying tea and scones. Raise a glass this evening to new friendships and a memorable journey, as we toast during our Celebration Dinner.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 10: Edinburgh to Belfast.
Enjoy a morning at leisure before being transferred to the airport for your flight to Belfast, the energetic, memorable capital of Northern Ireland. On arrival you will be welcomed by a representative before a private transfer to your luxurious home for the next three nights. Located in the heart of Belfast City Centre, you'll have time to get settled in your Executive Room before joining your Travelling Concierge and fellow travelling companions at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 11: Highlights of Belfast.
Delve into Northern Ireland's inspiring and heartbreaking history in Belfast. Begin the day by heading to the Titanic Belfast Museum - the museum and monument are located on the site where the RMS Titanic was built from 1909-1912. With your Local Expert enjoy a panoramic tour of Belfast, hear the history of the city and learn about the city's progress and current prosperity. You 'll also see the City Hall, Queen's University, Parliament Building at Stormont and murals indicating political sentiments of local residents. The rest of the day is yours at leisure. Why not ask your Travelling Concierge for tips on exploring the area or their advice on the best restaurants for trying local delicacies?(Breakfast)
Day 12: Giant's Causeway and Londonderry.
See Northern Ireland's most spectacular geological wonders at the Giant's Causeway on a private tour with a local ranger who will explain its ancient history and impressive formation. Next, you'll head to Londonderry to meet Ronan, a Local Expert and one of Northern Ireland's best storytellers. The evening is yours at leisure, so why not head back to your luxury hotel and make the most of its facilities?(Breakfast)
Day 13: Vibrant Dublin.
Today you'll make your way to Dublin. A haven for literary buffs and Guinness lovers, Ireland's unique capital is a hedonist's dream. Take a city tour with your Travelling Concierge to see O'Connell Street, Custom House and St. Patrick's Cathedral, before heading to the Little Museum of Dublin after hours. This experience looks to tap into Ireland's dynamic history in an animated way. You'll explore the museum with its founder, respected author Trevor White, who'll also provide you with a signed copy of his critically acclaimed book, 'Alfie.' Enjoy a glass of prosecco with him as you learn more about the lives of Dubliners.(Breakfast)
Day 14: A Truly Irish Experience.
Head to the iconic Guinness Storehouse, where you'll get to explore the venue before it opens to the public, with a private opportunity to learn how to pull the perfect pint. Enjoy a visit to the 9th century Book of Kells and a walk through the cobbled courtyards of Trinity College, accompanied by a local expert who will share their insights into the establishment 's impressive history. In the afternoon, enjoy some free time in Dublin. Why not head to the National Museum of Ireland or the Dublin City Gallery? This evening, delve into Dublin 's delights, dining at a pub in the centre of the city and watch it come to life. End your day by relaxing in your luxury boutique hotel.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 15: Glendalough to Kilkenny.
Enjoy a leisurely morning before heading to Glendalough, a glacial valley in County Wicklow, where you'll explore with a Local Expert. Continue to the medieval town of Kilkenny. Known as the Marble City, take a stroll on Kilkenny's medieval mile, which is a trail that links Kilkenny Castle to St. Canice's Cathedral and filled with shops, pubs, restaurants and picturesque alleyways. Your hotel for the night is Lyrath Estate, a beautiful, historic residence where you'll spend the night. End the day with a Michelin-starred dinner at Lady Helen and savour a menu prepared using locally-sourced ingredients.The dresscode at the establishment is smart (no jeans) and dress shoes are required. Gentlemen must also wear a jacket.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 16: Banter in Blarney.
Start your day in pretty Cashel, a small town in the south of Ireland, famous for its medieval buildings. See the spectacular Rock of Cashel, or St. Patrick's Rock, the traditional seat of the High Kings of Munster. Those looking to keep up with local Irish banter will enjoy a visit to Blarney Castle. Legend has it that kissing the Blarney Stone, a block of limestone built into the castle, gives you the gift of the gab. In the evening you'll enjoy dinner at the family-run Treyvaud's restaurant, which specialises in international cuisine. Later, try Irish dancing for yourself during a simple dance class with the Gaelic Roots, before settling in your VIP seats to watch the show.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 17: Sweet Ring of Kerry.
Enjoy a morning at leisure in the comfort of your luxurious, five-star hotel, before travelling through beautiful Killarney National Park, where sweeping mountains, lush lake lands and valleys await you as you drive along the iconic Ring of Kerry. Return to Killarney and take a scenic jaunting carriage ride through Killarney National Park. Enjoy a pint in one of Killarney's most popular pubs and perhaps stay to enjoy the local music later in the evening.(Breakfast)
Day 18: Exploring Limerick.
Take in the fresh, sea air, as you drive along the Dingle Peninsula. The area's craggy clifftops and rolling hills have inspired films such as 'Ryan's Daughter.' Head on to the village of Adare. Famous for its thatched-roof cottages and charm, this heritage town is a worthy detour for budding photographers looking to document their journey. Your travels continue to Limerick where your Travelling Concierge leads you on an orientation of the city. While here, you'll see St. Mary's Cathedral, the oldest and most historic building in Limerick, and the city's stone, where the Treaty of Limerick was signed in 1691.(Breakfast)
Day 19: Regal County Mayo.
Travel through beautiful Country Clare to admire the breathtaking views of the 700-foot Cliffs of Moher. Continue to Galway, a harbour city that prides itself on its bustling streets and pubs, boutiques and quirky art galleries, where you'll explore with your Travelling Concierge. Journey on to the pretty village of Cong in County Mayo. Quaint in size but grand in character, this beautiful destination houses the famous Ashford Castle, where on arrival a lone piper escorts you over the drawbridge. This luxury hotel is where you'll stay the next two nights. Formerly home to the Guinness family, the hotel boasts sumptuous rooms, antique furniture and unique historic features at every turn. The castle is set upon an idyllic 350-acre estate, making it a dreamy location for a relaxing and picturesque retreat. In the evening you will dine at Cullen's at the Cottage, on the grounds of Ashford Castle this traditional thatched cottage used to be Cong Cinema.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 20: Majestic Ashford Castle.
Enjoy a relaxed start in your stately abode. During your leisure time why not head for a walk in its grounds and take in the plush exterior and crisp, fresh country air. Experience Ashford Castle Your Way with a choice between a unique falconry experience or a guided historical tour of the Castle. Your final day culminates with a Celebration Dinner at the esteemed George V Dining Room. Built specially for King George V in 1905, this room bestows a grand sense of occasion. Dine like royalty and share stories from the journey with your new-found friends, over dinner and wine.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 21: Depart Shannon.
It's time to say goodbye or 'slán' to your fellow travellers, as a transfer takes you to Shannon Airport.(Breakfast)
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