Day 1: Dublin Arrival & Taylor’s Three Rock
Your Irish trip starts at 5:00 pm when you meet your tour director and fellow travelers at your Dublin hotel for a welcome drink and discuss your trip. Then head to Taylor’s Three Rock Pub for dinner with a lively traditional show of dancing, music and storytelling. During the day you are free to rest after your journey or venture out to explore Dublin independently. You will have vouchers for an independent open-top bus tour around the city and a visit to one attraction.
(D)Day 2: Dublin & Book of Kells
Head out to see Dublin’s main attractions including O’Connell Street, St. Stephen’s Green, the seat of government at Leinster House and other public buildings. View Dublin’s famous Georgian squares and elegant town houses with elaborate doorways. Take a stroll through Trinity College’s campus in the center of the city with a student guide and in the Old Library view the priceless 8th century Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript of the four gospels. The afternoon and evening are free for further sightseeing and dining.
(B)Day 3: Ferry to Wales & Conwy Castle
Take a short ferry ride from Dublin to Holyhead in North Wales. Drive to Conwy to visit the massive Conwy Castle, which was built by King Edward I in the 13th century as part of his mission to conquer Wales. Take a walk through the narrow medieval streets and see the smallest house in Britain, located on the quay and was home to a fisherman. Check in to your nearby hotel in time to relax before dinner.
(B, D)Day 4: Snowdonia & Cardiff Castle Banquet
Travel past the scenic peaks of Snowdonia National Park and continue south through the gentle pastoral lands of central Wales, where many farms specialize in sheep rearing. See some of the attractive marketing towns that serve the farming communities. Cross the gentle hills of Brecon Beacons National Park and pass through some of the former coal-mining regions of South Wales. Travel into central Cardiff for a panoramic drive around the city center. Tour Cardiff Castle to see some amazingly opulent, highly-decorated rooms. Remain in the Castle for a Welsh banquet with dinner and some lively entertainment.
(B, D)Day 5: Roman Baths & Glastonbury
Cross in to England and visit the Roman Baths and Pump Room, renowned for the mineral-rich hot springs and wonderfully preserved after two millennia. The fashion of “taking the waters” was revived during the 18th century Regency period when much of Bath’s elegant houses were built. Stop in Glastonbury, associated with many of the myths surrounding King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Continue south to Cornwall and the charming town of St Austell, located near the coast.
(B, D)Day 6: Explore Cornwall & Land’s End
Today discover the highlights of Cornwall, the region on the southwestern tip of England. It has many Celtic traditions, including its own language and is for sandy beaches and pretty harbor villages. Enjoy the coastline as you drive to Land’s End, the most westerly point of Britain. Stop at Marazion to view the majestic outline of St Michael’s Mount, an important pilgrimage destination, and you will have time to take some photos. Stop for a browse around the lovely fishing village of Mevagissey, where houses are clustered around the bay, and return to your hotel in St Austell.
(B, D)Day 7: Stonehenge & Windsor Castle
Drive to Salisbury Plain to marvel at the prehistoric circle of vast monoliths of Stonehenge and learn about the primitive builders who managed to create such an enduring monument. Travel to Windsor for a tour of Windsor Castle, one of The Queen’s official residences and the largest inhabited castle in the world. See the State Apartments, St George’s Chapel and other areas that are open to the public. After dinner in your hotel, take a brief stroll around the compact and historic town with a local guide.
(B, D)Day 8: Extend your tour to London
Transfer to London where you may plan your own day of discovery around London’s attractions when you take an open-top bus tour. There is a choice of routes, a walking tour and a River Thames cruise. Visit the Tower of London to view the magnificent Crown Jewels, guarded by Beefeaters in distinctive Tudor uniforms or you may prefer to visit Kensington Palace, former home of Princess Diana. Dine independently this evening.
(B)Day 9: More London Touring
Today you may continue to explore London using your open-top bus pass which is valid for 24 hours. There is no shortage of places of interest along the many bus routes or you may prefer to stay on the bus and listen to the commentary.
(B)Day 10: Tour ends in London
Your tour ends after breakfast.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner
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