Escorted by Agnes & Richard Smith
Go beyond the ‘great’ and see the best of Britain and Ireland on one trip, starting your tale of two islands in London and exploring such city gems as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin and Cardiff. Explore the countryside travelling through the Yorkshire Dales and the rugged Ayrshire Coast, before saddling up for a visit to the Irish National Stud Farm.
DAY 1 MAY 23 DEPART CANADA OR THE USA
DAY 2 MAY 24 ARRIVE IN REYKJAVIK, ICELAND (B/D)
Arrival and welcome to Iceland. You will be met at the Keflavík airport and then transferred to your hotel in Reykjavik to enjoy a breakfast. Once settled in, a City tour of Reykjavík awaits.
Overnight: Fosshotel Rauðará
DAY 3 MAY 25 REYKJAVIK, ICELAND (B/D)
The Golden Circle includes a few of Iceland’s most stunning sights. Thingvellir National Park is a historical and geological wonder where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates pull the country apart at a rate of a few centimeters per year. It is also the place where Christianity first came into being in Iceland 1000 years ago. At Geysir geothermal area, we will see the hot spring Strokur shoot a column of water high up into the air every 4-8 minutes. A thrilling experience that never gets old. Gullfoss is a three – step waterfall filled with melt water from Langjokull glacier and tumbles into a deep crevice. Additionally we visit Friðheimar greenhouse cultivation center where we learn about the magic behind growing delicious, pesticide –free tomatoes and cucumbers with the aid of geothermal heat which Iceland has an abundance of. An optional event to consider is an evening concert in the Hallgrimskirke featuring music by Sibellius.
Overnight: Fosshotel Rauðará
DAY 4 MAY 26 ICELAND (B/L/D)
This morning begins with a whale watching tour.. Experience the common sights of the humpback, killer or minke whales, dolphins, harbour porpoises depending on the season. Krysuvík & Reykjanes peninsula displays an extreme variety of landscapes dotted with fissures, lava fields and geothermal activity. The tour will take you along the dramatic coastline of the Reykjanes Peninsula. See the spectacular Gunnuhver hot spring area including Iceland’s largest mud pool. Enjoy the cliffs , a sight to be seen with its rugged landscape, birdlife, and great view of the Atlantic Ocean. You will also have a chance to take a bath in the famous Blue lagoon.
Overnight: Fosshotel Rauðará
DAY 5 MAY 27 REYKJAVIK – LONDON (B)
Transfer Reykjavík to Keflavík airport and say good-bye to Iceland. You will fly to London to continue your journey to visit Britain, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, Welcome to London. Relax after your flight or spend time exploring the city on your own.
DAY 6 MAY 28 LONDON – STRATFORD-UPON-AVON – YORK – HARROGATE (B/WELCOME RECEPTION)
A scenic drive through beautiful countryside brings you to Stratford-upon-Avon. Visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace and Visitor Center. In the Viking city of York enjoy a walk along its historic streets. View the cobbled Shambles, the ancient city walls and the magnificent York Minster. Later, enjoy a Welcome Reception in a traditional pub.
DAY 7 MAY 29 HARROGATE – LAKE DISTRICT – GRETNA GREEN – GLASGOW (2 NIGHTS) (B)
From quaint villages around the Yorkshire Dales National Park to the glory of the Lake District, your journey is scenic. Traveling past England’s largest lake, Windermere, and through countryside that inspired the Romantic poets, you reach Grasmere. View the grave of William Wordsworth, buried at St. Oswald’s Church. Cross the Scottish border and visit Gretna Green, where eloping couples would make their vows over the anvil. This afternoon your orientation tour of Glasgow includes views of the Cathedral and the magnificent George Square.
DAY 8 MAY 30 EDINBURGH EXCURSION (B/REGIONAL MEAL)
Today visit Edinburgh. Your Local Specialist takes you on a sightseeing tour of this wonderful city, including a visit to Edinburgh Castle, perched high above the city. See the Royal Mile, the elegant Palace of Holyroodhouse in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat and the new Scottish Parliament building. Admire the elegant Georgian architecture in the New Town. Later enjoy free time to explore at leisure, before returning to Glasgow for a delicious meal at a local restaurant.
DAY 9 MAY 31 GLASGOW – BELFAST – DUBLIN (2 NIGHTS) (B)
Follow the rugged Ayrshire coast past the island of Ailsa Craig, the stepping stone from Ireland to Scotland, to board the ferry to Northern Ireland. View City Hall, Queen’s University and the dock where the Titanic was built with your Local Specialist. Later arrive in Dublin, your home for the next two nights.
DAY 10 JUN 01 DUBLIN SIGHTSEEING (B)
See Trinity College, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the stately Georgian Squares with your Local Specialist. Visit the Guinness Brewery for a Storehouse tour and tasting technique demonstration. Spend the rest of the day as you please. Why not explore Temple Bar or Grafton Street, famous for its street performers? This evening consider joining an Optional Experience to an Irish cabaret.
DAY 11 JUN 02 DUBLIN – KILDARE – KILKENNY – WATERFORD (B)
This morning gain a Cultural Insight into rearing world-class thoroughbreds when visiting the Irish National Stud Farm established in 1946. After a guided walk through the farm, take some time to stroll through the tranquil Japanese Gardens, regarded as the best in Europe. In Kilkenny, see the imposing medieval castle and enjoy free time for lunch. This afternoon enjoy a Cultural Insight when you visit the House of Waterford Crystal. Watch the master craftsmen at work during your tour of the workshop, and see the exquisite completed pieces in the showroom.
DAY 12 JUN 03 WATERFORD – CARDIFF (B/BE MY GUEST DINING)
Cross the Irish Sea to Wales by ferry, and continue your journey to Cardiff Bay to view the Millennium Center and the National Assembly. View the historic Cardiff Castle and see the Millennium stadium before arriving at your hotel. Tonight, join your Travel Director and travel companions for a memorable Be My Guest Farewell Dinner.
DAY 13 JUN 04 CARDIFF – BATH – STONEHENGE – LONDON (B)
Travel across the Severn Estuary into England and the glorious city of Bath. See splendid Georgian architecture during your orientation. Enjoy an included visit to the Roman Baths from which the city derives its name. In Wiltshire, visit the mysterious monolithic stone circle at Stonehenge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later, return to London.
DAY 14 JUN 05 LONDON (B)
Day Tour in London..See London’s most famous sites accompanied by an expert Blue Badge Guide. See Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and the changing of the Guard: enjoy guided tours of the Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral followed by a relaxing River Thames cruise.
DAY 15 JUN 06 LONDON (B)
Say farewell to your traveling companions at the end of your vacation as you prepare to fly home with wonderful memories.
CAD $5975 per person, based on double occupancy. Prices based on the currency exchange rate at time of booking.