Spectacular scenery combined with fascinating architectural remains and energetic cities—all of this awaits you on this fabulous Britain and Ireland tour. Your tour starts and ends in London with overnights in between in Newport, Wales; Waterford and Dublin in Ireland; Edinburgh, Scotland; and York, England.
If you’re a fan of castles, you’ll enjoy your visit to Cardiff Castle, dating back over 2,000 years. Hear about its history of invasions, abductions, and conflicts, and see its fairytale towers. You’ll also visit Edinburgh Castle, dating back to the 12th century, once residence of Scottish monarchs and today home to the Scottish Crown Jewels. Even older than these castles are the Roman baths in Bath, constructed around 70 AD and today one of the best preserved Roman remains in the world, and Stonehenge. You’ll visit both of these on this Essential Britain & Ireland tour. You’ll also visit Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon and the House of Waterford Crystal in Waterford, where you’ll see the highly-skilled craftsmen at work in the production of this famous crystal. You’ll see more artisans at work on your visit to Ireland’s oldest hand weaving mill at Avoca—a special treat arranged by Lark Tours for you. Also in Ireland, you’ll visit Glendalough, an early Christian monastic site set in a glaciated valley with two lakes founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century.
Lark Tours/Globus has also included special experiences for you throughout this tour. For example, you’ll enjoy a traditional Irish coffee in Waterford and a light lunch in the charming Elizabethan town of Stratford-upon-Avon. It’s just another way Lark Tours brings these destinations to life on this tour of Britain and Ireland—a vacation of a lifetime!
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Day 1 Arrive in London, England
Welcome to London! Uniformed Lark Tours/Globus Hosts 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 Thames River.
Day 2 London–Stonehenge–Bath–Newport, Wales
Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions and depart London at 8 am for a memorable day’s sightseeing. Try to unravel the mystery of prehistoric STONEHENGE; explore the stunning visitor center with its imaginative exhibitions, then admire the magnificence of the monument up close. At the elegant Georgian city of Bath, see the amazing excavations of the ROMAN BATHS. Then, cross the Severn River for a late-afternoon arrival in Wales. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner with wine at your hotel.Breakfast
Day 3 Newport–Cardiff–Waterford, Ireland
A morning orientation drive in the Welsh capital features all the major attractions. 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 [Lark Tours Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] IRISH COFFEE.Breakfast
Day 4 Waterford–Avoca–Glendalough–Dublin
This morning, enjoy a guided tour of the HOUSE OF WATERFORD CRYSTAL, and at Avoca, visit Ireland’s oldest HANDWEAVING MILL and watch the [Globus Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] 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.
Day 5 Dublin
An orientation drive in Ireland’s capital city includes statue-lined O’Connell Street, elegant Georgian squares, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Oscar Wilde’s Trinity College. The afternoon is at leisure for you to explore this vibrant city. Tonight, maybe take in an optional dinner outing to the Guinness Storehouse.
Day 6 Dublin–Belfast, Northern Ireland–Edinburgh, Scotland
On your way to Northern Ireland, cross the Boyne River, 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.
Day 7 Edinburgh
Morning city sightseeing with a local expert introduces you to the 200-year-old “New Town” and famous scientists, inventors, and novelists who lived there. In the “Old Town,” drive up the narrow Royal Mile to EDINBURGH CASTLE to admire Scotland’s Crown Jewels. 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 departures July 31 through August 21, 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.
Day 8 Edinburgh–Jedburgh–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
Day 9 York–Stratford-Upon-Avon–London
On the last leg of your journey, stop at Stratford-upon-Avon, the fascinating Elizabethan town. Take pictures of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, visit SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHPLACE, and enjoy [Lark Tours Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] a light LUNCH. 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
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.Breakfast
Essential Britain & Ireland