The British Isles in Depth 2020

The British Isles in Depth 2020


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Overview

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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

From the lively cities to the breathtaking scenery, you’ll discover the best of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and Northern Ireland on this in-depth Britain and Ireland tour.Britain and Ireland are known for their breathtaking scenery, and this tour will not disappoint. You’ll see the 100-mile Ring of Kerry, with its rugged and magnificent landscapes; stunning scenery on Ireland’s Dingle Peninsula; the spectacular 668-foot Cliffs of Moher; Northern Ireland’s awe-inspiring Giant’s Causeway, formed millions of years ago; Llanberis Pass—with its rugged natural beauty—in Wales’ Snowdonia National Park; Brecon Beacons National Park, with its dramatic landscapes; and the Isle of Skye, with some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery. Enjoy time in the Scottish Highlands, filled with dramatic landscapes, rolling farmland, picturesque seaside towns, and beautiful lochs (lakes).Britain and Ireland are also known for their picturesque and historic towns and cities. On this Britain and Ireland tour, you’ll visit many of these towns, including Oxford, home to some of England’s most famous colleges; Stratford-upon-Avon, where you’ll get a glimpse into life in 16th-century England in Shakespeare’s hometown; York, England's most complete medieval city with its cobbled streets and the magnificent York Minster, England’s largest gothic cathedral; Berwick-upon-Tweed, a peaceful coastal town with a turbulent past; Strathpeffer, known in its Victorian heyday as a spa resort; Looe, a pretty fishing village; the seaside town of Tramore; Bath, known for the excavations of Roman baths used for bathing and socializing 2,000 years ago; and many more. You’ll also visit the capitals—London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Dublin, and Belfast. These are just some of the many highlights of this tour through the British Isles. For value-minded vacationers, this is the perfect way to see England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and Northern Ireland!

Day 1: ARRIVE IN LONDON, ENGLAND.
Check into your hotel. In the afternoon, there’s time to rest or to start exploring the lively British capital; uniformed hosts are available to help you make the most of your stay.

Day 2: LONDON.
What’s your pleasure? Today is devoted to exploring on your own or enjoying our exciting program of optional activities. You may choose to join a Local Guide for an optional morning sightseeing tour of the city’s famous landmarks: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall’s mounted horseguards and the Prime Minister’s Downing Street residence, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace. The highlight is a visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral, Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece built between 1675 and 1708. Later, maybe visit Windsor Castle or the Tower of London with its spectacular Crown Jewels. Tonight, we recommend our optional Taste of London excursion with dinner, followed by a guided illumination cruise on the Thames River. (B)

Day 3: LONDON–OXFORD–STRATFORD-UPON-AVON–LEEDS.
Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions and depart at 8 am for a memorable day of sightseeing: a photo opportunity at Hampton Court Palace; Runnymede, where King John sealed the Magna Carta; a walking tour in Oxford, one of the country’s oldest seats of learning; and skirting the Cotswold Hills to Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon. Take photos of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and explore the town at your own pace. Overnight in Leeds.
Today’s Distance: 248 mi/ 399 km (B,D)

Day 4: LEEDS–YORK–NEWCASTLE.
This morning, head north to 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. Stop for the night in Newcastle, once an important center for the wool trade and coal mining and now a vibrant, modern city.
Today’s Distance: 109 mi/ 176 km (B)

Day 5: NEWCASTLE–BERWICK-UPON-TWEED–NORTH BERWICK, SCOTLAND–EDINBURGH.
On your way to Scotland, drive along the picturesque coastline to Berwick-upon-Tweed, situated just south of the Scottish border. This peaceful town suffered a turbulent past, and its Elizabethan walls, built to keep invading Scots from entering the town, could tell a colorful tale. Stop for photographs of the Firth of Forth in pretty North Berwick before arriving in Edinburgh. Later, a unique optional experience: board the former Royal Yacht Britannia, which was once the perfect royal residence for glittering state visits and family holidays. Tour five decks and see how the Royal Family and crew of 240 lived and worked on board. Dinner rounds off this optional evening. For departure numbers August 2 through August 23, tickets are included for tonight’s performance of the world-renowned MILITARY TATTOO.
Today’s Distance: 121 mi/ 195 km (B)

Day 6: EDINBURGH.
A full day to enjoy the Scottish capital. Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the 200-year-old “New Town", home to famous scientists, inventors, and novelists. In the “Old Town", visit EDINBURGH CASTLE to admire Scotland’s Crown Jewels. Afternoon at leisure. A suggestion for this evening: a traditional Scottish night out, with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and, of course, the Ceremony of the Haggis. (B)

Day 7: EDINBURGH–ST. ANDREWS–PITLOCHRY–CULLODEN MOOR–INVERNESS–STRATHPEFFER.
AA day of memorable sightseeing. Take the elegant Forth Road Bridge to St. Andrews, whose Royal and Ancient Golf Club has given us the rules of golfing, then cross the Firth of Tay and, via Dundee and Perth, head into the Highlands, with a stop in the Victorian mountain resort of Pitlochry. Cross the battlefield of Culloden Moor with its memories of Bonnie Prince Charlie, then via Inverness, head for your Highland destination.
Today’s Distance: 221 mi/ 355 km (B,D)

Day 8: STRATHPEFFER. WEST COAST EXCURSION.
More spectacular Scottish scenery: Dornoch Firth, the Kyle of Sutherland, the Falls of Shin, the Mountains of Assynt, and Knockan Crag. Then, follow Strath Oykel for a visit to Ullapool, a remote fishing harbor on Loch Broom, before returning along Loch Glascarnoch. Our recommendation for this afternoon: join the optional Loch Ness Experience, which includes a cruise on the loch, followed by supper.
Today’s Distance: 123 mi/ 198 km (B)

Day 9: STRATHPEFFER–ISLE OF SKYE–FORT WILLIAM–GLASGOW.
More heather-clad moors as you drive through the western Highlands to Lochalsh and the Inner Hebridean Isle of Skye. The route back to the mainland is by FERRY across the Sound of Sleat to Mallaig, then breathtaking scenery all the way to Fort William beneath Ben Nevis. Glen Coe, where the MacDonald Clan was massacred in 1692, and a drive along the “Bonnie Banks” of Loch Lomond are scenic highlights on the way to Glasgow, Scotland’s great cultural city.
Today’s Distance: 234 mi/ 377 km (B,D)

Day 10: GLASGOW–ALLOWAY–BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND.
On this morning’s orientation drive through Scotland’s largest city, see the fine 12th-century cathedral, imposing university buildings, and elegant Georgian squares, built by wealthy tobacco barons. Later, stop at Alloway, the birthplace of Robert Burns, before boarding the FERRY for the Irish Sea, crossing to Belfast.
Today’s Distance: 100 mi/ 160 km (B)

Day 11: BELFAST–GIANT’S CAUSEWAY–DERRY–BELLEEK–SLIGO, IRELAND.
Take the scenic route along the Antrim Coast to awe-inspiring GIANT’S CAUSEWAY, then let the province’s story unfold as you head for the city of Derry. Later, visit BELLEEK POTTERY, renowned for its exquisite cream-colored Parian china, before arriving in Sligo, tonight’s destination.
Today’s Distance: 214 mi/ 344 km (B,D)

Day 12: SLIGO–GALWAY–CLIFFS OF MOHER–ENNIS.
Travel south to Galway, a popular seaside destination and a buzzing cosmopolitan center with colorful shops and a busy café and bar culture. Then, cross the limestone plateau of The Burren to visit the spectacular 668-foot CLIFFS OF MOHER. Tonight, a chance to attend an optional medieval banquet at a historic castle.
Today’s Distance: 161 mi/ 260 km (B)

Day 13: ENNIS–DINGLE PENINSULA–KILLARNEY.
Via Clonderlaw Bay to Killimer for the FERRY across the Shannon estuary. Breathtaking scenery this afternoon on the Dingle Peninsula, where the 32-mile Slea Head drive affords magnificent vistas of the Atlantic Ocean. Afternoon arrival in Killarney, your destination for the next two nights.
Today’s Distance: 125 mi/ 201 km (B,D)

Day 14: KILLARNEY. RING OF KERRY EXCURSION.
At Killorglin, join the road known as the RING OF KERRY for a 100-mile coastal panoramic drive featuring sparkling seascapes, mountains dotted with brightly colored farmhouses, winding lanes bordered with subtropical vegetation, and spectacular views of the Lakes of Killarney. Then, a special optional adventure: take a horse-drawn jaunting car along the national park lakeshore for pictures of Ross Castle. Later, enjoy the optional outing to Tralee for dinner and a performance at Siamsa Tire, Ireland’s National Folk Theatre.
Today’s Distance: 99 mi/ 158 km (B)

Day 15: KILLARNEY–BLARNEY–DUNGARVAN–TRAMORE.
More scenic splendor as you head into County Cork. Stop in Blarney, famous for its Stone of Eloquence, with time at your leisure to see the castle, and shop for Irish crafts and handmade crystal. After lunch, drive past Cork, the country’s second-largest city. Finally, pass Dungarvan and travel along the Copper Coast to the seaside resort of Tramore. Tonight, maybe join an optional pub tour before dinner at your hotel.
Today’s Distance: 131 mi/ 211 km (B,D)

Day 16: TRAMORE–WATERFORD–KILKENNY–DUBLIN.
On your northbound journey pause in Waterford, famous for its exquisite crystal, and visit Kilkenny, one of Ireland’s prettiest towns with medieval cobblestone streets and Old-World charm. Afternoon arrival in Dublin—top off the day with an optional Irish cabaret evening including dinner, dance, song, and laughter.
Today’s Distance: 128 mi/ 205 km (B)

Day 17: DUBLIN.
A day in the “Fair City” starts off with an orientation drive through Ireland’s capital and includes statue-lined O’Connell Street, elegant Georgian squares, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The rest of the day is free to enjoy Dublin at leisure. This evening’s optional dinner excursion is to the famous Guinness Storehouse. (B)

Day 18: DUBLIN–LLANGOLLEN, WALES–WREXHAM.
Take the FERRY across the Irish Sea to Holyhead on the Welsh Isle of Anglesey with its tongue-twisting names. Enjoy the best of North Wales on a scenic drive through Snowdonia National Park, including spectacular Llanberis Pass. Then, on to Llangollen, home of an annual national competition for poets and musicians, before arriving in Wrexham.
Today’s Distance: 162 mi/ 260 km (B,D)

Day 19: WREXHAM–BUILTH WELLS–BRECON–CARDIFF.
A day dedicated to Wales as you head south through the ancient market town of Builth Wells and Brecon Beacons National Park, land of salmon rivers and the Welsh mountain pony. In Cardiff, an orientation drive takes in Cathays Park with its splendid civic buildings and Cardiff Castle. Tonight’s optional excursion is an evening of Welsh entertainment and dinner.
Today’s Distance: 140 mi/ 225 km (B)

Day 20: CARDIFF–BATH, ENGLAND–GLASTONBURY–WIDECOMBE–PLYMOUTH.
Across the Severn Bridge to the elegant Georgian city of Bath, famed for its Roman relics. Into the West Country via Glastonbury and its legends of King Arthur, and wild and romantic Dartmoor with a visit to the picture-book village of Widecombe-in-the-Moor. Upon arrival in Plymouth, hear about Sir Francis Drake and see the Mayflower Steps, where the Pilgrim Fathers embarked in 1620.
Today’s Distance: 198 mi/ 319 km (B,D)

Day 21: PLYMOUTH. LOOE EXCURSION.
Today’s excursion takes you to the pretty fishing village and former smuggler’s port of Looe. Then, follow in the footsteps of Drake, Raleigh, and the Pilgrim Fathers on an optional cruise on Plymouth Sound, one of the world’s greatest natural harbors.
Today’s Distance: 45 mi/ 65 km (B)

Day 22: PLYMOUTH–STONEHENGE–BRIGHTON.
An interesting day heading into Thomas Hardy’s Wessex and a visit to intriguing, prehistoric STONEHENGE. Explore the visitor center with its imaginative exhibitions, then admire the magnificence of the monument up close. Via Arundel, dominated by the Duke of Norfolk’s huge castle, continue on to the seaside resort of Brighton for an overnight stay.
Today’s Distance: 231 mi/ 372 km (B,D)

Day 23: BRIGHTON–LONDON.
A leisurely last day with time this morning for a seafront promenade stroll and out onto the famous Brighton Pier; a walk along The Lanes, a quaint area of narrow streets renowned for its antique shops; or even a flight on the i360, the world’s tallest moving observation tower, to enjoy spectacular views over the beautiful South Coast. Return to London in the early afternoon. How about celebrating the success of your tour with a night out on the town?
Today’s Distance: 77 mi/ 121 km (B)

Day 24: LONDON.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

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Inclusions

Local Host:
Host Service in London

Sightseeing & Activities:

HAMPTON COURT
Walk through the palace gardens

OXFORD
Walking tour

STRATFORD-UPON-AVON
Discover Shakespeare’s home town

YORK
Walking tour

EDINBURGH
Guided sightseeing, visit Edinburgh Castle

ST. ANDREWS
Visit the home of golf

PITLOCHRY
Visit the Highland resort

CULLODEN MOOR
See the battlefield

ISLE OF SKYE
Drive across the Inner Hebridean island

ARMADALE–MALLAIG
by ferry

GLASGOW
Orientation drive

CAIRNRYAN–BELFAST
by ferry

GIANT’S CAUSEWAY
See the amazing basalt columns

DERRY
Visit the walled city

BELLEEK
Guided tour of the pottery factory

GALWAY
Visit the seaside town

CLIFFS OF MOHER
Savor the spectacular views

KILLIMER–TARBERT
Cross the Shannon estuary by ferry

DINGLE PENINSULA DRIVE
See the Blasket Islands

KILLARNEY
Visit the popular resort town

RING OF KERRY
Scenic peninsula drive

BLARNEY
Visit the famous village

WATERFORD
Visit the home of the famous crystal

KILKENNY
Visit the colorful town

DUBLIN
Orientation drive

DUBLIN–HOLYHEAD
by ferry

CARDIFF
Orientation drive

BATH
Visit the elegant Georgian city

DARTMOOR
Visit Widecombe-in-the-Moor

PLYMOUTH
See the Mayflower Steps

CORNWALL
Visit Looe

STONEHENGE
Visit the prehistoric monument

BRIGHTON
Visit the seaside resortTouring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach with free Wi-Fi; round-trip Irish Sea crossings by day ferry; ferry across the Shannon estuary

Meals:
Full English breakfast daily; 9 three-course dinners with choice of menus


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Accommodations

Prices are per person, based on double room occupancy.

Single room supplement:
$1230

No triple room reduction.

Additional accommodations before or after your tour may be available.

London: Holiday Inn London- Kensington High Street
London: Novotel London West
Leeds: Mercure Leeds Parkway
Newcastle: Jurys Inn Newcastle
Edinburgh: Kings Manor Hotel
Strathpeffer: Ben Wyvis Hotel
Glasgow: Leonardo Inn Glasgow West End
Belfast: Jurys Inn Belfast
Sligo: Southern Hotel Sligo
Ennis: Auburn Lodge Hotel
Killarney: The Parkavon Hotel
Tramore: Majestic Hotel
Dublin: The Bonnington Dublin Hotel
Wrexham: Ramada Plaza Wrexham
Cardiff: Novotel Cardiff
Plymouth: Jurys Inn Plymouth
Brighton: Jurys Inn Brighton

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Questions & Answers

Question: What is (B,D) or (B) mean on tour info

Those letters indicated the included meals on that specific day. B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner

Question: When and how will we be able to do laundry on this tour?

Several of the hotels will have laundry facilities that you can use for a fee.

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Customer Reviews

Accommodations
Itinerary
Professional Staff
Repeat with Operator
Value for Money

Ratings based off 44 reviews . Currently showing 14 reviews with comments only.
By Nancy G on Sep 29, 2019

Trip was Terrific!! Our Tour Guide, Julie was the best we have encountered in 40 years of travel.

By Nancy W on Jun 16, 2019

This is a perfect trip for someone who wants to see Great Britain in depth. We were the only two Americans on our trip. The others were predominantly Australians and New Zealanders. That was a great experience and then the sightseeing was another experience. Both were delightful.

By Russell G on Jun 02, 2019

As reported to Cosmos on their comment sheet, I thought the trip was geared to selling overpriced optional packages.Whenever there was an optional evening tour with included dinner, we were ususally booked at a hotel somewhere in the boondocks with no places to eat other than at the hotel and nothing else around to do for the evening. And I say "overpriced" because a lot of the options could be booked directly on the internet at far cheaper prices. It appeared Cosmos was routinely adding a third to a half on. And further to that, I should have read the fine print on the itinerary offerings more closely as I was thought there would be a lot more included on a 24 day trip other than only four admissions. Mostly we were taken to a place famous for something and given the time to take it in if we wanted to pay the admission price. Then we were given too much drop off time to do anything but pay out of our pocket and take the attraction in. I've had previous trips with Trafalger, Global, Insight, and Cosmos as well as being a retired tour director myself working for 5 different companies doing coach tours around N. Am. Never have I run into anything like this trip offered (or more correctly, didn't offer). On the plus side the scenery was great, the taste of the UK and Ireland was wonderful and we had a superb tour director.

By Yuvaraj Y on May 12, 2019

In this tour , we drove almost 2800 mikes in 21 days. Lot of countryside driving. On way we stopped st few tourist places. We were expecting Cosmos to include entrance fee to local sight seeing included in the price we paid, but mist of the places ( castles , museums ) were optional and to be paid by ourself. It is good tours if you want to get God idea of UK and Ireland. Too many optional sight seeing in the tour.

By Margaret C on Sep 13, 2018

Costco has improved their hotel selections, more 4 stars.

By Shirley B on Sep 02, 2018

Everything ran very smoothly. Even the stormy crossing of the Irish Sea was taken in stride. The tour guide was very helpful when My husband took ill and when I forgot my camera at a hotel.

By Michael R on Jun 14, 2018

There were some changes made by director that most of us were it happy with. She never asked for the group's input so there were things we didn't see. And things we would have skipped instead. One hotel had no hot water for the night. Another hotel water would only come out of the shower on and off. Had to rinse with a glass with water from the sink. Was very hot there not what they usually have. So hotels with no A/C were very hot. Some hotels had fans but if you waited to long you were without. Then come to find out the had a whole wing with air but let us melt in the heat. If we were pets they would have been ticketed. The bus rotation was not always followed and there was never a list posted of the times for meals, departure. Not a one. And the lack of local guides. On the whole 25 day tour there was 0ne 1 guide. Would it take this trip again or recommend it to other's. Disappointing having been on two other great trips with Cosmos.

By James W on Aug 27, 2017

Overall the trip was great. The coach (don't call it a bus...), coach driver, and tour guide were excellent. The only issue is that some of the hotel rooms were not the greatest. Air Conditioning is nonexistent in most, and the shower water pressure and temperature control was not the best in some. I suggest taking showers at night, because sometimes there is no hot water in the morning. The last hotel we stayed in "Holiday Inn London, Kensington High Street" had about the smallest room I have every stayed in. Basically there was about 18 inches on either side, and foot of the bed.

By Patricia C on Sep 10, 2015

two rooms were inadequate for two persons with luggage - couldn't move. Cosmos needs to have directors who actually take the time to get to know who their travelers are, no name tags, even? No introductory social get together, no departing social get together? Tour director actually spent VERY little time with us travelers and moved way too fast when leading walks to specific sites in local towns - those less agile were left behind. Cosmos should NOT book people to arrive at a hotel at 7 am after being up for close to 24 hours with no rooms. Hotels don't want you sitting around the lobby and you have to means (or desire) to start exploring the surroundings!

By Karen K on Mar 26, 2015

This tour was all that we wanted it to be, from beginning to end. We have never done any foreign travel and felt that the UK was a good place to start. Nothing disappointed us. Our tour director was friendly and so knowledgeable! The British Isles In Depth is recommended by us. The only drawback...it was a little tiring but not due to any bad experience. We met great people that we plan on staying in contact with.

By Kathryn G on Sep 18, 2014

The actual tour itself was exceptional. The number of countries and historical sites visited was overwhelming in an excellent way. We are so happy that we chose this trip. Our tour guide was not up to the standards we had on our France and Spain/Portugal tours we took with Cosmos. He did not accompany us on most of the sites and was not available for questions. He did have a lot of knowledge about the countries we visited and shared it with us while riding on the bus. He did also seem to have perhaps financial arrangements with the places he recommended to us for purchases. A couple of the hotels were not that comfortable and were in out of the way places where we did not have options to go out during the night, therefore necessitating us to go on the optional tours, some of which were worthwhile, others not.

By Joyce J on Sep 06, 2012

In regard to our trip. One of the things we were disappointed in was that on the itinerary it said we would be going to such and such a place. When we arrived if we wanted to go in (i.e. Stone Hedge, a castle, church) we had to pay. The last trip I took to the UK - these things were included in the trip itinerary at no extra cost.

By Linda W on Aug 16, 2012

Had a wonderful time in London and touring England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. The tour guide made it so enjoyable with his daily commentaries and excellent service.

By William E on May 12, 2011

Our Tour Director did a fantastic job. His knowledge of the geography and history of all four countries meant so much to the 6 of us that booked together. Even when the weather was not what we would have asked for, he mitigated our concerns , altered some plans and just simply keeping us up to speed on the changes. We couldn't have asked for or received a more skilled individual. He responded to a medical matter that my wife experienced, by helping to arrange a quick visit to a medical practitioner. He truly contributed largely to our overall satisfaction with the tour.


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