The Best of Britain & Ireland 2020

The Best of Britain & Ireland 2020


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Why Pay Retail? Call us or click for a quick quote and save money!

Overview

Dates & Prices

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Promotions

LOW UNPUBLISHED PRICES ON COSMOS TOURS

Why pay full price? Call us or click above for a quick quote and save money on Cosmos Tours.

Young Travelers Save 10%

Mention Promo Code: PT5031
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Young Travelers Save 10%

Young Travelers Save 10%

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Young travelers ages 8-17 receive a 10% discount on the land only portion of their vacation, plus as always receive our AffordableTours.com extra savings.
Must Book By Tue, Dec 31, 2019
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To receive the Young Traveler discount, the age of the traveler must qualify at start date of the vacation. Does not apply to custom groups. Discount is applicable to any accommodation. Additional restrictions may apply.

Up to $500 Welcome Back Credit for Repeat Travelers

Mention Promo Code: PT7212
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Up to $500 Welcome Back Credit for Repeat Travelers

Up to $500 Welcome Back Credit for Repeat Travelers

Promotion Details
Each time you travel on a Globus family of brands vacation (Cosmos, Globus, Avalon or Monograms) from 2019 onward you can earn up to $250 per person ($500 per couple) Welcome Back Credit to use towards your next vacation, plus as always our AffordableTours.com additional savings. There will be some select exceptions to the credit, including Escapes by Globus, Oberammergau, Monograms City Get-a-ways, Private Touring and any heavily discounted programs like Avalon Suite Rewards. Please see the list below for your potential credit amount listed per person.

  • Spend $2499 or less and receive $100 credit
  • Spend $2500 - $3499 and receive $150 credit
  • Spend $3500 - $4499 and receive $200 credit
  • Spend $4500 & Over and receive $250 credit
Combinable with all applicable consumer promotions except those with any Globus family of brands special discount programs of the vacation price.
Must Book By Tue, Dec 31, 2019
View Promotion Terms & Conditions ›

The Welcome Back Credit will be awarded upon completion in 2019 onward of Globus family of brands vacations. Credit amount can only be applied to the land/cruise or cruise only portion of a new Globus family of brands vacation (excluding Escapes by Globus, 2020 Oberammergau, select Cosmos tours, Monograms City Getaways, and Custom/Charter vacations). Credit amount is per person and must be redeemed for a future vacation with a deposit within 2 years from date of credit issue. Bookings can be made by contacting your preferred travel agent. Passenger name or past invoice number is required to redeem the credit. Combinable with all applicable consumer promotions except those with any Globus family of brands special discount programs of the vacation price. Credit is not redeemable for cash, non-refundable deposit, airfare, transfers, travel insurance, prepaid gratuities, pre/post nights, or optional excursions and is non-transferrable. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Valid for all participating Globus family of brands offices. Additional restrictions may apply.

Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

On this Best of Britain & Ireland tour, see Britain’s and Ireland’s highlights—from the bustling cities to the small towns and from the breathtaking scenery to the ancient ruins. Traveling through the lands of queens, kings, and leprechauns, begin and end in London and pass through England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. On this Britain and Ireland tour, stop in some historic towns and cities, including Oxford, home to some of England’s most famous colleges; Durham, a medieval city with its cathedral, built between 1093-1133, and castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; York, England's most complete medieval city with its cobbled streets and the magnificent York Minster, England’s largest gothic cathedral; Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of Shakespeare; Chester, where a walking tour highlights its Roman remains and black and white half-timbered buildings; Adare, founded in medieval times and known today as one of Ireland’s prettiest villages; and Bath, known for the excavations of Roman baths used for bathing and socializing 2,000 years ago. Britain and Ireland are known for their green countryside and stunning scenery, and on this Britain and Ireland tour, you’ll witness some of their gorgeous landscapes. Travel through the incomparable landscapes of Snowdonia National Park in Wales, with picturesque villages, mountains, and lakes. Follow Ireland’s Ring of Kerry, a 100-mile panoramic drive with sparkling seascapes, brightly colored farmhouses, and the breathtaking panorama of the Lakes of Killarney. Visit the spectacular 668-feet Cliffs of Moher, with breathtaking views of rugged cliffs dropping into the ocean. Drive through the Cotswolds, with the rolling hills and picturesque villages, Northumberland National Park, with its wide-open spaces, and the serene Lake District, England’s largest natural park. All of this and more—including time in Dublin and Edinburgh—await you on this marvelous vacation!

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

Day 2: LONDON.
Today is free for 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 Oxford. A walking tour takes in the colleges where Britain’s elite receive their outstanding education. Then, travel through the lovely Cotswold Hills to Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon. Take photos of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and explore the town at your own pace. Your overnight destination is Leeds.
Today’s Distance: 263 mi/ 423 km (B,D)

Day 4: LEEDS–YORK–DURHAM–NEWCASTLE.
This morning, head north to York. Stand in front of the great structure of York Minster, then follow your Tour Director through a maze of quaint streets, including the narrow Shambles. Next, visit Durham, a captivating city with its dramatic cathedral and castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stop for the night in Newcastle.
Today’s Distance: 118 mi/ 186 km (B)

Day 5: NEWCASTLE–JEDBURGH, SCOTLAND–EDINBURGH.
See a section of Hadrian’s Wall, then motor through wild Northumberland National Park to the Scottish border. Stop for photos at Jedburgh before arriving in Edinburgh. Here, sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the 200-year-old “New Town.” In the “Old Town,” visit EDINBURGH CASTLE to admire Scotland’s Crown Jewels. A suggestion for this evening: a traditional Scottish night out with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and, of course, the Ceremony of the Haggis.
Today’s Distance: 117 mi/ 188 km (B)

Day 6: EDINBURGH.
Your choice today: an optional morning excursion to Rosslyn Chapel, made world-famous by Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, and also one of Scotland’s most remarkable buildings. You will have ample time to visit the 15th-century medieval chapel and the visitor center, and to take photographs of the ruins of Rosslyn Castle. Later, another unique optional opportunity: 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 0802 through 0823, tickets are included for tonight’s performance of the world-renowned MILITARY TATTOO. (B)

Day 7: EDINBURGH–GRETNA GREEN–LAKE DISTRICT, ENGLAND–CHESTER–WREXHAM, WALES.
South through the history-steeped Lowland Hills and a visit to Gretna Green, where the blacksmith used to wed runaway couples. Drive through beautiful scenery in the Lake District, considered to be the finest of England’s national parks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Chester, the historic county town on the Dee River, your walking tour takes in the Roman remains, black and white half-timbered buildings, and the two-tiered shopping arcades called the “Rows".
Today’s Distance: 268 mi/ 431 km (B,D)

Day 8: WREXHAM–BETWS-Y-COED–DUBLIN, IRELAND.
A scenic North Wales drive through the incomparable landscapes of Snowdonia National Park brings you to lovely Betws-y-Coed. Then, head over spectacular Llanberis Pass and, finally, across Britannia Bridge to the Isle of Anglesey. Take your photos at tongue-twisting Llanfairpwllgwyngyll; and at Holyhead, board the ferry for the Irish Sea crossing to Dublin.
Today’s Distance: 162 mi/ 260 km (B)

Day 9: DUBLIN.
A day in the “Fair City” starts off with an orientation drive through Eire’s capital and includes statue-lined O’Connell Street, elegant Georgian squares, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy Dublin at leisure. Why not join an optional dinner evening at the Guinness Storehouse? (B)

Day 10: DUBLIN–GALWAY–CLIFFS OF MOHER–ENNIS.
Head for dairy-farm country in the center of the “Emerald Isle". Stop in 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 before heading for Ennis, county town of Clare. Tonight’s optional opportunity: a medieval banquet at a historic castle.
Today’s Distance: 214 mi/ 344 km (B)

Day 11: ENNIS–ADARE–RING OF KERRY–KILLARNEY.
Stop for photos in Adare, a village known for its prize-winning thatched cottages and monastic ruins. In County Kerry, join the road known as the RING OF KERRY for a 100-mile coastal panoramic drive. Focus your camera on sparkling seascapes, mountains dotted with brightly colored farmhouses, winding lanes, and views of the Lakes of Killarney from Ladies View. Later, in Killarney, discover why this is such a popular resort.
Today’s Distance: 189 mi/ 304 km (B,D)

Day 12: KILLARNEY–BLARNEY–DUNGARVAN–TRAMORE.
Cross the Kerry Mountains and through County Cork to Blarney, famous for its magical Stone of Eloquence. Time to see the castle, and shop for Irish crafts and handmade crystal. Drive past Cork, the country’s second-largest city, and via Dungarvan to Tramore. Why not join an optional pub tour before dinner at your hotel?
Today’s Distance: 131 mi/ 210 km (B,D)

Day 13: TRAMORE–CARDIFF, WALES.
An early start for the short drive to Rosslare. In just under four hours, you cross St. George’s Channel by FERRY to South Wales. Continue through rich dairy farmland to Cardiff, where an orientation drive introduces you to the capital’s major attractions: Cardiff Castle, Cathays Park, Millennium Stadium, and the stately civic buildings. Tonight, why not join an evening of Welsh entertainment and dinner?
Today’s Distance: 242 mi/ 390 km (B)

Day 14: CARDIFF–BATH, ENGLAND–STONEHENGE–LONDON.
A day packed with highlights begins as you cross the spectacular Severn Bridge into England. Stop in the elegant Georgian city of Bath, famous for its Roman relics, before visiting STONEHENGE, still an intriguing mystery. Explore the visitor center with its imaginative exhibitions, then admire the magnificence of the monument up close. After returning to London around 3:30 pm, how about celebrating the success of your tour with a night out on the town?
Today’s Distance: 171 mi/ 275 km (B)

Day 15: LONDON.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

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Inclusions

Local Host:
Host Service in London

Sightseeing & Activities:

OXFORD
Walking tour

STRATFORD-UPON-AVON
Discover Shakespeare’s home town

YORK
Walking tour

DURHAM
Visit

HADRIAN’S WALL
See a section of the Roman remains

JEDBURGH
See the abbey ruins

EDINBURGH
Guided sightseeing, visit Edinburgh Castle

GRETNA GREEN LAKE DISTRICT
Drive through the UNESCO World Heritage landscape

CHESTER
Walking tour

BETWS-Y-COED
Visit

HOLYHEAD–DUBLIN
by ferry

DUBLIN
Orientation drive

GALWAY
Visit

CLIFFS OF MOHER
Savor the spectacular views

ADARE
Admire the thatched cottages

RING OF KERRY
Scenic peninsula drive

KILLARNEY
Visit

BLARNEY
Visit

ROSSLARE-PEMBROKE
by ferry

CARDIFF
Orientation drive

BATH
Visit

STONEHENGE
Visit the prehistoric monumentTouring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach with free Wi-Fi; round-trip Irish Sea crossings by day ferry

Meals:
Full English breakfast daily; 4 three-course dinners with choice of menus


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

Accommodations

Prices are per person, based on double room occupancy.

Single room supplement:
$770

No triple room reduction.

Additional accommodations before or after your tour may be available.

London: Novotel London West
London: Holiday Inn London- Kensington High Street
Leeds: Holiday Inn Leeds Garforth
Newcastle: Jurys Inn Gateshead
Edinburgh: Courtyard Edinburgh West
Wrexham: Ramada Plaza Wrexham
Dublin: The Bonnington Dublin Hotel
Ennis: Auburn Lodge Hotel
Killarney: Killarney Court Hotel
Tramore: Majestic Hotel
Cardiff: Novotel Cardiff

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

Questions & Answers

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

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Ratings based off 62 reviews . Currently showing 16 reviews with comments only.
By Josefina N on Sep 22, 2019

Our tour director Deborah is exceptional. She knows the culture and history of places visited inside and out. She made sure that the group is comfortable and well-informed of schedules. Our driver Lee is excellent. He is professional and very skillful in his job. Thumbs up to both of them.

By Flordeliza A on Sep 22, 2019

My husband and I appreciate the hard work of the people from Cosmos. Everything was well planned. Our tour director, Debra stayed with us up to the last hour of the tour. We enjoyed this tour so much. We are looking forward to another tour with Affordable Tours.

By Shamim S on Oct 07, 2018

Tour director was a very capable woman, young but was very knowledgeable, professional, and likeable. Cosmos does a great job in organizing a comprehensive itinerary that matches the description of their tour. It was affordable and enjoyable.

By Ana S on Sep 16, 2018

It was hectic.But expected.It's not easy to see so many places in 2 weeks. Very well organized.The optional evenings were fun and enertaining.The tour director Peter was excellent. And the International group that we joined couldn't have been better.We made new friends from all over the world.Good value for money

By Kimberly S on May 06, 2018

There was no description offered by Operator. The itinerary was online. I'm not sure why this question is asked, no one has ever gone over the trip, it is decided from itinerary. There were a couple places where the rooms were not cleaned, Majestic actually smelled bad. I think the biggest issue on the excursions is the description given is not what is necessarily what is given. A lot of events are outdated and not very entertaining and food in some cases was not good. Tour director needs to give input as to whether these should go on or new ones introduced. Taylors Irish experience excellent. But the medieval castle performance was really cheesy. And the welsh experience we paid a lot for and we got a few songs and food not so good. Made a big deal about having the dinner in the new civic center. I did not select that event to see the civic center. Most of the Operator's help was not given unless specifically asked for

By Antonius W on Sep 17, 2017

This is a very good tour and well worth to travel for your money.

By Shyr Shing N on May 08, 2016

Cosmos provided a good transport service, there were local Cosmos agents resided at the first and the last hotels we lived in, they were helpful for questions we asked. The tour director was knowledgeable and humorous, communicated with every tourist well. The driver drove us safely, handled our luggage in and out coach well. We had people coming from different countries, and got along very well, overall we enjoyed this trip.

By Rachel D on Jul 12, 2015

Tour Director knew his history of the land but failed to coordinate the logistics of travel spending more time at coffee shops and extra long lunches and less time at major historical sites. For example, only allowing 30 minutes to explore Edinburgh castle and 45 minutest to walk up the cliffs of Moher and then try to go to the exhibits. It seems on all the paid visits to site, we were severely limited. Even the external tour guide that gave the city tour stated we need more time to explore the castle. We had to actually go back the next day to see the castle again. We spent more time at force stops at kick back stores and eating establishments. More pressure was to get back to the hotel early for the folks that paid for the optional excursions. Sometimes we would get back way too early and therefore have very limited time at the major stops. This tour guide spent perhaps 5-10 minutes on walking tours. In the future, this is what I recommend. Have the bus drop us off at the city. Put us on a hop on and off bus. We get a better tour that way. In addtion, whenever we toured the cities, the bus driver was rushing so fast you could barely even get a chance to see what the tour guide was pointing out. I am not expecting him to stop...but you can slow down in light traffic. Finally, the tour guide took the first two seats in the bus. That meant during seat rotation, 50% of the passengers never got to the front seat. Tell the tour director to sit in the tour director chair. We paid for the trip. Since all he does is narrate, he can do that at his seat. Another problem is that the optional excursions seemed to be geared towards drinking. May I recommend the tour guide not drink alcohol since he has an incentive to end the day early for his drinking habits. I really am not interested in going on tours when the guide needs to drink up each night. And finally, don't let the optional excursions take away from the non excursion folks. It seems like the trip each day was planned for the optional excursions but not for paid part of the trip.

By David H on May 17, 2015

The Auburn Lodge in Ennis,Ireland had ancient plumbing and uncomfortable bed.

By Marlon K on May 04, 2014

We had an indescribably fantastic vacation and met a wonderful new set of friends. Everything was great, tour guide, bus driver, hotels, and sites and excursions. WOW!!!!!! Couldn't ask for a better trip. Thanks again. 

By Susan B on Sep 06, 2013

Too much time allowed for shopping at each location. Since we are more interested in the scenery and history of the places we visit, our arrival in Edinburgh was on the only day all the museums were closed. Poor planning on that one. Bus driver was very rude when my husband used the bus toilet when he couldn't find a public facility and make it back to the bus on time.

By LJennette H on Aug 11, 2013

Our trip was wonderful, more than we had anticipated.

By Sandra O on Apr 14, 2013

Hotels that do not provide free or at least reasonable wifi were not popular with me or the group. Some were a little too "quaint"

By Cindy H on Mar 24, 2013

On the 1st monday of the tour, it was my understanding that the Tour was starting and that the 1st day would be a tour around London. This was not the case as I was told the London tour was optional. I believe the wording in the description should be revised to make it more clear as there were several other people on the tour who also thought the same as I did about the 1st day in London.

The Novotel hotels have god awful beds. They are hard as rocks and as lumpy as rocks too. The hotels themselves are great but the beds are terrible. Also, they consider a room with 2 beds as them pulling out the sofa bed and making it up. There were several people on the tour who had issues with this but did say that the pull out sofa slept better than the actual bed because the beds were so hard and lumpy.

It would have been preferred if the stops of on the tour were not all geared towards shopping. Most people on the tour, including myself, would have rather explored more of the country and seen more of the history and current way of life than to be dropped off in the towns for shopping all the time. The shops were all pretty much the same in all the towns anyway and only carried the tourist stuff and not the handcrafted things most of the people on the tour were looking for, including myself. I was very suprised and disappointed that everything was so touristy and cheesy in the shops.

Overall, the tour was great. The tour director and coach driver were awesome. The tour gave me the opportunity to see the different countries so that when I go back I will be more comfortable going on my own.

By Shellene L on Apr 29, 2012

We loved the trip and felt that it provided good value. The only problem was with a few of the hotels which were either out of town, leaving us to negotiate bus lines or they were so cramped that it was difficult to even have two people in them. About fifty percent of the hotels were fine. We would probably book with Globus next time as we understand the hotels are of a higher quality. We also understand that it is a "sister company." Our tour guide was courteous, exceedingly knowledgeable and very helpful to all of the members of the tour. Whatever they pay her, it isn't enough. The bus was comforable and the sites visited were great. I personally would have appreciated more stops and less time in the hotels at night. I have too many pictures out of the bus window as the countryside flew by.


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