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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Go behind the scenes on an exploration of all the highlights of Great Britain and Ireland, from the haunt of Shakespeare to Edinburgh’s medieval allure, the sweeping Cliffs of Moher to England’s celebrated Lake District. Come face-to-face with the legacies of the Vikings, Romans and Normans, witness the sites of great tragedies and triumphs, and keep a keen eye out for an elusive monster hidden in a famous loch.

  1. Day 1
    Arrive London
    Discover what's 'great' about Great Britain as you kick-start your lengthy love affair with Britain and Ireland in London. After checking in, spend your leisure time exploring the city your way. You could shop up a storm on Oxford Street, board the London Eye for panoramic views of the city or stroll along the Thames soaking up all its pomp and pageantry in preparation for a memorable trip.Accommodation: Holiday Inn Brentford Lock.
  2. Day 2
    London free day
    You may not be royalty, but London rolls out its red carpet today as you enjoy a full free day to explore the city on your terms. There's no shortage of things to do and places to visit, so spend your time wisely embracing all the cosmopolitan verve this multicultural global capital has on offer, from its museums to its monuments, its leafy parks to its lively pubs.Accommodation: Holiday Inn Brentford Lock.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  3. Day 3
    London – Stratford-upon-Avon – York – Bradford
    This morning, meet your Travel Director and travel companions before you set off from London. Discover what's ‘great' about Great Britain as you kickstart your lengthy love affair with Britain and Ireland in London. The multicultural capital, with all its color, history and culture, waves you on towards the lush green counties north as you wind your way to Stratford-upon-Avon. There's time to explore the town where England's favorite bard was born and laid to rest. You could delve into his life during a visit to Shakespeare's Birthplace and Visitor Center before continuing your journey to York. Wander through its medieval streets to the city's geographic and spiritual heart, the York Minster. Then walk along The Shambles, a street so old it was mentioned in the Domesday Book. Continue to your hotel in Bradford.Accommodation: Leonardo Hotel
    Meals:   Breakfast
  4. Day 4
    Bradford – Edinburgh
    All that lies between you and bonnie Scotland is Hadrian’s Wall. Unlike the barbarians it sought to keep out, you’ll have free reign not only to view it but to cross it bound for the 12th-century ruins of Jedburgh Abbey. See how this symbol of power and authority over 'The Debatable Lands' still impresses today. This evening, an Optional Experience could see you take in a traditional ceilidh, or time your visit to coincide with the rousing Edinburgh Tattoo with tickets included on certain departures.Accommodation: Moxy Edinburgh Airport
    Meals:   Breakfast
  5. Day 5
    Edinburgh sightseeing and free time
    Poets, writers, kings and queens have all found it impossible to resist Edinburgh’s allure. From its medieval Old Town to the elegant Georgian façades across the Leith, you’ll soon discover why it captured the hearts of so many famous people throughout the ages. Your Local Specialist reveals all the colorful tales of 'Auld Reekie' as your sightseeing tour rolls past the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle, perched atop Castle Rock. Explore the city your way during your free afternoon or consider joining one of two special Optional Experiences, discovering Rosslyn Chapel or exploring what lies behind the impenetrable walls of Edinburgh Castle. Don your tartan if you please this evening. Tonight, choose to visit the ancient village of Torphichen, where Knights Hospitaller once settled.Accommodation: Moxy Edinburgh Airport
    Meals:   Breakfast
  6. Day 6
    Edinburgh – St. Andrews – Scottish Highlands
    A scenic drive through the ancient kingdom of Fife this morning reveals a time when these lush green hills were under the feudal rule of a Pictish king. Your first stop, however, is in the seaside town of St. Andrews, most noteworthy for its 15th-century university and inspiring the origins of golf. Put aside your dream of a hole-in-one and head to Pitlochry next, your gateway to the Highlands. You could choose to explore this salmon fishing center on your own or walk in the footsteps of queens during an optional visit to Blair Castle, home to Europe’s last remaining private army. Later, an exhilarating optional encounter with a shepherd and his sheep could be on the cards. But it’s the enthusiastic border collies on this Highland farm that are the stars of the show on this Optional Experience.Accommodation: Craiglynne
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  7. Day 7
    Scottish Highlands excursion
    Straight out of a scene in 'Outlander', the Scottish Highlands has a mystical air about it which you’ll come to discover as you explore its rugged beauty, evocative history and enchanting Highland ways. On your visit to Loch Ness this morning, keep a keen eye out for ‘Nessie’ before arriving in Inverness, the capital of the Highlands. Today’s poignant highlight is a visit to Culloden, where Bonnie Prince Charlie’s brave clansmen fought in the 1745 Jacobite Rising. Return to your hotel in the Highlands for dinner.Accommodation: Craiglynne
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  8. Day 8
    Scottish Highlands – Glasgow
    With its head in the clouds, Ben Nevis offers a majestic backdrop to today’s scenic drive to Fort William, the self-proclaimed ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’. Views of Scotland’s highest peak accompany the drive to Loch Linnhe. Continue to Glencoe where the tragic 17th-century massacre of the MacDonalds turned the wild beauty of this valley into a 'Glen of Weeping'. Travel along the banks and braes of Loch Lomond, where an optional cruise experience could take you to Rob Roy’s cave, before arriving in gritty Glasgow later today. Your orientation tour of the city will include views of Glasgow Cathedral and George Square where many of Scotland’s famous sons are immortalized in stone. An evening of good food and characteristic Glaswegian fun lies ahead if you choose an Optional Experience night out on the toon.Accommodation: Ibis City Center
    Meals:   Breakfast
  9. Day 9
    Glasgow – Gretna Green – Lake District – Wrexham
    Elope to Gretna Green, as many young couples once did to tie the knot over its marriage anvil. While the practice of handfasting was outlawed less than a century ago, this Scottish town remains a haven for romance and runaway lovers. Continue south through tiny northern villages and vast pastures fringed by ancient stone walls to the Lake District. Today’s highlight is a stop at Lake Windermere where an Optional Experience brings this 'loveliest spot that man hath found' to life. Board an optional cruise on a boat and take a step back in time aboard an old-world steam train before arriving at your hotel later.Accommodation: Ramada Plaza
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  10. Day 10
    Wrexham – Chester – Dublin
    See the legacy of Roman rule during this morning’s visit to the ancient walled city of Chester. You’ll view its defensive 1st-century walls and the characteristic black and white half-timbered buildings, famously known as 'The Rows' before heading to the west coast. Cross St. George’s Channel to Ireland and its youthful capital, Dublin. You’ll arrive just in time for an Optional Experience at a local restaurant-pub that will deliver the craic for which Ireland is so renowned.Accommodation: Dublin One
    Meals:   Breakfast
  11. Day 11
    Dublin sightseeing and free time
    Embrace your playful side on this morning’s sightseeing tour through Ireland’s whimsical capital with a Local Specialist. View St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin Castle and Trinity College, where the 9th-century Book of Kells, and Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure, is housed. This afternoon, explore Dublin your way or join one of two Optional Experiences to visit important monastic sight in Europe. Your Local Specialist will bring the ancient stories of Glendalough to life and show you around the beautiful landscapes of the garden of Ireland. This evening, an optional dinner and cabaret evening will have your toes tapping and taste buds craving another round of Irish coffee.Accommodation: Dublin One
    Meals:   Breakfast
  12. Day 12
    Dublin - Boyle - Co. Donegal
    Cross the 'Emerald Isle', passing lush green counties as you wind your way north to Bundoran. There’s no better way to admire the scenery than joining an optional cruise along the Shannon River. Later, view the ruins of the 12th-century Boyle Abbey before continuing to Donegal, the gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way.Accommodation: The Abbey
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  13. Day 13
    County Donegal excursion
    Leaving civilization behind for the day, your scenic drive through County Donegal will deliver a multitude of dramatic landscapes. Golden beaches, rugged cliffs and uninhabited islands dot your route so keep your camera at the ready to capture these perfect gifts of Mother Nature. Nothing says sophistication quite like fine porcelain and this afternoon’s visit to Belleek Pottery reveals over a century of craftsmanship and art, the results of which can still be seen on dining tables the world over.Accommodation: The Abbey
    Meals:   Breakfast
  14. Day 14
    County Donegal – Galway – Cliffs of Moher – Shannon
    Galway’s ancient reputation as a 'place of foreigners' is long gone, but much of its captivating heritage remains as you’ll see first-hand during a stroll around Eyre Square. View Galway Cathedral, then leave the city behind for the plunging Cliffs of Moher. Take a deep breath and let the fresh sea air fill your lungs as you peer over the edge of the emerald-topped cliffs to the crashing waves of the Atlantic below. With a squint you may just be able to see the distant Aran Islands, but without much effort you’ll spot the curious and colorful beaked puffins which are eager residents of the area. You’ll visit the interactive Cliffs Exhibition before heading to your hotel in Shannon.Accommodation: Treacys Oakwood
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  15. Day 15
    Shannon – Dingle Peninsula – Co. Kerry
    See the Ireland you’ve only encountered in pictures and on the big screen until now. Your drive around the stunning Dingle Peninsula reveals a land of stone monuments, wild beaches and verdant pastures. See tiny Gaelic settlements, colorful fishing villages and landscapes that 'catch the heart off guard', in the words of Irish poet, Seamus Heaney. Later arrive in Tralee in County Kerry, where the Rose of Tralee International Festival attracts 'lovely and fair' Irishwomen from around the world to compete for the crown of 'Rose'. A fitting way to end the day would be to join an Optional Experience with a show of Irish dancers. Embrace the spirit of old Ireland life and times and enjoy a hearty Irish meal.Accommodation: River Island
    Meals:   Breakfast
  16. Day 16
    Co. Kerry – Blarney – Waterford
    Kiss the Blarney Stone and acquire the 'gift of the gab' on your visit to Blarney Castle this morning. Show off your silver tongue throughout your scenic drive through Cork to Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city. From the ancient Vikings to the Normans, they all made their mark on Waterford, but it is the city’s glittering crystal mastery spanning the years since 1783 that have made it world famous. Visit the Waterford Crystal Showroom (when open) to see its artistry before an optional walking tour with a Local Specialist followed by a drink in a pub.Accommodation: Treacy's
    Meals:   Breakfast
  17. Day 17
    Waterford – Cardiff
    Board your return ferry to the United Kingdom this morning, arriving in Wales later where its tiny capital Cardiff waits to be explored. Your orientation tour will take you past its Millennium Center, the National Assembly and the historic Castle at its heart. Join an optional tour of Cardiff Castle followed by an optional evening of Welsh music, culture and humor.Accommodation: Copthorne
    Meals:   Breakfast
  18. Day 18
    Cardiff – Bath – Windsor – London
    There's time to fit in some last-minute sightseeing before returning to London. Cross the Severn Estuary into England and venture to Bath, with its elegant Georgian architecture and the Roman Baths which have given this ancient spa town its name. Visit Windsor and view the world's oldest and largest inhabited castle before shopping for Royal souvenirs. The King's favorite weekend home is a sight to behold before you continue to London.Accommodation: Holiday Inn Brentford Lock.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  19. Day 19
    Depart London
    It's time to close the curtain on your epic adventure across Britain and Ireland. You'll say cheerio to new friends as you prepare for your return journey home.
    Meals:   Breakfast

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Inclusions

Dining Summary

  • 18 Breakfast (B)
  • 5 Dinner (D)

Essentials

  • : Visit the town of Shakespeare's Birth
  • : View York Minster and stroll along the Shambles
  • : View the remains of the Roman wall
  • : View the Jedburgh Abbey ruins
  • : Sightseeing with your Local Specialist includes Princes Street, the Royal Mile and views of the Castle
  • : View the 18th green on St. Andrews Old Course
  • : Visit the famous battlefield
  • : Visit the capital of the Scottish Highlands
  • : View the most famous loch of them all
  • : See Glencoe, also known as the 'Glen of Weeping'
  • : View Glasgow Cathedral and George Square on your orientation tour
  • : Visit this town, popular with eloping couples since 1754
  • : Visit this picturesque region
  • : View the timbered buildings known as the 'Rows'
  • : With your Local Specialist, see St. Patrick's Cathedral, Christchurch Cathedral, the Georgian Squares and Trinity College
  • : View the Cistercian Abbey
  • : Visit the Belleek Pottery Center
  • : View the 15th-century castle
  • : See Galway Cathedral
  • : View the cliffs and visit the Atlantic Edge exhibition
  • : Enjoy the beautiful scenery
  • : Kiss the Blarney Stone during your visit of Blarney Castle
  • : Visit the Waterford Crystal Showroom
  • : See the Principality Stadium and view Cardiff Castle
  • : Visit the Georgian spa town
  • : View the Royal Castle

Whats Included

  • : An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
  • : The services of a Costsaver Local Host if you stay at Costsaver's recommended London hotel
  • : Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • : Many meals and daily breakfasts included
  • : City orientation tours
  • : Audio headsets are provided throughout your holiday to enhance your included sightseeing experiences
  • : Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries
  • : Extensive variety of Choice Optional Experiences
  • : On occasion, hotels of similar standard and location may be utilized.

Whats Included

  • An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
  • The services of a Costsaver Local Host if you stay at Costsaver's recommended London hotel
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • Many meals and daily breakfasts included
  • City orientation tours
  • Audio headsets are provided throughout your holiday to enhance your included sightseeing experiences
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries
  • Extensive variety of Choice Optional Experiences
  • On occasion, hotels of similar standard and location may be utilized.

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

Overall Rating
4.4
Accommodations
3.7
Itinerary
4.6
Professional Staff
4.5
Repeat with Operator
4.3
Value for Money
4.8

Ratings based off 11 reviews - currently showing 3 reviews with comments only

The "UK-Ireland Explorer" 19-day trip to England, Scotland & Ireland was everything we hoped it would be as a "bucket list" retirement adventure!

I was more satisfied with the hotel and food on the Brition and Ireland Explorer, being a CostSaver tour, than I expected. What a concept; receiving more than paid for.

The itinerary met our expectations perfectly. Our tour director was wonderful. He was caring, helpful, friendly, and he knew his geography and history so well. We were getting a bit bus-weary by the end of 16 days, but we saw so much and did so much. It was great having our luggage delivered to our room and picked up in the morning. It was wonderful to just sit back and relax and not have to worry about where to go and what to see. Our only complaint was that the evening menu got a bit repetitious; it was OK for the meals that were included, but the extra excursion meals were not that good for the price we paid. Not sure I would book some of those excursions that were only meals if I had to do it again; ham and fish seemed to be the theme throughout. In particular, we were very disappointed with our meal in Glasgow. It was very expensive and we got ham or fish, a few vegetables, and a wilted salad. The room was extremely hot and so noisy you couldn't visit. As for the pianist that was supposed to be the entertainment, it was just noise. All in all, we had a wonderful trip and would do a bus trip again.

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