Embracing the wild Atlantic and the rugged wildreness of Connemara which featured in so many Holywood films of rural Ireland,this thrilling road trip reaches northward, taking in four great iconic cities, each depicting their hieght of industrial wealth with their grand buildings and cultural traditions. As breathtaking scenery unfolds along our route, we also journey deep into the picturesque highlands of Scotland embracing yet more of the rich celtic heritage of castles, mountains, lochs and folkelore.
Day One : Transfer from Shannon Airport to your hotel in the region. At 2pm, we collect you from your hotel for a short excursion to the spectacular Cliffs of Moher, Doolin village and the UNSECO heritage site ‘The Burren’. The evening is free to enjoy the hotels facilities and the local area.
Day Two: This morning we travel north to the pilgrimage site of Knock Shrine and onwards via Westport to Kylemore Abbey in the heart of the Connemara. We pass by Gaynor’s pub, location of the iconic Irish film ‘The Field’, and mid afternoon we head southwards to Galway for our fovernight. Here we have the opportunity to explore the city’s narrow cobbled streets and vibrant cultural night life.
Day Three: After breakfast we cross the Shannon at Athlone and onwards towards Trim Castle, Ireland’s Largest Norman Castle site built in 1176. Here we can visit and stop for lunch. Just 30 minutes away is Newgrange an impressive Neolithic site dated from around 3200 BC older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids! Having discovered Ireland’s ancient past we travel onwards to Dublin, where we have the opportunity to discover the music and night life of the Temple Bar districts we overnight for two nights.
Day Four: This morning we are free to spend a full day in Dublin visiting many famous sites such as Dublin Castle, the world famous Guinness,Storehouse Museum and Jameson’s Whiskey Distillery, amongst many others. The day is free to explore the city centre shops, visit Trinity Collage to view the book of Kells and enjoy the music and night life of the Temple Bar district once more.
Day Five This morning we head north to Belfast, where a taxi tour of the city awaits to take you around the key landmarks of the cities chequered historic past. After a lunch break in the renowned St George’s Food Market, we take an afternoon to visit the Titanic Centre, a spectacular monument to Belfast's maritime heritage constructed on the site of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard where the RMS Titanic was built. The remainder of the evening is free to explore the city centre.
Day Six: After breakfast we take the coastal road to Glenarm Castle. Here we have a guided tour of the ancestral home of the Earls of Antrim and an opportunity to view the picturesque walled gardens. After lunch we continue up along the coast visiting the Giants Causeway, the world famous Bushmills distillery and the iconic and haunting remains of Dulunce Castle located on the edge of basalt outcrop overlooking the sea. The remainder of our evening is free to enjoy a second night in Belfast.
Day Seven: After breakfast we leave Belfast on our short sea crossing to Cainryan,Scotland. On arrival we travel along the coastal road to Glasgow. This Afternoon we take a familiarisation tour of this grand Victorian City, visiting ‘Provand’s Lordship’, Glasgow’s oldest house built in 1471 and the ‘Glenlee’, a three-masted barque tall-ship built in 1896 the design of which became a work horse of the merchant fleet. Our evening is free to explore the city’s or relax in our hotel.
Day Eight: Our morning takes us from Glasgow into the Highlands, travelling alongside Loch Lomond, renowned for its unsurpassed beauty and through the deep valley of Glen Coe, notorious for the Campbell massacre in 1692. We stop at the busy rural town of Fort William, to take a short journey on the Jacobite Steam Train, made famous in the Harry Potter movies as the Hogwarts Express. We overnight back in Fort William.
Day Nine: This morning we head northwards to Fort Augustus to embark on a short cruise on Loch Ness and learn about local “Nessie.” hunters and folklore. We then continue onwards to Inverness the cultural capital of the Highlands, where the River Ness meets the Moray Firth. Here we stop by Collunden Moor Visitors centre, the site of the Battle of Colluden in 1746 which signalled the end of the Jacobite rising and the last ever battle on British soil, We discover more of this highland town before checking in for our second overnight stay in the ‘bonnie highlands’.
Day Ten: Today we make our way south toward Perth beside the River Tay, calling into the Highland Folk Museum to discover a flavour of how the Scots lived and worked thought the 1700’s to the 1960’s, and then onto Blair Castle, Pitlochery an imposing residence of the ancient Dukes and Earls of Atholl and home to Europe's last remaining private
army, the Atholl Highlanders. We cross the famous Forth Road Bridge to Edinburgh for our overnight stay.
Day Eleven: After breakfast the day is free for sightseeing of this great city. Holyrood Palace and the historic fortress of Edinburgh Castle are amongst many of its historic heritage buldings, as to are its cobbled streets and city centre stores. The remainder of the day is free to souvenir shop and explore more before returning to our hotel for our last night.
Day Twelve: This morning, we say our farewells the hotel as you make a transfer to Glasgow Airport for your return flight home.
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