Best of the British Isles

Best of the British Isles
With its tranquil rolling hills of the Irish countryside, chaotic London streets buzzing with activity, and the curious Stonehenge shrouded in mystery, this tour allows students to experience the historically rich and culturally diverse British Isles.
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Day 1 Start tour
Details: Fly to Ireland
Please note that due to limited service to Shannon, a transfer from Dublin could be substituted in rare occassions
Day 2 Hello Shannon
Meet your tour director, travel to Killarney & check into hotel
Day 3 Ring of Kerry
Details: Ring of Kerry excursion
Get a feel for Ireland’s emerald beauty on an excursion around the Iveragh Peninsula on the panoramic coastal route, Ring of Kerry. Along the 112 miles of breathtaking views, you’ll spy 360 degrees of the vast Atlantic Ocean, the Lakes of Killarney, the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks (Ireland’s tallest mountains), and every shade of green known to the Emerald Isle.
Details: Sheep farm visit (March to October)
Mountain sheep have dotted the hills around Killarney for ages. Come face-to-face with these fluffy landmarks at a traditional Irish sheep farm. Please note that during the winter months, this activity will not be available and will be replaced with a visit to the Bog Village.
Day 4 Killarney--Dublin
Details: Travel to Dublin via Blarney Castle
During your journey to the capital of the Republic of Ireland, you will stop for a visit to Blarney Castle and kiss the Blarney stone. Dublin is a city steeped in cultural significance and hosts some of Ireland’s finest national treasures including the Book of Kells and the fine cathedrals of Christ Church and St Patrick’s. Dublin’s medieval streetscape is faithfully preserved around Temple Bar, where it provides the backdrop to a vibrant cultural quarter. Stretches of the City’s walls can still be found in Wood Quay and at St Audoen’s Arch.
Details: Blarney Castle visit
Stop for a visit to Blarney Castle, the medieval stone structure built on solid limestone around 1466. (The slivers of windows served as a defense, enabling Lord Blarney and his men to shoot arrows at invaders while staying protected from within.) Climb the spiral staircases to the top of the castle to kiss the Blarney stone. Legend promises that if you lean backwards and kiss the stone upside-down, you’ll be granted the “gift of the gab” (the privilege of babbling questionable commentary for seven years). Before you leave, wander the path to Rock Close to ponder the druidic circle of mystical stones. Enter Lord Blarney’s dungeon if you dare...
Day 5 Dublin landmarks
Dublin guided sightseeing tour
Phoenix ParkSt. Patrick’s CathedralTrinity College Book of Kells visit
Dublin city walk
O’Connell StreetParnell SquareHenry Street
Traditional public house dinner
Details: Dublin guided sightseeing tour
Join a professional licensed tour guide on an adventure to Dublin’s finest attractions. Pass the residence of Ireland’s president along your journey through Phoenix Park. Within Europe’s grandest enclosed park, encounter 1,760 undeveloped acres scattered with cricket pitches, grazing cows, and red deer. Stop to eye a stone phoenix rising from flames atop the Corinthian-style Phoenix Column. Tour the roads along the River Liffey to 12th-century St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the largest of its kind in all Ireland. Get a glimpse of the neighboring park where St. Patrick (who brought Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century) baptized converts. Continue on to Trinity College, the stone-clad sprawling campus where Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett studied. Stop by the Long Room in the Old Library for a zoom-view of the illuminated edition of four Gospels, the Book of Kells. The original manuscript was penned in Latin around AD 800 by four Irish Monks who used multicolored ink from plants and bugs. Take some time to study the brilliant latticework of curvy Celtic symbols woven with animal figures that enlivens the script.
Details: Dublin city walk
Get a friendly introduction to Ireland’s capital city, compliments of your Tour Director. Discover an urban landscape of Georgian buildings, castles and cathedrals. Stroll bustling O’Connell Street, once (at 150 ft wide) the widest street in Europe, and still the busiest thoroughfare in Dublin. Pass shop after shop of local and global wares and flairs, and a lush street-meridian lined with tall trees and ebony statues of Irish leaders. Make your way to the end of the strip to Parnell Square, an antique scape of red brick townhouses and classic Irish theaters. As you wander the streets, take in the international glamour of Ireland’s most cosmopolitan city.
Day 6 Dublin--North Wales
Ferry to Holyhead across Irish Sea
Details: Travel to North Wales
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. No, that is not a typo. The smallest town in Wales is the longest named village in the world. Travel through this little-big town, with a nickname of Llanfair P.G., across the Brittania Bridge to the Snowdonia National Park. What Llanfair P.G. has in length, Mt. Snowdon offers in height, standing at a breathtaking 3,560 feet. The park also touts Stone and Bronze Age burial chambers, Norman castles, Roman forts and steam railways. View the unspoiled coastlands and sea cliff-perched lighthouses of Holyhead on the Isle of Anglesey.
Details: Llanfairpwllgwyngyll- gogerychwyrndrobw- llllantysilio- gogogoch
That's no typo... Visit the village with the longest name in Europe, commonly referred to as Llanfair PG or Llanfairpwll. Take a quick detour for a photo opportunity under the railway station sign to bring home proof of this 58 letter appellation!
Details: Snowdonia National Park
The highest mountain in Wales, Mt. Snowdon—Old English for “snow hill”—provides a view of all of the British Isles from the summit on a clear day.
Day 7 North Wales--Lake District
Rydal Mount visit
Details: Travel to Lake District via Rydal Mount, home of Romantic poet William Wordsworth
Journey to Britain’s largest national park, where meandering rivers cut through what some describe as the country’s most beautiful region. Along the scenic ride, encounter countless lakes glittering between rugged hills, jagged mountain peaks hovering above, and rippling waters flowing to and from every direction. Venturing on, enter the picturesque village of Grasmere, home to William Wordsworth since 1799. Stop for an intimate tour of Rydal Mount, the house where the master wordsmith spent the last 37 years of his life (1813-1850). Wander through the garden terrace (designed by Wordsworth himself) to a small cabin-like abode for a peek at his favorite spot for penning poetic prose. Along the riverbanks, discover the inspiration of literary genius -- and leave with a little of your own.
Day 8 Lake District--Highlands
Gretna Green
Loch Lomond
Details: Travel to Highlands via Lake District & Loch Lomond
Like an 18th-century European Vegas. For a century, young couples flocked to Gretna Green to get married. Why? In 1754, England passed a law prohibiting anyone under the age of 21 to marry without parental consent. Gretna Green is the first village north of the Scottish-English border, so young English lovers, eager to tie the knot, would head here to do it. (Unlike in Vegas, there were no Elvis impersonators around to help.) Head for the hills (well, the Highlands, actually). On the way, you'll pass the largest expanse of fresh water in Britain. Loch Lomond is five miles wide at its broadest point and has more than 30 islands in the middle of it, three of which are inhabited. Full of native wildlife, it's a favorite recreational spot for the Scots.
Day 9 Glencoe and Loch Ness
Glencoe and Loch Ness excursion
Loch Ness Monster Exhibition visitCulloden Moor
Details: Glencoe and Loch Ness excursion
The idea that Loch Ness is inhabited by some sort of mysterious aquatic beast has been around for more than 1,500 years. If the monster does exist, the misty Loch, which is 24 miles long and as deep as 700 feet, would be the perfect place for Nessie to hide.
Day 10 Highlands--Edinburgh
Stirling Castle visit
Details: Travel to Edinburgh via the Trossachs
Dramatic peaks. Small lochs. Peaceful glens. Sheep. Pass through the heart of the Scottish countryside. Renowned for its natural beauty, the area was a favorite spot of poet William Wordsworth. Stirling Castle. The site of the battles in Braveheart, this huge gray stone castle towers over the countryside from its position up high on a cliff, enabling its inhabitants to survey the main north-south and east-west routes across Scotland. The castle has been strategically important to Scotland for centuries and has passed back and forth between Scottish and English control innumerable times. Mary, Queen of Scots was crowned in the castle, but she's not among the many ghosts said to make their homes here. The castle is architecturally and artistically beautiful, with Renaissance and medieval elements and breathtaking views.
Day 11 Edinburgh landmarks
Edinburgh guided sightseeing tour
Royal MileOld TownSir Walter Scott MonumentEdinburgh Castle
Edinburgh city walk
Charlotte SquareAlexander Graham Bell’s homeRobert Louis Stevenson’s homeRobert Burns Monument
Optional  Scottish folklore show  $105
Details: Edinburgh guided sightseeing tour
Edinburgh Castle, the historical and emotional heart of the city, is just one of the many sights you will see on this tour, led by a licensed professional guide. Make your way along the Royal Mile, the main thoroughfare of the 16th and 17th centuries. (It's actually one mile and 107 yards long--from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyrood House). As you make your way along cobbled streets, you'll see a handful of the several thousand buildings officially protected in Edinburgh because of their architectural or historic importance. The 200-foot spire of the Sir Walter Scott monument soars above the East Princes Street Gardens. Grand figures from Scottish history adorn its heights, make sure you also look down -- the figure below the marble statue is Scott's favorite dog, Maida.
Details: Edinburgh city walk
The capital of Scotland, Edinburgh has steep streets and stone buildings zigzagging up hills and down into small valleys, and the brooding Edinburgh Castle looms over the whole thing. Follow your Tour Director through New Town's Charlotte Square, with its elegant Georgian townhouses. See where inventor Alexander Graham Bell was born in 1847, pass Robert Louis Stevenson's birthplace near the Royal Botanic Garden, and stroll by the monument commemorating Scottish poet Robert Burns. Hear the castle's ramparts echo with gunfire at 1 p.m. Gaze out at the steep slopes and craggy cliffs of the northwest Highlands, visible from Edinburgh's highest points. Peer down into the blue sea stretching out beyond the city.
Day 12 Edinburgh--London
Fly to London
London city walk
Thames RiverTrafalgar SquareNational Gallery visitPiccadilly CircusCovent GardenLeicester SquareSoho
Details: London city walk
Step outside your hotel for a stroll through the heart of the English-speaking world. In this city of nearly seven million, you'll see everything from 12th-century fortifications to modern skyscrapers, royal parks to street art. Your Tour Director will lead you to some of the most famous sites. Walk along the Thames River. Cross Trafalgar Square. See bustling Piccadilly Circus. Pass trendy shops and cafés in Bohemian Soho on your way to Covent Garden, a 13th-century fruit and vegetable garden transformed into a maze of narrow streets and pedestrian walkways burgeoning with street performers, open-air markets and boutiques.
Details: National Gallery visit
Located in an impressive domed building right in Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery houses a rich collection of over 2,000 works of art dating from the mid 13th century to 1900. Explore the beautiful marble hallways to see famous paintings by Van Eyck, Turner and Van Gogh.
Details: Classic fish & chips dinner
Nothing’s more British than fish and chips—there are eight fish and chip shops (“chippies”) for every McDonald’s in the country. Head to an authentic pub with your Tour Director for a taste of this national food, generally served with malt vinegar.
Day 13 London landmarks
London guided sightseeing tour
Buckingham PalaceBig BenHouses of ParliamentWestminster AbbeyTower BridgeHyde ParkSt. Paul’s Cathedral
Details: London guided sightseeing tour
Join a licensed local guide for an in-depth look at London, from the royal haunt of Buckingham Palace (the official London residence of Queen Elizabeth II) to the slightly more democratic Speakers’ Corner of Hyde Park, where anyone can pull up a soapbox and orate to his heart’s content. You’ll see the changing of the guard (season permitting), the clock tower of Big Ben with its 14-ton bell, and Westminster Abbey, where almost every English king and queen since William the Conqueror has been crowned. After a stop at the Houses of Parliament, continue on to the magnificent St. Paul’s Cathedral, the masterpiece of London architect Christopher Wren.
Details: Hard Rock Cafe dinner
Enjoy a meal at the first hard Rock Cafe, a legendary place for rock'n'roll fans around the world.
Day 14 Stonehenge & Bath
Details: Curry dinner
The history of Indian food in Britain is now almost four hundred years old and today the country is home to some of the best Indian food in the world. Today, traditional meals like Fish & Chips are matched in popularity by curry dishes. Sit down to a delicious authentic Indian meal for dinner tonight. Taste different dishes with fragrant spices to understand why Indian food is one of the nation's favorites.
Day 15 End tour

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    Day 15 Start extension to Paris
    Paris city walk
    Île de la CitéNotre Dame Cathedral visitÎle St. LouisLatin Quarter visit
    Dinner in Latin Quarter
    Details: Eurostar Chunnel crossing
    Take the Eurostar under the English Channel. Faster than you can say... anything, in French, you'll whiz through a tunnel and arrive in Paris.
    Details: Paris city walk
    This city was made for walking. Stroll grand boulevards with sweeping views of the city, pristine parks with trees planted in perfect rows, and narrow streets crowded with vendors selling flowers, pastries and cheese. Then head to the Île de la Cité, a small island in the Seine, to see Notre Dame Cathedral.
    Day 16 Paris landmarks
    Paris guided sightseeing tour
    Arc de TriompheChamps-ÉlyséesEiffel TowerChamp de MarsÉcole MilitaireLes InvalidesConciergerieTuileriesPlace VendômeOpera House
    Details: Paris guided sightseeing tour
    What's that huge white arch at the end of the Champs-Élysées? The Arc de Triomphe, commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 after his victory at Austerlitz. Your licensed local guide will elaborate on this, and other Parisian landmarks. See some of the most famous sites, including the ornate, 19th-century Opera, the Presidential residence, the ultra-chic shops of the Rue du Faubourg St-Honoré, and the gardens of the Tuileries. You'll pass the Place de la Concorde, where in the center you’ll find the Obelisk of Luxor, a gift from Egypt in 1836, and the Place Vendôme, a huge square surrounded by 17th-century buildings. Spot chic locals (and tons of tourists) strolling the Champs-Élysées. Look up at the iron girders of the Eiffel Tower, built for the 1889 World's Fair to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution. See Les Invalides (a refuge for war wounded), the École Militaire (Napoleon's alma mater), and the Conciergerie (the prison where Marie Antoinette was kept during the French Revolution).
    Details: Louvre visit
    The world's largest art museum, the Louvre is housed in a Medieval fortress-turned-castle so grand it's worth a tour itself. You walk through the 71-foot glass pyramid designed by I.M. Pei and added in 1989, and step into another world--one with carved ceilings, deep-set windows, and so many architectural details you could spend a week just admiring the rooms. The Mona Lisa is here, as well as the Venus de Milo and Winged Victory (the headless statue, circa 200 BC, discovered at Samothrace). The Louvre has seven different departments of paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures and antiquities. Don't miss the Egyptian collection, complete with creepy sarcophagi, or the collection of Greek ceramics, one of the largest in the world. (Please note the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays.)
    Details: Seine River cruise
    See the city from the water on an hour-long cruise along the River Seine. The Seine cuts right through Paris, dividing the city in half. See the Eiffel tower rising up on the Left Bank, the walls of the Louvre on the Right Bank. A guide will point out other monuments and architectural marvels as you pass, many of which are illuminated by clear white light at night.
    Day 17 End tour
    Map of Best of the British Isles Educational Tour
    Tour Includes:
    • Round-trip airfare
    • Flight from Edinburgh--London
    • 14 overnight stays (16 with extension) in hotels with private bathrooms
    • Full European breakfast daily
    • Dinner daily
    • Full-time services of a professional Tour Director
    • Guided sightseeing tours and city walks as per itinerary
    • Visits to select attractions as per itinerary
    • 4-day London travel card
    • High-Speed Eurostar Chunnel crossing on extension
    • Tour Diary™
    • Note: On arrival day only dinner is provided; on departure day, only breakfast is provided
    • Note: Tour cost does not include airline-imposed baggage fees, or fees for any required passport or visa. Please visit our Fees FAQ page for a full list of items that may not be included in the cost of your tour.
    We are better able to assist you with a quote for your selected departure date and city over the phone. Please call 1.888.310.7120 to price this tour with your requested options.
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    3532.00 total fee
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