England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Including the Edinburgh Tattoo

Day 1

FLIGHT TO LONDON, ENGLAND:

We meet with our Christian Tours’ tour director and are transported to the Charlotte airport for our trans-Atlantic overnight flight to London, England.
Day 2

LONDON:

Upon arrival in London, we meet our international guide and transfer to our hotel. Check in time will be late afternoon allowing you time to explore some of this remarkable city. You may choose to stay at the hotel or join our guide for an Optional tour to Buckingham Palace. Buckingham Palace is recognized around the world as the home of The Queen, the focus of national and royal celebrations as well as the backdrop to the regular Changing the Guard ceremony. You can explore the magnificent State Rooms which are only open to visitors for 10 weeks each summer. (Optional tour -$64 per person).
Day 3

LONDON:

Today on our guided tour of London we discover the iconic landmarks, architectural and cultural diversity, and fascinating history that makes London the most visited city in the world. Our London tour will take us on a non-stop precession of recognizable landmarks, such as the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, past Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Nelson’s Column, and Marble Arch. Afterwards, you may continue exploring London, shopping or sightseeing at leisure. (B)
Day 4

SALISBURY • STONEHENGE • ROMAN BATHS:

We depart London and travel to Salisbury. In the Wiltshire countryside, we visit the Neolithic stone circle of Stonehenge, one of the most famous wonders of the world. Dating back to approximately 3000 BC, the circle of huge upright and horizontal rectangular stones continues to fascinate academics, spiritualists and visitors. As we marvel at this mysterious site, we consider the age old question of how and why hundreds of people transported five ton stones from all over the South of England and Wales to create a monument that has no obvious function. Our journey continues as we travel to the historical city of Bath. Here we visit the Roman Baths, which are some of the best preserved Roman ruins in the world. We wander through this vast leisure complex just as the Romans did over 2000 years ago. Built in 70 AD over hot springs, the Great Bath still receives over one million liters of hot water daily from the 12,000 year old Kings Spring below. Later, we continue to Cardiff to check into our hotel and enjoy a delicious dinner. (B, D)
Day 5

CARDIFF • WEXFORD:

After breakfast, we enjoy a scenic tour of the Welsh capital of Cardiff. With its long and fascinating history, the city of Cardiff continually reinvents itself for the future. Cardiff Castle towers over the historical centre showing off an eclectic collection of architectural styles and Llandaff Cathedral marks one of the oldest Christian sites in Britain. Adjacent to the city centre, Bute Park is where historical buildings, urban woodland and the River Taff combine to create the city’s green heart. Down at the rejuvenated Cardiff Bay area, the old docklands and red light district have been replaced with Europe’s largest waterfront development - offering visitor attractions like the red-brick Norwegian Church, Doctor Who Experience and Welsh Millennium Centre cultural hub. Later today, we board the ferry to cross the Irish Sea to Wexford. (B)
Day 6

WATERFORD • CORK • BLARNEY CASTLE:

Our first stop today is Waterford Crystal visitor centre in the heart of Waterford City. The centre includes the Waterford Crystal retail store, exhibition and crystal installation areas, coffee shop and worldwide shipping facility. Our tour includes a unique factory tour which gives us an up-close insight into the centuries-old tradition of Waterford Crystal making. After the tour, browse the world’s most famous crystal in a lavish retail store, which houses the largest collection of Waterford Crystal found anywhere in the world. Later, we travel along the scenic south coast of Ireland to Cork. Originally established in the 12th century as a trading city on the banks of the placid Lee River, Cork is now a thriving city of 150,000 and home to one of Ireland’s most legendary attractions, Blarney Castle. Built in 1446, Blarney Castle is famous for its Blarney stone, the Stone of Eloquence, which is traditionally believed to have the power to bestow the gift of eloquence on all those who kiss it. The Castle gardens covering 60 acres of land are under constant change with the addition of a water garden, fern garden and poison garden. After crossing the beautiful Derrynasaggart Mountains, we arrive in Kerry to check into our hotel. Tonight we’ll enjoy dinner at a traditional Irish farm or schoolhouse. (B, D)
Day 7

RING OF KERRY EXCURSION • SALMON FACTORY • SCHOOLHOUSE DINNER:

Today is a great day for pictures! The “Ring of Kerry” is the most famous and scenic route in Ireland. Along the coast, as we travel around the Ring, see spectacular scenery of the mountains, peat bogs, lakes and magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean. Leaving Killarney, we pass through Killorglin, famous for its Puck Fair, and then on to Glenbeigh, where the cliff road affords scenic views of the Dingle Peninsula and Dingle Bay. As we travel to Cahirciveen, we pass the birthplace of Ireland’s national hero, Daniel O’Connell. We see peat bogs on the way to the town of Waterville and then brightly colored houses in Sneem Village. Our journey continues through the mountains to Molls Gap and Ladies View with superb views of the famous Lakes of Killarney. Here, on our tour of a smoked salmon factory, we are shown the key stages of preparing fish for the smoking and after-smoking process. As we sample the smoked salmon, we hear about the life cycle of the king of fish. This evening , we’re greeted at the Schoolhouse gate by the headmaster. Learn about schol life in Ireland in the 1900’s. Musicians will entertain us during
Day 8

ROCK OF CASHEL • DUBLIN:

We start our morning with a visit to the Rock of Cashel. Perched on a 200-foot high outcrop of limestone, the Rock of Cashel towers over the town of Cashel and is possibly the most photographed site in Ireland. The impressive stone walls enclose a round tower, a cathedral, a twelfth century Romanesque chapel and high crosses. The Rock of Cashel has the most remarkable collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture to be found anywhere in Europe. We continue our journey towards Dublin, a cosmopolitan, but laid-back city. Dublin is rich in Georgian architecture, beautiful parks and spacious squares. After checking into our hotel, we have the evening at leisure and dinner on own. (B)
Day 9

DUBLIN • TRINITY COLLEGE • BOOK OF KELLS• IRISH IMMIGRATION MUSEUM:

Today we tour Dublin where we discover the north and south side of the River Liffey. This area offers striking monuments such as the GPO (General Post Office) on O’Connell Street, the Custom House along the quays, as well as the Phoenix Park, the largest public park in Europe. The south side appears more sophisticated with its vast Georgian squares, such as Merrion Square, where Oscar Wilde’s House can still be found, along with Grafton Street and its quality shops. We see the house of Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula. We visit Trinity College, where the famous book of Kells is permanently exhibited in its library. At Epic, the Irish Emigration Museum, we experience this state-ofthe- art interactive museum located in the beautiful vaults of the 1820 Custom House Quarter building in Dublin’s Docklands, the original departure point for so many of Ireland’s emigrants. Here we discover the stories of Irish emigration around the world, from early times to the modern day. We immerse ourselves in the stories of some of the most remarkable tales of sacrifice, endurance, adventure, and discovery the world has ever known. (B)
Day 10

WALKING TOUR OF CHESTER • LIVERPOOL:

After breakfast, we begin our journey crossing the Irish Sea to Holyhead, Wales. We view magnificent scenery in Holyhead before making our way towards Chester, England. On the way, we drive through Snowdonia National Park, a mountainous region with some of the highest peaks in the United Kingdom. Upon arriving in Chester, we enjoy a walking tour of this walled, medieval city located in the county of Cheshire. Founded as a Roman fortress in the 1st century, we witness the beautiful sandstone city walls, the ruins of a Roman amphitheatre and the impressive Chester Cathedral. The tightly packed streets filled with distinctive black and white half gabled houses, traditional tea houses and pubs are reminiscent of Tudor England. Later we arrive in Liverpool where we overnight and dinner is included. (B, D)
Day 11

LAKE DISTRICT • GRETNA GREEN • EDINBURGH:

We travel to Lake District, famous for its lakes, forests and mountains, and its association with William Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter and John Ruskin. We stop at Grasmere to view the grave of William Wordsworth at St. Oswald’s Church. We continue across the Scottish boarder to visit Gretna Green, historically the first village in Scotland, as we make our way to our hotel in Edinburgh. (B)
Day 12

EDINBURGH • EDINBURGH CASTLE • TATTOO:

This morning we visit Edinburgh’s Castle. Edinburgh’s Castle rock has been a stronghold for over 3000 years. In its dominating position overlooking the capital city, the grandeur and historical significance of Edinburgh Castle has made it a globally famous icon of Scotland. With marvelous views and ancient buildings, the castle holds the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Scone. Next we enjoy a scenic tour of Edinburgh. Edinburgh is one of the world’s finest capital cities, because of its cultural diversity and impressive history. Among some of the sites, we see the Royal Mile, the Princes Street Gardens, and also Calton Hill, providing us fantastic views of the city. This evening, prepare for a night to remember at the famous Edinburgh Tattoo. (B)
Day 13

ALNWICH • YORK:

Today we visit the medieval market town of Alnwick to see Alnwick Castle and the 83 foot tall Tenantry Column, topped by the Percy Lion. En route to York, we view magnificent scenery as we cross the Tyne at Newcastle. Upon arrival, we enjoy a walking tour of York, a city established by the Romans in 71 AD. York’s pivotal role in the history of England is showcased today in this well-preserved city. We journey along medieval city walls, visit the ruined 11th century St. Mary’s Abbey and marvel at the exterior of the imposing gothic cathedral. An essential York experience, we walk through the city centre’s maze of half-timbered houses and fascinatingly-named, narrow lanes like The Shambles and Whip-ma-Whop-ma- Gate. We hear stories of the city and the people of York who experienced plagues, sackings, genocides, an unsuccessful civil war, and the coming-and-goings of Roman, Viking, Norman and Scottish armies. (B)
Day 14

STRATFORD-UPON-AVON:

This morning, we visit the charming market town of Stratford-upon-Avon. Here we tour the distinctive 16th century, half-timbered house where the great Bard William Shakespeare was born, grew up and lived with Anne Hathaway and his children for the first five years of their married life. Showcased in a number of exhibitions, we see artifacts and memorabilia, one of which includes a copy of the only known portrait of the playwright. Along with the house, we may visit the shop, café and gardens. We have a photo stop at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Gardens on our way to our hotel in Warwick. The rest of the day is at leisure and this evening, we enjoy a delicious meal at our hotel. (B, D)
Day 15

BLADON • OXFORD • LONDON:

We continue our journey towards London. On the way, we stop at St. Martin’s Churchyard in Bladon to see the grave of Sir Winston Churchill. We then visit one of the thirty-eight historic colleges at the University of Oxford. We arrive in London later this afternoon to check-in to our hotel. (B)
Day 16

DEPART LONDON:

Our incredible and memorable tour comes to an end as we board our flight home to America. (B)
England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales
Departure Dates
16 Days
Select a date to book a tour:
(Pricing Per Person)
Double Triple Quad Single
$4799 $N/A $N/A $5959
MEALS INCLUDED
Breakfasts: 14
Dinners: 5
AIRFARE
(from Charlotte, NC)
July 29 - To be advised
Passport Required.
Passport Required.
NOTES
  • Tour arranged by Abbey & Christian Tours
Activity Level: 4
Easy
Strenuous