Gain a deeper understanding of the British Isles’ fascinating geographical, political and social history by exploring four of its renowned capital cities: Dublin, Belfast, Edinburgh and London. Step inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Edinburgh Castle, behold the natural wonder of Giant’s Causeway, and keep an eye out for royalty at Buckingham Palace.
Day 1: Fly overnight to Ireland
Day 2: Dublin
– Meet your Tour Director at the airport in Dublin, Ireland’s capital city scenically situated between Dun Laoghaire (pronounced “dunleery”) and Howth Head’s rocky peaks.
– Take a walking tour of Dublin.
Day 3: Dublin
– Take an expertly guided tour of Dublin: Georgian squares; O’Connell Street; St. Stephen’s Green.
– See the Book of Kells at Trinity College. Irish monks created this calligraphic manuscript over 1,000 years ago.
– Admire St. Patrick’s Cathedral, whose presence honors the patron saint of Ireland.
Day 4: Dublin | Belfast
– Travel to Belfast, a city in transition, and learn how it’s redefining itself after famously undergoing a period of religious strife in the 1970s and 1980s.
– Take an expertly guided tour of Belfast, where you’ll visit Lower Falls and Shankill Road. You’ll also see giant political murals that help tell the history of Northern Ireland.
– Visit Titanic Belfast.
Day 5: Belfast
– Take an excursion to Giant’s Causeway.
– Continue to Derry.
– Take an expertly guided tour of Derry: St. Columb’s Cathedral; The Diamond.
– Return to Belfast.
Day 6: Edinburgh
– Travel by ferry to Stranraer.
– Continue on to Edinburgh, where Edinburgh Castle is the enduring symbol of Scotland’s capital and site of many of the nation’s storied events. Ownership of the fortress, perched atop an extinct volcano, changed hands many times over the centuries, from Scottish to English and back again. Mary, Queen of Scots, gave birth here to James VI of Scotland, who would later rule England as James I.
– Enjoy a free evening or attend a Scottish Ceilidh.
Day 7: Edinburgh | London
– Take an expertly guided tour of Edinburgh.
– Visit Edinburgh Castle.
– Enjoy free time in Edinburgh.
– Travel by train to London.
Day 8: London
– Explore London, a city of 8 million people that has become one of the world’s great melting pots while maintaining a distinct character that’s all its own.
– Take an expertly guided tour of London. From the London Bridge to the Houses of Parliament, Great Britain’s royal tradition and rich history greet you at every turn. Admire architectural marvels like the Baroque domes and spires of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the 17thcentury church designed by Sir Christopher Wren. Check out the lively five-way intersection at Piccadilly Circus. You may even get a chance to witness the ceremonial Changing of the Guard. And don’t forget to snap a picture of Big Ben from the banks of the River Thames.
– Visit a Knightsbridge Museum.
– Take a walking tour of London, where you’ll see iconic sites such as the Strand, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, and Covent Garden.
Day 9: London
–Excursion to the Tower of London And Harry Potter Studios (if unavailable, Windsor Castle)
Day 10: Depart for home