We start with a trip to Glendalough, one of Ireland’s most beautiful and spiritual spots. Then we move south to see the spectacular Dunmore Cave which was first mentioned in the 9th century. We also pay a visit to the iconic Rock of Cashel (Rock of the Kings) seat of the High Kings of Munster before a visit to the replica of the Dunbrody Famine Ship will give you an idea of life on board for the thousands of Irish families fleeing the famine and heading to America.
Blarney Castle was built over 600 years ago and it is here that will have the chance to kiss the Stone of Eloquence after which you will never again be lost for words. The Killarney National Park is home to the world famous Lakes of Killarney which sit beneath the highest mountain range in Ireland, McGillicuddy’s Reeks.
There’s an added bonus of The Dingle Peninsular before moving north to enter the unique landscape known as The Burren. In Connemara you will see Kylemore Abbey the oldest of the Irish Benedictine Abbeys together with a visit to Cong, deep in the heart of Joyce’s country and the setting of the film “The Quiet Man”.
Travelling up to Northern Ireland there’s a stop in Athlone where, should you want; you get the opportunity to take a Viking cruise. You then get a chance to marvel at The Seven Wonders of Fore before crossing the border.
In Belfast so you can immerse yourself in the Titanic experience before heading to Armagh where you have the afternoon free to explore this fascinating city. The Ulster American Folk Museum will take you through the story of Irish emigration to the U.S.A.
After that we call in at the plantation settlement of Bellaghy to visit Bellaghy Bawn which dates from the early 17th century. The Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland's iconic World Heritage Site and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is home to a wealth of local history and legend. What will you make of it? There will also be an opportunity to take the exhilarating rope bridge to Carrick-a-Rede island and enjoy a truly cliff top experience.
When you have come down to earth, it will be time to head across the North Channel to Scotland. As you stay in the Scottish Highlands you will enjoy some truly fabulous sights. Inveraray is a royal burgh in Argyll and Bute and a spell in its original historic jail will give you an authentic taste of prison life. Glencoe, scene of the famous massacre of the MacDonalds by the Campbells, is a magnificent and atmospheric place, and you will marvel at the scenery of the Road to the Isles as you travel in the famous Hogwarts Express to the ferry that will take you over to the stunning and romantic Isle of Skye.
Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most iconic images in Scotland. See for yourself. Clava Cairns is the site of an exceptionally well preserved group of prehistoric burial cairns that were built about 4000 years ago and from there you will visit the scene of the famous battle of Culloden.
A stop off at the magnificently situated Urquhart Castle will give you the perfect opportunity to spot Loch Ness’s famous resident Nessie. Scone Palace has an exciting and colourful history and is the original home of the Stone of Destiny and the site of the coronations of the Kings of Scots, while Stirling Castle is arguably Scotland’s finest castle and is situated on an extinct volcano.
Next is the beautiful city of Edinburgh. You will have plenty of free time to explore The Castle and the Royal Mile. You can also do some last minute shopping on Princes Street. No visit to Scotland is complete without a visit to Gretna Green and its world famous Blacksmith’s Shop that has been conducting weddings for over 250 years.
We then move on to the Lake District via Birdoswald Fort on Hadrian’s Wall. Before leaving the Lake District there’s time for a stop at the medieval village and Priory of Cartmel. Next up is a journey into Wales for a stay in Snowdonia, an area of breathtaking beauty, and home to the biggest and boldest mountains in England and Wales.
During our stay you will visit the village with the longest place name in the United Kingdom, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantisiliogogogoch, get the chance to walk over the majestic Pontcysyllte Aqueduct before stopping off at Llangollen home, every year, to the International Festival of Music. There’s also a trip to Beddgelert to hear the sad tale of Gelert, faithful hound of Prince Llewellyn and a journey over the Llanberis Pass a rugged slate strewn mountain pass by the side of Mount Snowdon Wale’s largest mountain.
Conwy is a classic walled town. It’s circuit of walls, over ¾ miles long is one of the finest in the world. The castle, built by Edward 1 and finished in 1289 is a magnificent fortress and the view from its battlements is unsurpassed. Plas Mawr the ‘Great Hall’ built between 1576 and 1585 for an influential Welsh merchant.
Swallow Falls, which is the highest continuous waterfall in Wales, is one of the most beautiful and breathtaking sights you will see. Unfortunately we then have to take you back to Manchester airport for your return home, but we are sure that your visit will live long in the memory.
Prices start at just £3,495 per person based on 2 people sharing double/twin rooms on a bed and breakfast basis. Transport from Dublin airport and to Manchester airport is included in the price as is entrance to the following attractions:
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Europe Ireland Scotland Wales Local Culture Sightseeing Archeology/History