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The Best of Scotland and Ireland

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You are viewing the 2024 itinerary. Select your departure year
20242025
13 days From $4,995 per person
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Explore the natural beauty of three of the British Isles' most scenic countries.

Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager

2024 Tour code: CEG24

About the tour

Experience three of the British Isles' most scenic countries on a tour that showcases the best of these Celtic beauties. Beginning in Scotland, we explore the majestic Highlands before travelling to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, nations with intertwined culture and history. 

Travelling on the scenic West Highland and Kyle railway lines, we discover Scotland's historic castles, glistening lochs, and vibrant cities. Then, we explore vibrant Dublin, drive along the Causeway Coastal Route, and admire the natural beauty of the dramatic Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. Join us on this popular tour, that's better than ever with fabulous hotels and a seamless itinerary.

Unforgettable Experiences

Three Scenic Rail Journeys
Three Scenic Rail Journeys
Get acquainted with the beautiful Scottish Highlands while on three scenic rail journeys. The Kyle Line, West Highland Line, and the Jacobite Steam Train.
Glen Ord Distillery
Glen Ord Distillery
Taste authentic Scotch Whiskey following tours of Glen Ord Distillery.
The Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher
Cruise past one of Ireland's most dramatic sites: the towering Cliffs of Moher.
Belfast Guided Tour
Belfast Guided Tour
Learn about Belfast's rich and colorful history while on a guided city tour featuring a self-guided tour of the Titanic Center.
Giant's Causeway
Giant's Causeway
Follow the scenic Causeway Coastal Route to Giant's Causeway, an impressive collection of more than 40,000 basalt columns.
Blarney
Blarney
Spend your free time in Blarney exploring the ruins and gardens of Blarney Castle with plenty of time to kiss the Stone of Eloquence.
Galway Tour
Galway Tour
Join a walking tour through the compact and lively city of Galway.
Dublin Tour
Dublin Tour
Discover sits like Dublin Castle, Trinity College, and more while on a Panoramic City Tour of Dublin.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – Vibrant Edinburgh 

We begin our Celtic adventure in Edinburgh, meeting at our hotel where we spend the first night. The heart of this monumental city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its medieval Old Town, elegant Georgian New Town, and award-winning modern architecture.

Until the late 18th century Edinburgh consisted mainly of what is known as the Old Town, including the Royal Mile and Grassmarket. The wide neoclassical streets, buildings and gardens of the New Town were designed in the Georgian period. Besides its fascinating history, the city offers incredible views, a wealth of museums and galleries, and a vibrant culture. 

Overnight Edinburgh.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 – Cheerful Inverness 

We take the train to Inverness, a city nestled at the north end of the Great Glen where the River Ness flows into the Moray Firth. Known as the 'gateway to the Highlands', the city boasts a handsome sandstone castle, thriving culinary scene, and warm and welcoming locals - as well as a fantastic location. We get a taste of Scotland with a visit to the Glen Ord Distillery for a tour and whisky tasting, before checking into our hotel for two nights. There's time to relax before dinner this evening.

 Overnight Inverness.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 – The beautiful Kyle Line and the iconic Eilean Donan Castle 

Today begins with a journey to Kyle of Lochalsh on the wonderful Kyle Line. Skirting alongside lochs and through wild mountain landscapes, we admire the cascading waterfalls, mesmerising nature, and towering peaks that roll by the windows. Arriving at Kyle of Lochalsh, we visit Eilean Donan Castle, one of the most striking castles in Scotland. Perched atop a tiny island at the confluence of Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh, this iconic fortress has played a role in several films. 

After exploring the castle's history and amazing views, we continue by coach to Fort Augustus where we enjoy an entertaining 'Clansman Show'. Our presenter, usually dressed in the Feilidh Mhor, explains how the 'days of old' Highland families ate, lived and survived. We learn the clan system and local culture as interactive demonstrations showcase traditional Highland dress and ancient weapons.

 Overnight Inverness.

**please note: on select departures there is an hotel change to the Clansman Loch Ness, situated on the shores of Loch Ness around 25 minutes from the city center.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - The enchanting Jacobite Steam Train 

Our coach takes us to Mallaig this morning, stopping to admire the excellent views over Glenfinnan Viaduct, a historic viaduct that featured in three of the 'Harry Potter' movies. There's some time to take photos before we board the iconic Jacobite Steam Train and travel to Fort William, our base for the night.  

Recapturing a golden era of steam rail travel for a new generation of visitors and enthusiasts, the Jacobite Steam Train was introduced in 1984 and takes us through beautiful scenery, passing dramatic mountains, skirting the shores of lochs and winding past quaint villages and railway stations. After checking into our hotel, we enjoy dinner this evening. 

Overnight Fort William.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 – Bustling Glasgow 

We join the wonderful West Highland Line for a journey to the vibrant city of Glasgow, a scenic rail adventure that takes us through some of the world's most beautiful landscapes. We watch from the comfort of the carriages as the scenery outside the window changes dramatically, with the rugged Highlands giving way to the modern metropolis of Scotland's largest city.  

Once in Glasgow, we're treated to a delicious afternoon tea at a local tea room before checking into our hotel. You're then at leisure in the lively city to explore and with no dinner at the hotel this evening, you could dine at one of the local pubs or restaurants. 

Overnight Glasgow.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 – Brilliant Belfast 

We bid farewell to Scotland today. We travel to Cairnryan then board the ferry to Belfast. Our coach picks us up from the port and we drive into Belfast where we enjoy a city panoramic tour taking in the Falls and Shankill former areas of conflict as well as the famous murals along the peace wall.

We also visit the world-famous Titanic Centre where you can explore at leisure learning about the construction of the ship and the stories of its passengers and crew. After checking in this evening, we enjoy dinner at our hotel.

 Overnight Belfast.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Causeway Coastal Route 

Today we head north along the Causeway Coastal Route, one of the most scenic drives in Northern Ireland. Heading toward the Giants Causeway, we stop enroute at Glenariff National Park before reaching the UNESCO heritage site. Here, we see the giant hexagon rock formations tumbling down into the Atlantic Ocean. 

Continuing our explorations, we stop for a photo opportunity at Dunluce Castle and the Dark Hedges, made famous in Game of Thrones. Back in the city, you're at leisure this evening. There's no dinner at the hotel, so you could take the opportunity to experience one of Belfast's many places to eat. From fine dining, brasseries and bistros to gastro pubs, cafes, coffee shops - there's a large choice. 

Overnight Belfast.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 – Hillsborough Castle and Cork 

Today we visit Hillsborough Castle, an official government residence and the spot where Queen Elizabeth II resided while visiting Northern Ireland. We enjoy a guided tour around the glorious royal residence, set within 100 acres of gorgeous gardens of meticulous ornamental lawns, peaceful woodlands and gently trickling waterways. Later, we take a coach to Dublin, crossing the border into the Republic of Ireland. Here, we board the train to Cork, where we check into our hotel for the night and enjoy dinner.

 Overnight Cork.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 – The Kingdom County 

This morning, we head west into Kerry, the kingdom county. Our first stop is the village of Blarney where there's time at leisure to wander the beautiful gardens or, if you're up for a challenge, climb the 15th-century castle's 127 steps to kiss the stone of eloquence. In Killarney, the afternoon is at your leisure to enjoy the town. You could shop for woollens or tweeds, visit Killarney House, or enjoy a traditional open boat trip around Killarney's beautiful lakes.  

For dinner this evening, we head to Muckross House for an Irish Night in Quills farmhouse with traditional food and entertainment.

Overnight Killarney.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 – Dramatic landscapes at The Ring of Kerry 

After breakfast, we enjoy a ride on a traditional Killarney mode of transport, a Jaunting Car (horse-drawn carriage), before a tour of Ross Castle. This historic fortress sits on the shores of Lough Leane in Killarney National Park and we explore its stone walls and picturesque surroundings. 

We then have a chance to soak up the dramatic beauty of Ireland on a scenic drive around the Ring of Kerry. We're joined on the coach by an expert guide who narrates the area of tumultuous sea, windswept cliffs and mountains. Along the way, we see Torc Waterfall - a natural wonder, the breathtaking Moll's Gap, and Ladies View - a vantage point with amazing views. 

After dinner at the hotel this evening, we're treated to a holiday highlight as we're whisked off to watch a Celtic Steps show, a lively performance of traditional Irish music and dance. 

 Overnight Killarney.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11 - The magnificent Cliffs of Moher 

We spend this morning visiting Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum today. The exhibition is in the lovely village of Foynes, where Irish Coffee was invented and we can enjoy a cup of the traditional drink while here. 

We then board the ferry to Clare, on the far west coast of Ireland. After disembarking the ferry, our coach takes us to the village of Doolin where we experience a boat trip into the Atlantic Ocean to view the mighty Cliffs of Moher from below. Ireland's most iconic natural attraction and a UNESCO Global Geopark, the area is made up of towering cliffs that rise up out of the sea as waves crash against the jagged rocks below. 

Overnight Galway.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 12 – Discovering dynamic Dublin 

This morning we journey by rail from the rugged beauty of the West Coast returning to the vibrant cityscape of Dublin. On a coach tour of Dublin, our expert guide shares fascinating insights while we enjoy panoramic views from the windows of iconic landmarks like the Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College, and Dublin Castle. 

Once we've checked into your hotel after the tour, you're at leisure for the rest of the day to explore more of Dublin's history, culture, and lively atmosphere. You could stroll through Temple Bar, a lively cultural quarter with narrow cobbled streets, art galleries, pubs, and street performers. Alternatively, you could further explore the landmarks we saw earlier from the coach with a tour of the Guinness Storehouse or a visit to Dublin Castle.

We meet back up again this evening for a fantastic farewell dinner together at Johnnie Fox's - renowned for being the highest pub in the country, and surrounded by the beautiful Dublin Mountains.

 Overnight Dublin.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 13 – Tour Conclusion

After breakfast this morning, our holiday comes to an end and you can head home.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotel

Clansman Loch Ness

Clansman Loch Ness

View hotel

Trains

Irish Railways
Jacobite Steam Train
The Kyle Line
West Highland Line

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