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Rural Landscapes of Ireland & Britain

16 days
Travel through the landscapes of Great Britain and Ireland, where hundreds of years of history spring to life. Start your journey with the scenic Ring of Kerry, then head to Blarney Castle and Dublin before crossing the Irish Sea to visit England’s Lake District. Turn north to the rolling Scottish Highlands before ending your adventure amid Edinburgh’s Georgian architecture.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Maximum tour group size: 35 travelers

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 14 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 8 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Expert Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Ireland today.

Limerick 1 night Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Limerick via Shannon

Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Ireland! Arrive in Shannon, then transfer to Limerick to meet your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

County Kerry 2 nights Hotel info

Day 3: Travel to County Kerry

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel through the rugged countryside of Western Ireland, stopping in the village of Adare en route to County Kerry.

Day 4: The Ring of Kerry

Included meals: Breakfast

Make your way around the Ring of Kerry, a 112-mile coastal route that covers some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery. 

• Pass the pristine Lakes of Killarney

• Gaze across Dingle Bay to the Dingle Peninsula

• Take in unsurpassed views of the Skellig Islands

• Explore the picturesque village of Sneem

Kilkenny 1 night Hotel info

Day 5: Kilkenny via Blarney Castle & Cobh

Included meals: Breakfast

Head to Kilkenny, a city built on the banks of the River Nore, stopping en route to

visit Blarney Castle and the small port town of Cobh.

• Enter Blarney Castle and kiss the legendary Blarney Stone, said to grant the “gift of gab”

• Discover Cobh, once a launch site for ships bound for North America

• Enter the Cobh Heritage Center to hear stories of Irish emigration

Dublin 2 nights Hotel info

Day 6: Sightseeing tours of Kilkenny & Dublin

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Discover St. Canice’s Cathedral, a well-known Kilkenny landmark, with your Tour Director. Later, meet a local Dubliner for a tour of Ireland’s capital city.

• Pass through Phoenix Park, one of Europe’s largest walled green spaces and site of the presidential residence

• Travel along the banks of the River Liffey and get a look at the Guinness Storehouse

• Visit Trinity College to see the illuminated Book of Kells

• Step inside the soaring St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Ireland’s largest church

Day 7: Free day in Dublin

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in Dublin or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Glendalough $29*pp Details

County Wicklow has some of the wildest and most spectacular mountain scenery in Ireland, as well as many of the country’s most important historic sites. Journey through Wicklow’s captivating landscapes to Glendalough, which became famous throughout Europe as a center of Christian learning before it was sacked by Viking raiders in the 10th century. Here, you’ll see St. Kevin’s Cross, marking the place where the saint lies buried, the remains of the sixth-century cathedral and the remarkable Round Tower, thought to have been used by monks as a place of refuge. Your Tour Director will lead you on a tour of the site followed by free time.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $39)

Cheshire 2 nights Hotel info

Day 8: Travel to Cheshire

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Take the ferry across the Irish Sea to Holyhead, Wales. 

• Pass through the stunning Welsh countryside 

• Visit Conwy Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site and medieval fortification that dates back to the 13th century

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Chester

Included meals: Breakfast

Join your Tour Director for an introduction to Chester,once a stronghold of the Roman empire.

• Admire the largest Roman amphitheater in England

• Pass the site of Chester’s original Roman fortress and four city gates

Enjoy a free afternoon in Chester or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Liverpool & The Beatles $69*pp Details

The home of Beatlemania, the city of Liverpool also has a deep British history. Once a small medieval fishing village, the city has grown to become one of England’s most important seaports. On this excursion, follow an expert local guide through the city’s revitalized streets to view such attractions as the Liverpool Cathedral and the Metropolitan Cathedral. Next, visit the Beatles Story Museum for the complete Beatles experience. You’ll also have some free time to explore on your own. Consider checking out the shops on rejuvenated Albert Dock, visiting the Maritime Museum or going to the Cavern Club, where the Fab Four used to play.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $79)

Lake District 2 nights Hotel info

Day 10: Travel to the Lake District

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Journey past the great cities of the Industrial Revolution and on to the moorlands above Halifax to arrive in the green landscapes of the Lake District. 

• Stop in the town of Haworth to visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum, where Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë once lived and wrote

• Drive through the Pennines, a mountain range known as “the backbone of England”

Day 11: Free day in the Lake District

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in the Lake District or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - A Day in the Lakes $59*pp Details

Travel through wooded valleys and charming lakeside villages on a day out in the Lakes, a scenic shire once heralded by the Romantic poets. You’ll visit Dove Cottage, home to poet William Wordsworth in the early 19th century. You’ll also enjoy free time in Bowness or Grasmere, as time allows. Continue on to Lakeside, where you’ll embark on a cruise of Lake Windermere, the largest of the region’s lakes.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $69)

Scottish Highlands 2 nights Hotel info

Day 12: Travel to the Scottish Highlands

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Cross into Scotland and travel onward to the historic Highlands region.

• Take in views of the charming Scottish countryside

• Pay a visit to Edradour Distillery, the smallest traditional whisky distillery in Scotland, and enjoy a tasting

Day 13: Free day in the Scottish Highlands

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Spend a full free day in the Highlands or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle & Inverness $95*pp Details

The subject of legend and lore, Loch Ness is one of Scotland’s most well-known lakes. Here, you’ll delve into the history surrounding its infamous inhabitant, Nessie, at the Loch Ness 2000 exhibition. Keep your eye out for the fabled monster as you make your way along the loch’s banks to the magnificently situated Urquhart castle, once a medieval fortress. Take time to explore the ruins of this ancient stronghold before continuing on to Inverness, the city regarded as the capital of the Scottish Highlands. After a short orientation tour led by your Tour Director, you’ll enjoy free time for lunch, shopping or exploration on your own.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $105)

Edinburgh 2 nights Hotel info

Day 14: Edinburgh via the Trossachs

Included meals: Breakfast

Motor through the Trossachs countryside, passing scenic mountains and lochs. En route to Edinburgh, stop for a visit at Stirling Castle, where King James VI once lived.

Enjoy a free evening in Edinburgh or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Scottish Céilidh $119*pp Details

Enjoy a special evening of Scottish tradition as you witness an authentic céilidh, an age-old Scottish celebration. Along with a savory dinner of local favorites, the evening will feature folk dancers, bagpipers, fiddlers and the “Ceremony of the Haggis.” Please note: This optional is seasonal from May to September.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Day 15: Sightseeing tour of Edinburgh

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Follow a Scottish local on a sightseeing tour that takes you through the Scottish capital’s Old and New Towns.

• View the Georgian-style New Town and the Royal Mile, two UNESCO World Heritage sites

• Pass the Sir Walter Scott monument, the largest monument to a writer in the world 

• Enter Edinburgh Castle to view the Scottish crown jewels and Stone of Scone

Enjoy a free afternoon in Edinburgh or add an excursion. 

Later, say goodbye to your group at a farewell dinner.

Optional Excursion - St Andrews $79*pp Details

St Andrews may be most well-known as the home of golf, but it's also the site of Scotland's oldest university. On this excursion, you'll pass by the 16th-century grounds of St Andrews University, the alma mater of Prince William, who met Kate Middleton here. You'll also pass by the ruins of the town's cathedral and castle. Later, visit the British Golf Museum, where you’ll discover how golf transformed from a Scottish pastime into a global obsession. Please note: The British Golf Museum will be closed for renovations through May 2015.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

Day 16: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or extend your stay to visit London.

Add London $699 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

A city that loves to be explored, London beckons with world-class (and often free) museums and galleries, quirky shops, outstanding restaurants, royal pageantry, charming neighborhoods and an unconquered heritage of more than 2,000 years of history.

London 3 nights Hotel info

Day 16: Travel to London

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Board a train through the English countryside bound for London, England’s capital city backed by over 2,000 years of history.

Day 17: Sightseeing tour of London

Included meals: Breakfast

Take a guided tour of London’s regal landmarks with a local expert leading the way. 

• Pass the grand Trafalgar Square and Baroque-style St. Paul’s Cathedral, perched atop Ludgate Hill

• See Westminster Abbey, the setting for royal coronations and weddings

• View icons like Big Ben, the London Eye and the Tower of London

• Stop by Buckingham Palace, where you may catch the Changing of the Guard

Enjoy a free afternoon in London or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Windsor Castle $99*pp Details

Led by a Blue Badge Guide, you’ll travel to Windsor for a guided visit to the world’s largest and longest inhabited castle. Founded by William the Conqueror in 1070, Windsor has been the British Royal Family’s preferred retreat for the past 900 years. Step inside the State Apartments and St. George’s Chapel (closed Sundays), where the Knights of the Garter ceremony takes place. View the exhibit of royal treasures on display within the castle. You’ll then have time to stroll through the town of Windsor and have a look at Eton College, a prestigious prep school attended by Princes William and Harry. Please note: Windsor Castle is occasionally closed when in use by the Royal Family; a visit to Henry VIII’s Hampton Court will be substituted when necessary.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Day 18: Free day in London

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in London or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Stonehenge & Oxford $125*pp Details

Stonehenge & Oxford

Visit the university city of Oxford, home to one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world. Tour the charming city and the University of Oxford, taking in the famous spire-studded architecture and rich history. Next, continue on to Stonehenge, perhaps England’s most mysterious landmark. The origin and purpose of this ring of stones, which dates back an estimated 5,000 years, is unknown, though most believe it was a temple and observatory. Take some time to explore the intriguing stone formations and visit the newly opened exhibition and visitor center before heading back to London.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Day 19: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 14 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 8 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Expert Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Ireland today.

Limerick 1 night Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Limerick via Shannon

Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Ireland! Arrive in Shannon, then transfer to Limerick to meet your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

County Kerry 2 nights Hotel info

Day 3: Travel to County Kerry

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel through the rugged countryside of Western Ireland, stopping in the village of Adare en route to County Kerry.

Day 4: The Ring of Kerry

Included meals: Breakfast

Make your way around the Ring of Kerry, a 112-mile coastal route that covers some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery. 

• Pass the pristine Lakes of Killarney

• Gaze across Dingle Bay to the Dingle Peninsula

• Take in unsurpassed views of the Skellig Islands

• Explore the picturesque village of Sneem

Kilkenny 1 night Hotel info

Day 5: Kilkenny via Blarney Castle & Cobh

Included meals: Breakfast

Head to Kilkenny, a city built on the banks of the River Nore, stopping en route to

visit Blarney Castle and the small port town of Cobh.

• Enter Blarney Castle and kiss the legendary Blarney Stone, said to grant the “gift of gab”

• Discover Cobh, once a launch site for ships bound for North America

• Enter the Cobh Heritage Center to hear stories of Irish emigration

Dublin 2 nights Hotel info

Day 6: Sightseeing tours of Kilkenny & Dublin

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Discover St. Canice’s Cathedral, a well-known Kilkenny landmark, with your Tour Director. Later, meet a local Dubliner for a tour of Ireland’s capital city.

• Pass through Phoenix Park, one of Europe’s largest walled green spaces and site of the presidential residence

• Travel along the banks of the River Liffey and get a look at the Guinness Storehouse

• Visit Trinity College to see the illuminated Book of Kells

• Step inside the soaring St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Ireland’s largest church

Day 7: Free day in Dublin

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in Dublin or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Glendalough $29*pp Details

County Wicklow has some of the wildest and most spectacular mountain scenery in Ireland, as well as many of the country’s most important historic sites. Journey through Wicklow’s captivating landscapes to Glendalough, which became famous throughout Europe as a center of Christian learning before it was sacked by Viking raiders in the 10th century. Here, you’ll see St. Kevin’s Cross, marking the place where the saint lies buried, the remains of the sixth-century cathedral and the remarkable Round Tower, thought to have been used by monks as a place of refuge. Your Tour Director will lead you on a tour of the site followed by free time.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $39)

Cheshire 2 nights Hotel info

Day 8: Travel to Cheshire

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Take the ferry across the Irish Sea to Holyhead, Wales. 

• Pass through the stunning Welsh countryside 

• Visit Conwy Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site and medieval fortification that dates back to the 13th century

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Chester

Included meals: Breakfast

Join your Tour Director for an introduction to Chester,once a stronghold of the Roman empire.

• Admire the largest Roman amphitheater in England

• Pass the site of Chester’s original Roman fortress and four city gates

Enjoy a free afternoon in Chester or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Liverpool & The Beatles $69*pp Details

The home of Beatlemania, the city of Liverpool also has a deep British history. Once a small medieval fishing village, the city has grown to become one of England’s most important seaports. On this excursion, follow an expert local guide through the city’s revitalized streets to view such attractions as the Liverpool Cathedral and the Metropolitan Cathedral. Next, visit the Beatles Story Museum for the complete Beatles experience. You’ll also have some free time to explore on your own. Consider checking out the shops on rejuvenated Albert Dock, visiting the Maritime Museum or going to the Cavern Club, where the Fab Four used to play.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $79)

Lake District 2 nights Hotel info

Day 10: Travel to the Lake District

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Journey past the great cities of the Industrial Revolution and on to the moorlands above Halifax to arrive in the green landscapes of the Lake District. 

• Stop in the town of Haworth to visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum, where Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë once lived and wrote

• Drive through the Pennines, a mountain range known as “the backbone of England”

Day 11: Free day in the Lake District

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in the Lake District or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - A Day in the Lakes $59*pp Details

Travel through wooded valleys and charming lakeside villages on a day out in the Lakes, a scenic shire once heralded by the Romantic poets. You’ll visit Dove Cottage, home to poet William Wordsworth in the early 19th century. You’ll also enjoy free time in Bowness or Grasmere, as time allows. Continue on to Lakeside, where you’ll embark on a cruise of Lake Windermere, the largest of the region’s lakes.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $69)

Scottish Highlands 2 nights Hotel info

Day 12: Travel to the Scottish Highlands

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Cross into Scotland and travel onward to the historic Highlands region.

• Take in views of the charming Scottish countryside

• Pay a visit to Edradour Distillery, the smallest traditional whisky distillery in Scotland, and enjoy a tasting

Day 13: Free day in the Scottish Highlands

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Spend a full free day in the Highlands or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle & Inverness $95*pp Details

The subject of legend and lore, Loch Ness is one of Scotland’s most well-known lakes. Here, you’ll delve into the history surrounding its infamous inhabitant, Nessie, at the Loch Ness 2000 exhibition. Keep your eye out for the fabled monster as you make your way along the loch’s banks to the magnificently situated Urquhart castle, once a medieval fortress. Take time to explore the ruins of this ancient stronghold before continuing on to Inverness, the city regarded as the capital of the Scottish Highlands. After a short orientation tour led by your Tour Director, you’ll enjoy free time for lunch, shopping or exploration on your own.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $105)

Edinburgh 2 nights Hotel info

Day 14: Edinburgh via the Trossachs

Included meals: Breakfast

Motor through the Trossachs countryside, passing scenic mountains and lochs. En route to Edinburgh, stop for a visit at Stirling Castle, where King James VI once lived.

Enjoy a free evening in Edinburgh or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Scottish Céilidh $119*pp Details

Enjoy a special evening of Scottish tradition as you witness an authentic céilidh, an age-old Scottish celebration. Along with a savory dinner of local favorites, the evening will feature folk dancers, bagpipers, fiddlers and the “Ceremony of the Haggis.” Please note: This optional is seasonal from May to September.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Day 15: Sightseeing tour of Edinburgh

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Follow a Scottish local on a sightseeing tour that takes you through the Scottish capital’s Old and New Towns.

• View the Georgian-style New Town and the Royal Mile, two UNESCO World Heritage sites

• Pass the Sir Walter Scott monument, the largest monument to a writer in the world 

• Enter Edinburgh Castle to view the Scottish crown jewels and Stone of Scone

Enjoy a free afternoon in Edinburgh or add an excursion. 

Later, say goodbye to your group at a farewell dinner.

Optional Excursion - St Andrews $79*pp Details

St Andrews may be most well-known as the home of golf, but it's also the site of Scotland's oldest university. On this excursion, you'll pass by the 16th-century grounds of St Andrews University, the alma mater of Prince William, who met Kate Middleton here. You'll also pass by the ruins of the town's cathedral and castle. Later, visit the British Golf Museum, where you’ll discover how golf transformed from a Scottish pastime into a global obsession. Please note: The British Golf Museum will be closed for renovations through May 2015.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

Day 16: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or extend your stay to visit London.

Add London $699 pp

A city that loves to be explored, London beckons with world-class (and often free) museums and galleries, quirky shops, outstanding restaurants, royal pageantry, charming neighborhoods and an unconquered heritage of more than 2,000 years of history.

London 3 nights Hotel info

Day 16: Travel to London

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Board a train through the English countryside bound for London, England’s capital city backed by over 2,000 years of history.

Day 17: Sightseeing tour of London

Included meals: Breakfast

Take a guided tour of London’s regal landmarks with a local expert leading the way. 

• Pass the grand Trafalgar Square and Baroque-style St. Paul’s Cathedral, perched atop Ludgate Hill

• See Westminster Abbey, the setting for royal coronations and weddings

• View icons like Big Ben, the London Eye and the Tower of London

• Stop by Buckingham Palace, where you may catch the Changing of the Guard

Enjoy a free afternoon in London or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Windsor Castle $99*pp Details

Led by a Blue Badge Guide, you’ll travel to Windsor for a guided visit to the world’s largest and longest inhabited castle. Founded by William the Conqueror in 1070, Windsor has been the British Royal Family’s preferred retreat for the past 900 years. Step inside the State Apartments and St. George’s Chapel (closed Sundays), where the Knights of the Garter ceremony takes place. View the exhibit of royal treasures on display within the castle. You’ll then have time to stroll through the town of Windsor and have a look at Eton College, a prestigious prep school attended by Princes William and Harry. Please note: Windsor Castle is occasionally closed when in use by the Royal Family; a visit to Henry VIII’s Hampton Court will be substituted when necessary.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Day 18: Free day in London

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in London or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Stonehenge & Oxford $125*pp Details

Stonehenge & Oxford

Visit the university city of Oxford, home to one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world. Tour the charming city and the University of Oxford, taking in the famous spire-studded architecture and rich history. Next, continue on to Stonehenge, perhaps England’s most mysterious landmark. The origin and purpose of this ring of stones, which dates back an estimated 5,000 years, is unknown, though most believe it was a temple and observatory. Take some time to explore the intriguing stone formations and visit the newly opened exhibition and visitor center before heading back to London.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Day 19: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Limerick, Ireland
  • County Kerry, Ireland
  • Kilkenny, Ireland
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Cheshire, England
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • London, England
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & Visa Requirements

This tour includes the following countries: United Kingdom (England, Scotland, and Wales on the transfer) and Ireland. In order to enter these countries, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your particular entry requirements.

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height). Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & Packing Tips

To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks associated with traveling to England, Ireland and Scotland. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

Cuisine

Traditional Irish cooking is simple, relying on meat-based dishes. The traditional Irish stew is always popular choices. Soda bread is delicious and very filling, as are Irish cakes, such as scones and Barm Brack. The thick, black stout known as Guinness is a national institution in its own right. In recent years, Dublin has seen something of a culinary revolution, and the city now boasts an impressive array of new restaurants offering exciting cuisine with continental European, Asian and Californian influences.

Specialties of Scotland include kippers, smoked salmon, Scotch broth, venison, shortbread, oatcakes and haggis (made of sheep innards). As in Ireland, sometimes the best (and least expensive) meals are found in pubs. Whisky is a favored local spirit, and Scottish ales are equally world-famous.

For traditional English fare at a reasonable price, try a pub meal. Stilton cheese, steak and kidney pie and Cumberland sausages are specialties. Sip afternoon tea with delicious finger sandwiches and scones at Harrods for the ultimate in English tradition. Modern-day London also boasts an array of ethnic restaurants unmatched by almost any other city in the world. Popular options for the adventuresome palate include Indian, Thai, Chinese, Indonesian, Greek and West African cuisine.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in Shannon, Ireland, and depart from Edinburgh, Scotland (London on the extension). Transportation from Ireland to Wales (by ferry) is also included. All other transportation is serviced by private motor coach. Dublin and Edinburgh are both best explored on foot, although buses and taxis are available. In London, you can’t get around without using the legendary, 12-line “tube,” connecting all the districts and attractions. You might want to mix up travel on the tube with some walking and bus travel. Don’t miss the chance to explore London on the iconic double-decker buses.

Electricity

Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) uses 240 volts. Ireland operates on the European-standard 220 volts.

Time Zones

Britain and Ireland both operate on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is five hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Currency

The euro (in Ireland) and the British pound are the currencies you’ll be using on tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination countries, although it is worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We strongly advise that you take credit cards and ATM cards, as needed. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalency of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalency of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

How's the weather?

  • Limerick, Ireland
  • County Kerry, Ireland
  • Kilkenny, Ireland
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Cheshire, England
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • London, England
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & Visa Requirements

This tour includes the following countries: United Kingdom (England, Scotland, and Wales on the transfer) and Ireland. In order to enter these countries, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your particular entry requirements.

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height). Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & Packing Tips

To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks associated with traveling to England, Ireland and Scotland. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

Cuisine

Traditional Irish cooking is simple, relying on meat-based dishes. The traditional Irish stew is always popular choices. Soda bread is delicious and very filling, as are Irish cakes, such as scones and Barm Brack. The thick, black stout known as Guinness is a national institution in its own right. In recent years, Dublin has seen something of a culinary revolution, and the city now boasts an impressive array of new restaurants offering exciting cuisine with continental European, Asian and Californian influences.

Specialties of Scotland include kippers, smoked salmon, Scotch broth, venison, shortbread, oatcakes and haggis (made of sheep innards). As in Ireland, sometimes the best (and least expensive) meals are found in pubs. Whisky is a favored local spirit, and Scottish ales are equally world-famous.

For traditional English fare at a reasonable price, try a pub meal. Stilton cheese, steak and kidney pie and Cumberland sausages are specialties. Sip afternoon tea with delicious finger sandwiches and scones at Harrods for the ultimate in English tradition. Modern-day London also boasts an array of ethnic restaurants unmatched by almost any other city in the world. Popular options for the adventuresome palate include Indian, Thai, Chinese, Indonesian, Greek and West African cuisine.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in Shannon, Ireland, and depart from Edinburgh, Scotland (London on the extension). Transportation from Ireland to Wales (by ferry) is also included. All other transportation is serviced by private motor coach. Dublin and Edinburgh are both best explored on foot, although buses and taxis are available. In London, you can’t get around without using the legendary, 12-line “tube,” connecting all the districts and attractions. You might want to mix up travel on the tube with some walking and bus travel. Don’t miss the chance to explore London on the iconic double-decker buses.

Electricity

Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) uses 240 volts. Ireland operates on the European-standard 220 volts.

Time Zones

Britain and Ireland both operate on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is five hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Currency

The euro (in Ireland) and the British pound are the currencies you’ll be using on tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination countries, although it is worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We strongly advise that you take credit cards and ATM cards, as needed. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalency of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalency of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

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4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 10/10/2014

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: PA

Tour Director: 2 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Gorgeous journey

The "Rural landscapes" tour is just that, and they are beautiful. We had sun in LImerick, rain in Dublin, gales in the Scottish highlands, and it was all wonderful regardless. The lakes were superb, in Ireland, England and Scotland. Rainbows were plentiful. The castles were glorious (make sure to see Bunratty at the beginning; it's like being transported to the fifteenth century.) There were delightful villages, such as Comwy in Wales, just below the castle there.The food was often excellent and many meals were included, a real bonus. We were only ten in the group, and that, too, was really good (and not simply for logistical reasons!). My only complaint is our guide. He started off very well (the unscheduled first castle, the Irish whiskeys), but by the end I felt he had lost interest. His historical knowledge was sometimes shaky. In one outrageous instance, he pretty well abandoned us, if only briefly. He had our bus parked some half mile below our destination, all uphill; our bus ride had been overlong; he raced ahead to find the bathrooms and disappeared from view so that we, who had obviously never been there before, had to ask at an information booth where to find them--which wasn't easy even after the uphill hike. As one of the men in the group commented afterward, "I could feel his tip shrinking in my pocket." (To return, he had the bus brought to within yards of where we were, so it certainly wasn't a case of not being able to bring us closer.) Accomodations varied. Some were excellent: the first night at the Radisson Blu, the hotels in the countryside in England and Scotland. The hotel in Dublin was a particularly poor choice, and poorly located. (We were told it was because some people complained about the city noise. I have my doubts that was a majority complaint--or even the real reason.) The one in Edinburgh was better, and though it had no restaurant, there were numerous options nearby (as we learned from the hotel, not from our guide). Of our three bus drivers, two were fine (it does make a difference). Paddy, the Irish one, was priceless. I was also glad that the trip included the two days in Dublin and the one in Edinburgh.,A second day would have been lovely, since it's such an interesting city, but having five hours free time after the city-and-castle tour was really nice, especially since the Scottish tour guide had given us a variety of things we might see (aside from shopping!). In fact, the pace of the trip, especially considering how many different places we saw and how actively we saw them, was very pleasantly leisurely, On the whole, this was a well-planned and very rewarding trip.

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1 / 8

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 7/11/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MB

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Our first tour with goahead!

We really enjoyed our trip of the Rural Landscapes of Ireland and Britain. We had a couple of bus issues which resulted in missing a couple of our optionals, but Goahead have said they are reimbursing us which is awesome. Our tour director was from Italy and wasn't really familiar with Ireland and Scotland and was relying on our bus drivers to help her out. We also had extended our stay and goahead was to extend our hotel rooms but found out that they had not. It did work out in the end, but a lot of worries when you think you will have to be looking for 3 rooms in London at peak tourist season.

 

Dear Tracey, Thank you for sharing your review of your recent tour of Rural Landscapes of Ireland & Britain. We would like to apologize again for the mishaps during your tour and we are glad that you feel we addressed your concerns. We’re so glad you enjoyed your time in Britain and Ireland, and I hope we have the opportunity to reassure you of your choice to travel with Go Ahead Tours.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | August 14, 2014

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/20/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TX

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Memorable Moments!

My husband and I had looked forward to traveling to Ireland and Scotland for two years to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and discover family roots. We were not disappointed! What a fun bunch of people with whom to travel and a great tour director. Ali warmly welcomed us at the airport, shared Ireland and the UK's rich histories, and helped us plan our own excursion to meet with family in Scotland. With her help we were able to travel on our own via public rail and bus transportation! We made several travel friends with whom we look forward to traveling with again! Every part of this tour was fabulous, and our favorite was the Ring of Kerry in Ireland and meeting and visiting with family in Scotland! Thanks for offering such quality travel at such reasonable prices with memories to last a lifetime!

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1 / 1

3 / 5

3 / 5

Traveled On: 7/11/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MB

Tour Director: 2 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Fantastic Friendly UK

Having recently returned from a tour of Ireland, Scotland and briefly into Wales and England, I have many great memories of the people we travelled with along with the absolutely gorgeous scenery. Mountains, lakes, rivers, castles, cathedrals, villages, tour of Wordworth's home, ancient buildings, sheep, cattle, sunsets and sunrises all gave me what I was looking for in a tour. Hotels for the most part were exceptionally clean aside from Fort William where we were assigned a room that was dank and damp with moldy ceilings and walls in the bathroom. Dampness was seeping up through the bathroom floor in the morning. After discussion with the desk clerk about the condition of the room, we were moved to a much drier room the second night. It was great! Portage of luggage was an issue as there were not sufficient hotel staff to carry our luggage to and from the rooms and some of our male passengers ended up doing much of the carrying and loading. Other hotels were fantastic aside from the cot which touched the floor when you sat on it in Cheshire. The bottle of wine which we received was not much good to us as we left it behind as it was too heavy to pack and too much to drink at once. Transportation - after having travelled with another company last year on the continent, I was appalled at the condition of the bus which we had. It was anything but clean. Dried gum was stuck to a tray and the back of a seat, some of the seats were missing trays and/or netting to hold water bottles, The floor was only swept during the last couple of days of the trip. The garbage container was not emptied. The bus broke down twice, in one case leaving us stranded in downtown Liverpool. We walked back to where we were to attend the Beatles exhibit. We were late and missed the movie, and felt rushed getting going through the display. The other major disappointment was missing the tour of the Ilean Donan castle due to a mix up with the ferry ride to Isle of Skye. Included meals were very good with lots of variety to chose from. It was a treat to have a choice. The farewell dinner was a disappointment as it was Italian (very slow service and then rushed out before everyone had dessert). I expected to have a Scottish meal. The ceilidh in Edinburgh was great - music, food, etc Even the fire alarms going off at the beginning couldn't put a damper on the fun. Just one more experience to add to my journal. Tour guide - I expected to have an Irish or Scottish tour guide and was disappointed in that we had an Italian guide who had little if any experience guiding in the area. While she did the best she could under the circumstances, it remained a major disappointment as we did not receive the "flavour of the Irish or Scots people". Along with the history we were told, it would have been interesting to know populations, economy of the countries, etc. We did get this with the local guides on the days we had tours. They all gave exceptional tours. Added events such as the peat bog, sheep herding and Irish music night, etc were much appreciated and enjoyed. Gretna appeared to be a great place but we only had 15 minutes which extended to much longer (we sat on the bus) while to the tour guide and driver negotiated for shortbread and candy. There would have been time to tour the blacksmith shop.

 

Dear Evelyn, We appreciate all of your feedback regarding your tour of Rural Landscapes of Ireland & Britain. I assure you that our attention to quality is of utmost importance so I apologize if this tour did not quite live up to what you were expecting from us. Feedback from our customers is critical to our success and is something we take very seriously. Thank you for taking the time to write this review, and please be assured that this information has been passed on to our operations department so that we can continue to improve our tour experiences.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | August 14, 2014

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 7/11/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TX

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Beautiful Countryside

This is our first tour so we have nothing to compare it to. The scenery was spectacular and we really enjoyed the villages. Often, we didn't have time to really get to see the town where we were staying, but then would spend too long in a tourist trap waiting to go to our next scheduled stop. This may be impossible to avoid and still make it through the country in the time allowed. Scheduling seemed to be a problem. Our biggest disappointment was having an Italian tour director on a tour of Ireland and Great Britain. A director who was familiar with the history, customs and the like would have certainly enhanced the experience. Most members of the tour wound up relying on the bus drivers for local information. The two local guides we had in Dublin and Edinburgh were excellent. I'm sure that herding a big group is difficult so I give our director applause for doing that. She just didn't really seem to want to be there leading us around. Overall though, our experience was good.

 

Dear Patricia, Thank you for your review and I’m glad you had a good time in Ireland and Britain! We do appreciate your comments about the scheduling of your tour. Unfortunately, due to the distances between some of the destinations on this itinerary it is often necessary to make stops to break up the longer drives. Often times these stops are only possible at larger facilities that are able to accommodate large coach buses and bigger groups of people. The feedback on your tour director is also appreciated and will be passed on to our operations department for further consideration.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | August 04, 2014

3 / 5

3 / 5

Traveled On: 7/11/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MA

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Beautiful Scenery!

The countries are so lush and green. Flowers everywhere and it was so amazing to see all of the old structures and ruins of centuries ago. The weather was so good and made each day so much more interesting .

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/20/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TN

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Once in Lifetime Experience

Our tour of the landscapes of Britain and Ireland was everything I had hoped it would be. The scheduling, hotels, and food were excellent. Ali was so helpful and knowledgeable of the countries history. This was a learning experience for me, since I had not been on such a tour, but couldn't have asked for more, except time. We saw so much in such a short time. Would have loved to have spent more time in Ireland and Scotland. The group that we traveled with was great. We were the "newbies", not having toured before, and everyone was so nice and helpful. It was a pleasure to be around such nice people. They were almost like family. If in the future, we are in a position to travel again, we would use Go Ahead. The only down side was the airport in Newark, NJ. and with United Airlines. We had to spend an extra day travel time.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 6/20/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TN

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great Tour, Great Director

Ali did an excellent job conducting the tour and moving through areas we visited. I would certainly enjoy touring with her again. The schedule for the tour was at a pace that could be maintained with some effort but not overly aggressive. She was very helpful in trying to arrange a side trip to visit ancestral locations. The only problem was encountered in Newark with several United flight cancellations. This was blamed on the weather but other weather sources could not verify the problem, consequently we spent an extra night in Newark. If I were to tour with EF again I will not use Newark as a departing or arriving airport, and prefer not to use United Airlines.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 6/20/2014

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: MI

Tour Director: 2 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Good itinerary

This itinerary was appropriately named rural landscapes. We only did the major cities of Dublin, Edinburgh, and London which was fine. The great castles and churches and scenery are outside of the city. Ireland was the highlight of the trip but I soon grew to love Scotland and the Wales and the villages of England along the way. Liverpool was exciting, especially the day with the Beatles Experience(an option). All the options were terrific including two entertainment nights with Irish dancing and song and the Scottish which included the bagpipes, dancing, and the ceremony of the Haggis. I would recommend opting to take all that are offered on this trip.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 3/7/2014

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: MD

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Our Tour Director made our trip!!!

My wife and I made the trip to Ireland, Wales and Scotland with GAT in March 2014. We were dressed in layers for the cooler, rainy weather. As our group was only 15 people we didn't go on many optional tours, but our Tour Director, Mansel David certainly made up for it!!! He went out of his way to show us some extra places and things along the way! Mansel gave us the history of each and every place we visited as well as the current events at most locations! He should be teaching as a History Professor at a university or college!!! What a GREAT Guy!!! There were a few hotels we stayed at and one inparticular at Best Western Shap Wells (I believe they are no longer on GAT hotel list, hopefully) that was not great. Old, rickety and in need of repair! The places visited were very nice! We could have used another day in Edinburgh, Scotland (maybe fewer in the countryside) or maybe make it as an extension to the trip instead of London, England. Too little time to see all we wanted to see in the beautiful city of Edinburgh! You are there only one and a half days total! Overall, it was a great trip, only because of Mansel David and the extra mile he went to make it successful! Regards, Barry & Toni S.

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