Best Castles of Britain and Ireland Tour

Best Castles of Britain and Ireland Tour Map
bullet5 Countries
bullet16 Days
bullet18 Castles
bullet14 Breakfasts
bullet10 Dinners
bulletSpecial Features:
* Medieval Dinner at a Castle
* 2 Ferry Trips
* Possibly 2 nights at Ruthin Castle
* Possibly 1 night at Ballygally Castle
bullet$2,960 Land Only

Tour Dates:

bulletJune 27, 2003
bulletSeptember 5, 2003

DAY 1 - FRI
Board your flight from your home country to London, England. Air fare independently arranged.

DAY 2 - SAT     LONDON, ENGLAND
Meals Included: Welcome Drink and Dinner
Upon arrival meet a tour director and waiting motor coach. The rest of the day is free for you to rest or start exploring the lively British capital. Uniform hosts help you make the most of your stay.

DAY 3 - SUN     LONDON
Meals Included: Continental Breakfast
Morning sightseeing with a professional London guide includes all the famous landmarks: Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Palace and the area's splendid museums, Knightsbridge with Harrods, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben beside the River Thames, and Westminster Abbey. Drive by St. Paul's Cathedral - no inside visit possible due to services on Sunday - and see the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, if held. Afternoon, tour the TOWER OF LONDON & CROWN JEWELS, inside visit.

Buckingham Palace “There is a wonderful diversity of castles of different styles and periods. Local guides enhanced the experience by providing historic background and interesting stories of those who lived there.”

John from Virginia

Buckingham Palace

DAY 4 - MON     LONDON
Meals Included: Continental Breakfast
Depart this morning for a drive southeast into Kent, the "Garden of England", for a visit to CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL, England's Mother Church, where you hear about Thomas a Becket and the Black Prince. Then, at nearby mighty, moated LEEDS CASTLE, inside visit, which Lord Conway describes as "the loveliest castle in the world," there's plenty of time to admire the lavish state apartments, which have hosted international summit meetings, and to take a leisurely stroll in the magnificent gardens, zoo and maze. Rest of evening free.

DAY 5 - TUE     LONDON - STRATFORD
Meals Included: Continental Breakfast and Dinner
Depart London for a visit to the Royal WINDSOR CASTLE, inside visit, the largest inhabited castle in the world, the Queen's favorite residence. Continue to Oxford, one of the country's oldest seats of learning and stroll to see the colleges where Britain's elite receives its outstanding education. Afternoon arrival in Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare's birthplace and stop for pictures of Anne Hathaway's Cottage. Time to explore this fine example of an Elizabethan town. Overnight in Stratford.

Windsor Castle

“We loved the castles and countryside. Great job.”

Jim and Pam from Colorado

Windsor Castle

DAY 6 - WED     STRATFORD - RUTHIN, WALES
Meals Included: Full Breakfast and Dinner
A morning drive to WARWICK CASTLE, inside visit with local guide, a splendid medieval fortress, which is also one of the country's finest stately homes. The original Norman castle was built in the 14th century. Continue our day to Chester, the ancient Roman county town on the River Dee. If possible, we will spend the night in Ruthin Castle. Overnight in Wales.

DAY 7 - THU     RUTHIN
Meals Included: Full Breakfast and Dinner
Wales is rich in romantic medieval castles. In the morning, we will have a day excursion to visit CONWAY CASTLE, inside visit, it is fortified with 21 towers and three gateways, the walls form an almost unbroken shield around the old town. Afternoon excursion to BEAUMARIS CASTLE, inside visit, which was the last of Edward I's Welsh castles, this perfectly symmetrical, concentric design was intended to combine impregnable defense with comfort. Invaders should face many obstacles before reaching the inner ward. Enjoy the authentic flavor of a Welsh Medieval Banquet at RUTHIN CASTLE. If possible, we will spend the night in Ruthin Castle. Overnight in Wales.

DAY 8 - FRI     RUTHIN - DUBLIN, IRELAND
Meals Included: Full Breakfast and Dinner
Early start to travel through incomparable landscapes. We will visit CAERNARVON CASTLE; inside visit, with its polygonal towers, was built as a seat of government for North Wales. Continue to Britannia Bridge to board your ferry for the Irish Sea crossing to Dun Laoghaire and into Dublin.

DAY 9 - SAT     DUBLIN
Meals Included: Full Breakfast
Orientation drive in the Irish capital includes statue-lined O'Connell street, elegant Georgian squares, Phoenix Park and St. Patrick's Cathedral. Then visit Oscar Wilde's TRINITY COLLEGE, famous for the 1,200-year-old Book of Kells and the magnificent Old Library. Early afternoon visit to DUBLIN CASTLE, inside visit, which stands in the heart of old Dublin, St. Patrick's Hall is part of the suite of luxury State Apartments housed on the upper floors on the south side of the castle. Afternoon free to explore Dublin or for shopping. Overnight at Dublin.

DAY 10 - SUN     DUBLIN - BALLYGALLY AREA
Meals Included: Full Breakfast and Dinner
Visit MONASTERBOICE, inside visit, founded in the 5th. Century it is the most famous religious site in Ireland. The ruins of the medieval monastery are enclosed within a graveyard in a lovely secluded spot. The site includes a roofless round tower and two churches, but Monasterboice's greatest treasures are its 10th. Century High Crosses. Afternoon visit to CARRICKFERGUS CASTLE, inside visit, the finest and best-preserved Norman Castle in Ireland, it even has its original portcullis from the 12 century. If possible, we will spend the night in Ballygally Castle.

Caernarvon Castle
Caernarvon Castle

“I really enjoyed the trip. We had a really good group. I enjoyed sharing with everyone. I appreciated all the time and effort that Castles of the World contributed. All the hard work made this tour a great success”

Pam from Philadelphia

Eilean Donan
Eilean Donan

DAY 11 - MON     BALLYGALLY AREA - GLASGOW
Meals Included: Full Breakfast and Dinner
Spectacular Antrim coastal scenery on the way to Belfast to board your ferry for the crossing of the North Channel to the west coast of Scotland. On the way, visit CULZEAN CASTLE, inside visit, standing on a cliff's edge in an extensive parkland estate. The 16th. Century keep was remodeled in the 18th. Century. Orientation tour of Glasgow. Overnight in Glasgow.

DAY 12 - TUE     GLASGOW - OBAN
Meals Included: Full Breakfast and Dinner
Follow the road known as "Rest and be Thankful" to visit INVERARAY CASTLE, inside visit, this multi-turreted mock Gothic palace is the family home of the powerful clan Campbell, who have been the Dukes of Argyl since 1701. The allied troops trained here during World War II. Afternoon visit to the ruins of KILCHURN CASTLE, inside visit, on the shore of Loch Awe, one of the longest freshwater lochs in Scotland. Overnight in Oban.

DAY 13 - WED     OBAN - INVERNESS
Meals Included: Full Breakfast and Dinner
A day full of Scottish splendor, Loch Ness with its mysterious monster. The road will take us today to the romantic EILEAN DONAN CASTLE, inside visit, it is actually on an island linked by land by a stone bridge; and its magnificent setting on the sea-loch has made it Scotland's most photographed building. In the Highlands, all roads lead to the region's capital, Inverness. Photo stop at Inverness Castle, a Victorian building of red sandstone, now used as the courthouse. Overnight in Inverness.

DAY 14 - THU     INVERNESS - EDINBURGH
Meals Included: Full Breakfast
Historic splendor this morning at GLAMIS CASTLE, inside visit, the childhood home of the Queen Mother and birthplace of Princess Margaret. Drive to St. ANDREWS CASTLE, inside visit, which was built for the town's bishop in the year 1200. St. Andrew's golf course, founded in 1754, has given us the rules of golfing. Continue for overnight in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle
Glamis Castle
Glamis Castle
Holyrood Palace
Holyrood Palace

DAY 15 - FRI     EDINBURGH 
Meals Included: Full Breakfast and Dinner
A full day to enjoy this "Prince of Cities." Morning sightseeing with a local expert includes an orientation drive along Princes Street and the Royal Mile, and tours of mighty EDINBURGH CASTLE, inside visit, and the Queen's HOLYROOD PALACE. Afternoon free. Overnight in Edinburgh and farewell dinner.

DAY 16 - SAT     EDINBURGH - GLASGOW airport
Meals Included: Full Breakfast
Group transfer to the airport of Glasgow (45 minute drive) to meet return flight home.

 

 

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