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Castles & Kingdoms

Castles & Kingdoms (Insight Vacations Luxury Gold)
 
Summary:

From London to Edinburgh and over the Irish Sea to Belfast and Killarney this adventure across Ireland and Great Britain pairs iconic sights with once in a lifetime experiences. Join the Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London and bear witness to the Ceremon...

Duration
21 Days
Countries
2
Next Departure
14-Jul-2022
Starting at
USD 13,650.00
USD 13,463.00
Price per day
USD 641.00

  • Overview
  • Dates and Details
  • Map, Destinations
  • Insight Vacations Lu...
Operator
Insight Vacations Luxury Gold
 
Tour
Castles & Kingdoms

Summary

From London to Edinburgh and over the Irish Sea to Belfast and Killarney this adventure across Ireland and Great Britain pairs iconic sights with once in a lifetime experiences. Join the Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London and bear witness to the Ceremony of the Keys—a VIP private ceremony and the oldest practiced military tradition in the world. In Edinburgh enjoy a delicious dinner at the Scottish Arts Club—a cultural haven and hub for Scottish artists since 1873. In Northern Ireland, join a local ranger to explore the spectacular Giant’s Causeway and in England, journey to the majestic 11th century Alnwick Castle—known to many from the Harry Potter films. On Chairman’s Collection departures, meet her Grace the Duchess of Northumberland for a private tour of the castle gardens followed by a seasonal lunch.

Castles & Kingdoms (Insight Vacations Luxury Gold)

Short Itinerary

Day 1.
Welcome To London.
Day 2.
Traditions And Treasures Of London.
Day 3.
Stonehenge And Georgian Bath. Relaxed Start
Day 4.
Explore Bath. Relaxed Start
Day 5.
Cotswolds, Stratford-Upon-Avon And York.
Day 6.
Medieval Wonders Of York. Relaxed Start
Day 7.
The Wild And Poetic Lake District.
Day 8.
Alnwick Castle.
Day 9.
Highlights Of Beautiful Edinburgh. Relaxed Start
Day 10.
Edinburgh To Belfast.
Day 11.
Highlights Of Belfast.
Day 12.
Giant's Causeway And Londonderry.
Day 13.
Strangford Lough And Vibrant Dublin.
Day 14.
A Truly Irish Experience.
Day 15.
Glendalough To Kilkenny. Relaxed Start
Day 16.
Banter In Blarney.
Day 17.
Scenic Ring Of Kerry. Relaxed Start
Day 18.
Exploring Limerick.
Day 19.
Regal County Mayo.
Day 20.
Majestic Ashford Castle. Relaxed Start
Day 21.
Depart Shannon.

Visited Countries (2): England, Ireland

Visited cities (10): Ashford, Bath, Dublin, Galway, Killarney, London, Stonehenge, Stratford-upon-Avon, York

Highlights

Choice Highlights

  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Bath: Visit the immersive Jane Austen Centre dedicated to the writer who lived here in the early 1800s and used the city as a setting for two of her novels. Learn about her life, her works and the Regency period from entertaining actors.
  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • York: Get active and follow a Local Expert as you walk on the 13th century city walls and you soak up the spectacular views of River Ouse and the Old Town.
  • York: Embark on a leisurely guided tour to the grand York Minster, an excellent example of Gothic architecture.
  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Edinburgh: Visit the 17th century Mary King's Close with a Local Expert, walk in the footsteps of former residents and unlock fascinating stories from Edinburgh's sometimes dark past.
  • Edinburgh: Try a wee dram of whisky as you embark on a tasting experience of this Scottish staple.
  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Belfast: Join a Local Expert and enjoy a panoramic tour as they explain the city's turbulent history, evolution and current prosperity. On this tour, you'll see the City Hall, Queen's University, and the Parliament Building at Stormont.
  • Belfast: Join a local artist and discover Belfast through its street art and learn how this art form plays an essential role in forging a new narrative for this progressive city.
  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Dublin: Visit the interactive EPIC Irish Emigration Museum and discover why 10 million Irish people left and what impact they had on the world from music and dance to literature.
  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Killarney: Take your seat in a horse-drawn jaunting carriage and travel to the parts of Killarney National Park where no cars are permitted. Explore the Irish countryside, from the lush lake lands to its sweeping mountains, in the most charming way possible.
  • Killarney: Take your seat in a horse-drawn jaunting carriage and travel to the parts of Killarney National Park where no cars are permitted. Explore the Irish countryside, from the lush lake lands to its sweeping mountains, in the most charming way possible.
  • Killarney: A gentle boat ride can be the perfect way to appreciate Ireland's pristine scenery. View the beautiful rolling hills, mountains and greenery from your relaxing cruise.
  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Ashford Castle: Take part in a unique falconry experience at the oldest established Falconry School in Ireland.
  • Ashford Castle: Join a guided historical tour of the 800-year-old Castle, that was once the home of the Guinness family.

Well-being

  • Your Well-Being Director takes a proactive approach to your welfare ensuring all well-being regulations are met. On tours fewer than 15 guests, your Traveling Concierge will act as your Well-Being Director.
  • Our customized luxury coaches are sanitized before the start of your tour and are maintained to very high standards. Physical distancing measures have been implemented on our customized luxury coaches.
  • Experience enhanced hygiene protocols to align with the latest guidance following COVID-19. All Travelling Concierge's, Well-Being Directors and Drivers have completed training in enhanced well-being and hygiene protocols.
  • We only work with establishments we are confident will consistently adhere to our high well-being standards, which include hotels, restaurants and sight-seeing venues.
  • Hand sanitizer is freely available on board for you to use throughout the day.

Exceptional Dining

  • London: Dine in style at the lavish English Grill Restaurant, just across the road from Buckingham Palace. Enjoy your Welcome Dinner prepared by executive chef Ben Kelliher using only the finest English produce and the same suppliers who serve the Queen’s kitchen.
  • Bath: Experience an exquisite Michelin-starred dinner at Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park, where a special tasting menu will take you through a journey for the taste buds. Enjoy the relaxed elegance of this charming stately home that dates back several centuries.
  • York: Visit one of Britain's finest historic houses, Castle Howard. Enjoy a traditional English afternoon tea in the Grecian Hall.
  • Dalemain: Visit the Dalemain Mansion and indulge in a private, homemade and sustainably sourced lunch in the Mediaeval Hall, one of the oldest parts of the house. Meet Jane Hasell-McCosh, whose ancestors have been living at the manor since the 17th century and join her on a tour of their gardens. Learn about local history and the prestigious international Homemade Marmalade Award founded by Jane herself.
  • Edinburgh: Say farewell to Edinburgh with a final Celebration Dinner in the historic Scottish capital. Let your tastebuds be delighted with a delicious meal and raise a glass to the health of your companions and your unforgettable journey.
  • Edinburgh: Try a wee dram of whisky as you embark on a tasting experience of this Scottish staple.
  • Belfast: Introduce yourself to Belfast the right way, with a hearty meal. Check in to the luxurious Grand Central Hotel and let your Travelling Concierge take you for an à la carte Welcome Dinner in a specially selected local restaurant.
  • Belfast: On the banks of Strangford Lough in County Down, an area of outstanding natural beauty, step inside Tracey's Farmhouse, an enchanting cottage for a home hosted culinary experience. Get to know Tracey as she shows you around her organic farm and explains her cooking philosophy. Learn how to make traditional Irish soda bread before indulging in a seasonal, Farm-to-Table lunch. This MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience focuses on seasonal produce, organically grown ingredients and sourcing from the immediate community. Tracey's Farmhouse is actively practicing and encouraging the slow food movement and doesn't rely on air miles.
  • Dublin: Dine at the cellar Bar, set in an 18th century vine vault. Discover the favourite dishes of local people and enjoy a hearty meal in the unique ambiance of this thriving city.
  • Kilkenny: Combining gourmet dining with opulent ambience, the Michelin-starred Lady Helen restaurant will capture all your senses with its ambitious and impressive dishes. Named after its previous owner, the current custodians maintain her standards for discerning taste and kindness.
  • Killarney: Enjoy a tasty two-course dinner at Treyvaud's restaurant in Killarney. This family-run venue promises an intimate and relaxed experience with mouth-watering international cuisine prepared with the finest locally sourced meats and seafood .
  • Ashford Castle: Dine in the cozy surrounds of Cullen's at the Cottage, a traditional thatched cottage where you’ll be greeted with delicious aromas. Savour freshly-cooked local and international dishes in this former cinema, which premiered ‘The Quiet Man’ before Hollywood.
  • Ashford Castle: Celebrate in royal style amongst the chandeliers and panelled walls of the historic George V Dining Room, named for the monarch who dined here in 1906 when he was the Prince of Wales. Chef Philippe Farineau presents a delicious menu for your evening.
  • Dining Summary: 9 Dinner with Wine (DW), 20 Breakfast (B), 1 Afternoon Tea (AT), 1 Lunch with Wine (LW), and 1 Lunch (L)

VIP Experiences

  • London: You’re invited to the Tower of London to experience the Ceremony of the Keys, the oldest practiced military ceremony in the world. At your special after-hours visit you’ll get an inside look at the 700-year-old tradition that stood the tests of even the most tumultuous times.
  • York: Receive VIP treatment once the castle has closed its doors to the general public and join one of the gardeners to explore the best parts of the landscaped gardens. Alternatively, join a guided tour of the house and admire its intricate architecture.
  • Dublin: Meet esteemed author Trevor White on a rare, personal after-hours tour of The Little Museum of Dublin, which he founded. You'll learn about his work, his life as a Dublin local and what it means to be a Dubliner.
  • Killarney: Learn Irish dancing from some of Ireland’s brightest young talent in a private dance class. The energetic performers of Gaelic Roots will show you some simple steps before you watch them take to the stage from your front row seats.

Journey Highlights

  • London: Your passionate Local Expert will lead you from Westminster to Piccadilly Circus as they recount fascinating tales of London and its famous landmarks. Pass by the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Downing Street, and Trafalgar Square as you explore the English capital.
  • London: Step through history at Horse Guards Parade, the ceremonial grounds of St James Park in the shadow of Buckingham Palace. Discover the secrets of a cavalryman’s uniform in the Household Cavalry Museum before trying on the royal clothes yourself.
  • Stonehenge: Visit the mysterious circle of upright stones, the best known prehistoric site in Europe. Experience the lives led by Neolithic builders 3,500 years ago and admire the selection of archaeological treasures that have been unearthed in this place.
  • Bath: Be taken through the grand historic sights of Bath with a private orientation tour. See the majestic Royal Terrace, the inspiring architecture of Bath Abbey, and, the stately Pulteney Bridge, completed in 1774.
  • Bath: Visit the immersive Jane Austen Centre dedicated to the writer who lived here in the early 1800s and used the city as a setting for two of her novels. Learn about her life, her works and the Regency period from entertaining actors.
  • Bath: Join a Local Expert for an insightful tour revealing the town's history.
  • Cotswolds: Journey through the Cotswolds, one of the most quintessential and unspoiled regions of England, famous for gentle, rolling hillsides known as ‘wolds’, green river valleys and historic market towns, where time has stood still for over 300 years.
  • Stratford-upon-Avon: Fans of the famous playwright, William Shakespeare, will love exploring this vibrant town where he was born. This cultural centre still has many rows of attractive half-timbered houses that date back to the 16th century.
  • York: Get active and follow a Local Expert as you walk on the 13th century city walls and you soak up the spectacular views of River Ouse and the Old Town.
  • York: Embark on a leisurely guided tour to the grand York Minster, an excellent example of Gothic architecture.
  • Bowness-on-Windermere: Led by your Travelling Concierge, enjoy the chance to explore this lakeside town.Take a wander through the quaint streets of this lakeside town, admiring the period buildings and scenic views. Why not grab a coffee from one of the quirky cafés?
  • Windermere: All aboard for a nostalgic ride on a historic steam train through the Leven Valley to the southern tip of Windermere. Locomotives have been running on this line since 1790, and the picturesque route will prompt lots of photo-taking.
  • Alnwick Castle: Join a Local Expert for an in-depth exploration of the 11th century castle, with its striking medieval architecture and see why it was featured in the Harry Potter films.
  • Edinburgh: Skip the queues as a Local Expert guides you around magnificent Edinburgh Castle, perched on a black basalt outcrop. Discover the site’s 900-year history and take in the spectacular panoramic views over the city’s most famous landmarks.
  • Edinburgh: Wander along Princes Street with your Local Expert, past the Gothic Sir Walter Scott Monument, and continue down the old-world Royal Mile to the gates of Holyrood Palace, the principal residence of Scottish royalty since the 16th century, and the Queen’s official Edinburgh lodgings.
  • Edinburgh: Visit the 17th century Mary King's Close with a Local Expert, walk in the footsteps of former residents and unlock fascinating stories from Edinburgh's sometimes dark past.
  • Edinburgh: In true Gaelic style, meet a fabulously entertaining bagpiper, playing pipes passed down since 1888. Hear fascinating tales from the time he played for the Queen Mother, to riotous nights at Edinburgh Castle.
  • Belfast: Let your Local Expert guide you through the Titanic Belfast museum to see the poignant tribute to the ill-fated liner, now one of the world's leading attractions. Tread the site where the RMS Titanic was built and discover its fascinating history.
  • Belfast: Join a Local Expert and enjoy a panoramic tour as they explain the city's turbulent history, evolution and current prosperity. On this tour, you'll see the City Hall, Queen's University, and the Parliament Building at Stormont.
  • Belfast: Join a local artist and discover Belfast through its street art and learn how this art form plays an essential role in forging a new narrative for this progressive city.
  • Giant's Causeway: Visit this astounding natural phenomenon on a private tour with a wildlife ranger. Hear more about the formation of the UNESCO World Heritage Site around 50 million years ago and the fantastic folklore that surrounds it. On this MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience learn about the conservation efforts in place that support the natural habitat and animal populations.
  • Londonderry: Meet Ronan McNamara, the finest storyteller in Northern Ireland, with a tale for every corner of his hometown. Alongside Ronan, enjoy a tour of beautiful Londonderry, one of the finest walled cities in Europe.
  • Dublin: Take a tour through the cobbled streets of Dublin with your Travelling Concierge, who’ll share stories and facts about the local area. See O’Connell Street with the imposing General Post Office, the neo-classical Custom House and historic Dublin Castle.
  • Dublin: Visit the interactive EPIC Irish Emigration Museum and discover why 10 million Irish people left and what impact they had on the world from music and dance to literature.
  • Dublin: Join a student for a guided exploration of historic Trinity College, which was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I. Visit the iconic Book of Kells, the beautiful manuscript hand painted by monks, that dates back to ca. 800 AD.
  • Glendalough: Enjoy visiting Glendalough (the valley of two lakes) where a Local Expert will guide you through this early medieval monastic site, which has a rich history. The glacial valley also offers beautiful scenery to explore.
  • Cashel: Reputed to be where St. Patrick converted the King of Munster to Christianity in the 5th century, Cashel is a pretty medieval town where the High Kings once sat. See the spectacular Rock of Cashel, the well-preserved fortress that dates from the 11th century.
  • Blarney: Explore the grounds of Blarney Castle and its gardens built nearly six hundred years ago by the MacCarthy branch of the Kings of Desmond. See where so many have kissed the famous stone to get the legendary gift of the gab.
  • Killarney: Take your seat in a horse-drawn jaunting carriage and travel to the parts of Killarney National Park where no cars are permitted. Explore the Irish countryside, from the lush lake lands to its sweeping mountains, in the most charming way possible.
  • Killarney: Take your seat in a horse-drawn jaunting carriage and travel to the parts of Killarney National Park where no cars are permitted. Explore the Irish countryside, from the lush lake lands to its sweeping mountains, in the most charming way possible.
  • Killarney: A gentle boat ride can be the perfect way to appreciate Ireland's pristine scenery. View the beautiful rolling hills, mountains and greenery from your relaxing cruise.
  • Ring of Kerry: Take in the beauty around you as you explore The Ring of Kerry on the Iveragh Peninsula, passing through whimsical coastal villages and magnificent landmarks such as Ross Castle. This scenic drive is one of the most famous in Ireland.
  • Dingle Peninsula: Enjoy a scenic drive around the dramatic Dingle peninsula, a magical landscape of sandy beaches and craggy sea cliffs. These winding roads and aesthetic ruins have inspired films such as "Ryan’s Daughter" and "Star Wars: Episode VIII".
  • Adare: Admire the beauty of the charming village of Adare during a village with your Travelling Concierge. Famous for its thatched-roof cottages and pretty streets, this quaint haven offers idyllic photo opportunities.
  • Limerick: Delve into the history of Limerick, one of Ireland’s oldest cities, founded by the Vikings, during an orientation with your insightful Travelling Concierge. You'll get to see St John’s Castle, St Mary's Cathedral and the Treaty Stone, signed in 1691.
  • Cliffs of Moher: Gaze across the waves of the Atlantic Ocean from the Cliffs of Moher as you stop along the Wild Atlantic Way. Call into the Visitor Experience and catch panoramic views from the 185-year-old O’Brien’s tower at the edge of the 800-foot cliffs.
  • Galway: Take in the lively atmosphere of this cultural destination on an orientation of Galway with your engaging Travelling Concierge. You'll find bustling streets, fun boutiques and quirky art galleries in this quintessentially Irish harbour city. Don’t be surprised if someone bursts into song!
  • Ashford Castle: Arrive to the famous Ashford Castle, where you’ll be escorted over the drawbridge by a lone piper, in a manner fit for royalty. This haunting sound echoes the signal given to troops in battle announcing the end of the day.
  • Ashford Castle: Take part in a unique falconry experience at the oldest established Falconry School in Ireland.
  • Ashford Castle: Join a guided historical tour of the 800-year-old Castle, that was once the home of the Guinness family.

Chairman's Collection

  • Alnwick: If you are travelling on a Chairman's Collection departure, on Day 8 you will meet Her Grace, The Duchess of Northumberland as she personally welcomes you for a private tour of her beloved garden. You are also introduced to the Head Gardener, who will lead you past a labyrinth, the serpent garden and ornate fountains, as you listen to the fascinating story of how The Duchess restored this exquisite garden to its former 18th century glory over the last twenty years. Admire this masterpiece of passion and dedication, which remains a work in progress, before indulging in a seasonal lunch. This experience will be in addition to the existing itinerary.
  • Dublin: If you are traveling on a Chairman's Collection departure, on Day 5 Patrick Guinness joins you at the Little Museum, after hours, for a glass of sparkling along with museum founder Trevor White. You will learn from Patrick about Irish history and the origins of his ancestor Arthur Guinness' brewing empire.

Included in Price

Additional Included Highlights

  • You will be escorted by one of our fine Travelling Concierges, handpicked to serve as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary, available on departures with 15 or more guests.
  • At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling, with prompt delivery inside your room.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • Complimentary, airport transfers are included on start and end dates and when additional accommodation has been booked through Luxury Gold. Guests will be transferred with fellow Luxury Gold Travellers that arrive on the same flight. Complimentary, private train station transfers are included when train travel is included within the itinerary. Transfers to train stations or alternate hotels, in the same start or end city of the itinerary, may be requested but are not guaranteed.

Travel Package

 
Coming from
 
Going to
Tour...
London
Shannon
 

This is an Organised Group Tour: the itinerary has been predefined by the tour operator. The tour destinations, duration, accommodations, departure dates and the price are fix. You can join, enjoy and meet other people.

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