The Best of the British Isles (GL) - 2014 / 2015

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20 Day Tour from London to London


The Best of the British Isles
Pageantry of the Changing of the Guard
Pageantry of the Changing of the Guard
Tower of London on a sunny day
View the Ring of Kerry in southwest Ireland
Medieval Warwick Castle on the banks of the River Avon
Enjoy the beautiful views along the Ring of Kerry in Ireland
Shakespeares Birthplace
The Edinburgh Castle dominating the skyline of Edinburgh, Scotland
Malahide Castle near Dublin, Ireland
Blarney Castle and the Stone of Eloquence

Vacation Overview

Discover the best of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland on this getaway that features five two-night stays. Your journey begins in England with visits to London, Henry the VIII’s Hampton Court Gardens, Oxford, Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick Castle, and medieval York, where your Tour Director takes you on a walking tour through the narrow Shambles. Heading north, it’s on to the Scottish Lowlands and Highlands for visits of Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford House, Edinburgh with its castle and Holyrood Palace, St. Andrews, Braemar, Inverness, Culloden Moor, Glasgow, Gretna Green, and a cruise on Loch Lomond. Return to England to take in the serene Lake District and the Beatles Story in Liverpool before passing through Snowdonia National Park in Wales en route to Ireland. Some of the highlights include the “Fair City” of Dublin with a visit to Trinity College, the Irish National Stud at Kildare, the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher, Galway, scone baking at Rathbaun Farm, Killarney, the Ring of Kerry, Blarney, and the House of Waterford Crystal. Ferry across St. George’s Channel and drive to Bath to see the amazing Roman excavations. Stay two nights in Exeter and drive into Dartmoor National Park for dinner at a local inn, then enjoy an excursion to the former smuggler’s port of Looe and to Plymouth. Return to London via prehistoric Stonehenge.

     

LONDON
Guided sightseeing, visit St. Paul’s Cathedral & see the Changing of the Guard, if held

HAMPTON COURT
A special walking tour through the palace’s ornamental gardens

OXFORD
Walking tour

STRATFORD-UPON-AVON
Take pictures of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, visit Shakespeare’s birthplace

WARWICK
Welcome dinner; private pre-public-opening guided tour of the castle

YORK
Walking tour

ABBOTSFORD
Guided tour of Sir Walter Scott’s house,then Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite tea/coffee & shortbread

EDINBURGH
Guided sightseeing, visit Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace

BALMORAL
Visit the castle (when open)

CULLODEN MOOR
Visit the battle site’s visitor center

LOCH LOMOND
Cruise the loch in a private boat

LIVERPOOL
Visit the Beatles Story

HOLYHEAD–DUBLIN
Cross the Irish Sea by ferry

DUBLIN
Orientation drive, visit Trinity College

KILDARE
Guided tour of the Irish National Stud

LIMERICK
Orientation drive

CLIFFS OF MOHER
Savor the spectacular views

RATHBAUN FARM
Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite See the farmer at work, bake your own scones, and enjoy coffee in the farmhouse

RING OF KERRY
Scenic peninsula drive

WATERFORD
Guided tour of the House of Waterford Crystal

ROSSLARE–PEMBROKE
Cross St. George’s Channel by ferry

BATH
Visit the Roman relics

CORNWALL
Visit the fishing village of Looe and Plymouth

DARTMOOR
Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite Dinner at a local pub

STONEHENGE
Visit the prehistoric monument

NOTE:

  • Edinburgh Military Tattoo ticket included for departures July 27 through August 19


DAY 1Arrive In London, England

Welcome to London! Uniformed Globus Hosts are available to help you make the most of your stay.

Pomp-and-ceremony in London London’s Tower Bridge over the River Thames Ride the iconic double decker bus in London Marvel at the architecture of the infamous Big Ben in London 
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DAY 2London

Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide includes all the famous landmarks: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben beside the River Thames, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall’s mounted horseguards and the Prime Minister’s Downing Street, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace. Highlights are a visit to ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL and the ceremonial pageantry of the Changing of the Guard, if held. This afternoon, why not join an optional excursion to Windsor Castle or the Tower of London, and later, maybe an optional dinner, followed by a cruise on the River Thames. (Breakfast)

Overlooking The Houses of Parliament along the north bank of the Thames River Westminster Abbey – the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English monarchs 
Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guard


"Changing the Guard dates to Henry VII (reigned 1485-1509) and was designed to show military discipline as well as ceremony. The tall bearskin hats were introduced in the 18th century to make the soldiers look taller and thus more frightening, and they were adopted for ceremonial use in 1832. The ceremony we know today started in the late 1800s and involves real soldiers who fulfill all military duties, guarding the Queen being just part of their service."
Tower of London

Tower of London


"Since its founding in the 11th century, the Tower of London has served many roles: impregnable fortress, royal residence, armory, treasury, home of the famed Crown Jewels, and a prison for those who offended the monarchy. To this day it is guarded by the “Beefeaters,” a name that likely originates from when Tower guards were paid part of their salary with chunks of beef, a practice that continued until the 1800s."
Houses of Parliament

Houses of Parliament


"Big Ben may be the most famous feature of the Houses of Parliament, but equally impressive is the hammerbeam ceiling of Westminster Hall. The Hall dates back to 1097 and, at that time, the roof was supported by pillars. During the reign of King Richard II (14th century), however, it was replaced by the hammerbeam roof seen today. This roof – its beauty and sustainability – is even more impressive when you know its history. It was built with beams made from trees that were ancient at the time, reputedly acorns, dating back to the 6th century (or earlier). If only these walls (beams, rather) could talk!"
Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace


"Amid the splendor of modern cities it’s hard to imagine what places looked like before they became what we know today. In a previous incarnation, the ground where Buckingham Palace now stands was a mulberry garden cultivated by King James I as food for silkworms. The silk industry he hoped to nurture never materialized, and eventually a roadhouse was built there, followed in due course by the Blake House, Goring House and Arlington House.Originally known as the Buckingham House, built as a townhouse by the Duke of Buckingham in 1709, the estate was acquired by King George III in 1762."
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DAY 3London–Oxford–Stratford-Upon-Avon–Warwick

Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions and depart London at 8 am for a lovely day of sightseeing: a special visit to admire the breathtaking ORNAMENTAL GARDENS of Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace; Runnymede, site of the sealing of the Magna Carta; and a walking tour in the university city of Oxford. At Stratford-upon-Avon, visit SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHPLACE and take your pictures of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner at your hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)

London’s Tower Bridge over the River Thames Pomp-and-ceremony in London Ride the iconic double decker bus in London The London Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel 
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DAY 4Warwick–York

A spectacular start to the day with a special, pre-public-opening guided tour of magnificent WARWICK CASTLE. Marvel at the opulent Great Hall and State Rooms, and visit the former private apartments. Later, in York, stand in awe in front of the great Minster, then follow your Tour Director through a maze of quaint streets, including the narrow Shambles. (Breakfast, Dinner)

A watchtower at the Mediaeval Warwick Castle Medieval Warwick Castle on the banks of the River Avon 
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DAY 5York–Jedburgh–Abbotsford–Edinburgh, Scotland

See a section of Hadrian’s Wall, and in Jedburgh, take pictures of the abbey ruins and the house of Mary, Queen of Scots. Then, take a guided tour of Sir Walter Scott’s newly refurbished ABBOTSFORD HOUSE, and after the tour, enjoy a Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite CUP OF TEA and SHORTBREAD at the new visitors’ center. Spend the next two nights in Edinburgh, the Scottish capital. Tonight, consider an optional Scottish evening with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and the Ceremony of the Haggis. (Breakfast)

View over Auld Reekie in Edinburgh, Scotland 
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DAY 6Edinburgh

Morning city sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the 200-year-old “New Town” and famous scientists, inventors, and novelists. In the “Old Town,” drive up the narrow Royal Mile to EDINBURGH CASTLE to admire Scotland’s Crown Jewels, then explore HOLYROOD PALACE (except when the Queen is in residence). Later, a unique optional experience: board the former Royal Yacht Britannia to see how the Royal Family and crew of 240 lived and worked on board. Dinner rounds off this optional evening. (Breakfast)

NOTE:
For departures July 27 through August 19 tickets are included for tonight’s performance of the world-renowned MILITARY TATTOO.

The Edinburgh Castle dominating the skyline of Edinburgh, Scotland For over forty years, the Royal Yacht served the British Royal Family.  Britannia is now a unique five-star visitor experience; come and tour five decks of this historic ship. Atop the famous Edinburgh rock, the Edinburgh Castle provides panoramic views The Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh serves as the offical residence of the Queen 
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DAY 7Edinburgh–St. Andrews–Braemar–Inverness

Drive over the elegant Forth Road Bridge and through Fife to St. Andrews, whose Royal and Ancient Golf Club has given us the rules of golfing. Then, through Braemar, home of the Royal Highland Games, to BALMORAL CASTLE (when available). Overnight at Inverness, the Highland capital. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Inverness, Scotland Inverness, Scotland 
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DAY 8Inverness–Culloden–Fort William–Glasgow

At CULLODEN VISITOR CENTRE, hear the story of the crushing Hanoverian victory over Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Scottish clans. Then, enjoy a day full of Highland splendor: Loch Ness with its mysterious monster, Fort William beneath Ben Nevis, Loch Linnhe, and haunting Glen Coe. Motor across wild Rannoch Moor to the “Bonnie Banks” of Loch Lomond for a CRUISE on the loch before heading south to Glasgow. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Loch Lomond Loch Lomond Glasgow, Scotland Glasgow, Scotland 
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DAY 9Glasgow–Gretna Green–Grasmere, England–Liverpool

On the way through the Lowland Hills, stop at Gretna Green, where the blacksmith used to wed runaway couples. Enter the beautiful Lake District and visit Grasmere, home of poet William Wordsworth. In Liverpool, visit the award-winning BEATLES STORY, an atmospheric journey into the life, times, culture, and music of the “Fab Four.” (Breakfast)

Enjoy the historic architecture of downtown Liverpool Flags along the windy streets of Liverpool 
Gretna Green

Gretna Green


"There are many legends of love that surround Gretna Green – the first town encountered across the Scottish border. For centuries, Gretna Green has been synonymous with elopement and blacksmith marriages, although marriage by a blacksmith is more legend than fact. Until the 18th century, church marriages among the lower classes in Europe were almost unheard of. Instead, lower class weddings were usually looked at as “marriage by declaration.” When England passed the Marriage Act of 1754, establishing church weddings as the only legal form of marriage, a sudden industry began over the border in Scotland, where couples could still wed by declaration. Scottish “blacksmith priests” began working in pubs and inns and the eloping couples came in droves."
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DAY 10Liverpool–North Wales–Dublin, Ireland

Cross the border into North Wales and drive to lovely Betws-y-Coed and through the incomparable landscapes of Snowdonia National Park. After a stop at tongue-twisting Llanfair..., board your FERRY at Holyhead for the crossing to Dublin. (Breakfast)

Dublin, the capital of Ireland 
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DAY 11Dublin

An orientation drive in the Irish capital includes statue-lined O’Connell Street, elegant Georgian squares, 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. Maybe take in an optional dinner outing to the Guinness Storehouse? (Breakfast)

Enjoy the beautiful campus of the renowned Trinity College 
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DAY 12Dublin–Kildare–Cashel–Limerick

Across the Curragh to the IRISH NATIONAL STUD at Kildare. On the way to Limerick, see the Rock of Cashel, Tipperary, and on arrival, an orientation drive acquaints you with St. Mary’s Cathedral, King John’s Castle, and the stone where the Treaty of Limerick was signed in 1691. Tonight, an optional banquet at Knappogue Castle. (Breakfast)

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DAY 13Limerick. West Coast Excursion

A breathtaking view of the Clare coast from the 668-foot CLIFFS OF MOHER, then a drive across the limestone plateau of The Burren to the port city of Galway. Next, a real Irish farm experience at RATHBAUN FARM. Try your hand at scone making, and learn from the farmer about sheep shearing and dog whistling. Afterwards, enjoy Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite COFFEE and your SCONES, fresh from the oven. (Breakfast)

Cliffs of Moher Visit the Cliffs of Moher and see some of Ireland’s most spectacular views Cliffs of Moher 
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DAY 14Limerick–Adare–Ring of Kerry–Tralee

Via quaint Adare with its pretty thatched cottages, and Killorglin on Dingle Bay, join the spectacular RING OF KERRY for a 100-mile panoramic drive around the island’s southwestern tip. Take your photos of the Lakes of Killarney, then spend some time in this resort town before arriving in Tralee. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Take in the beautiful scenery of the Killarney National Park The Ring of Kerry is located in County Kerry, Ireland View the Ring of Kerry in southwest Ireland Enjoy the beautiful views along the Ring of Kerry in Ireland 
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DAY 15Tralee–Blarney–Waterford

Morning visit to Blarney, renowned for its magical Kissing Stone. Time for lunch, to walk up to the castle, and to shop for traditional Irish handicrafts. In the afternoon, proceed via Cork to Waterford, a stronghold founded by the Danish Vikings, where you join a guided tour of the HOUSE OF WATERFORD CRYSTAL. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Blarney Castle and the Stone of Eloquence 
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DAY 16Waterford–Cardiff, Wales

By FERRY from Rosslare across St. George’s Channel to Pembroke and a drive through South Wales. Tonight’s optional excursion is to Cardiff Castle for an evening of Welsh entertainment and dinner. (Breakfast)

Cardiff Castle is one of Wales’ leading attractions 
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DAY 17Cardiff–Bath, England–Glastonbury–Exeter

First this morning, journey to the elegant Georgian city of Bath to explore the amazing excavations of the ROMAN BATHS. You will also have time to explore the town further on your own. Then, focus on King Arthur’s Glastonbury before heading to Exeter, your destination for the next two nights. In the evening, head into wild and romantic Dartmoor for a tasty Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite DINNER at a local pub. (Breakfast, Dinner)

The Roman Baths once served as a complex for public bathing 
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DAY 18Exeter. Cornwall Excursion

Your Cornwall excursion takes you first to the pretty shark-fishing village and former smuggler’s port of Looe. Then, cross the River Tamar to Plymouth to see the Mayflower Steps, where the Pilgrim Fathers embarked in 1620, and hear about Sir Francis Drake. Why not join an optional cruise on Plymouth Sound before you return to Exeter? (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 19Exeter–Stonehenge–London

For the finale of your journey, travel to prehistoric STONEHENGE and try to unravel its mystery. Explore the stunning new visitor center with its imaginative exhibitions, then take the shuttle to the stone circle and admire the magnificence of the monument up close. Return to London around 4 pm. How about celebrating the success of your vacation by taking in one of the great West End shows? (Breakfast)

London’s Tower Bridge over the River Thames Ride the iconic double decker bus in London Marvel at the architecture of the infamous Big Ben in London Pomp-and-ceremony in London 
Stonehenge

Stonehenge


"Built in several stages starting around 3,000 BC, Stonehenge remains one of humankind’s biggest mysteries. While science is still trying to determine the purpose behind this famous prehistoric monument, it is generally assumed to be some sort of astronomical observatory that reflects the changing trajectory of the sun through the sky and the seasons"
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DAY 20London

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

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Transportation

Motorcoach with free Wi-Fi; private cruise on Loch Lomond; ferries Holyhead-Dublin, Rosslare-Pembroke



Full English breakfast; 7 three-course dinners with choice of menus, including a welcome dinner in Warwick, and 1 dinner at a local pub in Dartmoor


With Globus, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.

JULIE ANNE BARNETT

Years of Experience: 17 years

The start of a tour is exciting. Clients look forward to experiencing everything they believe it will be. And me? I know it's even better. At the end of each tour, I ask, "Is our country what you expected?" They invariably say, "It's so much more." That makes me a proud Tour Director!

Four Ways Globus Eliminates the Hassles

VIP Access
Skip the lines and get special treatment at the must-see attractions.

Perfect Hotels
We’ve done the work to find just the right hotels in just the right locations.

Tour Directors
Take your heads out of the guidebook and let expert guides make every destination fascinating.

Transportation
Leave the navigating to us – and just sit back and enjoy the ride.




UNESCO World Heritage Sites


The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on the The Best of the British Isles:

  • City of Bath
  • Frontiers of the Roman Empire
  • Liverpool - Maritime Mercantile City
  • Old and New Towns of Edinburgh
  • Stonehenge
  • Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret's Church