Ireland Tours & British Vacations -Cosmos Budget Tours

The Best of Britain & Ireland (9010)

15 Day Tour from London to London

2017 Tour Details

On this Best of Britain & Ireland tour, see Britain’s and Ireland’s highlights—from the bustling cities to the small towns and from the breathtaking scenery to the ancient ruins. Traveling through the lands of queens, kings, and leprechauns, begin and end in London and pass through England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.

On this Britain and Ireland tour, stop in some historic towns, including Oxford, home to some of England’s most famous colleges; Durham, a medieval city with its cathedral, built in 1093, and castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; York, England's most complete medieval city with its cobbled streets and the magnificent York Minster, England’s largest gothic cathedral; Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of Shakespeare; Chester, where a walking tour highlights its Roman remains and black and white half-timbered buildings; Adare, founded in medieval times and known today as one of Ireland’s prettiest villages; and Bath, known for the excavations of Roman baths used for bathing and socializing 2,000 years ago.

Britain and Ireland are known for their green countryside and stunning scenery, and on this Britain and Ireland tour, you’ll witness some of their gorgeous landscapes. Travel through the incomparable landscapes of Snowdonia National Park in Wales, with picturesque villages, mountains, and lakes. Follow Ireland’s Ring of Kerry, a 100-mile panoramic drive with sparkling seascapes, brightly colored farmhouses, and the breathtaking panorama of the Lakes of Killarney. Visit the spectacular 668-feet Cliffs of Moher, with breathtaking views of rugged cliffs dropping into the ocean. Drive through the Cotswolds, with the rolling hills and picturesque villages, and Northumberland National Park, with its wide-open spaces. Travel through the serene Lake District, England’s largest natural park, and stop for photos at Lake Windermere, England’s largest lake.

All of this and more—including time in Dublin and Edinburgh—await you on this marvelous vacation!
800.276.1241
Receive a $300 per couple Europe air-credit on select airlines*

 Destinations & Sightseeing

Sightseeing:
Visits to Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, Durham, Hadrian’s Wall, Jedburgh, Edinburgh Castle, tickets for Edinburgh Military Tattoo (departure numbers July 30 through August 20), Gretna Green, Betws-y-Coed, Llanfair, Galway, Cliffs of Moher, Adare, Killarney, Blarney, Bath, Stonehenge; orientation drives in Dublin, Cardiff; walking tours in Oxford, York, Chester. Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description including admission charges where applicable.

Guides:

Local Guide for city sightseeing in Edinburgh; host service in London; professional Tour Director while touring

Scenic Highlights:
Cotswold Hills, Northumberland National Park, Scottish Lowlands, Lake District National Park, North Wales and Snowdonia National Park, The Burren, Ring of Kerry and Lakes of Killarney, Salisbury Plain

The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:

  • City of Bath
  • Frontiers of the Roman Empire
  • Old and New Towns of Edinburgh
  • Stonehenge

Transportation:

Transportation:
Private first-class air-conditioned motorcoach. Round-trip Irish Sea crossings by day ferry

 Meals

 Meals & Itinerary

Full English breakfast daily; 5 three-course dinners with choice of menus

 Itinerary

Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.

Day 1 Arrive in London, England

Check into your hotel. In the afternoon, there’s time to rest or to start exploring the lively British capital; uniformed hosts are available to help you make the most of your stay.

Day 2 London

Today is devoted to exploring on your own or enjoying our exciting program of optional activities. You may choose to join a Local Guide for an optional morning sightseeing tour of the city’s famous landmarks: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall’s mounted horseguards and the Prime Minister’s Downing Street, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace. Highlights include a visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral and the ceremonial pageantry of the Changing of the Guard (if held). Later on, maybe visit Windsor Castle or the Tower of London with its spectacular Crown Jewels. Tonight, a leisurely cruise on the Thames River would be fun!

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 3 London–Oxford–Stratford-upon-Avon–Sheffield

Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions and depart at 8 am for Oxford. A walking tour takes in the colleges where Britain’s elite receive their outstanding education. Then, travel through the lovely Cotswold Hills to Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon. Take photos of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and explore the town at your own pace. Your overnight destination is Sheffield.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 4 Sheffield–York–Durham–Newcastle

This morning, head north to York. Stand in front of the great structure of York Minster, then follow your Tour Director through a maze of quaint streets, including the narrow Shambles. Next, visit Durham, a captivating city with its dramatic cathedral and castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stop for the night in Newcastle.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 5 Newcastle–Jedburgh, Scotland–Edinburgh

See a section of Hadrian’s Wall, then motor through wild Northumberland National Park to the Scottish border. Stop for photos at Jedburgh before arriving in Edinburgh. Here, sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the 200-year-old “New Town.” In the “Old Town,” drive up the narrow Royal Mile to EDINBURGH CASTLE to admire Scotland’s Crown Jewels. A suggestion for this evening: a traditional Scottish night out with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and, of course, the Ceremony of the Haggis.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 6 Edinburgh

Your choice today: an optional morning excursion to Rosslyn Chapel, made world-famous by Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, and also one of Scotland’s most remarkable buildings. You will have ample time to visit the 15th-century medieval chapel and the visitor center, and also to take photographs of the ruins of Rosslyn Castle. Later, another unique optional opportunity: board the former Royal Yacht Britannia, which was once the perfect royal residence for glittering state visits and family holidays. Tour five decks and see how the Royal Family and crew of 240 lived and worked on board. Dinner rounds off this optional evening. For departure numbers July 30 through August 20, tickets are included for tonight’s performance of the world-renowned MILITARY TATTOO.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 7 Edinburgh–Gretna Green–Lake District, England–Chester–Wrexham, Wales

South through the history-steeped Lowland Hills and a visit to Gretna Green, where the blacksmith used to wed runaway couples. Drive through beautiful scenery in the Lake District, considered to be the finest of England’s national parks, and take your photographs of picturesque Lake Windermere. In Chester, the historic county town on the Dee River, your walking tour takes in the Roman remains, black and white half-timbered buildings, and the two-tiered shopping arcades called the “Rows.”

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 8 Wrexham–Betws-y-Coed–Dublin, Ireland

A scenic North Wales drive through the incomparable landscapes of Snowdonia National Park brings you to lovely Betws-y-Coed. Then, head over spectacular Llanberis Pass and, finally, across Britannia Bridge to the Isle of Anglesey. Take your photos at tongue-twisting Llanfair, and at Holyhead, board the ferry for the Irish Sea crossing to Dublin.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 9 Dublin

A day in the “Fair City” starts off with an orientation drive through Eire’s capital and includes statue-lined O’Connell Street, elegant Georgian squares, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy Dublin at leisure. Why not join an optional dinner evening at the Guinness Storehouse?

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 10 Dublin–Galway–Cliffs of Moher–Ennis

Head for dairy farm country in the center of the “Emerald Isle.” Stop in Galway, a popular seaside destination and a buzzing cosmopolitan center with colorful shops and a busy café and bar culture. Then, cross the limestone plateau of The Burren to visit the spectacular 668-foot CLIFFS OF MOHER before heading for Ennis, county town of Clare. Tonight’s optional opportunity: a medieval banquet at Knappogue Castle.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 11 Ennis–Adare–Ring of Kerry–Killarney

Stop for photos in Adare, a village known for its prize-winning thatched cottages and monastic ruins. In County Kerry, join the road known as the RING OF KERRY for a 100-mile coastal panoramic drive. Focus your camera on sparkling seascapes, mountains dotted with brightly colored farmhouses, winding lanes, and views of the Lakes of Killarney from Ladies View. Later, in Killarney, discover why this is such a popular resort.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 12 Killarney–Blarney–Dungarvan–Tramore

Across the Kerry Mountains and through County Cork to Blarney, famous for its magical Stone of Eloquence. Time to see the castle, and shop for Irish crafts and handmade crystal. After lunch, drive past Cork, the country’s second-largest city, and via Dungarvan to Tramore. Why not join an optional pub tour before dinner at your hotel?

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 13 Tramore–Cardiff, Wales

An early start for the short drive to Rosslare. In just under four hours, you cross St. George’s Channel by FERRY to South Wales. Continue through rich dairy farmland to Cardiff, where an orientation drive introduces you to the capital’s major attractions: Cardiff Castle, Cathays Park, Millennium Stadium, and the stately civic buildings. Tonight, why not join an evening of Welsh entertainment and dinner?

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 14 Cardiff–Bath, England–Stonehenge–London

A day packed with highlights begins as you cross the spectacular Severn Bridge into England. Stop in the elegant Georgian city of Bath, famous for its Roman relics, before visiting STONEHENGE, still an intriguing mystery. Explore the visitor center with its imaginative exhibitions, then admire the magnificence of the monument up close. After returning to London around 3:30 pm, how about celebrating the success of your tour with a night out on the town?

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 15 London

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Breakfast Breakfast

 Tour Director

With Cosmos, 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.

ANNMARIE CLANCY

Years of Experience: 32

I so enjoy the opportunity to share landscapes and cultures. Packed into my tiny part of the world is a depth and breadth of geographical and historical variety that simply cannot be surpassed.

Tour Director - ANNMARIE CLANCY

 Accommodations

LONDON Holiday Inn London Kensington (F) or Novotel London West (F)
SHEFFIELD Jurys Inn (F)
NEWCASTLE Jurys Inn (F) at Gateshead
EDINBURGH Kings Manor (ST)
WREXHAM Ramada Plaza (F)
DUBLIN Kingswood (F)
ENNIS Auburn Lodge (ST)
KILLARNEY Killarney Court (F)
TRAMORE Majestic (ST)
CARDIFF Novotel (F)

 Optional Excursions

The following optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased).

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)


London
Edinburgh
Dublin
Killarney
Tramore

London

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

A thousand years of royal history await at Windsor Castle on this fascinating peek behind the scenes at the Queen's favorite castle.

Price Range: $$

Royal London Morning Tour

Royal London Morning Tour

Drive through the very heart of central London past some of the key landmarks. Following our panoramic drive, we arrive at the Tower of London where we are met by our very own Yeoman Warder. Leading us into this world heritage site before it opens to the public our Beefeater will take us on our private guided tour explaining the history behind this fortress of imprisonment and torture. Then on to the Changing of the Guard ceremony. Finally enjoy a short cruise on the River Thames with excellent views of St Paul's Cathedral and the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.

Price Range: $$

London Eye

London Eye

At 135 metres, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the world¿s tallest cantilevered observation wheel, with 40 kilometre panoramic views on a clear day. The gradual rotation in one of the 32 high-tech glass capsules takes approximately 30 minutes offering spectacular views of London and its famous landmarks such as Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, St Paul¿s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Trafalgar Square.

Price Range: $

Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds

Walk the red carpet at the legendary Madame Tussauds London and meet the world's most famous stars from Hollywood to Bollywood, and The Royal Family to Rock Royalty.

Price Range: $

The London Dungeon

The London Dungeon

Delve into the blood-curdling parts of history that your teachers never wanted to tell you. Live actors, scary rides, shows and special effects, transport you back to those black, bleak times. Are you brave enough?

Price Range: $

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace was once Princess Diana's home. Sir Christopher Wren lavishly improved the original house, turning it into a palace for William III and Mary II. It remained a royal home and was the birthplace of Queen Victoria. The splendid State Apartments and Court Dress Collection are on view to the public as well as special exhibitions.

Price Range: $

Warner Bros. Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter

Warner Bros. Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter

This unique walking tour takes you behind-the-scenes and showcases a huge array of beautiful sets, costumes and props. It also reveals some closely guarded secrets, including facts about the special effects and animatronics that made these films so hugely popular all over the world.

Price Range: $$

Sea Life London Aquarium

Sea Life London Aquarium

With 17 themed zones and over 600 species of marine life, SEA LIFE London Aquarium will take you on a fascinating journey from the coastline to the depths of the ocean. Discover a magical underwater world filled with a dazzling array of amazing sea creatures, from sharks to rare Green Sea Turtles, from jellyfish to rays, from clownfish to blue tangs.

Price Range: $

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum

A visit to the home of the old and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world, that includes both the museum and a guided tour.

Price Range: $

Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms

Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms

Visit the underground command station of Britain's war effort, which contains the world's only museum dedicated to Sir Winston Churchill.

Price Range: $

River Cruise Experience

River Cruise Experience

Take a London Eye River Cruise and see London from a different perspective. Enjoy a unique 40 minute circular sightseeing cruise on the River Thames with fascinating live commentary that brings the city to life, presented by specialist guides. Highlights include Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, St. Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.

Price Range: $

Dinner and Theatre

Dinner and Theatre

Your evening includes tickets to your choice of show, and a two-course pre-theatre meal at a specially chosen restaurant just a short distance from the theatre. Your meal will be served in a friendly, efficient manner to ensure you reach the theatre in plenty of time for the show. Full details about your restaurant, along with relevant vouchers, will be provided when you arrive in London. This package is an excellent value, and is often cheaper than buying a theatre ticket alone.

Price Range: $$

Edinburgh

Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn Chapel

Described as a 'Bible in Stone', this 15th century church offers an extraordinary glimpse into the artistic ambitions of its founder with its mix of religious, pagan and early Masonic themes. A truly unique building presented in all its glory.

Price Range: $

Royal Yacht Britannia Excursion & Dinner

Royal Yacht Britannia Excursion & Dinner

Enjoy a visit to the former Royal Yacht Britannia, which was used on over 700 overseas visits and sailed over a million nautical miles, most famously for the honeymoon of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Later dinner with wine and coffee at an excellent local restaurant is included.

Price Range: $$

Dublin

Guinness Storehouse Visit & Supper

Guinness Storehouse Visit & Supper

Discover the secrets behind Guinness, the "world's number-one stout," on this fun and interactive guided brewery tour that includes a pint of beer and an Irish-themed dinner.

Price Range: $$

Killarney

Jaunting Car Ride

Jaunting Car Ride

A horse drawn carriage ride through the Killarney National Park to Ross Castle. A beautiful location beside the lake, amongst stunning scenery, with informed and fun local banter!

Price Range: $

Tramore

Pub Evening

Pub Evening

For local Irish flavor, take a scenic drive to a traditional pub with a local musician ready to entertain you and give you wonderful memories of this beautiful country. Two drinks of your choice are included.

Price Range: $

 Know Before You Go

These Know Before You Go travel tips are designed with you in mind, with helpful hints to help you prepare for and enjoy your escorted vacation. They are your guide to getting ready and contain general information on travel documentation, customs, and the country/countries you will be visiting, including budgeting, transportation, climate, languages, and much more. With Globus, you benefit from our experience.



* The "Starting at" or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include airfare; additional fees/charges are not included. If a price is crossed out, the new price includes a limited time promotional offer(s) – please review current promotions or deals for additional information. Some tours require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Cosmos).

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