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Tailor Made Treasures of Scotland & Ireland (2016)
Days: 10 | From: $8,745
Luxury Tailor Made Journeys depart on the dates that work for you and feature expert local guides throughout your journey. The itinerary below can be customized to your interests.
Day 1: Arrive Edinburgh, Scotland
Arrive in Edinburgh, where your Guardian Angel meets and assists you with transfer to your hotel.
Days 2-3: Edinburgh | City & Countryside
Explore Scotland’s capital alongside your expert guide, visiting Edinburgh Castle, a royal fortress that symbolizes the Scottish nation; here, find the oldest set of Crown Jewels in the British Isles. From the impressive military installations, take in stunning views of the city. Proceed to the Royal Mile, which stretches down from the castle through the Old Town of Edinburgh, at the heart of which is St. Giles Cathedral. This fascinating Gothic church is topped by a fine medieval spire in the shape of a crown. At the foot of the Royal Mile is Holyrood Palace, the Queen’s official residence in Scotland. If no member of the royal family is staying, tour the staterooms, noting the ornate plasterwork, and visit the historic apartments in which Mary, Queen of Scots, resided. The palace's neighbor is the much more recent Scottish Parliament Building; its striking contemporary designs are in eye-catching contrast to the classical style of the palace. Spend the balance of the day at leisure. The following day, head north through the rural Strathmore valley, where local raspberries are grown. See turreted Glamis Castle, where the Earl of Strathmore resides. The staterooms of the castle display many treasures of the Bowes-Lyon family; like all Scottish castles, reputedly ghosts are present. Continue over the Sidlaw Hills to Dundee, known for its orange marmalade. Travel into the Kingdom of Fife, a peninsula that extends out into the North Sea. On one of the easternmost parts of the coast is St. Andrews, recognized as the home of golf. Stop outside the iconic Royal and Ancient Clubhouse to see the first tee and 18th green of the famous Old Course. Continue exploring the historic town; in the Middle Ages, St. Andrews was the ecclesiastical and educational capital of Scotland. At the east end of the town are the evocative ruins of the largest cathedral ever built in Scotland. Meanwhile, the oldest university in Scotland remains an active institution, with faculty buildings scattered throughout the town. It was here that Prince William first met his future bride, Catherine Middleton. Return to Edinburgh through the agricultural countryside of Fife, continuing over the Forth Road Bridge to Edinburgh.
Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian | Meals: B
Days 4-6: Belfast, Northern Ireland | Where the Titanic was Built
Transfer to the airport and fly to Belfast, where you are met and transferred to your hotel in the Holywood Hills. Spend the day at leisure. The next day, meet your expert guide and explore Northern Ireland’s capital from the comfort of your private vehicle, learning about the political and sectarian divides that have shaped this city in recent decades. Begin with a panoramic tour of the city center, seeing City Hall, St. Anne’s Cathedral and Queen’s University. Also see the Titanic Quarter, named for the fabled ship that was built here. Return to your hotel and take time to unwind. Spend the following day to the north of Belfast. Pass Carrickfergus Castle and follow the coastline of County Antrim through pretty villages, such as Carnlough and Cushendun. See, too, the valleys known as the Glens of Antrim and witness Giant’s Causeway, a geological wonder created from hexagonal-shaped basaltic columns that extend out into the sea. You may also choose to visit Bushmills Distillery, one of the oldest whiskey distilleries in the world.
Culloden Estate & Spa | Meals: B
Days 7-9: Dublin, Ireland | The Book of Kells
Depart Belfast and drive to Dublin, stopping en route at the ruins of Monasterboice, a historic Christian settlement and the prehistoric passage graves of Newgrange. Check in to your hotel, with time at leisure. The next day, embark on a city tour, seeing impressive Trinity College, Ireland's oldest university. Explore the Old Library, which houses 200,000 antiquarian texts and the oldest surviving harp in Ireland — not to mention the Book of Kells. Handcrafted by monks, it contains the four gospels. Continue to St. Patrick's Cathedral, the largest church in Ireland, where you see a memorial to Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels; Swift became Dean of St. Patrick's in 1713. Begin your final full day in Dublin traveling through the Wicklow Mountains to picturesque Powerscourt Gardens; from the terrace, take in mountainous panoramas.
The Merrion | Meals: B
Day 10: Depart Dublin
Transfer to the airport and board your homebound flight.