Please be ready to depart at 7.30am from Earls Court YHA, London. Heading North from Central London we travel into Robin Hood's country. The 450-acre Sherwood Forest is a dream to explore and with a picnic lunch you will feel like one of the Merry Men! Test your skills with our optional activity of archery before we make our way to Viking York! A chance to explore the awesome gothic cathedral (England's largest), the medieval city walls and the sights and sounds of the lively city centre. After our authentic Viking feast, experience a spine tingling ghost walk followed by a rally of traditional pubs.
Heading further North we stop in the cosmopolitan city of Newcastle. Cross the River Tyne and see the Angel of the North. From here we attack Hadrian’s Wall then a choice to cruise up the Northumberland coastal road or through the Northumberland National Park. It's goodbye to England and Scotland ahoy.
A pause at either Holy Island, with its amazing history and ancient priory or Jedburgh, a historical border town, once home to Mary Queen of Scots before we get to Edinburgh. A Full walking tour & a bit of whisky tasting awaits. Explore the Royal Mile and Edinburgh castle. The evening is spent enjoying a traditional Scottish meal and a fantastic night out in Scotland's capital.
Leaving Edinburgh we head out towards Stirling to hear the history of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Then it is over to Loch Lomond (“I’ll take the high road…….”) to take in the beauty of one of Scotland’s famous Lochs. Next we wind our way further westwards to Kilmartin Glen to uncover the wonders of the Kingdom of Dalriada - Standing Stones, Stone Circles & castles before making our way up to lively Oban – our home for the night.
We head deeper into the magical Highlands through some spectacular north west coast scenery with amazing stops & weather permitting walks in magnificent Glencoe (hear the tragic tale of the MacDonald’s Massacre) & Glen Nevis. Next we wind our way westwards through Harry Potter country to the Glenfinnan Memorial (where Bonny Prince Charlie raised the royal standard), & weather permitting have some time on the beaches of Morar. Then its to Mallaig to catch the ferry over to the South of the Isle of Skye – the traditional way – we spend tonight in the fishing village of Kyleakin.
A full and active day on the mystical Isle - loads of walks and time to take in the magic. You’ll see the Cuillin Mountains, the Old Man of Storr (an incredible Jurassic pillar) and hear some amazing legends, visit the fascinating Kilt Rock, and take in absolutely awe-inspiring panoramas in the Quirang. Perfect preparation for a few wee drams in the pub to reflect on a day of tales and legends.
We say farewell to the Isle of Skye this morning & once back on the mainland we make our way northwards up the Gairloch Coastline – a day of gorgeous, relaxing scenery with some lovely short walks, gorges & waterfalls before heading over to the Capital of the Highlands – Inverness – for our final night together.
Today takes us to the banks of loch ness for some Nessie hunting before an emotional stop at tragic Culloden battlefield. Then we cheer ourselves up with beautiful forest walks and a distillery visit before making our way over the Firth of Forth back to Edinburgh – happy honorary Scots!
Wild in Scotland will drop you at Edinburgh Airport at around 6pm for you to catch a flight (unguided) to Dublin. www.ryanair.com and www.aerlingus.com sell flights to Dublin from £15 to £60. The earlier you book the cheaper the deals you can get.
Our first stop, not far from Dublin, is the Rock of Dunamase, the remains of a 12th century castle perched high on a rocky outcrop, this was the first home of Strongbow in Ireland, his ghost still haunts the hills!! With a lunch stop in Abbeyleix to visit Morrissey’s, Ireland’s third oldest pub and once a travel agents, undertakers, grocery store and a pub! From
there it’s not a long way to Tipperary because we drive through the Golden vale, some of the prime agricultural land in Ireland located in the heart of Co. Tipperary. We then go onto stop at the imposing but awe-inspiring Rock of Cashel, one of the most spectacular archeological sites in Ireland. Tonight we stay in Cork City, the second largest city in the Republic where we have the opportunity to sample the fine Murphy’s or Beamish Stout both brewed locally.
Today begins with a visit to Blarney Castle where you will climb the steps to the top of the castle and perform strange acrobatic ritual to kiss the Blarney stone. Legend has it that on kissing the stone you will receive the gift of eloquence, otherwise known as “the gift of the gab”. The grounds of Blarney Castle are a fairies paradise and if you don’t meet them here, you never will! After this we visit Killarney National Park and take a walk up to (or a dip into) the stunning Torc Waterfall. We then hop back on the bus and head to Tarbert for our ferry ride across the mouth of the River Shannon, the longest river in Ireland, before a drive to Doolin village. We will be spending this evening in Doolin, a tiny coastal village famous for its traditional Irish music.
This morning our first stop is the spectacular Cliffs of Moher which rise 700ft above the Atlantic Ocean making them one of the highest in Europe. We then visit the Burren, which is a moonscape of limestone originally formed at the bottom of shallow seas 300 million years ago and carved out by the ice age 15,000 years ago. We then make our way along the coast and onto the capital of the West – Galway, famed for it’s numerous festivals and cobbled laneways before driving through the Midlands and the ancient distillery of Lockes where the famous “Uisce beatha” otherwise known as WHISKEY, is distilled and we get to sample some of it’s finest following a lively tour. Finally on to Dublin for around 6pm for a final night on the Guinness!
Unguided, take the Dublin DART train at 0900 to the ferry port of Dun Laoghaire (pronounced Dunleary). It takes 15mins and they run at least every 20mins. Catch the 11.10am ferry from (Dublin) to Holyhead. You must be at the ferry terminal at least 30 mins beforehand.
Visit (the longest place-name in the world) Llanfairpwllgwngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch & get your passport stamped! We continue south to Caernarfon -a cool castle town on the coast where you can experience some real Welsh culture before heading into the stunning Snowdonia National Park - (the second largest National Park in Great Britain) dominated by the highest peak in England and Wales - Mt Snowdon (3560 ft). See the famous Welsh slate mines & go in search of Gellert’s Grave where we stop for a nice picnic lunch. Then its eastwards to Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon to spend an evening in the famous medieval town.
The morning is spent with an optional tour of Shakespeare's houses or more time in the town to see Shakespeare's home town and history. Late morning we meander through the spectacular Cotswold’s - spend some quality time in a Cotswold’s village (perhaps sample a cream tea) before arriving in the University City of Oxford. Get a full walking tour of the city's famous University colleges before heading back to London for late afternoon.
If you’re looking to have a good time down in the City and on a budget, be sure to search online for the best London deals before heading out
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