Venture through lush green Warwickshire bound for Stratford-upon-Avon to delve into the lyrical legacy of one of the world's favourite writers. Visit Shakespeare's Birthplace and Visitor Centre, and see Anne Hathaway's cottage, before arriving in York. Wander along its cobbled Shambles and see the magnificent York Minster, one of the greatest cathedrals in the world. This evening, we join our Travel Director and travel companions for a delicious Yorkshire dinner in our hotel.
Journeying through Northumberland National Park's dramatic landscapes, we arrive at the remarkably intact ruins of the 12th-century Jedburgh Abbey en route to the enchanting Scottish capital, Edinburgh. During the Edinburgh Festival, enjoy a rousing display of music, dance and precision at the spectacular Edinburgh Tattoo held in the grounds of the beautiful Edinburgh Castle.
Join your Local Specialist this morning for a sightseeing tour through Auld Reekie's elegant New Town, Princes Street and the Royal Mile, enjoying views of the exquisite Palace of Holyroodhouse and Arthur's Seat. Embark on a guided visit of Edinburgh Castle, perched atop Castle Rock. Later, consider a traditional Scottish night out this evening, savouring up the flavours of haggis and exhilarating sounds of bagpipes which fill the air.
Today, we travel across the Firth of Forth to St. Andrews to view its celebrated ancient university and explore centuries of golf heritage. Our next stop is Pitlochry on the banks of the Tummel River. You could choose to join an Optional Experience to visit Blair Castle, the ancestral home to the Dukes of Atholl, before spending the night at one of Trafalgar's 'Stays With Stories' - Laggan Gaskmore Hotel located within Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands.
Drive to the rugged coast of Scotland this morning, passing the Glenfinnan Monument commemorating the site where the 1745 Jacobite Rising began. We cross the sea to the Isle of Skye, driving up the Sleat Peninsula and admiring the spectacular scenery of the 'Garden of Skye' before enjoying free time for lunch. Cross a road bridge to view scenic Eilean Donan Castle on the mainland and continue past the lochs and glens of the Scottish Highlands. Pay tribute to the brave men who lost their lives during the final confrontation of the Jacobite uprising on Culloden battlefield, returning to your hotel in Laggan later.
Our first stop today is the World War II Commando Memorial, near Fort William, for views of Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Continue south through the 'Glen of the Weeping', paying tribute to the MacDonald clansmen who were massacred for failing to pledge allegiance to Scotland's new monarchs. Arriving in Glasgow, we enjoy an orientation tour including views of the Cathedral and magnificent George Square. We'll also visit the Necropolis where we'll 'Dive Into Culture' and gain insights into one of Europe's most important 19th-century burial grounds.
Cross the border into England and 'Connect With Locals', joining Farmer John and his wife Christine on their Cumbrian working farm for a Be My Guest lunch. Learn about traditional farming methods before continuing your journey through the beautiful Lake District and its landscapes that have inspired poets and painters for centuries. See Lake Windermere, England's largest lake, before travelling to Liverpool, the haunt of Britain's 'Fab Four'.
The half-timbered Tudor 'Rows' in Chester are our first stop today as we travel to Holyhead in North Wales to catch our ferry across the Irish Sea to Dublin. Soak up Irish hospitality and delicious local flavours during a Regional Meal at EPIC - the Irish Emigration Museum.
Visit the Guinness Storehouse to learn about Ireland's famous brew, before delving into Dublin's iconic sights with a Local Specialist. See Trinity College, St. Patrick's Cathedral and the stately Georgian Squares. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure or consider an Optional Experience at an Irish Cabaret.
Journey to the West Coast and the vibrant cultural centre of Galway, where you will have an opportunity to view Galway Cathedral and Eyre Square, with its tribute to former US president John F. Kennedy, before travelling to Limerick.
Admire Ireland's enduring scenic beauty on one of the most beautiful drives in the world. Circling the spectacular Ring of Kerry, we see mountains, valleys, lakes and sea blend into a soul-stirring landscape. We arrive in Cork and enjoy a delicious dinner at our hotel
In the pursuit of acquiring the 'gift of the gab', we visit Blarney Castle and kiss the famous Blarney Stone, before stopping in Cobh for a walking tour with a Local Specialist. This seaside city was the final port of call for the tragic Titanic on its fateful voyage. This afternoon, we 'Dive Into Culture' during a visit to the House of Waterford Crystal and witness talented master craftsmen at work.
We cross the Irish Sea to Wales and its capital, Cardiff, where we will see the Principality Stadium and view the Millennium Centre, National Assembly and Victorian fantasy castle at the heart of the city.
Cross the Severn Estuary to Bath, so named for the ancient Roman Baths that have made the city a popular retreat for centuries. Admire the elegant Georgian façades and visit the Roman Baths, before some free time to explore on your own. We wind our way to mystical Glastonbury to visit the 7th-century Abbey where King Arthur is believed to be buried. Later, we arrive in the city of Plymouth, our home for two nights.
The springboard to a 'New World' takes centre stage as we start our day with an orientation of Plymouth. View the Mayflower Steps, where brave pilgrims embarked on their epic voyage to America, and see the Royal Citadel overlooking Plymouth Sound. Visit the fishing village of Polperro with its narrow streets and picturesque harbour, before enjoying a scenic drive through the brooding landscapes of Dartmoor, keeping a keen eye out for the area's wild ponies. Our epic adventure through Britain and Ireland almost at its end, we join our travel companions and Travel Director for a memorable Farewell Dinner.
Our return journey to London will see us cross the Salisbury Plain and visit the ancient mystical monoliths of Stonehenge, whose myths have yet to be fully revealed. This afternoon we close the curtain on a memorable journey with new friends.
Your London Hotel: This trip departs from our London Reception Centre or the Park Plaza Riverbank hotel providing that you have reserved your accommodation at this hotel through Trafalgar.
Edinburgh Tattoo 2-24 August 2019: We've included Tattoo tickets when you're in Edinburgh on departures 01 August, 08 August, 15 August and 22 August 2019.