Heart of Scotland & Ireland
Contact us for tour price
Dates: 27 September - 14 October 2019
Duration: 17 days
Beginning in Edinburgh and travelling to Inverness, Belfast, Galway and Dublin with time to explore in each city we visit. Tour the countryside to chat to locals in friendly villages, admire the stunning landscapes, steep ourselves in the history and relax in the warm welcome we receive in these two Celtic nations on this 17 day tour.
- Edinburgh Castle
- Scotch Whisky Tour
- Stirling Castle
- Blair Atholl Distillery
- Culloden Battlefield
- Loch Ness Cruise
- Isle of Skye
- Eileen Donan Castle
- Giant Causeway
- Cliffs of Moher
- Waterford Factory
- Jamieson Distillery
For more information, or to secure your place, call us today at 1300 044 444
Departing Brisbane 27 September 2019
Starts Edinburgh 28 September 2019
Contact us for pricing
- Return Economy Class Airfares including Taxes* – business class upgrades available on request
- Private single rooms in quality accommodation
- Meals as per itinerary – 15 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 9 Dinners
- Sightseeing Tours and Transfers as per itinerary
- Tour Escort – travels with group from/ to Brisbane
- Local English Speaking Tour Guides
- Any meals, tours, flights, shore excursions or transfers other than mentioned above or in the itinerary
- Items of a personal nature i.e. laundry, drinks, phone calls, internet, etc
- Travel Insurance
^Please note: Airport Transfers are only available in conjunction with the group flights.
For more information, or to secure your place, call us today at 1300 044 444
Day 1 – Friday 27 September 2019
Depart Brisbane 10:50PM
Today we meet our Tour Escort and fellow travellers at Brisbane International Airport for our flight to Edinburgh via Dubai.
Day 2 – Saturday 28 September 2019 D
Arrive Edinburgh 2:10PM
Welcome to bonnie Scotland. The capital of Scotland makes an unforgettable impression with its historic, hilly landscape atop a series of extinct volcanos. On arrival today we will be met and transfer to our Edinburgh hotel which will be our home for the next few nights. A little time to relax after the journey and then tonight will be a welcome dinner at our hotel.
Accommodation: Holiday Inn City West (or similar) 4 Nights
Day 3 – Sunday 29 September 2019 B-D
Today with our guide, we’ll explore the city of Edinburgh. The area around modern-day Edinburgh has been inhabited for thousands of years and its origins as a settlement can be traced to the early Middle Ages when a hillfort was established in the area, most likely on the Castle Rock. From the seventh to the tenth centuries it was part of the Anglian Kingdom of Northumbria, becoming thereafter a royal residence of the Scottish kings. Today we’ll visit Edinburgh Castle – the historic fortress that dominates the skyline. It is now home to the Scottish Crown Jewels, the Stone of Destiny, the famous 15th-century gun Mons Meg, the One O’ Clock Gun and the National War Museum of Scotland. Today we’ll also take part in a Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile as an introduction to Scotland’s national drink. Dinner tonight will be at our hotel.
Day 4 – Monday 30 September 2019 B-L
Callander and Stirling
Today we’ll set off in the coach for a day’s touring to the Trossachs and Stirling. The Trossachs National Park, is also known as ‘the Highlands in Miniature’ for its abundance of lochs, mountains and forests. It’s also famous for the legendary outlaw, Rob Roy MacGregor. We will spend time exploring the area before stopping for a pub lunch today.
Today we’ll also visit the town of Callander, travelling past the medieval Doune Castle before we visit Stirling Castle. The site is one of Scotland’s most historically and architecturally significant fortresses, and was once a favoured residence of the Stewart kings and queens who held grand celebrations at the castle. Knights, nobles and foreign ambassadors once flocked here to revel in its grandeur with its superb sculptures and beautiful gardens and today we can learn of the exploits of key historical figures including William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and Mary Queen of Scots.
Day 5 – Tuesday 01 October 2019 B-D
At Leisure/Scottish Dinner Show
Today is at leisure to explore Edinburgh at your own pace. Your tour escort will have ideas on how to plan the day and you can choose to either go with the group or explore on your own. A hop-on, hop-off bus perhaps? A leisurely stroll through the Royal Mile? A visit to St Giles – the high kirk of Edinburgh? The National Museum? A visit to Holyrood Palace? An energetic climb up Arthur’s Seat? Or perhaps just relax and enjoy some great Scottish treats in one of the many cafes and restaurants in this wonderful city. Tonight will be a rip-roaring evening with traditional Scottish entertainment with music, dancing and song in a magnificent setting.
Day 6 – Wednesday 02 October 2019 B-L
Edinburgh – Inverness
Today the coach will take us to the northern city of Inverness – the largest city and cultural capital of the Scottish Highlands. Inverness is a Gaelic word meaning “mouth of the River Ness”. The Ness is a river which flows out of Loch Ness (famous for its monster!) En-route today we’ll stop at the Blair Atholl Distillery which distills the famous Blair Athol single malt whisky. We’ll also stop for lunch today in a traditional pub before travelling on to Inverness where we’ll check into our hotel for the next 3 nights.
Accommodation: Jury’s Inn Inverness (or similar) 3 Nights
Day 7 – Thursday 03 October 2019 B-L
Today with our guide we’ll visit the world famous Loch Ness; a place full of mystery, where you may just catch a glimpse of one of Scotland’s most famous residents – Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster… Marvel at the views of the once mighty medieval stronghold, Urquhart Castle – a testament to the power of Clan Chiefs and Scottish Kings – that now stands as a majestic ruin on the banks of the Loch. Lunch today will be a traditional pub lunch.
After lunch today we’ll visit the emotive and compelling Culloden Battlefield, and hear the chilling story of the conclusion of the Jacobite cause on the site where the last pitched battle fought on the British mainland took place. The richly researched, stimulating and sensitive Culloden Visitor Centre, which stands beside the battlefield, features artefacts from both sides of the battle and interactive displays that reveal the background to the conflict. It is both a monument and a guide to a pivotal day in history.
Day 8 – Friday 04 October 2019 B-D
Isle of Skye
This morning after breakfast we’ll again set off with our guide, by coach, to the magical Isle of Skye. The largest of the Inner Hebrides, its home to some of Scotland’s most iconic landscapes. Connected to Scotland’s northwest coast by bridge, is known for its rugged landscapes, picturesque fishing villages and medieval castles. Today we’ll also visit Eileen Donan Castle. Eilean Donan is recognised as one of the most iconic images of Scotland all over the world. Situated on an island at the point where three great sea lochs meet, and surrounded by some majestic scenery. Returning to Inverness late this afternoon and dinner tonight will be a pub.
Day 9 – Saturday 05 October 2019 B-D
Inverness to Belfast
Today on the coach we’ll travel via Glasgow to the town of Cairnryan where we’ll cross by ferry into Belfast. Cairnryan is a small Scottish port village sitting on the eastern shore of Loch Ryan in Dumfries and Galloway and has a long and important seafaring history and today is home to one of the most popular ferry routes in the United Kingdom. Once in Belfast – the capital of Northern Ireland – we’ll check in at our hotel for the next two nights.
Accommodation: Hilton Belfast City Centre (or similar) 2 Night
Day 10 – Sunday 06 October 2019 B-D
Belfast, on the banks of the River Lagan, is the largest city in Northern Ireland. By the early 1800s Belfast was a major port and it played a key role in the Industrial Revolution, becoming the biggest linen producer in the world. By the time it was granted city status in 1888, it was a major centre of Irish linen production, tobacco-processing and rope-making. Shipbuilding was also a key industry and the Harland and Wolff shipyard, where the RMS Titanic was built, was the world’s biggest shipyard. Today we’ll visit the Titanic Belfast which was built on the site of the famous shipyard. We’ll explore the shipyard, travel to the depths of the ocean and uncover the true legend of Titanic, in the city where it all began.
Day 11 – Monday 07 October 2019 B-D
Belfast – Galway/Giant’s Causeway
This morning we’ll set off for Galway on the west coast. With barren fields, rugged coastline, stone-walled fields, stark mountain ranges, and vast boglands, the west has some of the richest scenic beauty and natural attractions in Ireland. Today we’ll visit the Giant’s Causeway and stand on the hills that gently arc this precious place looking down on thousands of basalt columns tumbling down into the Atlantic Ocean. It’s an epic sight, with a whopping 40,000 or so of these hexagonal-shaped pillars, which date back to a volcanic age almost 60 million years ago. Once in Galway we’ll check into our hotel for the next 3 nights and dinner tonight will be at an Irish pub.
Accommodation: The Connacht Hotel (or similar) 3 Nights
Day 12 – Tuesday 08 October 2019 B-L
Galway/Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are among Ireland’s most dramatic sights, towering over 700 feet (214 meters) high and stretching
The Cliffs of Moher are among Ireland’s most dramatic sights, towering over 214 metres high and stretching for 8 km along the coast. After breakfast today we’ll tour Galway and visit the cliffs and enjoy stunning views over the Atlantic Ocean and the Aran Islands. Take your time to soak up the natural beauty as we gaze at the exposed limestone terrain and jagged cliffs. We’ll have lunch at a local restaurant today before returning to our hotel late this afternoon.
Day 13 – Wednesday 09 October 2019 B-D
Galway at Leisure
Today is at leisure to catch our breath. Join your Tour Escort and other group members if you wish or take the day at your own pace. There’s much to see and do in Galway. A visit to Galway Cathedral or one of the lovely art galleries? Explore the Spanish Arch and the Galway City Museum? Visit the Latin Quarter or the Medieval City Walls or even the beautiful Forthill Graveyard where sailors and soldiers from the Spanish Armada are buried. Your Tour Escort will let you give you ideas of what you may want to do and you can decide on the day.
Day 14 – Thursday 10 October 2019 B-L
Galway – Dublin
Setting off today we’ll travel via Cork to Dublin. With a maritime history spanning over a thousand years, and set in a beautiful soft coastal environment Cork today is a wonderful cosmopolitan city. Lunch today will be at a local restaurant. We’ll visit the Waterford Factory today which was originally founded by George and William Penrose in 1783. Waterford crystal is world-renowned for quality and beauty and today the facility includes dozens of highly skilled local craftsmen who produce over 40,000 crystal pieces per year using traditional methods. Arriving in Dublin we’ll check into our hotel.
Accommodation: Academy Plaza Hotel (or similar) 3 Nights
Day 15 – Friday 11 October 2019 B-L
Dublin! Dublin, founded by Vikings, celebrates the very essence of Ireland. Today we’ll tour this wonderful city. We’ll visit Trinity College – located in the heart of Dublin City, where a walk through the cobbled stones will bring us back to the 18th century, when the magnificent Old Library building was constructed and which displays the Book of Kells – the world’s oldest and most famous book. Lunch today will be in a traditional pub.
In 1780 John Jameson threw open the doors of the Jameson Distillery Bow St. Over 200 years later, the doors are still open to friends old and new. Jameson is no longer produced in Dublin, having left the city behind for more space in the countryside, but it is still possible to tour the original distillery where a Jameson Ambassador explains the whiskey making process of such a beloved Irish tipple. This afternoon we’ll tour the distillery and learn how to blend your own take-home whiskey.
Day 16 – Saturday 12 October 2019 B-D
Dublin at Leisure
Our last day today in beautiful Ireland yours to enjoy at leisure in Dublin. Once again your Tour Escort will have suggestions and everyone can decide what they would like to do. The crowded pedestrian lanes and fabulous eateries of Temple Bar? A wander through St Stephen’s Green with its beautiful Victorian layout? A stroll over the Ha’penny Bridge used by pedestrians since the 1700s? The grand collection of European art in the National Gallery? Or perhaps travelling a little further afield to the National Botanic Gardens. The possibilities are endless. Today we’ll make the most of our last day in the Emerald Isle.
Farewell to beautiful Ireland. For our last dinner tonight we will have dinner and a show with Irish dancing at a local pub.
Day 17 – Sunday 13 October 2019 Depart Dublin 1:50PM B
Day18 – Monday 14 October 2019 Arrive Brisbane 10:20PM
Sunday morning we have time for a leisurely breakfast and pack our bags before transferring to the airport for our journey home.