Avanti Journey - Highlights of Ireland & Britain:
Dublin, Edinburgh, Manchester & London
The Highlights of Ireland & Britain Avanti Journey gives you some of the best that both Ireland and Britain has to offer! Taste the world-famous Guinness at the Storehouse in Dublin and take in gorgeous scenery of the Irish countryside. In Scotland, walk the historic cobblestone streets of Edinburgh and taste iconic Scotch whisky. In England, London and its centuries of history and culture await. It's all contained in this marvelous journey!
3 Nights Dublin
3 Nights Edinburgh
2 Nights Manchester
3 Nights London
Private Arrival & Departure Transfers in Select Cities
Self-Guided Guinness Storehouse Tour with Connoisseur Experience
Glendalough, Kilkenny & Wicklow Mountains Tour
Secrets of the Royal Mile Walking Tour with Edinburgh Castle
Highland Lochs, Glens, and Whisky Tour
Manchester Hop-on/off City Tour
Panoramic Tour of London with St Paul's Cathedral and Changing of the Guard
City of London Gin Distillery Tour and Tasting
Air JFK to Dublin, Dublin to Edinburgh & London to JFK*
1st-Class Rail Edinburgh to Manchester & Manchester to London
Departing from Newark or JFK, you arrive at Dublin Airport. Your driver will await you in the arrival hall for your private transfer to a centrally located hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. Dublin is the cultural capital of Ireland, offering Trinity College, the Book of Kells, the National Gallery, Number Twenty Nine ( a 1790 Georgian House Museum), Dublin castle, St. Audoen's (the city's only remaining medieval parish church), Abbey Theater, and St. Patrick's Cathedral, the burial site of Jonathan Swift. Also not to be missed are the General Post Office (site of the 1916 Easter uprising), and Kilmainham jail, where leaders of several rebellions from the late1700's to 1916 were detained, and in some cases executed, including James Connelly and Patrick Pearse. At the Docklands sits the "Jeanie Johnson Famine ship". Witness the challenges and get a stark insight of the harsh conditions on board during the Atlantic crossing to America. Dinner on your own this evening, and Dublin offers a variety of international cuisine. End the evening taking in some Irish music sessions in the Temple Bar district.
After a hearty Irish breakfast, the morning is free before you find your way to St James Gate for a self-guided Guinness Storehouse tour, plus the "Connoisseur Experience" at a designated time that you have selected at the time of booking. You'll redeem your Avanti voucher for entrance using the fast-track admission. A self-guided visit to the home of Guinness is the high point of any trip to Dublin. At the Guinness Storehouse you will discover all there is to know about the world famous beer. It's a dramatic story that begins over 250 years ago and ends at the Gravity Bar, a sky bar with a complimentary pint of Guinness and an astonishing view of Dublin City. Your visit will conclude the Connoisseur Experience, a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore the rich heritage of our iconic brand and discover why Guinness is truly 'MADE OF MORE'. This is the ultimate tasting session, for the ultimate Guinness fan. This exclusive luxurious private bar is discretely tucked away in the fourth floor of Guinness Storehouse. An officially trained Guinness Connoisseur takes a small group of visitors on a journey through the tastes, traditions, and stories of the four most popular variants of the 'black stuff': Guinness Draught, Guinness Extra Stout, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, and the brewer's latest project. Discover the story behind each variant, learn the pouring ritual, and taste and savor the magic that makes Guinness so distinct. This unique and intimate experience is a must for true Guinness aficionados and beer lovers. You can return to your hotel or other Dublin sights by taxi or public transportation.
(Breakfast & Accommodations, Dublin)
After breakfast, meet your guide at the Gresham Hotel for your full-day tour to Glendalough, Kilkenny, and the Wicklow Mountains. Your 45-minute guided walking tour of Kilkenny City will take you through the narrow and winding cobbled streets and under the city's many medieval arches as you explore all the main attractions and landmarks. Along the way, your tour guide will entertain and inform you with the history of the city. After the walking tour, you will have time to explore this charming town and have lunch on your own. The city's compact nature means that all the points of interest are easily accessible by foot and you will have plenty of time to visit an attraction if you wish (admission is not included). You may choose to visit the famous 12th-century Kilkenny Castle. The castle is the signature symbol of the city and is majestically located on the banks of the River Nore. Kilkenny Castle has a storied past and was once the Irish stronghold of the legendary Strongbow. Afterwards we'll travel through the county of Carlow into the wild and rugged Wicklow Mountains. The Wicklow Gap and its scenery is the most varied on the island of Ireland. The landscape will change from lush green rich pasture with gentle valleys, to the dramatic and the breathtaking ancient glacial valleys of the Wicklow Gap. The journey through the mountains will bring you through spectacular locations where famous movies such as Braveheart and PS I Love You were filmed. Enjoy a 20-minute stop for a stroll and photographic opportunities overlooking the glens and valleys of County Wicklow. Continuing over the mountains, we arrive at the world famous heritage site of Glendalough (Glen of two lakes). On arrival in Glendalough, we'll join our guide on a 30-minute tour of Glendalough's Monastic City, providing an ancient window into the golden era of Irish history and the Early Christian period. The Monastic City is heralded as a national monument of immense importance and it is here that Irish monks saved civilization while the rest of Europe went through the Dark Ages. Returning to Dublin, dinner will be on your own this evening.
(Breakfast & Accommodations, Dublin)
After breakfast, meet your diver in the lobby for the private transfer to Dublin Airport and your short flight to Edinburgh. Upon arrival, you'll have a private transfer to your centrally located hotel. The remainder of the day is free for exploring. Some of the options include the Royal Mile, the Palace of Holyrood House (the Queen's official Edinburgh residence), The Underground Vaults, and Arthur's Seat offering spectacular views of the entire city. For a sense of literary history, pop into Deacon Brodie's Tavern. This large, welcoming bar on the corner of Lawnmarket pays homage to Deacon Brodie, a man whose fascinating double life is said to have inspired Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde among others. Another option is The Conan Doyle. Located at Picardy Place with an impressive statue of Sherlock Holmes, this birthplace of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a veritable shrine to the author and his most famous creation. Dinner will be on your own this evening and Edinburgh offers a variety of cuisines. Beef (including that famous Aberdeen Angus), will be prominent on the menu, plus lamb and venison. The lochs and ocean provide a ready-made supply of food. Salmon, haddock, trout, and herring are probably the favorites, but shellfish, crabs, and lobster are readily available as well.
(Breakfast, Dublin; Accommodations, Edinburgh)
At 10am, meet your guide at Mercat Cross, High Street for the "Shared Secrets of the Royal Mile Tour". Edinburgh's Royal Mile is a treasure-chest of historic gems just waiting to be opened. Let your expert guide reveal the history of this fascinating street and reveal its unique place in the development of the Scottish nation. Discover how the Royal Mile received its name. Marvel at the splendor of Scotland's original Parliament Hall. Find out how Britain's oldest equestrian statue shocked the ladies! Learn why, to this day, Scots spit on a stony heart. You'll explore closes and courtyards and stand where the great and the good once lived and worked. This tour, the only one of its kind which runs throughout the year, is the ideal introduction to the Old Town of Edinburgh, exploring buildings and courtyards no bus can ever reach. Your experience of the medieval city is completed with a visit to Edinburgh Castle. The Castle dominates Scotland's capital city from its great rock, and its story has helped shape the nation's history. Battles and sieges were fought over it, royalty lived and died within its walls, and countless generations have been and inspired by it. Visit the Castle and let your guide reveal its remarkable history. The tour ends at the castle, but one can linger, continue independent sightseeing, or just return to your hotel.
(Breakfast & Accommodations, Edinburgh)
Have your kilts on for a full-day tour of the Highland Lochs, Glens, and Whisky Tour. Arrive at the Rabbies Tours office at 9am, conveniently located at Waterloo Place. This tour will explore the history, legends, and magical tales of the Celtic and Scottish Heartlands. You'll travel over the Forth Road Bridge past Perth to Dunkeld and the Hermitage in Macbeth's Birnam Wood for a forest walk among spectacular waterfalls and the tallest trees in the country. Then journey north to Pitlochry. There will be time for lunch on your own before traveling to see the Queen's View on Loch Tummel. Your afternoon continues as you cross the mountains to majestic Loch Tay, sitting beneath dramatic Ben Lawers. Here we'll make a stop at the picturesque waterside village of Kenmore. You finish off the day with a visit to Dewar's World of Whisky at Aberfeldy Distillery where you discover the secrets of single malt whisky before returning to Edinburgh, arriving at approximately 6:30pm.
(Breakfast & Accommodations, Edinburgh)
After breakfast, hire a taxi to Waverly Rail Station. While there, don't forget to take home some shortbread, as it's the perfect souvenir. Mary Queen of Scots' fondness for shortbread is said to be the reason for its increased popularity in the 1500s. Your 1st-class rail journey to Manchester will be four hours. Upon arrival hire a taxi to take you to your centrally located hotel, and then the remainder of the day is free to explore on your own. Fancy a cup of tea? Try Hey Little Cupcake or the Teacup Cakery in the trendy Spinningfields neighborhood. Both offer an array of cakes and pastries. Spinningfields is a vibrant area, and home to the city's most popular bars, restaurants, and shops. Nearby are two cultural attractions: in a converted Edwardian pumping station is the People's History Museum, as well as the John Rylands Library, a neo-Gothic masterpiece which holds a world-class collection, including a 1476 edition of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
(Breakfast, Edinburgh; Accommodations, Manchester)
Get a feel for the city from the top deck of a double-decker tour bus on a hop-on/hop-off city tour. The rest of the day is yours to explore the various sites you saw on your bus tour.
(Breakfast & Accommodations, Manchester)
After a leisurely breakfast, hire a taxi to Piccadilly Station for your two-hour 1st-class train to London. Arriving in Euston Station, a private transfer awaits you to your centrally located hotel. There's still plenty of time to explore independently explore the city on your own to see some of the famous landmarks like the Tower of London, The Eye, British Museum, The Shard, or just perusing through neighborhoods like Soho and Notting Hill.
(Breakfast, Manchester; Accommodations, London)
Up early for your shared Panoramic Tour of London. The tour begins at the Golden Tours office adjacent to Victoria Station. Enjoy a whistle stop tour of London's famous monuments and marvel at the history of London's modern masterpieces from the comfort of your seat. We will drive past Westminster Abbey before stopping at magnificent St Paul's Cathedral, widely considered to be Sir Christopher Wren's masterpiece. As iconic an image of London as red telephone boxes and double-decker buses, the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace* is a not-to-be-missed royal feast of bearskin hats and red tunics. This tour will finish at approximately 12:00pm at Buckingham Palace and you can continue sightseeing independently or return to your hotel. If you have one, please remember to bring your Oyster card with you that day!
*In the event the ceremony is not available, you will visit Horseguards Parade.
(Breakfast & Accommodations, London)
Today is free for sightseeing. Explore attractions like the Sherlock Holmes Museum, Fortnum & Mason for high tea, and for history buffs, the Churchill War Cabinet. Perhaps take the short train ride to Windsor Castle. Whatever you do, make sure you stop at a pub for lunch. The pubs for the British are the quintessential meeting place to relax, debate, and get together with friends. There are over 2,500 pubs throughout London, with many boasting an illustrious history hosting characters ranging from Charles Dickens to Jack the Ripper. The food can run the gamut from traditional English favorites, such as meat pies, "toad in the hole", and potato jackets plus fillings, but now you're finding more gastro-pubs that have a more expansive menu. And you don't have to be a beer drinker. They will all offer several wines by the glass, as well a nice cup of tea for those that don't imbibe. Late in the day, there will be a shared City of London Gin Distillery Tour and Tasting. The time ranges from 4:30pm to 7:30pm depending on the day of the week. The tour commences at Bridal Lane and will take about 1.5 hours. Take a guided tour through the London Gin Distillery and discover the history of gin in London. Learn about their gin and the process of making it. Tour is followed by a 3-flight gin tasting. Ticket will also include a discount voucher off a bottle of their gin.
(Breakfast & Accommodations, London)
After breakfast, meet your driver for your private transfer to Heathrow Airport and your return flight to the US, filled with many fond memories. (Breakfast, London)
** Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change