Landscapes of Scotland & Ireland with Kate George

15 days
Travel through the landscapes of Scotland and Ireland, where hundreds of years of history spring suddenly to life. Start your journey in Edinburgh with the city’s Georgian architecture, then head to Glasgow before crossing the Irish Sea to visit historic Belfast. Turn south through charming Galway and County Kerry’s coastal landscapes before ending your adventure amid Dublin’s bustling streets.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Tour pace: You will walk for about 1 hour daily across mostly flat terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with few hills or stairs.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 13 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 5 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Map of tour of England, Scotland & Ireland

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Edinburgh today.

Edinburgh 3 nights

Day 2: Arrival in Edinburgh

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Scotland! Arrive in Edinburgh, then transfer to your hotel and get settled in. Later tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers at a welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Edinburgh

Follow a Scottish local on a sightseeing tour of the city.

• View the Georgian New Town and the Royal Mile, two UNESCO World Heritage sites

• Pass the Sir Walter Scott monument 

• Enter Edinburgh Castle to view the Scottish crown jewels and Stone of Scone

Enjoy a free afternoon in Edinburgh or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Abbotsford House & Melrose Abbey $95pp* Details

Travel through the Scottish Borders region to Abbotsford, where you’ll enjoy an included lunch. Continue on to Abbotsford House, the 19th-century estate of Sir Walter Scott. The poet designed his home in the Romantic style to imitate the elaborate baronial estates of British aristocrats. Today it serves as a museum for the Scottish memorabilia and artifacts that Scott collected throughout his lifetime. Later, visit the ruins of Melrose Abbey, one of the most impressive of the four Borders abbeys. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from April to October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $105)

Optional Excursion - Royal Yacht Brittania $95pp* Details

For over 44 years, the Royal Yacht Britannia served as a floating residence for Britain’s Royal Family, playing host to world leaders during state visits and acting as a private escape for Queen Elizabeth II. Step back in time as you make your way through lavishly furnished royal apartments and the more modest crew’s quarters below deck. Please note: The Royal Yacht Britannia can be visited year-round. However, on select tours, it will only be offered from November through March as a seasonal alternative to the Abbotsford House & Melrose Abbey excursion.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $105)

Day 4: Free day in Edinburgh

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day to explore Edinburgh on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Blair Castle & Whisky Distillery Visit $125pp* Details

Set out across the Scottish highlands, taking in the dramatic landscapes on your way to Blair Castle, an historic residence nestled into the picturesque Perthshire countryside. Exploring the castle on your own, discover this ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl, which is now home to Europe’s last remaining private army, the Atholl Highlanders. After an included lunch at the castle, make your way back to Edinburgh, stopping at Edradour Distillery to learn how traditional Scotch whisky is made and enjoy a tasting. Please Note: This excursion requires advanced reservation and must be booked 20 days prior to departure.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Glasgow 1 night

Day 5: Glasgow via Stirling Castle

  Included meals: Breakfast

Travel through the picturesque Scottish countryside to explore Stirling Castle, where King James VI once lived. Then, continue on to Glasgow for a tour with a local guide.

• Discover local highlights, including George Square and the River Clyde

• Admire the city’s university and medieval cathedral

• Visit the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, which features everything from medieval suits of armor to a collection of works by Scottish artists

Belfast 2 nights

Day 6: Transfer to Belfast

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Make your way to the village of Cairnryan where you’ll board a ferry for your voyage across the Irish Sea to Belfast.

Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Belfast

  Included meals: Breakfast

Get to know Belfast, the cultural heart of Northern Ireland, from a local’s perspective on a guided tour. 

• Glimpse the copper-domed City Hall and the recently restored Grand Opera House

• Learn all about Belfast’s long history, from its origins in the Bronze Age and rise as an international seaport to its role in the conflict known as “the Troubles”

• Enter the Titanic Museum for a look at the vessel’s infamous history

Enjoy a free afternoon in Belfast or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Giant's Causeway $79pp* Details

Pay a visit to the rugged Giant’s Causeway, a series of naturally formed basalt columns. The hexagonal columns, which you can walk on, are 60 million years old and originated as volcanic lava. A colorful local legend says that mythical giant Finn McCool built the walkway so that he could cross the sea to Scotland. Please note: Rain gear is recommended for this excursion.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

Galway 2 nights

Day 8: Galway via Kilbeggan

  Included meals: Breakfast

En route to Galway, stop in the town of Kilbeggan and take a tour of the historic whisky distillery. After a tasting, continue on to Galway for a sightseeing tour of the city led by your Tour Director.

• Stroll past Lynch’s Castle, Galway Cathedral, the Druid Theater Company and the broad expanse of Eyre Square

• View the city’s medieval walls and Spanish Arch

• Peruse authentic Claddagh rings in a local shop

• Watch fishermen at work in the traditional fishing village of Claddagh

Day 9: Free day in Galway

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in Galway or add excursions.

Optional Excursion - Kylemore Abbey & Connemarra National Park $59pp* Details

Make your way to the island village of Cong, situated on the border of counties Galway and Mayo. Here, enjoy free time to stroll through the town’s charming streets, catching glimpses of the nearby Ashford Castle. Then, continue on to Kylemore Abbey, a Benedictine monastery founded in 1920 on the grounds of Kylemore Castle. Here, you’ll have time to explore the abbey’s interior and walled Victorian gardens. After free time for lunch on your own, take a scenic drive through the Irish countryside to Connemara National Park, one of the country’s most beautiful and unspoiled places. Make photo stops in the Inagh Valley and Maam Cross before returning to Galway.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $69)

Optional Excursion - Castle Banquet Dinner $115pp* Details

Enjoy a feast fit for a king inside Dunguaire Castle, a 17th-century tower house overlooking Galway Bay. Sip from a goblet of mead and learn the history of the castle before proceeding up the spiral staircase to the banquet hall. Here, you’ll enjoy a sumptuous, four-course dinner and an evening of live entertainment, including songs and stories. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from mid-April through mid-October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $125)

County Kerry 2 nights

Day 10: County Kerry via the Burren, Cliffs of Moher & Bunratty

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel through the Irish countryside to County Kerry today, taking time to view spectacular scenery en route.

• Pass through the Burren, a unique limestone plateau where fields of rock are dotted with wildflowers

• Pay a visit to a local crystal and marble factory

• Walk along the mesmerizing coastline of the majestic Cliffs of Moher

• Take a guided tour of the 13th-century Bunratty Castle

Day 11: Dingle Peninsula & Killarney National Park

  Included meals: Breakfast

Make your way along the dramatically rugged terrain of the Dingle Peninsula.

• Take a scenic drive along the Slea Head ring road, enjoying impressive coastal views as you go

• Enter the Gallarus Oratory, an early Christian church overlooking the harbor at Ard na Caithne

• Enjoy photo stops at Coumeenole Beach, Slea Head and Dunbeg Fort

After free time for lunch in the town of Dingle, head to Killarney National Park for photos at Ross Castle on Lough Leane.

Waterford 1 night

Day 12: Waterford via Blarney Castle

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Pay a visit to Blarney Castle, the home of the legendary Blarney Stone, said to grant the “gift of gab” to those who kiss it. Then, continue to Waterford where you’ll tour the city’s famed crystal factory.

Dublin 2 nights

Day 13: Sightseeing tour of Dublin

  Included meals: Breakfast

Zip through lush scenery on your way to Dublin, where you’ll embark on a guided tour of the Emerald Isle’s capital city.

• Stop in Phoenix Park, site of the presidential residence, and pass by the Guinness Storehouse 

• Step inside the soaring St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Ireland’s largest church 

• Pass St Stephen’s Green and admire the Georgian architecture of Merrion Square as you go 

• See Trinity College and walk past Grafton Street to the Molly Malone statue, ending in the Temple Bar district

Day 14: Free day in Dublin

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Spend a full free day in the Irish capital or add an excursion.

This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner in Dublin with your group.

Optional Excursion - Powerscourt & Glendalough $79pp* Details

County Wicklow is home to some of the wildest and most spectacular scenery in Ireland, as well as two of the country’s most important historic sites. Your first stop is at the picturesque village of Enniskerry, where you’ll visit Powerscourt, an elegant country mansion with the finest formal gardens in the country. Later, continue on to Glendalough, which became famous throughout Europe as a center of Christian learning before it was sacked by Viking crusaders in the 10th century. You’ll also see St. Kevin’s Cross, the remains of the 6th-century cathedral and the remarkable Round Tower, thought to have been used by the monks as a place of refuge.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

Day 15: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or extend your stay to visit London.

How's the weather?

  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Glasgow, Scotland
  • Belfast, Ireland
  • Galway, Ireland
  • County Kerry, Ireland
  • Waterford, Ireland
  • Dublin, Ireland
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
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Passport & visa requirements

  • In order to enter the United Kingdom and Ireland, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
  • We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.               

Tour pace

  • You will walk for about 1 hour daily across mostly flat terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with few hills or stairs.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.        

Transportation & arrival information

  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead arrive in Edinburgh (or London on the pre- tour extension) and depart from Dublin. A Go Ahead representative will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead for an additional cost.
  • A train ride from London to Edinburgh is included in the price of your tour extension.
  • All other included transportation is by private motor coach.

Baggage allowance

  • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.
  • Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
  • One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted.
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.          

Clothing & packing tips

  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
  • It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).        

Health

  • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to any of the countries on this tour.
  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to goaheadtours.com and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.           

Cuisine

  • Irish pubs serve up hearty lunches, such as the traditional stew of bacon and boiled cabbage. Soda bread is delicious, very filling and served with many a meal. Nibble a scone at afternoon tea, with a pat of high-quality butter from County Kerry. Guinness stout is an international sensation, but locals might favor Murphy's, depending on where you are. 
  • Dublin has seen something of a culinary revolution, and the city now boasts an impressive array of new restaurants offering exciting cuisine with continental Europe, Asian and even American influences.
  • For traditional English fare at a reasonable price, try a pub meal of fish and chips or bangers and mash. Stilton cheese, steak and kidney pie and Cumberland sausages are also worth a try. 
  • Scottish cuisine relies on readily available ingredients like game, dairy and fish, with little use of exotic spices. Pickled kippers and smoked salmon are popular as well as hearty dishes like Scotch broth (stew of meat and root vegetables) and haggis (a savory pudding of sheep innards). Scotch whisky is a legendary local spirit, and Scottish ales are world-famous.          

Electricity & air conditioning

  • The United Kingdom and Ireland operate within 230-240 volts and use a Type G plug with three large, flat pins.
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other electrical device without a built-in converter. 
  • The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
  • Hotels may provide hairdryers, irons and other small appliances, but these amenities cannot be guaranteed.          

Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though charges may apply.
  • There is no internet access on the motor coach.
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.       

Time zones

  • The United Kingdom and Ireland are on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST).
  • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 5pm in London and Dublin. 

Currency

  • You will use the Pound sterling in the United Kingdom and the euro in Ireland.
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.       

Tipping

  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD/CAD to $10USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide.
  • Tips can only be paid in cash.

Purchasing excursions on tour

  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa or MasterCard as payment for excursions.
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.

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