Family-Friendly Tour of England, Ireland, & Scotland

A 12 day trip to England, Ireland & Scotland 

The fascinating majesty of the past will inspire adults and children alike during your England, Ireland, and Scotland family tour. The sensational history of knights and royalty feed into the captivating folklore to reveal tales of giants. Follow in the footsteps of famous wizards and find an immersive ambiance that radiates from mystical monoliths. The children can sample traditional sweets, while you sip customary tea and indulge in the remarkable heritage of Celtic, Viking, and Roman settlements. Your family tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland will boast impressive insight into grand palaces and sensational armories, regal artifacts, and medieval lanes. Zicasso offers a variety of England, Ireland, and Scotland tours. Be sure to browse the trips reviews for England, Ireland, and Scotland.

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General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

England – London, Bath, Stonehenge, Ireland – Dublin, Belfast, Cliffs of Moher, Kilkenny, Derry, Giant’s Causeway, Limerick, Galway, Scotland – Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fort William, Mallaig

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: London – Arrive in London for a Historical Walk along the Thames River

London is a city of majesty and thrilling ambiance that will enrapture your family. Medieval history emanates from cobbled lanes, historic pubs, and stunning castles. Victorian architecture decorates elaborate gardens and the vibrant pulse of cosmopolitan life beats alongside the preserved cultural heritage. Your family arrives at Heathrow Airport, where your private transfer will greet you upon arrival. Your hotel is located in the heart of upbeat London within minutes from the gothic grandeur of Parliament along the banks of the River Thames.

After you settle into the comforts of your accommodations, your guide greets your family in the lobby eager to introduce you to the famous, rich history accessible on foot throughout the city. You begin at the grounds of Parliament and the renowned clock tower that reaches 318 feet tall. Your guide will explain that the tower is not actually Big Ben and instead houses the giant bell with the name Big Ben, which weighs nearly 14 tons. The tower was completed in 1859, while the foundations of the greater complex of Parliament dates back to the 11th century.

The fascinating history of the city will come to life for your kids, including the original London Wall erected by the Romans around 120 AD. A 3rd-century fragment remains standing near the Tower Hill tube station to offer a subtle glimpse into the depths of Britain’s long history. After you explore the gripping past, step into the fantastical world of London at King’s Cross Station with a visit to the Platform 9 ¾ made famous by the Harry Potter series.

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation

Day 2: London – Engage with Cultural History on a Tour of London’s Highlights

In the morning, the aroma of black tea will accompany the hearty scent of fried eggs, bacon, and beans, a traditional English breakfast. Your family will meet your guide in the lobby for another fabulous exploration of London’s layered past. Visit some of the oldest shops in London before you reach the infamous Tower of London. Lock & CO Hatters was founded in the 17th century and holds the title as the world’s oldest hat store. Your family business has survived over 340 years to boast clients like Charlie Chaplin and Winston Churchill. Your kids will enjoy trying on the different hats that range from classic caps to trilbies.

The stronghold was originally erected in the 11th century before it grew to contain 22 towers and an epic moat. The castle was used as a prison between the 16th and 17th centuries when it imprisoned Sir Walter Raleigh and Elizbeth Throckmorton. The famous White Tower was the original keep of the medieval structure that reaches a height of 90 feet. Your kids stand in awe over the armory where weapons and armor used by knights, warriors, and kings in British history gleam in their displays. The Beefeaters continue wearing the classic garment of the Tower of London Guard who protects the Crown Jewels.  

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 3: Bath – Visit Stonehenge and Uncover the Roman Ruins of Famous Bath

At breakfast, your kids will enjoy sampling the buttery scones fresh jams and clotted cream for a traditional British combination of tea and pastries. You set out into the British countryside away from bustling streets of Central London and toward the historic ruins and thermal waters of Bath. On the way, the mythology of Stonehenge will draw you closer to Britain’s most iconic archeological site. The ring of monolithic stones dates back approximately 5,000 years and retains a mystical, ethereal ambiance that rises out of the Salisbury Plain. The grand stones reach 13 feet tall and seven feet wide to reflect the densest Neolithic and Bronze Age monument in England. Your kids circle the stunning stacked stones, which offer historical context, pathways, and a well of information about the possible ways the engineers brought the monoliths over 140 miles from the Preseli Hills in Wales.

Your family continues on the road to Bath and arrives along the elegant streets lined with Georgian architecture. This city has inspired the setting for Jane Austen novels. With its tradition for contemporary arts and culture, there are a collection of fabulous tea rooms, pubs, artisan bakeries, and cafes. The ancient history reaches out from the Roman baths sitting atop the city’s bubbling hot springs. The thermal waters reach 115 degrees Fahrenheit and were dedicated to the goddess Sulis-Minerva. The interior boasts elaborate Roman design while surrounded by an exterior of 18th and 19th-century architecture.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 4: Dublin – Transfer to Ireland by Ferry and Visit the Castle of Kilkenny

Your family will wake early to catch the ferry that shepherds you from England across the Irish Sea to reach Waterford, home of the Waterford Crystal factory and headquarters. You can stop to admire the sophisticated beauty of the famous crystal-works before you reach the charming city of Kilkenny. The sunlight glints against the dark-gray limestone buildings. Medieval Mile contains a network of narrow lanes strung with historic structures connecting the stunning cathedral on the banks of the River Norse to the dramatic castle. The scent of pasties drifts through the doors of the local pub as you make your way to the castle gates.

Kilkenny Castle was erected in the 12th century as a stronghold for an Anglo-Norman conqueror and eventually turned over to the powerful Butler family. The majority of the castle’s current architectural design was erected during the Victorian era. Your children will enjoy wandering through the castle grounds as they find treasures in the Long Gallery in the form of portraits that depict members of the Butler family, which date back to the 17th century. A 19th-century timber roof contains Celtic, pre-Raphaelite, and medieval motifs. These images accentuate the remarkable details showcased in the Butler family history, which is carved into the marble fireplace.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 5: Dublin – Explore the Fascinating Viking, Celtic, and Catholic Past of Dublin

Dublin is a city with layers of history that date back to the 9th century. The streets act as a living museum with elements of Viking settlements, Norman conquerors, and Celtic mythology scattered beneath the quaint design of Georgian homes. Musicians play songs along Grafton Street in the morning and the scent of flowers emanates from the various stands that populate the cobblestone walkways. You venture out into the winding streets of Dublin for a family-friendly tour of what was once the British Empire’s Second City.

The National Museum of Ireland hosts a stunning collection of artifacts from Celtic artisans during the Bronze and Iron Ages, as well as a gold collar that dates back to the 1st century BC. Your kids will become enamored with the Viking history of Ireland. The exhibits showcase the excavations of a district between Christ Church Cathedral and the riverbanks to unravel the well of history reflected in 10th-century armor, graves, and ecclesiastical artifacts. Exhibits offer insight into houses Vikings erected on the Emerald Isle and the transfer of religious ideals of the Vikings who stayed on the island to fuse Scandinavian culture with the Celtic Christian heritage.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 6: Dublin – Traverse Iconic History and Landscapes on the Wild Atlantic Way

Early the next morning, your family will set out on the road and pass through the gorgeous greenery of the Irish countryside before you reach the dramatic landscapes along the Wild Atlantic Way and the historic city of Limerick. Georgian architecture offers a glitzy ambiance along the banks of the River Shannon. The renovated castle casts a striking image above the rushing water with foundations that date back to the 13th century under the reign of King John. The Locke Bar is the city’s oldest pub, which was first opened in 1724 within a building erected in the 1600s.  The exciting Heritage Center at Lough Gur explores 6,000 years of history through interactive multimedia displays that immerse you in the archeological discoveries of the prehistoric site. Stone forts, Neolithic burial mounds, and circles made from standing stones highlight the ancient history while medieval structures, such as the 16th-century Bourchier’s Castle, reflect the evolution of the region.

You will continue to the sensational coastline along the Cliffs of Moher, a wild reflection of Ireland’s natural wonders. The wind carries the taste of salt in the air over the plateau that reaches 720 feet above sea level at its highest point. The sandstone and Namurian shale wore away over time through rain, wind, and the waters from an ancient river. The exceptional view punctuates the contrasting drama between the sea, wind, and cliffs populated by razorbills and Atlantic puffins. The puffins can have a wingspan of 25 inches long and can catch several small fish in their colorful bill during a single dive. 

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 7: Belfast – Venture to Belfast to Uncover the Renewed Vibrancy of the City

Belfast has emerged from years of struggle like a brand-new city with a fascinating history that reaches deep into the past and shares contemporary issues of sectarian violence. The former shipyard community has gained new life with the opening of the exceptional Titanic Belfast museum. The fascinating multimedia gallery charts the genesis of the famous ocean liner built on the historic docks of Belfast. Your family will dive into the sights, sounds, and aromas of the shipyard with the rise of the 20th-century industrial power recreating an immersive soundtrack. Travel through the keel of the ship to the bridge and the passenger accommodations.

The Ulster Museum reveals a different side of Ireland’s past told through the galleries that display ancient relics, art, history, and natural sciences. The bronze Bann Disc represents a sensational Celtic artifact from the Iron Age. The disc was crafted in the 5th century and it features raised spirals with a singular spiral at the center of the artifact resembling a pendant.  

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 8: Belfast – Discover Charm in Derry and the Legends of the Giant’s Causeway

Northern Ireland’s second-largest city is a cultural hub of artistry and design embodied in the striking waterfront along the edges of the river. The 17th-century walls remain standing and reach nearly 30 feet thick. There are 12 murals that create a public art gallery at the ends of the gable houses along Rossville Street. The remarkable artwork was crafted between 1997 and 2001 to commemorate the history of Belfast through depictions of the Battle of the Bogside, Bloody Sunday, and Operation Motorman. Many of the images standout due to their monochrome colors, such as the image that depicts a British soldier beating down a door with a sledgehammer.

Your kids will marvel at the natural wonders of the Giant’s Causeway that renews their belief in the fantastical through the fascinating mixture of hexagonal stone columns and splashing waves. The atmospheric landscape hosts 40,000 interlocking basalt columns that reach up to 39 feet tall. Legend states Finn MacCool disguised himself as a baby to hide from his foe. Upon seeing the child the foe thought Finn MacCool was a giant among giants. The foe fled back to his home and destroyed the causeway but left identical hexagonal markings on the Scottish isle of Staffa. 

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 9: Glasgow – Travel by Ferry to Scotland for a Walking Tour of Glasgow

The capital city of Scotland will offer you a new perspective of the Old-World ambiance as it combines earthiness with sophistication. After your family ferries across Ireland to Scotland, your guide will escort you on a private walking tour of the city. Georgian architecture creates lavish street designs and museums highlight Victorian charms. Glasgow Cathedral represents the grandeur of the city’s history, which dates back to the 12th century. The interior hosts clean lines that lack exuberant ornaments. The small crypt hosts the tomb of St. Mungo, which dates back to the 7th century AD.  The Victorian city center hosts the colorful flowers glowing along the background of George Square.

There are 12 statues of famous Scots that adorn the square to show images of Walter Scott and Queen Victoria. The Town Hall soars above the public square with a 230-foot-tall tower. The aroma of coffee and pastries drifts down the street from Merchant City district, a popular neighborhood with celebrated designer boutiques and ubiquitous cafes. The Mackintosh House is a reconstruction of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s first home. The decoration contains a quiet elegance in the halls and grand opulence in the drawing room painted striking white.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 10: Edinburgh – Enjoy Medieval Stories on a Half-Day Edinburgh Tour

Edinburgh is a city of history, elegance, and mythology crowned by the stunning stronghold that hovers above the streets on Castle Hill. You will travel to Edinburgh in the morning with plenty of time to settle into the comforts of your accommodations before your family begins their guided exploration. New Town’s Georgian architecture dates back to the 18th century with rows of stately terraces, while the narrow lanes and steep staircases of Old Town shine a light on the medieval history connecting the Royal Mile. The road at the heart of the city connects Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of the Queen during her visits to Scotland.

The palace was erected in the 17th century over the ruins of a 12th-century abbey. The palace has a remarkable gateway framed by Roman Doric columns and a clock-face situated above the octagonal cupola that is engraved with an image of the Royal Arms of Scotland. The interior remains an opulent display of 17th-century grandeur reflected in the King’s apartments. A baroque ceiling features the images of angels holding the Scottish Crown Jewels. Italian paintings on the walls originated from 16th-century frescoes by Lattanzio Gambara that depict scenes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The fascinating gardens encompass 10 acres of manicured hedges, blossoming flower-patches, and woodlands. Upon returning to the heart of the city at Prince Street, you will find a 200-foot tall statue of Sir Walter Scott.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 11: Edinburgh – Uncover Majestic Scenery on the Jacobite Steam Train Ride

The morning sunlight washes over the 13th-century façade of St. Giles Cathedral’s, whose central tower soars to 161 feet tall. The remarkable images of medieval and baroque Edinburgh remind the children of the majestic ambiance from the Harry Potter books and movies. You will have an immersive, imaginative experience akin to the wonders of Harry Potter during a ride on the Jacobite Steam Train, the historic inspiration for the Hogwarts Express. Your kids’ faces will fill with excitement when you board the train and find that the comforts of elegant seats and wide windows provide views to the Rannoch Moor wilderness.

The 50 square miles of boggy moorlands sustains abundant wildlife as it acts as the sole location of the herbaceous perennial Rannoch-rush. You will feel as though you are traveling to Hogwarts when on the Northern British rail line, which first opened in 1901. You pass over the Glenfinnan Viaduct that spans 50 feet and 21 supportive archways. The remarkable highland scenery outside the window blends the marvels of the natural landscape of Scotland with the wonderment of the inspiring world penned by J.K. Rowling.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 12: Edinburgh – Depart for Home

In the morning, the aroma of freshly baked pastries emanates from the display case of Cuckoo’s Bakery. This celebrated store is known for winning the “Best Cake in Scotland” award two years in a row. The head baker insists on using free-range eggs and Scottish butter, which accounts for the rich taste and fantastic texture of the pastries that range from cupcakes to large cakes. At breakfast, the aroma of black tea will fill the dining room. Your kids share their favorite moments of the trip, which range from the Jacobite Steam Train to the armory in London Tower. Your private transfer will greet your family in the hotel lobby and escort you to Edinburgh Airport for your flight home.

What’s Included: airport transfer, breakfast

Price

Starting Price 

$4,195
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.