Ireland, Scotland, England
Shannon, Killarney, Dublin, Edinburgh, York, Stratford-upon-Avon, London, Iverness
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
This 17-day tour is handcrafted for senior travelers, with two-night stays in eight unique destinations. It is a journey through Irish coastline, thatched villages, Georgian splendor, Scottish Highlands and islands, beautiful capitals, medieval outposts, and Shakespearean tales. Ireland, Scotland, and England love to showcase their differences from each other. These are three countries distinguished by their cultural nuances, unique histories, and once in a lifetime experiences.
Shannon – A Relaxed Welcome in Limerick
With its enchanting voices and welcoming atmosphere, Shannon is a lovely introduction to this side of the world. This relaxed town is cast along a river, with colorful houses beneath a bulbous cathedral spire. Not that much happens in Shannon, but there is a real beauty to taking a stroll and exploring local streets as many of the houses are painted a single color that contrasts their neighbors. You can visit one of the small pubs, which are classic places for dancing and storytelling like they always have been. In Shannon, you really feel like you are in Ireland, and the locals will be quick to welcome you into the country. Nothing definitive is planned for today though, just an airport transfer and time to meet with your guide.
Shannon – Dramatic Coastal Cliffs and Irish Dance
The Cliffs of Moher stand like giants, devilish protectors of the Atlantic Ocean. Wind will rush through your hair along with the sound of waves. It is Ireland’s most famous sight. There are many potential walks you can take and the guide will discuss their duration and distance. Likewise, later in the day when you are at The Burren, you will have the opportunity to see a lunar landscape of weather-carved boulders and monolithic Stone Age creations. You can explore the landscape from your vehicle, driving to different viewpoints, or chose to trek on foot, walking along many of the easy trails. This evening you will probably be back in one of the Shannon pubs, where Irish dancing occurs nearly every day.
Adare to Killarney – A Thatched Village and a Traditional City
Thatched roofs will create a harmony from the multihued houses of Adare, the most complete and best preserved of all Ireland’s early-medieval villages. A horse and carriage is the traditional way to get around, clip-clopping along cobbled streets as a dazzling array of colors greet your eye. This is just one stop on your private journey South to Killarney, a destination that is much bigger than Adare, but can be just as quaint. With private tours, the days can be customized, so you could visit the Dingle Peninsula if you seek to be more active today. A short orientation tour of Killarney will ensure you will have seen the key attractions and will give you many options for dining this evening.
Killarney – The Best of the Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is the epitome of the Irish experience in a single day. Think lush green fields leading to hidden lakes and granite-topped peaks, tiny villages of Gaelic accents and tiny cafes, and dramatic landscapes that are punctuated by castle ruins and allusions to much earlier civilizations. The complete loop can be a very long day and the guide will offer shorter options that will depend on your energy levels and experiences you are interested in. For example, some senior visitors love to get their hands dirty on a working farm, but many do not. This is not the only activity as there are many that you are able to select. You will then travel in the opposite direction to the tour buses, which will show you a surprisingly clear view of the Ring of Kerry that is free from the other tourists.
Dublin – Flying to the Elegant Georgian Capital
There is an elegance to Dublin’s streets. Grand Georgian architecture marks the center, and townhouses tower above street musicians in a very fun and exciting city energy. Cathedral spires stand true, as St Patrick’s tale covers many centuries. Trinity College is the unmissable attraction here, which was made famous by Oscar Wilde and is breathtaking in its detail. Within its walls you will find the Book of Kells, which is an illustrated manuscript that helped take Ireland out of the Dark Ages. You will spend the afternoon with a local guide as you explore these sites on a private tour. Then you will end at Temple Bar, a lively cluster of bars and restaurants that is most enjoyable because it welcomes all ages, from families with young children to seniors.
Dublin – Customizable Day Around Dublin
By spending two days in each destination you will have more time to relax. You can also customize the journey further to your interests. Today’s recommended destination is County Wicklow, the Garden of Ireland and a blissful place to spend the day. You will wander the lush spaces, check out a string of castles, and discover key Irish history along the way. You could also stay in Dublin, perhaps taking the James Joyce trail through the city’s backstreets. Or perhaps, you will head to the coast for some local fish and chips. Whatever you decide to do, Temple Bar remains extremely inviting , with lots of storytelling and dancing to complete your final evening in Ireland.
Inverness – A Beautiful Castle and Glimpse of the Highlands
Fly directly to the Scottish Highlands and the remote city of Inverness, which is a place of thick stone walls and distant pre-medieval history. You will check into a boutique resort along the water and go exploring with a local guide, who will show you all of the sights that are almost unrivaled anywhere on the British Isles. Inverness is a lovely place to spend two days, particularly the quiet waterside locations and pedestrianized central streets. You may also take a visit to Cawdor Castle, which is a fabulous 15th-century fortress fringed by sculpted gardens and completed by an impressive, artistic interior. The short drive will take you onto the wild Highlands as well, bringing endless views and plenty of places to stretch your legs.
Inverness – Full Day Trip to the Isle of Skye
The remote and windswept characteristics of the Isle of Skye seems to symbolize Scotland. Heathlands elegantly stretch red and gray across the landscape. Castles dot the water, some of them in ruins as remains of medieval quarrel. Rugged mountain scenery will take your breath away, especially when it leads to glens (narrow valleys) and lochs (lakes). You can cross cute stone bridges and take the ferry to the island, where you can explore villages and landscapes from a forgotten time. Not much has ever changed here and that is the attraction. Returning to Inverness, you will make a stop at Eilean Donan Castle. It is a long day so you may be glad reach the hotel’s restaurant with its hearty food and warming log fires.
Loch Ness to Edinburgh – So Many Famous Scottish Experiences
Somewhere in a loch lies a monster,or so they say. You are not going to find the Loch Ness Monster, but it is a beautiful boat cruise, as the landscape unfolding beneath moody skies and glassy lake surface shimmer with secrets. Loch Ness is one stop on today’s drive South. There are two whisky distilleries you can visit as well. It will take about three hours to reach Edinburgh, and the journey is the experience, because you will cross wonderfully wild landscapes of heather and flowering purple. You can also stop at farms and villages en route. Once again, having a private tour means stopping at the places that most interest you, as well as tailoring the day to your energy levels. Check into Edinburgh and you are in the thick of Old Town, where you will spend two nights at a hotel on the Royal Mile.
Edinburgh – Highlights of the Scottish Capital
The New Town is 200 years old and it is packed with famous people. It is a home to famous scientists, novelists, and inventors. The Old Town comes from many centuries earlier, with pubs and low-lying medieval buildings slung along narrow, cobbled lanes. Take a guided tour around both, where you will explore the architectural designs and back alleys. Then you will take a drive uphill to Edinburgh Castle and spend your afternoon here. This evening you will dine on another regal leftover, which is an experience of culinary tradition and entertainment on the Royal Yacht Britannia.
York – Britain’s Most Complete Medieval City
You will take the high-speed train and you will reach York in 2 ½ hours. It is a journey across wild farmlands, where dry stone walls keep the sheep in, and each village is a mere speck of rain-buffeted rock. Out of nowhere, Durham Cathedral appears from the window. It only appears for a brief second as you cross North Yorkshire, and the landscape turns to hills and meandering ridge lines. You will disembark in the York city center, and a guide will greet you. Your hotel will be deep within England’s finest medieval town between small tea rooms and markets. Betties is the famous place to get an English brew (tea served with an indulgent snack such as a scone), which will energize you for a guided walk through the streets of countless stories. One day is plenty to get around York at a slow pace and you will find the city to be even more enchanting after dark.
Stratford-Upon-Avon – More Than Just Shakespeare
You must change trains in Birmingham to travel from York to Stratford-upon-Avon, but it is the most relaxing and efficient mode of travel. The landscape will change once more, as rugged hills flattening into an urban industrial belt then transform back to greenery and you travel through the classic English countryside. The area around Stratford-upon-Avon is just like old oil paintings, dominated by soft hues and blurred horizons. Cottages with exposed wooden beams remain common here, along with Tudor-style townhouses and churches of thick-slabbed stone. A guide will take you on a private tour to Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, the Church of the Holy Trinity and some very impressive old streets. You will find that this cute little place is so much more than Shakespearean fancy.
Stratford-Upon-Avon – A Beautiful Place to Relax and Watch the Theater
Aromas will guide you into classic tea rooms, where the scones will be served with jam and clotted cream. Small pubs will bring different smells, as do the fields of freshly cut grass or clusters of trees after rain. Stratford-upon-Avon is a lovely place to relax, especially before traveling to London. With two days, you can also watch two theater performances, including one tonight at an outdoor venue. It is a Shakespeare play that is performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company. All those funny old English phrases make more sense when heard out here with the pastoral backdrop and the rustic outdoor theater. It is a timeless English experience that has been enjoyed by visitors for centuries.
London – Classic Sightseeing Around Central London
Now to London where the atmosphere changes rapidly as you arrive in the capital. Red double decker buses and black Hackney cabs will fill the streets. Tower blocks and contemporary skyscrapers are juxtaposed with old Victorian and Georgian streets. The city is a mishmash of styles, especially when you travel outside Zone 1 of the Underground. The center is compact and stuffed with famous sights that you will visit with the supervision of a guide that will show you around the city. Some of the sights include Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, in addition to the famous squares known to so many across the world: Trafalgar, Piccadilly, and Oxford Circus. These places are also surprisingly close to each other, so it’s very possible to visit a dozen famous places in one afternoon.
Day 15 - 16
London – Two Free Days To Discover Your Version of London
London is too big of a city to fully prescribe an itinerary, especially when it is the last two days of a long vacation. These two days are deliberately left free, which will give you time to experience the part of London that most excites your imagination. This could be high tea in a regal hotel, quirky neighborhoods to the east, or the grandeur of West London. Activities and tours can be booked locally and you will be provided with an Oyster transport card for easy Underground travel around London. buses are also included but it is usually much quicker going by Underground. Two days will roll by quickly in Central London and the city’s highlight has always been how much there is to discover.
London – Departure
You will take a private transfer to the airport after breakfast, as your intimate journey through Ireland, Scotland and England comes to a close.
- Experience an outdoor theater performance in the town of Shakespeare’s birth
- Explore the dramatic Irish coastline, including the Cliffs of Moher and Burren
- Absorb in the iconic Scottish style with two days in Inverness, including the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye
- End the tour with three days in London with enough time enough to see parts of the capital that you are most interested in
- Marvel at the Georgian architecture in Dublin and take a day trip to Ireland’s garden county
- Check out Edinburgh Castle, then walk the Royal Mile through an old city
- Immerse yourself in the mazy lanes of York, which is Britain’s best-preserved medieval city
- Discover the Ring of Kerry and take a carriage ride through the thatched village of Adare
- Experience Irish dancing, English breakfasts, Scottish whisky, and many other famous cultural staples
- Search for the Loch Ness monster, explore fabulous Gaelic castles, and go off the beaten track with local guides
Ireland, England and Scotland are three very different countries. You can witness this in the photos and through the traditions that you will experience. Irish dancing and the Cliffs of Moher is a million miles from Central London, yet you must travel to both to experience the magnitude of their differences. The cultures are distinct, along with their versions of history. Landscapes change enormously, as do the local attractions. Think of Scottish whisky, Irish storytelling and English breakfasts, or even comparing castles in the three countries. These three nations love to showcase their inimitability, especially in comparison to their neighbors, and also when entertaining international visitors.
Such contrasts make this private handcrafted tour feel like three vacations in one. Throughout the 17 days you will explore a full range of highlights, while still traveling at a relaxed and easy-going pace. Rather than hopping quickly between destinations, you will spend two nights in most of them (one in York and three in London). There is plenty of time to really settle in and absorb the local atmosphere. Day trips will show you more of the country and you always return to a comfortable base. In addition, two local flights are used to minimize driving time and maximize your experience on the ground. Traveling through England is best on high-speed trains, and your route is tailored to the best transport connections.
You will start with six days in Ireland where you will land in the quiet outpost of Shannon and listen to some Irish singing and storytelling. You may also check out the famous Cliffs of Moher and the Burren on day two before an even more traditional evening entertainment. Adare and Killarney fill day three, and then day four explores the Ring of Kerry, where villages meet lakeside landscapes and working farms. You will then fly to Dublin and have two nights in the capital city. That is plenty of time for a day of city sightseeing, plus a day trip to County Wicklow, the serene Garden of Ireland.
Next, you will fly straight into Inverness and your Scottish experience will begin with Highlands and castles. There are whisky distilleries and other local icons around this area as well. You will explore the Scottish Highlands, visit old battlefields, take a day trip to the Isle of Skye, and see the lake where Nessie the monster is rumored to hide. Journey South by road to Edinburgh, which is a lovely old capital that is always well received by senior travelers. Two nights means that you can get around all the key sights, especially since your hotel is located on the Royal Mile.
From here onwards, you will travel by train. First, you will zoom to York and see how the atmosphere changes South of the border. Then, you will discover the well-preserved medieval city as you walk through its markets and tiny alleyways. You will only need one day in York and it will not be rushed. Next, you will travel to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare and a rural town you will not want to leave. After seeing the sights, you will have plenty of time to relax amid rural settings, as well as an opportunity to watch the outdoor theater. You will end your private tour with three nights in London. One day will be guided and incorporates the key, major attractions. The other two days are left free, as London is a city that has so many attractions that you can easily find your own angle and allure. Make sure your perfect England, Ireland, and Scotland vacation is an unforgettable one by reading through our travel reviews.
$5,945 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
Reviews of Zicasso's Referral Service
4.76 stars based on 33 reviews
"The travel planner perfectly tailored the trip to our wants...
Reviewed By Stacey J.
"The travel team delivered in flying colors!"
Reviewed By Judy B.
"Great location suggestions, useful daily visit planning,...
Reviewed By August K.
"Our travel planners were a pleasure to work with; warm...
Reviewed By Arlene T.
"Excellent guides that revealed hidden treasures."
Reviewed By Rowland H.
"Thanks for the wonderful guide/driver and a good bus."
Reviewed By aravind k.
Get Weekly Inspiration and Expert Advice on Travel
during the COVID and post-COVID era