On arrival at London Heathrow Airport, you will begin your journey with a transfer in an executive car, along with other guests arriving at a similar time, to the luxurious Rubens at the Palace, an exquisite five-star hotel overlooking Buckingham Palace. A part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, the Rubens is your home base to explore London, as you spend the day at leisure. At 18:00, meet your Travelling Concierge and travel companions for a Welcome Dinner hosted at English Grill restaurant.
A modern-day hub of culture and commerce, and once the centre of an empire, London is undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest cities, teeming with millions of stories. Your Travelling Concierge will introduce you to a Local Expert, a passionate resident who will share fascinating stories about the city, as you explore the city to see Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. You will then continue past Downing Street, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus. Visit the Household Cavalry Museum, uncover the secret messages hidden within a cavalryman's uniform and try on the royal uniform for yourself. Spend the afternoon shopping at Harrods, listening to the soapbox orators of Speaker’s Corner or viewing the masterpieces in the National Gallery. Enjoy dinner as you please. Should you want to venture beyond your hotel, ask your knowledgeable Travelling Concierge for restaurant recommendations. In the evening, once the crowds have gone home, experience a private tour of the Tower of London. A serving Yeoman Warder will greet you on arrival, accompanying you through the grounds and regaling you with stories of the history and importance of this seat of British power. You will then learn about the Ceremony of the Keys, carried out every night by the Yeoman Warder, without fail, for the past 700 years. The Yeoman Warder provides a history of the tradition and explains the etiquette of handling the keys before you are privy to witnessing this ancient gate-closing ritual.
Journey out of London this morning to arrive at the mysterious Stonehenge and stand in awe of arguably Britain's best-known UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue your travels to the Georgian city of Bath where people have been indulging in the healing waters for millennia. Take a walk along streets lined with exquisite architecture and immerse yourself within the city's contemporary atmosphere. This evening unwind in chic cocktail bars and welcoming traditional pubs, or explore the evening scene that embraces comedy, live music and theatre. Ask your Travelling Concierge for recommendations.
Start the day by joining a Local Expert who will take you on a tour revealing the town's history. Your Journey, Your Way. Choose to visit the immersive Jane Austen Centre dedicated to the writer who lived here in the early 1800s and used the city as a setting for two of her novels. Learn about her life, her works and the Regency period from entertaining actors. Alternatively, visit the Roman Baths and Georgian Pump Room, one of the greatest religious spas of the ancient world. The rest of the day is yours to explore the charming Georgian town. Tonight, enjoy a spectacular Highlight Dinner at Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park, a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Journey through the Cotswolds, famous for gentle rolling hillsides known as "wolds", green river valleys and historic market towns. Arrive in Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare, with time to explore this famous market town. Your journey continues to the medieval city of York. York is like nowhere else in England with cobbled streets, quaint tearooms and gothic buildings.
Step back in time as you explore the medieval streets of York and learn about its lively characters. Once an important centre of Roman occupation in England, this is a storybook city surrounded by a large stone wall. Your Journey, Your Way. Choose to join a Local Expert and embark on a leisurely guided tour to the grand York Minster, an excellent example of Gothic architecture. Alternatively, get active and follow a Local Expert as you walk on the 13th century city walls and you soak up the spectacular views of River Ouse and the Old Town. This afternoon, journey to the elegant stately home Castle Howard, one of Britain's finest historic houses. On arrival you are escorted to the Grecian Hall for a delicious, traditional English afternoon tea. Your Journey, Your Way. Receive VIP treatment once the castle has closed its doors to the general public. Choose to join a guided tour of the house and admire its intricate architecture. Alternatively, join one of the gardeners and explore the best parts of the landscaped gardens.
The rugged and dramatic beauty of the English Lake District famously inspired 19th century writers such as Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth. Journey to the town of Penrith to visit the Dalemain mansion and gardens. Meet Jane Hasell-McCosh, whose ancestors have been living at the manor since the 17th century and join her on a tour of their gardens. Learn about local history and the prestigious international Homemade Marmalade Award founded by Jane herself. Indulge in a private, homemade and sustainably sourced lunch in the Medieval Hall, one of the oldest parts of the house. Continue to your lakeside hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere for an evening at leisure.
Journey to majestic Alnwick Castle and explore its magnificent interiors. Join a Local Expert for an in-depth exploration of the 11th century castle, with its striking medieval architecture and see why it was featured in the Harry Potter films. Your travels continue to the beautiful Scottish capital of Edinburgh where you have an evening to enjoy at your leisure. Your Travelling Concierge is a treasure-trove of knowledge and will happily guide you to the best local restaurants and attractions. During August, you’re invited to witness The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, one of the most spectacular military concerts on earth and a celebration of the history, heritage and colours of Scotland’s regiments both near and far. Hosted every August, this renowned international showcase of military pageantry boasts performers from forty-eight countries. Enjoy the sounds and sights of bagpipes rising, drums cracking through the night air and performers dressed in tunics, kilts and tartans with Edinburgh Castle, lit up in colour, providing a dramatic backdrop.
Join a Local Expert and visit Edinburgh Castle. Skip the queue and explore the grounds as you learn about its tumultuous history. Take a moment to appreciate the panoramic views over the city. Travel along Princes Street, past the Gothic Sir Walter Scott Monument, and continue down the Royal Mile to the gates of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen's official residence the home of Scottish royal history. Your Journey, Your Way. Choose to visit the 17th century Mary King's Close with a Local Expert, walk in the footsteps of former residents and unlock fascinating stories from Edinburgh's sometimes dark past. Alternatively, try a wee dram of whisky as you embark on a tasting experience of this Scottish staple. Tonight take part in a special Celebration Dinner as you arrive to the Scottish Arts Club. Founded in 1873 it has been the social hub for Scottish artists ever since, acting as a cultural haven for its members and the public alike. Indulge in a beautifully composed meal, and in true Gaelic style, meet a professional bagpiper who is said to have been the Queen Mother's favourite. Be enchanted as you listen to iconic music and fascinating tales of Scottish culture. Raise a glass to your memorable journey and to new friendships.
Enjoy a morning at leisure before being transferred to the airport for your flight to Belfast, the energetic, memorable capital of Northern Ireland. On arrival you will be welcomed by a representative before a private transfer to your luxurious home for the next three nights. Located in the heart of Belfast City Centre, you'll have time to get settled in your Executive Room before joining your Travelling Concierge and fellow travelling companions at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.
Delve into Northern Ireland's inspiring and heartbreaking history in Belfast. Begin the day by heading to the Titanic Belfast Museum - located on the site where the RMS Titanic was built from 1909 to 1912. Your Journey, Your Way. Choose to join a Local Expert and enjoy a panoramic tour as they explain as they explain the city's turbulent history, evolution and current prosperity. On this tour, you'll see the City Hall, Queen's University, and the Parliament Building at Stormont. Alternatively, join a local artist and discover Belfast through its street art and learn how this art form plays an essential role in forging a new narrative for this progressive city. The rest of the day is yours at leisure. Why not ask your Travelling Concierge for tips on exploring the area or their advice on the best restaurants for trying local delicacies?
See Northern Ireland's most spectacular geological wonders at the Giant's Causeway on a private tour with a local ranger who will explain its ancient history and impressive formation. Next, you'll head to Derry to meet Ronan, a Local Expert and one of Northern Ireland's best storytellers. The evening is yours at leisure, so why not head back to your luxury hotel and make the most of its amenities?
This morning travel to the banks of Strangford Lough in County Down, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Step inside Tracey's Farmhouse, an enchanting cottage, for a home-hosted culinary experience. Get to know Tracey as she shows you around her organic farm and explains her cooking philosophy. During this MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience, learn how to make traditional Irish soda bread before indulging in a seasonal, Farm-to-Table lunch. After your immersive dining experience, continue to Dublin. A haven for literary enthusiasts and Guinness lovers, Ireland's unique capital is a hedonist's dream. Take a city tour with your Travelling Concierge to see O'Connell Street, the Custom House and St. Patrick's Cathedral. End you day by relaxing in your luxury boutique hotel.
Your Journey, Your Way. Choose to visit the iconic Guinness Storehouse, where you get to explore the venue before it opens to the public, with a private opportunity to learn how to pull the perfect pint. Alternatively, visit the interactive EPIC Irish Emigration Museum and discover why 10 million Irish people left and what impact they had on the world from music and dance to literature. Continue with a Local Expert to the 9th century Book of Kells and a walk through the cobbled courtyards of Trinity College. Tonight, head to the Little Museum of Dublin for an after-hours visit with its founder, respected author Trevor White. Enjoy a glass of prosecco with him as you learn more about the lives of Dubliners. This evening enjoy the best of Irish cuisine at the Cellar Bar, set in an 18th century wine vault.
Enjoy a leisurely morning before heading to Glendalough, a glacial valley in County Wicklow, where you'll explore with a Local Expert. Continue to the medieval town of Kilkenny, also known as the Marble City. Take a stroll on the Medieval Mile, a scenic a trail that links Kilkenny Castle to St. Canice’s Cathedral. Your hotel for the night is Lyrath Estate, a beautiful, historic residence where you'll spend the night. End the day with a Michelin-starred dinner at Lady Helen and savour a menu prepared using locally sourced ingredients. The dresscode at the establishment is smart (no jeans) and dress shoes are required. Gentlemen must also wear a jacket.
Start your day in pretty Cashel, a small town in the south of Ireland, famous for its medieval buildings. See the spectacular Rock of Cashel, or St. Patrick's Rock, the traditional seat of the High Kings of Munster. Those looking to keep up with local Irish banter will enjoy a visit to Blarney Castle. Legend has it that kissing the Blarney Stone, a block of limestone built into the castle, gives you the gift of the gab. In the evening you'll enjoy dinner at the family-run Treyvaud's restaurant, which specialises in international cuisine. Meet the stars of the Gaelic Roots show for a private dance class before settling in to your front-row seats to watch the show.
Enjoy a morning at leisure in the comfort of your luxurious, five-star hotel, before travelling through beautiful Killarney National Park, where sweeping mountains, lush lake lands and valleys await you as you drive along the iconic Ring of Kerry.Your Journey, Your Way. Choose to explore Killarney National Park with a scenic jaunting carriage ride, Irleand's most traditional mode of transport. Alternatively, take in the pristine scenery from a relaxing boat ride.
Take in the fresh, sea air as you drive along the Dingle Peninsula. The area's craggy clifftops and rolling hills have inspired films such as 'Ryan's Daughter.' Head on to the village of Adare. Famous for its thatched-roof cottages and charm, this heritage town is worthy of exploration. Your travels continue to Limerick where your Travelling Concierge leads you on an orientation of the city. While here, you'll see St. Mary's Cathedral, the oldest and most historic building in Limerick, and the city's stone, where the Treaty of Limerick was signed in 1691.
Travel through beautiful Country Clare to admire the breathtaking views of the 700-foot Cliffs of Moher. Continue to Galway, a harbour city that prides itself on its bustling streets and pubs, boutiques and quirky art galleries, where you'll explore with your Travelling Concierge. Journey on to the pretty village of Cong in County Mayo. Quaint in size but grand in character, this beautiful destination houses the famous Ashford Castle, where on arrival a lone piper escorts you over the drawbridge. This luxury hotel is where you'll stay the next two nights. Formerly home to the Guinness family, the hotel boasts sumptuous rooms, antique furniture and unique historic features at every turn. The castle is set upon an idyllic 350-acre estate, making it a dreamy location for a relaxing and picturesque retreat. This evening you will dine at Cullen's at the Cottage, a charming restaurant set upon the grounds of Ashford Castle, serving delicious Irish specialties.
Enjoy a relaxed start in your stately abode. During your leisure time why not head for a walk in its grounds and take in the plush exterior and crisp, fresh country air. Your Journey, Your Way.Choose to take part in a unique falconry experience at the oldest established Falconry School in Ireland. Alternatively join a guided historical tour of the 800-year-old Castle, that was once the home of the Guinness family. Your final day culminates with a Celebration Dinner at the esteemed George V Dining Room. Built specially for King George V in 1905, this room bestows a grand sense of occasion. Dine like royalty and share stories from the journey with your new-found friends, over dinner and wine.
It's time to say goodbye or 'slán' to your fellow travellers, as a transfer takes you to Shannon Airport.