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Great Britain & Ireland

(From March 2021)

4.7
295 reviews
00:00 / 00:00
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The one that gives you the best of British culture, topped off with The Emerald Isles

Travel Style

In-Depth Explorer

Take your time and explore in-detail each destination on this trip. Find out more

  • Duration

    16 days

  • Countries

    4 Countries

  • Meals

    15 Breakfasts, 5 Dinners

  • Transport Style

    Coach

  • Group Size

    Average 43 people

  • Team

    Experienced Trip Manager & Driver Team and Local Guides

London, Liverpool, York, Lake District, Edinburgh, Scottish Highlands, West Highlands, Glasgow, Dublin, Cork, Galway, Londonderry, Belfast, Gretna Green, Hadrian's Wall, St. Andrews, Glenfinnan Viaduct, Stirling, Larne, Kilkenny, Blarney, Cliffs of Moher, Giant's Causeway

Top Experiences

16 included & 16 free time add-ons available to add later

  • See Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London & Westminster Abbey

    Included

    London

  • Try and spot 'Nessie' on a cruise along the spectacular Loch Ness

    Included

    Scottish Highlands

  • See Ben Nevis Britains highest mountain

    Included

    West Highlands

  • Visit Blarney Castle and get the gift of the gab as you kiss the Blarney Stone

    Included

    Blarney

  • Sip Scottish Whisky in an old Edinburgh pub while locals tell you folkloric tales

    GBP 23.00

    Edinburgh

  • Visit the famous Guinness Storehouse and learn how to pour a pint of the black stuff

    GBP 17.50

    Dublin

Great Britain & Ireland (From March 2021)

16 Inclusions

Experiences that are included with your trip

  • See Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London & Westminster Abbey
  • Walk in the footsteps of the Fab Four on a Magical Mystery Beatles Tour, Liverpool
  • Walking tour of historic York
  • Visit Bowness & see Windermere
  • See Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace and the Royal Mile
  • Entrance to Gretna Green Museum and take part in a historic wedding ceremony
  • Try and spot 'Nessie' on a cruise along the spectacular Loch Ness
  • Visit St. Andrews, the home of golf
  • See Ben Nevis Britains highest mountain
  • See the William Wallace Monument
  • Galway Walking Tour
  • Visit Blarney Castle and get the gift of the gab as you kiss the Blarney Stone
  • Entry to the magical Cliffs of Moher
  • See the 17th century city walls of Londonderry
  • City tour of Belfast with a Local Guide
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage listed Giant’s Causeway

16 Free Time Add-Ons

Optional experiences that you can choose from and pay for on your trip

  • Ghost Walk GBP 6.00
  • Take a cruise along the beautiful Lake Windermere in the Lake District GBP 8.25
  • Hadrian's Wall GBP 7.80
  • Enjoy an evening of traditional Scottish food, music and dancing (haggis for the brave) GBP 39.00
  • Walk along the Roman structure of Hadrian's Wall GBP 7.50
  • Get exclusive entry and a guided tour of the richly historical Edinburgh Castle GBP 20.50
  • Sip Scottish Whisky in an old Edinburgh pub while locals tell you folkloric tales GBP 23.00
  • Eat in a local pub with the owners and be serenaded by local musicians, Glasgow GBP 37.00
  • Jamesons Whiskey Distillery tour GBP 18.00
  • Cycle through the historical and cultural wonders of Kilkenny GBP 19.00
  • Explore the ancient cultural churches and hike and cycle along the beautiful Aran Islands (Summer Only) GBP 30.00
  • Sheep Dog Experience GBP 28.00
  • Take a LegenDerry Walking Tour and uncover Ireland's troubled recent history GBP 10.00
  • Visit the epic Titanic Museum and learn all about the doomed ship at its original home, Belfast GBP 16.65
  • Visit the famous Guinness Storehouse and learn how to pour a pint of the black stuff GBP 17.50
  • Experience some good old 'Irish Craic' with an evening of delicious food, drinks, traditional dancing, and some good laughs together GBP 52.00

Where I'll Stay?

Learn more about the accommodation available on this trip

  • 15 nights

    All accommodation is included on this trip

    15 nights in Hotel

    Cosy up for 16 nights in twin-share accommodation in quaint hotels in enviable locations everywhere we visit. Alternatively, you can pay a bit extra and be upgraded to your own room.

About this trip

Cross the Irish sea, explore historic cities shrouded in folklore and mystery, gawp at Ireland's breathtaking landscapes and appreciate a culture of cool from as far back as the Beatles. Through London, York, Glasgow, Liverpool, Dublin and more, this 16-day tour of Britain and Ireland includes entrance into awe-inspiring attractions aplenty, including puckering up for the Blarney stone, cruising across Loch Ness and enjoying your very own Magical Mystery tour. It'll be love at first London site.

Buy With Confidence

  • Only $99 deposit to book*

    For a limited time, reserve your space now with a deposit of only $99, pay the rest 45 days before departure

  • Pay over time, interest free

    Can't pay in full? We've got you covered with our Part Pay Program

  • No booking fee, no change fees

    Change your travel dates or even your trip for free

  • Financing available with UpLift

    Book now, pay later when you're eligible for Uplift

Map & Itinerary

  • Start location
  • End location
  • Trip day
  • Via location
  • River route
  • Plane route

Nights spent per location

  1. London

  2. 1 1 night

    Liverpool

  3. 1 1 night

    York

  4. 1 1 night

    Lake District

  5. via via

    Gretna Green

  6. via via

    Hadrian's Wall

  7. 2 2 nights

    Edinburgh

  8. via via

    St. Andrews

  9. 1 1 night

    Scottish Highlands

  10. via via

    Glenfinnan Viaduct

  11. 1 1 night

    West Highlands

  12. via via

    Stirling

  13. 1 1 night

    Glasgow

  14. via via

    Larne

  15. 1 1 night

    Dublin

  16. via via

    Kilkenny

  17. 1 1 night

    Cork

  18. via via

    Blarney

  19. via via

    Cliffs of Moher

  20. 2 2 nights

    Galway

  21. 1 1 night

    Londonderry

  22. via via

    Giant's Causeway

  23. 1 1 night

    Belfast

  24. 1 1 night

    Dublin

  25. London

+15 more

DAY 1 - London to Liverpool

London

Good morning dear Londonites! And welcome to your 16-day deep dive into all things Great Britain & Ireland. Big things are just around the corner. So big we've nicknamed one of them Big Ben.

Liverpool

Chat all things Beatlemania & football in your best Scouse accent - this is the call of the day as we pull up in lively Liverpool.

Stay

Hallmark Inn Liverpool (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London & Westminster Abbey

  • Walk in the footsteps of the Fab Four on a Magical Mystery Beatles Tour, Liverpool

DAY 2 - Liverpool to York

Liverpool

Lap up your last dose of Liverpool before we embark on a wild countryside journey in the traditional walled city of York. 

York

2,000 years of history will unfold upon us as we amble down narrow lanes exploring York Minister, the Shambles and Clifford’s Tower. For fans of folklore, sign up to a night of ghostly horrors and dark alley ways & prepare to be spooked. 

Stay

Holiday Inn Leeds Hotel Garforth (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Walking tour of historic York including seeing Clifford's Tower & York Minster

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Explore the well-worn lanes and tiny alleyways of the old town in search of ghosts in York - considered the most haunted city in Europe

    GBP 6.00

DAY 3 - York to Lake District

York

Even if the ghosts of York kept you awake all night, you're going to need to rise and shine and wave goodbye to the Harry Potter like setting of this ancient city.

Lake District

Whatever you do, don't Google this place before we arrive. It will spoil the surprise of its unfathomable beauty. Endless green hills, 16 serene lakes & streets of stone homes will have you pining for the country life.

Stay

Hotel Ibis Carlisle (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Visit Bowness & see Windermere

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Take a cruise along the beautiful Lake Windermere in the Lake District

    GBP 8.25

  • Hadrian's Wall

    GBP 7.80

DAY 4 - Lake District to Edinburgh via Gretna Green and Hadrian's Wall

Lake District

Today we are in for some border hopping along the English/Scottish border to see the sights on our way to Edinburgh!

Gretna Green

Shortly after our first border hop into Scotland we'll be in a world of fairytale cuteness at the wedding hotspot of Gretna Green. An old blacksmith's shop & a kissing gate are all part of the story.

Hadrian's Wall

Back over the border to take in a spectacular drive this morning to the Roman Empire’s impressive Hadrian’s Wall as well as English country charm in abundance.

Edinburgh

Back in the 21st Century we'll find ourselves in Edinburgh, a city that, although still simmering in ancient history, comes alive with music festivals, a rousing creative scene & fun bars. Top the day off with a Scottish meal, complete with haggis and a traditional bagpiper.

Stay

Holiday Inn Edinburgh City West (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace and the Royal Mile

  • Entrance to Gretna Green Museum and take part in a historic wedding ceremony

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Enjoy an evening of traditional Scottish food, music and dancing (haggis for the brave)

    GBP 39.00

  • Walk along the Roman structure of Hadrian's Wall

    GBP 7.50

DAY 5 - Edinburgh

Edinburgh

Today is yours to roam free - but if you want to get the low down on the history of this city why not join our local guide for an optional tour of Edinburgh Castle (which is resting on an extinct volcano!!) to kickstart your love affair with this city. Or maybe you'll do a spot of tartan shopping on Princes Street. Strictly for the purpose of being cultural, you should probably make time for a traditional deep fried chocolate bar during your day. The things we do for cultural immersion...

Stay

Holiday Inn Edinburgh City West (or similar)

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Get exclusive entry and a guided tour of the richly historical Edinburgh Castle

    GBP 20.50

  • Sip Scottish Whisky in an old Edinburgh pub while locals tell you folkloric tales

    GBP 23.00

DAY 6 - Edinburgh to Scottish Highlands via St Andrews

Edinburgh

Wake from your fried chocolate food coma crazy travellers, it's time to blaze a trail out of Edinburgh & head for the Scottish Highlands.

St. Andrews

On the way to the main affair of the day we'll stop by St. Andrews, the birthplace of golf, would you believe? As well as Scotland’s oldest university town.

Scottish Highlands

Already blown away by the beauty of the rugged mountain scenery en route, we'll arrive in the Scottish Highlands amped up for mystical tales and a lake cruise on Loch Ness.

Stay

Columba Hotel Iverness (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Try and spot 'Nessie' on a cruise along the spectacular Loch Ness

  • Visit St. Andrews, the home of golf

DAY 7 - Scottish Highlands to West Highlands via Glenfinnan Viaduct

Scottish Highlands

We might be coming down from a high (geographically speaking) this morning, but as we seek out the stunning Glenfinnan Viaduct, the mood will only be rising. Feast your eyes on the railway viaduct – once a calling stop for the magical Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films and the breathtaking waters of Loch Shiel, 
which seems to stretch on endlessly.

Glenfinnan Viaduct

West Highlands

Before the day's out we'll set our eyes on Britain's highest mountain. Whether capped by snow or overflowing with green, it's sure to take your breath away & leave you more than content with your day's discoveries.

Stay

Regent Hotel Oban (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain

DAY 8 - West Highlands to Glasgow via Stirling

West Highlands

After a few days of remote and rugged goodness, a change of pace in Scotland's biggest city is sure to fire things up a notch.

Stirling

We make a stop in Stirling, known for it's famous Castle nestled right on a hill, and the town where William Wallace took on the English and yelled "Freeeedom!"

Glasgow

Get involved with everything great about Glasgow. Live music on every corner, a gothic cathedral & plenty of quirky characters make this city unique.

Stay

Ibis Budget Glasgow (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See the William Wallace Monument

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Eat in a local pub with the owners and be serenaded by local musicians, Glasgow

    GBP 37.00

DAY 9 - Glasgow to Dublin via Larne

Glasgow

Scotland, you've been unreal. If Ireland puts on half the show you did, we have many happy days ahead of us.

Larne

We arrive in the port town of Larne, your first steps on Northern Irish soil, but not for long...

Dublin

So much more than the capital city, Dublin is a place of heritage, character, and more cute pubs than you could crawl in a week.  End the day with a lively night of festivities at the cobbled lanes of Temple Bar.

Stay

Travelodge Dublin City Centre (or similar)

DAY 10 - Dublin to Cork via Kilkenny

Dublin

That's us done with Dublin…for now. But fear not Dub-lovers, we'll get another taste of this fine place before our trip comes to an end.

Kilkenny

Break up your coach hangs with some bicycle time in a village sure to leave you wanting Irish in your blood. It's a castle, a cathedral & mountains of medieval charm before we hit the road again for Cork.

Cork

Welcome to vibrant Cork! But not before the chance to sample some of Ireland's famous whiskey at the Jameson's Distillery in Middleton. Yum! Even when the skies are grey, Cork is covered in colour and good vibes. Stroll the River Lee or grab your first Guinness in the comfort of a pub, if you didn't get your hands on one in Dublin.

Stay

Oriel House Hotel Ballincollig (or similar)

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Jameson's Whiskey Distillery tour

    GBP 18.00

  • Cycle through the historical and cultural wonders of Kilkenny

    GBP 19.00

DAY 11 - Cork to Galway via Blarney and Cliffs of Moher

Cork

Hopefully you exhausted all of your cork puns yesterday, as today we are moving on, sightseeing our way to 2-nights in Galway.

Blarney

Irish folklore tells us there's a chunk of limestone built into a castle that grants its kissers the gift of the gab. Pucker up kids, we're paying her a visit!

Cliffs of Moher

If heights aren't your cup of English Breakfast, you best sit this one out. Spine tingling, nail biting cliff faces are there to tremble at for those without fear.

Galway

From the moment we arrive in Galway, you'll understand why 2-nights were needed here. Everything you've dreamed Ireland to be is tucked into this small, atmospheric city. Step into a local pub and down Irish stew over live music and chats with locals. Outside will be just as lively, with buskers & colourful buildings lining the streets.

Stay

Travelodge Galway City Hotel (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Galway Walking Tour

  • Visit Blarney Castle and get the gift of the gab as you kiss the Blarney Stone

  • Entry to the magical Cliffs of Moher

DAY 12 - Galway

Galway

Try your tongue at some Gaelic and carry on exploring gorgeous Galway. Or, if you hear the call of the wild, you can sign yourself up to a ferry ride to Aran Islands (summer departures only) where you can dance around with horses and take a bike ride around the picturesque farms, or head up to Dún Aonghasa (the ruins of a prehistoric fortress) - make sure you take photos, this area is not for the faint-hearted! Irish life, you so sweet.

Stay

Travelodge Galway City Hotel (or similar)

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Explore the ancient cultural churches and hike and cycle along the beautiful Aran Islands (Summer Only)

    GBP 30.00

DAY 13 - Galway to Londonderry

Galway

Goodbye Galway, hello more Irish eye-candy. Today we continue on towards to Londonderry.

Londonderry

Here in Londonderry, 17th century walls stand at 8 metres high speaking of times gone by when this area was in battle. Times may have changed, but we're still keen to soak up the history and learn a thing or two from our wise Local Guide.

Stay

Holiday Inn Express Derry (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See the 17th century city walls of Londonderry

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Sheep Dog Experience

    GBP 28.00

  • Take a LegenDerry Walking Tour and uncover Ireland's troubled recent history

    GBP 10.00

DAY 14 - Londonderry to Belfast via Giants Causeway

Londonderry

Laters Londonderry, we've got a one way ticket to Belfast and a whole lot more exploration to do.

Giant's Causeway

UNESCO World Heritage site of the Giant’s Causeway - also known as those giant rock columns you've probably drooled over on Pinterest needs to be seen to be believed. Get those hashtags ready, a snap with the group is essential on the mind-blowing natural formation.

Belfast

Next up - we'll arrive in Belfast. Concluding the day will be a driving tour and a trip to the Titanic museum where parts of the world's most famous ship can be seen.

Stay

Holiday Inn Express Belfast City (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • City tour of Belfast with a Local Guide

  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage listed Giant’s Causeway

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Visit the epic Titanic Museum and learn all about the doomed ship at its original home, Belfast

    GBP 16.65

DAY 15 - Belfast to Dublin

Belfast

With one night left in Ireland and on tour, we're on the fast track to Dublin where our Irish fairytale first began.

Dublin

A promise is a promise. Here we are back in the city that started our Ireland infatuations. Use this second stint to do your missed critical activities such as visiting the Guinness Storehouse where you can learn how to pull a pint the Irish way.

Stay

Travelodge Dublin City Centre (or similar)

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Visit the famous Guinness Storehouse and learn how to pour a pint of the black stuff

    GBP 17.50

  • Experience some good old 'Irish Craic' with an evening of delicious food, drinks, traditional dancing, and some good laughs together

    GBP 52.00

DAY 16 - Dublin to London

Dublin

We leave Ireland today with leprechauns in our hearts and memories in our souls. Enjoy the roll back to London town as it will be the last bout our crew has together.

London

We've crossed the Irish Sea, motored through Wales, passed the town of try-to-say-it-out-loud Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, and now we are back in London. That's all folks! Pass the tissues, say your goodbyes, and make plans for your next adventure. Unless, of course, there's talk of a reunion tour. Greek Islands, anyone?

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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions group

What health and hygiene protocols are in place on trip?

The health and wellbeing of everyone who travels with Contiki has been, and always will be, our top priority. That’s why we’ve rigorously evaluated our experiences, training and protocols to make sure we not only meet our travellers wellbeing expectations, but exceed them in every single way. We sought guidance from the World Health Organisation and government agencies, and, as members of the World Travel and Tourism Council, we’ve been involved in defining global protocols. Due to our diligent work during this time, we’ve been awarded the WTTC safe travels stamp - meaning we’re a business which has adopted global, standardised health and hygiene protocols. You can find details about how we’re prioritising your wellbeing when you travel with us here.

What documents do I need to travel?

Dependent on where you’re travelling and your nationality, you'll need a valid passport and may also need visas to enter into certain countries - please check this well in advance of your trip departure date. The majority of our Europe trips travel in countries that are covered by the Schengen Agreement which relates to visas. Citizens of many countries - e.g. Australia, New Zealand, United States, Canada - can travel in the Schengen area without a visa. If you require a visa to enter the Schengen area you only need to obtain one visa which will allow you to travel in all Schengen countries. For non-Schengen countries, you may be able to obtain a visa upon arrival, depending on your nationality. Some countries also require passports to have 3-6 months left on them before the given expiry date, so be sure to double check this before booking your travels.

IMPORTANT
1. Visas can take up to six weeks & a fee is normally charged.
2. Failure to obtain all necessary visas could cause you to miss part or all of your trip & will result in you incurring considerable expense & inconvenience.
3. It is better to apply for all visas through your travel agent or local consular services before you leave home.
4. Contiki will provide you with visa contacts from our London base at the Royal National Hotel, if necessary.

What are the luggage restrictions?

On our European trips, you can bring one bag or suitcase of 73cm x 50cm x 25cm (29” x 20” x 10”), with a max weight of 20kg (44lbs) to be stored in the hold & one small day bag to take on board. Your day bag should be a backpack, duffel bag or satchel only (no small luggage cases or suitcases with wheels on board the coach).

What do the Contiki team do?

People are at the heart of everything we do, and our team is what makes our trips the best. Our worldwide On-Road Team, locally based staff & network of Local Guides are all extensively trained & widely travelled, & are the best in the business. But we know it’s not just about training, it’s about passion & our team have it in their blood. 
Your Trip Manager is like your walking, talking guidebook – just for you. They plan your itinerary every day, organise your food and accomodation and book your Free Time Add ons, and because they know everything about where you’re going, you will too. Your Drivers are the experts on getting you from A to B efficiently and safely in Europe. They know their way around better than google maps & they’ll drop you at your door & unload your bags for you. Local Guides provide specialist knowledge when you need it and will always help you avoid the tourist traps.

What's not included that I should budget for?

Aside from essentials like flights, how much spending money you’ll need will depend on the duration of the trip and how much you anticipate spending on personal expenses like alcohol or shopping. Before you travel, it’s also a good idea to read up on and get an idea of the Free Time Add-Ons you think you’ll want to do on trip, as these will form part of your overall budget. We’d advise doing some research on your chosen European destinations beforehand, looking at things like:
 
- Cost of a local lunch
 
- Cost of a local dinner
 
- Cost of a local taxi
 
- Cost of entry to a sightseeing spot


In all areas of the service industry in Europe, from restaurants, bars, hotels & taxis, it is common practice to tip if you feel that the service received has been excellent.
The same goes for your Contiki Team. If you feel that your Trip Manager & Driver’s service has been exceptional, then feel free to tip them if you feel they’ve done a great job. If you choose to tip, we recommend around 2 Euros per day, however whether or not you choose to tip (& how much) is completely up to you.

Will I be able to access WiFi on my trip?

Yes! Our fleet of modern, sleek coaches are kitted out with WiFi in all places except Greece, as are most hotels & hostels across the continent, so you’ll always be able to effortlessly get online and update everyone back home about your incredible adventure.

What are Contiki’s sustainability credentials?

We believe that travelling sustainably and consciously, matters. Contiki Cares is our commitment to protecting the communities we visit, the wildlife we interact with, and the planet we all share. Our founding partner, the TreadRight Foundation was established 10 years ago as a not-for-profit organisation focused on promoting sustainable tourism within The Travel Corporation’s family of brands. From street tours that support local residents, refugees and the vulnerably housed, to dining experiences that support local farmers, our consciouc travel experiences let you see things from a different perspective. Find out more at https://www.contiki.com/uk/en/about/contiki-cares.

How do I redeem the % off deal?

Our great deals and offers are only in market for a limited time are subject to pay in full deadlines. If you cannot pay in full by the specified date shown alongside the offer/deal you can still  lock in the trip date of your choice at our Standard Price where normal payment terms of pay in full 45 days prior to your trip departing apply.  Visit the deals page for the full terms & conditions. Discounts apply to the land portion of your trip price only (this excludes taxes, included flight costs, extra accommodation & optional activities. Your trip price does not include the costs of international flights that start or end your trip).