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From Edinburgh to Cork and beyond, discover historic towns and beautiful national parks

Personalised journeys from start to finish

Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel

Every detail taken care of

Itinerary Highlights

  • Explore the lochs, stark mountains and forests of the Scottish Highlands
  • Take in the hauntingly beautiful landscapes of Glencoe
  • Touring the historic streets of Dublin with a stop at the Guinness Factory
  • Scenic cycling tour around Killarney National Park

What's Included

  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • Private transfers
  • All tours specified in the itinerary
  • Full support from your Travel Designer and Concierge before, during and after your trip
Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

At a glance

On this luxurious 14-day trip across Scotland and Ireland you will get to explore some of the most fascinating sites and regions the two countries have to offer. From breathtaking forests and lochs to quaint coastal towns and atmospheric cathedrals – every day holds something new and exciting.

Your adventure begins in the vibrant city of Edinburgh where you will have some time to get to know the historic old town before heading out on a decadent foodie tour. From there, you’ll head into the Scottish Highlands, discovering Fife and visiting the ancestral home of the Clan Murray, Blair Castle. There are few better ways to experience the remote natural beauty of Cairngorms National Park than on a leisurely off-road tour. And of course there’ll be time set aside to learn about and sample some of the finest whisky produced in Speyside. The final part of the Scottish leg of your trip will take you west where you’ll discover the beautiful highland glen of Glencoe and take a scenic rail journey over Rannoch Moor. Then you will get to enjoy some of the country’s most magnificent scenery in Trossachs National Park and marvel at the famous freshwater Loch Lomond.

A quick flight over to Ireland and you’ll begin this part of your adventure with a walking tour of Dublin, stopping in at Trinity College where you can see the Book of Kells exhibition and St Patrick’s Cathedral. And then of course, you’ll take an interesting tour of the Guinness Storehouse. There will also be an entire day set aside for enjoying the Wicklow Mountains, south of Dublin. Discover the well-known walking trail the Wicklow Way, visit Glendalough, and admire the gorgeous gardens at Powerscourt. You’ll also get to enjoy a sheepdog demonstration and head out on a musical pub crawl in Dublin.

Next, you will head towards Cork, stopping off at Kilkenny’s Rothe House and Garden, Kilkenny castle and the medieval Rock of Cashel on the way. Your time in Cork will be spent discovering the city, wandering around n English market that has been operation since 1788, exploring the yachting town of Kinsale and admiring the views from the 17th-century Charles Fort.

The next destination is Kerry, and on the way there you will visit the town of Killarney, stroll through the pretty streets of Kenmare and go cycling in Killarney National Park. Your final stop before you head homewards will be to explore the famous Ring of Kerry, a 179km circuit that takes you past ancient ruins, beautiful beaches and ever-changing views of the island off the coast. There are opportunities to explore a little more off the beaten track on foot or bicycle.

Example Trip Itinerary

Days 1-3

Edinburgh

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Airside meet and greet at Edinburgh airport

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Edinburgh

Accommodation in Edinburgh

buildings-old-town-edinburgh
Two nights in Edinburgh Two nights in Edinburgh

Explore Scotland's beautiful capital, winding your way through the cobbled streets of the old town; delving into its history at Edinburgh Castle; exploring the Walter Scott monument; and heading down to the waterside at Leith. Head to Calton Hill or climb Arthur's Seat for the best views of the city.

calton-hill-edinburgh-dawn
Edinburgh tour Edinburgh tour

Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital city and nicknamed the Athens of the North for its grand Georgian architecture. It’s the New Town that earned the city this sobriquet: its elegant neoclassical terraces were inspired by the buildings of Ancient Greece and though it’s called the New Town, this neighbourhood is already nearly 300 years old.

Edinburgh’s Old Town dominates the city from atop a volcanic outcrop and Edinburgh Castle balances perilously on the edge. The Royal Mile runs down to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of Her Majesty the Queen in Scotland. The Windsor connections can be seen at a hidden location in the district of Leith, where the Queen’s Royal Yacht Britannia is now docked. Explore Edinburgh’s highlights with your expert guide and discover what makes this city perennially popular.

scottish-smoked-salmon
Edinburgh Eats tour Edinburgh Eats tour

Scotland’s deserved reputation as a foodie destination is testament to its unique local dishes and delicious fresh produce. Join an expert guide on a private tour around some of Edinburgh’s top eateries to sample a series of tasting plates that showcase the best of Scottish gastronomy.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in the Scottish Highlands

Days 3-5

Scottish Highlands

Accommodation in Scottish Highlands

Two nights in The Scottish Highlands Two nights in The Scottish Highlands

The Scottish Highlands is a sublime landscape of lochs, stark mountains, forest and a winding coastline dotted with empty beaches and remote fishing villages. For many, the Highlands is the most beautiful region of the British Isles.

It is a wild place with the lowest population density in Europe, but the Highlanders you’ll encounter here are proud, warm and welcoming, with a strong, independent heritage that stretches back centuries.

More than just whisky, fairy tale castles and sprawling stalking estates - though it certainly has those in spades - it is where the modern face of Scotland can be seen in juxtaposition with long held tradition. Re-emerging wildlife, endless opportunity for adventure and incredible local produce make the Highlands a fine destination to explore.

pitenween-near-fife
Fife tour Fife tour

Fife is a little-visited corner of Scotland, but has some of its most interesting sites. Falkland Castle was a residence of the Stuart monarchs and its majestic state rooms can be appreciated in full today. The quirky tennis court is the oldest royal tennis court in Britain and was built for King James V. The area of East Neuk has some of the prettiest fishing villages in Scotland, nestled along the coast of the North Sea.

Blair Castle Blair Castle

Blair Castle is unlike any other castle in Scotland. Its baronial architecture and beautiful setting in wooded grounds with mountainous backdrop are typical enough, but a couple of accidents of history have set Blair Castle apart. In 1844 Queen Victoria spent three weeks at Blair and during her stay granted the Duke a private army, the Atholl Highlanders, today the only private army in Europe. In more recent times, the castle passed to a branch of the family currently residing in South Africa.

loch-morlich-cairngorms
Visit the Cairngorms National Park Visit the Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms are blessed with some of Scotland’s best scenery. Over 55 Munros (mountains over 3,000 feet), incredible wildlife and native woodland, such as the Abernethy Forest with its original Caledonian pines, are just some of the reasons it is widely considered one of the UK’s best national parks.

Offroad tour in the Cairngorms National Park Offroad tour in the Cairngorms National Park

Go on an offroad tour on private hill roads into the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. On the tour, you will have a good chance of seeing red deer, golden eagles, red and black grouse, red squirrels and mountain hares. You will discover a landscape steeped in history and folklore, learn about land management and the diversity of flora and fauna, absorb our breathtaking views. The tour is done at a leisurely pace to give you plenty of opportunity to enjoy the remote and dramatic landscape.

speyside-whisky-distillery-scotland
Speyside Cooperage VIP Tour Speyside Cooperage VIP Tour

An experienced former Cooper will guide you through the visitor centre giving a tour which includes an informative 4D cinematic presentation followed by a visit to the viewing gallery where you can watch first hand the Coopers at work. You can even try your hand at building a miniature barrel. Then take a look behind the scenes up close at the Coopers and their apprentices as they make and repair casks against the clock. You will then be escorted to a reserved area in the coffee shop to enjoy a dram of their own label ten-year old single malt whisky served in a Speyside Cooperage tasting glass which is yours to keep along with detailed tasting notes and a Cooperage golf/bar towel. This is followed by your choice from a range of speciality teas and coffees to enjoy with locally made petit four shortbreads.

Whisky Tour of Speyside Whisky Tour of Speyside

Whisky is one of Scotland’s most successful exports and with good reason: this famous beverage evokes the spirit of Scotland and nowhere is more intrinsically linked to it than the region of Speyside. Barley is distilled in fresh Highland water, and the region in which it is grown gives a different taste to the final product. In Speyside the whiskies have either a light and grassy or rich and sweet palette and the region has no shortage of producers with largest concentration of distilleries in Scotland based here. Join your guide to learn more about one of Scotland’s finest products.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in West Coast and Islands

Days 5-7

Fort William

Accommodation near Fort William

isle-of-skye
Two nights exploring the West Coast and Islands Two nights exploring the West Coast and Islands

The stretch of coastline between Cape Wrath and Loch Linnhe is likely the most beautiful landscape in Britain. Sparse granite mountains are blanketed with heathland dotted with hill lochs, while winding single track roads skirt fjords and azure watered sand beaches each more beautiful than the last. The Inner Hebrides, off the west coast, comprise of 35 inhabited, 44 uninhabited islands and many more islets. The largest and most famous is Skye, with its fabulously dramatic mountain scenery. The Inner Hebrides is also where you’ll find the islands of Mull, Islay and Jura, home to wonderful beaches, smokey whisky distilleries and welcoming villages.

The Outer Hebrides, also known as the Western Isles, are a chain of islands sat west of the Inner Hebrides. The largest is the isle of Lewis and Harris, whose landscape is nothing short of spectacular. Its white sandy beaches and turquoise water looks more suited to the Caribbean than Scotland while the rocky north of Harris is how you might imagine parts of space to look. The island is something of a birder’s paradise and there are few better ways to spend an evening than watching the colonies of seals splash around the sparkling waters of the bays.

Glencoe, Scotland
Glencoe Glencoe

Glencoe is undoubtedly one of the most awe-inspiring sights in the whole of Scotland. Site of the 1692 Massacre of Glencoe, today it is a hauntingly beautiful Highland glen which evokes the spirit of the clans who ruled this land for centuries.

West Highland Line - Scenic train over Rannoch Moor West Highland Line - Scenic train over Rannoch Moor

The West Highland Line is one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world, linking Glasgow with the West Coast of Scotland. It's part of the national network and is a little glimpse into Highland life. The stretch over Rannoch Moor is a particularly splendid part of the line. The Moor is inaccessible by road and its wild beauty gives a strong sense of the remoteness of the place. What makes it special for rail fans, however, are the construction techniques of the Victoria navvies, who "floated" the line over a bed of earth and wood to stop the metal rails from sinking into the bog. Your guide will drop you off at the station and pick you up at the other end so you will enjoy this scenic journey in the company of other passengers.

loch-katrine-trossachs-scotland
Scenic drive through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Scenic drive through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

The Trossachs National Park covers some of the most magnificent scenery in Scotland. Coming from the South and East, the sense of arrival in the Highlands is an awesome experience. A series of lochs, including the famous Loch Lomond, complete the landscape.

loch-lomond
Loch Lomond Loch Lomond

Made famous by the song The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond, this freshwater loch is one of Scotland’s most evocative sites. The loch marks the beginning of the Highlands and the magnificent scenery of the Trossachs forms the backdrop to this spectacular location.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Glasgow airport

Flight

Flight from Glasgow to Dublin

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Dublin

Days 7-10

Dublin

Accommodation in Dublin

Three nights in Dublin Three nights in Dublin

Both the Republic of Ireland’s capital and largest city, Dublin is truly larger than life. A kaleidoscope of history and modernity, it is generous in its architectural and cultural offerings. Just a quick turn down a cosy laneway could lead you to the bustling restaurants and pubs of Temple Bar, or towards the ancient, yet indominable walls of Dublin Castle. For a city so rich in historic treasures, its bold spirit has not been left in the past. Internationally renowned for their lively spirit and fun-loving attitude, Dubliners certainly know how to grab the present moment with both hands.

trinity-college-library-ireland
Trinity Book of Kells Trinity Book of Kells

Trinity College’s Old Library and the Book of Kells Exhibition is a must see for all visitors to Dublin. Located in the heart of Dublin City, a walk through the cobbled stones of Trinity College Dublin will bring you back to the 18th century, when the magnificent Old Library building was constructed.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Saint Patrick's Cathedral has been at the heart of Dublin and Ireland's history and culture for over 800 years. For centuries it was the largest enclosed space on the island and it remains the largest cathedral in the country. It has been visited by some of Irish history's most influential individuals from Cromwell, William of Orange and King James I, to Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert. We can organise a private vergers tour with behind-the-scenes access.

The Guinness Storehouse The Guinness Storehouse

The highlight of a trip to Dublin is a visit to the home of the 'black stuff'. Arthur Guinness founded the family business in 1759 at St. James's Gate. The Storehouse, impressively built in 1904 as a fermentation plant, is now an interactive museum on several floors, detailing how four simple ingredients are blended to create the famous stout. Finally, pull yourself up to the almighty Gravity Bar on the 7th floor for the most scenic complimentary pint in Dublin. The 360-degree windows afford exceptional views of the city.

Wicklow Wicklow

Just south of Dublin, County Wicklow is the capital's favourite playground, a wild pleasure garden of coastline, woodland and daunting mountains through which runs the country's most popular walking trail. Stretching 127km from Dublin's southern suburbs to the rolling fields of County Carlow, the Wicklow Way leads walkers along disused military supply lines, old bog roads and forest trails. Along the way, you can explore monastic ruins, handsome gardens and some magnificent 18th-century mansions.

lake-view-glendalough-ireland
Glendalough Glendalough

Glendalough gets its name from 'Gleann dá locha' which translates to ‘Glen of the two lakes' in the traditional Irish language. Situated right in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, Glendalough harbours one of Ireland’s most atmospheric monastic sites. Established by St Kevin in the 6th century, the settlement was attacked time and again by the Vikings, but nevertheless flourished for over 600 years.

Powerscourt Estate Powerscourt Estate

Powerscourt Estate is one of the most beautiful country demesnes in Ireland. Dramatically situated among Wicklow's mountains on 1000 acres (404 hectares), it was originally an important strategic site for the Anglo-Normans who came to Ireland in the 12th century. The gardens are among the most beautiful in Ireland, covering 47 acres (19 hectares) laid out in the 18th and the 19th centuries. At the Powerscourt there is an Avoca store and café with a breath-taking view of the gardens. Spread over several interconnecting rooms and backing out onto a wide terrace café, this is another jewel in the Avoca crown.

Sheep dog demo Sheep dog demo

A renowned sheepdog handler will offer you a memorable experience of seeing working border collies in action. The beautiful views and vibrant scenery of Annamoe create the perfect backdrop and a genuine atmosphere where you will be engrossed in the Irish countryside. You will get the chance to see the Wicklow cheviot sheep being managed by expertly trained sheepdogs.

dublin-ireland
Musical Pub Tour Musical Pub Tour

Dublin’s musical pub crawl takes participants to two city centre pubs where musicians, also acting as your guides along the route, demonstrate their Irish traditional instruments and tell the story of Irish music. This is a great way to participate in some Irish ‘craic’ (fun), song and a couple of pints.

Private transfer to Cork via Kilkenny Private transfer to Cork via Kilkenny

Your driver will take you south to Cork with a few stops along the way. Built from dark grey limestone flecked with fossil seashells, Kilkenny is also known as 'the marble city'. Its unique medieval mile of narrow lanes and historic buildings strung between castle and cathedral along the banks of the River Nore is one of the southeast's biggest draws. Then, nestled in the centre of Ireland’s Medieval Mile, you'll discover Rothe House and Garden, one of Kilkenny’s hidden gems. Built between 1594 and 1610 this was the home of the mayor of Kilkenny city, John Rothe Fitz Piers, his wife Rose Archer, and their eleven children. You will also have the chance to explore one of the most recognisable buildings in Ireland. Kilkenny Castle has been an important site since Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, also known as Strongbow, constructed the first castle in the 12th century.

Then the final stop before your reach Cork will be at the Rock of Cashel. A collection of medieval ecclesiastical buildings set on an outcrop of limestone. The 12th-century round tower is of the oldest surviving building on the Rock, but there is also a high cross, and the ruins of a Romanesque chapel, a 13th-century Gothic cathedral and a 15th-century castle. The Hall of the Vicars is the entry point to the ecclesiastical enclosure and houses the museum where the original Cross of St. Patrick can be found.

Days 10-13

Cork

Accommodation in Cork

Three nights in Cork Three nights in Cork

Ireland's second city is first in every important respect, at least according to the locals, who cheerfully refer to it as the 'real capital of Ireland'. It's a liberal, youthful and cosmopolitan place, busily reinventing itself with spruced-up streets, revitalised stretches of waterfront, and an artisan coffee bar on every corner. There's a bit of a hipster scene, but the best of the city is still happily traditional; snug pubs with live music sessions, restaurants dishing up top-quality local produce, and a genuinely proud welcome from the locals.

Cork English market Cork English market

Dating to 1788, this is one of the oldest covered markets of its kind known to exist in the world with a great selection of delicious Irish produce. Although it might not be the largest, it is a bustling and pretty place. Lunch is available in the upstairs café and restaurant.

Kinsale Kinsale

The unique yachting harbour of Kinsale is one of many colourful gems strung along the coastline of County Cork. Narrow, winding streets lined with a fantastic range of top quality shops and boutiques with many unique designs and great gift ideas, galleries, lively bars and superb restaurants, and a handsome natural harbour filled with yachts and guarded by a huge 17th-century fortress make it an engrossing place to visit.

Charles Fort Charles Fort

This vast 17th-century fortification would be worth a visit for its spectacular views alone, but there's much more here. The 18th- and 19th-century ruins inside the walls make for some fascinating wandering. It's 3km southeast of Kinsale along the minor road through Scilly; if you have time, hike there along the lovely coastal Scilly Walk.

Private transfer to Kerry via Killarney and Kenmare Private transfer to Kerry via Killarney and Kenmare

On the way to Kerry you'll make a few stops, the first being in Killarney. In the tourism game for more than 250 years, Killarney is a well-oiled machine set in the midst of sublime scenery spanning lakes, waterfalls and woodland spreading beneath a skyline of 1000m-plus peaks. Competition keeps standards high and visitors can expect to find good restaurants and great pubs.

Kenmare (Neidin, meaning 'little nest' in Irish) is a pretty spot with a neat triangle of streets lined with craft shops, galleries, cafes and good-quality restaurants. One of the few planned towns in Ireland, Kenmare was laid out on an X-shaped street plan in the late 18th century by the marquis of Lansdowne as the showpiece of his Kerry estates. It earned its living as a market town and fishing port. The Market House and the Lansdowne Arms Hotel still survive from this period.

Then you will also get to explore Killarney National Park on a cycling tour. Let the guide take you on a magical journey through some of the park's most beautiful and iconic locations. As you delve further inland, you will encounter majestic waterfalls that flow into the glacier shaped lakes of Killarney for an experience you will never forget.

Days 13-14

Kenmare

Accommodation in Kenmare

Ring of Kerry Ring of Kerry

This 179km circuit winds past pristine beaches, medieval ruins, mountains and loughs, with ever-changing views of the island-dotted Atlantic, particularly between Waterville and Caherdaniel in the peninsula's spectacular southwest. If you want to get further off the beaten track, explore the interior of the peninsula on foot, along the eastern section of the Kerry Way from Killarney to Glenbeigh, or by car or bike on the minor roads that cut through the hills, notably the Ballaghisheen Pass or the Ballaghbeama Gap!

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Shannon Airport

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