Ireland, England & Scotland
See the highlights of three distinct countries on this wonderful and fun tour of the British Isles. Travel to London, Manchester, Belfast, Edinburgh, Dublin, Waterford and more. Explore famous sites in London, such as Windsor Castle, the closely guarded Crown Jewels, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly, Westminster Abbey, and even ride the London Eye, a 443 ft. ferris wheel. Visit a farm outside London on the way to Manchester. See the “Heart of England” as we journey into the Cotswold Region, which encompasses West Central England’s lovely hills. Enjoy a wonderfully scenic ride filled with panoramic views of seacoasts, mountains, and lake vistas on the famous path known as the Dingle Peninsula. While visiting Blarney Castle, take your chance at kissing the Blarney Stone. Experience other popular sites such as Stonehenge, Roman Baths, and the Titanic Museum. Visiting a farm in Cork will allow you to compare operations “across the pond.” Tour the historic and contemporary cultural center of Ireland, the capital city of Dublin. Known for its modern education, arts, economy and industry, Dublin has the fastest population growth rate in all of Europe. The famous Guinness Brewery will surely give you a favorable impression of Dublin as well! In Scotland’s famed capital of Edinburgh, tour the ancient Edinburgh Castle, a natural and romantic fortress perched high above the city. See the charming coastal town of St. Andrews, site of the world famous St. Andrews golf course. This trip is filled with fun!
- July 26 - August 9, 2018
Day 1: Depart USA
Meet your Rupiper Tour Manager and fellow travelers for your included international flight from Washington D.C. Dulles to London Heathrow. (In-flight meal service)
Day 2: London
Upon arrival in London, we are greeted by our local tour guide and travel by private coach to Windsor, where we visit their famous castle. Windsor Castle is one of the three official residences of the Queen, which has been home to the Sovereign for over 900 years. The castle is the largest inhabited castle in the world and the oldest in continuous occupation. The imposing towers and battlements of the castle loom large from every approach to the town, creating one of the world’s most spectacular skylines. No other royal residence has played such an important role in the nation’s history. Free time for a snack in Windsor and arrival at the hotel in London by midafternoon. Welcome dinner at the hotel, our home for the next two nights. (In-flight meal service, D)
Day 3: London
Get acquainted with this historic city, also known as the “Square Mile,” with a guided tour of the oldest region of London. Originally founded as a Celtic fishing village, it was expanded by the Romans nearly 2000 years ago to become the city of Londinium. We visit the Tower of London, a fortress built by William I, dating back to the 11th century. This fortress has been a prison and place of execution for criminals, as well as for kings and queens. Upon visiting the Jewel House, see the closely guarded Crown Jewels. In the afternoon we tour London’s West End. See Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, Nelson’s Column, Piccadilly, and visit the glorious Westminster Abbey, where nearly all of England’s kings and queens have been crowned since William the Conqueror in 1066. In addition, pay your respects to the Unknown Warrior of WWI buried here on November 11th, 1920. To cap off the day’s adventures, enjoy the wonderful sights from atop the famous London Eye, a Ferris Wheel that stands 443 feet high. We return to our hotel in the late afternoon, before departing for our evening dinner. (B, D)
Day 4: London / Stonehenge / Bath / Swindon
This morning we head south to Wiltshire County, where we visit Stonehenge, a mysterious megalithic stone circle which has stood as witness to 4000 years of history. Following our visit to Stonehenge, we drive to the city of Bath, which reveals the finest Georgian architectural ensemble in the land. This area became famous in Roman times when they built elaborate Baths around a natural spa. Here we visit these famous Roman Baths and also see the Royal Crescent and Pulteney Bridges. We travel north to the Cotswolds, a lovely range of hills in West Central England, often referred to as the “Heart of England.” Enjoy a quaint bed and breakfast in the town of Swindon, located in Wiltshire, Southwest England. Because B&Bs are small in size, our group will be the exclusive guests for the evening. This typical B&B is a great way to experience the old world charm of traditional buildings in the English countryside. (B, D)
Day 5: Cotswolds / Farm / Manchester
We begin the day traveling to the nearby town of Stratford-upon-Avon, where we visit the birthplace and childhood home of William Shakespeare. Tour his home, which is a great representation of living conditions in the mid 1500s. Continue our journey north to Bosworth to visit a local grain and cattle farm. This multigenerational farm was also the location of the Battle of Bosworth. Hear stories of the battle and discuss farming with the family. If we have time, we are invited to the nearby pub for a pint. Then we head north to Manchester, where we check in to our lovely hotel for a dinner of steak or lobster and overnight. (B, L, D)
Day 6: Manchester / Lake District / Edinburgh
This morning after enjoying an English breakfast at our hotel, we drive to the Lake District, a beautiful region of lakes and mountains, immortalized in the artistic works of famous writers and painters. William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor-Coleridge, John Ruskin and Beatrix Potter drew their inspiration from this area. Here we go back in time with a train ride on the Furness Railway. Originally developed in the 1850s and 1860s for coal and iron ore transport from the mines, this railway later took on a new role as a passenger carrier through the lovely Lake District. We continue on to Scotland’s glorious capital, Edinburgh, which is now a designated World Heritage site. Check into our hotel in the city center before adventuring out for dinner, perhaps at one of the many nearby pubs. (B)
Day 7: Edinburgh / St. Andrews / Edinburgh
This morning we pick up our local Edinburgh guide, who will share their wealth of Scottish knowledge with us. As we tour the city of Edinburgh, see the unique old town and the Royal Mile with its tall houses dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. Visit ancient Edinburgh Castle, a natural and romantic fortress perched high above the city with views over the whole community as well as the Firth of Forth. Visit Edinburgh’s New Town, a fine Georgian architectural creation of wide streets, garden squares and sweeping crescents. For lunch, we head north of Edinburgh to the coastal town of St. Andrews, Scotland’s oldest university town, and also something of a pilgrimage center for golfers from all over the world. The town, founded in the 4th century, is best absorbed on foot. Almost the entire center of town consists of listed buildings, with plenty of time for us to discover the delights of this charming town and also visit St. Andrews Cathedral. Return to Edinburgh to prepare for a fun Scottish Dinner Show, where we enjoy various examples of traditional Scottish entertainment. Here you can try the famous Haggis, a traditional Scottish dish. Of course this is only an appetizer, so the less-adventurous eaters will still have dinner, whiskey and wine to fall back on. (B, D)
Day 8: Edinburgh / Glasgow / Belfast
We leave Edinburgh for Glasgow. The wealth from world-trading in the 18th century and shipbuilding in the 19th century allowed the arts to flourish and prosper in Glasgow. The pioneer modern movement led by one of Glasgow’s most famous sons, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, could not have flourished in another city. Today Glasgow is an exciting and dynamic city of arts. We leave Glasgow for Stranraer to catch a ferry to Larne. Transfer to Belfast, the birthplace of the famous Titanic. We learn about the rich history of Northern Ireland, which includes a violent past. See points of interest on a city tour and enjoy commentary from our local guide. Overnight in Belfast. (B, D)
Day 9: Belfast / Central Ireland
This morning we begin the day with a visit to the official Titanic Museum, a relatively new addition to Belfast, where the Titanic Ship was built. Meander through this informative museum at your own pace while gaining insight from an audio tour guide. Later we drive into central Ireland for our overnight at a lovely lodge surrounded by native woodland and right on the Lough Ree Lake. Maybe tonight you will want to take a dip in one of their giant outdoor hot tubs! (B, D)
Day 10: Athlone / Cliffs of Moher / Adare / Killarney
Following breakfast, we make our way south along the western coast towards one of Ireland’s most famous landmarks, the Cliffs of Moher. Standing over 700 feet at their highest point, they stretch for 5 miles along the Atlantic coast of County Clare in the west of Ireland. From the Cliffs of Moher on a clear day one can see the Aran Islands and Galway Bay. The river channels that cut through these cliffs are over 300 million years old, and have been slowly shaping them the entire time. Following this lovely introduction to Ireland’s dramatic coastline, enjoy a scenic drive to Adare, where its multi-colored thatched roof cottages make it one of the prettiest villages in Ireland. Continue south to the charming town of Killarney. Here you will enjoy two nights at our favorite hotel in Ireland, nestled in the woods and located on a splendid lake. (B, D)
Day 11: Killarney / Dingle Peninsula / Killarney
This morning we have a relaxing day beginning with a journey to the western coast of Ireland for the panoramic views of Dingle Peninsula. Here we enjoy a leisurely drive around the coastline, stopping along the way for great photo opportunities. Upon completion of our grand circle, we travel back to the neighboring town of Killarney. (B, L)
Day 12: Killarney / Blarney Castle / Farm / Cork
We depart Killarney for Cork, stopping for a visit to the medieval Blarney Castle. Here is your chance to kiss the famous Blarney Stone and receive the Gift of Gab. We also have time to visit the wonderful Blarney Woolen Mill, selling everything from beautiful Aran knit sweaters to fine pottery and glass. Following Blarney Castle, we head to a local farm, where you can discuss farm practices and see how rural life differs across the pond. Two brothers farm next to each other, one has a dairy and the other grows corn and has a custom harvesting operation. Overnight in Cork. (B, D)
Day 13: Cork / Waterford / Dublin
This morning we begin with a tour of Waterford Crystal Factory, where they have produced some of the world’s finest crystal since 1783. Watch the master craftsmen heat, carve, and etch beautiful crystal ornaments all by hand. See for yourself if the labor warrants the price tag. Make our way up to Dublin, where you have the remainder of the afternoon and evening free to explore Grafton Street, the pedestrian strip filled with a variety of restaurants, shops, and pubs. Our hotel is right in the middle of the action, so you can enjoy it all. (B, D)
Day 14: Dublin
Embark on a leisurely city tour of this historic and contemporary cultural center of Ireland, which is also a modern center for education, the arts, administration, economy and industry. Around lunch we make our way to one of Ireland’s most recognizable brands, the Guinness Brewery. Learn their interesting history and more importantly, try a pint! The afternoon is yours to see the Book of Kells, visit a museum, or enjoy all of the activity in the city center. Maybe you can catch a show at the Gaiety Theater, literally just steps from our favorite Dublin city center hotel. You can’t get a better location! (B)
Day 15: Dublin Airport / Departure
Transfer by private coach to the airport for our flight, arriving in the afternoon on the same day. (B, In-flight meal service)
Special Events and Sights
2016 Ireland, England & Scotland Traveler Testimonials
“Every day was a new adventure, and I loved staying in the heart of Dublin. I would recommend your trip to any & everyone! The tour manager was great taking care of us, she always made sure we were all there. She did a great job!!”
- Debbie R. (Iowa)
“This was our second trip with Rupiper. We absolutely loved the trip! It exceeded our expectations – Excellent hotels, food & staff. Tour guide and bus driver were both super! Sandra was very knowledgeable and Richard was a very safe driver who got us around all the narrow streets and tight places! We would definitely travel with Rupiper again!”
- Tom & Carolyn K. (Ohio)
“Everyone was excellent! I liked everything! I rate your tour a 5 out of 5!”
- Leslie D. (Kentucky)
“We liked all the included visits! The tour manager was just like our best friend, really liked her. Made the tour great!! The guide was always available for questions – very kind. We liked her very much.”
- Donna & Darlas L. (South Dakota)
“Great tour! We had a wonderful time. Tour manager did an excellent job – whenever an issue arose she took care of it. Always very friendly. The guide was very knowledgeable wherever we went. Had a great sense of humor, and the “extras” she arranged were great.”
- Joe & Joanne R. (Pennsylvania)
“The stop at the John Deere dealer was appreciated and was a hit with the group. The staff were very helpful and kept us informed of any changes. The guide was very professional and knowledgeable, well organized and friendly. She made the trip very enjoyable. “
- Byron & Cheryl K. (Wisconsin)
“The tour manager was great. She was friendly, helpful, and always positive. The driving ability of the motor coach was phenomenal. The guides made themselves available for questions, which I liked.”
- Regina D. (Virginia)
“We enjoyed the whole trip – Ireland the best. The tour manager took great care of us. Enjoyed getting to know her. Good at details and information. The guide was excellent – good information with detail and stories. Made the trip for us. Thanks for the trip of a lifetime!”
- Jim & Becky H. (Ohio)
“Our favorite sites were the Crown Jewels, Stonehenge, the countryside throughout all three countries, the Cliffs of Moher (eastern Atlantic Ocean) and the farms. The guide and tour manager both did a very good job.”
- Lloyd & Ruthann Z. (Pennsylvania)
“The DVD was amazing. It was perfect timing! Wonderful to relive the trip. We were thrilled with Riverdance – Such a delight! Our tour manager was always upbeat and pleasant. The guide and driver were excellent with information and friendliness.”
- Tom & Carol L. (Minnesota)
“The guide was well informed. She also had a good sense of humor. The driver was most helpful.”
- Mary A. (Virginia)
2015 Ireland, England & Scotland Traveler Testimonials
"This tour has always been on my Bucket List and Rupiper Tours has delivered another home run. Congratulations!"
- Bill & Karen S. (Illinois)
"I highly recommend Rupiper Tours, which I have done for years. Excellent service. Our driver was fantastic!! He drove us into spaces I would not have thought possible. Felt very safe with him. Brent was excellent! He was so organized and helpfull!! He is great! I liked meeting fellow travelers and making new friends - great group! Our hotel properties were great!! Restaurants delicious. Everything was Perfect!!"
- Dale & Jan E. (Illinois)
"Another one of Rupiper's great trips! Really enjoyed the farms, Waterford Crystal and Guinness Brewery. Thanks Brent."
- Bill & Gloria S. (Iowa)
"Excellent job - stayed on schedule, well organized. The guide and driver were both excellent - very knowledgeable and organized. Our favorite visits were the farms, Titanic Museum, and Edinburgh Castle."
- Terry & LaDonna T. (Nebraska)
"Brent was friendly and easy to approach. He was very knowledgeable and always willing to answer our questions. His efforts in getting us tickets to Riverdance were greatly appreciated. Brent was professional and personable. Great tour manager! All guides were very knowledgeable and pleasant. Wish we could remember half of what they said! The whole staff, especially Tracy, was friendly and helpful. We especially appreciated being able to fly to & from Chicago. We really appreciated Rupiper purchasing pounds and euros in advance for us. Thanks for the DVD. I think you captured most everything!"
- Bob & Marilyn O. (Illinois)
"Brent did another great job as he was really on top of everything. Thanks Brent. Our guide was really great also, she really knew all the surrounding areas, was always friendly, and very organized. Our driver was top notch, what a great job."
- Jim & Carol S. (Wisconsin)
"We have already recommended this trip to others! Sandra had an unbelievable knowledge of the complete tour area. Could make comments and give facts anywhere without consulting books. Enjoyed riding the "Eye". Appreciated opportunity Brent took advantage of, for us to go to "Riverdance" in Dublin on the last night. Thank you for pictures and list of names, addresses and emails of those on the trip. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip and travelers."
- Janet & Larry R. (Missouri)
"A great experience and a great group of people. Tour manager and guide did great jobs. Very efficient and knowledgeable. The driver was excellent. Thank you for the video - really a good job."
- Lois & Dave D. (Illinois)
"Brent was very friendly, professional and organized. We always felt safe and well cared for. Our tour guide was a wealth of information and our driver was the best!"
"Really appreciate Sandra and Brent always getting tour tickets and hotel room keys immediately upon arriving at our destinations. Beautiful hotels - very nice accomodations. Riverdance - What a bonus!! So grateful to have seen it! Thank you so much for the DVD! What great memories!"
- Gene & Jean H. (Illinois)
Ireland, England & Scotland Past Traveler Testimonials
“Just wanted to write and say thank you for the DVD. Vernon & I just found a few minutes this weekend to watch it and we thoroughly enjoyed reminiscing and seeing all the beautiful pictures you took. It was such a wonderful tour of the United Kingdom. We always recommend Rupiper to all our friends. Thanks again for the wonderful time.”
- Vernon & Mary Lou G. (Illinois)
“Received the DVD on Friday and enjoyed reliving our trip to Great Britain and etc. We thought our pictures were good until we saw yours...great job! Have a great fall, wonderful holidays and we'll see you in February for the trip to Hawaii.”
- Georgeanna & Robert W. (Missouri)
“It was a terrific trip & we loved having you “direct” our trip. So much fun & so many good memories!! Hope we get to join you on another tour someday. If you’re ever in N.C., look us up! And thanks for the photo DVD – Love it!”
- Norma & Rex M. (North Carolina)
“Thank you for doing more research into the Rossdhu castle and accommodating our wishes to go see it. I know you had to do a lot of extra work to make it happen for us. To get the who, what, when and wheres for us. You did a great job and we really enjoyed and were delighted in what we saw. The beautiful grounds and lake, the mansion with all the preserved furnishings and portraits of the Colquhouns. The staff drove us out to the 19th hole to the ruins. The wall with a doorway – it was a beautiful sight.” As Sandra would say, “Good job, Well Done.”
- Richard and Naoma E. (New Mexico)
“Reviewed your DVD and wanted to thank you. We’ll be able to remember our trip for many years. It is great, thanks again. The trip was super and you made it special.”
- Willie & Carol L. (Illinois)