Winter Britain & Ireland
Day 1 - London, England to Liverpool via Oxford
One minute you're stuck in the daily grind of your home routine, next minute you're in London Town - and meeting a bunch of people who are 100% different but 100% the same. Ready to uncover extraordinary? We thought so. Hit the road early and get pumped for our first stop: Oxford. Get your real-life Harry Potter fix with a walking tour around the INCREDIBLE colleges. Soak up the views from Carfax Tower. And grab a pub-lunch next to a toasty fireplace. Then: we'll make tracks to Liverpool. Our Trip Leader will show us around town - before we head off solo to tick off the likes of the Tate Liverpool, Maritime Museum, Albert Docks and The Beatles museum (of course). Just make sure you're back in time for tonight's included dinner with the gang!
Day 2 - Liverpool to York
Wave goodbye to Liverpool, we’re off to the medieval walled city of York. Centuries of history. A ‘holy sh*t’-worthy Cathedral. And some pretty awesome pubs. Don your beanie – we’ll get to know the who’s who of York on a walking tour, then the rest is up to you. Head up the tower of York Minster, visit the JORVIK Viking Centre or engage explorer mode and lose yourself along the Shambles and Snickelways. Later, track down The York Roast Co. and try the Yorkshire Roast wrap for dinner. It’s so wrong, it’s right.
Day 3 - York to Edinburgh, Scotland
No lies – today is a bit of a drive day. BUT you’ve got your awesome AF trip mates to keep the tunes pumping and good times rollin’. First up: spread your wings under the Angel of the North. Then: we’ll cross the border into bonnie Scotland. Dinner in Edinburgh is on us, so line those stomachs with a hearty pub feast before gathering the gang for an optional nightlife tour. Time to see if the city’s bar scene lives up to the hype.
Day 4 - Edinburgh
Kick things off today with a walking tour of this historic capital – swing by Edinburgh Castle, stroll the Royal Mile, get all the feels from Greyfriars Bobby’s statue and be in awe of St Giles Cathedral. Then? The rest is 100% up to you! Check out the unique collection of Viking-age objects at the Museum of Scotland. Strap on your boots and take a hike up Arthur’s Seat. Step aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia. Explore the uber-cool Leith district. Or escape the weather with afternoon tea at Elephant House (where JK Rowling wrote THAT series, just sayin’). And tonight? There’s an opportunity to delve into Edinburgh’s dark-side on a ‘City of the Dead’ tour. You might need to pack a spare pair of underwear for this one.
Day 5 - Edinburgh
Didn’t get to everything? DW we’ve got your back – here’s a free day we prepared earlier. Zip up the puffer jacket and jump on a Potter-themed walking tour. Check out Liz’s official Scottish residence at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Explore the National and Portrait Galleries. Sip on Scotland’s national drink at The Scotch Whisky Experience. Or flash some plastic along George Street. If the weather is on your side, head up Carlton Hill for alllll the sunset views over the city. Then gather the gang for a night on the Old Town – filled with quirky cocktail bars, cosy traditional pubs and craft beerhouses there’s something for everyone. Our fave? Hoot the Redeemer. Think: 1950’s cocktail bar + arcade games = hours of entertainment!
Day 6 - Edinburgh to Scottish Highlands
Breathtaking landscapes. Mysterious legends. Culture-rich traditions. And a lot of attractive red-heads. We must be in the Scottish Highlands. Blast Snow Patrol as we weave past more glens, mountains and lochs than you can shake a sporran at. Tonight, you’ll be free to explore or kick back and take it all in. Yep, you’re actually here. *Take note: the Scottish Highlands are BIG – and we’re unable to guarantee exact locations right now. So, sit tight and check your Trip Notes or Topdeck app for specific locations closer to take-off.
Day 7 - Scottish Highlands
This is your day, your way. But we’ve got an included trip out to see ol’ Nessie if you’re keen. Hear alll the legends and see if you can spot the slippery sucker through the mist on an optional scenic cruise. Rather do your own spontaneous-this-is-what-I-came-here-for thing? No worries! There’s plenty to explore around here. Trust us. Tonight, gather your trip mates and seek out a historic pub for a wee dram and hearty Scottish fare. Trying haggis? Go on, we dare you.
Day 8 - Scottish Highlands to Glasgow
Fact: you can’t ‘do’ Scotland without whisky. So, we’ve organised an included tour of Glengoyne Distillery and an inside-warming tasting today. You can thank us later. Uncover the magic maturation process this liquid gold goes through – before having a sniff and swirl of the good stuff. Onwards to Glasgow! Our Trip Leader will show us around the Merchants Quarter, Buchanan Street and George Square on a walking tour – pointing out the must-visits for our free time tonight. Then the rest is 100% up to you. We suggest grabbing a bite in Merchant City though.
Day 9 - Glasgow to Belfast, Northern Ireland
Rise and shine! We’re leaving Scotland behind and setting sail for the Emerald Isle. First up? Belfast. More than just four-leafed clovers and pots of gold – Northern Ireland’s capital is THE place to start delving deeper into the rich history of this island-country. Get a local insight into The Troubles on an optional Black Cab Tour – visiting significant Protestant and Catholic estates and the Belfast Peace Wall. Or hit up the city’s state-of-the-art Titanic Museum. Tonight, we’ll tuck into some local fare at an included dinner with the gang. Then: head to the Cathedral Quarter to check out the hip bar scene. Or find a local haunt to warm your feet by the fire, while sipping on an Irish coffee. It’s like a hug for your insides.
Day 10 - Belfast to Galway, Republic of Ireland
Limber up for a giant game of hopscotch – today we’ll skip and jump our way across the famous Giant’s Causeway. Think these huge hexagonal columns were created by volcanic activity 60 million years ago? Wrong! They’re actually remnants of a GIANT-sized, testosterone-filled stand-off. True story, just ask your expert Trip Leader. Next up: (London)Derry. We’ll take a closer look at the Derry Murals and learn about the Battle of Bogside and Bloody Sunday on an orientation tour with our Trip Leader. Later, get the run around Galway with our on-road expert before taking the night off to explore. Tonight, dinner is up to you. But we hear the oysters here are bloody good. Hot tip: McDonagh’s is THE place to go.
Day 11 - Galway
You’ve got 24hrs to embrace it all, so don’t waste a second. Need some suggestions? Sign up for a trip to the wildly breathtaking Cliffs of Moher. You’re gonna want your camera charged for this one. Or if you’re sticking around town – make sure you check out Wolfe Tone Bridge, the Spanish Arch, Lynch’s Castle and settle in for a shamrock tea at Cupán Tae. Then? Find your Galway girl/boy at O’Connor’s Pub.
Day 12 - Galway to Dublin
Next: the cobblestone streets of Temple Bar and historic watering holes of the capital. But first, glue your nose to the coach window as we take the scenic route across the Burren. With its grey craggy terrain and unique array of flora – this place looks out of this world. Then? We’ll roll onto Dublin. Home of saints, scholars and U2 – tonight is yours to take on the buzzing local nightlife or learn some new moves at a traditional dance show.
Day 13 - Dublin
Slip on your gloves and down that cup of Joe – we’ll get our bearings around this historic city on a walking tour. Tick off Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin Castle, the General Post Office and Temple Bar. Then? It’s time to discover what’s so special about Ireland’s most iconic export at the Guinness Storehouse. With 7 floors, a sky-high Gravity Bar and a cold pint of the good stuff included – even the cider-drinkers will be impressed. Fact: you’ve got the rest of the afternoon to do whatever you want. Keep the buzz going and head to the Irish Whiskey Museum. Check out the Book of Kells at Trinity College. Take a tour of Kilmainham Gaol. Buy a claddagh ring for someone special along Drury Street. And don’t miss out on a cone of brown-bread ice cream at Murphey’s. Trust us, even in winter it’s a must.
Day 14 - Dublin to Cardiff, Wales
Land ahoy! Today, we’re ferrying over to wild Wales – a country that has collectively rejected the letters K,Q,V and Z. Speaking of letters – we’ll make a photo stop at the place with the longest name in Europe. Work on your pronunciation for a bit, then we’ll roll through the scenic countryside to the country’s capital. Get the low-down on how to spend your free time with an orientation tour. Then? Find out why so many English university students flock to study in Cardiff. Hint: it has something to do with the awesome bands that pass through.
Day 15 - Cardiff
You’ve got 24hrs to make the most of your free day here. So, how you gonna spend it? Check out the Castle on the Hill. Take a tour of Principality Stadium. Wander around Cardiff Bay. Unleash your inner sci-fi geek at the Dr Who Experience. Or tuck into a Welsh cake and tea at Cardiff Central Market. At dinner tonight, we’re going to give this incredible adventure the send-off it deserves – make sure you catch a home-grown act at the Welsh Club or sample a quirky cocktail at the Dead Canary (their menu is as whacky as the name).
Day 16 - Cardiff to London, England
Quick maths: this is our last day. But we’re sure as hell not done yet! En route to London, we’ll stop by the gob-smackingly beautiful Bath to take in the Abbey, Royal Crescent and Roman Baths. You’ve got free time to take a tour of the Baths and sample the healing (read: disgusting) spa water. Or treat yourself to a classy lunch at the Pump Rooms. Get a Bath Bun (or two) takeaway before we make tracks to our next stop: the mystical Stonehenge. One of the most iconic prehistoric sites in the world, take it alllllll in before piling back on the coach for the drive back to ol’ Blighty. Swap Insta handles and start planning that reunion trip – where to next?
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