The Celtic Connection
Scotland and Ireland

Tour Highlights

On this tour of two Celtic Countries we will experience constantly changing landscapes, magnificent seascapes, historic castles and monuments and the carefree Celtic spirit of the people here that remains strong to this day.
Scotland is one of the most wild and beautiful places in the world. Just the name conjures the sound of haunting bagpipes, treasured family tartans and the strong traditions of Clans. Along our travels we uncover stories of the fallen monarchs and bloody battles as we marvel at the breathtaking scenery, magnificent castles and unique architecture.  

Ireland – it is said, once visited, is never forgotten. ‘Céad míle fáilte’ - ‘a hundred thousand welcomes to you’!  The Irish landscape is legendary (there really are fifty shades of green!) and the history is fascinating. Ireland’s greatest asset is its people -  known for their hospitality and friendliness (and a keen sense of humour). 

Tour Highlights:

  • Edinburgh, including the Royal Yacht Britannia
  • Scone Palace
  • Dalwhinnie Distillery
  • Stirling Castle
  • Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle
  • Belfast, including the RMS Titanic Experience
  • Giant’s Causeway 
  • Dublin 
  • Ring of Kerry
  • Irish Dinner Banquet
  • Sheep Dog demonstration
  • Powerscourt Gardens

*** Those joining our tours to Europe must be able to walk fairly long distances and climb stairs easily.

Tentative Itinerary

We depart for Edinburgh, direct from Toronto.
We arrive in Edinburgh and transfer to our hotel. This evening is our Welcome Dinner.
On our city tour of Scotland’s capital (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) we see The Royal Mile, Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh Castle and we visit the Royal Yacht Britannia - noted as the UK's no.1 attraction by Trip Advisor. The yacht was home to The Queen and Royal Family for over 40 years, sailing over 1,000,000 miles around the world.
We visit Scone Palace, one of Scotland's most important stately homes. For centuries it was the seat of parliament and the crowning place of Scottish Kings (including Macbeth and Robert The Bruce). The Palace houses a fine collection of antiques, paintings and rare artifacts, and the grounds are world renowned. Our afternoon visit is Dalwhinnie Distillery in Cairngorm National Park. We’ll see how they make this famous spirit, and naturally we try a wee dram! We end in Cairngorms National Park for a 2-night stay.
We begin with a visit to Culloden Battlefield, site of the final confrontation of the Jacobite rising of 1745. We continue to the village of Drumnadrochit where we enjoy lunch at the local Inn. Next we visit Urquhart Castle, one of Scotland's most iconic castles on the banks of Loch Ness, followed by a cruise on Loch Ness. Keep your eye out for Nessie!
We travel through the Trossachs National Park, which boasts some of the world’s most stunning scenery, as we make our way to Stirling Castle - an essential part of any visit to central Scotland. We will learn about the castle’s historical importance and marvel at its magnificence as it sits on its high volcanic rock, visible for many miles in every direction. Later we arrive in Glasgow for a 2-night stay.
Glasgow, a beautiful city with a rich culture and history.  It has transformed from a poverty stricken, over populated city to one of the richest and prosperous cities in Europe.  Our city tour includes a visit to the Cathedral and Piping Centre.
We ferry over to Belfast (Northern Ireland), and plunge into Irish tradition with a Traditional Music Trail tour. With professional musicians as our guides, we walk through cobbled alleyways, past famous landmarks and on to private bars in some of the city’s oldest buildings. At each stop we will be treated to a performance of traditional songs and stories.
This morning we visit the world’s largest Titanic Visitor attraction, and learn about the ill-fated liner through state-of-the art displays. Then we drive north, admiring the lovely views of this scenic area (the Game of Thrones was filmed here). We stop at the Giants Causeway, huge columns formed by volcanic activity 60 millions years ago.
We head south to Ireland’s capital - Dublin. Our city tour will take in the statue-lined streets, elegant Georgian Squares and the townhouses boasting the famous coloured doors. There will be free time in Dublin for shopping, sightseeing or to enjoy a pint in one of the many pubs! At the end of the day we proceed to our hotel in Leopardstown, a nearby suburb, for a 2-night stay.
We drive through the rugged and romantic scenery that Ireland is famous for, to Glendalough, knowns for its spectacular scenery, rich history, archaeology and abundant wildlife. Then we visit Powerscourt Estate, listed #3 in National Geographic’s finest garden of the world. This evening we go out for a rousing evening of Irish food and entertainment!
We begin with a sheepdog demonstration - during which the the instructor will explain each command in dog training technique - an opportunity to experience the true essence of Irish country living. Later we arrive in Kilkenny - a city rich in heritage and craft. with free time to explore.
Our first stop is the Rock of Cashel, where medieval Irish kings were crowned. See the 12th century Cormac’s Chapel with its Romanesque decorations. Next, we stop in Blarney - an opportunity to kiss the Blarney Stone or shop at the Woolen Mill. We proceed to Killarney for a 2-night stay.
We embark on Ireland’s most popular scenic drive, the Ring of Kerry. The winding route reveals breathtaking sights of coastal views, beaches and cliffs. We also visit the Skellig Experience to learn about the nearby islands where early Christian Monks lived in austere conditions.
We first visit the Flying Boat Museum, to learn about the romantic era of the first trans-atlantic passenger flights, and taste Irish Coffee which was invented there. Then we proceed to Ennis - a fascinating blend of old and new Ireland. There will be free time for last minute shopping or maybe enjoy a pint at one of the local pubs! This evening is our Farewell Dinner.
We fly home, direct from Shannon to Toronto.

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