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The British Isles

The Historic & Royal British Isles

Make your way to the British Isles and discover these gems…

    • English Royalty – Buckingham Palace & St. Paul’s Cathedral!
    • England’s History – from Stonehenge to Shakespeare!
    • England’s Leeds Castle – the “loveliest castle in the world!”
    • Irish Landscapes – winding lanes and sparkling seascapes!
    • Irish Sites – Cliffs of Moher and Ring of Kerry!
    • Irish Culture – kiss the legendary “Blarney Stone!”
    • Scotland’s Cities – exciting Edinburgh and Glasgow
    • Scottish Culture – tartans, castles, bagpipes, lochs!
    • … and MORE! – call us to customize your adventure!

Below are sample vacation itineraries.
Contact us to discuss your dream vacation and current selections!

Immerse Yourself in the British Isles:

take in Ireland’s rugged scenery with Globus
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Sample Vacations

 
Best of Ireland & Scotland – with Brendan Vacations

Please Note: This itinerary is an example only. Like the idea? Contact us and discuss current vacation options and promotions.

 Example Itinerary Map

16 days from Dublin to Edinburgh

 Day 1: Fly to Dublin

Overnight flight to Dublin

 Day 2: Dublin

Spend the morning relaxing and enjoying the sights of Dublin. Later meet your fellow travellers and Travel Director as you board your canal barge for a Welcome Reception of a light meal and drinks as you cruise along Dublin’s 200 year old canals. (Welcome Reception)

 Day 3: Dublin Sightseeing

See Trinity College, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Phoenix Park and the stately Georgian Squares with your Local Specialist. Spend the rest of the day as you please, why not explore Temple Bar or Grafton Street, famous for its street performers. This evening consider joining an optional experience to an Irish cabaret. (Full Breakfast)

 Day 4: Kildare, Waterford

Visit the Irish National Stud Farm dedicated to rearing world-class thoroughbreds since 1946 for a Cultural Insight on the breeding of these horses. After a guided walk through the farm, take some time to stroll through the tranquil Japanese Gardens, regarded as the best in Europe, or visit the Horse Museum. This afternoon, visit the House of Waterford Crystal. Watch the master craftsmen at work during your Cultural Insight demonstration and tour of the workshop, and see the exquisite completed pieces in the showroom. (Full Breakfast)

 Day 5: Blarney, Killarney

At Blarney Castle, kiss the Blarney Stone and acquire the ‘gift of the gab’. Cross the Kerry Mountains to Killarney, your home for the next two nights. Join your companions for a Be My Guest dinner on a traditional Irish farm in Killarney. (Full Breakfast, Be My Guest Dining)

 Day 6: Ring of Kerry Excursion

Today we experience Ireland’s most scenic coastal drive around the Iveragh Peninsula, better known as the ‘Ring of Kerry’. It is undoubtedly one of the most magical and varied places in the whole of Ireland and is truly a photographers delight. We will also see Daniel O’Connell’s Cahirciveen, the fishing village of Waterville, the Black Valley and Moll’s Gap. Here mountains, valleys, lakes and sea blend into a landscape that is often breath-taking beyond words. (Full Breakfast)

 Day 7: Limerick, Galway, Ballina

Drive through Adare one of Ireland’s prettiest villages. See King John’s Castle and St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Treaty Stone as you pass through Limerick. In Galway, view the Cathedral, built on the site of an old prison, and stroll around Eyre Square during your free time. Dine tonight at your hotel. (Full Breakfast, Dinner)

 Day 8: Donegal, Londonderry

Head north through Sligo to Donegal where you view the castle which was once the stronghold of the O’Donnell clan. In Londonderry walk along the 17th century walls with your Local Specialist and see the streets and murals of the Bogside. Known as the People’s Gallery, the murals depict the history of the ‘troubles’. (Full Breakfast)

 Day 9: Giant's Causeway, Belfast

Visit the Giant’s Causeway, an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, a UNESCO World Heritage site in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and one of the most iconic natural wonders in all of Ireland. Later, arrive in Belfast and visit the Titanic Belfast Visitor Centre for a Cultural Insight into the history of the world’s most famous ship. (Full Breakfast, Dinner)

 Day 10: Belfast, Glasgow

This morning, enjoy an included city tour with your Local Specialist which takes in Queen’s University and City Hall. Board your ferry at Larne and cross to Cairnryan in Scotland. Drive through spectacular Ayrshire countryside on the way to Glasgow. (Full Breakfast)

 Day 11: Glasgow

Your morning orientation tour of Glasgow includes views of the magnificent George Square and the River Clyde, former heart of the shipbuilding industry. Visit St. Mungo’s Cathedral, dedicated to the patron saint and founder of the city, before enjoying free time to explore the city at your own pace. This afternoon, enjoy a Cultural Insight into whisky making by visiting the beautiful Glengoyne whisky distillery to sample a ‘wee dram’. (Full Breakfast)

 Day 12: Glencoe, Isle of Skye

Journey along the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, immortalised in the well-known Scottish song, towards the site of the 1692 massacre, Glencoe – ‘Glen of the Weeping’. Pass Fort William at the foot of Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. At Glenfinnan see the monument to the final Jacobite Rising, as well as the famous viaduct which has featured in the Harry Potter films. Cross by ferry to the breathtaking Isle of Skye where you dine tonight in your hotel. (Full Breakfast, Dinner)

 Day 13: Loch Ness, Culloden, Highlands

View Eillean Donan Castle before travelling along the banks of Loch Ness, keeping an eye out for the elusive monster! Visit Culloden, where Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated by the redcoats, ending his aspirations to the throne. Dine tonight at your hotel. (Full Breakfast, Dinner)

 Day 14: Pitlochry, St. Andrews, Edinburgh

Heading south, we stop in the picturesque village of Pitlochry before heading to the historic town of St. Andrews, the home of golf. Take a photograph on the 18th green of the Old Course, where the game was first played 600 years ago! Cross the Firth of Forth to the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, your home for the next two nights. Tonight, why not enjoy an optional night out including traditional song, dance and Scottish fare? (Full Breakfast)

 Day 15: Edinburgh Sightseeing

This morning, your Local Specialist takes you on a sightseeing tour of this wonderful city, including a visit to Edinburgh Castle or Edinburgh’s Camera Obscura. See the Royal Mile, the elegant Palace of Holyroodhouse in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat and the new Scottish Parliament building. Admire the elegant Georgian architecture in the New Town. During the Edinburgh Festival in August, your visit includes tickets to the spectacular Edinburgh Tattoo. Join your Travel Director and fellow travellers this evening for a memorable Farewell Dinner. (Full Breakfast, Farewell Dinner)

 Day 16: Edinburgh Return Home

After a hearty Scottish breakfast say goodbye to your Travel Director and companions at the end of an unforgettable Celtic vacation! Transfers are available. Conditions apply. (Full Breakfast)


discover Ireland with Brendan Vacations
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Arranging Your Land Tour Vacation

Whether it’s your first time on an escorted tour, or prefer to venture out independently, Oddball Escapes has great relationships with top names in the Land Tour industry: Globus, Cosmos, Trafalgar, Brendan Tours, G Adventures, Avanti Destinations, and Monograms. With such a network, Oddball makes it easy to find a Land Tour that fits your tastes. Contact us to plan your Land Vacation.

British Isles – with Princess Cruises

Please Note: This itinerary is an example only. Like the idea? Contact us and discuss current vacation options and promotions.

 Example Itinerary Map

13 days roundtrip from London

 Day 1: London (Southampton), England

Whether you arrive in London via the underground or inside one of the city’s ubiquitous black taxicabs, you will immediately be greeted by a deep sense of history and met with the unique vibrancy of this incredible destination.

 Day 2: Guernsey (St. Peter Port), England

Channel Islands, archipelago (1995 est. pop. 151,000), 75 sq mi (194 sq km), 10 mi (16 km) off the coast of France in the English Channel. The principal islands are Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, and Sark; they are dependencies of the British crown. Agriculture, dairying, and tourism are the mainstays of the economy. English and French are the official languages. The natives speak a Norman patois and maintain Norman customs. The islands became possessions of the duke of Normandy in the 10th century and were joined to the English crown at the Norman Conquest. They were occupied by the Germans during World War II.

 Day 3: Cork, Ireland (Blarney Castle)

Situated on an estuary that opens onto the Atlantic Ocean, the Republic of Ireland’s second largest city has been likened to Dublin without the traffic: it is crammed with cosy pubs and cultural attractions and is a charming and popular city to add to the Irish travel itinerary.

 Day 4: Dublin, Ireland

Cosmopolitan, colourful and over a thousand years old, Dublin presents a fine starting point for visitors to Ireland. This capital city is split in two by the River Liffey, which gives form to the city and has no less than nine bridges spanning it. Easily explored on foot, central Dublin presents a wealth of historic landmarks, from ancient cathedrals to gracious Georgian buildings that pay testimony to days gone by. There are many attractions on both sides of the Liffey, ranging from gaols and castles to museums and the birthplaces of famous poets and writers. Dublin is also famous for its nightlife and the Temple Bar area is the highlight for those seeking out a party.

 Day 5: Belfast, Ireland

The fortunes of Belfast have risen and fallen dramatically over time: it began as a Bronze Age settlement; grew hugely in power as well as size during the Industrial Revolution; suffered extensive World War II bombings; and has famously been a hotspot in the massive civil conflict which has split Ireland. Today, the capital of Northern Ireland is a thriving city that has regained some of its old charm and industry, and has begun to lure the odd curious traveller or two.

 Day 6: Glasgow (Greenock), Great Britain

During the past few decades Glasgow, the UK’s fourth largest city, has re-invented itself from a rather economically depressed industrial centre to an interesting modern metropolis with a thriving art and culture scene, which has earned it accolades like the ‘European City of Culture’ title in 1990 and ‘City of Architecture’ in 1999.

 Day 7: at sea

Enjoy onboard entertainment at sea.

 Day 8: Orkney Islands (Kirkwall), Scotland

The Orkney Islands are located in Northern Scotland and are stunning in their scenery and culture.

 Day 9: Invergordon, Scotland

Invergordon is a town in the Scottish Highlands.

 Day 10: Edinburgh, Scotland

Presenting a distinctly Gothic cityscape as it spreads out below its ancient castle, reaching out to the port of Leith, Edinburgh is far from dour. The canny Scots have crafted a capital that is crammed with culture, filled with fun and festivity, veneered with sophistication but reeking of history and mystery. It’s a heady combination that never fails to charm visitors to this city, built on a set of extinct volcanoes on the Firth of Forth, an inlet from the North Sea, just north of the border between Scotland and England.

 Day 11: at sea

Enjoy onboard entertainment at sea.

 Day 12: Paris/Normandy (Le Havre), France

It is impossible not to fall in love with Paris. The city’s people are stylish and flirtatious, its architecture interesting, its restaurants and nightlife devoted to the pursuit of pleasure, and its shopping famously fashionable.

 Day 13: London (Southampton), England

For those interested in exploring the country’s heritage, the Tower of London is an excellent starting-point. First constructed in the 11th century, the Tower has been rebuilt several times as later monarchs have left their mark. Still one of London’s biggest attractions, and a great celebration of pomp that is free to all visitors, is the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, which happens daily.


discover the British Isles on a Princess Cruise
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Arranging Your Ocean Cruise Vacation

Whether you’re a first-time cruiser, or checking out a cruise itinerary, Oddball Escapes has great relationships with top names in the Ocean Cruising industry: Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, and Holland America. With such a network, Oddball makes it easy to find a Cruise that fits your tastes. Contact us to plan your Cruise vacation.

Consider a Princess CruiseTours
Discover Ireland’s starkly beautiful landscapes and charming villages. Visit the breathtaking Ring of Kerry and the awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher, followed by a memorable 12-day cruise throughout the British Isles.

Essential Britain – with Globus

Please Note: This itinerary is an example only. Like the idea? Contact us and discuss current vacation options and promotions.

 Example Itinerary Map

12 days roundtrip from London

 Day 1: Arrive in London, England

Welcome to London! Uniformed Globus Hosts will be waiting to welcome you. After checking into your hotel and an afternoon at leisure, we recommend our optional Taste of London excursion with dinner, followed by a guided illumination cruise on the Thames River.

 Day 2: London, Stonehenge, Plymouth

Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions, and depart London at 8 am. First, try to unravel the mystery of prehistoric STONEHENGE; explore the stunning new visitor center with its imaginative exhibitions, then take the shuttle to the stone circle and admire the magnificence of the monument up close. Continue on through Thomas Hardy’s Wessex, and head to Plymouth for the next two nights. Spend some time at the historic Barbican to see the Mayflower Steps, where the Pilgrim Fathers embarked in 1620, and hear about historical figures such as Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner with wine at your hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)

 Day 3: Plymouth, Cornwall Excursion

A day full of West Country sights as you head through Daphne du Maurier’s Cornwall, where you will be treated to an authentic Local Favorite CORNISH PASTY. After viewing St. Michael’s Mount, take your photos at Land’s End before exploring the popular seaside resort of St. Ives. Back in Plymouth, why not join an optional excursion into Dartmoor National Park for an evening of storytelling at a local pub? (Breakfast)

 Day 4: Glastonbury, Bath, Cardiff, Wales

At Glastonbury, hear about its associations with King Arthur, and in elegant Bath, see the amazing excavations of the ROMAN BATHS with time to explore further on your own. Stay the night in Cardiff, the Welsh capital. You might want to join an evening of Welsh entertainment and dinner tonight. (Breakfast)

 Day 5: Builth Wells, Chester, Liverpool

Your journey through Wales takes you north along the Taff Valley and Brecon Beacons National Park, and via the ancient market town of Builth Wells to Chester. On your walking tour, see the Roman remains, the characteristic black and white half-timbered buildings, and the famous two-tiered arcades called the “Rows.” Spend the night in Liverpool; you may wish to join an optional city tour this evening. (Breakfast)

 Day 6: Grasmere, Gretna Green, Scotland, Glasgow

Start the day with a visit to the award-winning BEATLES STORY, an atmospheric journey into the life, times, culture, and music of the “Fab Four.” Later, focus on the tranquil Lake District, considered to be the finest of England’s national parks. Take a break in Wordsworth’s beloved Grasmere and try original Local Favorite GRASMERE GINGERBREAD. Then, head north for the Scottish border and stop at Gretna Green, where the blacksmith used to wed runaway couples, and take part in a Local Favorite WEDDING RE-ENACTMENT. Overnight in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city. (Breakfast, Dinner)

 Day 7: Glasgow, Isle of Skye, Inverness

Follow the “Bonnie Banks” of Loch Lomond, then proceed via Rannoch Moor, Glen Coe, Fort William, and the “Road to the Isles.” At Mallaig, board your FERRY for the crossing to the Isle of Skye, where you visit the MUSEUM OF THE ISLES at the Clan Donald Centre. Return to the mainland and trace the shores of Loch Ness on the way to the Highland capital. (Breakfast, Dinner)

 Day 8: Braemar, St. Andrews, Edinburgh

Main features today: the battlefield of Culloden Moor; Braemar, home of the Royal Highland Games; St. Andrews; and over the elegant Forth Road Bridge to Edinburgh. Tonight, an optional Scottish evening with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and the Ceremony of the Haggis.

NOTE: For departures August 1-22, tickets are included for tonight’s performance of the world-renowned MILITARY TATTOO.

 Day 9: Edinburgh

Morning city sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the 200-year-old “New Town” and famous scientists, inventors, and novelists. In the “Old Town,” drive up the narrow Royal Mile to EDINBURGH CASTLE to admire Scotland’s Crown Jewels, then explore HOLYROOD PALACE (except when the Queen is in residence). Later, a unique optional excursion: board the former Royal Yacht Britannia to see how the Royal Family and crew of 240 lived and worked on board. Dinner rounds off this optional evening. (Breakfast)

 Day 10: Alnwick, England, York

This morning at ALNWICK CASTLE the choice is yours: visit the CASTLE itself, the opulent ancestral home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, or explore ALNWICK GARDEN, where the fountains and waterfalls are a breathtaking feature. Next, stand in front of the great structure of York Minster, then follow your Tour Director through a maze of quaint streets, including the narrow Shambles. (Breakfast, Dinner)

 Day 11: York, Stratford, Upon, Avon, London

On the last leg of your journey, stop at Stratford-upon-Avon to take pictures of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and visit SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHPLACE. On return to London at about 3:30 pm, a Shownight Theater Evening would be an incredible finale to your vacation. (Breakfast)

 Day 12: London

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)


discover England on a Globus tour
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Arranging Your Land Tour Vacation

Whether it’s your first time on an escorted tour, or prefer to venture out independently, Oddball Escapes has great relationships with top names in the Land Tour industry: Globus, Cosmos, Trafalgar, Brendan Tours, G Adventures, Avanti Destinations, and Monograms. With such a network, Oddball makes it easy to find a Land Tour that fits your tastes. Contact us to plan your Land Vacation.

Dublin, London & Edinburgh – with Monograms

Please Note: This itinerary is an example only. Like the idea? Contact us and discuss current vacation options and promotions.

 Example Itinerary Map

10 day package from Dublin to Edinburgh

 Summary

The luck of the Irish…don’t we all wish we had it? Well, you can create your own luck on this trip to Dublin, London, and Edinburgh by traveling with Monograms. You’ll feel lucky throughout your stay, because we’ve arranged for you to have a Local Host® in each city. This “friend in the city” is there for you to answer questions, share local insights, offer suggestions, and help make sure your vacation is everything you want it to be. On this 10-day vacation package, we’ve also arranged your hotel reservations, transportation between cities with transfers, sightseeing, and daily breakfast…all so you can skip the headaches that go along with planning a vacation overseas.

 Day 1: Dublin, Ireland

Céad míle fáilte—a hundred-thousand welcomes! Your Local Host will help you maximize your time in the “Fair City.”

 Day 2: Dublin

Morning guided sightseeing and orientation takes you past St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the largest church in Ireland, along elegant Georgian squares, and statue-lined O’Connell Street. Look out for the effigy of Oscar Wilde, reclining on a huge granite stone and seemingly without a care in the world, or Molly Malone, commemorating the young woman featured in the local ballad Cockles and Mussels. Finally, visit the Old Library at TRINITY COLLEGE, and see the famous 1,200-year-old Book of Kells. It is testimony to Dublin’s literary tradition, dating back over a thousand years, when monks would transcribe the Bible into beautiful manuscripts.

NOTE:Dublin sightseeing might take place on Day 1.

 Day 3: Dublin

Your Local Host will have some interesting suggestions for your leisure day. Why not take a tour into the Wicklow Mountains combined with a visit to Glendalough, one of the centers of Irish Celtic Christianity founded by St. Kevin? Later, you could join an Irish Cabaret evening with dinner, wine, dance, song, and laughter.

 Day 4: Dublin to London, England

Travel to London by air on selected flights.

 Day 5: London

Morning guided sightseeing and orientation includes all of London’s famous landmarks. Drive past the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben; Westminster Abbey, where Prince William and Kate Middleton were married; Whitehall’s mounted horseguards; the Prime Minister’s Downing Street; and Piccadilly Circus. Take photographs of the London Eye, the giant Ferris wheel situated on the river bank, and the Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe. Visit ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL. Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece with its world-famous dome is an iconic feature of London’s skyline, and the awe-inspiring interior holds fascinating stories about its history. The final highlight is the ceremonial pageantry of the Changing of the Guard (if held) at Buckingham Palace.

 Day 6: London

Full day at leisure for you to enjoy the very best of London. Your Local Hosts will have recommendations, like a guided tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, or a day trip to Warwick Castle, Stratford, Oxford, and the Cotswolds.

 Day 7: London to Edinburgh, Scotland

Travel to Edinburgh by EXPRESS TRAIN (first-class).

 Day 8: Edinburgh

Morning guided sightseeing and orientation introduces you to the 200-year-old elegant “New Town” with its original neo-classical and Georgian period architecture. In the “Old Town,” follow the Royal Mile and visit EDINBURGH CASTLE, perched on top of a rocky crag, the remnants of an extinct volcano. Tour the castle and admire the “Honours of Scotland,” the oldest set of crown jewels in the British Isles and first used for the coronation of Mary, Queen of Scots in 1543.

NOTE: Edinburgh sightseeing might take place on Day 7.

 Day 9: Edinburgh

Ask your Local Host for recommendations on how to make the most of your day—you could discover the “Secrets of the Royal Mile,” or enjoy a Scottish Evening with dinner, wine, and a show featuring singers, dancers, bagpipers, and the Ceremony of the Haggis.

 Day 10: Edinburgh

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.


discover the British Isles independently with Monograms
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Arranging Your Land Tour Vacation

Whether it’s your first time on an escorted tour, or prefer to venture out independently, Oddball Escapes has great relationships with top names in the Land Tour industry: Globus, Cosmos, Trafalgar, Brendan Tours, G Adventures, Avanti Destinations, and Monograms. With such a network, Oddball makes it easy to find a Land Tour that fits your tastes. Contact us to plan your Land Vacation.

Other Independent Options
Several options exist in Great Britain for travelers who want more independence. Contact us to discuss independent travel options such as self drives and locally hosted vacations.