Truly a journey of discovery and knowledge, the Scottish and Irish Gold Tour is jam-packed with every must-see stop and spot on the grid. Take fourteen days to investigate the history, culture and landscape of these magnificent countries – though they may be small, they’re certainly mighty.
From Glasgow to Dublin, we’ve drawn up an itinerary that fits in every famous landmark as well as some of Ireland and Scotland’s hidden gems, with time to explore and investigate each one.
You’ll be stopping in Glasgow, the Isle of Skye, Edinburgh, Belfast, the Ring of Kerry, Dublin and a huge list of other places throughout the two weeks, taking in different ways of life and indulging in an ever-present backdrop of stunning scenery. Surrounded by vistas on every side, this tour is as beautiful as it is busy.
This trip is the vacation of a lifetime – if you’ve always wanted to visit Ireland and Scotland, the Scottish and Irish Gold Tour is the right way to do it.
Day 1: Glasgow City Tour
Your Scottish adventure begins at 2:30PM, when you arrive at your hotel in Glasgow and meet your tour director. You’ll set out on an introductory tour of Glasgow, viewing its most famous attractions such as parks, squares and museums. At Kelvingrove Museum, you’ll view awe-inspiring art collections. That evening you can enjoy a welcome drink with your tour director and fellow travellers.
Day 2: Loch Lomond & Inveraray Castle
Today you’ll take a short cruise of Loch Lomond, admiring the gorgeous views of the Highlands before travelling to Inveraray. Here, you’ll explore the town before taking a tour of Inveraray Castle, home to the Campbells and also used as a filming location for internationally-acclaimed TV drama “Downton Abbey”. Then you’ll journey through Glen Coe, one of Scotland’s most beautiful areas, before travelling down the coast to your next hotel in Ballachulish.
Day 3: Isle of Skye & Clan Donald Centre
Journey down the idyllic “Road to the Isles”, pausing for some photos at the Glenfinnan Monument. Then travel on a ferry to the Isle of Skye, visiting the Clan Donald Centre at Armadale Castle. You can drive through the island and return to the mainland via bridge, pausing for pictures at Eilean Donan Castle before continuing on your journey. Travel along the gorgeous shoes of the famous Loch Ness, where the mysterious Loch Ness monster is said to reside. Keep your binoculars at the ready! Finish up your day at your hotel in Nairn, a manor house sitting on fabulous grounds near the North Sea.
Day 4: Culloden Battlefield & Sheepdogs
Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre, just a stone’s throw distance from Nairn, is your first destination today. Here, you can learn about the battle that took place on 16th April 1746, when Prince Charles Edward Stuart and his army were defeated by the British Government forces. Take a walk around the moorland to discover monuments commemorating the troops involved in the battle. Then, you’ll continue through the Highlands, taking in the wonderful scenery, before arriving at Leault Farm where sheepdogs herd sheep.
Day 5: Blair Castle & Whisky Tasting
Start off your fifth day with a tour of Blair Castle, home to the Dukes and Earls of Atholl. The castle dates back to 1259 and has undergone many renovations through the ages, transforming from a strong medieval fortress to a Victorian castle. Here you’ll learn the history of Mary, Queen of Scots, Bonnie Prince Charlie, Queen Victoria and the Atholl Highlanders. After, you’ll visit Blair Athol Distillery and observe how whiskey is made, maybe indulging in a wee tipple before you depart. The afternoon is free to explore the hotel gardens and facilities, or to have a root around the town of Pitlochry.
Day 6: Glamis Castle, St Andrews & Scottish Evening in Edinburgh
Today take a trip to Glamis Castle, the childhood home of the late Queen Mother and the legendary backdrop of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Travel across the Tay Bridge to visit St. Andrews, the world-famous “Home of Golf” where you can view the Old Course and the Royal and Ancient Clubhouse while on a scenic drive. If golfing isn’t for you, you can explore the town instead, learning about the ruined cathedral and castle. Then you’ll drive south to the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh, and enjoy a traditional Scottish Evening with a dinner of haggis and a bagpipe show.
Day 7: Edinburgh Castle & City Tour
Start your last day in Scotland off with a sightseeing tour of Edinburgh; wander through the wide streets and elegant mansions of New Town, a 200-year-old Georgian town. Walk part of the Royal Mile, the oldest part of the city, before visiting Edinburgh Castle. The castle is Edinburgh’s most famous attraction and offers some simply stunning views of the city. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to enjoy. (On July 30 to August 20 departures enjoy the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle.)
Day 8: Titanic Belfast & Vibrant Dublin
Today you’ll say farewell to Edinburgh, driving south along the coast to Ayrshire. You’ll take a ferry to Belfast from Cairnryan, eating a light lunch while sailing. After arriving in Belfast, you’ll travel to the Titanic Belfast exhibition to learn more about the ill-fated cruise liner and the people who built it. Then it’s on to Dublin, Ireland’s capital city. You’ll check in at your hotel, located in the city centre, before dining independently.
Day 9: Clonmacnoise & Galway
You’ll depart Dublin today and travel onwards to the Clonmacnoise Monastic Site on the banks of the River Shannon. Founded in 545 AD by St. Ciaran, Clonmacnoise is full of interesting things to discover including opulent high crosses, church ruins and round towers. Afterwards, drive on to Galway. Here you’ll undertake a gentle walking tour of the area before checking into your hotel. Enjoy some free time to explore the shops, pubs and other facilities in the area before dining at your hotel that evening.
Day 10: Connemara & Catamaran Cruise
Today, take a trip through the middle of Connemara to Leenane, where you’ll depart on a cruise of Killary Harbour. The harbour is a 9-mile-long fjord, littered with beautiful scenes of hills where traces of lazy-beds (potato-crop ridges from the 19th century) can still be spotted. Pause for a light lunch before a tour f Kylemore Abbey, a decadent mansion which resides near a stunning lake. Then you’ll return to Galway, where the remainder of the day is free for you to explore the city.
Day 11: Cliffs of Moher & Irish Night
Today, you’ll travel south around Galway Bay to reach the world-famous Cliffs of Moher. These sandstone cliffs rise 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean and offer breathtaking views of the ocean. Afterwards, you’ll take in a sheepdog demonstration; real, trained sheepdogs tending to a flock of sheep. Then you’ll take a ferry trip across the River Shannon before driving onwards to Killarney. Here, you’ll visit Ross Castle via a horse-drawn jaunting cart ride through Killarney National Park. In the evening, you’ll attend an Irish Night, consisting of a lively trad music show and dinner.
Day 12: Ring of Kerry Tour & Muckross House
Today you’ll undertake the epic journey around the Ring of Kerry, a snaking road running through hills, mountains and coastline. You’ll visit the Skellig Experience to learn all about the nearby Skellig Islands, before having a casual lunch. Pause at Moll’s Gap to take in the stunning views before touring Muckross House. The remainder of the day is free to explore Killarney independently.
Day 13: Blarney Castle & Waterford Crystal
Journey to Blarney Castle today, pausing to kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence” and tour the castle itself. Afterwards, stop in Dungarvan at the Marine Bar to enjoy an authentic, creamy Irish coffee and a traditional Irish music session before checking into your hotel in Waterford. View some glass blowing and cutting by skilled craftspeople at the House of Waterford Crystal that afternoon and learn about the intricate trophies created there.
Day 14: Waterford Walk & Dublin Restaurant
Kick off your final day in Ireland with a walking tour of Waterford City, learning its long and interesting history. Afterwards visit the Medieval Museum for a tour before heading on to Kilkenny. In Kilkenny you can pause for a look around the city center, before travelling back to Dublin. In the evening enjoy a farewell dinner with your fellow travellers at O’Connell’s Restaurant.
Go Irish Tours reserves the right to substitute visits, entertainment and other features when cannot be visited for reasons beyond our control.