Gems of Ireland and Scotland | Sisterhood Womens Travel

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Gems of Ireland and Scotland

21 Days  |  Departing Thursday 1st August 2024 and returning Wednesday 21st August 2024

Prices & Options

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$5000 deposit payable $5800 deposit payable $ deposit payable $ deposit payable
Prices are subject to change due to airfare increases and surcharges may apply. Please enquire at the time of booking.

Progress Payment: $ 7000 8000 by 4 Apr 2024
Final Payment: $ 7999 9399 by 3 May 2024
Pay by direct deposit or credit card.

Highlights

Visit and entry into St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin
Enjoy live traditional music, dancing and dinner at the Merry Ploughboys pub show in Dublin
Enjoy the Pearce Lyons distillery tour in Dublin
Visit the Rathbaun Farm for a sheep farm tour and scone-making demonstration
See the famous Cliffs of Moher 
Visit Kylemore Abbey and Garden
Guided tour of Westport House
Boat ride to the base of Slieve League Cliffs
Visit Donegal Castle
Visit to Giant's Causeway
Black Cab City Tour of Belfast
Visit to Skye Museum of Island Life
Visit to Eilean Donan Castle
Visit the Scottish Wool Centre and drive through spectacular Trossachs National Park
Visit to Urquhart Castle
Visit to the Culloden Battlefield
Ride on the incredible Jacobite steam train
Explore the Isle of Skye
Enjoy a Loch Ness sightseeing cruise
Visit Scone Palace
Take part in a whisky tour and tasting at Cardhu Distillery
Visits to Glamis Castle, Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle
Enjoy the spectacular Edinburgh Military Tattoo performance
Friends for Company

Inclusions

Fully escorted by an experienced Sisterhood Tour Hostess who is on hand to make your holiday a memorable one
Return economy airfares including taxes ex Melbourne (other departure cities and classes of travel upon request)
All sightseeing as per detailed itinerary
All meals as per detailed itinerary (B, L, D) = Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Quality accommodation as per itinerary ++
Tipping for Coach Driver & Tour Manager
Willing to share option (subject to availability)
Meet and greet prior to departure via Zoom
Tour documentation wallet with Essentials Kit for Women

 

++ Accommodation is subject to change and will be of a similar standard

Itinerary

Day 1 - Thursday 1 August 2024

Melbourne - Dublin (meals in flight)

Welcome to Sisterhood Womens Travel.

Your tour hostess and fellow travellers will meet you at the designated departure point at Melbourne Airport for your flight to Dublin. Sit back, relax and enjoy your flight.

Day 2 - Friday 2 August 2024

Dublin (D)

Welcome to Ireland! 

Upon arrival into Dublin, we'll be met by our tour manager and then we head to the city to enjoy a panoramic city tour of the capital, Dublin. 

We will visit the elegant Georgian squares, famous for their architecture. Highlights of the tour will include a stop at Trinity College (no entry) and a visit and entry into St Patrick’s Cathedral. Built in 1192, it is one of Ireland’s largest cathedrals and was made famous by its former dean Jonathan Swift, author of ‘Gulliver’s Travels’.

Pass by Christchurch, built by the Anglo-Normans in 1172 to replace an earlier church built by the Vikings in 1038, on our way to the Phoenix Park with its many monuments, including the Papal Cross. Return to the city centre via the Quays and Collins Barracks, now part of the National Museum.

After our city tour, we'll check into our hotel followed by a show with dinner at the Merry Ploughboys pub.

Overnight: Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin  (or similar)

Day 3 - Saturday 3 August 2024

Dublin (B)

This morning after breakfast we'll visit the world's first cemetery museum at Glasnevin Cemetery. We will visit the exhibition and tour the cemetery where more than 1 million people are buried.

This afternoon, we'll take a tour of the Pearce Lyons Distillery, where we will delve into 800 years of history in the making and witness the art of distilling.

Dinner at leisure tonight.

Overnight: Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin  (or similar)

Day 4 - Sunday 4 August 2024

Dublin - Ardrahan - Galway (B)

This morning, we'll leave Dublin and start the day with a visit to Rathbaun Farm in Ardrahan, a family farm open to visitors and known for its ‘warm Irish welcome’.

Farmer Fintan will lead us on a tour of the sheep farm (we may even get to bottle-feed a lamb if we are lucky!) before returning to the farmhouse for a scone-making experience.

Later, we'll arrive in Galway and enjoy a walking tour of the city with a local guide. The city centre of Galway is mainly pedestrian, so a walking tour is the best way to enjoy its atmosphere and discover some of its most important monuments. The tour starts on Eyre Square and finishes at the Claddagh. During the tour, we will see Lynch Castle, home to the mayors of Galway, Saint Nicholas Church founded in the 13th century, and the famous Spanish Arch. 

Dinner at leisure tonight.

Overnight:  Bay Hotel, Galway (or similar)

Day 5 - Monday 5 August 2024

Galway (B)

Today we will have a full day exploring the region.

We'll start with a drive through the scenic Burren Region. The Burren, part of which forms the 100 square km Burren National Park, is a unique place. It is a Karst limestone region of approximately 300 sq. km, which lies in the Northwest corner of Co Clare and is composed of limestone pavements, which have been eroded to a distinctive pattern. 

We'll stop to view the Poulnabrone Dolmen which is an exceptional ‘dolmen’, or portal tomb, at the heart of the Burren region. It is a truly exceptional part of Ireland, built by Neolithic farmers, who chose the location either for ritual, as a territorial marker, or as a collective burial site. 

We'll continue on with a visit to the Burren Smokehouse where we can get a tasting of Burren smoked salmon. We will discover mosaics inside and outside the shop and look at the first kiln used when the Burren Smokehouse was first set up. 

Later, we'll visit the famous Cliffs of Moher. Situated on the Atlantic Ocean and bordering the Burren Area, the Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland's most spectacular sights. Standing 230 metres above the ground at their highest point and 8km long, the Cliffs boast one of the most amazing views in all of Ireland. On a clear day, the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay as well as the valleys and hills of Connemara. To the south of the cliffs is Hag's Head, which was once the site of a castle. 

Dinner at leisure tonight.

Overnight:  Bay Hotel, Galway (or similar)

Day 6 - Tuesday 6 August 2024

Galway - Kylemore - Westport (B,D)

This morning we'll depart Galway and journey through the Connemara Region to Westport. This area is a land of lakes and rivers, bogs and mountains. A land of small villages where Gaelic is still the spoken language and where little has changed since the beginning of time. It is without a doubt the wildest and the most romantic part of Ireland. 

On our way, we'll visit Kylemore Abbey, stunningly located in the Kylemore Pass in Connemara. Mitchell Henry built the House in 1868, after having spent his honeymoon in the area. The architecture is best described as neo-gothic and the house still displays all the characteristics of that period. Today, the abbey is home to the Irish order of Benedictine nuns. 

Once in Westport, we'll enjoy a walking tour with a local guide before visiting Westport House. Westport House is located in a magnificent setting on the shores of Clew Bay between Westport town, Westport Quay and Westport golf course. During the 16th century Grace O’Malley, the famous Pirate and “Queen of Connaught”, was chief of the O’Malley Clan and ruled the seas around Mayo. Grace O’Malley had several castles in the west of Ireland, and it was on the foundations of one of these that Westport House was built. Westport House and Gardens features rooms with original architecture, artwork, and antiques.

Dinner tonight at our hotel.

Overnight: Westport Plaza Hotel, Westport (or similar)

Day 7 - Wednesday 7 August 2024

Westport - Teelin - Donegal (B,D)

This morning we'll start the day with a visit to the small Gaeltacht village of Teelin, to take a boat trip along the base of the impressive Slieve League cliffs, meaning ‘mountain of stone pillars’, and among the highest sea cliffs in Europe.

Later, we'll visit Donegal Castle. Built by the O'Donnell chieftain in the 15th century, beside the River Eske, Donegal Castle has extensive 17th-century additions by Sir Basil Brooke. The castle is furnished throughout and includes Persian rugs and French tapestries. Information panels chronicle the history of the Castle owners from the O'Donnell chieftains to the Brooke family.

We'll arrive at our hotel and enjoy dinner there tonight.

Overnight: Lough Eske Castle Hotel, Donegal (or similar)

 

Day 8 Thursday 8 August 2024

Donegal - Derry - Belfast (B)

This morning, we'll leave Donegal and head for (London) Derry.

On arrival, we'll enjoy a city wall walking tour with a local guide to discover the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland. These famous walls, which date back to the early part of the 17th century, have been subjected to multiple sieges. There are fine views from the top of the walls, which encircle the old city, a circuit of one mile. Walking on Derry’s walls, we can enjoy splendid views of cathedrals and churches, and we'll learn about the historical events that shaped the city and explore attractions such as The Bogside, The People’s Gallery: The Murals, The Diamond, the Tower Museum, and the Guildhall.

After that, we'll encounter Northern Ireland’s favourite giant, Finn McCool at the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre. According to legend, Finn McCool created the Giant’s Causeway by building stepping stones to Scotland to challenge the Scottish giant Benandonner. In 2015, Conde Nast Traveler magazine included hopping the stones of the Giant's Causeway as one of the '50 things to do in Europe before you die'.

We'll then head into Belfast with dinner at leisure tonight.

Overnight: The Bullitt Hotel Belfast (or similar)

Day 9 - Friday 9 August 2024

Belfast (B)

Today we'll enjoy a panoramic city tour of Belfast with a step-on guide. 

This is an excellent way for us to discover Belfast City and we'll pass by the leaning Albert Memorial Clock Tower (Ireland's answer to the Tower of Pisa) and the Opera House, which is one of Belfast’s great landmarks, as well as the City Hall, The Crown Bar (dates from 1885), Queens University and the Botanic Gardens.

In the afternoon, we'll have a real quintessential experience in Belfast: a Black Cab tour. We will enjoy a guided drive around a city full of history, both cultural and political, and view the murals for which it is famous.

Dinner at leisure tonight.

Overnight:  The Bullitt Hotel Belfast (or similar)

Day 10 - Saturday 10 August 2024

Belfast - Cairnryan - Glasgow (B)

This morning we'll transfer to the Belfast ferry terminal and say farewell to Ireland, as we board the ferry to Scotland for the 2 hour, 40 minute crossing of the North Channel of the Irish Sea.

Arriving in Scotland, we'll be met and transferred to our lovely hotel on the outskirts of Glasgow.

Dinner at leisure tonight.

Overnight: Glynhill Hotel & Spa (or similar)

Day 11 - Sunday 11 August 2024

Glasgow - Aberfoyle - Fort William (B)

This morning we depart Glasgow and travel to Aberfoyle (via Loch Lomond) where we will visit the Scottish Wool Centre. Then we'll head through the Trossachs National Park and towards Glencoe where we'll have a scenic photo stop before moving onto Fort William.

Set in Scotland’s rugged west, the Scottish Highlands are home to some of Europe's most expansive and spectacularly scenic wilderness characterised by majestic mountains, secluded beaches, mythical lochs and fairy-tale castles. 

Dinner at leisure tonight.

Overnight: Kingshouse Hotel, Glencoe (or similar)

Day 12 - Monday 12 August 2024

Fort William - Mallaig - Isle of Skye (B,D)

Today, after breakfast we'll head to the train station in Fort William where we board the Jacobite Steam Train to Mallaig. On arrival in Mallaig, we'll take the ferry to the Isle of Skye before driving to our hotel. 

Resting just off the west coast of Scotland, the Isle of Skye is the largest of the Inner Hebridean islands and Scotland’s second most visited tourist destination after the capital city of Edinburgh. This popularity is attributed to its magnificent natural environment and the island’s accessibility from the mainland by ferry or over the Sky Bridge. Despite this ease of access, the island has managed to retain its remote atmosphere. The landscape is characterised by rugged mountains, misty moors, glistening lochs and majestic sea cliffs. With its vibrant culture, long and rich history, and profusion of fascinating wildlife, the Isle of Skye has an allure that is hard to ignore. 

Dinner will be included at our hotel tonight.

Overnight: Ardvasar Hotel (or similar) - one of the oldest inns in the Isle of Skye.

Note: The Jacobite Train is a steam locomotive that operates over part of the West Highland Railway Line, a very scenic route of 41 miles from Fort William to Mallaig, passing Loch Eil, Glenfinnan Viaduct and Arisaig. The Jacobite route was used for filming Harry Potter. Our tickets will be standard class (one way).

Day 13 - Tuesday 13 August 2024

Isle of Skye sightseeing (B)

Today we enjoy a full-day tour of the Isle of Skye. Drive towards Sligachan where you can see the Black Cuilin Hills. From here we travel to the Skye Museum of Island and Life. The museum offers visitors a unique experience and a true insight into island life 100 years ago.

Later we will drive around the Trotternish Peninsula seeing such natural beauty as the Kilt Rock and the Old Man of Storr (if time permits we can walk up the path) before heading to Portree for some free time.

Resting on the banks of Loch Portree in the Isle of Skye, Portree is the largest village in the Inner Hebrides. Overlooking the sparkling bay, this lively village boasts spectacular views and serves as the capital of the island. The surrounding landscape boasts scenic hills such as Ben Chrachaig, Ben Tianavaig and Suidh Fhinn. Portree features a host of amenities including excellent restaurants and cafes and a collection of book and gift shops. We can enjoy a walk along the foreshore and soak up the beautiful views of the surrounding hills as well as the picturesque harbour lined with colourful buildings. 

Later, we'll return to our hotel with dinner at leisure tonight.

Overnight: Ardvasar Hotel (or similar) 

Day 14 - Wednesday 14 August 2024

Isle of Skye - Drumnadrochit - Inverness (B,D)

This morning we farewell the Isle of Skye and travel to Dornie where we visit Eilean Donan Castle; one of the most recognised castles in Scotland. After our visit to the castle, we head to Drumnadrochit on the shores of Loch Ness where we'll visit the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Situated on the banks of Loch Ness beside the village of Drumnadrochit, the castle is one of the most picturesque landmarks in Scotland. For centuries the castle has played an important role in controlling the key route through the Scottish Highlands. Built in the 1300s it has witnessed violent clan rivalry and has withstood many uprisings.

Then it's off to Inverness. This ancient cathedral town is crowned by a pink crenelated castle adorned with colourful flowers. This vibrant city sits astride the River Ness at the northern end of the Great Glen and attracts considerable numbers of tourists drawn to the iconic legend of the Loch Ness Monster. With impressive scotch, excellent restaurants and shops and even white water rafting on offer, there is plenty to do in and around this 'bonny wee town'. 

Dinner at the hotel tonight.

Overnight: Grant Arms Hotel (or similar)

Day 15 - Thursday 15 August 2024

Inverness - Culloden - Aberlour - Inverness (B)

Today we'll enjoy an excursion from Inverness.

This morning we visit the Culloden battlefield site (Outlander Fans will be excited by this!). From here we travel to the village of Aberlour stopping at the Knockando Woolmill; a traditional wool mill that is still operating and where we have the chance for a little shopping. 

Next, we enjoy a tour and whisky tasting at the Cardhu Distillery - 'Cardhu Flavour Journey' before returning to our hotel.

Dinner at leisure tonight.

Overnight: Grant Arms Hotel (or similar)

Day 16 - Friday 16 August 2024

Inverness - Kincraig - Pitlochry - Glamis - Dundee (B)

Today our journey takes us through the scenic Cairngorms National Park before we head to Kincraig to visit a working sheepdog farm.

Afterwards, we'll visit the picturesque town of Pitlochry where we'll have free time before heading to Glamis Castle. Glamis Castle is the home to the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne, located in Angus. The castle is also the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mother and the birthplace of Princess Margaret.

We'll then travel on to Dundee, a characterful place that is rapidly growing as a major ‘city break’ destination. It contains some notable historical sights such as the Verdant Works Museum which details the history of Dundee’s jute industry the cutting-edge V&A Design Museum and Discovery Point. 

We end our day in Dundee with dinner at leisure tonight.

Overnight: Hotel Indigo Dundee (or similar)

Day 17 - Saturday 17 August 2024

Dundee - St Andrews - Perth - Dundee (B, AT)

This morning, we'll head to St Andrews, a small town on the east coast. Famously known as the ‘Home of Golf’ there is much more to see and do in this charming town. View the medieval ruins of the St Andrews Cathedral (no entry) which were abandoned in the mid-1500s as well as St Andrews Castle.

The town is also home to an attractive pier and harbour area as well as three popular beaches. 

After that, we'll travel to Perth to visit Scone Palace; home to the Stone of Destiny and the crowning place of many Scottish Kings. After our visit to the castle, we have time to enjoy afternoon tea on the castle grounds.

Returning to Dundee in the afternoon with dinner at leisure tonight.

Overnight: Hotel Indigo Dundee (or similar)

Day 18 - Sunday 18 August 2024

Dundee - Stirling - Edinburgh (B,D)

This morning, we'll leave Dundee and head for Stirling in time for a visit to its famous Castle. 

Located in central Scotland, Stirling is one of the country’s most historic cities and known as the ancient ‘Gateway to the Highlands’. History has bequeathed Stirling with a rich array of sights and attractions, including Stirling Castle, a beautifully preserved hilltop fortress and the nearby Wallace Monument. Both offer great views of the city and its surrounds. 

We'll then travel on to Edinburgh and enjoy a walking tour where we'll walk along the Royal Mile, view Outlander filming locations such as the Canongate Kirk and World’s End Tavern and visit the famous and impressive Edinburgh Castle. Running between two locations of great historical significance in Scottish history, namely Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, the Royal Mile forms the main thoroughfare of the Old Town in Edinburgh and includes Castle Hill, the Lawnmarket, Parliament Square, the High Street, the Canongate, Holyrood, and Holyrood Park. With a diverse range of shops, restaurants, pubs, and attractions, the Royal Mile is the busiest tourist street in the Old Town.

Perched atop Castle Rock, Edinburgh Castle has been dominating the skyline of the city of Edinburgh in Scotland since as far back as the 12th century. Apart from having been the residence of several reigning monarchs, it was also one of the most important strongholds in the Kingdom of Scotland. Today, the stone walls of the castle protect countless treasures including the nation’s Crown Jewels. Highlights include the Crown Room, the Great Hall, St Margaret’s Chapel, and the Scottish National War Memorial. 

A farewell dinner tonight due to our Edinburgh Tattoo event on our last night.

Overnight: The Scholar Hotel Edinburgh (or similar)

Day 19 - Monday 19 August 2024

Edinburgh (B)

We have a free day today before our special event - The Edinburgh Tattoo. 

This takes place on the esplanade of the Castle as part of the Edinburgh Festival each August. The tattoo is a celebration showcasing the talents of military bands as well as artistic performance teams from all over the globe, with an audience of over 220,000 visitors every year, including the Royals. 

Dinner at leisure tonight.

Overnight: The Scholar Hotel Edinburgh (or similar)

Day 20 - Tuesday 20 August 2024

Edinburgh - departure (B, meals in flight)

Today after breakfast, we bid farewell to Scotland and head for the airport for our journey home.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the inflight entertainment as we head homeward.

Day 21 - Wednesday 21 August 2024

Welcome home

Welcome Home Sisters! 

We thank you for joining us for your latest adventure and look forward to welcoming you on another one!

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