SATURDAY An early start as we travel to Holyhead for an afternoon ferry to Dublin, continuing to Treacys Hotel, Monaghan for dinner and overnight accommodation.
SUNDAY A leisurely scenic drive as we make our way to the Ulster American Folk Park, where you can immerse yourself in the story of the brave emigrants who made the journey across the Atlantic hundreds of years ago. With 30 buildings and exhibits to explore, the Ulster Folk Park is a wonderfully unique experience. From here we continue to Derry and the City Hotel, our base for three nights. Tea/coffee will be served on arrival.
MONDAY This morning we leave the coach behind and meet our informative guide for a two hour walking tour of Derry. After a break for lunch we visit the Tower Museum and enjoy a one hour guided tour, which will give us an insight into the political conflicts that have shaped the city and the country at large. We then walk to the neo-gothic Guildhall, one of Derry's most recognisable landmarks, with its stunning stained glass windows and unique history. The rest of the day is spent at leisure.
TUESDAY Today we visit the extraordinary Giant's Causeway, the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland, flanked by the wild North Atlantic Ocean on one side and a landscape of dramatic cliffs on the other. We visit the award winning Visitor Centre, before making our way to the beautiful harbour town of Portrush and returning to our hotel.
WEDNESDAY After enjoying a full Irish breakfast we say goodbye to the City Hotel, and travel to Belfast to board the 2 hour 20 minute ferry sailing to Cairnryan. We continue to the Marine Hotel for our three night stay in Troon.
THURSDAY This morning we visit the magnificent Culzean Castle in its dramatic clifftop setting. The castle has a fascinating history with many treasure filled rooms, and is reputed to be home to no less than seven ghosts! Surrounded by an extensive estate encompassing lush woodland, landscaped gardens and rugged coastline, there is plenty to enjoy. In the afternoon we return to Troon and have time to relax in our hotel or explore Troon town centre. A leisurely walk along the seafront will take you to the town centre, which is one mile from the hotel, or the journey can be made by taxi if preferred (cost not included).
FRIDAY Today we board the ferry for our crossing to the Isle of Arran. Our first stop is Brodick Castle where history can be traced back as far as the Vikings. The setting is fronted by the sea, bedecked with gardens and surrounded by hills overlooked by the majestic mountain of Goatfell. After free time for lunch we take a scenic drive around the island, making a final stop at Arran Aromatics, Scotlnd's largest indpendent manufacturer of branded toiletries, soaps and candles. From here we board the return ferry crossing to the mainland.
SATURDAY We bid farewell to Scotland and commence our homeward journey. Haste ye back!