The Best of Scotland & Ireland: The Ultimate Luxury Vacation
15 days from £7,365 / $11,784 per person
- Edinburgh and The Lothians
- Isle of Skye
- Fort William
- County Laois
This itinerary offers a perfectly balanced and varied taste of Scotland and Ireland. Stay in the finest hotels in the land whilst taking in two Georgian capital cities, stunning rural landscapes and country pursuits – golf, fishing, sea kayaking, top of the range spas, falconry, tennis and much, much more. For wildlife- and nature-lovers, a highlight is a boat trip on Scotland’s Isle of Skye, where you can see dolphins, whales, basking sharks, puffins, eagles and sea birds (May to October). Over in Ireland, you will experience the intense and shifting beauty of the Ring of Kerry, Killarney and the Cliffs of Moher – places of splinter-slatted coastal cliffs, white beaches and green valleys with pristine streams and lakes.
There is so much going on culturally in Edinburgh, particularly during the Edinburgh Festival in August, and Galway, located on Ireland's gorgeous west coast, is another cultural hub with lots of great restaurants. For those seeking an expertly poured pint of Guinness and friendly locals, you can’t go very far in Dublin without stumbling across a pub or three! For history buffs, both Scotland and Ireland contain some of the world's most impressive castles and a wealth of archaeological sites. Both countries also have some truly fantastic luxury hotels. We have selected a varied mix of castles, country manors, Georgian townhouses and small lodges that are completely different but which all have history, atmosphere and a unique sense of place.
In our opinion, this is the ultimate way to combine Scotland and Ireland for those seeking the very best in terms of style, history, natural beauty and culture.
15 days from £7,365 / $11,784 per person
- Day 1 - The Balmoral, A Rocco Forte Hotel - Edinburgh and The Lothians
Take the First Class morning train from London to Edinburgh. Check into The Balmoral and spend the afternoon exploring Prince’s Street and Edinburgh Castle. Tonight, have dinner at The Witchery.
- Day 2 - Gleneagles - Perthshire
Morning of sightseeing in Edinburgh. Take a private chauffeur driven car transfer (45 minutes) to Gleneagles. Enjoy an impressive variety of activities, such as golf, fishing, falconry, horse riding – practically anything you could think of!
- Day 3 - Gleneagles - Perthshire
Stay on site at Gleneagles and make the most of the hotel's vast range of sporting activities and country pursuits.
- Day 4 - Kinloch Lodge - Isle of Skye
Chauffeur driven transfer (roughly 4 hours) from Gleneagles to the Isle of Skye via some incredibly scenic landscapes. Arrive at Kinloch Lodge early afternoon for Tea. Dinner tonight at Kinloch Lodge’s acclaimed fine dining restaurant is included in the tariff.
- Day 5 - Kinloch Lodge - Isle of Skye
Take a private RIB boat tour around the Isle of Skye: sail to the Rum Isles – three uninhabited islands with a historic old castle and lots of wildlife, such as dolphins, puffins and whales (May to October); and end at Loch Coruisk, an incredibly beautiful sea loch. Alternatively you can spend the day driving around the Isle of Skye, including brisk walks, a whiskey tasting tour of Tallisker distillery and lunch at The Three Chimneys. Dinner tonight at Kinloch Lodge’s restaurant is included.
- Day 6 - Inverlochy Castle - Fort William
Take the ferry from the Isle of Skye to the mainland. Your chauffeur driven car will take you to the White Sands of Morar - a place of intense beauty with powder white sands and translucent blue sea - where you will have a private picnic lunch. Continue on to Inverlochy Castle driving past the Glenfinnan Monument, which dates back to the Jacobite uprising, and the Glenfinnan Viaduct, which the Hogwart’s Express passes over in the Harry Potter movies. Arrive early evening and have dinner at Inverlochy Castle’s fine dining restaurant.
- Day 7 - The Merrion Hotel - Dublin
Depart early morning for the airport enjoying a gorgeous chauffer driven drive past Glencoe (this is a great route to stop and take photographs). From Glasgow Airport fly 1.5 hours to Dublin. Check in to The Merrion.
- Day 8 - The Merrion Hotel - Dublin
The Merrion is pure Georgian splendour; the hotel is made up of three amazing old Georgian townhouses and it is centrally located on St Stephen’s Green, an easy walk to Dublin's sites. This afternoon explore the National Museum of Art (5 minute walk from The Merrion) and sample Dublin's fantastic pubs.
- Day 9 - Ballyfin - County Laois
Full day sightseeing in Dublin on a privately guided walking tour, after which you will venture out to County Wicklow, which is the garden of Ireland (like the Surrey of London), with lots of beautiful houses and rolling countryside. Continue on to Ballyfin, 1.5 hours drive away.
- Day 10 - Ballyfin - County Laois
Spend today walking in the forest, take a boat trip on the lake or a horse and carriage ride to explore the ravishing grounds of this hotel – the smartest and grandest in all of Ireland. You can go fishing and soak up rural Ireland at its best. Ballyfin also has one of the largest private collections of art in the country including several ancient masters.
- Day 11 - The Europe - Killarney
Take a chauffeur driven car transfer from Ballyfin to The Europe hotel in Killarney, which is the base for the beautiful Ring of Kerry tour. Spend the whole day sightseeing with your driver and arrive at The Europe in the afternoon where you can relax at the hotel’s ESPA Spa or enjoy a round of golf.
- Day 12 - The Europe - Killarney
Spend this whole day sightseeing the Ring of Kerry with your private car and driver.
- Day 13 - Ashford Castle - Cong
Drive from The Europe to Ashford Castle via the Cliffs of Moher. Ashford Castle has recently had an expensive renovation and is a stylish base from which to explore the beautiful natural surroundings of the castle. These final two nights of your vacation are all about enjoying the great outdoors in the lavish comfort of two of Ireland’s most historic castle hotels.
- Day 14 - Dromoland Castle - Newmarket-on-Fergus
Transfer from Ashford Castle to Dromoland Castle, the ancestral home of a former King of Ireland. Go shooting, fishing and horse riding in the acres of castle grounds; there is also a championship golf course and a large lake which you can take boat trips on. Take Afternoon Tea at The Gallery and dine at the Fig Tree Restaurant or the award-winning Earl of Thomond restaurant.
- Day 15 - In Transit
Private car transfer to Shannon Airport (a half hour drive away) for your flight home.
- Anonymous, India
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Leslie Siben, India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka