Edinburgh’s imposing profile of black rock hills and rugged medieval fortifications stands in stark contrast to its cultured, quirky, and playful spirit. Since you’ll be passing through, why not add three nights to experience the U.K.’s second-most popular destination after London? Revisit Scotland’s dramatic history at Edinburgh Castle. Wander the tangle of medieval Old Town, and the neoclassical district of New Town, which together form a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Step aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia. See the fabled fairways of St. Andrew’s. Dart into the quaint shops, inviting pubs, and fascinating museums that line the Royal Mile. Our perfect mix of included touring and leisure time allows you to discover the best Edinburgh has to offer.
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Fly to Scotland
You’ll board an overnight flight to Edinburgh, Scotland today, arriving on Day 2.
Arrival in Edinburgh
Upon arrival, if you purchased Vantage air, you’ll be transferred to your centrally located hotel from the airport. Remember also to take advantage of the hospitality desk during your stay, where you can plan activities; or use our complimentary Concierge service to do so in advance. A Welcome Dinner is included at the hotel tonight.
Discover Edinburgh, and come aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia
The unforgettable city of Edinburgh unfolds before you as we ride and walk on a half-day city tour. Highlights of the Old Town include Edinburgh Castle, set high above the city on Castle Rock, and St. Margaret’s Chapel. Built around 1130, it is the oldest surviving building in town. Fast-forward to 18th-century as you explore the New Town, with its elegant neoclassical and Georgian architecture. Both districts are together listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
When Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip set sail to visit their far-flung dominion, they did it on board the Royal Yacht Britannia. You'll come aboard to inspect this elegant vessel, which often a hosted a retinue of more than 45 guests. It still features the furnishings and décor favored by the Queen when the ship was launched in 1953. The balance of your day is free. Your Vantage City Host will be happy to assist with tips, directions, and making reservations.
The home of golfing: St. Andrews
Today you’ll enjoy an included excursion to St. Andrews, the delightful seaside “home of golf” and site of Scotland’s first university. Admire the charming cobbled streets and green cathedral grounds before returning for a leisurely late afternoon and evening in Edinburgh. You’ll enjoy dinner on your own.
Fly to Dublin and join the base tour
Later this morning, you’ll transfer to the airport and fly to Dublin, Ireland to join Day 2 of the base tour.
Step back in time to Kilkenny, where medieval history lives on through jaw-dropping architecture and museums. For the duration of your stay, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the chambers and parklands of Lyrath Estate Hotel, your luxurious accommodation on the outskirts of the city. Plus, enjoy a private train tour from Black Abbey to Kilkenny Castle and learn about Kilkenny’s evolution from merchant town to brewing centre to craft capital. Don’t miss this perfect way to top off your discoveries in Northern Europe!
Depart Dublin and discover Kilkenny’s highlights
This morning after breakfast, you’ll bid farewell to Dublin and set off for Kilkenny, one of Ireland’s most charming yet smallest cities, and home to several historic buildings and a number of breweries. You’ll start our tour with a photo stop at the Black Abbey, built in 1225, before continuing on by mini-train to Kilkenny Castle, a sprawling 12th-century manor and the onetime residence of several royal families.
Afterwards, we’ll explore the Kilkenny of more modern times — an arts and crafts hub — as you’ll soon uncover at the Kilkenny Design Centre, home of the National Design & Craft Gallery. This will be the perfect place to pick up gifts and specialty items before lunch on your own in the village.
Upon checking in to your hotel, you may enjoy the rest of the day relaxing at the stunning Lyrath Estate. At this 17th-century manor house, you’ll enjoy all-modern amenities with a true sense of history and luxury.
Dinner is at the hotel tonight.
Go behind the scenes at the House of Waterford Crystal
This morning, we'll pay a visit to the House of Waterford Crystal. Here you'll tour the factory and see the manufacturers of these high-end products in action! It's a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the process of making these sought-after items.
Afterward, enjoy lunch on your own; the rest of day is yours to explore Kilkenny as you wish. Perhaps you’ll explore the grounds of the magnificent Lyrath Estate, seeking out wildlife on its 170 acres of parkland, take part in an onsite falconry experience, unwind with a spa treatment, or head to the Leisure Centre for a swim. Alternatively, you might choose to go on an excursion to nearby Jerpoint Park, Jenkinston Woods, Kells Priory, and more — your City Host will be happy to assist.
Dinner is included at your hotel this evening.
After breakfast, transfer to the Dublin airport for your flight home.