We combine the stunning Ayrshire coast, birthplace and muse of Scotland’s National Poet, Robert Burns, and the captivating Northern Ireland on this enchanting getaway. Expect contrasts all the way; from ancient castles to urban art and romantic countryside to vibrant cities. This fascinating break wouldn’t be complete without paying a visit to bucket list-worthy natural wonder of the Giant’s Causeway........read more
In Scotland, we stay at the Willowbank Hotel in Largs. Nestled in the beautiful Scottish countryside, not far from the coastal road, this modern hotel offers pleasant en-suite rooms with TV, hairdryers and tea and coffee-making facilities. The hotel also offers a lounge bar and restaurant. (JG2+ rating)
In Northern Ireland, we stay at the 3-star Ramada by Wyndham Hotel. Situated in Belfast's Cathedral Quarter, the hotel is within two minutes' walk of the Titanic Quarter and many exciting shops. The hotel offers comfortable en-suite rooms complete with power shower, tea and coffee-making facilities, and 40-inch flat-screen TV. There is also a bar and a restaurant.
After joining the coach, we journey to Largs in southern Scotland, our base for the next three nights.
Day 2 – Kelburn Castle & Country Centre
We start the day with some time at leisure to explore quaint Largs. This seaside resort on the north Ayrshire coast offers a Victorian pier plus a charming jumble of shops and ice cream parlours. There is plenty of time to enjoy the traditional seaside attractions before we rejoin the group.
This afternoon we head to the nearby Kelburn Castle & Country Centre; built around the 1140s, it is still the private home of the Earl of Glasgow and his family. Picture your standard, stunningly beautiful rural castle, now overlay that image with eye-poppingly colourful graffiti and there you have Kelburn Castle! Fairy tale setting meets Rio Carnival, this historic site enjoyed a makeover by a troop of Brazilian street artists which resulted in a psychedelic piece of urban art on the castle walls that fuses together different cultures as well as the rural and urban realms.
Day 3 – Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Ayr & Troon
Today we head first to visit to the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. This humble cottage is where the famous Scottish poet was born and lived with his family, side by side with their farm animals. We have time to explore the museum which displays the world’s most important collection of Burns' original works and personal belongings.
Afterwards, we travel on to Ayr, where we have some time at leisure to explore this little beach town. Offering a charming seafront and many fine Georgian and Victorian buildings, its esplanade is well worth a stroll.
We then take a short drive along the coast to Troon. This pleasant town overlooks the Isle of Arran and offers stunning, sandy beaches, which featured in the popular historical series Outlander. We stay for a while to explore the wealth of charming independent cafés and unique boutiques, before heading back to the hotel.
Day 4 – Ferry to Belfast
Checking out of our hotel, we travel to Cairnryan where we board the ferry to Belfast and continue to our hotel in the city centre, where we stay for three nights.
Day 5 – Belfast & Titanic Belfast
This morning provides the chance to explore the lively city of Belfast during our guided tour. Northern Ireland’s capital has undergone a striking transformation, and we learn all about its fascinating history as an industrial dynamo with fingers in all sorts of pies; from tobacco, linen and, of course, ship building.
A day out in Belfast would not be complete without a visit to Titanic Belfast, this state-of-the-art multimedia museum is easily the city’s most visited attraction. Located at the original shipyard, we walk in the footsteps of the men who built RMS Titanic; the world’s most famous ship.
Day 6 – Giant’s Causeway & Carnlough
Today we head first to the incredible Giant’s Causeway; the grand rock formation on everyone’s bucket list. Like a huge game of Jenga that got out of hand, these hexagonal volcanic columns are guarded by the foaming ocean and dramatic cliffs.
From here we travel to Carnlough; snuggled in the foothills of Glencoy. Its picturesque harbour served as a filming location in Game of Thrones and we pay a short visit to the town before we enjoy a scenic drive along the coast as we make our way back to the hotel.
We check out of our hotel very early to catch the ferry back to Cairnryan; therefore a voucher will be provided to enjoy breakfast on board. On arrival in Cairnryan we continue our journey home.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
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They offer over 500 local pick-up points with no interchange on UK mainline holidays, and if you would prefer to drive yourself to your hotel, they will simply reserve a seat on the coach for you to join the daily excursion, giving you even greater flexibility.
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