London, Scotland & Ireland16 days
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare from your desired Airport
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Hotel accommodations (or similar) in double occupancy
- ~ 3 nights: The Cumberland Hotel, London
- ~ 1 night: Hotel Edinburgh Grosvenor, Edinburgh
- ~ 2 nights: Hilton Garden Inn, Glasgow
- ~ 1 night: Trinity Capital, Dublin
- ~ 1 night: Minella, Tipperary
- ~ 2 nights: Castlerosse, Killarney
- ~ 2 nights: Salthill, Galway
- ~ 1 night: Knock House, Knock
- ~ 1 night: Trinity Capital, Dublin
- Whisper Headsets
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine with dinners
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Assistance of a professional local guide throughout
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Catholic Priest, Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Lunches, Tips to your guide & driver, Items of a personal nature.
Day 1, Depart USA to England
Depart USA for your overnight flight to Europe. Dinner and breakfast will be served on board.
Day 2, Arrive London
Welcome to London, England! Upon your arrival, you will collect your luggage and meet with the guide and driver who will accompany the group throughout your stay. After check-in at the hotel, you will have the afternoon free to have lunch on own, browse, shop, or pray and reflect. Later in the evening, you will attend a private Mass at St. Etheldreda’s Church in Ely Place. This church is the oldest Catholic Church in England and served as a safe-haven for Catholics who continued to celebrate the Mass despite the Catholic persecution in the 17th century. At this church you will find the shrine to St. Etheldreda, an incorrupt saint, who lived a life of austerity and saved many through her powerful intercessions from Heaven. After Mass, you will return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 3, London
Following a full breakfast at the hotel, you will explore the magnificent city of London by enjoying a full day sightseeing tour. Your tour will begin at one of the world’s great churches. Inspired by Gothic architecture, the Westminster Abbey contains numerous paintings, stained glass, pavements, textiles and artefacts. The Abbey is also the resting place to many monarchs and therefore is held as one of the most momentous locations in the United Kingdom. The tour will continue to Buckingham Palace, bought by George III in 1761 for his wife Queen Charlotte, but did not receive a sovereign resident until Queen Victoria in 1837. Over time, the structure transformed from a house into a palace, undergoing numerous renovations. Today, it is the official residence and administrative headquarters of the British Monarch. Outside of the palace, you will become entranced by the immaculate precision of the drill and band during the Changing of the Guard. Following this event, your group will have some free time to eat lunch on your own before attending a private Mass at the ever famous, Westminster Abbey. Following Mass, you will visit the Anglican Cathedral dedicated to the great spreader of the Gospel, Paul the apostle. St. Paul’s Cathedral is the highest point in the City of London, and was re-constructed after the Great Fire of London (1666). Experience the crypt in the lower level of the Cathedral where is the resting place of many noteworthy figures such as, Lord Nelson, Arthur Wellesley (First Duke of Wellington), and architect of St. Paul’s, Sir Christopher Wren. See the numerous chapels and monuments constructed in memory of the notable of England. The last component of your tour will include Piccadilly Square, Regent Street, and Trafalgar Square. Piccadilly Square is considered the “Times Square” of London, where tons of locals and tourists congregate to enjoy all of the shopping and entertainment that London has to offer. It is a roundabout that centers the five major streets in the city of London, one of which is Regent Street. Regent Street is one of the major shopping streets in the West End of London and is known for its urban design. Also, you will experience Trafalagar Square, the spirited open space where Londoner’s enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s Eve and other celebrations. This square is also home to many political demonstrations and sports event gatherings. Lastly, after the fun-filled, busy day, you will proceed to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 4, London – Cambridge – Walsingham
This morning, after breakfast you will depart for a full day excursion to Cambridge and Walsingham. In Cambridge, you will visit Kings College, founded by King Henry VI in 1441. The college chapel is noteworthy for being the greatest example of Gothic architecture, and their chapel’s choir is world renown. Following the visit to the college, you will have lunch as per your own arrangement and after, the tour continues to Walsingham. At Walsingham, you will see the Roman Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham which was established in 1061. According to the text of the Pynson Ballad, after much prayer, Our Lady led Richeldis de Faverches to Nazareth and saw the house where the Annunciation occurred. Faverches felt Our Lady’s call to replicate the house in the town of Walsingham. Following the arrival at Walsingham, your group will attend private Mass at the Slipper Chapel (on premises of the shrine). The Slipper Chapel is dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria, patron saint of pilgrims to the Holy Land. This chapel is of importance to the Catholic faith because it was used as a poor house after the Reformation. Your day will culminate as you board the bus and head back to London for dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Day 5, London, Heathrow Airport - Edinburgh
Following breakfast, you will board the bus that will bring your group to the Airport for your flight to Edinburgh. Welcome to Scotland! Upon our arrival, we will collect our luggage and meet with our guide and driver. We will be escorted to Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral of St Mary's, of the Archdiocese of St. Andrew's and Edinburgh. The site of this holy Church was chosen by Bishop Hay, Vicar Apostolic for the Lowland District. After seeing his previous Chapel in Blackfriar's Wynd burned by a mob, he hoped that this new site would provide safety for the Church due to the surrounding buildings. The Church was further embellished and became the pro-Cathedral of the Archdiocese in 1878, during the restoration of the Scottish hierarchy, and Roman Catholicism in Scotland. After Mass, we will proceed to lunch on our own, followed by a city tour. We will begin with a visit to Edinburgh Castle. This castle holds much historical significance as its purpose has transformed from a battle ground, to a home, to an army headquarters, and finally a tourist attraction. We will see the numerous, fascinating sites of the castle such as, the Great Hall, David's Tower, the Scottish National War Museum, the Queen Anne Building, and many more. You will be able to witness the oldest standing building in Edinburgh, St. Margaret's Chapel, which withstood numerous destruction attempts. This structure dates back to the 12th century during the reign of King David I, who dedicated this Chapel to his mother, Saint Margaret of Scotland also known as, Queen Margaret. The tour will continue to the UNESCO Palace of Holyrood House at the end of the Royal Mile. The Palace of Holyrood House is the Queen's official residence in Scotland, as well as many other successive kings and queens of the monarchy of Scotland. After the fun-filled, busy day we will check into our hotel for dinner & overnight.
Day 6, Edinburgh – St. Andrews – Perth - Glasgow
Following a full breakfast at the hotel, we will continue to explore the countryside on the way to the town of St. Andrews in Fife, named after the apostle Andrew; patron Saint of Scotland. As the remains of St Andrew were commonly believed to be buried here, the site became a major Shrine for Christians up until the Norman Cathedral. This Cathedral is the largest in all of Scotland, and was “cleansed” by Calvinist zealots during the Scottish Reformation and the ruins still remain. The ‘X’ shape, in which St. Andrew was crucified, is a symbol present on the Scottish national flag to remind the country of his martyrdom. St Andrews is also known worldwide as the “home of golf”, as the modern sport is believed to have been invented here in the 15th Century. The “Old Course”, devised in 1754, is still in operation. We will celebrate Mass at the church of St. James, a small Roman Catholic parish situated on a clifftop which overlooks the North Sea. Following, we will continue our Journey with a visit to the town of Perth , including Scone Palace, one of the finest examples of Georgian Gothic architecture in the UK. We will proceed to Glasgow for dinner & overnight.
Day 7, Glasgow – Carfin Motherwell
This morning, after breakfast we will depart for a visit to the historic small mining village of Carfin. At Carfin Motherwell, we will see a sight built using the template of the Grotto at Massabielle; Our Lady of Lourdes. This site, built by unemployed miners of the village, has been used a place of procession and prayer since the early part of the 20th century. Before returning to Glasgow for lunch, we will enjoy a visit to the community of Carfin; a town if significant importance in the life of Scottish Catholicism. Upon our return to Glasgow, we will do a walking tour of the city before dinner & overnight.
Day 8, Glasgow - Dublin
Following breakfast, board the bus that will bring you to Glasgow Airport for your flight to Dublin, Ireland. You will arrive midday, and will be greeted by your tour guide and driver, who will bring you on a panoramic city tour on both sides of the River Liffey. You will pass by the General Post Office on the city's main street, O'Connell Street, view the Custom House, and Phoenix Park, the largest city park in Europe. On the other side of the river are Georgian squares characterized by colorful doors, Grafton Street and Trinity College which is the oldest university in Ireland, founded in 1592 by Elizabeth I. Time permitting, you may visit the ancient library containing over 20,000 manuscripts, among which is the Book of Kells, a manuscript from the 9th-century written by the monks at St. Colombo's monastery on the island of Iona. Today you will also visit St. Patrick's Anglican Cathedral, built in 1213. This Gothic Cathedral has a splendid interior, with some beautiful tombs and monuments. The ornate stained glass windows can be found in the Chancel. In the late afternoon, transfer to your hotel for dinner and a restful overnight.
Day 9, Wicklow - Glendalough - Tipperary
Following breakfast, travel through the beautiful mountains of Wicklow, called the "Garden of Ireland" until we reach Glendalough. This ancient monastic city, established in the 6th-century by St. Kevin, is in the heart of "the valley of the two lakes." It was a very important center for learning, as well as a pilgrimage destination at that time. There are many legends concerning St. Kevin and he is often compared to St. Francis of Assisi. You will be taken on a guided tour of the site, in which you will see the Round Tower, the ruins of the Cathedral, and "St. Kevin's Kitchen" that is surrounded by an old cemetery. The tour continues to Baltinglass, where the ruins of a Cistercian Abbey are found. Next, pass by Castledermot, where we set eyes upon the remnants of a Franciscan Abbey, before arriving into Tipperary for dinner and an overnight.
Day 10, Rock Of Cashel - Kerry
Today, you will depart for the "Rock of Cashel," standing high in the middle of the "Golden Vale." These religious buildings, dating from the 12th-century, form the most spectacular medieval set in Ireland. The Cathedral, the Round Tower and Cormac Chapel, which was the first Irish Romanesque church, testify to the importance of this site, which used to be the seat of the High Kings of Munster. So, once more we find two traditions and cultures meeting with one another, where the story of St. Patrick's Cross will tell us more. Our journey continues towards Kerry for dinner and an overnight.
Day 11, Kerry - Dingle Peninsula
This morning continue towards the Dingle Peninsula, the most northern of the Kerry peninsulas. From the town of Inch, where David Lean shot the movie "Ryan's Daughter" - and the last part of the country where Gaelic language is commonly spoken - continue along the Eagle Mount and the cliffs of Slea Head. In Early Christian Ireland, monks were looking for isolated places such as Gallarus Orator, which dates from the 9th-century, and is excellently preserved. Oratory used to be a place of prayer for monks. Our next stop is the Kilmalkedar Church, built in the 12th-century and once part of a complex of religious buildings in Romanesque style. Dinner and an overnight in Kerry.
Day 12, Shannon - Cliffs Of Moher - Galway
After a good Irish breakfast, you will be heading north through Listowel and embark on the ferry at Killimer to cross the Shannon estuary. You will enter County Clare, which has a beautiful landscape, and where you will visit the Cliffs of Moher. From the Cliffs of Moher, continue on to Galway, a city that has kept its medieval charm with its colorful streets and authentic pubs. The coastal road from the Cliffs of Moher travel along the blue Galway Bay, with natural rocky landscape on the other side. Dinner and an overnight in Galway.
Day 13, Galway - Corrib Lake - Clonmacnoise
Today, enjoy a Cruise on Corrib Lake, which is the largest lake in the Republic of Ireland; it is also the best way to see Galway and its surroundings. You will also visit Clonmacnoise, which is Ireland's most important monastic site, overlooking the River Shannon. This site was founded by St. Ciaran in the 6th-century and consists of a walled field containing numerous early churches, high crosses, round towers and graves. Dinner and an overnight again in Galway.
Day 14, Knock
Today, visit Knock and the shrine situated in the plains of East Mayo, which is one of the world's leading Marian Shrines. On August 21, 1879 fifteen men, women and children witnessed an Apparition of Mary. Next, visit the Basilica, the largest church in Ireland. Knock is a very popular pilgrimage destination, and in 1979 Saint John Paul II visited this holy place. After Mass, you will have time for private prayer at the shrine, followed by free time for lunch and shopping on your own. Return to the hotel for dinner and an overnight in Knock.
Day 15, Knock - Dublin
Today as you leave Knock, enjoy beautiful scenery whilst travelling to Dublin. Arrive in Dublin in the afternoon and visit the National Museum, situated in the heart of the city. Its collection of golden prehistoric jewelry is without a doubt the most beautiful in Europe. You will be particularly interested in the Celtic finery, as well as numerous early Christian ornaments and relics of great beauty. In the afternoon, there will be some free time for lunch and relaxation. Enjoy a delicious dinner before retiring for your last overnight in Ireland.
Day 16, Depart Dublin - USA
This morning, transfer to Dublin Airport for your return flight(s) home.
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About your trip
On this nine-day tour travel throughout England to learn of its rich and well-documented history. Visit Amesbury, the UK’s oldest occupied settlement and home to Stonehenge, one of the biggest wonders of the world. See the best-preserved manuscripts of the Magna Carta at Salisbury Cathedral as well as beautiful scenes of the stories of Genesis and Exodus. In Bath, celebrate Mass at St. John the Evangelist’s Church. In Birmingham visit St. Philip’s Cathedral and the Oratory Church which was visited by Pope Benedict XVI. In London visit St. Etheldreda’s Church in Ely Place, the oldest Catholic Church in England which served as a safe-haven for Catholics who were persecuted in the 17th century as well as many famous landmarks of this magnificent city. In Walsingham visit the Roman Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham which was established in 1061, here you will celebrate Mass at the Slipper Chapel which is dedicated to the patron Saint of Pilgrims to the Holy Land, Saint Catherine of Alexandria.
Begin your Pilgrimage to Scotland in Edinburgh with a visit to Edinburgh Castle and Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Mary’s, an important site in the Scottish Catholic history, and a visit to Edinburgh Castle. Journey to the town of St. Andrews, named after the apostle Andre who is the Patron Saint of Scotland. It is believed that his remains are buried here making the site a major Shrine for Christians. Celebrate Mass at the Church of St. James overlooking the North Sea before heading to Perth to see Scone Palace, one of the finest examples of Georgian Gothic architecture in the United Kingdom. Make a stop in the small mining village of Carfin where a prayer site was built emulating the Grotto at Massabielle, that has become very important to Scottish Catholics. End your Pilgrimage with a walking tour of Scotland’s biggest city, Glasgow.
About Ireland: In the Footsteps of St. Patrick
Cead Mile Failte – Welcome to Ireland! Arrive in Dublin, the country’s capital, and see famous sites like the River Liffey, St. Patrick’s Anglican Cathedral, Grafton Street and Trinity College, home to the Book of Kells. Travel through the Wicklow mountains to Glendalough, an ancient monastic city established by St. Kevin in the 6th century. See the spectacular medieval religious buildings at the Rock of Cashel. Visit the beautiful coastal towns of County Clare and Galway with a stop at the famous Cliffs of Moher. Cruise on Corrib Lake and visit Ireland’s most important monastic site, Clonmacnoise. In Knock, you will have the opportunity to pray at one of the world’s leading Marian Shrines, where fifteen men and women witnessed an Apparition of Mary in 1879.
St. Patrick succeeded in bringing Catholicism to Ireland, and in time, the whole country converted from their pagan gods to the one true God. Although a small country, Ireland has played a large role in saving and bringing Christianity throughout the world. During the early Dark Ages, the Irish monasteries preserved Western writings while Europe remained in darkness. But as the Catholic country remained solidly Catholic, the Irish spread the faith to all corners of the world.