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Select Cosmos 2021 Europe tours are limited to an average of just 24 guests per tour. There’s always room to roam with extra space between you and other travelers—while still getting up close and personal to the experiences you’ve been dreaming of. Small-Group Discoveries include all the features of a traditional Cosmos European tour, complete with expert Tour Director, Driver, and Local Guides who ensure that your health and safety is our top priority. A Small-Group Discovery Europe vacation is the perfectly sized tour—without the crowds.
Total meals included:
Check into your hotel. In the afternoon, there’s time to rest or to start exploring the lively British capital; uniformed hosts are available to help you make the most of your stay.
What’s your pleasure? Today is devoted to exploring on your own or enjoying our exciting program of optional activities. You may choose to join a Local Guide for an optional morning sightseeing tour of the city’s famous landmarks: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall’s mounted horseguards and the Prime Minister’s Downing Street residence, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace. The highlight is a visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral, Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece built between 1675 and 1708. Later, maybe visit Windsor Castle or the Tower of London with its spectacular Crown Jewels. Tonight, we recommend our optional Taste of London excursion with dinner, followed by a guided illumination cruise on the Thames River.
Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions and depart at 8 am for a memorable day of sightseeing, including a walking tour of Oxford, one of the country’s oldest seats of learning; then, skirt the Cotswold Hills to Shakespeare’s Stratfordupon-Avon.Take photos of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and explore the town at your own pace. Overnight in Wetherby.
Today’s Distance: 255 mi/ 410 km
This morning, head north to York, England’s most complete medieval city. Stand in awe in front of the great structure of York Minster, then follow your Tour Director through a maze of quaint streets, including the narrow Shambles. Stop for the night in Newcastle, once an important center for the wool trade and coal mining and now a vibrant, modern city.
Today’s Distance: 103 mi/ 166 km
On your way to Scotland, drive along the picturesque coastline to Berwickupon-Tweed, situated just south of the Scottish border. This peaceful town suffered a turbulent past, and its Elizabethan walls, built to keep invading Scots from entering the town, could tell a colorful tale. Stop for photographs of the Firth of Forth in pretty North Berwick before arriving in Edinburgh. Later, a unique optional experience: board the former Royal Yacht Britannia, which was once the perfect royal residence for glittering state visits and family holidays. Tour five decks and see how the Royal Family and crew of 240 lived and worked on board. Dinner rounds off this optional evening. For departures August 8 and August 22, tickets are included for tonight’s performance of the world-renowned Military Tattoo.
Today’s Distance: 121 mi/ 195 km
A full day to enjoy the Scottish capital. Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the 200-year-old “New Town,” home to famous scientists, inventors, and novelists. In the “Old Town,” visit Edinburgh Castle to admire Scotland’s Crown Jewels. Afternoon at leisure. A suggestion for this evening: a traditional Scottish night out, with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and, of course, the Ceremony of the Haggis.
A day of memorable sightseeing. Take the elegant Forth Road Bridge to St. Andrews, whose Royal and Ancient Golf Club has given us the rules of golfing, then cross the Firth of Tay and, via Dundee and Perth, head into the Highlands, with a stop in the Victorian mountain resort of Pitlochry. Cross the battlefield of Culloden Moor with its memories of Bonnie Prince Charlie, then via Inverness, head for your Highland destination.
Today’s Distance: 221 mi/ 355 km
More spectacular Scottish scenery: Dornoch Firth, the Kyle of Sutherland, the Falls of Shin, the Mountains of Assynt, and Knockan Crag. Then, follow Strath Oykel for a visit to Ullapool, a remote fishing harbor on Loch Broom, before returning along Loch Glascarnoch. Our recommendation for this afternoon: join the optional Loch Ness Experience, which includes a cruise on the loch, followed by supper.
Today’s Distance: 123 mi/ 198 km
More heather-clad moors as you drive through the western Highlands to Lochalsh and the Inner Hebridean Isle of Skye. The route back to the mainland is by ferry across the Sound of Sleat to Mallaig, then breathtaking scenery all the way to Fort William beneath Ben Nevis. Glen Coe, where the MacDonald Clan was massacred in 1692, and a drive along the “Bonnie Banks” of Loch Lomond are scenic highlights on the way to Glasgow, Scotland’s great cultural city.
Today’s Distance: 234 mi/ 377 km
On this morning’s orientation drive through Scotland’s largest city, see the fine 12th-century cathedral, imposing university buildings, and elegant Georgian squares, built by wealthy tobacco barons. Later, stop at Alloway, the birthplace of Robert Burns, before boarding the ferry for the Irish Sea, crossing to Belfast.
Today’s Distance: 100 mi/ 160 km
Take the scenic route along the Antrim Coast to awe-inspiring Giant’s Causeway, then let the province’s story unfold as you head for the city of Derry. Later, visit Belleek Pottery, renowned for its exquisite cream-colored Parian china, before arriving in Sligo, tonight’s destination.
Today’s Distance: 214 mi/ 344 km
Travel south to Galway, a popular seaside destination and a buzzing cosmopolitan center with colorful shops and a busy café and bar culture. Then, cross the limestone plateau of The Burren to visit the spectacular 668-foot Cliffs of Moher. Tonight, a chance to attend an optional medieval banquet at a historic castle.
Today’s Distance: 161 mi/ 260 km
Via Clonderlaw Bay to Killimer for the ferry across the Shannon estuary. Breathtaking scenery this afternoon on the Dingle Peninsula, where the 32-mile Slea Head drive affords magnificent vistas of the Atlantic Ocean. Afternoon arrival in Killarney, your destination for the next two nights.
Today’s Distance: 125 mi/ 201 km
At Killorglin, join the road known as the Ring of Kerry for a 100-mile coastal panoramic drive featuring sparkling seascapes, mountains dotted with brightly colored farmhouses, winding lanes bordered with subtropical vegetation, and spectacular views of the Lakes of Killarney. Then, a special optional adventure: take a horse-drawn jaunting car along the national park lakeshore for pictures of Ross Castle. Later, enjoy the optional outing to Tralee for dinner and a performance at Siamsa Tire, Ireland’s National Folk Theatre.
Today’s Distance: 99 mi/ 158 km
More scenic splendor as you head into County Cork. Stop in Blarney, famous for its Stone of Eloquence, with time at your leisure to see the castle, and shop for Irish crafts and handmade crystal. After lunch, drive past Cork, the country’s second-largest city. Finally, pass Dungarvan and travel along the Copper Coast to the seaside resort of Tramore. Tonight, maybe join an optional pub tour before dinner at your hotel.
Today’s Distance: 131 mi/ 211 km
On your northbound journey pause in Waterford, famous for its exquisite crystal, and visit Kilkenny, one of Ireland’s prettiest towns with medieval cobblestone streets and Old-World charm. Afternoon arrival in Dublin—top off the day with an optional Irish cabaret evening including dinner, dance, song, and laughter.
Today’s Distance: 128 mi/ 205 km
A day in the “Fair City” starts off with an orientation drive through Ireland’s capital and includes statue-lined O’Connell Street, elegant Georgian squares, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The rest of the day is free to enjoy Dublin at leisure. This evening’s optional dinner excursion is to the famous Guinness Storehouse.
Take the ferry across the Irish Sea to Holyhead on the Welsh Isle of Anglesey with its tongue-twisting names. Explore North Wales on the way to Caernarvon where the castle saw the investiture of Charles as Prince of Wales, before arriving in Liverpool.
Today’s Distance: 180 mi/ 290 km
A day dedicated to Wales as you head south through the ancient market town of Builth Wells and Brecon Beacons National Park, land of salmon rivers and the Welsh mountain pony. In Cardiff, an orientation drive takes in Cathays Park with its splendid civic buildings and Cardiff Castle. Tonight’s optional excursion is an evening of Welsh entertainment and dinner.
Today’s Distance: 174 mi/ 281 km
Across the Severn Bridge to the elegant Georgian city of Bath, famed for its Roman relics. Into the West Country via Glastonbury and its legends of King Arthur, and wild and romantic Dartmoor with a visit to the picture-book village of Widecombe-in-the-Moor. Upon arrival in Plymouth, hear about Sir Francis Drake and see the Mayflower Steps, where the Pilgrim Fathers embarked in 1620.
Today’s Distance: 198 mi/ 319 km
Today’s excursion takes you to the pretty fishing village and former smuggler’s port of Looe. Then, follow in the footsteps of Drake, Raleigh, and the Pilgrim Fathers on an optional cruise on Plymouth Sound, one of the world’s greatest natural harbors.
Today’s Distance: 45 mi/ 65 km
An interesting day heading into Thomas Hardy’s Wessex and a visit to intriguing, prehistoric Stonehenge. Explore the visitor center with its imaginative exhibitions, then admire the magnificence of the monument up close. Return to London in the early evening. How about celebrating the success of your tour with a night out on the town?
Today’s Distance: 215 mi/ 346 km
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
It may occasionally be necessary to use alternative hotels of a similar standard to those shown.
Concrete and brick commercial hotel in modern nine-story complex located at Hammersmith, 1/4 mile from train station.
The hotel is conveniently located just outside the market town of Wetherby, a short distance from Wetherby Racecourse and just 10km from the impressive Harewood House. All 103 bedrooms feature contemporary décor, an HD TV and complimentary high speed Wi-Fi. Guests can enjoy international food in The Brasserie, an afternoon tea in The Lounge or a drink from the selection in The Bar.
Located in the city center, Jurys Inn is one of the most convenient hotels in Newcastle - perfectly placed to enjoy all the city has to offer.
Three-story Hotel set 3 miles west of city center in quiet residential area.
Scottish Highland hotel is an idyllic setting for weddings, functions and conferences, offering spectacular views of Ben Wyvis.
Multistory Hotel set in prestigious West End, 4 miles from city center.
The Belfast hotel's location puts us in the perfect spot whether you're a visitor in town on business, or a culture vulture looking to hoover up the best experiences that this wonderful city and its people have to offer.
Sligo's only City Centre based hotel with a full Leisure Centre located beside both train and bus stations in the heart of Sligo City. This Sligo City based hotel is the ideal base for a touring the Yeats Country and environs of which the North West of Ireland is renowned.
Gracious Stone Lodge situated amid landscaped gardens, 1 mile from town center.
This hotel is situated in one of Irelands vibrant and picturesque towns with its beautiful surroundings, lakes and mountain ranges. The Parkavon Hotel Kilarneyl has a restaurant, a traditional Irish pub, room service, swimming pool, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and fitness room. Guestrooms feature cable TV, tea/coffee making facilities, hairdryer, iron/ironing board on request, bath amenities, and complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the property. The hotel is a 12 minute walk to the town centre and 15 minute walk to the Killarney National Park.
Welcome to the award winning AA*** Majestic Hotel in the sunny South East of Ireland, overlooking Tramore Bay with its impressive 5km stretch of golden beach and sand dunes and less than 10km from the historical city of Waterford.
Modern Business-oriented hotel comprising an 18th-century Manor House, located 3km north of Dublin City center.
Modern Multistory Hotel opposite Lime Street Station, 5 miles from Liverpool Airport.
Redbrick Victorian-style Hotel located near Cardiff Bay & city center.
The Jurys Inn is located on Exeter Street, beside the historic quarter, and an easy 10 minute walk to the historic centre where Plymouth is yours to explore and enjoy. It features an all-day Costa Coffee bar and lounge where you can enjoy a hot drink and relax, an elegant on-site bar for a glass of wine or a pint of beer, and a restaurant with a range of delectable dishes to choose from. The 247 comfortable and spacious hotel rooms are furnished with large soft beds, a well-lit desk, TV with Free view, and free Wi-Fi access.
Our expert Tour Directors help you get the most out of every place you visit - and have a 96% customer satisfaction rating.
We’re delighted to have achieved the Good Housekeeping Reader Recommended endorsement for customer experience.
We are a member of ABTA and our flight-inclusive holidays are protected by ATOL. If your holiday is cancelled for any reason, you’ll receive a full refund.