Visit Britain & Ireland with Cosmos
From Limerick to Killarney to Dublin and from Edinburgh to London, Cosmos can help you to uncover the secrets that lie in the British Isles.
Join our best selling European tour, Irish Discovery and embark on a scenic journey through Ireland and Northern Ireland exploring the rugged, unspoilt beauty of the coast along with its vibrant cities. Discover Dublin, Belfast, Limerick and Galway, visit the Cliffs of Moher and the Giant’s Causeway, and enjoy sparkling Atlantic vistas on the Dingle Peninsula.
What to see in Ireland
Visited Ireland before? Discover the lesser-known side to the Emerald Isle on a Cosmos tour that takes you to its remote villages, stone-age forts and stunning islands. Take a walking tour in Waterford and discover the home of Ireland’s exquisitely cut crystal; learn the history of the famine on a replica 19th century immigrant ship; and discover life on the beautiful Aran Islands. With behind-the-scenes tours in all the major cities, you’ll discover a different side to Ireland – and you’ll want to return again and again.
Our favourite Ireland excursions include:
- Guinness Storehouse Visit and Supper: Discover the history, traditions, and brewing techniques behind one of the world's most popular beer on this fascinating tour, tasting and dinner at Dublin's legendary Guinness Storehouse.
- Medieval Castle Banquet: Step back in time at an original Irish medieval banquet. Enjoy a 4-course feast with wine, then relax as your medieval hosts dazzle you with unforgettable music and storytelling.
- Belfast City Tour and Titanic Experience: In the company of a local guide, discover the best of Northern Ireland's vibrant capital on this exciting guided sightseeing tour and visit to the world-famous Titanic Experience.
United Kingdom highlights
Choose to experience the grand pageantry and history of England along with the sleepy hamlets of quiet beauty of the English countryside on a Cosmos escorted tour of Britain. From the high style of the Royal residence at Buckingham Palace to the Highlands of Scotland, Stonehenge, Stratford-Upon-Avon and Snowdonia, you'll enter a world of nature's stunning settings and soul-stirring sights.
Discover some of our favourite British Isles excursions:
- Windsor Castle: Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. It has been the family home of British kings and queens for almost 1,000 years and is today one of the official residences of His Majesty The King.
- A Taste of London: A traditional dining experience followed by a night-time cruise along the Thames River, viewing some of the capital's most beautiful illuminated sights.
- Royal Yacht Britannia and Dinner: Discover what life was like on board Her Majesty's floating residence during an exciting visit of the Royal Yacht Britannia, followed by dinner with wine at an excellent local restaurant!
- Plymouth Harbour Cruise: Follow in the footsteps of Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh, and the Pilgrim Fathers on this narrated cruise on Plymouth Sound, one of the world's greatest natural harbours.
Find a perfect tour
Grand Tour of Britain & Ireland
Highlights of Ireland & Scotland
The Best of Britain & Ireland
The British Isles in Depth
Tour Director Q&A
We spoke to Cosmos and Globus Tour Director, Will Collins, to find out a bit more about escorted touring in Ireland...
What is it that draws people to Ireland?
Where do I begin? Is it the people, the landscape or possibly the Guinness? From my experience of working with people from all over the English-speaking world, the feedback I get is, overwhelmingly, the people. The Irish landscape comes a close second.
Irish people have an inherent ability to charm and express genuine warmth towards visitors. We take great pride in showing off our pristine landscape, which is both breathtaking and romantic. Ireland brings out the best in people, we have the ability to laugh at ourselves and find the relief that laughter can bring in even the most adverse situations. We just don’t take ourselves too seriously.
What do people get from an escorted tour that they couldn’t get travelling alone?
You don't have to think or worry about a thing! Everything is taken care of, from your hotel accommodation to site visits and itinerary. And what the uninitiated often don’t realise is that the Tour Director brings his or her vast expertise to the experience. Whether it’s making suggestions on where to eat, or providing the interesting facts, your Tour Director is both friendly face and travelling companion.
There’s also the chance for new friendships with fellow travellers – and let’s not forget you can have that pint of Guinness without having to drive. And that travelling in a luxury motor coach allows you to see over the hedgerows as you go, and that cannot be underestimated when it comes to seeing the beautiful countryside.
What three items must you absolutely pack for a tour in Ireland?
A good camera, warm clothing in the winter and comfortable footwear.
What’s your favourite place in Ireland?
I love bringing visitors to Killarney. It is the gateway to the Ring of Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula and West Cork. On its doorstep is Killarney National Park, one of Ireland's most outstanding areas of natural beauty and home to Ireland's highest mountain range. It’s also home to MacGillycuddy’s Reeks – the land and seascapes are spectacular.
When you have finished your day soaking up the scenery, retreat to Killarney where the buzz of the late-night shops, pubs, restaurants and horse-drawn carriages present a real sense of escape. I love Killarney and its location so much, I live there!
Where does one find the perfect pint of Guinness?
I have to preface this question by saying that no self-respecting Irish man will drink Guinness anywhere else in the world other than Ireland. Here’s why.
To create the perfect pint, the bar keeper must regularly clean the lines from keg to tap, carefully cool and store the keg, and ultimately pour the pint in two stages. Stage one, pull the pint three quarters the way up the tilted glass. Stage two, allow to stand and settle for one minute and nineteen seconds (very important) before topping up till the glass is full and the perfect creamy white head has formed.
I have met many visitors over the years who say they have tried Guinness at home in their own countries and they didn't like it. However, when I convince them to try it in Ireland, they are immediately converted. Big pub, small pub, it doesn't matter when the basic rules are applied to serving Guinness.
Ireland in the summer is green and glorious, but what is special about Ireland in the winter?
Visiting Ireland in the winter is a joy: there are no long lines to deal with at the most popular attractions, hotels are warm and cosy, everyone is friendly and more than willing to assist you. Find the right pub or café – and there are many – and you’ll be greeted with the scent of a warm log or turf open fire.