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British Isles, Castles, Gardens & History Cruise

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Explore British Isles by Small Ship

Visit stunning, private gardens in London, and meet the owners, on your Botanica World Discoveries tour of Europe.

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11 Days from London to Glasgow including an 8-night exclusive Small Ship cruise. History, gardens, castles and stunning scenery in spring bloom. Experience personalised Small Ship cruising and the adventure of Zodiac landings, allowing you the unique opportunity to explore the coastline of the British Isles, where larger ships can’t go. View complete itinerary

Trip code: BTBHS11
Duration: 11 days
Accommodation: Luxury Cruise Ships & Comfortable Hotels
Journey: London to Glasgow
Meals included: 24

Itinerary

Day 1. Depart London to Wiltshire, Highclere Castle & Bowood Estate

Depart London at 9am from the pre-tour hotel and travel to Highclere Castle made famous by Downton Abbey. Continue on to Bowood Estate surrounded by acres of Capability Brown landscape.
Stay: Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort or similar
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Dinner

Day 2. Stourhead Gardens & Embark Ship

Visit the famous gardens at Stourhead before travelling to Plymouth to board the MS Hebridean Sky, your floating home for the next eight nights.
Stay: Eight Nights, Aboard the small ship, the MS Hebridean Sky
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 3. Isles of Scilly & Tresco

Today cruise around the beautiful Isles of Scilly and disembark on Tresco. Here, you can explore a wonderful 40-acre sub-tropical garden near Tresco Abbey. You’ll also have the opportunity to stroll along the traffic-free lanes and white-sand beaches.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 4. Waterford, Mount Congreve Gardens & Lismore Castle

Arrive in Waterford on Ireland’s south eastern coast and travel to Mount Congreve Gardens, a visually inspiring woodland garden set on the banks of the River Suir. Later visit Lismore Castle and the oldest continually cultivated gardens in Ireland.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 5. Mount Usher & Dublin Private Garden

Arrive in Dublin through the mouth of the River Liffey. Visit Mount Usher garden on the banks of the River Vartry followed by a special private garden. Later, enjoy free time in Dublin.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 6. Isle of Man

Today spend time on the scenic Isle of Man, which was recently awarded status as a UNESCO Biosphere. Explore a number of secluded gardens including Milltown Estate which has an impressive 15 acres of grand gardens and woodland parks.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 7. Belfast, Titanic Exhibition & Mount Stewart

Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Belfast including a visit to the Titanic Exhibition. Later visit Mount Stewart, an 18th century house and garden. Here, a series of outdoor ‘rooms’ and vibrant parterres contain many rare plants.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 8. Isle of Derry & The Giants Causeway

Berth this morning in the historic walled-city of Derry. On a guided walk through the Inch Wild Fowl Reserve, Ireland’s premier wetland site, look out for grebes, herons and terns. Perhaps join an afternoon tour to the Giant’s Causeway, a series of basalt columns which became widely known from the 1700s as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 9. Isle of Iona, Isle of Staffa. Arduaine Gardens

Cruise to the Isle of Iona, a place of natural beauty, steeped in history. Visit the twenty-acre Arduaine Gardens created on bare lands in the early 20th century, it is well known for its collection of rhododendrons.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 10. Oban, Inveraray Castle & Arrive Glasgow

Disembark in picturesque Oban and travel to Inveraray Castle. Take a look at the enchanting interior that includes the armoury hall and many stately rooms as well as taking the time to explore the gardens with its vibrant spring colours. Arrive later in Glasgow.
Stay: Glasgow, Dakota Deluxe or similar
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 11. Depart Glasgow

Your tour comes to a conclusion after breakfast this morning. Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Trip Highlights

  • See Downton Abbey’s Highclere Castle
  • Tour Bowood Estate
  • Explore breathtaking Stourhead gardens
  • Explore the island of Tresco
  • Visit Mount Stewart house and garden
  • See the Titanic Exhibition in Belfast
  • Marvel at the Giant’s Causeway
  • Explore the Isle of Man and Isle of Iona
  • Enjoy spectacular spring rhododendron displays and hunt for the rare blue poppy
  • Visit Inveraray Castle in Scotland

Map

Included Experiences

  • All sightseeing as mentioned
  • Services of a Cruise Manager, Expedition Team and Botanical Guide
  • Transfers on the first and last day, tipping and port taxes
  • Eight nights on the small ship, the MS Hebridean Sky, which holds a maximum of 100 passengers
  • Wine, beer and soft drinks included
  • On board lectures by the Botanical Guide
  • 24 Meals – 10 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches and 9 Dinners 

Ship Floor and Deck Plan

MS Hebridean Sky  

Enjoy Small Ship cruising as your discover the British Isles and Norway.  Go where larger ships can't.

 

See the deck plans for MS Heridean Sky here

Additional Information

Fitness Level

  • Medium – Involves walking on uneven surfaces for more than one hour, multiple two-night stays in one location with potential for unexpected changes to itineraries. A good degree of mobility is required.

Trip Notes

  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • This tour can be combined with 5 Day London and Sussex with Chelsea Flower Show (BTCFSS5). Savings apply. Enquire for details
  • This cruise is in partnership with our sister company.
  • Prices are for land/cruise only. Flights not included.
  • Group Size - 20 to 28 guests on tour.
  • Small ship - up to 100 guests

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