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Botanica

British Isles, Castles, Gardens, History & Birdlife Cruise

London to Edinburgh

Trip Code: BTBNC11
11 Days
29 May 2021
  • Trip Inclusions
  • Map & Itinerary
  • Similar Trips

Trip Inclusions

  • 11 days on an exclusive Botanica Small Ship cruise (100 guests)
  • Accompanied by a Cruise Manager, Expedition Team and Botanical Guide
  • 10 nights aboard MS Hebridean Sky; 28 meals plus wine, beer and soft drinks
  • Transfers on the first and last day, tipping and port taxes
  • Explore the coastline of the British Isles, where larger ships can't go
  • Learn about the history, castles and birdlife and see gardens in spring bloom
  • Experience the adventure of Zodiac landings at private gardens
  • Visit the gardens of Tresco, Plas Brondanw, Bodnant, Mount Stewart and Mount Usher

Map & Itinerary

Trip Notes

  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • Medium Fitness level - involves walking on uneven surfaces for more than one hour. A good degree of mobility is required
  • Small ship up to 100 guests maximum
  • Prices are for land/cruise only. Flights not included
Map of UK Europe BTBNC11 2021
London to Edinburgh

On arrival, you will be met at London Heathrow airport at 1.30pm for transfer to Portsmouth to board the MS Island Sky, our floating home for the next 10 nights.

Stay: Ten Nights: Aboard the luxurious small ship, the MS Hebridean Sky

Daily :
  • Dinner

Today you will cruise amid the beautiful Isles of Scilly, an idyllic archipelago off Great Britain’s southwestern tip. Disembark on the Island of Tresco, considered by many to be the most attractive of the islands. It is leased by the Dorrien-Smith family, who have created a wonderful 40-acre sub-tropical garden near their Tresco Abbey home. Here, enjoy a guided tour of the magnificent gardens, now internationally known as one of the finest examples of sub-tropical flora and fauna in the Northern Hemisphere. During your time here, you’ll also have the opportunity to go for a relaxing stroll along the traffic-free lanes of the island, and wander along one of the lovely white-sand beaches where the sea colour has more in common with the Aegean than the North Atlantic.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Your ship sails up the estuary to arrive in Waterford on Ireland’s south eastern coast. From here, you will have the choice of two full-day tours. The first option is to travel to Kilkenny, one of Ireland’s most historic and attractive cities, and visit Kilkenny Castle followed by a tour of the world-famous Waterford Crystal Factory. The second option is to travel to Mount Congreve Gardens, a vast and visually inspiring woodland garden set on the banks of the River Suir and later return to County Waterford for a visit to Lismore Castle, which features the oldest continually cultivated gardens in Ireland.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Arrive in Dublin Bay and enter the mouth of the River Liffey. From here, you have a choice of activities. The first option is to travel by coach into the Wicklow Mountains and visit the gardens of Powerscourt, with its charming walled garden, striking terraces, fine statuary, varied trees, carefully designed walking paths and more. The second option is to travel to Mount Usher, a lovely romantic garden on the banks of the River Vartry. The third option is to visit a special private garden. Enjoy free time in Dublin.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

This morning after breakfast, you’ll cruise to the Welsh Coast. Here, choose from a tour of Portmeirion village and gardens, or perhaps visit the gardens of nearby Plas Brondanw, the family home of Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. Then drive through the famous Snowdonia region to Bodnant Garden, one of the most beautiful gardens in the United Kingdom. Spanning some 80 acres, the garden is set above the River Conwy and offers views to the Snowdonia Range. Spend the afternoon strolling through the upper garden with its terraces and informal lawns, then continue into the wild garden of the lower section, formed by the valley of the River Hiraethlyn. In the evening, you will return to your ship for dinner on board.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of Belfast including a visit to the Titanic Exhibition. This afternoon we visit Mount Stewart, an 18th century house and garden in County Down. Planted in the 1920s by Lady Londonderry, the gardens today are owned by The National Trust and are of significant international importance. Here, a series of outdoor ‘rooms’ and vibrant parterres contain many rare plants that thrive in the mild climate of the Ards Peninsula. Enjoy time to explore the gardens as well as the opulent house, which boasts a fascinating heritage and contains world-famous artefacts and artwork.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Cruise to the Isle of Arran, known as a miniature Scotland. Visit Brodick Castle Gardens, home to some rare rhododendrons and azaleas collected during the peak of the plant-hunting era in the 1920s. Explore Prince Charles’ Dumfries House and gardens in Ayrshire. Dumfries House is one of Britain’s most beautiful stately homes with fine examples of the work of Thomas Chippendale. See the Queen Elizabeth 5-acre walled garden, one of the biggest in Scotland.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Cruise to the Isle of Iona, a place of tranquillity and natural beauty, steeped in history where more than 40 Scottish Kings, as well as Kings from Ireland, France and Norway are buried. Next, we set off to the Isle of Mull where you have the option to visit a quaint private garden or Duart Castle, a 13th-century clifftop castle set in the Millennium Wood and home to the MacLean clan, before reboarding the ship in the picturesque village of Tobermory.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Today you’ll cruise past the Isle of Skye and The Minch. Afterwards, your ship will drop anchor and you’ll enjoy a Zodiac ride to one of Scotland’s premier gardens, Inverewe. Set on the coast among the north-west Scottish Highlands and widely regarded as one of the most beautiful gardens of the region, this botanical garden presents an amazing collection of exotic trees and shrubs that are sheltered by well-positioned windbreaks of native pine. Wander through the incredible gardens, covering some 49 acres, taking in the natural beauty of over 2,500 exotic plants and flowers.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Cruising along Scotland’s east coast, over the waters of the North Sea, today you’ll arrive at Aberdeen. Disembark and travel by coach through Royal Deeside, absorbing the lovely scenery as you head to Crathes Castle. This magical 16th-century castle is renowned for its 240 hectares of incredible landscaped grounds and formal gardens. Here, take in the cinematic Scottish countryside as you explore the garden and surrounding woodlands. Enjoy lunch back on board before an afternoon visit to Pitmedden Garden with its elaborate parterres and herbaceous borders.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

After breakfast, disembark the MS Hebridean Sky in Aberdeen. From here travel to Glamis Castle, childhood home of the Queen Mother and birthplace of Princess Margaret. Continue by coach to Edinburgh, arriving at our Edinburgh post tour hotel at approximately 3.30pm.

Daily :
  • Breakfast

In all we had a fantastic holiday. We would recommend Botanica to all who'll ask.

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