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Botanica

British Isles, Castles, Gardens, History & Birdlife Cruise

London to Edinburgh

Trip Code: BTBNC11
11 Days
28 Meals
2019

Trip Highlights

Zodiac to Garden Gate

Arrive at private gardens by Zodiac .

Iconic Welsh and Irish Gardens

Visit Plas Brondanw, Bodnant, Mount Stewart and Mount Usher.

Learn from Local Guides

Learn about the history of the British Isles from your local guides.

  • Trip Inclusions
  • Map & Itinerary
  • Similar Trips

Trip Inclusions

  • All sightseeing & touring as per the itinerary
  • Services of a Cruise Director, local guides & Botanical Guide
  • Airport transfers on first & last day, tipping & port taxes
  • 10 Nights aboard the Small Ship MS Hebridean Sky
  • Beer, wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner aboard your ship
  • 28 Meals

Map & Itinerary

Trip Notes

  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • Small ship up to 100 guests maximum
  • Medium Fitness level - involves walking on uneven surfaces for more than one hour. A good degree of mobility is required
  • Prices are for land/cruise only. Flights not included
UK & Europe Map BTBNC11 2019-21
London to Edinburgh

On arrival, you will be met at London Heathrow airport at either 1.30pm or our pre-cruise hotel in central London at 1.00pm and transferred to Portsmouth to board the MS Island Sky, your floating home for the next 10 nights. Ten Nights: Aboard the luxurious small ship, the MS Hebridean Sky

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 gardens, which boast some of the finest examples of sub-tropical flora in the Northern Hemisphere. You’ll also have the opportunity to 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. This evening, enjoy a delicious dinner.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Your ship will arrive in Waterford on Ireland’s south eastern coast. Here, you have the choice of two full day tours. Freedom of Choice: The first option is to travel to the historic city of Kilkenny and visit Kilkenny Castle and the Kilkenny Design Centre followed by a tour of the Waterford Crystal Factory. The second option is to travel to Mount Congreve Gardens, a vast and visually inspiring woodland garden, 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. Freedom of Choice: 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.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

This morning after breakfast, you’ll cruise to the Welsh coast where you can choose your activity. Later, return to your ship for dinner. Freedom of Choice: Choose from a tour of Portmeirion village and its gardens, or perhaps visit the gardens of nearby Plas Brondanw, the family home of 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.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of Belfast. This afternoon you can choose from two options. Freedom of Choice: Perhaps visit the Titanic Exhibition or travel out to 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 Jura, where you’ll have the option to visit a 200-year-old Single Malt Scotch Whisky Distillery, or perhaps enjoy a walk. This afternoon, cruise to the Isle of Gigha. Privately owned by its 120 inhabitants, the landscape consists of heather-covered hills, sandy beaches, clear green seas and just one single-lane road. Here, wander through the gardens of Achamore House. Laid out by Sir James Horlick from 1944, this stunning garden boasts a wonderful collection of azaleas, rhododendrons and exotic plants.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Cruise to the Isle of Iona, a place of tranquillity and natural beauty, 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. Freedom of Choice: On the Isle of Mull 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.

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 Highlands and widely regarded as one of the most beautiful gardens of the region, Inverewe presents an amazing collection of exotic trees and shrubs that are sheltered by well-positioned windbreaks of native pine. Wander through the gardens, covering some 49 acres, where you have the opportunity to take in the natural beauty of over 2,500 exotic plants and flowers.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Cruising along Scotland’s east coast, over the North Sea, today you’ll arrive at Aberdeen. Disembark and travel by coach through Royal Deeside, the picturesque valley of the River Dee. Absorb the lovely scenery as you head to Crathes Castle, a magical 16th century castle, renowned for its 240 hectares of 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 and an afternoon visit to Pitmedden Garden with its elaborate parterres and herbaceous borders.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

After breakfast, disembark the MS Island Sky in Aberdeen. From here travel to Glamis Castle, childhood home of the Queen Mother and birthplace of Princess Margaret. Transfer by coach to Edinburgh, arriving at the airport at around 2.30pm or our post tour hotel at approximately 3pm.

Daily :
  • Breakfast

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

Brochure