V5 - Zhuo Family Irish & Scottish Adventure

Saturday 6th July – Saturday 27th July 2024

Duration: 22 Days / 21 Nights

Overview

From the bright lights of the cities to the remote landscapes of the countryside, this incredible 12 day adventure will leave you wanting to return to these ancient shores.  Enjoy a bagpiping lesson in Edinburgh, wood carving in the Cairngorms and tales of a storyteller in Ireland as your guides lead you through these beautiful countries and get your under the skin of the very fabric of these Celtic lands.  Relax in opulent accommodations as a family after enjoyable days before laying your heads on soft pillows as the sounds of the countryside lull you off to sleep.

Itinerary at a Glance

Day by Day

Day 1 - Saturday 6th July - Welcome to London & Shakespeare's Globe

It is an early start this morning as your private host guide will meet you at your hotel this morning and you will set off to explore some of the lesser visited places of London.  Your first stop will be Shakespeare’s Globe where you will take a private tour to areas not generally visited by the public.  From the heavens in the roof of the theatre to the underbelly of the stage, enjoy a wonderful tour of this incredible place as well as the option to see the First Folio and speak to the researchers about the life of the Bard.

This rest of the day is free to enjoy some shopping or head back to your accommodation.

Overnight: London | Self Arranged
Meals Included: None

Day 2 - Sunday 7th July - The Museums & Galleries of London

Head out this morning to enjoy a private tour pre opening tour of the National Gallery.  Explore the masterpieces under your own steam as the expert guide leads you through the exhibitions without the crowds.  Once the museum opens to the public you can continue exploring or leave to head off to the next part of your day.

From here you can head over to the British Museum to spend some time enjoying the wonders they have displayed here before ending the day with a private tour of the Sir John Soane’s museum – the famous English architect who house has been kept exactly as it was when he died.

Overnight: London | Self Arranged
Meals Included: None

Day 3 - Monday 8th July - Free Day

Today is totally free for you to enjoy some family time and exploring more of London under your own steam.  A private driver and your host will be on hand should you wish to head out with them.

Overnight: London | Self Arranged
Meals Included: None

Day 4 - Tuesday 9th July - Day trip to the Cotswolds

Head out of the city today for a wonderful tour of the picturesque villages of the Cotswolds.  With your expert guide and driver on hand, sit back and relax as you pass through some chocolate box villages and stunning views.  You can stop off as you see fit, perhaps enjoy a delicious lunch in a traditional English pub or take a wander along the river with the sound of the wildlife all around you.

You’ll return to the city in the evening where you will be dropped off at your hotel.

Overnight: London | Self Arranged
Meals Included: None

Day 5 - Wednesday 10th July - Victoria & Albert Museum

This morning, your host guide will meet you and you’ll head off to the Victoria and Albert Museum to spend the afternoon drinking in all of the wonderful artefacts of this incredible building.  Should you wish, you can continue exploring some of the local neighbourhoods with your guide before returning to your accommodation later in the day.

Overnight: London | Self Arranged
Meals Included: None

Day 6 - Thursday 11th July - Free Day

After a busy few days, today is free to just relax and enjoy your final day in the city.  Perhaps head out to visit some more museums, or head to Greenwich and take a tour of the stunning observatory.

Overnight: London | Self Arranged
Meals Included: None

Day 7 - Friday 12th July - To the Cairngorms

On arrival into Inverness airport you will be met by your private driver and head off to start your Scottish adventure.  On your way to your exclusive lodge in the heart of the forest,

Carry on down the winding roads under the canopy of towering Scots Pines until you come upon your stunning lodge, deep in the heart of the forest.  With beautiful surroundings and opulent rooms, this is the very height of decadence and the perfect place to spend time as a family as you explore the largest National Park in the UK.

Overnight: Cairngorms | Glenfeshie Lodge
Room Type: Exclusive Use
Meals Included: Lunch and Dinner

Day 8 - Saturday 13th July - Wood Whittling and Canoeing

The ancient craft of wood whittling is one of the forgotten arts which local craftsmen are resurrecting across the country.  Meet a local woodman this morning at your estate who will show you how to carve your very own butter knife from a bit of green wood. Listen to his stories about life in the Cairngorms as you work, with just the sound of the birds and the breeze in the trees for company.

This afternoon, you will take to the waters of a local tranquil loch where you can glide along in your canoe under the watchful eye of your expert guide.  Paddle along the shore line or out into the open as the sound of the paddle cutting through the water echos around you.  With one of tallest mountains in Scotland as your backdrop, you can enjoy floating along as you see the countryside from a different point of view before retuning to your accommodation for a hearty dinner this evening.

Overnight: Cairngorms | Glenfeshie Lodge
Room Type: Exclusive Use
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9 - Sunday 14th July - The History of Scotland

After a couple of days in the Cairngorms, you will head north towards Inverness to explore some of the history of the country.  The first stop is at Culloden battlefield where one of the bloodiest battles in Scotland took place.  Meet one of their expert guides as you explore the visitor centre with it’s 3D imagery which brings the battle to life.  Imagine what it was like for Bonny Prince Charlie’s men on that fateful April morning as they faced the British Army and discover the forgotten background to this life changing event.

After an immersive morning, this afternoon you will head to Brodie Castle, which has been in the same family for over 400 years.  Discover the history of the castle and explore the Playful Garden, which is home to a fascinating collection of characters inspired by the castles history.  There is also a wonderful art collection here from Dutch Old Masters to modern watercolours so spend time studying these wonderful pieces with no rush to be anywhere else.

Overnight: Cairngorms | Glenfeshie Lodge
Room Type: Exclusive Use
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 10 - Monday 15th July - Exploring the Cairngorms

For your final day in the Cairngorms, you can choose from many options.  Perhaps you may wish to take a walk around a local loch which sits in the shadow of one of the UKs highest mountains.  Or perhaps you might like to visit a local outdoor museum where you can see what life was like for Highlanders living off the land not that long ago.  Or you may wish to just enjoy the home comforts of the lodge for one last day before you head South to the buzzing streets of Edinburgh for your final few days in Scotland.

Later in the afternoon, you will meet a local harpist who plays the Clarsach – a small traditional Scottish harp.  She will tell you all about the history of this instrument and about the trad music that is such a huge part of the fabric of life here before letting you have a go yourselves – you may even learn a tune or two to take home with you!

Overnight: Cairngorms | Glenfeshie Lodge
Room Type: Exclusive Use
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 11 - Tuesday 16th July - To Edinburgh

You will leave the towering peaks and dense forests this morning to the bright lights of Edinburgh.  On the way you will stop off at the Highland Folk Museum that depicts what life was life for Highlanders who used to live and work in here right up until the 1950s.  Visit the replica village with it’s black houses, so called due to the blackness of the insides walls due to the smoke and perhaps try and dress up as a highlander as they head into battle!

Continue on your journey south as the countryside changes continuously past your windows and weave your way through the centre of Edinburgh and your iconic hotel overlooking the Old Town.  The rest of the day is free for you to rest and relax after your journey south.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Balmoral
Room Type: 1 bedroom Scone & Crombie Suite interconnecting with 2 x Executive Old Town View Rooms with a Deluxe Rooms (inner facing) across the corridor
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 12 - Wednesday 17th July - Palaces and Bagpipers

It’s an early start today as you head to the King’s official residence for a private pre opening tour of the Palace of Holyrood.  Explore the magnificent hallways and decadent rooms before it is opened to the general public   You will also get to go ‘behind the ropes’ of the West Drawing Room which is used as a private sitting room by the Royal Family – a truly unique experience.

After enjoying some light refreshments in the cafe, you will set out to explore the Royal Mile with it’s private closes and intriguing stories with an expert guide.  Hear stories of how people used to live and seek out the hidden gems that are only a stones throw away from the tourist trail but never seen.

To end your day of exploring Edinburgh, you will meet up with a local bagpiper who will give you a taster session of the national insturment.  Learn some tunes on the chanter before taking a turn on the pipes themselves and maybe even learn a reel of two of Scottish Dancing.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Balmoral
Room Type: 1 bedroom Scone & Crombie Suite interconnecting with 2 x Executive Old Town View Rooms with a Deluxe Rooms (inner facing) across the corridor
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 13 - Thursday 18th July - Music Museums and Ancient Chapels

St Cecilia’s Music Hall & Museum is the oldest concert hall in Scotland (and the second oldest in the British Isles) and is a must see for music fans when they come to Scotland.  Spend the morning exploring this hallowed place hearing stories about the people and the history of the building that dates back to the Scottish Enlightenment – a period in the 18th and early 19th century that was marked by the outpouring of intellectual and scientific accomplishments.

After enjoying some lunch, this afternoon you will head out of the city to the tranquility of Rosslyn Chapel – one of the most stunning and beautiful churches in the country.  This private chapel has been in the same family for generations and your private guide will take you around the building, immersing you in stories of the incredible stone work and the famous links this chapel has.

Tonight you will end your time in Scotland with a grand Gala dinner at Hopetoun House.  Arrive to the sound of bagpipes before indulging on some delicious food in the state dining room before ending the night with the sound of the marching band as fireworks fill the sky.  A truly incredible way to end your time on Scottish soil.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Balmoral
Room Type: 1 bedroom Scone & Crombie Suite interconnecting with 2 x Executive Old Town View Rooms with a Deluxe Rooms (inner facing) across the corridor
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 14 - Friday 19th July - To Ireland - Musical Walking Tour

A private transfer will take you to the airport this morning to connect with your flight to Dublin.

Landing in Dublin this morning, your private guide will meet you in arrivals and together you will make your way into your 5 star hotel in the city centre. Check in and head out in the afternoon to enjoy a walking tour with a private guide through the rich musical heritage of Dublin. Led by a knowledgeable local, you’ll stroll through the street of Dublin and  discover the stories and songs of the city’s most impactful musicians. From traditional Irish music to the sounds of rock, pop, and beyond, Dublin has been a melting pot of musical creativity for centuries. Along the way, you’ll visit iconic landmarks and venues associated with legendary artists such as U2, Thin Lizzy, The Dubliners, and more, hearing tales of their rise to fame and the lasting impact of their music on the city. Back at your hotel, get settled and tonight your guide will join you for a welcome dinner.

Note: Instead of the musical walking tour we can offer a Phoenix Park bike tour. A guided e-bike tour offers a fantastic way to explore one of the largest urban parks in Europe and enjoy the beautiful scenery and historical landmarks it has to offer. Spot Ashtown Castle, wild red deer and Áras an Uachtaráin, the official residence of the President of Ireland.

Overnight: Dublin | The Westbury
Room Type: x1 signature suite, x1 luxury king suite, x2 westbury king rooms
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 15 - Saturday 20th July - Hiking in Howth & Gaelic Games

This morning you’ll make your way to the suburb of Howth – with its picturesque harbour, pretty beaches and wildflower-covered sea cliffs, it feels like the kind of village you’d find on a far-flung stretch of the west coast rather than a 25-minute train ride from the city centre. From the moment you arrive and walk along the waterfront, spotting the resident seals poking their heads up between the docked boats, you’ll see why it’s the go to spot for Dubliners looking for a weekend breath of fresh air. Enjoy a leisurely hike as you breathe in the crisp sea air. This afternoon, dare to be a Celtic Warrior! Take a journey of discovery deep into Irish culture, where our sports and language meet. From hurling, one of the oldest field sports in the world, to Gaelic football, you will experience an enthralling energy packed introduction to our National Games that will literally take your breath away and leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

Overnight: Dublin | The Westbury
Room Type: x1 signature suite, x1 luxury king suite, x2 westbury king rooms
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 16 - Sunday 21st July - Irish National Stud, Storytelling & Songs

This morning, it’s time to check out of your hotel and head south. You will stop en route for an exclusive experience at the Irish National Stud & Gardens – you will travel through the entire farm and learn how these majestic animals are managed from birth until retirement. You’ll be introduced to the Stallion’s and treated to a private stallion parade where you will see the champions up close. After a delicious lunch, it’s on to the Japanese Gardens where you will enjoy a private tour. Afterwards,  you’ll continue on to Sheen Falls where this evening you will delve into the magical world of Irish folklore, with tales of the Leprechaun, the Fairy Folk and spooky Irish ghost stories. Your storyteller interweaves Irish history & culture, tales of the Other World, the mysterious Fairy Folk, & Irish ghost stories, with traditional Irish songs and wonderful insights into the Irish life of days gone by. This experience will awaken your imagination & carry you back to the fireside in an Ireland of times past.

Overnight: Kenmare | Sheen Falls
Room Type: x1 4 bed Bay Villa
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 17 - Monday 22nd July - Seaweed Foraging the Ring of Kerry & Irish Dancing

This morning your guide will drive you to the southern shores of the Iveragh peninsula where you will meet one of our favourite local characters. A fisherman, foraging expert, storyteller and a true Irish gent, John will take you on a wander along the shoreline learning about life on Ireland’s west coast all the while regaling you with tales of characters from the region. Together, learn how seaweed earned its reputation as a super-food. Enjoy a few nibbles yourself, including the flavoursome variety, Duilleasc, which sustained the monks on Skellig Island, or Nori, the famous Sushi roll wrapping. Afterwards, your guide will take you to some of the best known spots along the Ring of Kerry, a route which covers the perimeter of the Iveragh Peninsula’s stunning coastline, beaches, mountains, and hidden lakes.  See the highlights but also the hidden gems that make this scenic route truly unforgettable. This evening we have organised an introduction to the captivating world of Irish dance with a private performance at Sheen Falls. Irish dancing is a spirited and rhythmic form of dance that has deep roots in Irish culture and tradition. Characterised by quick footwork, precise movements, and vibrant costumes, Irish dance is a unique display of skill, agility and grace. Enjoy and embrace the intricate choreography that highlight the rich heritage of Ireland’s music and dance.

Overnight: Kenmare | Sheen Falls
Room Type: x1 4 bed Bay Villa
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 18 - Tuesday 23rd July - Traditional Soda Bread Making & Kenmare Bay Boat Tour

Your first destination this morning is just up the road at a traditional farming cottage, where the hosts will teach you the long-standing craft of Irish soda bread making and take you on a guided tour of the surrounding farm. This afternoon, we have arranged a private boat tour for you to explore the wildlife, marine life, and the breath taking scenery of Kenmare Bay! The local skipper Paddy has spent his life fishing these waters and has plenty of tales to share about his catches and days at sea. With views from the Ring of Kerry all around, you will really appreciate the paradise of the beautiful Kerry landscape. This really is the best kept secret of the Wild Atlantic Way.

Overnight: Kenmare | Sheen Falls
Room Type: x1 4 bed Bay Villa
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 19 - Wednesday 24th July - Irish Cheese Tasting & Farm Tour

This morning you will get up close and personal with a herd of Irish Buffalo. From Kerry you’ll make your way a little more inland, crossing the border to Cork. Your journey takes you across rolling farmlands with stunning pastoral scenes. Stop at a working Buffalo dairy farm for an immersive tour and tasting. Meet the herd, chat about all things agriculture with John and finish with a spectacular tasting session of some fine Irish cheese, made right there on the farm. Afterwards, you’ll drive 2 hours to Adare, voted the “prettiest village in Ireland”. The village is beloved for its delightful thatched roof cottages, lively pubs, and antique shops, you’ll stop off to stretch the legs, grab a coffee and have a browse around the shops. Continue on to one of Ireland’s finest castle hotels, the 5* Dromoland Castle, welcoming guests since the 16th century.

Overnight: Clare | Dromoland Castle
Room Type: Dromoland Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 20 - Thursday 25th July - Cliffs of Moher & Smokehouse Experience

This morning you will transfer 1 hour to the Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s most impressive natural sites. The area is teeming with wildlife and 20 different species of birds, including puffins, make this area their home. You’ll stop at a little gem of a cottage on an Irish farm and meet passionate owner Caitriona, who will take time to welcome you, share the local history of the Cliffs of Moher and treat you to the rich flavours of handmade fudge made by Caitriona herself. Sip a coffee or tea as you soak up the unrivalled views and enjoy the moment. Continue on to a local, family-run smokehouse for a master class in smoking salmon, learning the unique smoking processes and techniques that go into creating the company’s award winning products as you go. Meet Peter Curtin, master smoker and third generation owner of the smokehouse and pub and after shucking some oysters, you’ll enjoy authentic Irish seafood for lunch onsite. Head back to Dromoland Castle this evening just in time for dinner.

Overnight: Clare | Dromoland Castle
Room Type: Dromoland Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 21 - Friday 26th July - Bunratty Castle & Falconry

This morning you’ll make your way to Bunratty Castle. The site on which Bunratty Castle stands was in origin a Viking trading camp in 970. The present structure is the last of four castles to be built on the site. Head to the folk park where you can experience village life in 19th century Ireland – the sweet sounds of traditional Irish music are carried through the air, and the village characters, including the schoolteacher, policeman and village doctor are on hand to entertain and enthral all who visit. After lunch you’ll make your way back to Dromoland Castle where you will get up close and personal with mesmerising falcons, hawks and owls in the castle grounds. Your guide will join you tonight for a farewell dinner and you can reminisce on the wonderful week of adventure you had!

Overnight: Clare | Dromoland Castle
Room Type: Dromoland Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 22 - Saturday 27th July - Depart

This morning, your guide will drop you to Shannon airport for your flight home. We hope your time in Ireland and Scotland has been memorable and we look forward to welcoming you to our shores once again.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • All accommodation from Day 7 to Day 21
  • Most meals as indicated above
  • Services of an experienced and knowledgeable qualified guide from Day 1 to Day 21
  • VIP assistance at airports on arrival and departure in Scotland and Ireland
  • Ground transportation on guided days driven by the guide in Scotland and Ireland
  • Luggage transfer in a separate vehicle on transfer days
  • All activities mentioned in the itinerary specifically:
    • Private tour of Shakespeare’s Globe
    • Private tour of the National Gallery
    • Private tour of the Sir John Sloane Museum
    • Pre opening tour of Kensington Palace
    • Private Foodie Tour
    • Pre opening tour of the Palace of Holyrood
    • Morning walking tour with an expert city guide
    • Private bagpiping lesson
    • Private tour of St Cecilia’s Music Hall and Museum
    • Private Gala dinner with fireworks, marching band and bagpipes at Hopetoun House
    • Tour of Rosslyn Chapel
    • Entry to the Highland Folk Museum
    • Private harp session
    • Private wood carving session
    • Morning of canoeing on a local loch
    • Tour with an expert guide at Culloden Battlefield
    • Entry to Brodie Castle
    • Private Walking Tour of Dublin City
    • Private Gaelic Games experience
    • Private Storyteller & Songwriter experience
    • Private Farm Tour & Fudge tasting
    • Private seaweed foraging experience
    • Private local smokehouse experience & tasting
    • Private traditional soda bread making experience
    • Private Kenmare Bay Boat tour experience
    • Private Cheese farm tour and tasting
    • Private Irish Dancing experience at Sheen Falls
    • Private Falconry at Dromoland Castle
    • Entry to Bunratty Catle
    • Private Tour of the National Stud
  • Personalised trip design and delivery
  • Snacks throughout the trip
  • 24 hour in-country support from the Wilderness Team
Exclusions Read More
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Activities and entrance fees not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Gratuities for the main driver guide
Notes Read More
  • All suggested accommodations and services are subject to availability at the time of booking
  • A 20% deposit is required before any accommodation and services will be confirmed
  • This quote is valid for 14 days from the date quoted, after this time pricing may be subject to revision