Experience London and Ireland for 8 days and 7 nights. Delve deep into London’s deep history and world significance as one of the most unique and diverse cultural epicenters! People from all over the world come here and call this city home! Then, take a leave from the fast-paced big city and enjoy the beauty and quirkiness of Dublin. Finish your trip with a few days in the breathtaking beauty of the Irish country side.
DAYS 1—5 | | LONDON @ HILTON ON PARK LANE
WELCOME TO LONDON!
Upon your arrival at London Heathrow (LHR) Airport, a member of the Heathrow VIP Team will meet you at your gate and escort you to a private VIP lounge. Relax and unwind as the team assists with immigration formalities and collects your luggage. Once that is completed, you will be transferred via chauffeured vehicle to the Hilton on Park Lane Hotel in downtown London. After settling in to your hotel and having a chance to grab a bite to eat, you will be met in the hotel lobby for your Welcome to London meeting. (See Activities in London section below for more information.)
Welcome to London, the capital and most populous city of England and the United Kingdom! A world cultural capital, London has a diverse range of people and cultures, with more than 300 languages spoken within Greater London. It is one of the leading destinations in the world and in 2015 welcomed over 65 million visitors. In 2012, London became the first city to host the modern Summer Olympic Games three times. A tireless innovator of art and culture, London is a filled with ideas and imagination. It is a leading global city in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism, and transport. Equally immersed in history, London's buildings are striking milestones in a unique and beguiling biography. A great many of these buildings — the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben — are instantly recognizable landmarks. Of course, the choice of restaurants, bars, and clubs is legion in London, and what’s not to love about a city with more lush parkland than any other world capital? As the saying goes, 'As long as you don’t scare the horses, mate, you’ll be all right.’
HILTON ON PARK LANE
Located on the prestigious Park Lane in the Mayfair section of London, the Five-Star London Hilton on Park Lane hotel boasts views of Hyde Park, Knightsbridge, and Buckingham Palace. Here, you will experience a unique blend of English style and modern design. You can re-energize in the fully equipped fitness center and spa and select from a range of culinary options including afternoon tea at Podium Restaurant and Bar or Michelin-starred, French haute cuisine at Galvin at Windows. Celebrate your adventure at the CC Bar, or savor Polynesian-inspired cuisine and expertly mixed cocktails at Trader Vic’s. London's main attractions, including West End theaters, are on the hotel’s doorstep. The hotel's proximity to Hyde Park and Green Park underground stations make it the perfect base from which to explore the city.
ACTIVITIES IN LONDON
DAY ONE | WELCOME TO LONDON MEETING @ 4PM
London is full of possibilities, but with so much on offer, it can be an intimidating to plan what to see in London and how to get around. This personalized 2-hour experience, led by a local docent, is the perfect introduction for newcomers to London, and is designed to answer practical questions about life in the UK's capital city.
Your experience begins in your hotel lobby where a docent, a resident of and expert on all-things London, will explain the geographical layout of the city and how this relates to the area where you are staying. They will discuss your itinerary and help you make any last-minute plans, as well as answer all your questions, from what is the best day to visit certain museums and monuments to how the London Underground works. The docent will bring along maps and guidebooks to the city to help you get acquainted with the places and things that you will be seeing, and will offer tips on local customs and suggestions for dining, shopping, insider events, and concerts.
Next, you will then head outside for a stroll with your docent, allowing for a discussion of the area’s history and an opportunity to absorb the neighborhood ambiance under the guidance of a seasoned local. You will stop occasionally to talk about historic buildings and monuments, or maybe to go over how the tube or 'Boris Bikes' work. Your docent will point out the best markets and cafés, and certainly where the best pubs for a relaxing pint can be found! The docent will leave you with maps, a little bit of history, and a better sense of how best to navigate the sprawling metropolis that is London.
DAY TWO | FULL-DAY ROYAL LONDON EXPERIENCE
The Royal London walk is a perfect way to begin your time in London, and delve into some of the most famed neighborhoods and landmarks. This private tour explores the influence of the British Monarchy in London life. From historic traditions, to contemporary celebrity, you’ll dig deep into the regal political and social relations that have shaped the city over time. This experience, led by a local docent and historian, will give you a rare opportunity to explore the interiors of Westminster Abbey and Kensington Palace, stroll through Hyde Park, and take in the exterior of Buckingham Palace. Along the way, you will receive an in-depth explanation of the role of the monarchy, and the relationship between the royals and the public.
You’ll start with Westminster Abbey for a visit before the crowds arrive. Here you will trace the lineage of kings, the intrigues of dynasties, and the impact of certain key figures on politics, art, and science. As you move among the monuments, you will trace a millennium of English history. You'll proceed to Buckingham Palace, once a family home for George III and his wife Queen Charlotte and now the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. You’ll touch upon the architecture and symbolism of the building, and the stories behind the monarchs who ascended to power within the palace. If your tour aligns with the Changing of the Guard schedule, we’ll watch the ceremony outside of the palace.
You can continue with the Royal theme visiting St. James.' As we wander through this area, we will walk in the footsteps of Kings and royal hangers-on. We will consider the flamboyant lives of a number of our monarchs and hear about how today’s aristocracy owes its existence to those habits. We will hear about the birth of the Gentlemen’s Clubs and be entertained with anecdotes about the likes of The Athenaeum Club and The Reform Club. In the beautiful St James’s Square we will hear about illustrious past residents as well as the story of the development of the ‘London Square.’
After lunch in a local restaurant, we will proceed through Hyde Park. Avid sportsman King Henry VIII loved to hunt deer and wild boar in the park. Today, with its magnificent lakes, meadows, and foliage, it provides a quiet oasis within London. At the opposite end of Hyde Park, we will find Kensington Palace, the current home of William and Kate, and their children, George and Charlotte. Here we’ll learn about Royal London in a real home. Stories of love, rebellion, and scandal are woven into the fabric of the palace through theatrical performances, art installations, fashion, and music, against the backdrop of the historic State Apartments.
After the tour, you are welcome to explore the grounds of Kensington Gardens even further, or perhaps stop by The Orangerie for an afternoon tea, a fitting end to a dignified day of exploring Royal London.
DAY THREE | DAY AT YOUR LEISURE TO EXPLORE LONDON
A free day to explore London on your own. Suggested places to visit include:
- Visit the Tower of London
- Take a ride on The London Eye
- Enjoy a Stroll through Green Park
- Catch the Tottenham v. Leicester City soccer game
- Explore the antique shops and stores in Notting Hill
- Take in the various flower and food markets throughout the city
- … and so much more!
DAY FOUR | OCTOBER 30 | BENGALS V. REDSKINS GAME
Watch Andy and the Cincinnati Bengals take on the Washington Redskins @ Wembley Stadium in London!
DAY FIVE | FLY LONDON > DUBLIN
In the morning, you’ll be transferred via private car to London City Airport (LCY). Upon arrival at LCY, you will be escorted to the First Class Lounge, situated away from the main terminal. Your luggage will be checked in, tagged, and transported for you. Light refreshments, catering, and hot and cold drinks are all available in the First Class Lounge. When it’s time to board your flight, pass through the private security screening area and enjoy the comfort of a private chauffeured drive to your aircraft. You flight departs LCY for DUB at 8:55AM.
DAYS 5—8 | IRELAND
WELCOME TO DUBLIN!
Upon arrival to Dublin Airport (DUB), a member of Dublin Airport Platinum Service team will be there to greet you as you step off your aircraft. They will guide you through immigration and on to the platinum services suite. They will look after your baggage and all other formalities, allowing you to relax and refresh. Next meet your private English speaking driver/guide & depart on a Dublin City Tour. See below for additional details.
A small capital with a huge reputation, Dublin's mix of heritage and hedonism will not disappoint. Dublin is the capital and largest city of Ireland with a population of 1.9 million people. It is an historical and contemporary center for education, the arts, administration, economy, and industry. Dublin has a vibrant nightlife and is reputedly one of Europe's most youthful cities, with an estimate of 50% of citizens being younger than 25. There are many pubs across the city center and a hub for small arts productions, photographic and artists' studios, and in the form of street performers and small music venues. Beyond its impressive collection of museums and galleries, and its choice of food from all four corners of the globe – in both restaurant and market form – this is a city that embraces diversity and has been transformed by two decades of multiculturalism. Dublin has been in the news since the 9th century, and while traces of its Viking past have been largely washed away, the city is a living museum of its history since then, with medieval castles and cathedrals on display alongside the architectural splendors of its 18th-century heyday, when Dublin was the most handsome Georgian city of the British Empire and a fine reflection of the aspirations of its most privileged burghers.
DUBLIN, IRELAND: DAY-BY-DAY
DAY FIVE | ARRIVE IN DUBLIN + DUBLIN CITY TOUR
A guided Dublin City tour is the ideal introduction to “Dublin’s Fair City.” You will visit the elegant Georgian squares, famous for its architecture and doors. Highlights of the tour will be a visit to Trinity College, to view the 8th century Book of Kells and the long room with its 200,000 books. No visit of Dublin would be complete without a visit to St Patrick’s Cathedral. Built in 1192, it is one of Ireland’s largest Cathedrals made famous by its former dean Jonathan Swift, author of “Gulliver’s Travels”. Pass by Christchurch, built by the Anglo-Norman’s in 1172 to replace an earlier Church built by the Vikings in 1038, on your way to the Phoenix Park with its many monuments including the Papal cross.
Next, you’ll head to lunch at Ireland’s oldest pub – the Brazen Head. The Brazen Head is well worth a visit for both its historic value and its reputation as one of Dublin's best Irish music venues. Dating back to 1198, The Brazen Head is officially Ireland's oldest pub. Enjoy live music and wholesome food in any of the pubs' cozy rooms. The brick outside hints at the age of the pub, and the low ceilings and the kegs turned into bar tables make for a wonderful old style atmosphere that hasn’t changed in years.
Full from your lunch, you’ll continue on to the Guinness Storehouse. The Guinness Brewery in Dublin is Europe's largest stout producing brewery and home to the Guinness Storehouse. Opened in 1904, the Storehouse was an operational plant for fermenting and storing Guinness. Today it houses a very fine exhibition dedicated to the Guinness story. Visitors will discover what goes into the making a pint of Guinness: the ingredients, the brewing process, the time, the craft, and the passion. The exhibition shows how the brew has been marketed and how it is today sold in over 150 countries. As a special treat, you’ll have an opportunity to enjoy the Guinness Connoisseur Experience. Tucked away in a luxurious private bar, the Guinness Connoisseur Experience is the ultimate Guinness tasting session for the ultimate Guinness fan. Join the journey through the tastes, traditions, and stories of the four most popular variants of Guinness – Draught, Original, Foreign Extra Stout, and Brewers Project (Dublin Porter or West Indies Porter). The exclusive Guinness Connoisseur Experience lasts about 1.5 hours.
Head to your hotel for some much needed relaxation after a busy day of traveling around Dublin. At 6PM, meet your private chauffeur at the hotel lobby and transfer to Merry Ploughboys Pub. The Merry Ploughboys live in concert is widely regarded as the best traditional music show in Dublin and also as a must see for any visitors to Dublin city. The show is a highly entertaining performance of live traditional Irish music, song and Irish dancing. From start to finish, this is a show based on fantastic interaction between the performers and the audience. Your private chauffeur will be waiting for you to take you back to your hotel after the show at 10PM.
The Westbury Hotel
The Westbury not only surrounds its guests in luxury and style, it places them at the very center of the city’s social and cultural riches. The hotel occupies a prime position between Trinity College and St. Stephen’s Green; perfectly located for exploring the most exciting sides of Dublin. At its front doorstep lies Grafton Street, renowned for its color, street artists and luxury shopping; whilst Dublin’s ‘Creative Quarter’, a vibrant network of streets filled with lively bars, restaurants and independent stores runs behind the hotel, with the city’s top theaters, museums and art galleries all situated within a short walking distance. The magnificent Gallery, with its captivating art collection and sumptuous Afternoon Tea is a Dublin institution. Modern, edgy and sophisticated, the hotel’s restaurants, bars and meeting spaces present a unique Dublin social hub.
DAY SIX | THE COASTAL ROAD + HILLSBOROUGH CASTLE
After a full Irish breakfast at your hotel, you’ll depart Dublin with your private driver / guide and travel north along the coast. Along the way, you’ll pass by Drogheda, a historic town on the River Boyne with a bustling port town, excellent pubs, and a good live music scene. It's known as the "Gateway to the Boyne Valley." Two of Irelands most famous tourist attractions, the passage tombs at Newgrange and Knowth, are just a few miles away. Let your driver know if you want to stop!
Continue on the scenic drive on the Coastal Road on your way to Annagassan, where you will enjoy lunch at the Glyde Inn. The Glyde Inn is famous for linn duachaill, a famous Viking Longport located in an area of outstanding natural beauty overlooking the Cooley and Mourne Mountains. The Glyde Inn is a modern restaurant with the charm of the authentic traditional establishment. It offers legendary views of Dundalk Bay and Cooley/Mourne Mountains, while award-wining chefs serve amazing food.
After lunch, continue via the Coastal Road towards Cooley Peninsula. Forested slopes and sun-dappled, multihued hills rise above the dark waters of Carlingford Lough cleaving the picturesque Cooley Peninsula. Country lanes wind their scenic way down to deserted stony beaches, while sweeping views stretch north across the water (and border) to the majestic Mourne Mountains. The medieval village of Carlingford is an ideal base. From here, you can continue along the coast road past the village of Omeath to Newry, at the nexus of Counties Down and Armagh in Northern Ireland.
Continue to Hillsborough Castle, where you will enjoy a private guided tour followed by afternoon tea. Hillsborough Castle holds a unique place in the history of Northern Ireland. Built in the 18th century, the castle has gone from being a simple country house for the Hill family to becoming the official royal residence in Northern Ireland and the place where many stages of the Peace Process happened. In 1934 a fire devastated much of the house. Much of what we see today dates to this time. Hillsborough has served as a venue for formal and informal stages of the Peace Process, including the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1985, decommissioning talks in 1999, and the negotiation of the devolution of policing and justice powers in 2010 (The Hillsborough Agreement). Leading members of the Royal Family have regularly visited Northern Ireland since 1922, using Hillsborough as their ceremonial and personal base. Significantly, the first meeting between HM The Queen and Mary McAleese, then President of Ireland, occurred at Hillsborough in 2009. Wander through 98 acres of beautiful gardens developed from the 1760s onwards, offering a contrast of ornamental grounds, peaceful woodland, meandering waterways, and trimmed lawns. Look out for the statue of Ossian outside the main entrance, the Lady Alice Temple, the Quaker Burial ground and the Ice House.
Finally, transfer to your hotel and check in. Overnight and full Irish breakfast at Culloden Estate & Spa.
Culloden Estate & Spa
Standing high on the slopes of the Holywood Hills, overlooking Belfast Lough and the County Antrim Coastline, is the magnificent Culloden Estate and Spa, the most prestigious luxury five star hotel in Northern Ireland. Originally built as an official Palace for the Bishops of Down, the Culloden stands in 12 acres of beautiful secluded gardens and woodland. Palatial surroundings, fine antiques, and the highest levels of personal service combine to give the Culloden a unique air of elegance. Beyond its lovely estate, Culloden is also renowned for its spa sanctuary, where treatments fuse ancient rituals with modern holistic remedies. There are endless walking paths through the estate’s stunning manicured gardens as well as along the coast.
DAY SEVEN | LONDONDERRY + GIANT’S CAUSEWAY
A full Irish breakfast at your hotel precedes a morning drive along the Causeway Coast towards Derry. The Causeway Coastal Route between the cities of Belfast and Derry is a kaleidoscope of natural landscapes, imposing cliffs, bubbling mountain streams, and gushing waterfalls. The route starts in Belfast and will take you through the gorgeous Glens of Antrim. Along the route, check out the Gobbins, an Edwardian marvel, while the magnificent Mussenden Temple stands at the edge of a sheer drop overlooking Downhill Strand.
If you are interested, ask your driver to stop at Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that lies at the foot of the basalt cliffs along the seacoast on the edge of the Antrim plateau. It is made up of some 40,000 massive black basalt columns sticking out of the sea. The dramatic sight has inspired legends of giants striding over the sea to Scotland. The property’s accessible array of curious geological exposures and polygonal columnar formations formed around 60 million years ago have also made it a ‘classic locality’ for the study of basaltic volcanism. The features of the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast site, and in particular the strata exposed in the cliff faces, have been key to shaping the understanding of the sequences of activity in the Earth’s geological history. The Giant’s Causeway has come to be regarded as a symbol for Northern Ireland.
Next, take time to explore the city of Derry. Founded in the 6th century by St Columba, Derry is the second largest city and port of Northern Ireland. Columba named it “Doire” or “Oak grove” which was later Anglicized as Derry. In 1613 the city was selected as a major plantation project, organized by the London livery companies, and as a result it acquired the prefix London. In the same year the walls of Derry were built to protect the town from the Gaelic chieftains in Donegal. A walk on the walls is a must on any visit to Derry as they are among the best-preserved fortifications in Europe. Rising to a height of 8m they are 9m wide in some areas. Today these walls separate two communities, the Bogside – a Catholic ghetto with its famous murals and the Waterside – a Protestant enclave. Derry has a heavy historical past and has suffered a lot through violence. Today Derry enjoys the advantages of the new peaceful atmosphere in Northern Ireland politics and its city center is again lively and pleasant. You will appreciate a walk in the colorful and well looked after historical city, which boast good shopping, pubs and cafes.
Exhausted from a full day or touring and exploring, you’ll be transferred back to Belfast for your final night at Culloden Estate & Spa.
DAY EIGHT | DEPART EUROPE + RETURN TO HOUSTON
After breakfast, you will be taken via private transfer to Belfast City Airport (BHD) for your 12:10PM economy class flight to London Heathrow Airport. Upon arrival at LHR (1:40PM), find your gate and board your 2:40PM flight to Houston’s Bush International Airport. On this flight, enjoy Premium Economy Class seating.
from €4925 per person
- VIP meet-and-greets services at LHR, LCY, and DUB
- Private transfers as described in the itinerary
- 2-Hour Welcome to London Tour
- Full-Day Royal Tour of London (8 Hours)
- Economy class flight from London City Airport (LCY) to Dublin International Airport (DUB)
- City tour of Dublin + lunch @ The Brazen’s Head
- Private Guinness Connoisseur Experience
- Drive along the Coastal Road + lunch @ The Glyde Inn
- Private tour of Hillsborough Castle including afternoon tea
- Private tour to the City of Derry in Northern Ireland
- 1-night accommodation @ Westbury Hotel (Dublin)
- 2-nights accommodation @ Culloden Estate & Spa (Belfast)
- All meals and beverages as described in the itinerary
- All activities, excursions, and tours mentioned in the itinerary