18 Day Private Tour Itinerary: Scotland and Ireland
Your Custom Private Tour of Scotland and Ireland
You may wish to alter a particular aspect of the tour below or ask us to provide a completely new custom itinerary for your vacation, including accommodation and the services of a driver-guide. We will happily provide a complimentary custom itinerary for you, all you need to do is send us an online inquiry.
Day 1: Welcome – Dublin Day Tour
Today we focus on the Irish capital: Dublin. With a rich mix of history, tradition, culture, and unique experiences, we promise you will not be stuck for ways to spend the day with your private driver-guide. Some of our recommended highlights include:
O’Connell Street and the General Post Office: Where the Proclamation was read on Easter Sunday, 1916, for the first time ever.
A guided tour of the Trinity College: The oldest university in Ireland and the host of the hallowed ‘Book of Kells’ which dates back to 384AD!
The Doors of Dublin: You’ll never see two identical doors in Dublin, wander through the city with your guide to admire their unique and colorful charm which gives the city an unmistakable charm.
Visit the Guinness Storehouse: Pour your own pint of the black stuff and find out how it’s made at the source!
Whitefriar Street Church: Visit the final resting place of the Patron Saint of Lovers; St Valentine.
Irish Whisky Museum Tour: Taste the true spirit of the Island and learn a complete and unbiased history of Irish whiskey from experts!
Irish Emigration Museum: Take part in this incredible interactive journey to learn about how this small island and its people have made such an impact across the world.
Temple Bar District: See firsthand why the Irish are so famous for their drinking culture by exploring the wonderful selection of traditional bars that fill the street with the sound of laughter and traditional Irish music.
Whatever you choose to visit throughout the day in Dublin, your dutiful driver-guide will be there to chauffeur your group to and from all the locations and provide expert context to your visit as well as some of the famous Irish wit along the way.
After a long day touring the city’s wonderful range of attractions, your driver-guide will deliver you back to your accommodation in Dublin before we depart the city the following morning.
If you do indeed have some energy to spare after your long day, your driver-guide could deliver you to the door of one of the city’s excellent 5-star restaurants (most notably Chapter One Restaurant, Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, The Greenhouse, or The Greenhouse).
Only looking for tours of Dublin? Head over to our Private Dublin Tours page for more information.
Day 2: Dublin – Kilkenny – Blarney Castle – Killarney
With so much more to discover, we set off from Dublin in the morning to the undisputed heart and soul of Viking and Medieval Ireland, Kilkenny. Here you will have the chance to visit:
Kilkenny Castle: Constructed in 1195, the castle was featured in Oliver Cromwell’s re-conquest of Ireland in 1650 and was besieged during the Irish Civil War in 1922.
St. Mary’s Medieval Mile Museum brings to life Kilkenny’s history as a medieval city. Displays of Kilkenny’s civic treasures and replicas of some of the High Crosses of Ossory illustrate the local Gaelic monastic heritage and the ancient city’s historic role in Ireland.
In the afternoon your driver-guide will take you south to County Cork where you will visit:
Blarney Castle – an early 13th Century castle and home to the famous ‘Blarney Stone’. Legend has it that those brave enough to lean over the edge and kiss the stone will be granted the gift of eloquence and verbal dexterity. I’m sure you’ll agree that would be a better souvenir of your trip than anything you could find in a gift shop!
Finally, we’ll bring the day to a close by driving to the South-West Coast of Ireland to your group’s accommodation for the evening in Killarney.
Throughout the evening, your driver-guide will be at hand to recommend any restaurants and traditional bars in Killarney’s center you might like to explore. Killarney is a fantastic place to taste local, fresh and authentic Irish food – most notable restaurants include Rozzers Restaurant & Murphy Brownes Restaurant.
Day 3: Ring of Kerry – Killarney National Park – Dingle Bay – Sheepdog Demonstration
The incredible scenery of the Ring of Kerry beckons you today and as you travel along the road better known as the Ring of Kerry. This is a circular route that forms part of The Wild Atlantic Way.
First-stop is Killorglin, en route you might opt to stop by Brendan Farris – an Irish border collie trainer – to witness his sheepdog demonstrations, which are quite an experience!
Next, we take a quick stop at Dingle Bay, before taking the mountain pass up through Molls Gap, where you will see the staggering views of Skellig Island – a key location for the Star Wars films – before your driver-guide takes you back to your accommodation in Killarney for a well-earned rest.
Day 4: Killarney – Cliffs of Moher – Galway
Today you will make your way from Killarney up the west coast of Ireland and up through Listowel and across the Shannon Estuary at Tarbut before arriving at the Cliffs of Moher.
Neither words nor pictures can fully capture the power and grace of the Cliffs.
Rising over 200 meters high and spanning 8 kilometers along the wild Atlantic coast, the Cliffs provide stunning views of the Aran Islands with the ocean crashing below. Your driver-guide will be able to inform you of all the folklore and myths that surround this incredible testament to the beauty of nature.
It is not just the setting of the cliffs of Moher that will blow you away, fans of wildlife and bird watching will want to spend hours here appreciating the Puffins, razorbills, Kittiwakes, and occasional peregrine Falcons that call the area home.
Take a break and enjoy a spot of lunch in the picturesque coastal village of Doolin. Tradition is the name of the game here, so be advised that you will not find any chain restaurants or modern coffee shops in the tiny little village, but your guide will direct you to the best places to enjoy a traditional Irish meal.
We’ll continue our journey up the coast to Galway, where you’ll get a tour of the beautiful tour center and explore some of its beautiful streets before we finish our day as your driver-guide delivers you to your accommodation.
Day 5: Aran Islands Day Trip
Today we’ll travel roughly an hour west to Rossaveel where your group will board a passenger ferry to the Aran Islands. When you arrive there, you’ll be faced with the astounding beauty of the Irish coast. Known for its ancient sites, the largest of the Aran Islands, Inishmore, features the prehistoric fort of Dún Aonghasa which is situated on top of a high cliff!
Nearby, you’ll find the Worm Hole, a rectangular natural pool as well as the medieval ruins of the Seven Churches, and final Clochán na Carraige (a historic stone structure with a beehive roof). After a fascinating day exploring the Aran Islands, you’ll be delivered back to your hotel/accommodation in Galway and get a well-deserved rest after a busy day exploring!
Day 6: Connemara National Park – Kylemore Abbey – Sligo Tour – Donegal Town – Lough Eske Castle
On the morning of Day Six, we leave Galway for a scenic drive through Connemara National Park. We’ll be stopping along the way for pictures of the beautiful scenery, before going for a tour of the incredible Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden.
We’ll then begin to make our way up to the North West of Ireland, into County Donegal.
On our journey through medieval Ireland, you will stop off at Hennigan’s Heritage Centre, one of the most authentic visitor sites in Ireland. Here you will see the tools used in homes and on the lands in Ireland. As you walk around the center, you will see what it was like back in 1800 to live in Ireland, thatched cottages, and tent villages.
Then we would make a stop in Sligo town for some lunch and visit Sligo Abbey.
The town is known for its literary heritage and rugged countryside as well as the ruined medieval Sligo Abbey which has carved tombs and a 15th-century altar. Sligo County Museum is another option that displays memorabilia of local poet W.B. Yeats, paintings, and Stone Age artifacts as well as The Model – is a contemporary art center featuring works by 20th-century Irish artists.
After this, we’ll make our way to Lough Eske Castle – your accommodation for the evening.
Day 7: Glenveagh National Park & Castle Day Trip
On Day 7 of your tour, we leave Lough Eske Castle and drive North for a day trip to the incredible Glenveagh National Park.
We’ll take a short driven tour of the park before we head out on some electric bikes for a more in-depth exploration of this natural wonder! Once you’ve enjoyed a bit of cycling, we’ll head up to one of the park’s wonderful hiking trails.
Once you’ve explored the park (either via bike or feet) we’ll head to the impressive Glenveagh Castle and Gardens for a tour before we return to your accommodation (Lough Eske Castle) for the evening.
Day 8: Derry Tour – Dunluce Castle – Giant’s Causeway – Carrick-A-Rede – Belfast
On day 7 we’ll leave in the early morning, enjoying a beautiful drive up the coast to the famous walled city of Derry. Here we’ll pause to tour some of the city’s best-preserved 17th-century walls and some of its 7 gates before finishing at the Tower Museum near the Peace Bridge to explore its fascinating artifacts and exhibitions as well as enjoy wonderful views over the city.
We’ll stay in Derry for lunch before joining the Causeway Coastal Route to explore the northern coast of the island. We’ll start our explorations at the medieval ruins of Dunluce Castle – which sits dramatically perched on the edge of the northern coast – before visiting the famed Giant’s Causeway (Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site) where your driver-guide will tell you all about the legend of Giant Finn MacCool as you explore the uniquely shaped stones.
Finally, we’ll take our last stop of the day at the awe-inspiring Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge – a bridge that links the tiny island of Carrickarede to the mainland, spanning 20 meters wide and 30 meters above the rocks below – before bring a long-day traveling to an end as your group is dropped off at their accommodation in Belfast.
Day 9: Belfast – Ferry to Scotland – Transfer to Edinburgh
As we bring our time in Ireland to a close, we’ll spend the early morning visiting the Titanic Museum – a world-class interactive experience on the site where the fateful ship was built back in 1911.
Your Scottish driver guide will have traveled over to Belfast to collect your group and take them over the Irish sea to Scotland to make sure your journey is as easy as possible and you don’t have to worry about luggage and airport times!
Once we reach the west coast of Scotland, we should have time to make stops at Alloway – best known as the birthplace of the famous Scottish author Robert Burns.
You’ll arrive in Edinburgh in the early evening and be taken to your accommodation for the night. The Balmoral has an excellent restaurant and bar for you to relax in after a long day, or if you’d prefer your guide will recommend some of the best places to eat and drink in Edinburgh’s city center.
Day 10: Edinburgh Day Tour
Your tour of Scotland starts as we explore Edinburgh the capital of Scotland: Edinburgh lies on the East coast of Scotland, the city is built upon a group of hills, it has a medieval old town and an exquisite Georgian new town with gardens and neoclassical buildings that loom over the city.
There are so many attractions you may wish to visit, Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, and the Royal Yacht Britannia.
Or we can take a stroll along the winding paths and cobbled streets of the Royal Mile, the main thoroughfare of the Old Town.
Arthur’s Seat is an extinct volcano and is the main peak of the group of hills in Edinburgh, we can drive straight over the top of this hill, from here we shall have wonderful views of the city.
You will retire back at your hotel in Edinburgh for the evening.
Day 11: Edinburgh – St Andrews – Glamis Castle – Pitlochry
The second day of your Scottish leg of the trip begins as we depart the Capital and head north crossing the newly built Queensferry Crossing where we will see three magnificent bridges which span the river Forth. Each of these bridges was built in a different century.
Across the bridges lies St Andrews, more commonly known as ‘The Home of Golf”. Here we’ll explore the ruins of St Andrews Cathedral which was first built in 1158 and the Old Course. For the golf enthusiasts out there, we can also arrange for you to play on the historic old course, just let your expert tour planner know and they will organize it for you!
Then we shall cross over the River Tay to Glamis Castle – the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, wife of King George VI, and their second daughter, Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, was born there.
You will spend the evening in the Victorian town of Pitlochry.
Day 12: Glenfiddich Distillery Tour – Queen’s View – Blair Castle – House of Bruar
The morning of Day 12 starts off with a tour of the incredible Glenfiddich Distillery Tour, where you’ll learn all about how this incredible family-owned producer became one of the pillars of the famous Scottish spirit!
Next up we will visit the Queen’s View in Highland Perthshire overlooking Loch Tummel and is said to have been named after Queen Victoria, following her visit to the area in 1866. The Queen’s View Visitor Centre lies at the eastern edge of Loch Tummel and is surrounded by part of Tay Forest Park. As well as a stunning viewpoint overlooking the loch and beyond to the iconic Schiehallion, the area offers a range of woodland walks suitable for all abilities.
In the afternoon, we will visit Blair Castle which stands on its grounds near the village of Blair Atholl in Perthshire in Scotland. It is the ancestral home of the Clan Murray and was historically the seat of their chief, the Duke of Atholl. The Castle was built in the 13th century.
Lastly, we will stop at the House of Bruar for a spot of shopping, Scotland’s answer to Harrods before it’s back to Pitlochry for your final evening in the town.
Day 13: Kinlochlaggan Full-Day Quad OR Highland Safari Experience
Today will certainly be action-packed. A full day of 4×4 Quad biking across the Scottish Highlands will also include clay pigeon shooting and target sports sessions (archery and tomahawks) with prizes given out.
Alternatively, you may opt for the less physical approach and leave the driving up to the experts with a Highland Safari Experience where you’ll be collected by a specialists off-road guide to take you in a 4×4 to some of the most remote areas of the Scottish Highlands to see some incredible wildlife and scenery.
We finish off the day at our new base for the next few days in the Highlands, Glencoe.
Day 14: Jacobite Express Fort William to Mallaig Return – Explore Fort William
Today you will board the wonderful Jacobite Express Steam Train at Fort William traveling to Mallaig crossing over the Glenfinnan Viaduct made famous in the Harry Potter movies. After your train adventure, we will explore the Highland town of Fort William and the ruins of Old Inverlochy Castle.
You will spend the evening back at your hotel in Glencoe. If you still have time left in the day you may wish to go for an evening hike with your guide to watch the sunset over the Glencoe Mountains.
Day 15: Ben Nevis Range Gondola Ride – Loch Ness Private Cruise – Urquhart Castle
This morning we will visit Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain, and take a ride on Britain’s only mountain gondola ride where you will experience some awe-inspiring views of the Scottish Highlands.
Next, we will head north with a visit to Loch Ness, this area is renowned for its dramatic scenery and of course Nessie the Legendary Loch Ness Monster, we may just be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of her. We will have an arranged private cruise for your group which is the perfect way to experience the sights, wildlife, and history of the famous loch.
Fun fact: there is more water in Loch Ness than all the lakes in England put together.
On the banks of the Loch, you will visit the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Founded in the 13th century, Urquhart played a role in the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century, and subsequently held as a royal castle and was raided on several occasions by the MacDonald Earls of Ross.
Finally, we will spend the evening back at your hotel in Glencoe.
Day 16: Isle of Skye & Eilean Donan
Today we’ll explore the magical Isle of Skye, en route stopping at the most photographed castle in the country (although surely a few more won’t hurt): Eilean Donan Castle.
When we reach Skye you’ll have your choice of some of the island’s incredible sightseeing opportunities including:
- The Fairy Pools
- The charming town of Portree
- A hike up the scenic Old Man of Storr
- A guided tour of Dunvegan Castle
- Quiraing viewpoint and hike
- Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls
- The Cuillin Mountains
With so much to do on the Isle of Skye, it’s unlikely we’ll be able to fit them all into one day so just let your driver-guide know what you’re interested in doing and they’ll help plan the day to perfection!
You will retire for the evening back in Glencoe House.
Day 17: Glencoe – Kilchurn Castle – Inveraray Castle – Loch Lomond – Glasgow
Your final day in the Highlands begins as we depart Inverness and head to Glasgow, stopping at some of the country’s most famous landmarks. Firstly, we will drive through the famous Glencoe Mountains, where you may wish to pause to capture a few photographs of the wonderful Three Sisters.
We will continue our tour with a visit to the stunning castle ruins of Kilchurn – which sits on the north end of Loch Awe. Continuing we will enjoy a scenic drive through the highlands of Scotland to visit the famous Inveraray Castle – home to the duke of Argyll, the Chief of Clan Campbell.
Once you have explored the castle and its beautiful gardens, we set off for Loch Lomond – the largest freshwater lake in the UK. We will take a short stop at the charming and picturesque village of Luss, which lies on the banks of the loch.
Finally, we will arrive in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, where you will spend the evening.
Day 18: Glasgow Tour
Today you’ll have the option to either spend the morning touring some of Glasgow’s best sites with your private driver-guide, including:
Glasgow Cathedral: Also called the High Kirk of Glasgow or St Kentigern’s or St Mungo’s Cathedral, is the oldest cathedral in mainland Scotland and is the oldest building in Glasgow.
Glasgow University: Founded by papal bull in 1451, it is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland’s four ancient universities.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum: With 22 themed, state-of-the-art galleries displaying an astonishing 8,000 objects, there’s so much to explore and the museum is a brilliant place to spend several hours, if not longer!
Glasgow’s West End: The bustling food center of Glasgow – and debatable Scotland – this fantastic area is perfect for foodies and history buffs alike!
Once you’ve explored the city with your guide, you’ll be transported to the airport where you will bid farewell to Scotland and your Scottish guides.
Request Your Custom Tour Itinerary Here
Our experts understand that no two clients are the same, so whether you want to personalize one of our private tours, or have us design an itinerary from scratch for you, fill out our inquiry form below to get started:
Rated 5-Star on Google & TripAdvisor
Other Example UK Itineraries You Might Like
Take a look at some of the example tour itineraries below for inspiration before getting in touch with our experts to start planning your own trip!
Most popular tour destinations
Meet Your Tour Planners
Our ethos is centered around creating the ultimate vacation experience for our guests, that is why we have specialist tour planners across Europe ready to provide you with the low down on the best times to arrive, local specialties and events, and armed with a Rolodex of the finest English speaking private guides in the country.
Get in touch with your local expert today by completing the contact form below and they will get started tailoring any of our tour experiences exactly to your tastes and requirements… all on a completely complimentary basis!