MORRISTOWN, N.J., Jan. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- When you imagine a fantasy-fulfilling trip to Britain and Ireland, do castles appear prominently in your dreams? Perhaps stony, moody, imposing castles? Maybe ancient castles with a role in the centuries-long history of these island nations? Or even haunted castles? If so, some of the featured accommodations in CIE Tours International's British and Irish Delight, 9-day fully escorted coach vacation, will turn those fantasies into a modern-day reality.
Of course, as befitting a quality travel program, you won't be roughing it in castles without modern comforts. In fact, the itinerary is focused on melding historical realities with the kind of amenities you'd expect from CIE Tours. "Your stay at Ballygally Castle in County Antrim, Ireland, offers comfortable rooms and wonderful meals, yet you still feel like you're part of history," says Brian W. Stack, president of CIE Tours. Ballygally, built in 1625, has undergone many changes since it was originally constructed as part family home, part fortress. So many have spent days and nights within these walls; one has to wonder if any spirits still roam here.
Ballygally is just one example of fine accommodations on this tour. In Edinburgh, you'll stay in the middle of the action, just steps from the Royal Mile, at the Holyrood Hotel. Need more castles? Never fear; you'll be touring Edinburgh Castle, where the Scottish Crown Jewels are kept; and the imposing Tower of London, home to the English Crown Jewels (not to mention the final "home" of unfortunates, such as Anne Boleyn, one of the wives of infamous King Henry VIII, who lost her head here). Also in England, you'll see the breathtaking Alnwick Castle, the second largest inhabited castle in England. Other highlights of this comprehensive, history-meets-hip trip:
- Cambridge and York: Wander the university town of Cambridge and soak in history and knowledge among its spires. Later, a tour of the medieval city of York, including York Minster, the second-largest Gothic Cathedral in Europe, will give you a sense of a history that spans from medieval times to up until now.
- Taylor's Three Rock Pub: Enjoy a four-course dinner, capped off with uniquely Irish entertainment, including music and a cabaret act.
- Giant's Causeway: Wander among these huge hexagonal columns of basalt rock on the Irish seacoast. Formed more than 60 million years ago by volcanic activity, and now a World Heritage Site, the Causeway is the source of myth and legend – not to mention great photos!
- Edinburgh : The Scottish capital is a wonderful, walkable city, and during your stay here you'll be treated to a unique evening of local entertainment, including Highland dancing.