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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
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.
Like all CIE Tours' vacations, British and Irish Delight includes it all – airport transfers; deluxe motorcoach transportation; excellent hotel accommodations, taxes and porterage fees; and all admission fees; as well as most meals, special attractions and evening entertainment. Not only that, but CIE Tours' guides go beyond getting you from place to place – they bring each destination to life with their enthusiasm and impressive knowledge. This is an authentic travel experience that will resonate long after you return home.