Explore the landscapes and culture of Ireland and Scotland with this 15-day journey. From the vibrant streets of Dublin to the rugged Highlands of Scotland, this trip blends history, nature, and adventure in two epic road trips. Begin in Dublin, where the Book of Kells awaits, then rent a car and road trip past Galway, Connemara, and the dramatic Cliffs of Moher. Then, fly to Edinburgh and discover its historic charm before driving through Cairngorms National Park, Fort William, Loch Lomond, and Glasgow.


  • Enjoy a food and drink tour in Dublin and see the famous library at Trinity College
  • Hike to your heart's content along the dramatic Cliffs of Moher in western Ireland
  • Take two historical walking tours in Edinburgh, including one focused on music
  • Cruise across Loch Ness and look for the legendary monster before touring a castle
  • Paddle a canoe in the calm loch waters of Scotland's Trossachs National Park

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dublin (Ireland), Visit the Trinity Long Room, Irish Dancing Dublin
Day 2 Dublin Food & Drink Tour Dublin
Day 3 Collect a Rental Car, Drive to Galway, Galway Culture Tour Galway
Day 4 Day Trip to Connemara National Park & Kylemore Abbey Galway
Day 5 Drive to Doolin, Hike the Cliffs of Moher Doolin
Day 6 Fly to Edinburgh (Scotland), Afternoon Tea at Edinburgh Castle Edinburgh
Day 7 Musical Walking Tour of Edinburgh Edinburgh
Day 8 Drive to Pitlochry via Scone Palace & The Hermitage Pitlochry
Day 9 Drive to Inverness via Cairngorms National Park Inverness
Day 10 Loch Ness Cruise, Visit Urquhart Castle, Drive to Fort William Fort William
Day 11 Guided Walk in Glen Coe, Drive to Oban Oban
Day 12 Drive to Loch Lomond via Inveraray Castle, Canoe Experience Loch Lomond
Day 13 Trossachs Adventure, Drive to Glasgow, Dinner & Folk Music Tour Glasgow
Day 14 Free Time, Drive to Edinburgh, Secrets of Edinburgh's Royal Mile Tour Edinburgh
Day 15 Depart Edinburgh  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Dublin (Ireland), Visit the Trinity Long Room, Irish Dancing

Long Room Trinity College
Start your trip with a visit to the famous Long Room and Book of Kells at Trinity College

Welcome to Ireland! You've landed in Dublin, an eclectic and lively city where traditional Irish charm meets a cosmopolitan energy. Take a taxi to your hotel, then set out to see the Book of Kells. Visit the grounds of Dublin's university, Trinity College, and see one of the oldest books in the world, dating back to 800 CE. It contains the four Gospels of the New Testament and was created by Irish monks using local organic paints and inks.

Walk through the library's wooden Long Room among 250,000 of Ireland's oldest books and documents and the original 15th-century Brian Boru Harp. You'll recognize this space from the "Harry Potter" movies! Return to your hotel, change into something nice, and venture out for an evening of Irish dancing and live music. The Irish House Party is a fun and intimate evening of authentic and traditional Irish food and fun put on by the talents of All Ireland champion musicians, dancers, and entertainers.

Day 2: Dublin Food & Drink Tour

Dublin Food and Drink tour
Experience Dublin's burgeoning food and drink scene with a local guide

The days of the potato famine are long gone—today, Dublin is a major food destination. On a 3.5-hour food tour, you'll discover how a country once known for its poor eating standards is now leveraging the locavore movement and digging into its traditions to create a rich and diverse culinary scene. Learn about Dublin's food evolution with a local expert as you taste fresh seafood and classic soda bread and enjoy a good pint or dram for good measure.

The rest of the afternoon and evening are yours to enjoy as you wish. Venture to the vibrant Temple Bar district, where colorful streets beckon with galleries, pubs, and pints. Wander along the scenic River Liffey, admiring its iconic bridges, or take a cruise for a different perspective. Visit Dublin Castle to glimpse the city's history, shop Grafton Street and watch lively street performers, or step through museums like the National Gallery and IMMA.

Day 3: Collect a Rental Car, Drive to Galway, Galway Culture Tour 

Clonmacnoise Cathedral
Learn how Clonmacnoise Cathedral was founded in the year 900

Collect a rental car this morning and make tracks 90 minutes west of Dublin. Your first stop is Athlone Town, which straddles the River Shannon midway between Dublin and Galway. At the heart of this charming town is Athlone Castle, where you can learn about The Williamite Wars that brought soldiers here from across Europe, culminating with the Great Siege of Athlone in 1691. Europe's oldest pub, Sean's Bar, sits in the shadow of the huge castle. Nearby, you could visit the sixth-century monastic site of Clonmacnoise or the abandoned medieval town of Rindoon, frozen in time since the 1330s.

After lunch, continue an hour west to Galway, one of Ireland's liveliest and most bohemian cities. You'll explore the artistic, musical, and culinary riches of the city this afternoon in your own time. Start with a stroll through the Latin Quarter, where you'll find boutique stores, restaurants, and some of Galway's most beloved pubs and live music venues. Walk under the Spanish Arch, once visited by Christopher Columbus, and check out the traditional Claddagh Village, renowned for its romantic Claddagh ring design. 

Day 4: Day Trip to Connemara National Park & Kylemore Abbey

Hiking Diamond Head in Connemara National Park
Take a hike up Diamond Head in Connemara National Park

Venture even farther west with today's self-guided adventure to Connemara National Park and Kylemore Abbey. The national park is just one of six in Ireland, and it's well known for its diversity of birdlife. Take the opportunity to hike to the summit of Diamond Hill, where you'll enjoy panoramic views of Tully Mountain (known locally as Letter Hill), Kylemore Abbey, and the Twelve Bens. The Upper Diamond Hill Trail is a tough climb of around three hours, so if that's too much, opt for the shorter Lower Diamond Hill Walk, which still enjoys nice views over Connemara.

After, head to Kylemore Abbey for a bite to eat and time to explore its incredible history and picturesque gardens. Through historical photographs, audiovisual presentations, displays of artifacts, historical costumes, and beautifully restored period rooms, learn about the stories of the many generations of people who have lived, worked, studied, and prayed inside Kylemore Abbey's solid granite walls. Later, return to Galway for a second night.

Day 5: Drive to Doolin, Hike the Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher
Get plenty of fresh sea air during a walk along the Cliffs of Moher

After a delicious breakfast at your hotel, jump behind the wheel and journey south to find County Clare where fairy-tale landscapes are pitted with forts and settlements, pretty villages and towns, and the famous Cliffs of Moher. Stop at Burren National Park, a special landscape known for its distinct karst rock, limestone pavement, and rare wildflowers. Next, pull into Burren Perfumery for lunch. Drop into the tearooms for freshly baked goodies and thoughtful café fare, then join a perfume-making class or shop certified organic cosmetics.

In the afternoon, it's time to see the majestic Cliffs of Moher. Feel the wind whip your hair as you hike along the rugged Irish coast, the spray of the Atlantic Ocean misting your face. Soon you'll have epic views of the Cliffs of Moher, their towering presence both humbling and awe-inspiring. After, continue onto the colorful village of Doolin, your base for the night. This village is the heart and soul of Irish traditional music, so check into your hotel and then venture out to find live Irish music at one of its many great pubs. 

Day 6: Fly to Edinburgh (Scotland), Afternoon Tea at Edinburgh Castle

Afternoon Tea at the Edinburgh Castle
Relax and enjoy a proper afternoon tea at Edinburgh Castle
Plan your trip to Scotland
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

This morning, it's time to swap Ireland for Scotland, so drive to the airport with enough time to return your rental car before your flight to Edinburgh, the captivating Scottish capital. On arrival, meet your private driver for a transfer to your hotel. En route, you might catch a glimpse of the historic Edinburgh Castle, sitting atop an ancient volcanic hill and overlooking the Old and New Town centers. Drop your bags, change into something chic, and venture along the cobbled streets, wynds, and closes of the world-famous Royal Mile until you reach the imposing castle. 

Enter through the gates and sit down for a very British afternoon ritual fit for royalty. Legend has it that Anna Maria Stanhope, 7th Duchess of Bedford, was too hungry to wait for a late dinner and requested a selection of biscuits and cakes to be served in her dressing room. This afternoon, you'll feast on three tiers of homemade cakes, sandwiches, savory bites, and freshly made scones with tea or coffee—a royal treat!

Day 7: Musical Walking Tour of Edinburgh

Music in Edinburgh
Discover Edinburgh through the power of song with today's historic tour

This morning, you'll set off on a musical journey, discovering the Old Town vibrant with life, music, and the occasional murder! Your host, an Edinburgh native, will perform traditional and modern songs that relate to real events and characters. Wander the Royal Mile, hearing the history and stories of the city as your guide breaks into the occasional song to recount key events. They say the small streets and courtyards of the Old Town have great acoustics!

The rest of the day is yours to explore Edinburgh. Use your time to wander the cobblestone streets of Edinburgh's Old Town and the street level of the Royal Mile at your pace. Dive into the vibrant local scene at the Grassmarket, where eclectic shops and cozy pubs beckon, or lose yourself in the rich literary history of the Writers' Museum. Later, find a cozy Scottish pub for a pint or wee dram and a traditional heart-warming meal.

Day 8: Drive to Pitlochry via Scone Palace & The Hermitage

The Hermitage on the River Braan
Take in the forest views at The Hermitage on the River Braan near Dunkeld

After breakfast, pick up your rental car and make tracks toward the charming town of Pitlochry, a 90-minute drive north. On the way, detour via the sumptuous Scone Palace, one of Scotland's most important stately homes. Pause for a light lunch at the tea room and explore the palace and gardens. Scone has served as the capital of the Pictish Kingdom, the seat of Parliaments, and the crowning place of the King of Scots, including Macbeth and Robert the Bruce. See where the Stone of Scone, known as the Stone of Destiny, once stood, now in Edinburgh Castle.

After, continue north to The Hermitage at Dunkeld. This mystical stretch of Perthshire forest is an 18th-century park designed for the Dukes of Atholl. Here, giant Douglas firs tower over you as you walk to the roaring Black Linn Waterfall. Deep in the woods, discover the picturesque 18th-century folly known as Ossian's Hall, which overlooks the cascade. After, arrive in Pitlochry. If you have time, follow a winding tree-lined road that hugs the River Tummel to Queen's View. This viewpoint overlooks one of Scotland's most famous panoramas.

Day 9: Drive to Inverness via Cairngorms National Park

pitlochry lake view
Stop at your leisure to enjoy the peaceful landscapes near Cairngorms National Park

Pitlochry is nestled on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park. With the scent of the Highlands in the air, enjoy a slow breakfast at the hotel, then make your way through the dramatic landscape as you travel through one of the best scenic drives in the UK. Admire scenery adorned with high mountainous peaks, waterfalls, sparkling streams, hidden lochs, and heather-bound forests.

This afternoon you'll discover Killiecrankie Gorge, once the site of one of the goriest battles in Jacobite history and now a rich conservation area. Soak up the views, marvel at the 18-foot-wide (5.5 m) Soldier's Leap, and learn about the history, geology, and wildlife at the visitor center. Admire ‘the best view in Scotland' and follow in the footsteps of Queen Victoria at the Queen's View, overlooking the picturesque Loch Tummel. Finally, continue onto Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, and your base for the next three nights.

Day 10: Loch Ness Cruise, Visit Urquhart Castle, Drive to Fort William

Castle Urquart overlooking Loch Ness.
Continue to look for "Nessie" while visiting Urquhart Castle

No one can resist the mythical Loch Ness: its beauty evokes a sense of wonder, while its monstrous depths are legendary. This morning, make your way to Dochgarroch, just outside of Inverness, for a two-hour cruise on the legendary waters of Loch Ness and Thomas Telford's famous Caledonian Canal. Aboard a catamaran, you'll set off, soaking in the views of Great Glen, Aldourie Castle, Bona Lighthouse, and the spectacular Urquhart Castle, following in the footsteps of Queen Victoria. Hear stories about the elusive Loch Ness Monster, and try to spot "Nessie."

After, unearth more than 1,000 years of history at the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Snap panoramic pictures with the loch from the Grant Tower, imagine the banquets that once took place in the Grand Hall, and peer into a gloomy prison cell said to have held legendary Gaelic bard Dòmhnall Donn. Back in the car, continue an hour southwest to Fort William, known as the "adventure capital of the UK." This loch-side town sits between crystal clear lakes and snowcapped mountains. Drop your bags and find a restaurant with local mussels for dinner.

Day 11: Guided Walk in Glen Coe, Drive to Oban

Glen Coe is a glen of volcanic origins in the Highlands of Scotland
Glen Coe has volcanic origins, and the dramatic Highlands landscape is popular with hikers

Glen Coe is considered one of the most hauntingly beautiful Scottish glens. It's often shrouded in mist and runs for 10 miles (16 km) beneath rugged peaks formed from lava flow and shaped by millions of years of erosion. After a slow morning and breakfast, make the 25-minute drive into the glen. At Glencoe Lochan, you can set off on easy waymarked trails through ornamental woodland. Here, the wooded shores contrast with the wild and dramatic mountains of the glen.

After hiking, continue 50 minutes south to Oban, the main gateway to many of the Hebridean islands. This waterfront town is set on a delightful bay with sweeping views of Kerrera and Mull. You could visit McCaig's Tower, a striking hilltop monument with panoramic views of the town and its spectacular surroundings. Then descend to the waterfront for a walk around the harbor, taking in sea breezes and eyeing up tonight's dinner, arriving at the port. If you're a whiskey fanatic, squeeze in a visit to the Oban Distillery to sample the local dew.

Day 12: Drive to Loch Lomond via Inveraray Castle, Canoe Experience

Canoe Trossachs National Park
Paddle out on a calm loch in the middle of Trossachs National Park

An hour's drive southeast of Oban, you'll reach the romantic Inveraray Castle, built between 1746 and 1789 on the shores of Loch Fyne. Discover one of Scotland's finest stately homes and the ancestral seat of the Dukes of Argyll, Chiefs of the Clan Campbell, whose family have resided here since the early 15th century. Enter the famous Armoury Hall to see 1,300 pieces, including Brown Bess muskets, Lochaber axes, and 18th-century Scottish broadswords. Visit the State Dining Room and Tapestry Drawing Room to view magnificent French tapestries woven for the space.

After wandering the beautiful gardens, pop by the tearoom then continue to Scotland's first National Park, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs. This afternoon, you'll join a leisurely canoeing adventure on the serene waters of Loch Lubnaig. Grab a paddle and set out to discover the scenic wonders along the shores. Besides the expansive views, you'll also play some fun water-based games, upskilling your talents on the water! Once you're done, drive to your next accommodation in the area and check in.

Day 13: Trossachs Adventure, Drive to Glasgow, Dinner & Folk Music Tour

Trossachs National Park
Spend some free time exploring the beauty of Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond is an area of natural splendor. Its dramatic mountain ranges and lands have inspired, artists, poets, and songwriters for centuries. Trossachs National Park has unparalleled biodiversity—rivers are clear, ospreys still soar above ancient trees, and squirrels are bright flashes of red, not gray. This remarkable destination is brimming with intriguing corners waiting to be explored. After breakfast, take a stroll through the wide-open, lush landscapes, or hire mountain bikes and hit the trails. However you choose to explore, make the most of your day in nature.

In the afternoon, make the 50-minute drive to Glasgow, Scotland's largest and most buzzing city. This evening, you'll experience the best of Scottish culture and food. Start with a folk-music-themed walking tour of the gritty city's oldest and most interesting streets. After, pile into a classic Scottish restaurant for a hearty, home-cooked meal. Then, you'll experience the best contemporary and traditional folk music from a rotating lineup of Glasgow's up-and-coming talent. Sláinte Mhath!

Day 14: Free Time, Drive to Edinburgh, Secrets of Edinburgh's Royal Mile Tour

Kelvingrove Park Glasgow
Use your free morning in Glasgow to explore Kelvingrove Park

Glasgow is renowned for its world-class museums, galleries, and red sandstone Victorian buildings that line its squares and crescents. This morning, after breakfast, you could explore the Gallery of Modern Art and the People's Palace. Wander Kelvingrove Art Gallery and visit the famous Glasgow Cathedral, which took 350 years to finish. Shop the boutiques of West End, or go for a walk along the picturesque River Clyde. Just make sure you've finished the hourlong drive to Edinburgh in time for this afternoon's historical walking tour.

Meet a local guide and stroll through the cobbled streets, wynds, and closes around the Royal Mile, which connects Edinburgh Castle with the royal residence of Holyroodhouse. Over 90 minutes, you'll hear true stories and fascinating facts and learn about the city's rich heritage. Finally, enter Edinburgh Castle and discover the many battles and sieges fought over it. See the Great Hall of King James IV, lavish royal rooms, and the oldest crown jewels in Britain. After, find a charming traditional pub on the Royal Mile for your final night in Scotland.

Day 15: Depart Edinburgh

Carlton Hill
Take a morning walk to Calton Hill, which offers great views over the city

Your grand Irish and Scottish adventure comes to an end today. If you have time this morning, take a gentle walk up Carlton Hill to experience your last views over the city. Then, with enough time before your flight home or to your next destination, make the half-hour drive to the airport and return your rental car. Safe travels!

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Map of Discover the Best of Ireland & Scotland - 15 Days
Map of Discover the Best of Ireland & Scotland - 15 Days