Travel with me to the enchanted Emerald Isle and the land of Loch Lomond to visit Gardens and Castles of Ireland and Scotland. This unique tour offers the opportunity to visit both countries in tandem on a combined tour, or just Ireland or Scotland on a shorter single-country tour. Rather than offering a combined tour, we have created two tours that can be taken individually or in tandem. You can register for Ireland alone or with Scotland. We have also added an extension in Scotland to allow for more time exploring the gardens, castles and manor houses of the northeast highlands.
My co-leader is my friend and associate Karin Stanley. Karin is an Irish-born artist and garden designer who now lives in the Boston area. Some of you met Karin on our Boston tour and have seen her private garden and her extraordinary Celtic sculptures. Karin will be our host throughout our time in both Ireland and Scotland. She has made it possible for us to visit private gardens and homes that are not open to the public, as well as many national trust properties and a few exquisite public gardens. She is well versed in the history of these two countries and lectures widely about the gardens that we plan to visit.
Here is how the tours work. We start the Ireland tour by flying in to Dublin for five nights exploring gardens before heading toward Belfast for two nights, visiting beautiful landscapes and gardens in Northern Ireland. If travelers wish to depart after the seven days in Ireland, they will be transferred to the Dublin airport for flights home. Those continuing to Scotland will fly from Belfast to Glasgow for five nights. In Scotland we will delve into lush gardens bathed by the Gulf Stream, see castles and grand manors, and visit the famous Garden of Cosmic Speculation.
If you want more of Scotland, we have arranged a five-night extension to explore additional grand estates and ruined castles in the northeast. Those heading home after the main tour can fly from Edinburgh or Glasgow. For travelers continuing on, we have arranged an exciting and varied list of gardens and estates sure to enthrall. Two of these properties are featured in the popular TV series Outlander. We will also visit Balmoral, the royal castle. If you have traveled in Ireland and are only interested in the Scottish gardens, you start your tour by joining us in Glasgow.