5 British Isles vacation packages to get excited about in 2024
We couldn’t be more excited to take you on these brand-new or new-and-improved tours to Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Southern England.
Get ready for an exciting year of British landscapes, Irish folklore, Scottish whisky, English sea monsters and more…
1. Two new Western Ireland tours
2024 brings two brand-new Geocultura tours to Ireland. Expect a brilliant blend of landscapes and legends, coastlines and castles, mountains and music.
In June and again in July, we’re taking you to the Dingle Peninsula and Ring of Kerry in Southwest Ireland for a complete immersion in the area’s fascinating Irish history, folklore, and deep-time geology.
As September rolls around, we turn our attention to West Ireland with our tour to Galway Bay and the Cliffs of Moher. In between exploring a UNESCO Global Geopark, movie-worthy scenery, and Iron Age forts on the amazing Aran Islands, you’ll stay in a cosy inn that’s also Ireland’s only Michelin-starred pub.
These tours are the best introduction to Ireland’s unique and wonderful food, culture and landscapes that we can think of.
2. Two tours of the Scottish Highlands and Isle of Skye
Always one of our favourite places to show you, Scotland has enough spectaculars to keep you awed for years – which is why we’re going there multiple times in 2024. The country’s stories, scenery and charismatic local guides just keep us wanting more!
As April turns into May, we’re journeying from Edinburgh to the Misty Isle on our seven-day, six-night Scottish Highlands and Isle of Skye tour. This tour is characterised by dramatic lochs, whisky distilleries and dramatic slow-motion landslips, as well as hotels that feel as much a part of the landscapes as the surrounding mist-draped hills. (We run the tour again in August, too.)
Just a month later, in June, we return for another seven-day tour to the Highlands and Isle of Skye. The emphasis on heritage, geology and jaw-dropping scenery is the same, but the itinerary is slightly different; this is all about the Highlands and Islands: Skye, Argyll and the Black Isle. As well as exploring Highland lochs, you head to the equally beautiful and storied coast of the Black Isle to delve a little deeper into the region’s history. Expect ruined cathedrals and tales of clans, prophets and folklorists. A few days later, this itinerary swaps Skye’s western peninsulas for Port Appin in Argyll, where you’ll discover Hogwarts connections, Jacobite history, and see how a continental collision fuelled the area’s industry.
3. Scotland, through a lens
We told you we can’t get enough of Scotland! Our third tour to the country is a photography tour of the Isle of Skye and the Scottish Highlands, in September. As well as learning to see the place through the landscapes’ deep-time origins and amazing stories from the past, your guide, professional photographer Alex Hare, will teach you to capture the views of hidden lochs and towering peaks with your camera.
Alex is perfectly placed to guide this tour. He’s taught university-level photography students and hundreds of adults of all levels through his own workshops. And he’s an experienced photo tour guide. Whatever your level of experience, Alex can help you snap the scenery better – whether you’re working with a smartphone or SLR. Local experts and guides are on hand to offer you extra insights about the places you photograph, too.
4. Back to Scotland – this time for the whisky of Aberdeenshire and Speyside
Yes, it’s back to Scotland again, this time to the other side of the country. Our new five-day Scotland whisky distillery tour takes you to a range of esteemed distilleries and shows you the secrets of the landscapes behind the ‘water of life’.
As well as sampling the finest drams from the heart of Scottish whisky country, you’ll learn all about the area’s glacial landscapes and hear stories of Scotland’s most intriguing people and places, from the Royal Family’s Scottish estate to outlaws’ hideaways.
As ever, we take you that step further into the stories. So, as well as visiting historic distilleries such as Macallan, Glenlivet and Fettercairn, you’ll go behind the scenes of the industry to learn about the traditional work of the cooper at Speyside Cooperage, which repairs whisky barrels from all over the world.
5. New fossil discovery puts a new angle on our Jurassic Coast tours
The world recently found out that the huge skull of a pliosaur, a ferocious apex ocean predator, has been prised from the cliffs of Southern England, a stretch of coastline at the heart of England’s only natural UNESCO World Heritage site. At 2 metres long and with around 130 razor-sharp teeth, the fossil is one of the most complete pliosaur specimens in the world – so incredible that it features in a New Year’s Day David Attenborough special on BBC One.
The latter coincides with 2024’s free Lyme Regis Fossil Festival, making it the perfect introduction to the area and its world-class geological wonders before you settle in for a weekend of expert talks, exhibitions and creative workshops in Lyme Regis. Rumour has it that Dr Steve Etches MBE, one of the local palaeontologists behind the remarkable find, has been invited to host a private showing of the Attenborough programme along with a Q&A at the festival, and, from January, the amazing fossil will be on display at The Etches Collection, which features in our Southern England tour.
We hope to see you on one or more of our tours in 2024!