Join the University of Redlands on a journey around the British Isles. You will travel with fellow alumni and friends, along with an insightful U of R professor, as we experience the historical, cultural, architectural and natural highlights of England, Ireland, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites will be seen on this journey:
In addition, we will experience all of the following locations:
Location of our welcome dinner, an orientation drive, and our farewell dinner
Visit the battle site’s visitor center
Visit Blair Castle
Enjoy guided sightseeing of Edinburgh Castle and Palace of Holyrood
Visit Wordsworth’s village, and sample original Grasmere gingerbread
Experience The Beatles Story
Admire the impressive castle
Cross the Irish Sea by ferry
Welcome to Ireland's capital city through an orientation drive
Enjoy a guided tour of the Irish National Stud
ROCK OF CASHEL
Take photographs of this famous landmark
Visit the popular resort town
RING OF KERRY
Relish in the scenic peninsula drive
Admire the thatched cottages
CLIFFS OF MOHER
Savor the spectacular views
Welcome to this beautiful harbor city and seaside destination
Be immersed in a guided walking tour on the city walls
Take pictures of Dunluce Castle and visit Giant’s Causeway
Visit the Titanic Experience
Cross the North Channel by ferry
The Best of Scotland:
The abiding glory of Scotland is in its majestic scenery, especially the Highlands of the north, one of the last areas of wilderness left in Europe. Scotland is a land of jagged rock and wooded forests, of misty mountains and heather-clad moors, where wild stag roam and ospreys swoop. Loch Lomond—where kilted pipers play upon the “Bonnie Banks”—and the mysterious and enormous Loch Ness still guards its secrets, are but two of hundreds of Scottish lochs replenished by tumbling trout streams and majestic salmon rivers. Here the Gaelic culture and language flourish amidst awe-inspiring seascapes and mountain ranges, and memories of Flora McDonald and Bonnie Prince Charlie still linger. To the far north are the Orkney and Shetland Islands, which are very remote and more Viking in character!
Scotsmen and women have helped to shape our modern world through invention, exploration, philosophy, literature, medicine, commerce, political thought, industry, and science. The list of great Scots with their discoveries and achievements is infinite…James Watt, the steam engine; John Logie Baird, the television; Alexander Graham Bell, who patented the telephone; Alexander Fleming, penicillin; and Adam Smith, the father of economics. Sean Connery and Harry Lauder stole the world's stage, and Andrew Carnegie became a king of industry and is known as one of the world’s most generous philanthropists. Akin to the profound wit and wisdom of Robert Burns and the romantic poetry of Lord Byron, Scottish authors have created some of the best-known characters in literature: Sir Walter Scott’s Rob Roy and Ivanhoe, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Long John Silver, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, Ian Fleming’s 007-James Bond, and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. Gifted architects such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh, “Greek” Thompson, and Robert Adam have left their graceful mark upon country mansions and city streets alike.
The Best of Britain:
For centuries the most powerful nation on earth, through the ingenuity and tenacity of the English people and the strength of the Royal Navy, Britannia ruled the waves. Though the Empire has gone, England’s influence is still strong around the world. The English language is spoken around the globe, and democracy abounds in many great nations. This is the land of Magna Carta and the mother of parliaments, of Oliver Cromwell, and of Winston Churchill.
England’s heritage is indelibly bound with the Royal Family, including Boudicca (Boadicea), William the Conqueror, Henry VIII, and Queen Victoria; treasures and reminders of the monarchs are everywhere and still today, the splendor and display of royalty stirs patriotic pride and thrills visitors.
The Best of Ireland:
Céad Míle Fáilte … Ireland offers the visitor one hundred thousand welcomes. This is truly one of the most hospitable countries on earth; to the Irish a stranger is just a friend they haven’t met yet! Among the world’s most ancient cultures, Ireland has retained the best of its past, whilst striding into the 21st century.
People have inhabited Ireland since around 6000 BC, leaving behind gold ornaments and stone monuments that have captivated the imagination of historians worldwide. Celtic tribes, from whom most Irish people can trace their roots, arrived on the island around 600 BC. Tradition maintains that St. Patrick arrived on the island in 432 AD and worked to convert the island to Christianity. In the years that followed, Irish scholars excelled in the study of Latin, Christian theology, and the arts of manuscript illumination, metalworking, and sculpture — evident in the intricate, carved stone crosses that dot the island.
Nordic invasions, which began in the late eighth century, were finally ended when King Brian Boru defeated the Danes in 1014. English invasions began in the 12th century and set off more than seven centuries of AngloIrish struggle, marked by fierce rebellions and harsh repressions. Religious freedom, outlawed in the 18th century, was restored in 1829. But this victory for the Irish Catholic majority was overshadowed by the Great Potato Famine from 1845 to 1848 that led to mass emigration. Today, millions around the world are proud to boast their Irish roots.
A failed 1916 Easter Monday Rebellion touched off several years of guerrilla warfare that in 1921 resulted in independence from the UK for 26 southern counties; six northern counties (Northern Ireland) remained part of the United Kingdom. In 1948, Ireland officially withdrew from the British Commonwealth. In modern times, the Irish government has sought the peaceful unification of Ireland and has cooperated with Britain against terrorist groups. Ireland joined the European Community (now the EU) in 1973 and continues to grow in stature and strength as a young, independent country.
The Best of Northern Ireland:
Northern Ireland's culture and history are as rich as the land is green. For a country that has endured such political strife and turmoil, its peace and beauty still astound visitors time after time. Located on the northeastern tip of Ireland, Northern Ireland is a country of the United Kingdom and makes up roughly 3% of the UK’s population, and 30% of the island’s population. Since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, Northern Ireland is largely self-governing. For many years the country was the site of a violent and bitter inter-communal conflict – the Troubles – which was caused by divisions between nationalists, who see themselves as Irish and are predominantly Roman Catholic, and unionists, who see themselves as British and are predominantly Protestant.
This is also a land of blue mountains and forest parks, mazy lakes and windswept moors, white Atlantic sands, and an inland sea. In fact, it is a country that is just pretending to be small. Dozens of small towns are hidden away among the green places of the countryside, and fishing villages string out along the shores. The towers and steeples of parish churches mark the high ground beyond trimmed hedgerows. The weather can be fickle, but the rain keeps the land a magical emerald green and, when the wind blows the clouds to sea, the sky like the mountains is blue.
The Best of Wales:
Wild, wonderful, enchanting Wales… was this the true land of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table? Some scholars think so, and many dreamers believe so. Wales was conquered by England over 700 years ago. During the Victorian era, it was the industrial heartland of the British Empire. The valleys of the south were pitted with coal mines and steelworks. The mountains of the north were stripped for their slate as Wales roofed the world. But the scars of industry have long since healed. The valleys are green again, forests of oak and birch skirt the wild moors of mid-Wales, and the mountains of Snowdonia are among the most majestic in the British Isles. Much of the land has remained remote and wild— secret even—with hidden valleys, tumbling streams, and waterfalls; it has been defended through the ages by natural battlements of rolling hills and rugged mountains, where dragons once roared and eagles still fly.
The last stronghold of the ancient Britons and Europe’s oldest language (Welsh) still remain in Wales. Welsh, also known as Cymraeg, is spoken by a quarter of the population. Despite being England’s closest neighbor, a strong sense of independence and national pride exists, which separates the people of Wales from the traditions of England. For centuries, Welsh folk culture has been celebrated annually at the National Eisteddfod, a great festival of poetry, prose, music, song, and dance. Since 1947, the beautiful little town of Llangollen has played host to cultures of the world at the International Eisteddfod, a Welsh festival of literature, music, and performance. Music is never far away in this land of song. Chapels once resounded with hymn singing, and choral traditions live on through the male-voice choirs. Sir Geraint Evans, Bryn Terfel, Charlotte Church, and Katherine Jenkins have graced the opera houses of the world, while Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, the Stereophonics, and Manic Street Preachers have achieved stardom in the pop charts. Ancient bards wrote in Welsh of lovers and heroes, and the sorrows of a vanquished people long before Chaucer raised his quill. But it is Dylan Thomas who is the best-known Welsh writer with his magical use of the English language, inspired by his native landscape. Great actors have come from Wales too, including Richard Burton, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.