New Year's in Edinburgh: London, Edinburgh & Dublin
Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh! Have you ever just felt like the English language was missing something? A little pizzazz, a little twist, a little haggis maybe? You’re in luck! England, Scotland, and Ireland each add their own unique twist to the culture, lifestyle—and yes, the language—that we just don’t get back home across the pond. Check out the iconic churches and castles that only London can provide, get lost in the charming mix of medieval and modern in Scotland’s bustling capital city, and have a pint with the locals in Dublin’s invigorating pubs. Cheers, mates, you’re headed to the British Isles for a jolly good time!
What are the top highlights?
Count down to the new year in Edinburgh, Scotland
Meet Ben and Abbey in London, AKA Big Ben and Westminster Abbey
Go for high tea after catching the Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace
Enjoy the great outdoors in the Scottish Highlands
Escape to the cafe where J.K. Rowling penned her story of a young wizard
Pour the perfect pint of Guinness while overlooking Dublin’s skyline
Make friends with locals and enjoy live music in the pubs of Ireland and Scotland
Explore Edinburgh’s intricate network of nooks and cozy crannies
Your trip includes
- Round-trip flights & airport transfers
- Flight from Edinburgh to Dublin
- Tour Director & local guides
- Private deluxe motorcoach
- 9 nights in hand-picked accommodations
- Daily breakfast, Welcome Mixer & Farewell Dinner
- Metro pass in each major city
- Entrances to the Guinness Storehouse, Edinburgh Castle & other select attractions
You’ll stay at accommodations hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Each property is located in a safe, convenient area. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.
Click here for examples of where you'll stay.
Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:
- Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
- Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
- Flights are booked with major airlines
- 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
- One checked bag included on most flights
- Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure
Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.
Day 1: Overnight Flight to London
Board your overnight flight bound for London. Your adventure begins tomorrow, so sit back, shut your eyes, and do as the English do and try and catch some “zeds.”
Day 2: Arrive in London + Welcome Mixer
Welcome to London. Home of the Queen, tea, a wonderfully different form of the English language, and the largest city in Western Europe. Brimming with history and unique architecture, you’ll soon understand why it’s one of the most visited cities in the world.
- Land at the airport and meet a waiting EF representative.
- Transfer to your hotel to check in and check out your room.
- Get familiar with the area around your hotel with an introductory walk with your Tour Director including the River Thames, Trafalgar & Leicester Squares, and Convent Garden.
In the evening, it’s time for your Welcome Mixer. Enjoy some appetizers over drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Then it’s on to wherever your new friends and the party takes you.
Day 3: Sightseeing Tour of London + Optional London Eye & River Cruise
Go big and go British today as a local guide takes you all around town for the inside scoop on London’s iconic palaces, churches, castles, and yes, even a big old clock.
- Dive into thousands of years of London’s secrets with a local guide.
- Immerse yourself in London’s rich history at gorgeous landmarks from the Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral to Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament.
- Experience a royal ritual during the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace.
- Wave hello to Big Ben, the bell inside the famous clock tower. Though it’s under construction until 2021, rest assured that Ben says hello from behind the scaffolding.
Free Time Suggestions
Abbey Road: Want to walk in the literal footsteps of greatness? Head over to this famous thoroughfare and make your way to its southeastern end. There you’ll find the studio where the Beatles recorded their final studio album and the crosswalk they made famous with its cover.
Harrods: You don’t have to buy a ticket to get into the world’s most famous department store, but once you’re inside, all bets are off. At over a million square feet with 330 departments, its motto of “all things for all people, everywhere” makes complete sense.
London Eye & River Cruise(extra cost)
If you’re going to see London, see it properly: from air and sea. Fly high on the London Eye: Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel, providing panoramic views of all the iconic landmarks, including The Shard, The Gherkin & The Banana (okay, maybe we made that last one up). Afterwards, sail down the River Thames with tea & crumpets. Take in the local flavours & colours, and realize that you love London so much you’ve started spelling words the British way.
Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.
Day 4: Free Day in London
Use this free day to check out and check off anything you may have missed in one of the world’s greatest cities. Dive in and act like you belong with some local slang, try some famous fare (looking at you fish and chips), and explore until you’re too knackered (tired) to continue.
Free Time Suggestions
The British Museum: Discover over 2 million years of human history at this free museum. With over 8 million objects and counting, it is one of the largest and most comprehensive collections in existence—so don’t expect to see it all.
Westminster Abbey: This historic, royal church is the traditional place of coronation and burial for British monarchs. The mainly Gothic façade leads to a gorgeous array of paintings, stained glass, and artifacts. Get yourself a ticket and you’ll be treated to more than just a house of worship.
Day 5: Travel to Scotland + Sightseeing Tour of Edinburgh + New Year’s Celebration
All aboard! Catch your train from King's Cross Station to Edinburgh, Scotland. Built on two extinct volcanoes, Edinburgh is an enchanting labyrinth of narrow alleyways, cozy pubs, and storybook castles. You'll get an in-depth look at Scottish history and modern day life with a guided sightseeing tour of the city and castle.
- Disappear into Platform 9¾ at King's Cross Station, where you'll board your train for Edinburgh.
- Watch the lush countryside and stunning sea roll by on your dreamlike journey to Scotland.
- View the Scottish Crown Jewels in Edinburgh Castle.
- Walk the Great Hall and see the armor, swords and medieval decor that line the walls.
- Visit the Elephant House Cafe, where the first Harry Potter book was written.
- Count down to the new year in style with a group celebration.
Day 6: Free Day in Edinburgh + Optional Scottish Bagpipe Lesson & Dinner
Take a day to explore Edinburgh your way. Get your Gothic architecture on, hit the pubs, or try and figure out what exactly haggis is (let us know if you get an answer on that one).
Free Time Suggestions
Brew Lab: This specialty shop serves up delicious artisanal coffee. It’s also the perfect place to sample the wares of some other indie Edinburgh icons, including soup from Union of Genius and cakes from Lovecrumbs.
Arthur’s Seat: Visible from pretty much everywhere in the city, this extinct volcanic peak is a relatively easy hike with a killer view.
Old Town: Walk the winding streets lined with everything from candy-colored shops to local pubs to souvenir shops.
Day 7: St. Andrews & Dundee Day Trip
Spend the day exploring the coast of Scotland in all its glory. Its beauty is everywhere, so take in the view and see everything this historic gem has to offer. If you squint, you might be able to see Norway (kidding).
- Explore St. Andrews Cathedral—the crown jewel of medieval Scottish churches.
- Learn about the history of golf in the very spot it was invented.
- Enjoy the coastal scenery as you drive through the rolling meadows and mountain ranges of the Scottish countryside.
Discover the museums and charm of the picturesque seaside city of Dundee.
Day 8: Fly to Ireland + Sightseeing Tour of Dublin
You’re headed to Dublin, the capital of Ireland! Today, see the best Dublin has to offer with a local guide on a tour of the city. In the afternoon, tour the Guinness Brewery and order a “pint of Gat” (that’s how the cool kids order a Guinness).
- Board your morning flight from Edinburgh to Dublin.
- Enter St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the 800-year-old church named after the famous saint.
- Pass by Trinity College, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious universities, home to the storied library that inspired Hogwarts’ own.
- Sample Dublin’s natural beauty and urban escape at Phoenix Park—the largest park in Europe.
- Tour the pint-glass shaped Guinness Storehouse, learn how the famous stout became Ireland’s favorite beer, then enjoy an included one on the house.
Day 9: Free Day in Dublin + Optional Glendalough Excursion
Today is a free day in Dublin to do as you please. Take a stroll to St. Stephen’s Green, Grafton Street, and Temple bar, where pub culture, literary history, and all-around charm await. Whatever you do, make sure to make friends with the locals—they’re so friendly and always happy to chat.
Free Time Suggestions
Book of Kells: Head back to Trinity College for a chance to see the Book of Kells—a pristine 1,200-year old illustrated collection of biblical stories—up-close.
Jameson Distillery: Sick of stout? Switch things up in favor of the strong stuff with a guided tour and whiskey tasting at the Jameson Distillery Bow St.
Glendalough Day Trip(extra cost)
When it comes to Ireland’s rugged, yet breathtaking countryside, nothing quite compares to Glendalough. The word translates to “the valley of the two lakes”, and in the sixth century, St. Kevin founded a monastery on this very spot. Today, you’ll visit the remains of this historic site and do your best to imagine yourself as a sixth century church-goer. Nerd out at the museum before heading out to gawk at the famous Round Tower, believed to be one of the most beautiful structures in Ireland.
Day 10: Free Day in Dublin + Farewell Dinner
Raise your glass, here’s to one more rowdy day on the Emerald Isle. We know you’ll make it count. Before heading out today, take a moment to reflect on all the Guinness, hearty food, and craic you’ve had in Dublin. Ready? Go make some memories!
Free Time Suggestions
Irish Breakfast: Go full Irish with a traditional breakfast of bacon, sausages, baked beans, eggs, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, potatoes, and toast (yeah, that’s one meal).
Kilmainham Gaol: Stroll the cell blocks of this former-prison-turned-museum that once held Ireland’s most famous revolutionaries and political prisoners.
Share some last laughs and revisit the best moments of the trip at this included farewell dinner with the group.
Day 11: Fly Home
Slán libh, a cháirde!
Translation: Goodbye, friends. Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s, “See you later.” The only question is, where?
EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS
1. Double the fun
A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.
2. Go ahead or stay behind
Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for an additional fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.
Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.