French Heritage - Carcassonne

London & Southern England Featuring Downton Abbey (Summer 2017)

Duration: 8 days Visiting England

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Dates & prices

From 4 nights at the lovely traditional English styled Red Carnation - Rubens Hotel, tickets to the much sought after Highclere Castle the home of the Crawley Family in the award winning TV series of Downtown Abbey. An obligatory afternoon tea, Oxford, Bath, Blenheim Palace and much much more, this is one competitively priced experience not to be overlooked!

  1. Day 1 Arrive London

    Welcome to England! Check in to your hotel, and then there is time to relax, explore or browse the department stores. In the evening join your Tour Director for a warm and friendly Welcome Drink.

    Hotel: Rubens at the Palace

    Welcome Reception and Dinner

  2. Day 2 London Sightseeing & the Tower of London

    Today’s panoramic sightseeing tour of London shows you all the main sights – Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace. You also see some of the locations used in the filming of the Downton Abbey series - Lancaster House, The Ritz Hotel, the old Criterion Restaurant, the National Gallery and St James’s Park. This afternoon visit the Tower of London, one of the world’s most famous fortresses, long the dreaded prison of the monarchs, but now a fascinating museum housing the Crown Jewels.

    Hotel: Rubens at the Palace

    Full Breakfast

  3. Day 3 Highclere Castle & Oxford

    Today’s highlight is a visit to Highclere, the ‘real’ Downton Abbey. Built in the Victorian Gothic style, this sand-coloured castle is the country seat of the distinguished Earls of Carnarvon. Enjoy an exclusive visit to the magnificent main hall, dining room, library and sitting rooms as well as exploring the collection of ancient artefacts in the Egyptian Exhibition. A copy of the souvenir guide book is included with your visit. The ritual of afternoon tea is the most quintessential of English customs. Before reaching your Oxford hotel, stop to partake in this centuries-old tradition.

    Hotel: Macdonald Randolph

    Full Breakfast, Afternoon Tea

  4. Day 4 Oxford & Downton Abbey ‘On Location’ Visits

    After breakfast, join a local guide for a walking tour of Oxford, the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’, site of England’s oldest university, which still ranks among the best in the world. Afterwards, continue to the picturesque village of Bampton where most of Downton Abbey’s outdoor scenes were filmed. See St. Mary’s Church, the village pub, library and Matthew Crawley’s House. Visit Yew Tree Farm (Cogges) which first appeared in series four of Downton Abbey with Mr. Drewe as the tenant farmer.

    Hotel: Macdonald Randolph

    Full Breakfast

  5. Day 5 Oxford – Blenheim Palace, Bath & Salisbury

    View Sir Winston Churchill’s grave in the churchyard at Bladon before visiting stunning Blenheim Palace, the greatest building of the English Baroque and residence of the Dukes of Marlborough. Explore the ornate interiors and stroll through the beautiful Italian Garden. Continue through the chocolate-box landscapes of the Cotwolds to the English spa town of Bath, site of Britain’s only hot, mineral springs. An orientation tour reveals the fine Georgian architecture, including the Circus, Royal Crescent and Pultenay Bridge spanning the River Avon. You also visit the ancient Roman Bath complex. Stay in the cathedral city of Salisbury tonight, where you can enjoy a glass of wine or two over dinner.

    Hotel: Mercure White Hart

    Full Breakfast, Dinner

  6. Day 6 Mysterious Stonehenge & London

    (Relaxed Start) Enjoy some free time to explore the beautiful city of Salisbury, its 750 year-old Cathedral boasts the tallest spire in the land. Now cross Salisbury Plain to visit the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge, made up of strange and awe inspiring monoliths reputed to be over 4,000 years old. Then head back to London where the rest of the day is free to explore.

    Hotel: Rubens at the Palace

    Full Breakfast

  7. Day 7 Free Time in London

    With such a rich choice of attractions on offer, it is no wonder that London is Europe’s most popular tourist centre! Why not devote part of the day to the ancient treasures of the British Museum, or the Old Masters in the National Gallery? Or travel into the City, financial centre of Britain, to visit St Paul’s Cathedral - the baroque masterpiece of Sir Christopher Wren? As evening descends, your journey culminates with a rousing Celebration Dinner offering the perfect final course for an unforgettable adventure.

    Hotel: Rubens at the Palace

    Full Breakfast, Celebration Dinner

  8. Day 8 Farewell London

    Your journey draws to a close with a group transfer to London’s Heathrow Airport.

    Full Breakfast




  • A guided tour of London and visit to the Tower of London to see the Crown Jewels.
  • Visit Highclere Castle – scene of Downton Abbey.
  • Visit Blenheim Palace and Gardens.
  • A locally guided tour of Oxford.
  • Visit the ancient Roman Bath complex.
  • Visit the village of Bampton.
  • Visit mysterious Stonehenge.


  • 7 full breakfasts (FB)
  • London – Welcome Drink (WD)
  • A typical English Afternoon Tea (AT)
  • 1 three-course Evening Meal with wine, plus tea/coffee (D)
  • London – Celebration Dinner (CD)


  • 7 nights in First Class accommodation as indicated.
  • An expert Insight Tour Director, at the pinnacle of their career, will smooth your way throughout your journey. They are your ‘travelling concierge’, expert guide, consummate organiser and your friend in a foreign land.
  • While touring on Days 3 to 6, enjoy the unique comfort of Insight’s luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. It’s business class comfort. While in London sightseeing and transfers will be operated by local coaches.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights without missing any of your Local Expert’s fascinating insights and commentaries.
  • Baggage handling with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips included - you’ll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi. Not available when local coaches are being used.
  • Insight Flourishes - from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Airport arrival and departure transfers on Day 1 and Day 8.

Optional experiences

Most Insight tours already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Tour Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your tour. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.
*Tour prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Note prices displayed reflect available discounted rates (i.e. Early Payment Discount, Red Hot Deal). All tour information is correct at time of tours going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.
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