Gems of Britain - Insight Vacations

Gems of Britain (Summer 2017)

Duration: 5 days Visiting: England

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

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

Succinct and feature packed, this spirited journey captures the essence of Britain in only a few days! It includes a fantastic cross section of Britain's historical towns, traditional heritage, cultural figures and idyllic scenic landscapes.

  1. Day 1

    From London to Stratford-upon-Avon and Medieval York.

    Drive to Stratford-upon-Avon to visit the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Head north to York and walk inside the city walls to see the crooked ‘Shambles' and York Minster. At night, enjoy a Welcome Reception with drinks and dinner.

  2. Day 2

    Over the Border to Edinburgh

    Pass the ruined Jedburgh Abbey, en route to Edinburgh. Sightseeing with a Local Expert shows Edinburgh Castle and Holyroodhouse Palace at the end of the Royal Mile. Cross over to Princes Street, past the Sir Walter Scott Monument, to explore the elegant New Town. In the evening, selected departures attend the Military Tattoo.

  3. Day 3

    To the Lake District and on to Liverpool

    Drive via Gretna Green, where many eloping English couples have married, then continue to the beautiful English Lake District. Visit the grave of William Wordsworth before reaching lively Liverpool.

  4. Day 4

    Travel to Roman Chester and on to Cardiff

    The first stop is the former Roman fortress town of Chester. Walk along part of the city walls, see the Eastgate Clock, cathedral, unique black and white ‘Rows' and remains of the Roman Amphitheatre. After some time to explore, cross into Southern Wales and head for the capital of Cardiff.

  5. Day 5

    Georgian Bath, Stonehenge and London

    Cross the Severn Bridge back into England and journey to the beautiful Georgian city of Bath. Visit the ancient Roman Baths and see the 15th century Abbey. Drive across Salisbury Plain for a visit to Stonehenge before enjoying a smooth journey back to London.




  • Stratford-upon-Avon: Discover the fascinating story of William Shakespeare's early years. Inside the timber-framed building where the world's most famous playwright was born and grew up. Peruse the interesting artefacts and memorabilia relating to the great bard's life.
  • Edinburgh: Sightseeing with a Local Expert shows Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Royal Mile. See the Walter Scott Monument on Princes Street, and explore the elegant New Town.
  • Edinburgh: A hush descends and eyes turn to the castle, framed by flickering torch light. The skirl of the pipes rises and drums crack the night air as a tide of tunics and tartan flood from the drawbridge. In their hundreds, wave upon wave of massed bands, flag bearers and baton twirlers erupt in a virtuoso display of rhythmic precision. For a limited time in August, you can witness the remarkable spectacle of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
  • Bath: Visit the ancient Roman Baths with its colonnaded pool filled by natural thermal springs.
  • Stonehenge: Visit the mysterious circle of upright stones, which stands as strong today as it did 3,500 years ago.


  • Stratford: Enjoy the architecture of this pretty town nestled beside the River Avon.
  • York: Walk within the city walls to see the glorious Minster, largest medieval church in northern Europe and the topsy-turvy ‘shambles', a picturesque street with warped over hanging timber-framed houses.
  • Borders: See the ruins of Jedburgh Abbey.
  • Edinburgh: See Edinburgh Castle. Take a guided tour down the Royal Mile, past Holyroodhouse Palace, and over to the Walter Scott Monument and the 18C ‘New Town' with its classical Adam facades.
  • Lake District: Learn about the life of the poet William Wordsworth and visit his grave in the picturesque stone built village of Grasmere.
  • Liverpool: See the famous Liver Building.
  • Chester: Walk by Chester's ‘black and white' shopping arcades known as the ‘Rows' and see the Cathedral and remains of the Roman Amphitheatre.
  • Cardiff: Enjoy an orientation tour.
  • Bath: View Bath Abbey and the fine Georgian architecture.
  • Scenic drives: Cotswolds, English Lake District, Northumberland Moors, Welsh Marshes, Severn Bridge.


  • York: The 4-star Hilton Hotel is conveniently located within the city walls opposite the historic Clifford's Tower. From here, it's an easy stroll to most of the city's major attractions.


  • 4 Full Breakfasts (FB) and 1 Welcome Dinner (WD) with wine, plus tea or coffee.


  • An expert Insight Tour Director, at the pinnacle of their career, will guide you on your journey. Serving as your 'travelling concierge', this skilled guide will act as consummate organiser and be your 'friend in a foreign land'.
  • 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.
  • A personal radio headset gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating insights and commentaries.
  • Baggage handling everywhere, 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.
  • 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.
  • Included airport transfers at scheduled times on arrival and departure days.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips 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 Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip 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.

Pub Dinner

Visit a traditional country pub with its stone floors, real ale, and cosy atmosphere where you can relax and enjoy a mouth-watering meal  featuring freshly cooked traditional British food.

Adult Price: GBP 35.00

Code: CAR0002

Cardiff Castle Tour

Take an ‘insider’ look at this unique Castle started by the Romans 2,000 years ago where we have our own private tour. The refurbishments done in the 1800s have been described as outrageous to opulent, bogus to brilliant and some even say the architect, William Burgess, smoked his opium pipe too much!  His influences include Arab and Islamic art, Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tales and even Aesop's fables. In addition, we can walk on the battlements and climb the 1,000-year-old Norman keep for superb views over Cardiff.

Adult Price: GBP 21.00

Code: CAR0003

Welsh Evening At Millennium Centre

Join us for a lively night celebrating Welsh food and culture at the stunning Welsh Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Enjoy a traditional and locally-sourced three-course meal whilst being entertained by Welsh stories, enchanting music and renowned Welsh singers.

Adult Price: GBP 54.00

Code: CAR0005

Scottish Dinner & Cabaret

Join us for a lively and memorable evening of traditional Scottish song, dance, tartan and bagpipes. In addition to wine and dinner, your kilted hosts will lead you through some of the best-loved Scottish music and songs. You'll learn a Highland dance or two and sample Scotland’s national dish - haggis. An exceptional Scottish experience!

Adult Price: GBP 58.00

Code: EDI0002

Windermere Cruise & Steam Train Ride

There is no better way to appreciate the scenic beauty of the English Lake District than a relaxing cruise and steam train ride. First take to the limpid waters of Windermere for a spectacular voyage, offering magnificent views of rugged mountains, secluded bays and wooded islands. At the southern end of the lake, your cruise connects with a steam locomotive for a nostalgic ride along the banks of the beautiful River Leven to Haverthwaite Station.

Adult Price: GBP 19.00

Code: LAK0001

Liverpool & The Beatles City Tour

Join a local Blue badge guide to discover the home of the Beatles. See the famous sights associated with the Fab Four along with the two Cathedrals and hear tales of emigration and the Titanic connection.

Adult Price: GBP 16.50

Code: LIV0001



Hilton York

York (Traditional) - England

Situated in the walls of York, close to the minster and the best York has to offer.

The Roxburghe Edinburgh

Edinburgh (Central) - Scotland

The Roxburghe, Edinburgh

Radisson Blu Liverpool

Liverpool (Central) - England

Claton Hotel Cardiff

Cardiff (Central) - Wales


Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on 7784 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 02 October, 2017


    Trip: nice mix of towns, lots of information (I wish I had recorded it so I could remember) given every day by our tour director. A very well organized tour

    Service: excellent tour guide and good driver, all details were handled very professionally. We will tour with Insight again

  • 01 October, 2017


    Trip: Liverpool experience overall was a bit short- Hotel was excellent - but too far from any eating anc top attractions. Many opted to simply eat at hotel restaurant - which was much better staffed for Breakfast than dinner - Service was backed up

    Service: Great communication from time we entered the Grov Hotel in London thru the end of the tour

  • 28 September, 2017


    Trip: I REALLY enjoyed everything (especially wandering Ludlow Castle at my own pace) except the Scottish dinner. While it was a nice slice of Scottish culture, it was way too long for travelers who have a schedule that starts early every morning.

    Service: Since this was my first trip to Europe, I appreciated the support provided by the tour structure. From a skilled, knowledgable guide & driver to excellent accommodations & meals to a nice balance between riding and walking experiences, I found this Insight vacation to be quite pleasurable for a mobile senior like myself. I would absolutely take another Insight tour.

  • 28 September, 2017


    Trip: Hostess did not give a warm welcome because of my national

    Service: Very good but

  • 22 September, 2017


    Trip: Not enough time in the big cities.

    Service: The trip was fine. It was definitely hindered by the weather. I was also sad that we encountered so many delays in traffic that we didn't get to the big cities until after the shops had closed. We got to York after 5pm and had an extremely short tour around the city with the guide. After that you couldn't see anything except bars and the exteriors of buildings because shops close so early. Same thing happened in Liverpool. Got to Liverpool probably close to 6 and had signed up for the optional guided tour. Well thank goodness we did because we wouldn't have seen anything at all. And by the time our blue badge tour was over it was almost 8pm! You certainly can't go to anything at that time. I like the idea of seeing so many cities but it would have been better served to skip all of the tiny cities you stop at along the way and get to the big cities with enough time to actually explore them. Angela our driver was great! She made the trip.

  • 21 September, 2017


    Trip: Did not like Liverpool! The little towns and history was great. Chester really liked. York was really great also ?

    Service: The quite was excellent but I found the tour very rushed. Some of the sites were late in the day and was very tired by then? I enjoyed it though. One of the hotels was not very nice the Raddison I believe it was. The best one was the principal it was really nice!

  • 21 September, 2017


    Trip: This is a really well planned tour. Time is used effectively to show you as much as possible in a few days. The local guides are great as well.

    Service: Grace, even joy, under pressure.

  • 21 September, 2017


    Trip: Loved it all except for the optional dinner in Edinburgh: venue too crowded, food seriously mediocre, entertainment overly long. Otherwise, everything else was first rate.

    Service: Ebony, our tour guide, is a poster child for beautiful organization, poise with each traveler, and an unending source of information.

  • 07 September, 2017


    Trip: We felt very secure with them. They handled all the details well.

    Service: We felt very secure with them. They took care of all the details.

  • 05 September, 2017


    Trip: Saw a lot of the best in a few short days

    Service: Excellent service and organisation . . A well planned and well executed trip. . Guide and driver were first class.

  • 24 August, 2017


    Trip: the country is very pretty

    Service: Very well planned the tour director was excellent the hotels were great the coach driver was very safe

  • 21 August, 2017


    Trip: The stops were fine. Military tattoo was great. Due to the short duration of the tour we did not have the chance to spend much time in some places but that was the nature of the trip.

    Service: Tour director Erica was great. Extremely knowledgeable. Driver Pat was very good. Not sure how he navigated some of those roads.

NB: Trip 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, Last Minute Deals). All trip information is correct at time of trips 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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