7 ways our Best of Ireland & Scotland tour will capture your heart

7 ways our Best of Ireland & Scotland tour will capture your heart

7 ways our Best of Ireland & Scotland tour will capture your heart

2560 1707 Insight Vacations

The unique charm and rich histories of Ireland and Scotland have long drawn visitors from across the world. Tourists flock to experience abundant natural beauty, mysterious folklore tales of global repute, and two deeply proud cultural heritages. If you’re intrigued by these unique, poetic countries, our Best of Ireland & Scotland tour is sure to capture your heart and keep it with the Celts.

We spoke to Greg Colgin, one of the amazing Local Specialists accompanying you on your adventure, about the 7 reasons why this tour is particularly popular. He gave us the inside scoop on why this trip truly shows you the Best of Ireland & Scotland.

Discover Insight’s Best of Ireland & Scotland tour


Ireland is dubbed ‘The Emerald Isle’ for a reason: rolling hills of lush green, poetically wistful coastlines, and rich pastures of a fairytale hue.

On the Best of Ireland and Scotland tour you’ll visit:

– The Ring of Kerry through Killarney National Park. One of the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland, you’ll meander a breathtaking loop through sparkling lakes, white sandy beaches, and patchwork hills filled with cattle fields and bleating sheep.

– The dramatic Cliffs of Moher. These dark limestone crags ruggedly jut out into the Atlantic at heights of 700 ft. Brooding and contemplative, the cliffs seethe with a powerful aura felt by all who visit.

The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, fervently argued by the Irish to be the 8th wonder of the world. A geological wonder, these columns of hexagonal rocks are neatly stacked together, caused by the cooling of basaltic lava that burst through the earth’s crust millions of years ago.

Then, you’ll cross the Irish Sea by ferry to Scotland and see deep blue lochs, stunning highland landscapes, and beautiful rugged mountains.

– You’ll journey through the vast Scottish Highlands like a clansman, passing the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond and through the awe-inspiring wilderness of the Trossachs National Park.

– Mysterious Loch Ness. This bucket-list lake is famous not just for its beauty, but also for the myths of sea monsters lurking in its waters.

– The unbelievable Glencoe Valley, guilty of forcing the jaws of previous guests to drop in stupefied wonder.

Greg, our Local Specialist, notes that ‘One of the best things about the tour is the amazing views you see in between each stop.’ A perfect example of this is the scenic drive from Glasgow to Inverness, through Glencoe valley – ‘Everybody absolutely loves it.’

The truth about Ireland and Scotland is that their beauty is not contained; the visual delights don’t stop just at your planned destinations. Because you’re on an Insight coach, uniquely customized with extra space and unobstructed views, you’ll enjoy unbelievable vistas even while transiting.


Both Ireland and Scotland are steeped in a rich historical legacy, still clear today from preserved Medieval settlements and structures. You’ll feel as if you’d traveled through time as you explore olde worlde towns, cobbled streets, thatched buildings, and arcane castles. The ambiance is Tolkienesque, as you step over centuries-old bridges arched over gentle countryside streams.

Leave modernity behind when you visit 15th Century strongholds such as Blarney Castle and Ross castle, wondering at the possible feasts and famines that might’ve passed through the castle walls.

Outlander fans will relish the chance to walk across the Culloden battlefield, the final stand of the Jacobite rising, and pay homage to clansmen in their final resting place. The Celtic idiosyncrasy is so striking that you should prepare for a culture shock, especially when you go for a jaunt with a jarvey in a jaunting car.

At Killarney National Park, you can take a jaunting car, a horse-drawn carriage, through the lush Ring of Kerry. Greg notes how the jaunting car is a treasured piece of cultural heritage ‘tied to the history of the country’.

Your driver, or ‘Jarvey’, will typically hail from a long line of Jarveys, usually from a local Irish traveler community. While the time away in feisty conversation, learning their unique dialect as you trot through the beautiful landscape scenery.


As with any Insight tour, you’ll explore these two Celtic nations with your tastebuds as much with your feet. You’ll enjoy premium dining with three-course dinners of local, authentic cuisine including drinks – be that a glass of wine or a local whiskey.

Speaking of whiskey, your tour takes you to a backstreet Dublin bar to learn about the treasured elixir. Taste only the best from local distilleries as you listen to old yarns from pub storytellers.

Stepping out from the shadows of the Dublin whiskey bars and into Scotland, live the high(lands) life of a Scottish royal by sipping afternoon tea in Ardgowen House with a Scottish Laird and Baronet. The landlord and Laird, Sir Ludic Shawn Stewart, welcomes visitors to his family estate. There’s a variety of other activities for visitors, including archery, clay shooting, and fishing. Guests also enjoy an exquisite celebration dinner at Edinburgh’s stylish Galvin Brasserie Deluxe restaurant.


While it’s wonderful to visit buildings, monuments, and landscapes, it’s the people who truly embody a culture. However, when on a tour and in a large group, it is understandably hard to connect with the local people. Luckily, your Insight tour directors believe in the power of human connection. They work with Local Specialists who show you around from a native perspective.

Greg makes a point about how your guides start conversations with local people to facilitate real serendipitous interactions. Your visit will put you in the shoes of a true local, as you’ll be led and guided by a true local.

After the jaunting car Jarveys and Scottish Laird, you may think you’ve already met a fair share of fascinating individuals. However, Ireland and Scotland are countries famous for their feisty and charismatic populace, whose wit and charm beguiles all whom they meet.


Typical of all Insight tours, you’ll stay in premium hotels specially handpicked for their great locations, commodious rooms, and stylish comfort.

In Dublin, your home is the Clayton Hotel Charlemont: located in the vibrant midst of Dublin’s hustle and bustle, yet nestled away from the crowds of the tourist masses. Your stay is expertly placed, not to mention the homely Irish pubs sitting on your doorstep. You’ll then enjoy breathtaking vistas over Galway Bay in the Galmont hotel, and in The Killarney Plaza Hotel you’ll have the vast national park as your own back garden.

In Inverness, you’ll spend two nights in the Kingsmills Hotel, a stunning historic estate and ex-mansion in the heart of the Highlands. The building is truly remarkable, surrounded by sprawling golf courses with plenty of activities to keep you entertained.


The Scottish and Irish are famously proud people, and you’ll soon see why.

We’ll visit the famous Kildare National Stud Farm, the breeding ground for thoroughbred racehorses of legendary renown. You’ll see Edinburgh Castle, a centuries-long symbol of Scottish identity and emblem of national pride. Built on a volcanic rock, it looks like a fairytale castle right out of the pages of a storybook.

Then onto one of Scotland’s most treasured exports: golf. You’ll stop at St Andrews and visit the Old Lady, the world’s oldest course and a site of golfing pilgrimage. A trip in July would most likely catch the proudly celebrated 150th anniversary of the Open.

In August, the vibrant Edinburgh Fringe arts festival sets the city alight. Alongside the bustling theatre, comedy, and music shows, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo attracts thousands, creating waves of patriotic unity. Time your trip right, and you’ll feel a strange Scottish pride yourself when seeing Edinburgh at its sprawling, dramatic, and cultural best.


All of the preceding can be experienced on one’s own, of course. However, what makes this trip special are the thoughtful minutiae: the little details which make all the difference.

Greg talks about the visit to Edinburgh Castle, where in our tour you get a guided orientation. ‘That really makes it’, he says, and it ‘maximizes your time’ there when you’re traveling with a guided tour. Unique experiences, such as the jaunting car ride, afternoon tea, and ticket to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, are all included in your tour. You’ll get a premium, full-access experience without needing to worry about finding and booking additional tickets.

As well as these extras, it is the design of the itinerary itself that makes it stand out. The beauty of the tour is you get to see the countries from all sides: the clapboard whiskey bars and rustic pubs are as emblematic of the Celtic nations as their regal castles and country estates.

Furthermore, it’s difficult to know for yourself how much time to plan for each stop. Some places need several nights to see it all, others can be done in half a day. Our itinerary has been painstakingly engineered by regional experts to give you the exact amount of time needed in each location.

Lastly, you have the benefit of expert Travel Directors to guide you on your journey. Greg talks about the storytelling that takes place to set the scene before each stop. Your director will inform you as you transit to each new location, helping you to slowly ‘piece together the jigsaw puzzle’ of the country’s cultural context.


We hope you’re now as excited about Ireland and Scotland as we are. If you are considering taking this journey with us, the time to book is right now: places are running out for the summer season.

As mentioned, August is a great time to experience the buzz of Edinburgh’s fringe – plus, you’ll be able to meet and explore with Greg, our helpful Local Specialist. Book now and we wish you all the best on your Celtic adventure.