Elegance of Great Britain - Insight Vacations

Elegance of Great Britain (Summer 2017)

Duration: 11 days Visiting: England

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  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
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A must for those who have a love of literature and Britain. Stately homes, historic castles and beautiful gardens shape a delightful itinerary, evoking a bygone age.

Insight Inclusive tours now include all evening meals and sightseeing experiences.

  1. Day 1

    From London to Chartwell, and Hampshire

    Leave London and make your way into the Kent countryside. At the pretty village of Westerham, Winston Churchill watches over the neat village green and you visit his nearby residence of Chartwell. Later, join your Tour Director in your country style hotel for a warm and friendly Welcome Reception, with drinks and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.

  2. Day 2 - Relaxed Start

    New Forest, Beaulieu and Salisbury Excursion

    (Relaxed Start) Take a scenic drive through the woods and glades of the New Forest to Beaulieu Abbey (once a Cistercian Abbey), the stately home of Lord Montagu. Tour the Palace House, Abbey ruins, and visit his lordship's collection of cars in the National Motor Museum. Travel on to Salisbury to see the tallest spire in the land atop the 13th century cathedral. Discover over 750 years of history during your cathedral visit, and see the world's best preserved original copy of the Magna Carta. In the evening, join the locals over a hearty dinner in a countryside pub.

  3. Day 3

    Winchester, Avebury and Shakespeare’s Stratford

    Visit the cathedral town of Winchester, where King Alfred stands guard in the High Street. The country roads of Wiltshire lead you past pretty villages to Avebury, which is partially situated in a huge prehistoric henge monument of several stone circles. Wander among the stones of the inner circles and the great outer circle and witness the immense bank and ditch. Next, continue on to pretty Stratford, beautifully situated on the River Avon. Your hotel is set in its own grounds, just a short walk from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the town's wealth of black and white timber framed buildings. In the evening, you are offered a fine selection of restaurants for your Dine Around Evening.

  4. Day 4 - Relaxed Start

    Blenheim and the Villages of the Cotswolds Experience

    An enchanting day awaits in the morning. Cross the beautiful Cotswold hills, a chocolate box scene of golden stone villages with roses round the doors. Tour the magnificent house and gardens of Blenheim Palace, the greatest building of the English Baroque. Return to Stratford for a look through the birthplace of William Shakespeare, full of interesting memorabilia and artefacts relating to his life. Later, join your Tour Director for a traditional English Roast Dinner, with all the trimmings.

  5. Day 5

    Llangollen then across the Welsh Marches to the Lake District

    Cross the border to the small Welsh town of Llangollen. Situated on the River Dee and seeped in myth and legend, spend time exploring the Victoria Promenade and its delightful shops and cafés. Cross back into England and continue north to the English Lake District, where your traditional country style hotel is set in the pretty village of Bowness-on-Windermere, right on England's largest lake.

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    English Poets and the Lake District Experience

    (Relaxed Start) Devote the day to a scenic wonderland of rugged mountains and tranquil waters - an inspiration to a host of English poets. Visit Wordsworth's grave in the small churchyard at Grasmere. Appreciate the scenic beauty of the English Lake District on a relaxing cruise admiring the magnificent views of rugged mountains, secluded bays and wooded islands. Then, embark on a nostalgic steam train ride along the banks of the beautiful River Leven.

  7. Day 7

    Over the Border to Edinburgh

    Cross the Scottish border at Gretna – for years the destination of eloping English lovers - before continuing through the Southern Uplands to Edinburgh. In the afternoon, a Local Expert guides you through Edinburgh Castle containing the Honours of Scotland, the oldest Royal regalia in the British Isles. Follow the Royal Mile to Holyrood Palace where Mary Queen of Scots lived. Drive along Princes Street, past the ornate Scott Memorial, to the 18th century ‘New Town’ with its classical Adam facades. In the evening enjoy a fresh and tasty dinner, “like a Highland breeze wafting up your kilt”.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Edinburgh, Scotland’s Capital of Culture

    (Relaxed Start) A day of free time. Why not discover the Botanical Gardens, visit the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art or just spend the day browsing the shops and getting a feel for this vibrant city? In the evening, selected departures attend the spectacular Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Tonight, whether you prefer a gourmet restaurant or an authentic meal of Scots specialities, your Freestyle Evening offers you the ultimate in dining choices!

  9. Day 9

    Alnwick Castle and Yorkshire

    In the morning, cross into England and journey through Northumberland to visit Alnwick Castle, steeped in history and used as the location for many films and TV productions, most famously Hogwarts in Harry Potter. Continue onto Hadrian’s wall, once the boundary of the civalised world in Roman times. Stay for the next two nights in a grand Victorian hotel, set among a landscape that fuelled the imagination of the Brontë sisters in writing their classic novels.

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

    Excursion to York

    (Relaxed Start) Journey to York, one of Britain's most historic cities. Walk within the town walls with a Local Expert to see the huge Minster, Britain's largest medieval cathedral, and explore the maze of narrow streets, including the Shambles. In the afternoon, why not visit Harewood House, one of Britain's finest stately homes, magnificently set in the Yorkshire countryside. Later in the evening, raise your glass with friends at your finalé Celebration Dinner.

  11. Day 11

    Past Robin Hood Country to Cambridge and on to London

    Hear legendary tales as you journey towards ‘Robin Hood Country’ even though little remains of his beloved Sherwood Forest. Get a glimpse of Britain's ancient tradition of learning as you visit Cambridge. Enjoy free time to explore the tranquil quadrangles of the colleges, stroll beside the River Cam for superb views of King's College Chapel or spend time in the colourful and historic open-air market. In the afternoon, return to London’s Amba Marble Arch.

Highlights

 

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Chartwell: It's still 1939 inside the home of Sir Winston Churchill, laid out with his many possessions.
  • Beaulieu: Visit the 14th century Palace House and gardens, and tour the incredible collection of cars at the National Motor Museum.
  • Salisbury: Visit the historic 13th century cathedral and witness the world's best preserved original copy of the Magna Carta.
  • Blenheim Palace: Witness a masterpiece of the English Baroque, brimming with priceless art and tapestries.
  • Stratford: Venture inside the timber-framed building where William Shakespeare was born and grew up.
  • Windermere: Relax aboard a scenic cruise and steam train ride through the stunning Lake District.
  • Edinburgh: Walk with an expert within the walls of the Castle to view the Scottish Crown Jewels.
  • Edinburgh: For a limited time in August, witness the breathtaking spectacle of the Military Tattoo.
  • Alwnick Castle: Visit the castle, steeped in history.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Westerham: See Winston Churchill's statue on the village green.
  • Winchester: Visit the cathedral town.
  • Salisbury: See the highest spire in England.
  • Avebury: Visit the famous stone circle.
  • Ludlow: See the ruined castle and Jacobean timbered buildings .
  • Lake District: Learn about the life of the poet William Wordsworth and visit his grave in Grasmere.
  • Edinburgh: See Holyroodhouse Palace and the 18th century ‘New Town'.
  • Borders: See Jedburgh Abbey and stop at Hadrian's Wall.
  • York: See York Minster, city walls and medieval “Shambles”.
  • Cambridge:  Walk among the historic colleges.
  • Scenic drives: Cotswolds, New Forest, Lake District.

AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • Stratford: Choose from a selection of restaurants for a Dine-Around evening.
  • Stratford: Enjoy a traditional Roast Dinner with all the trimmings.
  • Edinburgh: The choice is yours on your Freestyle Evening where you can indulge in whatever you fancy.
  • Yorkshire: For the real taste of Yorkshire, enjoy your Celebration Dinner with an included pint of bitter or local beer.
  • 10 Full Breakfasts (FB), 2 three-course Dinners (D); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 4 Restaurant Dinners (RD), 1 Dine-Around (DA), 1 Freestyle Evening (FSD) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • Bowness-on-Windermere: Nestled on the shore of England's largest lake, experience traditional country house charm at The Old England Hotel.
  • Shipley: The grand and historic Victorian Hollins Hall Marriott Hotel offers superb leisure facilities, including an indoor heated swimming pool and an 18-hole championship golf course.

ADDITIONAL FIVE STAR SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Insight Tour Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend in a foreign land.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat touring coach, with extended Business Class legroom and on-board restroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are 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 (where available).
  • From time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish - a local tidbit representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • London Airport transfer service available.

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.

Accommodation

 

Macdonald Botley Park Hotel Southampton

Southampton (Scenic) - England

Complimentary Wifi

The Stratford Stratford Upon Avon

Stratford Upon Avon (Central) - England

Complimentary Wifi

The Stratford, Stratford-upon-Avon

Holyrood Hotel Edinburgh

Edinburgh (Central) - Scotland

Complimentary Wifi

Holyrood Hotel, Edinburgh

Marriott Hollins Hall Shipley

Shipley (Scenic) - England

Signature HotelComplimentary Wifi

Marriott Hollins Hall, Shipley

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  • 5 out of 5

    A Good Time was had by ALL

    6/24/2017 Susanne Longson, Cedar City, United States

    We've been back home just over a month now and every time we reflect on this trip we come up with the same response - it's one of the best vacations we've ever had!! Our Tour Director, Shona, was just beyond fabulous making everyone feel comfortable and providing us with loads of information while keeping us in stitches - amazing lady =) Insight chose good hotels and provided great meals. This was our first trip with Insight AND overseas - it has spoiled us for any other way to travel. Insight sees to all the details which was wonderful, all we to do was show up! The sights that we saw were too numerous to detail but they were all fantastic. This tour is a great one whether it's your first, like us, or your 20th like some of the others in our group.

    3 out of 4 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Outstanding Tour

    6/5/2016 Anthony Mccoy, St Petersburg (FL), United States

    Knowledgeable, fun and caring tour director. Everything went smoothly. Excellent tour stops. Comfortable and spacious luxury deluxe motor coach. Very good dinners and all-you-could-eat breakfasts. Only negative is all the rooms were very small, except for one hotel - the Holyrood Hotel in Edinburgh.

    13 out of 14 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Review

    6/28/2015 Peter Button, Warranwood, Australia

    Our Tour was the first I had been on...so I was open in my expectations. From the very first encounter with our Tour Leader, Matthew Lawson, I knew that we were in for a happy and exciting holiday. Our trip was all of this and more ! The coach was extremely roomy and comfortable, travellers rotated seats so that all was fair in terms of seating over the 11 day trip. The selection of places visited was wonderful. I had not been to the UK before and this tour fulfilled my mental images of what it might be like from movies, television and reading, and more. I fell in love with the countryside, the history and the way in which things of great beauty , are preserved. Matt was excellent in his way of imparting knowledge and interesting tidbits as we were leading up to a place of interest. He handled the whole tour with diplomacy, humour and aplomb. He was always positive.He provided us with some lovely little surprises along the way, which were very much appreciated by we travellers. John Bergin is a skilful coach driver...around country lanes and on the busy motorways. He was very good natured and nothing was too much trouble for him, or Matt. I would love to travel with Insight Tours in the future. Anne Button Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.

    26 out of 28 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    A Wonderful Experience

    6/28/2015 Peter Button, Warranwood, Australia

    Right from our first contact with Insight, everything just flowed beautifully. The itinerary turned out to be a superb one. If there were any problems or hitches, we were certainly not aware of them thanks to our great Tour Leader, Matthew Lawson who made everything so easy for all people on the trip. Before starting the tour and meeting up with Matthew we happened to come across a couple of people who had been on an earlier Insight tour. They asked us who our tour leader would be. When we told them, they responded by saying that we were lucky to have Matt as he was a very fine tour leader who had given them a few special unexpected “treats” which turned out to be highlights of their overall tour. Fortunately for us, Matt did the same for us and we’ll never forget such experiences as the “hidden” little backwater village setting, which was only accessible through very carefully negotiating a country lane, leading to a cameo of magnificent thatched roof houses and an idyllic duckpond which brought out all of our cameras, along with the “oohs” and “ahs.” Matt’s brief optional visit, during a “downtime” period to see the famous “Firth of Forth” bridge area was also memorable. He, with the cooperation of his superb driver, John Bergin, also took us on a short highland ridge detour which just “blew us away.” Full credit for the success of this wonderful tour goes to both tour leader and driver (the best driver I have ever encountered) We hope to travel with Insight again. Others on our trip also expressed strong interest in going on a different journey where Matt was leader and that they would certainly check Matt’s participation when they booked. As one would expect, there can be a “fly in the ointment” on any tourism venture. We certainly adjusted to such a person on this tour, noticing Matt’s masterful, subtle and tactful way of dealing with her “complaints” and intrusions with other people. Thanks Insight for the “experience of a lifetime.” Au Revoir. Peter Button Melbourne, Australia.

    19 out of 21 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Trip of a lifetime

    6/15/2015 Carole Hey, Albert Park, Australia

    The Elegance of Great Britain tour was my first overseas trip outside Australia. I have loved England the land of my father, but never had the opportunity to visit before. My friend Heather was a past Insight traveller and knew this was the way for us to tour. From the day we started our tour in London we were in the capable hands of our amazing guide Matthew. The tour which follows a path to the south to the home of Churchill then onto Winchester with its great cathedral continually took us through the beautiful, green English countryside. As we then headed north to Stratford on Avon the lakes and Edinburgh and then back to London we visited, castles, stately homes, elegant towns, villages, great hotels we were constantly thrilled. Take this tour it is truly magnificent.

    17 out of 18 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Steve Watson

    8/9/2014 Annette Crawford, Blaxland East, Australia

    We had an awesome time, the organisation an planning was excellent, our tour director (Howard O,Donnell) could not have done more for us, his knowledge and professionalism was exceptional, our driver (Jacko Healy) put the bus in places I would have had trouble putting a car into, he also was very professional and friendly. I would definitely recommend Insight to anybody.

    14 out of 15 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    So glad we chose Insight Tours

    5/19/2014 Christine Lyons, South Morang, Australia

    I have just returned from the Elegance of Britain tour. I would like to tell anyone who is considering this tour or any other tour with Insight they can't go wrong. With our highly professional tour guide Dylan, who looked after us exceptionally. His wealth of knowledge, and history was unbelievable, and his care and attention towards the group outstanding. I must also mention our talented coach driver Darren. His ability of manoeuvring the coach through tiny country lanes was amazing. He was always at the door to assist you on or off the coach, as being someone with a disability was a God send. I must also mention the comfort of the coach, with ample leg room, just made it so much more pleasant. Highly recommended. Chris and Deb (Melboune)

    24 out of 26 people found this comment useful

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  • 4 out of 5

    Country Roads, and I wasn't singing "take me home".

    10/14/2013 Sheree Moss, Santa Rosa, United States

    My husband, and I did the Country Road tour, Elegance of Great Britain. We toured from 9/23-10/7. We had a wonderful time. This was my third Insight trip, and my husbands first. We had a wonderful tour guide, John. Their were 39 terrific people on our tour, from U.S, Canada, and Australia. It is really amazing how much you can fit in, in 15 days (with Insights help). We liked the Itinerary, the Hotels, and the choices that were given. We were so lucky with the weather too, only one bad rain day and that was a travel day(Gordon did a wonderful job driving in the rain). I am glad to be home, but we are still talking about what we saw, people we met, and the food we ate :) Would love to go back and see more of Scotland, and if I do, I will check out Insight first! Thank you for all you do. Smiles, Sheree

    30 out of 34 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    THE MOST FULLFILLING AND AMAZING HOLIDAY

    10/11/2013 Vanessa D'silva, Caversham, Australia

    There is so much I want to say about this holiday , on a personal level it exceeded all my anticipation of what i was going to expect when i got there and that being two reasons . 1. Great Britain is a most wonderful place to visit with its picture perfect little country towns to its beautiful palaces and castle to the amazing architecture of the cathedrals and monuments . 2. My holiday wouldn't have been perfect it not for the most amazing tour director David, the gentleman's knowledge of our tour and historic events , his social mannerism his etiquette his helpful nature combined with our bus driver George who is an amazing driver and friendly and well mannered to a tee . This was my first holiday tour with Insight Vacation and due to its amazing success in my eyes I am already looking forward to planning my next tour with them again next year . Thank you Insight Vacation for a wonderful holiday which in my heart I believe I will never forget and who's memories I will always cherish.

    22 out of 22 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Wonderfuly enjoyable!

    9/9/2013 Lynne Gehrman, Cypress, United States

    We had a perfectly wonderful time on our tour. Peter, our tour guide was so professional and efficient while still being warm and friendly. He was a joy. This was our first tour ever and it was great to have everything taken care of for us. We enjoyed it so very much.

    18 out of 20 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Thank You!

    7/2/2013 Heather Finch, Cape Town, South Africa

    Thank you to all at Insight Vacations for making this a wonderful holiday. All arrangements were very professional and on time. A special thank you to our Tour Director, Nigel Hannay and coach driver, George for their fantastic service and friendliness at all times. Finally thank you to all my fellow travellers, I am sure they all enjoyed it as much as I did. Best wishes Heather Finch

    20 out of 22 people found this comment useful

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*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, Red Hot Deal). All trip 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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