Britain and Ireland

Britain & Ireland

Regional Journey

Gems of Britain (Summer 2018)

Duration: 5 days Visiting: England, Scotland, Wales

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

Quintessential British heritage, traditions and landscapes over five days.

  1. Day 1

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

    At 07:15, meet your Travel Director at the The Grosvenor Hotel in London and depart for Stratford-upon-Avon. Visit the birthplace of William Shakespeare and admire the architecture of this pretty town nestled beside the River Avon. Head north to historic York and walk inside the city walls see to the topsy-turvy Shambles, a picturesque street with warped overhanging timber-framed houses. Admire the glorious York Minster, which is the largest medieval church in northern Europe. In the evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner and the chance to get to know your fellow travellers.

  2. Day 2

    Over the Border to Edinburgh.

    Pass the ruined Jedburgh Abbey, en route to Edinburgh. Your Local Expert will show you Edinburgh Castle, home to the Honours of Scotland. At the end of the Royal Mile see the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official Scottish residence of Her Majesty, the Queen. Cross over to Princes Street, passing the Sir Walter Scott Monument, to explore the elegant 18th century New Town with its classical Adam facades. In the evening, select departures will attend the spectacular Military Tattoo - a colourful mix of pipes and drums, dance and display, set against the floodlit backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.

  3. Day 3

    To the Lake District and on to Liverpool.

    Journey via Gretna Green, where many eloping English couples have married, to the beautiful English Lake District where there is time at leisure to explore on your own. Why not choose the Optional Excursion of a cruise on Windermere and steam train ride? There really is no better way to admire the incredible scenery of rugged mountain and secluded bays. Continue to lively Liverpool, home of The Beatles, and see the famous Liver Building.

  4. Day 4

    Travel to Roman Chester and on to Cardiff.

    Visit the former Roman fortress town of Chester. Walk along part of the city walls, see the Eastgate Clock, cathedral, remains of the Roman Amphitheatre and the unique black and white shopping arcades known as the ‘Rows.’ After time to explore, cross into Wales and head for the capital of Cardiff for an orientation of the port city, on the River Taff.

  5. Day 5

    Georgian Bath, Stonehenge and London.

    Cross the Severn Bridge back into England and travel to the City of Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built above Britain's only thermal, mineral springs. The key highlight is of course a visit to the Roman Baths. See incredibly well-preserved remains of one of the greatest spas of the ancient world, still flowing with the natural hot water from the springs. You will also see the angels climbing Jacob's Ladder on the 15th century Bath Abbey. Travel across Salisbury Plain to visit the pre-historic and mysterious Stonehenge, where the strange and awe-inspiring monoliths are reputed to be up to 5,000 years old. Your journey concludes upon arrival at The Grosvenor Hotel in London.

Highlights

 

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES

  • Edinburgh: Sightseeing with a Local Expert will show you Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. You will also see the Sir Walter Scott Monument on Princes Street, and explore the elegant New Town.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Stratford-upon-Avon: Discover the fascinating story of William Shakespeare’s early years. Wander 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.
  • Chester: Explore this former Roman fortress town with a guided walk along part of the city walls. Admire the Eastgate Clock, cathedral, black and white ‘Rows' and remains of the Roman Amphitheatre.
  • Bath: The City of Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built atop of Britain's only natural mineral springs. Visit the Roman Baths and Pump Room, built by the Romans over 2000 years ago as a place to wash and socialise.
  • Stonehenge: Walk around the strange and awe-inspiring monoliths that have stood for 5,000 years.
  • Borders: See the ruins of Jedburgh Abbey.
  • Cardiff: During an orientation with your Travel Director, see the castle and Principality Stadium.
  • 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.
  • Liverpool: See the famous Liver Building when you visit the home city of The Beatles.
  • Scenic Drives: Enjoy the beautiful British countryside and scenery of the English Lake District and Welsh Marshes, along with the Severn Bridge.
  • York: Walk with your Travel Director within the city walls to see the York Minster and crocked Shambles.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with onboard washroom. Alternate vehicles without onboard washroom or 40 seats may be used on occasion.
  • On departures with 8 or more guests, 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. We also 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 Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination
  • You may purchase transfers from/to London Heathrow and Gatwick airports on arrival and departure days, or when additional night accommodation has been booked through Insight Vacations. Alternatively, please make your own way from/to the airport.

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 trips. 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.

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 60.00

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

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 36.00

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

Accommodation

 

Hilton York

York (Traditional) - England

The Hilton York is situated within the city walls, close to the York Minster and the best this city has to offer.

Apex Waterloo Place Hotel Edinburgh

Edinburgh (Heritage) - Scotland

The Apex Waterloo Place Hotel is perfectly situated at the end of Princes Street in Edinburgh's New Town, just moments from all the key sights. Originally built in 1819 as Edinburgh's first purpose-built, large scale hotel, the building was used offices for local authorities for 120 years until it was re-established as a hotel in 2006.

Pullman Liverpool Hotel

Liverpool (Contemporary) - England

The contemporarily designed Pullman Liverpool Hotel, is perfectly located at Kings Dock in the heart of the city , overlooking the River Mersey. Your comfortable room is fitted with modern furnished and features complimentary 5G WiFi so you can stay connected with friends and family during your travels.

Clayton Hotel Cardiff

Cardiff (Traditional) - Wales

Clayton Hotel Cardiff is located in the heart of the city on St. Mary Street, just a short walk from Cardiff's premium sporting facility, Millennium Stadium.

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on
10949 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 17 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Since it was only a 5-day tour, I understand why it could not cover much in each place covered by the itinerary. However, for Stratford-on-Avon, I wish the tour would also cover Shakespeare's grave and its interesting epitaph.

    Service: I made a late booking for this tour through Insight's local agent, and I inquired about my eligibility for a returning customer discount. Although Insight could not locate it's records of my earlier trip, it granted the discount upon my submission of a picture I took of the tour group, even though I wasn't actually in the picture. I appreciate that they did not make it difficult for me to claim the discount.

  • 15 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: For my partner and I it was somewhat hurried, with only 5 days to enjoy all the sights and history it was a somewhat frantic. Getting from site to site, leaving little time to explore. We plan to revisit many of those visited but would prefer an 8 or 9 day tour. Our guide and driver were without fault, looked after us, were professional, knew in great depth the history we were seeing. I could not fault Caroline nor Mark, they were great.

    Service: We were able to arrange our holiday seamlessly, withe help of our agent Jill at Flight Centre in Nanaimo BC Canada.

  • 13 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Covered many places within 5 days

    Service: Excellent

  • 13 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Excellent trip, as always!

    Service: Excellent, as always.

  • 13 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Well planned itinerary and customer centric

    Service: Customers centric

  • 13 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The tour hit all the highlights as advertised.

    Service: This was our fourth tour with Insight and would definitely recommend.

  • 12 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Key places of interest covered with reasonable time allocated for most locations.

    Service: Well paced even despite the short duration we had. Accommodation was above average for most of the hotels. Tour guides and local guides were excellent - very knowledgeable and took care of us.

  • 06 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Well planned and excecuted

    Service: Excellent service. Mark was a great driver. John was very helpful. Only complaint is that I wished we had a farewell dinner

  • 28 August, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Covered major points of UK. Thought it was a bhit rushed at the time but after experiencing 26 days of European Grandeur looking back it was a breeze. Michelle was wonderful, lovely friendly guide with lots of interesting info.;

    Service: After a baggage mixup with another group leaving the same morning my friend was left with only the very casual shoes she was wearing. Upon arrival at the first o/n stop she was shown to a shoe shop where a pair was bought for her. We had no problems other than that so everything went smoothly.

  • 23 August, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Every stop was worth our time.

    Service: Sarah was very friendly, knowledgeable, and responsive to everyone's needs. George, our driver, did a great job getting us safely to each destination in a timely manner. The itinerary was awesome. I especially loved the Titanic Hotel in Liverpool.

  • 23 August, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Perfect for what we were looking for

    Service: Great tour, quality hotels, comfortable coach, great tour director and driver.

  • 23 August, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Busy, but saw all that we wanted to see.

    Service: Definitely recommend, and yes, would use them again.

*Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Prices displayed reflect available discounted rates such Early Payment Discount or Last Minute Deals (discounts are not combinable). Discounts may be withdrawn at anytime, book early to confirm space. 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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