Britain and Ireland

Britain & Ireland

Regional Journey

Britain and Ireland Explorer (Summer 2018)

Duration: 16 days Visiting: England, Scotland, Ireland

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

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

The leisurely pace and beauty of the Irish countryside blends with historic English towns, Welsh hospitality and the austere Scottish Highlands, for a truly memorable exploration of the British Isles.

  1. Day 1

    Your Journey Begins

    Board your overnight flight to Europe (Please ask about our great deals).

  2. Day 2

    Arrive London

    Welcome to London. After checking into your hotel, the afternoon is free to enjoy a city that is famous for its pomp and pageantry. Perhaps relax with a walk along the Serpentine in Hyde Park or window shop in the elegant boutiques of Knightsbridge? Alternatively, you may want to stroll along the Thames to the iconic Tower Bridge and Tower of London.

  3. Day 3

    London, Stratford-upon-Avon and Medieval York.

    At 07:30, meet your Travel Director and journey to Stratford, beautifully situated on the River Avon. Visit the birthplace of William Shakespeare, full of interesting memorabilia and artefacts relating to his life. Continue on to York where you walk within the old city walls to the crooked houses of the Shambles and see York Minster, England's largest medieval cathedral. Join your Travel Director for a warm and friendly Welcome Dinner with drinks and the opportunity to mingle over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.

  4. Day 4 - Relaxed Start

    Durham, Hadrian's Wall and Edinburgh.

    Stop in Durham to see the castle and Romanesque cathedral. Then view part of Hadrian's Wall, Britain's most impressive Roman monument once spanning 80 miles from coast-to-coast, marking the northern frontier of the mighty Roman Empire. Cross the Scottish border to reach the elegant Scottish capital, Edinburgh.

  5. Day 5

    Edinburgh, Scotland’s Capital of Culture.

    Journey down the Royal Mile to see the Palace of Holyroodhouse - official Scottish residence of Her Majesty, the Queen - before crossing over to New Town. Next, walk with your Local Expert inside Edinburgh Castle for spectacular views of the town and to see Scotland's Crown Jewels, the Stone of Destiny and Mons Meg. The afternoon is free to shop on Princes Street. In the evening, select departures will enjoy the spectacle of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo - a colourful mixture of historic battles and military manoeuvres with pipes and drums.

  6. Day 6

    To St. Andrews and on to the Highland Capital of Inverness.

    Cross the Firth of Forth into Fife and make your way to St. Andrews, passing the Old Course as you arrive where golf was born in the 15th century. Enjoy free time to explore, perhaps stroll to West Sands Beach where the famous 'Chariots of Fire' scene was filmed. Your travels continue as you cross the Tay and journey to the charming Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, famous for its salmon run. Travel via Blair Atholl and past the Grampian Mountains to the sparkling Spey Valley. Later, continue to Inverness and your hotel.

  7. Day 7

    Loch Ness, Glencoe and Loch Lomond.

    In the morning, take a private cruise on Loch Ness, where you will soak up the scenery, historic monuments and tales of the famous Nessie. Continue your journey through some of the most stunning scenery in all of Scotland found in the region of Glencoe. Travel along the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond, before crossing the English border. Pass the village of Grasmere, where the poet William Wordsworth is buried, before arriving at your lakeside hotel.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    The English Lakes to Chester.

    In the morning, discover the beauty of the Lake District, its fells, lakes and valleys combine to make it one of England's best loved regions. Perhaps take a lake cruise on the tranquil waters of Windermere? Later, step back into Roman times in Chester where you see the city's ancient encircling walls and remarkable 13th century black and white Rows.

  9. Day 9 - Relaxed Start

    North Wales and over to Dublin.

    Continue through Wales, passing the massive Conwy Castle before crossing over to the Isle of Anglesey. The village with the longest name in Europe will be visible - see if you are able to read it aloud! From the port of Holyhead, set sail for Dublin in Ireland.

  10. Day 10

    In Dublin’s Fair City.

    Experience Ireland's national and world-famous drink with a guided visit to the Guinness Storehouse before it opens to the public. Gain a fascinating insight into the history and traditions behind its production and enjoy a tasting with a Guinness expert. Later, become acquainted with Dublin’s elegant squares during sightseeing with a Local Expert. See famous O’Connell Street, the Custom House and Dublin Castle. For the rest of the afternoon, you are free to soak up the Irish atmosphere or browse the shops along Grafton Street.

  11. Day 11

    A Journey through Life from Dublin to Killarney.

    Travel to Ireland's premier thoroughbred horse breeding region for a fascinating visit of the National Stud and the acclaimed 100-year-old Japanese Gardens where you can 'journey through life'. Continue to view the Rock of Cashel, crowned with the noblest group of medieval monuments in Ireland. Cross the rolling pastures that encircle Tipperary before reaching Killarney. At night, your Dine-Around Evening offers authentic and intimate dining with your friends, from a hand-picked selection of fine local restaurants.

  12. Day 12 - Relaxed Start

    Ring of Kerry Experience.

    In the morning, join a delightful trip around the Ring of Kerry, a world of towering cliffs, lush lakelands and remote villages. Get a sense of the unhurried pace of Irish life as you pass through Ireland's highest mountain range and make your way to the three peaceful Lakes of Killarney. In the afternoon, perhaps take an optional ride with the locals on one of Killarney's jaunting cars?

  13. Day 13

    Blarney Castle and Waterford.

    Start the day visiting Blarney Castle, home of the famous Stone of Eloquence - once kissed, never forgotten! Travel on through the scenic port of Dungarvan to the historic walled city of Waterford, with its 11th century Reginald Tower. Enjoy a guided visit of the world-famous crystal factory and to meet a master craftsman. In the evening, after miles of fun and fascinating sights, spirits will be high during your Celebration Dinner. Toast to your newfound friends - Sláinte!

  14. Day 14

    Across the Irish Sea to Cardiff.

    From the port of Rosslare, board your ferry to cross the Irish Sea. A pleasant drive will then take you into the rural scenery of Pembrokeshire. Continue past the valleys of southern Wales to the capital, Cardiff, famous for its imposing castle and brilliant Principality Stadium.

  15. Day 15

    Roman Baths, Stonehenge and London.

    Cross the Severn Bridge to reach the City of Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its Georgian streets and crescents. Visit the Roman Baths and Pump Room built above Britain's only hot, mineral springs. See the incredibly well-preserved remains of one of the greatest spas of the ancient world, still flowing with the natural hot water from the springs below. Your journey continues across Salisbury Plain for a visit to mysterious Stonehenge - no-one can be sure why they were built, or even how prehistoric man could move such huge blocks of stone. Your exploration of Britain and Ireland draws to a close upon your return to The Grosvenor Hotel in London.

  16. Day 16

    Homeward Bound.

    Your journey comes to an end after breakfast.

Highlights

 

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES

  • Waterford: Meet a master craftsman on your guided visit of the world-famous House of Waterford Crystal.
  • Edinburgh: Walk with a Local Expert inside the walls of the Castle to view the Scottish Crown Jewels, Stone of Destiny and Mons Meg.
  • Dublin: Walk with your Local Expert, through the elegant squares of this fine city to see O'Connell Street, Custom House and Dublin Castle.
  • Kildare: Join an equine professional for a behind-the-scenes look at the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Edinburgh: A hush descends and eyes turn to the castle. The skirl of the pipes rises and drums crack the night air as a tide of tunics and tartan flood from the drawbridge. For a limited time in August, witness the incredible spectacle of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
  • Stratford: Learn about the life of William Shakespeare, arguably history's most famous writer, when you visit his birthplace. Then enjoy some time to explore this pretty town with its iconic Tudor houses.
  • York: Your Travel Director will show you the York Minster, the city walls and the medieval Shambles during you orientation of the city.
  • Durham: See the castle and Romanesque cathedral.
  • Hadrian's Wall: Stop to see part of the ancient wall that once marked the border of the Roman Empire.
  • St. Andrews Visit the university town where the famous beach scene from 'Chariots of Fire' was filmed and see the golf course where the sport was created.
  • Pitlochry: Visit this town, famous for its salmon leap.
  • Loch Ness: Soak up the scenery and hear tales of the famous Nessie during a private cruise.
  • Chester: During you orientation with your Travel Director see the cathedral, city walls and famous black and white Rows.
  • Conwy: See the castle upon the river.
  • Holyhead: Holyhead: Set sail for Dublin.
  • Cashel: See the Rock of Cashel where St. Patrick preached.
  • Killarney: Venture into a world of towering cliffs, lush lakelands and remote villages, as you travel the Ring of Kerry.
  • Blarney: Visit the castle and climb the battlements for a chance to kiss the Blarney Stone and gain the gift of eloquence.
  • Waterford: Explore the town and see Reginald’s Tower and the remains of the city walls.
  • Rosslare: Board your ferry to cross the Irish Sea.
  • Cardiff: During an orientation with your Travel Director, see the castle and Principality Stadium.
  • Bath: The Roman Baths have existed for over 2,000 years and are now one of the best-preserved Roman remains in the world. Learn the importance of this historic site, still used as a center for bathing and socialising.
  • Stonehenge: Visit the mysterious circle of upright stones, which stands as strong today as it did 5,000 years ago.
  • Scenic Drives: Admire some of the world's most spectacular scenery as you travel through the Scottish Highlands,  past the Grampian Mountains, Spey Valley and Glencoe, along Loch Lomond and Loch Ness, through the English Lake District, Tipperary, Ring of Kerry, Dungarvan, Pembrokeshire, and across Severn Bridge and Salibury Plain.

AUTHENTIC DINING

  • Waterford: Celebrate the culmination of your escorted journey with wine, good cheer and palate-pleasing cuisine.
  • Dublin: Join a Guinness expert for a private tour of the Guinness Storehouse, before it is opened to the public. Learn the history and traditions behind Ireland's national drink, served around the world and enjoy a tasting.
  • Killarney: Choose from a fine selection of local restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening.
  • Dining Summary: 14 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 3 Dinners (D) and 3 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

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 double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • 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.

Dinner In Edinburgh

Edinburgh has more eateries per head than any other city in the UK and your Tour Director knows which ones shine and which ones to shun! Join your fellow companions for a fun evening out in this vibrant city. Visit a prized local restaurant for a delicious three course dinner with a glass of wine, beer or soft drink included.

Adult Price: GBP 38.00

Code: EDI0001

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

Royal Yacht Britannia

This magnificent ship has hosted some of the most famous people in the world. But, above all, Britannia was home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family. For four royal couples, Britannia was to provide a honeymoon sanctuary before the onset of married life in the world's most photographed family. Now berthed in Leith, you are welcomed on board to discover the heart and soul of this most special of Royal residences.

Adult Price: GBP 23.00

Code: EDI0003

Edinburgh's Most Haunted

Join our Ghouls and Ghosts to embark upon a scary and mirth-filled tour of Edinburgh's old town as never seen before! We'll enjoy a drink afterwards to calm our nerves before returning to the land of the living.

Adult Price: GBP 27.00

Code: EDI0005

Blair Castle

Journey into the fascinating past with a visit to the ancestral home of the Dukes of Atholl. Brimming with treasures inside and out, magnificent Blair Castle is set in its own grounds against a backdrop of glorious scenery. During your informative tour, see how the castle has been transformed through the ages and learn how Queen Victoria's famous stay led to the creation of Europe's only private army.

Adult Price: GBP 20.00

Code: SCO0002

An Evening with Nessie

Join us at the only pub on the shores of Loch Ness, overlooking Dores beach. Enjoy a drink whislt listening to the tales of Steve, a man who has devoted over twenty-five years of his life to hunting for the elusive Loch Ness Monster. A unique evening, following the journey of the ultimate "Nessie Hunter"!

Adult Price: GBP 20.00

Code: INV0001

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

Dublin Dinner

Join us for some warm Irish hospitality a three course dinner in a family run pub, that was formerly the haunt of nobility and notorious highwaymen. Lovely exposed brick walls and dark wood make for a cosy atmosphere in which to enjoy your hearty pub meal.

Adult Price: EUR 45.00

Code: DUB0009

Dinner & Irish Cabaret

Over an excellent dinner of quality Irish food, enjoy a nonstop show of comedy, dance, song and music. Ireland’s musical history unfolds in a cabaret that will delight you long after the night has ended. The cast will have you tapping your toes and joining in the fun, and it’s all wrapped up in the spirit of Irish humour. At the end of your meal, cap off one of Ireland’s best nights out with an Irish Coffee.

Adult Price: EUR 71.00

Code: DUB0008

Jaunting Car Ride

Clip-clop your way through the charming streets of Killarney into the beautiful Bourne Vincent National Park. A local “jarvie” informs you of the local history, legend and folklore aboard one of the famous jaunting cars.

Adult Price: EUR 21.00

Code: KIL0001

Celtic Steps

Enjoy a spectacular evening of Irish music, song and dance performed by champion dancers and musicians and showcasing the music of Kerry and beyond.

Adult Price: EUR 36.00

Code: KIL0003

Waterford Walking Tour

Join an extremely knowledgeable and entertaining historian for an insightful walking tour of Ireland's oldest city. Meet a range of colourful characters and learn about the town's history from the arrival of the Vikings through to British rule as you stroll to various key sights. Afterwards, rub shoulders with the locals with a drink in a typical pub.

Adult Price: EUR 23.00

Code: WAT0001

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

Accommodation

 

Hilton York

York (Traditional) - England

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

Crowne Plaza Edinburgh - Royal Terrace

Edinburgh (Traditional) - Scotland

Located on a Georgian terrace in the heart of the city, this hotel is a short walk away from Prince’s Street.

Columba Hotel Inverness

Inverness (Traditional) - Scotland

This traditional hotel provides enviable views over the River Ness and Inverness Castle.

Macdonald Old England Hotel and Spa

Windermere (Traditional) - England

This hotel, contained in a 17th century building, rests on the shores of Lake Windermere, England’s largest lake.

Hallmark Hotel The Queen Chester

Chester (Traditional) - England

This hotel is set in a grand Victorian building and has just undergone a multi-million pound restoration.

Trinity City Hotel Dublin

Dublin (Contemporary) - Ireland

This hotel is situated in the heart of Dublin, adjacent to Trinity College Dublin.

The Malton Hotel Killarney

Killarney (Traditional) - Ireland

Dooleys Hotel Waterford

Waterford (Traditional) - Ireland

This hotel has been family run for 3 generations and located inside Waterford’s City Centre

Clayton Hotel Cardiff

Cardiff (Contemporary) - 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
8002 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 28 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: It was a fun trip. So many interesting places especially Killarney.

    Service: Christina Bader, the tour director was excellent. She was knowledgeable and so helpful to us on the tour.

  • 26 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Just loved the tour the places we visited.

    Service: I thought the tour director was excellent and the bus clean and comfortable. The tour was well organised and the hotels were just ok.

  • 08 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: This itinerary was fabulous. A lot of information and covered in a short time

    Service: The service was great. They were always willing to help you.

  • 04 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Probably too much time on the bus in northern Scotland, but we would not have gone all the places on our own

    Service: Customer service was excellent- good communication and history

  • 04 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: It was great! *************

    Service: It was a great trip with a good itinerary and a wonderful guide.

  • 31 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The tour was very well organized.

    Service: Very good.

  • 26 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Packed and exhausting but a good taste of what the UK has to offer.

    Service: David Parry and Tony Bunting were brilliant.

  • 23 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Couldn't have packed much more into this trip. Always on the go and so many things to see and do.

    Service: Lots of sightseeing packed into the trip. Our Guide Nigel was excellent. Knowledgeable and funny and very accommodating. The bus driver was great and friendly. We had a great group of people we traveled with. Fun Fun Fun! I would book with Insight again.

  • 23 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Excellent variety and well planned

    Service: Itinerary, tour director, coach driver - all exceptional

  • 21 October, 2017

    TRIP:
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    Trip: All overnight locations were worthwhile - Windermere was a favourite. Smaller stops were unexpected added bonus experiences: St. Andrews, Conwy, Irish stud farm. Lunch stops at small pubs were great. Good balance of organized tours and free time. Allowed for adequate time for my special interest in architecture. Only unimpressive event was the Welsh night. I now enjoy Guinness!

    Service: Tour leader handled all arrangements well, and added bonus activity.

  • 21 October, 2017

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Beautiful scenery, lovely people, just the right pace... Sites of historical and personal significance also made this tour extra special.

    Service: Excellent travel director. David Parry goes above and beyond, and does it in a friendly, efficient manner. Coach driver Tony Bunting made his "steerology" seem effortless.

  • 21 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We rushed to get to Inverness to go on the Lockness cruise. There wasn’t anything special about this cruise. This is one stop that could be eliminated and allow more time in places like Windermere or other quaint towns.

    Service: My only complaint was that when I called to ask for a suggestion on how many Pounds and Euros to bring, they didn’t have an answer.

*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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