Elegance of Great Britain - Insight Vacations

Elegance of Great Britain (Summer 2017)

Duration: 15 days Visiting: England

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

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

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

    Your Journey Begins

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

  2. Day 2

    Welcome to London

    Check in to your hotel, then there is time to relax.

  3. Day 3

    Discovering London

    An included half day sightseeing tour of London's West End shows you all the major sights - Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace. Your Insight Vacations Representative is also on hand today for help and advice.

  4. Day 4

    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.

  5. Day 5 - 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.

  6. Day 6

    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.

  7. Day 7 - 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.

  8. Day 8

    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.

  9. Day 9 - 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.

  10. Day 10

    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”.

  11. Day 11 - 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!

  12. Day 12

    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.

  13. Day 13 - 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.

  14. Day 14

    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.

  15. Day 15

    Homeward Bound

    Your journey draws to a close after breakfast this morning




  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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 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.



Macdonald Botley Park Hotel Southampton

Southampton (Scenic) - England

The Stratford Stratford Upon Avon

Stratford (Traditional) - England

The Stratford is an award-winning boutique hotel in the centre of this historic town.

Holyrood Hotel Edinburgh

Edinburgh (Central) - Scotland

Holyrood Hotel, Edinburgh

Marriott Hollins Hall Shipley

Shipley (Scenic) - England

Marriott Hollins Hall, Shipley


Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on 7828 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 04 November, 2017


    Trip: Tremendous itinerary. Very varied. Ample time. I suggest allowing time in Cambridge to tour KIing's College Chapel in Cambridge. Tours begin at 2 p.m.

    Service: This was our third tour with Insight, following two with Trafalgar. All of our tours have been great, but this was the best yet. John Brackenridge is a superb tour director. The pace was great with several relaxed start days. We also enjoyed the included dinners, the ample time on our own, and the lack of optional experiences.

  • 23 October, 2017


    Trip: Itinerary was comprehensive and would have loved more time in Cambridge less in Beaulieu. Also Marble Arch Hotel good but drop off on street at end of tour chaotic. Did not enjoy luggage dumped on footpath. Had to ask guide for help into hotel which John graciously did. Purchased cashmere in Scotland and Wales. Needed more time in Llangothen, perhaps tour around. Hadrian’s Wall or the small part we saw was a waste of time as it was just small section.

    Service: I’d buy Insight package again. Guide was excellent as was bus and driver and the trip mostly not rushed but would prefer to stay in hotel closer to venue to be visited. Loved the two night stays and would haven been nice to look around hotel district but of course not always possible because of time restraints.

  • 10 October, 2017


    Trip: Covered England well, would have liked a day in Wales. Really enjoyed the two night stops and the relaxed starts. Having most dinners included was a real plus especially with respect to the pound vs. the Canadian dollar. Enjoyed the whole free day in Edinburgh. Would have liked the use of guides more - rather than being dropped off and having a limited amount of time to go through attractions/stops on our own -- guides can give an over-all "picture" far more concisely.

    Service: Very good tour director, knew everyone's name early on and called everyone by name; handled all of the house-keeping tasks (hotel check-ins, restaurants, etc.) efficiently; gave good commentary as we travelled; excellent, personable bus driver, always there with a helping hand getting off the bus; outside use of airport/hotel transfer was smooth.

  • 09 October, 2017


    Trip: Interesting and beautiful sights.

    Service: Customer service was very good and yes we would recommend Insight to others.

  • 09 October, 2017


    Trip: Two nights in each hotel made travelling much better to experience the beauty of Great Britain. Arriving at the Amba Hotel in London although was not a good experience because of its location and staff with less than acceptable skill in the English language.

    Service: Tour director John Brackenridge was very informative and made our trip more enjoyable than I could have imagined. George Hanratty our driver managed the streets and byways of Great Britain with unbelievable skill.

  • 09 October, 2017


    Trip: The variety of the cities visited was perfect.

    Service: More time should have been spent with our group during the individual city excursions.

  • 06 October, 2017


    Trip: We knew we had a day or two on own before tour started, but no representative at hotel as expected and email from tour guide confusing talking about starting tour on Thurs when we were expecting tour of London day before. We called agent at home for her to find out what's what. Communication there could have been better. Half day tour of London bad as bus was about 40 to 50 minutes late. Tour felt very rushed and incomplete. Once off With John, enjoyed most every spot and hotel. I would skip the stones at Avebury or give more of a tour--stones scattered over several areas divided by highway. We were turned loose without a map. Loved Chartwell, Beaulieu, Salisbury, Winchester and Stratford. Again in some places a hand held map would have been great. Blenheim, ran out of time. Llangollen for Wales was a disappointment. However, I can say, I was in Wales, briefly. Lake District hotel, cruise, lovely. Just too little time. Loved going to Wordsworth grave. Edinburgh: our second time there, so we knew what to do on our free day. Hotel, worse of all---doing remodeling and breakfast and food very under par. Had great local guide for Castle. Alnwick Castle and The Marriot Hotel awesome. In York, map would be helpful. Not enough time. Local guide excellent and gave good suggestions. Last day in Cambridge---a sad waste, not much time, no real guided tour--left at St. Mary's Cathedral on our own. Would have been nice to have Insight arrange tour of King's College Chapel. Found out too late Tickets had to be bought (not cheap) and time running out. Departure in London terrible--most of us felt shoved out on street in a hurry to grab our bags and get into hotel. Sad way to end trip. But Insight Rep. inside to give us our keys--which we didn't know about until one of our members were told that. Again Communications!!! I would suggest, maps for each destination and suggestions of what to see when on own, even list of restaurants for our lunches. And a diagram of Monarch's of Scotland and England--that are significant. Also suggest use of whisper ears more often. Hearing not so good. Our tour guide John, was so good. Appreciated Birthday recognition

    Service: Well planned visits to important historical events, highlights of Scotlands. Extra leg room and rotating seat positions in bus very important. Would add another day or so to trip so that staying in hotel more than just one day. Also, some optional tours were not really optional like tour of Skye for the day; and kThe Lake Cruise, Gaelic Evening in Thurso, Blair Castle, Glasgow Dinner. Reason I'm saying this is the bus would have to leave you somewhere and pick you up. Just add the price onto ticket.

  • 26 September, 2017


    Trip: Interesting, varied sites with time to explore

    Service: We would definitely use Insight again. Tour Director and Bus Driver were excellent and the itinerary great. Liked the two night stays in each hotel.... not as tiring

  • 26 September, 2017


    Trip: Interesting and varied tour

    Service: Great Tour Director and Bus Driver. Interesting itinerary, good hotels, good meals.

  • 25 September, 2017


    Trip: very good tour but I did not like the Amba Marble Arch hotel. For a tour of England we felt like we had landed in the middle east. No fault with the service though.

    Service: everything ran smoothly

  • 25 September, 2017


    Trip: We spent two nights prior to our bus tour at the Amba Marble Arch. We were so disappointed with the room, we had to ask for another room. The rug was absolutely filthy! The 2nd room was better but the view was not the same - looked at the inner court with all the mechanical equipment. The 1st room at least had a view of the street. Keep in mind this was our absolute first time in London and we were so tired after our flight. We were hugely disappointed and will never go back there. The rest of the hotel's throughout the trip were stellar and had no issues. In fact I applaud the hotels for processing us so quickly. It can't be easy when a bus load of people descend on you at one time.

    Service: The tour director and bus driver were absolutely fantastic. We left our tour a day early to meet up with family. While the others in our tour where visiting Cambridge, our tour director made sure we made our connection. It was excellent customer service as it was a little daunting trying to make this meet in a busy location. The bus driver was amazing at his job and got us from point A to B safely.

  • 25 September, 2017


    Trip: Wish we had more time in each place.

    Service: Nice hotels, great food, well planned and we saw many, many interesting places.

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