Britain and Ireland

Britain & Ireland

Regional Journey

Gems of Britain (Summer 2018)

Duration: 5 days Visiting: England, Scotland

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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 07:30, 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, view the Stone of Destiny and Mons Meg. 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 Lake 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.
  • 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.

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.

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

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 58.00

Code: EDI0002

Lake 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 Lake 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 17.50

Code: LAK0001

Liverpool & The Beatles

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

Accommodation

 

Hilton York

York (Traditional) - England

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

Apex Waterloo Place Hotel Edinburgh

Edinburgh (Contemporary) - Scotland

Pullman Liverpool Hotel

Liverpool (Contemporary) - England

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.

  • Fantastic tour

    5 out of 5

    Elanora, Australia

    I thoroughly enjoyed this tour with Emma Woods and Trevor ,I was a single traveler but didn't feel alone at anytime.The destinations were perfect for my first time in UK and I met some lovely people Thankyou

    4 out of 5 people found this comment useful

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  • Gems of Britain lives up to its name

    5 out of 5

    Minneapolis, United States

    As an independent traveler, I love planning flights, hotels, dining, sightseeing, etc. for myself. I was wary of coach tours, mostly fearing being stuck for days in a cramped coach with unpleasant fellow travelers. All fears allayed! This trip was perfectly arranged and executed, with a good balance of structured and free time. For a "whirlwind" tour, it was very satisfying. I loved seeing a sampling of places, especially the optional Scottish evening in Edinburgh; the York MInster; Cardiff Castle; Chester incl. the Rows and the Cathedral; and finally seeing Stonehenge(o0ne less item on the Bucket list now). Nigel Hannay is the best Tour Director ever! I appreciated his vast knowledge of the places, people, and even geography of the places we visited; and his wonderful sense of humor and friendliness. Driver Gary Mowbray was fantastic also. I would do this same tour again with such great guidance. I am so enriched by the whole experience!

    2 out of 2 people found this comment useful

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  • A gem of a tour by a gem of a guide!

    5 out of 5

    Orlando, United States

    We had an even better time than we had anticipated. The itinerary was great, the driver was amazing at navigating everything from the narrow streets to the motorways, and Friedrieke was a hoot! Her stories, whether strictly factual or local lore were interesting and very enjoyable. If we were ever to take another 'trip of a lifetime', we would want her to be our guide.

    9 out of 9 people found this comment useful

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  • Wonderful, brief tour

    5 out of 5

    White Plains, United States

    My congratulations to Insight, Derek and Peter for organizing and executing a very enjoyable, efficient, informative and pleasant vacation experience. We toured England in only 4 days and saw many high points; an excellent introduction to places I would like to return. Hotel accommodations were very good, the pacing was good, the people very nice and friendly. One suggestion for improvement: make short toilet stops on the road and longer visits, with lunch in the charming towns and villages. Thank you and I look forward to my next trip with you.

    59 out of 59 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. 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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