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

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.

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on
10664 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 17 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: All scheduled visits made for a great trip! Great way to travel and learn about the areas. We were disappointed that Stonehedge was closed to the public on the day of our scheduled visit but thankful that the tour bus was able to take us around the back side of it!

    Service: All of the Staff were very friendly and professional.

  • 14 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The itinerary was great. My only comment is to perhaps cut an hour in Cardiff and add an hour for Ludlow castle. Other than that it is spot on.

    Service: We did everything that I was expecting and had a great group of people doing it with. I would recommend for anyone who is looking to get the very best of the UK on a limited time frame.

  • 14 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: A comprehensive tour given the time limitations The tour guides were well informed I did mention that when a new guide came aboard that ther was some repetition Which could be sorted out at your end

    Service: Well organised and run On time No pressure Good social interaction

  • 12 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: See my previous comments ab

    Service: Yes it was great. Whirlwind tour but covered a lot of great sites. Our tour director was brilliant and the checkin process was effortless I would book again with insight

  • 11 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Covered everything we wanted, prior notification that Stonehenge would not be open was disappointing as the date is always locked in. To cover this consideration to running in reverse if tour clashes with closed date.

    Service: Good itinerary, knowledgeable and experienced tour directors, clean and modern coaches

  • 29 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Tour was well organized but to improve an extra day to see London gems have been nice.

    Service: They were helpful and answered all our questions and concerns.

  • 28 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: This trip gave us a taste of England, Wales, and Scotland. Definitely will return!

    Service: This tour was well organized, excellent accommodations, and the tour director was knowledgeable, efficient, and fun. Can't wait to book another one!

  • 28 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: This being our first visit to Great Britain, I thought the itinerary provided the ability to see several cities in a short amount of time.

    Service: I thought our trip went very smoothly. Our tour guide, Peter, was very organized and kept us all on schedule.

  • 28 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The locations chosen gave me an overview of England and its history plus a glimpse of its beautiful scenery. I love castles and cathedrals and walled cities.

    Service: The hotels were very comfortable and the breakfasts were good. The tour guide, Brad, had everything organized well and reminded us of times and meeting places. The coach was comfortable and the driver, Paul, was an expert. The cities and points of interest we visited were very interesting and the scenery was beautiful.

  • 14 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The itinerary was perfect for a first timer to the U.K. Now I know more about the little gems I'd like to visit on my next trip. I would have liked to spend more time in some of the cities, but then we wouldn't have been able to see as much as we did in 5 days.

    Service: From beginning to end, the service and expertise of both the guide, Peter and driver, Karl was superb. Knowledgeable, kind and funny, I would highly recommend Insight vacations. I was very comfortable on the coach, and the accommodations were first rate.

  • 14 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The itinerary was great. It was too fast for us (at 64 and 66 years old). We could have seen a bit less and enjoyed that more.

    Service: Peter, our tour guide, and Carl, our driver, were consummate professionals and gave their all to the group and our needs.

  • 14 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: I think it was a little to short. Not enough time at each location. But, was great to give you an idea of where to come back to visit.

    Service: Peter was an excellent guide. He was fun and took great care of our group. Carl was our driver and I thought he did an outstanding job getting us to all of our locations. Both were extremely courteous and helpful.

*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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