Gems of Britain

Britain & Ireland

Regional Journey

Gems of Britain (Summer 2019)

Duration: 5 days Visiting: England, Scotland, Wales

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

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

Succinct and full of bucket-list highlights, this spirited journey captures the essence of Britain in only a few days. It includes a fantastic cross-section of Britain’s historic towns, traditional heritage, cultural figures and idyllic scenic landscapes.

  1. Day 1

    London & 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

    The Lake District and 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, for an orientation.

  4. Day 4

    Roman Chester and Cardiff.

    Visit the former Roman fortress town of Chester. Walk along part of the city walls, see the Eastgate Clock, Chester 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

 

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • York: Walk with your Travel Director within the city walls to see the York Minster and crocked Shambles.
  • Jedburgh: See the ruins of Jedburgh Abbey.
  • 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.
  • Liverpool: Stay in the home city of The Beatles.
  • 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.
  • Cardiff: During an orientation with your Travel Director, see the castle and Principality Stadium.
  • Bath: During an orientation you will see the Royal Crescent, Pulteney Bridge and Bath Abbey.
  • 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.
  • Scenic Drives: Enjoy the beautiful British countryside and scenery of the English Lake District and Welsh Marshes, along with the Severn Bridge.

AUTHENTIC DINING

  • Dining Summery: 4 Breakfasts (B) and 1 Dinner with Wine (WD) all with tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE

  • London: The Grosvenor Hotel is centrally located, right next to Victoria Station, and only a short walk to Buckingham Palace.
  • York: The Hilton York is situated within the city walls, close to the York Minster and the best this city has to offer.
  • Cardiff: 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.

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 trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations.

Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are 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 (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
11478 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 27 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Good choice of places (I especially enjoyed York.) Problem was arriving late in day in some places because of tight schedule.

    Service: The only fault was inherent in the short time we were touring. It was disappointing that we would arrive in major stops at or after 5 pm, when a lot of places would be closing. The guide (tour director), the driver, and the comfort of the coach were all excellent.

  • 25 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: I knew going in this was going to be a rushed trip and it was. I realize now that many of the stops we take are due to driver's work requirements and sometimes we stopped when we really didn't need to. I took this trip with the idea of getting a broad overview and then coming back to places on my own. I loved the Scottish dinner in Edinburgh. We especially liked the towns where we had time to wander on our own: York, Chester, Ludlow. The lake district scenery was beautiful but if I had to do over would skip the boat and train ride and would rather wander the town there. Enjoyed Bath and Stonehenge. Obviously would enjoy more time in each. Cardiff was a bust for me-we were rushed through the castle tour as we were the last of the day, and traffic back to the hotel was gruesome. Skip the Welsh pub dinner as it is so crowded and inconveniently set up that you'd better not have to use the facilities and pray there's no fire as you are crammed in there. This should be taken off the options list for safety reasons. Having said that, I would recommend the trip if only to get a 'taste' of each area you visit.

    Service: The tour director, Evan, was very knowledgeable and organized. He educated us on many cultural aspects of the places we visited. Our driver, Danny was fabulous getting our bus through some very tight spaces and traffic and very professional. I think though the travel director needs to have a plan B in place when we're sitting in over an hour's traffic to go two blocks and you can see your hotel. We could've gotten off and walked and we'd have been satisfied. I would have given 5 stars except for the last day when our travel director overcharged us for optional excursions and I'm still waiting to get my refund and he's gone AWOL.

  • 25 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Great hotels itinerary and tour guide was amazing

    Service: Great trip ! Love every miniute if it !

  • 25 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We had a limited time to cover a lot of sights which were most interesting

    Service: Excellent director and coach driver

  • 19 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Glad to see first hand some of the cities and names that I've known about for so long.

    Service: Our second trip with Insight. Very pleased.

  • 11 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: the optional experience were not that good especially the Wales show. The cardiff hotel was not very good compared to the other hotels. We were over-charged for the optional experiences . We were told 243 pounds and were we charged 279 pounds. We had 2 AAA vouchers for $40. that I don't think were deducted correctly from the total. I think we were over-charged for the Wales show.

    Service: evan and danny were excellent

  • 02 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The itinerary was good, but more focus was placed on the optional dinners than on actually seeing the city.

    Service: The service and efficiency was great, however my main gripe was that we didn't arrive in a city until 5pm and left at 8am the following morning. That didn't allow much time to look around

  • 30 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Lots of driving involved to reach all destinations. Not much time spent at each one,but gave us a taste of what each place has to offer.

    Service: Our tour director and driver were excellent.Went out of their way to make everybody comfortable and answer our questions along the way.

  • 27 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We really enjoyed this quick tour after our Road To Rome. We didnt really want to go to Liverpool and for us it was our only destination we really didnt like. However the Hotel was the best we had on both of our Tours. The extras werent as good as the Road to Rome but overall we did enjoy it

    Service: The tour was amazing . We did all of the extras which made the trip even better. Our Tour Director Chantal *personal information removed by Feefo* was so knowledgeable of the History and Coach driver Mariaosa was very professional. A genius with that huge Coach.

  • 27 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Covered a lot of the UK. The highlights were well chosen. The local tours could have had more time some places were a little rushed. Liverpool comes to mind. And Cardiff

    Service: Hotels are nice centrally located. Driver was excellent. Tour director organized, friendly and knowledgable.

  • 27 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: covered all sites in short time

    Service: organizing the whole trip

  • 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.

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