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Elegance of Great Britain - Start Edinburgh, Classic Group

Days
12
From
USD $4,925
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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Follow in the footsteps of historical figures and literary giants on a 12-day guided tour of Scotland and England. In Edinburgh be dazzled by the jewels of Scottish royalty and join a Local Expert as you explore the best the city has to offer. Dine with Sir Ludovic, a Scottish Baronet, on his 10,000-acre coastal home - Ardgowan Castle. He’ll tell you about the castle's history and surrounding area as you enjoy traditional tea and scones. Cruise the English Lake District, and visit William Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Plus, marvel at Stonehenge's monoliths and indulge in a home-hosted meal at York's Thrisk Hall, an 18th-century town house renovated by English architect John Carr.

Countries Visited

England , Scotland

  1. Day 1
    Welcome to Edinburgh
    Welcome to Scotland - land of legends and romance, from the great cultural cities in the south, to the dramatic mountains and misty lochs of the Highlands. On arrival at Edinburgh Airport, transfers depart for your hotel. Then the rest of the day is yours to relax before joining your Travel Director and fellow travelers.
    Meals:   Dinner
  2. Day 2
    Edinburgh, The Capital of Culture
    Join a Local Expert to see the highlights of the city. Enjoy a drive along Princes Street to the ornate Scott Memorial and see the 18th century New Town with its neoclassical Adam facades. Over in the Old Town, see the Palace of Holyroodhouse and visit the castle, home of Mons Meg, the Stone of Destiny and the Honours of Scotland, Scotland's glittering Crown Jewels. With the afternoon at leisure, why not visit the art treasures in the National Gallery? On select departures, you will also attend The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo — a colorful mix of pipes and drums, dance and display, set against the floodlit backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.Accommodation: Apex Waterloo Place, Edinburgh
    Meals:   Breakfast
  3. Day 3
    Ardgowan and Gretna Green
    Depart the majestic Scottish capital and journey to Ardgowan, set on a stunning 10,000-acre coastal estate. Sir Ludovic Shaw Stewart welcomes you to his family castle. Learn the history of the area, the Shaw Stewart family and the conservation efforts to protect the land on this MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience, followed by a degustation of traditional Scottish tea and scones. Continue to Gretna Green to see the famous spot where runaway lovers were married at the blacksmith's shop. Your travels continue to the picturesque English Lake District.Accommodation: The Ro, Windermere
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  4. Day 4
    English Poets and the Lake District Experience Relaxed Start
    Devote the day to a scenic wonderland of rugged mountains and tranquil waters - 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.Accommodation: The Ro, Windermere
    Meals:   Breakfast
  5. Day 5
    Windermere to York Relaxed Start
    Enjoy a morning at leisure before traveling through the Yorkshire Dales to arrive at the charming village of Haworth. Visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum, created within the home of the Brontë family. Learn about the family's literary legacy and what inspired them from the surroundings of their own home. Your journey continues to York, one of the oldest cities in England. In the evening join a family for a home-hosted meal at the historic Thirsk Hall. This grade II* listed three-storey town house was built in 1720 and extended in 1770 by York architect John Carr.Accommodation: DoubleTree by Hilton, York
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  6. Day 6
    The Viking City of York Relaxed Start
    Enjoy an exploration of one of Britain’s most historic cities, controlled by the Vikings during the 9th and 10th centuries and now renowned for its exquisite architecture. Walk within the town walls with a Local Expert to see the York Minster, Britain’s largest medieval cathedral. Explore the tangle of narrow, cobbled streets and see the Shambles. Spend the afternoon with Insight Choice. Visit the National Railway Museum housing over 300 years of history, or the magnificent York Minster, one of the largest in Northern Europe.Accommodation: DoubleTree by Hilton, York
    Meals:   Breakfast
  7. Day 7
    Lincoln’s Magna Carta
    Visit Lincoln Castle, one of the finest Norman castles in England. Your tour will include a chance to see one of the four remaining copies of the Magna Carta. Continue to Stratford, beautifully situated on the River Avon.Accommodation: DoubleTree by Hilton, Stratford-upon-Avon
    Meals:   Breakfast
  8. Day 8
    Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon Relaxed Start
    Discover how William Shakespeare and his incredible works continue to delight audiences today when you visit his birthplace, full of interesting memorabilia and artefacts relating to his life. Later, join your Travel Director for dinner.Accommodation: DoubleTree by Hilton, Stratford-upon-Avon
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  9. Day 9
    The Cotswolds, Blenheim Palace and Bath
    An enchanting day awaits in the morning. Cross the beautiful Cotswold hills, a chocolate box scene of golden stone villages with roses around the doors. Visit the magnificent stately home and gardens of Blenheim Palace, the greatest building of the English Baroque, and learn more about Churchill's life at Blenheim during a talk by a historian. Continue to the elegant Georgian city of Bath, built in amphitheater style on the surrounding hills. Your Travel Director introduces you to the Pulteney Bridge, built in mellow local stone.Accommodation: Lansdown Grove, Bath
    Meals:   Breakfast
  10. Day 10
    Bath Relaxed Start
    The City of Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site built above one of Britain's thermal, mineral springs. Enjoy a visit to its incredibly well-preserved Roman Baths. With the rest of the day at leisure, why not soak and relax with a visit to Thermae Spa? In the evening, join your Travel Director and fellow travelers as you raise a glass over dinner to commend your wonderful journey.Accommodation: Lansdown Grove, Bath
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  11. Day 11
    Ancient Stonehenge to London
    Travel across Salisbury Plain to visit the prehistoric and mysterious Stonehenge, where the strange and awe-inspiring monoliths are reputed to be up to 5,000 years old. Continue into the heart of Wiltshire to the city of Salisbury where you have time at leisure to enjoy lunch and explore. See the tallest spire in England, atop the medieval cathedral, and observe an architectural timeline from the city's medieval walls and half-timbered Tudor town houses to Georgian mansions and Victorian villas. Upon arrival in London you are at leisure for the rest of the afternoon.Accommodation: Thistle Marble Arch, London
    Meals:   Breakfast
  12. Day 12
    Homeward Bound
    Your journey comes to an end after breakfast.
    Meals:   Breakfast

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Inclusions

Dining Summary

  • 4 Dinner with Wine (DW)
  • 11 Breakfast (B)
  • 1 Afternoon Tea (AT)
  • 1 Dinner (D)

Choice Highlights

  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • York: Visit the National Railway Museum, housing over 300 years of history, and home to iconic locomotives and an unrivaled collection of engineering brilliance. We celebrate the past, present and future of innovation on the railways.
  • York: Delve into the historic and human stories which have shaped the Minster on a visit to York's masterpiece. Explore the cathedral’s rich history, from the Roman Emperor who changed the course of Christianity, to the fires that threatened to destroy the cathedral.

Additional Included Highlights

  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • 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.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will delight you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.
  • If your arrival flights are as per the itinerary start date, then arrival transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport. You may purchase transfers to London Heathrow and Gatwick airports on departure day, or when additional night accommodation has been booked through Insight Vacations. Alternatively, please make your own way from/to the airport.

Authentic Dining

  • Edinburgh: Get to know your fellow travelers over dinner of modern European cuisine, at a quirky bistro tucked away in Leith.
  • York: Join your hosts for dinner at the historic Thirsk Hall. The building was extended in 1770 by famous English architect John Carr.
  • Bath: Join your Travel Director and fellow travelers at Brasserie Blanc, while enjoying a delicious French-inspired meal.

Insight Choice

  • York: Visit the National Railway Museum, housing over 300 years of history, and home to iconic locomotives and an unrivaled collection of engineering brilliance. We celebrate the past, present and future of innovation on the railways.
  • York: Delve into the historic and human stories which have shaped the Minster on a visit to York's masterpiece. Explore the cathedral’s rich history, from the Roman Emperor who changed the course of Christianity, to the fires that threatened to destroy the cathedral.

Insight Experiences

  • Blenheim Palace: Witness a masterpiece of the English Baroque, brimming with priceless art and tapestries, and learn more about Churchill's life at Blenheim during a talk by a historian.

Make Travel Matter

  • Ardgowan House: Join Sir Ludovic for a tour of his family home, Ardgowan Estate, and savor a traditional Scottish tea made from local ingredients. Hear more about centuries of history onthe beautiful grounds during the Make Travel Matter experience. Your visit helps support the estate, helping keep Scottish history alive.  The Estate educates its visitors and the local rural community about their sustainability initiatives, reducing food waste and sourcing all ingredients locally to support the local economy.  Ardgowan Estate invests in renewable projects including a wood bio mass boiler, a gas plant and wind turbines, to create a greener, more sustainable future. Your visit directly supports United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 7 & 12: Affordable and Clean Energy & Responsible Consumption and Production.
  • Bath: Visit the incredibly well-preserved Roman Baths. Discover 2,000 years of history and learn how this hub of culture is pioneering new educational investments to benefit the community. Its school educational program actively supports local schools and students to learn about the cultural heritage of the region. Your visit directly supports United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Edinburgh: Visit Edinburgh Castle to view the Scottish Crown Jewels, Mons Meg and other artefacts with your Local Expert.
  • Edinburgh: Explore the city with your Local Expert as you travel along Princes Street to see the Scott Memorial, the neoclassical Adam facades of New Town and the official Scottish residence of the King, Palace of Holyroodhouse.
  • 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.
  • Gretna Green: Visit the spot where runaway lovers were married.
  • Grasmere: Learn about the life of the poet William Wordsworth and visit his grave.
  • Bowness-on-Windermere: The best way to enjoy the Lake District is by cruise, relax as you admire the magnificent views.
  • Windermere: Board a steam train and journey along the banks of the beautiful River Leven.
  • Haworth: A visit to the Brontë Parsonage Museum provides a fascinating insight into the life of the Brontë family and the inspiration behind their marvelous works of literature.
  • York: Walk with your Local Expert to see the majestic York Minster and wander the maze of cobbled streets to see the Shambles.
  • Lincoln: Visit Lincoln Castle and admire one of the four remaining copies of the Magna Carta, which is over 800 years old.
  • Stratford-upon-Avon: 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.
  • Bath: During an orientation you will see the Royal Crescent, Pulteney Bridge and Bath Abbey.
  • Stonehenge: Walk around the strange and awe-inspiring megaliths that have reputedly stood for 5,000 years.
  • Salisbury: During your free time for lunch, take a moment to explore this historical city. See the tallest spire in England, atop the Medieval cathedral and walk the streets to observe an architectural timeline from the city's medieval walls and half-timbered Tudor town houses to Georgian mansions and Victorian villas.

Well-being

  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxurious, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom. Our customized luxury coaches are sanitized before the start of your tour and are maintained to very high standards. Physical distancing measures have been implemented on our customized luxury coaches.
  • Hand sanitizer is freely available on board for you to use throughout the day.

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Insight Vacations Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.1
Accommodations
3.9
Itinerary
4.3
Professional Staff
4.5
Repeat with Operator
4.1
Value for Money
3.9

Ratings based off 2328 reviews about Insight Vacations Tours - currently showing 15 reviews with comments only

Insight continues to deliver high-quality services and experiences. This was our 4th tour with them, and we will definitely book our next one with them.

Insight Vacations is a reputable company with a great formula for success. This is our fifth trip with them. We know what to expect and we are always very pleased with our trips.

Insight Vacations consistently provides excellent tours, services, drivers and tour directors.

This is my 5th Insight Tour in 5 years...they are great at what they do; their staff, the tour bus and the great optional excursions. I am ready to book my tour for next year.

Insight is a wonderful company and offered an amazing experience traveling throughout Europe. We would highly recommend it!

Toured with Insight before and have never been disappointed! Understand, you are on the go and walk a lot. But, that is what we wanted and paid for!

This was a perfect vacation!! We loved being on a boat and having one room to return to each night no packing and unpacking or hauling belongings from place to place. We were surprised how roomy and very comfortable our room on board was. Even the bathroom gave us plenty of room to move around in. And the boat itself was spacious, clean, and laid out with lots of thought put into the needs of guests. The staff onboard was phenomenal. They went above and beyond, always smiling, helpful, and spoiling us. Everything was clean, the food excellent and plentiful, and planned stops included keeping passengers safe at all times. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who wants to relax and enjoy the Adriatic! Thank you Affordable Tours.

I have been on 4 trips with Insight and will continue to use them. They are a wonderful company

This was our 2nd tour with Insight Vacations and it was a wonderful experience. Michael, our tour director, was excellent!

The Tour Director and Driver were excellent! Very enjoyable.

Insight took care of everything! Great hotels and excursions!

Insight not only provides an educational and cultural experience, but they also lessen the stress that can come with traveling as they provide airport pick ups and drop offs, and just tell us when to have our luggage outside our hotel door. We would definitely travel with Insight again.

Got my money's worth! This was a fabulous trip! American the Beautiful has a deeper meaning after seeing unimaginable beauty every mile of the way. The Tour Guide and Wellness Coordinator were fabulous, and you just can't find a better bus driver. The extra legroom available on Insight Tours makes all the difference when you are on a bus for 10 glorious days.

This trip was one of my best. The itinerary was just right. Everything went to perfection

This was my third trip with Insight Tours. It was a very good tour. I chose Insight because of their itinerary for this particular tour.

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