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Britain & Ireland Explorer

Duration 13 days

Destinations visited :
  • England
    ,
  • Ireland
    ,
  • Scotland
    ,

Discover the ancient Roman Baths of Bath with their healing waters, learn to pour a pint like a pro at Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse and take an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the National Stud Farm in Kildare — the epicenter of Ireland’s thoroughbred horse breeding history. This all-encompassing tour showcases the regal heritage of Edinburgh Castle, the stunning beauty of England’s Lake District, the historic grandeur of Durham’s Romanesque cathedral and the rolling hills of Pembrokeshire in Wales. Pay homage to the literary legacy of Shakespeare as you visit his birthplace in Stratford Upon Avon, tour the medieval Shambles of old York, admire the ancient border of the Roman Empire at Hadrian’s Wall and set sail from Holyhead to Dublin, on this journey through Great Britain and Ireland.

Take a look at your day-by-day itinerary or contact us on 0207 620 8952 to find out more.

DAY 1

Stratford and Medieval York.
At 07:15, meet your Travel Director at The Grosvenor Hotel in London and journey to Stratford, beautifully situated on the River Avon. Visit the birthplace of William Shakespeare, full of interesting memorabilia and artefacts relating to his life. Continue on to York where you walk within the old city walls to the crooked houses of the Shambles and see York Minster, England’s largest medieval cathedral. Join your Travel Director for a warm and friendly Welcome Dinner with drinks and the opportunity to mingle over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.
Hotel: Hilton York.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

DAY 2

Durham, Hadrian’s Wall and Edinburgh.
Stop in Durham to see the castle and Romanesque cathedral. Then view part of Hadrian’s Wall, Britain’s most impressive Roman monument once spanning 80 miles from coast-to-coast, marking the northern frontier of the mighty Roman Empire. Cross the Scottish border to reach the elegant Scottish capital, Edinburgh.
Hotel: Crowne Plaza Edinburgh – Royal Terrace.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 3

Scotland’s Capital of Culture.
Journey down the Royal Mile to see the Palace of Holyroodhouse – official Scottish residence of Her Majesty, the Queen – before crossing over to New Town. Next, walk with your Local Expert inside Edinburgh Castle for spectacular views of the town and to see Scotland’s Crown Jewels, the Stone of Destiny and Mons Meg. The afternoon is free to shop on Princes Street. In the evening, select departures will enjoy the spectacle of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo – a colourful mixture of historic battles and military manoeuvres with pipes and drums.
Hotel: Crowne Plaza Edinburgh – Royal Terrace.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 4

St. Andrews and Inverness.
Cross the Firth of Forth into Fife and make your way to St. Andrews, passing the Old Course where golf was born in the 15th century. Enjoy free time to explore, perhaps stroll to West Sands Beach where the famous ‘Chariots of Fire’ scene was filmed. Your travels continue as you cross the Tay river passing the charming Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, famous for its salmon run. Travel via Blair Atholl and past the Grampian Mountains to the sparkling Spey Valley. Later, continue to Inverness and your hotel.
Hotel: Columba Hotel, Inverness.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner

DAY 5

Loch Ness and Glencoe.
In the morning, travel along Loch Ness and hear tales of the famous Nessie. Continue your journey through some of the most stunning scenery in all of Scotland found in the region of Glencoe. Reach the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond and absorb the incredible scenery as you cruise what is arguably one of Scotland’s most beautiful lochs, while enjoying a light lunch. Cross the English border before arriving at your lakeside hotel.
Hotel: Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, Bowness-on-Windermere.
Meal: Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner

DAY 6

The English Lakes to Chester.
In the morning, discover the beauty of the Lake District. Continue to your hotel in Chester.
Hotel: Hallmark Hotel The Queen, Chester.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner

DAY 7

North Wales and over to Dublin.
Continue through Wales, passing the massive Conwy Castle before crossing over to the Isle of Anglesey. The village with the longest name in Europe will be visible – see if you are able to read it aloud! From the port of Holyhead, set sail for Dublin in Ireland.
Hotel: Trinity City Hotel/Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 8

In Dublin’s Fair City.
Before it opens to the public, experience Ireland’s national and world-famous drink with a guided visit to the Guinness Storehouse. Gain a fascinating insight into the history and traditions behind its production and enjoy a private masterclass where you will learn to pour the perfect pint. Later, become acquainted with Dublin’s elegant squares during sightseeing with a Local Expert. See famous O’Connell Street, the Custom House and Dublin Castle. For the rest of the afternoon, you are free to soak up the Irish atmosphere or browse the shops along Grafton Street.
Hotel: Trinity City Hotel/Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 9

From Dublin to Killarney.
Travel to Ireland’s premier thoroughbred horse breeding region for a fascinating, behind-the-scenes visit of the National Stud with an equine professional. You then visit the acclaimed 100-year-old Japanese Gardens where you can ‘journey through life’. Continue to view the Rock of Cashel, crowned with the noblest group of medieval monuments in Ireland. Cross the rolling pastures that encircle Tipperary before reaching Killarney. At night, your Dine-Around Evening offers authentic and intimate dining with your friends, from a hand-picked selection of fine local restaurants.
Hotel: Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa/Killarney Avenue Hotel.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 10

Ring of Kerry Experience.
In the morning, join a delightful trip around the Ring of Kerry, a world of towering cliffs, lush lakelands and remote villages. Get a sense of the unhurried pace of Irish life as you pass through Ireland’s highest mountain range and make your way to the three peaceful Lakes of Killarney.
Hotel: Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa/Killarney Avenue Hotel.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 11

Blarney Castle and Waterford.
Start the day visiting Blarney Castle, home of the famous Stone of Eloquence – once kissed, never forgotten! Travel on through the scenic port of Dungarvan to the historic walled city of Waterford, with its 11th century Reginald Tower. Enjoy a guided visit of the world-famous crystal factory and to meet a master craftsman. In the evening, after miles of fun and fascinating sights, spirits will be high during your Celebration Dinner.
Hotel: Dooley’s Hotel Waterford.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 12

Across the Irish Sea to Cardiff.
From the port of Rosslare, board your ferry to cross the Irish Sea. A pleasant drive will then take you into the rural scenery of Pembrokeshire. Continue past the valleys of southern Wales to the capital, Cardiff, famous for its imposing castle and brilliant Principality Stadium.
Hotel: Clayton Hotel Cardiff.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 13

Roman Baths and Stonehenge.
Cross the Severn Bridge to reach the City of Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its Georgian streets and crescents. Visit the Roman Baths and Pump Room built above Britain’s only hot, mineral springs. See the incredibly well-preserved remains of one of the greatest spas of the ancient world, still flowing with the natural hot water from the springs below. Your journey continues across Salisbury Plain for a visit to mysterious Stonehenge – no-one can be sure why they were built, or even how prehistoric man could move such huge blocks of stone. Your exploration of Britain and Ireland draws to a close upon your return to The Grosvenor Hotel in London.
Meal: Breakfast

Authentic Dining

  • Loch Lomond: Enjoy a light lunch and admire the oak woodlands and incredible scenery as you cruise one of Scotland’s most beautiful lochs, a favourite nature spot of the local’s.
  • Dublin: Before it opens to the public, visit the Guinness Storehouse to learn about Ireland’s national drink. Experience a private masterclass and learn to pour the perfect pint.
  • Killarney: Choose from a fine selection of local restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening.
  • Waterford: Celebrate the culmination of your escorted journey with wine, good cheer and palate-pleasing cuisine.
  • Dining Summary: 12 Breakfasts (B), 1 Lunch (L), 3 Dinners (D) and 3 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

Insight Experiences

  • Kildare: Join an equine professional for a behind-the-scenes look at the Irish National Stud. Then visit the finest Japanese Gardens in Europe, for a ‘journey through life’ as you wander by the beautiful floral displays.

Stay in Style

  • York: The Hilton York is situated within the city walls, close to the York Minster and the best this city has to offer.
  • Edinburgh: Located in a Georgian terrace in the heart of the city, the Crowne Plaza Edinburgh – Royal Terrace is a short walk away Prince’s Street.
  • Inverness: The traditional Columba Hotel provides enviable views over the River Ness and Inverness Castle.
  • Bowness-on-Windermere: The Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa is contained in a 17th century building and rests on the shores of Windermere, England’s largest lake.
  • Chester: The Hallmark Hotel The Queen, Chester is set in a grand Victorian building and has just undergone a multi-million pound restoration.
  • Dublin: Trinity City Hotel is situated on a historic site, in the heart of Dublin, adjacent to Trinity College Dublin.
  • Killarney: In the heart of the town centre, the Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa overlooks Killarney National Park and is the perfect location to enjoy the stunning scenery and the local ‘craic.’
  • Killarney: The 4-Star Killarney Avenue Hotel echoes old-world charm and is located in the heart of downtown Killarney.
  • Waterford: Dooley’s Hotel Waterford has been family-run for generations and is conveniently located inside Waterford’s City Centre.
  • 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.

Top Rated Highlights

  • 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.
  • Stratford: 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.
  • Durham: See the castle and Romanesque cathedral.
  • Hadrian’s Wall: Stop to see part of the ancient wall that once marked the border of the Roman Empire.
  • 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 Queen, Palace of Holyroodhouse.
  • Edinburgh: Walk with a Local Expert inside the walls of the Castle to view the Scottish Crown Jewels, Stone of Destiny and Mons Meg.
  • St. Andrews: Visit the university town where the famous beach scene from ‘Chariots of Fire’ was filmed and see the golf course where the sport was created.
  • Pitlochry: Visit this town, famous for its salmon leap.
  • Inverness: See the River Ness, Inverness Castle and take in the scenery around you as you hear about the beauty and history behind Inverness.
  • Loch Ness: Hear tales of the famous Nessie as you drive along Scotland’s famous loch.
  • Grasmere: Learn about the life of the poet William Wordsworth and visit his grave.
  • Chester: During you orientation with your Travel Director see the cathedral, city walls and famous black and white Rows.
  • Conwy: See the castle upon the river.
  • Holyhead: Set sail for Dublin.
  • Dublin: Walk with your Local Expert, through the elegant squares of this fine city to see O’Connell Street, Custom House and Dublin Castle.
  • Cashel: See the Rock of Cashel where St. Patrick preached.
  • Ring of Kerry: Venture into a world of towering cliffs, lush lakelands and remote villages, as you travel the Ring of Kerry.
  • Killarney: Enjoy hearing of the history of Killarney during your city orientation.
  • Blarney: Visit the castle and climb the battlements for a chance to kiss the Blarney Stone and gain the gift of eloquence.
  • Waterford: Explore the town and see Reginald’s Tower and the remains of the city walls.
  • Waterford: Meet a master craftsman on your guided visit of the world-famous House of Waterford Crystal.
  • Rosslare: Board your ferry to cross the Irish Sea.
  • Cardiff: During an orientation with your Travel Director, see the castle and Principality Stadium.
  • Bath: The Roman Baths have existed for over 2,000 years and are now one of the best-preserved Roman remains in the world. Learn the importance of this historic site, still used as a center for bathing and socialising.
  • Bath: During your orientation of the city, your Travel Director will show you the Georgian houses, the Royal Crescent, Pulteney Bridge and Bath Abbey.
  • Stonehenge: Visit the mysterious circle of upright stones, which stands as strong today as it did 5,000 years ago.
  • Scenic Drives: Admire some of the world’s most spectacular scenery as you travel through the Scottish Highlands, past the Grampian Mountains, Spey Valley and Glencoe, along Loch Lomond and Loch Ness, through the English Lake District, Tipperary, Ring of Kerry, Dungarvan, Pembrokeshire, and across Severn Bridge and Salibury Plain.

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.
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Britain & Ireland Explorer

Discover the ancient Roman Baths of Bath with their healing waters, learn to pour a pint like a pro at Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse and take an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the National Stud Farm in Kildare — the epicenter of Ireland’s thoroughbred horse breeding history. This all-encompassing tour showcases the regal heritage of Edinburgh Castle, the stunning beauty of England’s Lake District, the historic grandeur of Durham’s Romanesque cathedral and the rolling hills of Pembrokeshire in Wales. Pay homage to the literary legacy of Shakespeare as you visit his birthplace in Stratford Upon Avon, tour the medieval Shambles of old York, admire the ancient border of the Roman Empire at Hadrian’s Wall and set sail from Holyhead to Dublin, on this journey through Great Britain and Ireland.