Elegance of Great Britain - Start London, Classic Group
From 29/04/2023 to 13/09/2023
Additional Included Highlights.
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
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 delight you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
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.
Itinerary / more information
Day 1 - Welcome to London Welcome to London. After checking into your hotel, the afternoon is free to enjoy a city that is famous for its pomp and pageantry. Perhaps relax with a walk along the Serpentine in Hyde Park or window shop in the elegant boutiques of Knightsbridge? Alternatively, you may want to stroll along the Thames to the iconic Tower Bridge and Tower of London.
Day 2 - From London to Edinburgh In the morning, transfer to the train station and take your comfortable, standard-class seats. Your cross-country journey takes you through the green English countryside as you travel to Scotland - land of legends and romance. You are then transferred to Macdonald Holyrood Hotel, where the rest of the day is yours to relax. Join your Travel Director and fellow travellers at 16:30 for a Welcome Dinner and the opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers over a pleasant evening.
Day 3 - 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 - the official Scottish residence of Her Majesty, the Queen 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 colourful mix of pipes and drums, dance and display, set against the floodlit backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.
Day 4 - 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(R) 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 over the anvil at the blacksmith's shop. Your travels continues to the picturesque English Lake District and dinner is served at your hotel in Kendal.
Day 5 - 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.
Day 6 - Windermere to York Relaxed Start Enjoy a morning at leisure before travelling through the Yorkshire Dales to arrive at the charming village of Haworth. Visit the Bront? Parsonage Museum, created within the actual home of the Bront? 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.
Day 7 - 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 century and now renowned for its exquisite architecture. Walk within the town walls with a Local Expert to see the huge York Minster, Britain’s largest medieval cathedral. Explore the tangle of quaint, narrow, cobbled streets and see the Shambles. There is plenty of time to further explore on you own, perhaps visit the National Railway Museum housing over 300 years of history, or continue wandering the well-preserved city walls?
Day 8 - Lincoln's Magna Carta Explore Lincoln with Insight Choice. Visit Lincoln Castle, one of the finest Norman castles in England, for a chance to see one of the four remaining copies of the Magna Carta. Alternatively, Join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER(R) Experience to visit a local caf? fighting against poverty, for delicious tea and cakes. Continue to pretty Stratford, beautifully situated on the River Avon. Your hotel is set in its own private grounds, just a short walk from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the town's wealth of black and white timber-framed buildings.
Day 9 - 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 a traditional Sunday roast dinner, served with Yorkshire pudding and all the trimmings.
Day 10 - 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 round 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 amphitheatre style on the surrounding hills. Your Travel Director introduces you to the Pulteney Bridge, built in mellow local stone. See the angels climbing Jacob's Ladder on Bath Abbey.
Day 11 - 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 travellers at Brasserie Blanc. Raise a glass over your Celebration Dinner to commend your wonderful journey, while enjoying a delicious French-inspired meal accompanied with wine.
Day 12 - 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 reach the city of Salisbury where you have time at leisure to enjoy lunch and explore the 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. Your journey concludes upon arrival at the London trip hotel. Choice Highlights Choose between two carefully selected activities Lincoln: In Lincoln visit a local caf? fighting against poverty, for delicious tea and cakes. Lincoln: Visit Lincoln Castle and admire one of the four remaining copies of the Magna Carta, which is over 800 years old. 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. : Experience enhanced hygiene protocols to align with the latest guidance following COVID-19.All Travel Directors, Well-Being Directors and Drivers have completed training in enhanced well-being and hygiene protocols. : We only work with establishments we are confident will consistently adhere to our high well-being standards, which include hotels, restaurants and sight-seeing venues. : Hand sanitizer is freely available on board for you to use throughout the day. Travel Director : "One experience that is not to be missed on this trip is a visit to the Roman Baths, because it's an incredible relic of Roman times from 2000 years ago." : "Towering mountains, glittering lochs, beautiful forests, crumbling toothy ancient castles, rushing rivers, grand vistas, clear air... there's nowhere else like the Highlands, in how it looks but also how it feels: strong, bright, impressive and light." : "One food I really love introducing my guests to is haggis because it's surprisingly really nice and they love hearing about how it's made. " Top Rated Highlights London: Take your comfortable, standard-class seats and relax as your cross-country journey takes you through the green English countryside to Scotland - land of legends and romance. Edinburgh: Your Local Expert walks with you inside the walls of the Edinburgh Castle to view the Scottish Crown Jewels, the Stone of Destiny and Mons Meg. 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: 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 Bront? Parsonage Museum provides a fascinating insight into the life of the Bront? family and the inspiration behind their marvellous works of literature. York: Walk with your Local Expert to see the might 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 monoliths 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. Authentic Dining Edinburgh: Get to know your fellow travellers over your Welcome Dinner of modern European cuisine and wine, at a chic bistro tucked away in New Town. York: Join a family for a dine at home meal at the historic Thirsk Hall. This Grade II* listed building was extended in 1770 by famous English architect John Carr. Stratford: Enjoy a traditional Sunday Roast Dinner, with all the trimmings. Bath: Join your Travel Director and fellow travellers at Brasserie Blanc. Raise a glass over your Celebration Dinner to commend your wonderful journey, while enjoying a delicious French-inspired meal accompanied with wine. Dining Summary: 11 Breakfast (B), 4 Dinner with Wine (DW), 1 Afternoon Tea (AT), and 1 Dinner (D) Make Travel Matter Ardgowan House: Join Sir Ludovic for a tour of his family home, Ardgowan Estate, and savour 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. Ardgowan Estate advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption & Production and UN Sustainable Development Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy. Lincoln: In Lincoln visit a local caf? fighting against poverty, for delicious tea and cakes. Bath: Visit the incredibly well-preserved Roman Baths. Discover 2000 years of history and learn how this hub of culture is pioneering new educational investments to benefit the community. Its school educational programme actively supports local schools and students to learn about the cultural heritage of the region. The Roman Baths experience advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education. 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.
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