9 Day Best of Britain – Insight Vacations
Insight Vacations Guided Tour starting in London and finishing in London
Nine fabulous days brimming with sightseeing and interesting places to visit, covering the length and breadth of England, southern Scotland and Wales. Consequently, the tour pace is brisk, but this also means great value for money!
Day By Day
Day 1 From London To Stratford And Medieval York
Journey through the pretty Cotswolds this morning to visit Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford to uncover the facts about his life and family. On arrival in York, stroll the narrow lanes of the Tudor Shambles and view York Minster, England’s largest medieval cathedral. Tonight, your Tour Director hosts a uniquely Yorkshire Welcome Reception and dinner where the heritage and ancient art of the humble Yorkshire Pudding is revealed before your eyes! (WR/D) Stay: Marriott York
Day 2 Over The Border To Edinburgh
This morning, head north, stopping briefly at part of Hadrian’s Wall, then passing Jedburgh Abbey to visit a real working organic farm. Learn about the owners’ environmentally friendly farming methods and passion for sustainable food before continuing to Edinburgh. (FB) Stay: Holyrood/Crowne Plaza – The Roxburghe, Edinburgh
Day 3 Edinburgh, Athens Of The North
In the morning, join a local expert for a visit to Edinburgh Castle, home of Scotland’s crown jewels. See Holyrood Palace at the end of the Royal Mile, then continue past the Scott Monument to the New Town. The afternoon is at leisure. Tonight, selected departures attend the Edinburgh Military Tattoo at the castle. (FB) Stay: Holyrood, Edinburgh
Day 4 Through The Trossachs And By Loch Lomond To Glasgow
Enjoy the scenery of the Trossachs. Drive along the banks of Loch Lomond. Continue to Glasgow for an orientation tour. (FB) Stay: Crowne Plaza, Glasgow
Day 5 Drive By Gretna Green To The Lake District
Drive via Gretna to the English Lake District, with scenery so beautiful it inspired a host of writers. Learn about the life of William Wordsworth and visit his grave in the village of Grasmere. (BB/Three-course or generous buffet-style Dinner with menu choices) Stay: Old England Hotel & Spa, Windermere
Day 6 To Ludlow, The Welsh Marches And To Cardiff
Stop in ancient Ludlow, one of England’s most attractive towns, dominated by its castle, rich in tragic royal history. Why not spend time exploring the traditional open-air market, admiring the local crafts and perhaps sampling the produce. Afterwards, cross into Southern Wales and head for the capital city of Cardiff. (FB) Stay: Thistle Cardiff City Centre/Mercure Cardiff Holland House, Cardiff
Day 7 On To Georgian Bath, Glastonbury And Cornwall
Cross the Severn Bridge back into England and drive to the Georgian city of Bath – its curative waters have been famous since Roman times. Sightseeing includes a visit to the Roman Baths and you also see the 15th century Abbey Church. Continue on to Glastonbury, steeped in legend, before heading to your fabulous resort in the Cornish countryside. (FB) Stay: St Mellion International Resort, Saltash
Day 8 Plymouth & The Cornish Coast Excursion
In the morning, drive to the seaside village of Looe, then continue along the Cornish coast to Plymouth to see the Mayflower Steps, Barbican, Citadel and Plymouth Hoe. Return via the rugged hilly countryside of Dartmoor. Enjoy a last evening Celebration Dinner with wine tonight. (BB/CD) Stay: St Mellion International Resort, Saltash
Day 9 To Ancient Stonehenge And On To London
Cross Salisbury Plain to visit Stonehenge, the world’s most famous prehistoric monument, its true meaning lost in the mists of time. Your tour ends on return to London’s Thistle Marble Arch Hotel. (FB)
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Additional Included Highlights
- Stratford: Appreciate the architecture of this pretty town.
- York: See York Minster, city walls and medieval ‘Shambles”
- Borders: Visit part of Hadrian’s Wall. See Jedburgh Abbey ruins
- Edinburgh: Enjoy a guided city tour down the Royal Mile past Holyroodhouse and over to the 18C ‘New Town’
- Stirling: Travel via the historic site of Bannockburn. View Stirling Castle.
- Glasgow: Orientation drive past St. Mungo’s Cathedral
- Lake District: Learn about the life of the poet William Wordsworth and visit his grave in Grasmere
- Ludlow: See the walls of the castle and Jacobean buildings
- Bath: Witness the town’s fine Georgian architecture
- Glastonbury: Drive past the ruined Abbey
- Looe: Visit this stunningly beautiful fishing port.
- Plymouth: Orientation tour past Plymouth Hoe and Citadel to the Barbican and Mayflower Steps
- Scenic drives – Cotswolds, the Trossachs, Loch Lomond, Lake District, Severn Bridge, Dartmoor, Welsh Marshes
Highlight Hotels And Locations
- Bowness-on-Windermere: Nestled on the shore of England’s largest lake, experience traditional country house charm at The Old England Hotel.
- Glasgow: The mirror-like tower of the Crowne Plaza soars into the sky above the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre on the banks of the River Clyde.
- Cornwall: Enjoy the finest local and regional produce during an end-of-tour Celebration Dinner with wine.
- Welcome Reception (WD), 8 full breakfasts (FB), 1 three-course Evening Meal with choice, or buffets, plus tea or coffee (D) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD).
- Stratford: To see or not to see? Visit the timber-framed building where Shakespeare was born and grew up.
- York: The Yorkshire pudding is a staple of British Sunday lunch – discover how a simple mixture of flour, eggs, milk and salt gained a place in the culinary hearts of a nation.
- West Linton: Visit Whitmuir Farm to learn the secrets of organic farming and see how it benefits the environment.
- Edinburgh: Walk with a local expert within the walls of the majestic castle perched on its rock, to view the Scottish Crown Jewels, Stone of Destiny and Mons Meg.
- Edinburgh: For a limited time in August, you are witness to the breathtaking spectacle of the Military Tattoo.
- Bath: Visit the ancient Roman Baths with its colonnaded pool filled by natural thermal springs.
- Stonehenge: Visit the mysterious circle of upright stones, which stands as strong today as it did 3500 years ago
- An expert Insight Tour Director – at the pinnacles of their careers, will smooth your way throughout your journey. They are your ‘travelling concierges’, expert guides, consummate organisers and friends in a foreign land.
- Insight motorcoach – Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight’s luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. It’s business class comfort.
- Personal radio headsets – gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights without missing any of your local expert’s fascinating insights and commentaries.
- Baggage handling everywhere – with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel.
- Hotel and restaurant tips included – you’ll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
- Complimentary WiFi – the majority of Insight hotels have free WiFi access in lobby or bedroom areas. You will also find that WiFi is generally available on most touring coaches.
- Insight Flourishes – from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
- London Airport transfer service available