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    2020 Vacations at 2019 Prices - ends Sept 20
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Britain & Ireland Explorer (Premium)

Operated by: Insight Vacations

15 Days from $3,938 per person
Changing of the Gaurds

Countries Visited

England, Ireland ...more England, Ireland

Locations Visited

York, Durham, Edinburgh, St Andrews, Pitlochry, Inverness, Windermere, Grasmere, Chester, Dublin, Conwy, Holyhead, Kildare, Killarney, Cashel, Waterford, Cardiff ...more York, Durham, Edinburgh, St Andrews, Pitlochry, Inverness, Windermere, Grasmere, Chester, Dublin, Conwy, Holyhead, Kildare, Killarney, Cashel, Waterford, Cardiff
  1. 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.

    hotel The Grosvenor Hotel, London.
  2. Day 2 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.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Hilton York.
  3. Day 3 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.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Crowne Plaza Edinburgh - Royal Terrace.
  4. Day 4 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.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Crowne Plaza Edinburgh - Royal Terrace.
  5. Day 5 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.(Breakfast / Dinner)

    meals Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel Columba Hotel, Inverness.
  6. Day 6 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.(Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    hotel Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, Bowness-on-Windermere.
  7. Day 7 The English Lakes to Chester.

    In the morning, discover the beauty of the Lake District. Continue to your hotel in Chester. Perhaps spend the afternoon by joining a Liverpool and The Beatles City Tour Optional Experience?(Breakfast / Dinner)

    meals Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel Hallmark Hotel The Queen, Chester.
  8. Day 8 North Wales and over to Dublin.

    In the morning, step back into Roman times in Chester where you see the city’s ancient encircling walls and remarkable 13th century black and white Rows.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.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Trinity City Hotel/Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin.
  9. Day 9 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.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Trinity City Hotel/Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin.
  10. Day 10 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.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa/Killarney Avenue Hotel.
  11. Day 11 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. In the afternoon, perhaps take an optional ride with the locals on one of Killarney’s jaunting cars?(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa/Killarney Avenue Hotel.
  12. Day 12 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. Toast to your newfound friends - Sláinte!(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Dooley's Hotel Waterford.
  13. Day 13 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.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Clayton Hotel Cardiff.
  14. Day 14 Roman Baths, Stonehenge and London.

    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 London, where you are at leisure for the rest of the day.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel The Grosvenor Hotel, London.
  15. Day 15 Homeward Bound.

    Your journey comes to an end after breakfast.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
route_map
Price Includes

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.

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: 14 Breakfasts (B), 1 lunch, 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.

Dates & Prices
Airfare is not included, but can be added to quote upon request
  • Definite Departure
  • Edinburgh Tattoo
Price Discount Availability Price
  • Edinburgh Tattoo: This departure includes the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo event.
Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo takes place every year in August.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, often referred to as "the most spectacular show on earth," is an exciting celebration showcasing the best of Scottish music, dance, and military pageantry. In 2020 it will take place in Edinburgh from August 7th to August 29th, and is sure to draw entertainers and spectators from around the world. 

Tickets and arrangements have been included on these select departures. Book early as they will sell out quickly!

Reviews
Service
Vacation
Independent Reviews
Anne Rampersad
Monday, July 29, 2019
Service
The travel director Peter Staff was an excellent tour guide
Vacation
Things were well coordinated
Cheryl Werth
Monday, July 1, 2019
Service
I would highly recommend GET to friends and family in fact I already have. The booking experience was very easy and well organized. Whenever we had a question we call the 1 800 number and had our question answered promptly. All the service people had excellent detailed answers and were very friendly and nice. If they didn't have an answer they immediately transferred us to someone else who answered our questions. Great help for novice travelers like us.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you so much for your kind words and recommendations. We appreciate your business and confidence in our team.
Monday, July 1, 2019
Vacation
We went on the England, Ireland , Scotland, and Wales Explorer trip not the country road of Scotland tour.
James Castle
Sunday, May 19, 2019
Service
Brain was very helpful
Vacation
The trip was very enjoyable, the country side was great, I only had one problem, I signed up for the Liverpool Trip along with 17 other people and we were told that that was not enough. Then we asked David about that he Hesitated and come up with a number of 24, so ok, but he did not ask if ww would then like to join the rest of the group that was taking the boat & train trip.
Martin Morisky
Sunday, May 19, 2019
Service
I made my reservations directly through GET and the process was fairly easy. The two reps that I dealt with were courteous and professional. I did write to GET just before the trip and asked if 110 watt outlets were available at any of our hotels. I was told that the outlets were not available and that I should bring a power converter. As it turned out, just about all of the hotels had a 110 outlet in the bathroom that was sufficient to recharge the battery on my camera.
Vacation
We saw about as much as one can see in the allotted time. The pace is demanding, but necessary, in seeing what we saw and to avoid the crowds. David Parry is an excellent tour guide and his running commentary made the trip very interesting and, at times, amusing. He has great knowledge that he is willing to share, concerning the attractions visited. And our coach driver, Adrian, proved himself a skilled driver in getting us from place to place in a timely and safe manner. Very courteous. The trip was full of variety. One day we are visiting a stud farm, another taking a steam train ride, another visiting a castle, etc. Accommodations were fair to good with the exception of Inverness. The room at Inverness was a disappointment. David tried to explain that good hotels in Inverness were difficult to book. The hotel's pictures on the internet look pretty good.. why were we not able to stay in those rooms? When Insight provided the dinners, the food was generally good(again the exception was Inverness where the meal was fair and the service slow). Dave made some good recommendations when we were on our own for dinner. All in all, a good trip.
Trusted Customer
Sunday, May 19, 2019
Service
The booking was easy and Daniel our booking agent was effective. Our trip was Britian and Ireland Explorer. England,Scotland,Wales,and Ireland. Daniel did make the air travel arrangements also. Because London was on our own to visit we should have arrived a day earlier or stayed an extra day or left on a later flight out.
Vacation
Did NOT Country roads of Scotland
Trusted Customer
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Service
The you met or exceeded my expectations in providing the best possible experience for our entire travel group.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you so much for your comments! We're thrilled to hear you had a great experience on your Britain & Ireland tour. We hope we can help you plan another trip in the near future!
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Vacation
While most of our accommodations were wonderful, a couple rooms were very small and difficult for two people to maneuver.
Janet Jones
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Service
Great tour director and driver. Sights were interesting but it needed more time in York and Batg.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are so happy you enjoyed your trip to Britain and Ireland. Thank you for taking the time to write. We appreciate your feedback.
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Vacation
It was a good to excellent tour, but it needed more time. The selection of cities and locations was lovely and interesting.
Linda Gardner
Saturday, September 29, 2018
Service
Our tour guide, Peter Staff and bus driver, Mark were the best. Peter had a wealth of knowledge of all the countries we were in. Mark handled our bus like he was driving a car. The bus was always clean and he helped everyone on and off the bus. All the tours were exceptional as were the tour guides. Some of the hotels weren't quite the best. The Grosvenor Hotel in London was the worst. Only one lift was working and 2 1/2 weeks later when we returned it still wasn't working. Rooms were exceptionally small. Waited over 45 minutes for our suitcases. Eventually had to go down and find them ourselves and bring them up. None of the hotels had any instructions on how to turn the TVs on or work the AC if they had it.
Vacation
Worth every cent. Packed with all the major sights that you would want to see.
Michael Sanford
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Service
I would highly recommend GET and more specifically, the Britain and Ireland Explorer trip, to anyone wanting to learn about the history of the UK while meeting new people and enjoying a fun vacation. Our tour guide, David Perry, was simply outstanding! Not only is he extremely knowledgeable about all regions explored, but makes the time on the coach pleasurable. He also provided many benefits and personal details, including tastings of local foods and drinks, at his own expense. We were never in want for anything. David was also very well organized and managed the groups expectations with precision. I can not state enough how beneficial he was as a tour guide and captain. It's safe to say I would take another GET trip just to have him as the host. Also of major importance and due accolades is the coach driver, Jason Croton. He was always at the ready to assist the passengers off the coach with a friendly smile. These two gentlemen make a great team! Regarding the route and stops planning, I believe this is a well thought out trip. It truly is the best of the UK! Other than a few rainy days, there were no bad spots on the trip. Even these days had their good points.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are honored that you highly recommend us, beyond pleased that you had a wonderful time, and couldn't be happier that we could be there for you to help make your travels that much more memorable. Thank you, this is 100% what we aim to hear from our guests: that they made friends, felt taken care of, and truly enjoyed their travels. We're always here for you, for any travel questions and all your future plans!
Monday, September 24, 2018
Vacation
Since my return, I've told numerous friends about the value of the trip. Pound for pound and Euro for Euro, this is the best deal I've ever had.
Sandra Self
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Service
David Perry was the best tour guide ever. He was organized, professional, knowledgeable and FUN. Our coach driver Jason was an excellent driver and skilled at driving a big coach. David provided specials at every turn including stops for a sip of Drambuie, a birthday card and prosecco and chocolates for my birthday, and small things like providing small bags to separate our different currency coins. Awesome adventure!
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you! We're over the moon knowing that you had an awesome adventure in Britain and Ireland and that David helped to make your trip beyond memorable. We hope you enjoy your excellent memories and photos for years to come and we're excited to help you plan where you'd like to go next!
Monday, September 24, 2018
Vacation
Excellent value for an adventure that included a lot of territory, cities, and the drive was a beautiful part of the trip. Our fellow travelers were courteous to travel with and we felt like kindred spirits to enjoy this experience together.
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