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Elegance of Great Britain

Operated by: Insight Vacations

12 Days from $3,674 per person
APR - OCT 2022
People on the stairs of Ardgowan Estate garden, Scotland

Countries Visited

United Kingdom ...more United Kingdom

Locations Visited

Edinburgh, Ardgowan House, Gretna Green, Windermere, Lake District National Park, York, Lincoln, Stratford-upon-Avon, Bath, Stonehenge, Salisbury, London ...more Edinburgh, Ardgowan House, Gretna Green, Windermere, Lake District National Park, York, Lincoln, Stratford-upon-Avon, Bath, Stonehenge, Salisbury, London
  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 at 09:00, 11:00 and 13:00. Then the rest of the day is yours to relax before joining your Travel Director and fellow travellers at 17:30 for a Welcome Dinner of modern European cuisine and wine at a chic bistro tucked away in the New Town.

    meals Dinner with Wine
    hotel Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, Edinburgh.
  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 - 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.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, Edinburgh.
  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 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 Bowness-on-Windermere.

    meals Breakfast, Afternoon Tea, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Castle Green Hotel, Kendal.
  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.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Castle Green Hotel, Kendal.
  5. Day 5 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 Brontë Parsonage Museum, created within the actual 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.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Hilton York.
  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 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?

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hilton York.
  7. Day 7 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. Alternatiely, Join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience to visit a local café 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.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel DoubleTree by Hilton Stratford-upon-Avon.
  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 a traditional Sunday roast dinner, served with Yorkshire pudding and all the trimmings.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel DoubleTree by Hilton Stratford-upon-Avon.
  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 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.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Bailbrook House Hotel, Bath.
  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. Explore Bath with Insight Choice. Choose to visit its incredibly well-preserved Roman Baths or alternatively, step into the world of an esteemed author on a private before the crowds visit to the Jane Austen Museum. 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.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Bailbrook House Hotel, Bath.
  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 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. Upon arrival in London you are at leisure for the rest of the afternoon.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel The Clermont Victoria, London., Amba Hotel Marble Arch, London.
  12. Day 12 Homeward Bound

    Your journey comes to an end after breakfast.

    meals Breakfast
Map
Price Includes

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.

Choice Highlights

  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Lincoln: In Lincoln visit a local café 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.
  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Bath: Visit the Jane Austen Centre and step into the world of the esteemed author. Learn about her life and work inspirations and take an opportunity to dress up in Regency clothes.
  • 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.

Well-being

  • : Our Well-Being Directors take a proactive approach to your welfare ensuring all well-being regulations are met (available on tours with 21 or more guests).
  • : 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. "

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 home-hosted 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: 1 Afternoon Tea (AT), 11 Breakfast (B), 1 Dinner (D), and 4 Dinner with Wine (DW)

Top Rated Highlights

  • 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 Brontë Parsonage Museum provides a fascinating insight into the life of the Brontë 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.
  • Bath: Visit the Jane Austen Centre and step into the world of the esteemed author. Learn about her life and work inspirations and take an opportunity to dress up in Regency clothes.
  • 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.

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 café 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.

Dates & Prices

Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.

Online Booking Process

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May 2022
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May 15 Sun
May 26 Thu
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TODAY'S PRICE - Based on twin share
$4,050
June 2022
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Jun 26 Sun
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Guaranteed Departure This departure is guaranteed
TODAY'S PRICE - Based on twin share
$4,125
July 2022
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Jul 10 Sun
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TODAY'S PRICE - Based on twin share
$4,175 $3,674 Save $501
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August 2022
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Aug 14 Sun
Aug 25 Thu
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TODAY'S PRICE - Based on twin share
$4,525
Reviews
Service
Vacation
Independent Reviews
Trusted Customer
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Service
The people who run and work at Grand European Tours do a fantastic job for their clients. They go out of their way to make travel easy, affordable, and fulfilling. I recommend this company to friends and associate all the time. They're number one in my book.
Vacation
This trip was exceptional in many ways, but I do have one question concerning this tour. My wife and I left the USA on 8-7-17 and yet we were told the actual "tour" started on 8-10-17. Apparently, Insight, a sister company of Grand European Tours, feels that being on your own In London for 2 days is OK for everyone. My wife and I are experienced travelers but we didn't feel comfortable being on our own in London for 2 days. We didn't meet our tour director until the afternoon or 8-9-17 and didn't meet fellow travelers until 8-10-17. I personally don't think that this is a good policy for a company (Insight) advertising guided tours. When we asked about the situation, we were given some flippant excuse about this policy. If this had been our first trip to Europe, we would have been very uncomfortable with this situation.
Mary Comfort
Monday, August 28, 2017
Service
Grand European handled all the details for us and worked out adding extra days at the end in London. We have worked with them for many yeas and they are very efficient.
Vacation
The trip more than met our expectations. We enjoyed the relaxed starts and the amount of free time we had letting us judge how much time to spend in each part of an excursion.
Holly Kellogg
Monday, August 21, 2017
Service
Getting emails through to agent was difficult.
Vacation
I would have rather had more meals on my own. The all inclusive meals became repetitive.
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