Britain and Ireland Explorer - Insight Guided Vacations

A dazzling showcase of Great Britain and Ireland, with stops in Killarney, York, the Scottish Highlands, Bath and Stonehenge.

Vacation type: Regional Journey

INSIGHT CHOICE

Killarney: Choose between a memorable ride on a horse-drawn jaunting car with the local jarveys or admire incredible scenery on a gentle hike with a Local Expert along the lake shore.

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.
  • Visit House of Waterford Crystal.

Top Rated Highlights

  • FERRY across the Irish Sea.
  • VISIT Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Edinburgh Castle, Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle, Roman Baths and Pump Room, Stonehenge.
  • CITY TOURS of Edinburgh and Dublin with a Local Expert.
  • SEE the Rock of Cashel

Authentic Dining

  • Welcome Dinner in York
  • Light lunch while cruising Loch Lomond
  • Choice of Dine-Around restaurants in Killarney
  • Celebration Dinner in Waterford.
  • Taste Guinness and enjoy a masterclass at Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.

Location:

London, England, United Kingdom, York, Yorkshire and the Humber, United Kingdom, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom, Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom, Windermere, England, Great Britain, City of Chester, Midlands, GB, Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland, Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland, Metropolitan District of Waterford, IE, Cardiff, Wales, GB

16  Days | 14  nights

INCLUSIONS

  • Round-trip flights to London (if flight and tour package option is chosen)
  • 14 nights of accommodation
  • 21 meals including 14 Buffet Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 3 Dinners and 3 Dinners with Wine, all with tea or coffee
  • Transportation by luxury air-conditioned coach
  • Porterage (1 piece of luggage per passenger)
  • $50 CAD credit voucher for an Optional Experience (described in the itinerary below; 1 voucher per person)
  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • English-speaking travel director
  • Audio headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Earn and redeem Aeroplan® Miles

Included Insight Services

  • Our highly skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organizer, 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 WiFi (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 Air Canada Vacations. Alternatively, please make your own way from/to the airport.

ITINERARY

Day 1

Depart Canada

Fly to London.

Britain and Ireland Explorer - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 2

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.

Britain and Ireland Explorer - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 3

London - Stratford-upon-Avon - York

STRATFORD-UPON-AVON AND MEDIEVAL YORK

At 07:15, meet your Travel Director and journey to Stratford, beautifully situated on the River Avon. Visit the birthplace of William Shakespeare, full of interesting memorabilia and artifacts relating to his life. Continue to York, where you stroll 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.

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast and Dinner with wine
Britain and Ireland Explorer - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 4

York - Durham - Hadrian's Wall - Edinburgh

RELAXED START - 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.

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast
Britain and Ireland Explorer - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 5

Edinburgh

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.

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast
Britain and Ireland Explorer - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 6

Edinburgh - St. Andrews - Pitlochry - Spey Valley - Inverness

ST. ANDREWS AND INVERNESS
Cross the Firth of Forth into Fife and make your way to St. Andrews, passing the Old Course as you arrive, 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.

 

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast and Dinner
Britain and Ireland Explorer - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 7

Inverness - Loch Ness - Glencoe - Loch Lomond - Bowness-on-Windermere

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 admire 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.

 

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Britain and Ireland Explorer - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 8

Bowness-on-Windermere - The Lake District - Chester

RELAXED START - 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? This evening, enjoy a delightful Farm-to-Table dinner at a local restaurant.

 

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast and Dinner with wine
Britain and Ireland Explorer - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 9

Chester - North Wales - Dublin

RELAXED START - 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.

 

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast
Britain and Ireland Explorer - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 10

Dublin

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.

 

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast
Britain and Ireland Explorer - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 11

Dublin - Kildare - Killarney

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.

 

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast and Dinner with wine
Britain and Ireland Explorer - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 12

Killarney - Ring of Kerry - Killarney

RELAXED START - 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.

 

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast
Britain and Ireland Explorer - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 13

Killarney - Blarney - 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!

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast and Dinner with wine
Britain and Ireland Explorer - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 14

Waterford - Cardiff

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.

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast
Britain and Ireland Explorer - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 15

Cardiff - Bath - Stonehenge - London

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.

 

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast
Britain and Ireland Explorer - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 16

London - Return to Canada

Your journey comes to an end after breakfast. Head to the London airport and board your flight home.

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast
Britain and Ireland Explorer - Insight Guided Vacations

ACCOMMODATIONS

WHERE YOU'LL STAY

The hotels listed below are presented as examples for your reference only. Where “or similar” is indicated, guests will stay at a hotel of the same star rating. The hotel accommodations will be communicated to the consumer or travel agent prior to departure.

LOCATION
HOTEL
London, England, United Kingdom
Hotel Grosvenor(or similar)
York, Yorkshire and the Humber, United Kingdom
Hilton York(or similar)
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Crowne Plaza Edinburgh - Royal Terrace(or similar)
Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom
Columba Hotel(or similar)
Windermere, England, Great Britain
Hotel Macdonald Old England et spa(or similar)
City of Chester, Midlands, GB
Hallmark Hotel The Queen(or similar)
Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
Trinity City Hotel/Radisson Blu Royal Hotel(or similar)
Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland
Killarney Plaza Hotel & Spa/Killarney Avenue Hotel(or similar)
Metropolitan District of Waterford, IE
Dooley’s Hotel Waterford(or similar)
Cardiff, Wales, GB
Hotel Clayton Cardiff(or similar)

Room Specifications

Unless otherwise indicated, guests will stay in a standard room at all hotels during the trip.
Room occupancy: 2 adults travelling together.
Single or Triple occupancy option: Travellers who prefer to stay in a single occupancy or a triple occupancy room can call us book: 1 866 529-2079. Subject to availability.

IMPORTANT INFO

DEPARTURE DATES

2020 Dates:
April 11, 18 & 25
May 2, 11, 16,  23
June 13, 20 & 27
July 11*, 18* & 25
August 1*, 3*, 22*, 29* & 31
September 14, 19

*Non-definite departure dates

Travel to Europe often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange your departure flight to arrive on or before the Tour Start Date.

MORE TO KNOW

For an additional $178 CAD per person, travelers can pre-pay gratuities for the Travel Director and Driver. Call us at 1 866 529-2079 to add this option to your reservation.

ACTIVITIES

Optional Experiences

Most Insight Guided Vacations already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences ($) which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optional Experiences and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change

Dinner in Edinburgh

Edinburgh has more eateries per head than any other city in the UK and your Tour Director knows which ones shine and which ones to shun! Join your fellow companions for a fun evening out in this vibrant city. Visit a prized local restaurant for a delicious three course dinner with a glass of wine, beer or soft drink included.

Adult Price: GBP 40

Code: EDI0001

Scottish Dinner & Cabaret

Join us for a lively and memorable evening of traditional Scottish song, dance, tartan and bagpipes. In addition to wine and dinner, your kilted hosts will lead you through some of the best-loved Scottish music and songs. You'll learn a Highland dance or two and sample Scotland’s national dish - haggis. An exceptional Scottish experience!

Adult Price: GBP 60

Code: EDI0002

Royal Yacht Britannia

This magnificent ship has hosted some of the most famous people in the world. But, above all, Britannia was home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family. For four royal couples, Britannia was to provide a honeymoon sanctuary before the onset of married life in the world's most photographed family. The ship is now berthed in Leith. You are welcomed on board to discover the heart and soul of this most special of Royal residences.

Adult Price: GBP 23

Code: EDI0003

Edinburgh's Most Haunted

Join our Ghouls and Ghosts tour to embark upon a scary and mirth-filled tour of Edinburgh's old town as never seen before! We'll enjoy a drink afterwards to calm our nerves before returning to the land of the living.

Adult Price: GBP 27

Code: EDI0005

Blair Castle

Journey into the fascinating past with a visit to the ancestral home of the Dukes of Atholl. Brimming with treasures inside and out, magnificent Blair Castle is set in its own grounds against a backdrop of glorious scenery. During your informative tour, see how the castle has been transformed through the ages and learn how Queen Victoria's famous stay led to the creation of Europe's only private army.

Adult Price: GBP 20

Code: SCO0002

Windermere Cruise & Steam Train Ride

There is no better way to appreciate the scenic beauty of the English Lake District than a relaxing cruise and steam train ride. First take to the limpid waters of Windermere for a spectacular voyage, offering magnificent views of rugged mountains, secluded bays and wooded islands. At the southern end of the lake, your cruise connects with a steam locomotive for a nostalgic ride along the banks of the beautiful River Leven to Haverthwaite Station.

Adult Price: GBP 21

Code: LAK0001

Liverpool & The Beatles City Tour

Join a local Blue Badge Guide to discover the home of the Beatles. See the famous sights associated with the Fab Four along with the two cathedrals and hear tales of emigration and the Titanic connection.

Adult Price: GBP 16.50

Code: LIV0001

Dublin Dinner

Join us for some warm Irish hospitality with a 3-course dinner in a family-run pub that was formerly the haunt of nobility and notorious highwaymen. Lovely exposed brick walls and dark wood make for a cosy atmosphere in which to enjoy your hearty pub meal.

Adult Price: EUR 49

Code: DUB0009

Dinner & Irish Cabaret

Over an excellent dinner of quality Irish food, enjoy a nonstop show of comedy, dance, song and music. Ireland's musical history unfolds in a cabaret that will delight you long after the night has ended. The cast will have you tapping your toes and joining in the fun, and it’s all wrapped up in the spirit of Irish humour. At the end of your meal, cap off one of Ireland's best nights out with an Irish coffee.

Adult Price: EUR 72

Code: DUB0008

Jaunting Car Ride

Clip-clop your way through the charming streets of Killarney into the beautiful Bourne Vincent National Park. A local "jarvey" informs you of the local history, legend and folklore aboard one of the famous carts.

Adult Price: EUR 22

Code: KIL0001

Gaelic Roots

A tour de force of traditional Irish song, music and dance, Gaelic roots showcases Ireland at its best. Using traditional instruments, Irish dance and time-honoured folk songs, this energetic show will have you tapping your feet and singing along in no time.

Adult Price: EUR 34

Code: KIL0008

Waterford Walking Tour

Join an extremely knowledgeable and entertaining historian for an insightful walking tour of Ireland's oldest city. Meet a range of colorful characters and learn about the town's history from the arrival of the Vikings through to British rule as you stroll to various key sights. Afterwards, rub shoulders with the locals with a drink in a typical pub.

Adult Price: EUR 24

Code: WAT0001

Pub Dinner

Visit a traditional country pub with its stone floors, real ale, and cozy atmosphere where you can relax and enjoy a mouth-watering meal featuring freshly cooked traditional British food.

Adult Price: GBP 36

Code: CAR0002

Cardiff Castle Tour

Take an insider look at this unique castle started by the Romans 2,000 years ago where we have our own private tour. The refurbishments done in the 1800s have been described as outrageous to opulent, bogus to brilliant and some even say the architect, William Burgess, smoked his opium pipe too much!  His influences include Arab and Islamic art, Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales and even Aesop's fables. In addition, we can walk on the battlements and climb the 1,000-year-old Norman keep for superb views over Cardiff.

Adult Price: GBP 21

Code: CAR0003

Welsh Evening at Millennium Centre

Join us for a lively night celebrating Welsh food and culture at the stunning Welsh Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Enjoy a traditional and locally sourced three-course meal while being entertained by Welsh stories, enchanting music and renowned Welsh singers. On occasion, when the Centre is not available, Fonmon Castle will be offered as an alternative.

Adult Price: GBP 55

Code: CAR0005

Prices listed in the itinerary are valid as of August 15, 2019 and are subject to change without notice.

TRANSPORTATION

Transfers can be expensive, particularly between the airport and your London hotel. Insight has negotiated special group transfer rates from London's Heathrow Airport to the door of your Insight London hotel. Guests will be picked up and dropped off in time to meet all flights booked to and from London's Heathrow Airport. $77 per person per single trip to or from Heathrow Airport.

Pricing display

Prices take into account taxes and are rounded to the nearest full dollar. Full details on taxes and fees are on the booking page.