Heart of England by Back Roads: London to London
- 5 Days
- 5 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 1,636
The rolling hills of the beautiful English countryside are one major attraction certainly but then add Oxford’s colleges, a stay in the bucolic Cotswold’s. Stratford on Avon, visit quaint villages in Somerset, royal Bath, stately homes and much more. A very enjoyable “English” experience.
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Departing from London, travel through the softly undulating Chiltern Hills eventually arriving at Oxford, the city of dreaming spires and historic, attractive university colleges. You will have time to leisurely explore this “seat of learning”. Later, reach the Cotswold’s, a quintessential region of English countryside with its scenic bucolic towns and villages. Stay two nights in the small market town of Chipping Campden.
The next morning continue to Stratford upon Avon, famous for its Shakespearian connections. Visit the well known theatre and also Anne Hathaway’s cottage. Then later visit some of the idyllic Cotswold villages including Bidford and Broadway.
The day after, head to the picture-perfect village of Lacock in Somerset where many TV shows have been filmed including Pride and Prejudice. Have time to explore the historic village streets, the local museum and abbey. Eventually arrive at Castle Combe in Wiltshire where you will have a delicious typical English afternoon tea. Continue to the Bath, the well known centre for spa treatments. Stay here for two nights.
Bath is an exceptionally beautiful city with its amazing Georgian architecture. An example is the regal Royal Crescent, There is time today to take in a thermal spa bath treatment or go shopping.
The next day brings you to the stately home of the Marquess of Bath, Longleat which you will tour. Continue to Avebury in Wiltshire where you will discover the largest prehistoric complex in Britain. This is similar to the Neolithic site of Stonehenge but without the restrictions. Finally drive back to London where your Heart of England tour terminates.
- 5 Days
- 5 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 1,636
Itinerary View Trip Map
London, Oxford and Cotswolds
This tour commences from the Grange Wellington Hotel, 71-72 Vincent Square, London, SW1P 2PA at 8.30am. Please ensure you are at the meeting point at least 15 minutes prior to departure.
Picture the poets and professors, scientists and sporting heroes that have strolled Oxford's streets as we begin our journey with a walking tour. Take in this world-renowned university city's classical architecture, from the 'dreaming spires' on high to the manicured grounds beyond the gates of each college - one of which we'll have a privileged look into.
Later, we swap the city for quintessential English countryside. Our road takes us west as we meander along rural lanes to the Cotswolds. This charming region is a patchwork of gentle, green hills and farmland, peppered with centuries-old villages of caramel-hued cottages and rambling manor houses. Our final stop of the day and our home for the next two nights is the market town Chipping Campden. View the pretty, terraced high street with its traditional market hall, before we see in day one together with a delicious welcome dinner.
The Kings Hotel
The Kings Hotel
The Kings Hotel is a charming 18th century town house boasting distinctive and stylish accommodation. Sympathetic and careful renovation means guests can enjoy all the modern day comforts they need yet still soak up the character and history of a Cotswold stone building. Nestled in ...
The Kings Hotel is a charming 18th century town house boasting distinctive and stylish accommodation. Sympathetic and careful renovation means guests can enjoy all the modern day comforts they need yet still soak up the character and history of a Cotswold stone building. Nestled in the heart of picturesque Chipping Campden, it is the perfect location to experience the beauty of the Cotswolds. The Kings combines traditional character with contemporary style to create a relaxed and welcoming home away from home for every guest, whether for business or pleasure. The dedicated team at Kings draw on a wealth of experience to ensure your stay will be memorable and comfortable.
- Internet Access - Wireless
- Non Smoking Property
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Riverside Stratford-upon-Avon - where the life and times of William Shakespeare take centre stage and our stomping ground on day two. See the playwright's Tudor timbered childhood home and his wife Anne Hathaway's pretty thatched cottage - a stroll through the blooming gardens here, with their traditional shrubs and beds of wild flowers, is a must. Then it's time to pay our respects to the Bard at his burial place at Holy Trinity Church - looking out for the macabre warning left on his gravestone. There's even time to explore more Cotswold hamlets as we wind our way back to our hotel for an evening all to ourselves.
Cotswolds, Lacock and Bath
It's time to indulge our costume drama dreams at Lacock - a showstopper of a village that often doubles as a film set. We take time to explore every nook and cranny, from the historic streets strolled by the Bennet sisters in Pride and Prejudice, to the 11th century church and riverside walks. We step inside the magnificent abbey - whose peaceful cloisters took a starring turn as the Hogwarts' hallways in the Harry Potter series - and learn all about its unique architecture. Lacock is famed not just for film but photography too, as the home of 19th century pioneer Fox Talbot, who we learn all about at the museum.
Then it's on to Castle Combe, a chocolate-box Wiltshire village on the southern-most edge of the Cotswolds. With its weavers' cottages lining the riverbanks, it's often called 'the prettiest village in England', making it the perfect backdrop for a high afternoon tea. We finish today in Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage city with true wow factor, where we make ourselves at home for our final two nights.
A perfect city centre location, comfortable rooms and one of the most exciting dining experiences in Bath - that is the philosophy of The Abbey Hotel. Privately-owned, by acclaimed hoteliers Ian and Christa Taylor, this Regency property is located in North Parade, close to the ...
A perfect city centre location, comfortable rooms and one of the most exciting dining experiences in Bath - that is the philosophy of The Abbey Hotel. Privately-owned, by acclaimed hoteliers Ian and Christa Taylor, this Regency property is located in North Parade, close to the Abbey and Pump Rooms, and the famous Sally Lunn’s. With 60 bedrooms of varying sizes, it is ideal for those visiting Bath for leisure or for business. All rooms are en suite, the hotel has a lift, free Wi-Fi throughout (including bedrooms), and the ArtBar provides a relaxing area serving coffee through to late night drinks. The hotel is located within easy walking distance of the Thermae Spa in Bath.
- 24 Hour Reception
- Cable TV
- Coffee/Tea Making Facilities
- Dry Cleaning
- Laundry Service
- Luggage Storage
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Every beautifully preserved building we pass in Bath tells a story. We get up close and personal with Roman life in the breathtaking Roman Baths. We see the spectacular 15th century abbey, standing on the site where the first King of England was crowned. And we marvel at Pulteney Bridge and the thundering weir below. Then we indulge in a fashionable Georgian pastime and promenade along the Royal Crescent, taking in sweeping views across the city to the surrounding hills beyond as we go. It's here we pay a visit to No.1 Royal Crescent, a magnificent townhouse that paints a picture of life in 18th century Bath - from the leisurely lifestyle of the wealthy families who 'took the waters' by day and danced by night, to the hectic lives of the people who worked below stairs. After that, the afternoon is yours. You could enjoy a bit of 'me time' at Thermae Bath Spa, Britain's only thermal spa where you can bathe in mineral-rich waters and scan the skyline from the rooftop pool. Or discover Bath's proud independent side, browsing stylish boutiques and celebrated coffee shops. By the time we come together to enjoy a last-night dinner, we'll have much to talk about.
|Meal Plan||Breakfast and Dinner|
Bath, Longleat and Avebury, London
The best way to follow up a day in Bath is with a morning at Longleat. This English stately home, the current seat of the Marquess of Bath, blends classic architecture with creative interiors and stands amid a safari park. And we get a behind-the-scenes tour of the house. Afterwards, our journey continues to Avebury, an immense stone circle set within an ancient landscape of enigmatic monuments, tombs and roads that were first walked millennia ago. While Stonehenge attracts tourists from around the world, but doesn't permit close access, at Avebury we walk freely among the standing stones. Steeped in mystery, these prehistoric stone circles are a fascinating sight - and a tremendous final stop on our tour. That just leaves a leisurely drive back to the bright lights of London, where we bid one another farewell until next time.
The tour finishes at 5:30pm at Grange Wellington Hotel (71-72 Vincent Square, London, SW1P 2PA).
2018: Aug 6, 27; Sep 3, 10, 17, 24, 26; Oct 1, 8
2019: Apr 22; May 6, 17, 24, 27; Jun 3, 17, 24; Jul 15; Aug 5, 12, 26;
Sep 2, 9, 16, 23, 25, 30; Oct 7
- 4 nights' accommodation in boutique hotels
- Experienced Back-Roads tour leader
- Luxury mini-coach transportation
- Full English breakfast daily (B)
- Two evening meals (D)
- A guided walking tour of Oxford
- One traditional cream tea
- Entrance fee included to: Anne Hathaway's Cottage, Shakespeare's Birthplace, Lacock Abbey, Roman Baths, No.1 Royal Crescent, Longleat House and Avebury Stone Circle.
- Travel insurance
- International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
- Visa fees if applicable
- Items of a personal nature
- Gratuities for driver/tour leader
- Meals and beverages not specifically indicated
- Arrival & departure transfers
- Optional activities
- Entrance fees not specified in inclusions
- Incidental expenses
- Laundry costs and any shipping charges
- Pre and post tour accommodation
The tour involves walking and requires guests to board and disembark our vehicles several times a day making this tour unsuitable for those with reduced mobility.
- Stay two nights in the heart of the Peak District National Park.
- Visit Sandringham Estate, the private retreat of Her Majesty The Queen.
- Enjoy lunch where Jamie Oliver grew up and worked in the kitchen.
- Drift along the River Cam on a traditional punt.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
Prices are "from", per person, based on twin share. Subject to availability. The hotels have been hand-picked from an extensive portfolio of quality properties across Europe and to ensure the very best experience on each of our tours, hotels may vary to those listed in this itinerary.
8 Oct 2018