Days 1, 2 and 3: the Cotswolds, Oxford and Bath
Settle into your base in the beautiful Cotswold countryside, from where you can explore the picture perfect villages of this quintessentially English landscape. You will find that it is surprisingly easy to discover your own favourite spots, away from the tourist crowds.
From this base you can also explore two of the UK’s most beautiful cities. Bath’s sweeping Georgian crescents are a pleasure to wander through and the fantastically preserved Roman Baths and Medieval Bath Abbey are must-see sights.
The university city of Oxford with its famous dreaming spires is filled with a stunning array of architecture from across the centuries. Step through the gates of the famous university colleges to find yourself in a parallel world of manicured gardens, grand chapels, ornate cloisters and tranquillity, then wander through the charming lanes and alleyways that have been unchanged in centuries.
Alternatively, visit world famous Stonehenge and its less visited but equally fascinating neighbour, Avebury Stone Circle (or add an extra day to make sure you can do it all!).
Days 4 and 5: The Lake District via Stratford-upon Avon
Break the longest journey of your trip with a visit to Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Having explored the many sights that tell the story of Britain’s most well-known playwright, continue north into the most spectacular scenery in England for the next two nights.
The Lake District has something for everyone – fantastic walking country, historic houses and gardens, a wealth of outdoor activities and many literary and artistic connections.
Visit Wordsworth’s houses at Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount and the home of Beatrix Potter at Hill Top; hike up England’s highest mountain or stroll along a peaceful lake shore; kayak, row or cruise on one of the many pristine lakes. Alternatively, simply relax with a local ale or cup of tea and soak up your surroundings.
Days 6 and 7: York and the Yorkshire Dales
Whether you choose to base yourself in the fascinating city of York or in the picturesque Yorkshire Dales, you will not struggle to fill your time in North Yorkshire.
York is a highlight of any holiday. It’s fascinating history is at every turn: the magnificent gothic architecture of York Minster; the imposing Medieval city walls; the captivating stories brought to life in the Jorvik Viking Centre; and the enticing network of ancient alleys and ‘snickelways’.
Outside of the city, you are equally spoilt for choice: visit Castle Howard, one of Britain’s most enchanting stately homes; take in the stunning ruins at Fountains Abbey, Rievaulx Abbey and Bolton Abbey; stroll through the beautiful Dales, littered with many fascinating castle ruins and traditional villages; or head to the lively coast, across the rugged expanses of the North York Moors.
Days 8 and 9: London
Leave your car in York and take the train to your final stop: London.
Take in the must see sights of Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral. Stroll along the lively south bank stopping for panoramic views of London on the London Eye. Visit the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Tate Modern or any number of other museums and galleries.
London also offers an array of fabulous markets: sample the excellent produce at busy Borough Market, take in the incredible colours at Colombia Road Flower Market or browse fashion and antiques at Portobello Market.
Just out of the city, easy day trips can be taken to the spectacularly preserved Hampton Court Palace, to Windsor Castle or to Greenwich with its vast Royal Park, Palace and fascinating naval history.
You won’t be short of entertainment options either. Musicals in the West End, drama at the National Theatre or the Old Vic and classics at Shakespeare’s Globe are only a few of the options. Music, comedy, opera, ballet, sport: there is truly something for everyone in London.
Day 10 Depart back
Depart back to home.