4.5 star rating: Recommended 8 Reviews

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  • Location: London, United Kingdom
  • Duration:  5 days (approx.)
See the highlights of the ‘heart of England’ on a 5-day tour from London! Traveling with an expert guide, visit famous landmarks that are dotted about England’s scenic counties, just west of London. Explore the university city of Oxford and visit Stratford-upon-Avon to see where William Shakespeare once lived. Embrace the charms of the Cotswolds, and sample cider in Lacock before discovering Bath and the UNESCO-listed stone circle of Avebury Ring. This must-do trip includes four nights of 4-star hotel accommodation, with two nights in the Cotswolds and two nights in Bath.

Numbers are limited to 15 on this small-group tour ensuring you’ll enjoy personalized attention from your guide.

Highlights

  • 5-day highlights of England tour from London, including Oxford, the Cotswolds and Wiltshire
  • Explore the university city of Oxford and spend time at leisure in Bath
  • Visit Shakespeare’s beloved Stratford-upon-Avon and see Anne Hathaway’s cottage
  • Discover the quaint English charm of the Cotswolds and explore picturesque villages such as Snowshill
  • Sample traditional West Country cider at Worley’s Cider in Lacock
  • Marvel at the ancient stones of Avebury Ring, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Small-group tour with a maximum of 15 people ensures a more personalized experience

What You Can Expect

5-Day Best of England Small-Group Tour: Oxford, the Cotswolds and Bath

See the spectacular Roman Baths

Visit Oxfordshire, the Cotswolds and Wiltshire on your 5-day tour from England. Just west of London, the three counties fall into an area often called the ‘heart of England’ in reference to its green countryside, beautifully preserved architecture and quaint towns. Your small-group tour includes four nights of 3 to 4-star hotel accommodation: two nights in Chipping Campden (the Cotswolds) and two nights in the spa town of Bath.

Itinerary

Day 1: London – Oxford – Cotswolds (D)
Leave London by luxury coach and head northwest out of the city, passing through the beautiful English countryside. While traveling, your guide will explain your 5-day itinerary in more detail and talk through the tour’s logistics. First stop is Oxford, England’s world-famous university city. Enjoy a leisurely paced stroll with your guide, admiring the city’s golden-colored buildings and ‘dreaming spires.’ Head inside Christ Church College (part of Oxford University) and see the Great Hall and cloisters that featured in several of the famous Harry Potter films. After a break for lunch in town (own expense), head into the scenic Cotswolds by coach, stopping in the town of Chipping Campden where your overnight accommodation awaits. After dinner in your hotel, spend the rest of your evening at leisure.

Overnight: 3-star Kings Hotel in Chipping Campden, Cotswolds

Day 2: Cotswolds – Stratford-upon-Avon – Cotswolds (B)
Leave the Cotswolds after breakfast to visit Stratford-upon-Avon, a beautiful little market town famous for being the home of English playwright William Shakespeare. On a walking tour, see Shakespeare’s birthplace and visit his burial site at Holy Trinity Church. After a short coach drive to the neighboring village of Shottery, take a look inside the rustic thatched cottage that once belonged to Anne Hathaway — Shakespeare’s wife — and see intriguing relics from her time.

Stop for lunch (own expense) and then spend the afternoon traveling through the Cotswolds’ winding roads. With plenty of stops for you to get off the coach, your afternoon excursion shows off the gorgeous hamlets, churches and quintessentially English countryside for which the Cotswolds are so well known. The villages visited vary by tour, but usually include the so-called ‘jewels of the Cotswolds’: Snowshill, Bidford-on-Avon and Broadway. Return to Chipping Campden in the late afternoon, and spend your evening at leisure.

Overnight: 3-star Kings Hotel in Chipping Campden, Cotswolds

Day 3: Cotswolds – Lacock – Bath (B)
Check out of your hotel after breakfast, and then travel to the picture-perfect village of Lacock in Wiltshire. Featured in countless scenes for hit British television dramas like Pride and Prejudice as well as several Harry Potter movies, the village is a bastion of ‘Englishness’ with traditional cobblestone streets and half-timbered houses. Spend time at leisure exploring, and then meet your guide for a tour of medieval Lacock Abbey.

In the afternoon, continue to Worley’s Cider, a distillery that produces award-winning Somerset cider using traditional methods. After a short tour of the cider press and fermenting rooms, sit down and sample some of the ciders alongside a selection of locally produced cheeses, crusty bread and pickles.

Travel by coach to the nearby spa town of Bath and spend your night at leisure after checking into your hotel.

Overnight: 4-star Francis Hotel in Bath

Day 4: Bath (B, D)
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast in your hotel and then meet your guide to see the best of this vibrant Georgian city. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Bath has the highest concentration of ‘listed’ (historically significant) buildings in the British Isles. Learn about Roman life in the city on a visit to the Roman Baths, and marvel at the city’s towering 15th-century abbey — officially known as the Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Other highlights such as a magnificent town house at Georgian Royal Crescent and elegant Pulteney Bridge are also visited on your tour.

Spend your afternoon at leisure, perhaps finding a cafe for lunch or visiting the Jane Austen Centre (own expense) for a snapshot of the author’s life during Bath’s Regency era. In the evening, join your guide and group for a farewell dinner at your hotel.

Overnight: 4-star Francis Hotel in Bath

Day 5: Bath – Longleat – Avebury – London (B)
After an early breakfast, check out of your hotel and leave Bath for your final day of sightseeing. Your first stop is Longleat, an English stately home that’s currently the seat of the Marquess of Bath. After a tour of the house, seeing some of Lord Bath’s personal murals, your tour continues to the village of Avebury to visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Avebury Ring. The standing stones rival Stonehenge as the largest and most complex prehistoric site in Britain. Walk freely amongst the stones, and pose for photos before returning to London.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2014

We enjoyed all the villages and cities on this tour. At first we were disappointed not to see Windsor Castle, but we thoroughly enjoyed Longleat as a substitute. Our experience in Bath was most enjoyable and we loved the Francis Hotel. The guide was knowledgable and friendly, and was a good driver. I would recommend limiting the number on the tour so that no more than two people are on the back bench seat, as it is too crowded with four.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2011

This tour was very well-organized - packing a lot of history and scenery into each day, with evenings to relax. Our guide was very knowledgeable, the bus was comfortable and it was great to share the experience with other people from around the world. The hotels were nice, the food was good. There were only 13 of us on the tour, which, given the size of the bus, seems to be fairly typical. That size of group gave us some flexibility in how long we stayed at various sites. All in all, a good experience.

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Tour code: 2714HEART

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