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Discover the historical highlights and lush countryside of what's known as the ‘Heart of England’ on this 5-day tour from London. On one of the best tours of England available, travel by air-conditioned coach to see the university architecture of Oxford, explore William Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, and experience the enchanting Cotswolds before visiting the Georgian city of Bath and Wiltshire’s Longleat house and prehistoric Avebury Ring. Four nights in 3-star hotels are included, as are many meals and attraction entrance tickets. Numbers are limited to 15 for a more personalized experience.


  • 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 a delectable cream tea in Castle Combe
  • 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

Explore some of the best of southern England on this 5-day tour. Leave the bustle of London behind and head for the beautiful university town of Oxford before visiting Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, the gorgeous Cotswolds, the spa city of Bath, and Longleat and the ancient Avebury Ring in Wiltshire — all of them located in the region sometimes called the ‘Heart of England.’

Your tour includes four nights’ of 3-star accommodation: two nights in a hotel in the Cotswolds and two in Bath, as well as daily breakfast and dinner. Round-trip transport by comfortable air-conditioned coach with an expert guide, plus entrance fees to many attractions, including Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, the Roman Baths in Bath, and Longleat and the Avebury Ring are also included.


Day 1: London – Oxford – Cotswolds (D)
Leave London by minivan and head northwest out of the city, passing through the beautiful English countryside. 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 one of the University of Oxford's iconic colleges and hear about the legendary scholars who have studied there. After a break for lunch in town (own expense), head into the scenic Cotswolds by minivan, 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, visit Shakespeare’s burial site at Holy Trinity Church. After a short 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, 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 Castle Combe and stroll through the quintessentially English village with your guide. Then, savor a delicious cream tea in a local cafe.

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

Overnight: 3-star Abbey 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: 3-star Abbey 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

Ann O

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.

Anna L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2011

Enjoyed this tour immensely - small group of 6 including driver/tour guide. Went to places out of the way/ small villages. Hotels a delight.

Terry S USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2008

Wow! I cannot give this tour more praise. Our guide took us to all of the places in the brochure, plus many wonderful little side trips. We saw the Dartmoor ponies, sheep in the mist, clapper bridges, hillside giants and horses carved in the ground, and small villages that transported us back in time. Our home base had a wonderful little pub with some of the best food I've eaten.

The only negative comment I have is to the city of Winchester. I traveled to the UK to study King Arthur, and when I tried to get in to the Great Hall to take pictures of the round table, it was closed for a private function. I snuck past the workers and got my pics anyway. They yelled at me, but I just kept taking pictures. Boo Winchester. Don't close your history to the public just for private functions.

Our group consisted of eight people, counting ourselves, and it was small enough to get to know one another, eat together each evening, and make great friendships. There were hugs and sharing of addresses when all was done. This was the best tour we took in our two weeks in England. I couldn't recommend it more highly.

Vincent G

4 star rating: Recommended August 2014

Wife and I had a good time. Rooms were good (and small except coach house room at Kings in Cotswolds. That was the best of all our accommodations in England.Tour guide/driver was too talkative. Too much information given. What he thought wasn't interesting ("just tourist stuff") we found "new" and worthwhile seeing. Stops on the moors offered great experience. I thought we spent a lot of time traveling in the van between stops.

Hilary M

4 star rating: Recommended December 2013

Our guide was so knowledgeable about the areas we visited. He was thoughtful and kind. There were a couple of poorly arranged day of too much driving; lunch and tea within an hour of each other. But otherwise, a very good experience!

Robert P Australia

4 star rating: Recommended October 2008

Great stuff--would recommend. Hotel accommodations were first class. Guide knew his history.

Janet C

4 star rating: Recommended August 2008

Enjoyed the English countryside!

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