Start your U.K. adventure in England’s cosmopolitan capital, touring iconic art museums and quintessential English gardens. Leave the excitement of London’s streets for winding country lanes through the hills of the Cotswolds, walks through though windswept moorland of Devon, and hikes along the clifftop trails of Cornwall. Along the way, visit a handful of the U.K.’s most alluring towns, parks, and impressive historical sites like Stonehenge and York Minster.
Best time to visit: March-June, September-November
Ideal for: Couples, Families
Day 1 – Arrive in London, Drive to Brighton
Arriving in London, pick up your rental car at the airport and head out of the city, just over an hour’s drive, to the free-spirited seaside resort town of Brighton. Spend the day exploring the city’s vibrant blend of history and modern verve; 17th-century alleyways, Georgian homes, and the ornate Royal Pavilion are paired with trendy shopping areas and an exciting arts scene. Hop on bicycles to see more of the coast, and save time for a visit to the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery.
Day 2 – Stonehenge & Salisbury
Departing Brighton, make your way south along the coast to Portsmouth for lunch and then continue to Stonehenge in the afternoon. One of the world’s most enigmatic and iconic prehistoric monuments, Stonehenge has fascinated archaeologists for centuries, but remains shrouded in folklore and mystery. Afterwards, drive to your hotel in Salisbury and end the day with a brief tour of the city and a visit to its incredible 13th-century cathedral.
Day 4 – Salisbury to Chagford
This morning, drive westward to the town of Chagford, located in Dartmoor National Park, right in the heart of Devon. En route to the park, stop in the East Devon Area of Outstanding Beauty, and explore its rugged cliffs, woodlands, and pastoral valleys. Continue to Dartmoor, a landscape peppered with granite tors, wooded valleys carved by coursing rivers, and wide-open moorlands. This region offers incredible outdoor activities from cycling and horseback riding to canoeing and climbing.
Day 5 – Explore Dartmoor National Park
Dartmoor National Park is laced with walking trails and dotted with charming towns. Today you’ll embark on a private tour visiting several towns with castles, gardens and local markets. Spend the afternoon on one of the numerous walking or cycling routes like the Granite Way, Tamar Valley Discovery Trail, or the Two Castles Trail—each traversing beautiful and distinctive landscapes.
Day 6 – Cornwall, Penzance & St. Ives
This morning you head to Penzance to kick off two days of exploration and adventures along the wild southwest coastline of Cornwall. A picturesque fishing harbor with granite homes perched in the hills and gardens filled with sub-tropical plants, Penzance has fascinating sites like the 2000-year-old Chysauster Ancient Village, and great walking routes along the Penwith and the Lizard heritage coasts. Visit the castle and gardens on the small island of St. Michael’s Mount, and then continue to the village of St. Ives—a town known as an artists’ oasis—and settle in for the night.
Day 7 – Explore Port Isaac
Today, travel up the coast to the traditional fishing village of Port Isaac, whose narrow lanes are lined with whitewashed houses. Take a 90-minute walking tour of this idyllic village and delve into the world of television production as you stroll through the set of the popular TV series Doc Martin. Watch the local fishermen bringing in their catch in the harbor, and then travel to St. Nectan’s Glen for a hike and a visit to Tintagel Castle—said to be the birthplace of King Arthur. End the day back in St. Ives.
Day 8 – St. Ives to Bath
This morning you will drive about 4 hours to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city of Bath, known since Roman times for its mineral baths and hot springs. Spend the afternoon visiting the Roman Baths Museum and ancient Pump Room or relaxing at the Thermae Bath Spa. Bath has magnificent Georgian architecture, elegant stone houses, and grand boulevards—you won’t have to look far for exciting attractions or an incredible culinary experience either.
Day 9 – Walking Tour of Bath
Meet your guide this morning for a private half-day walking tour of Bath. Visit the Abbey Church, an active place of worship that was founded in the 7th century which has been rebuilt and restored multiple times over the years. Learn about the Georgian architecture that Bath is known for as you explore the Royal Crescent and The Circus, built in the mid to late 18th century, and surrounded by sprawling lawns and trees. It’s worth coming back to see these structures light up at night.
Day 10 – The Cotswolds
Get your first taste of the winding, single-lane roads of the Cotswolds on your way from Bath to the picturesque village of Stow-on-the-Wold. With grand estates, honey-hued stone houses, ancient woodlands, and rolling hills, Stow is an ideal of Cotswold-quaintness. Sitting atop an 800-foot-tall hill at an important crossroads, Stow is a charismatic market center with antique and crafts shops, art galleries, and fine restaurants.
Day 11 – Tour the Cotswolds & Stratford Upon Avon
Both today and tomorrow, meet your guide in the morning for full-day private tours of the Cotswolds, a region of quintessential English charm. With its gently rolling green hills, idyllic rural villages, elegant manors, gardens, and castles it’s no surprise that it’s designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In the north, visit ancient market towns, Sudeley Castle, and the gardens of Batsford Arboretum, Hidcote, and Kiftsgate. On the edge of the Cotswolds, visit Stratford Upon Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare.
Day 12 – Explore the Cotswolds & Oxford
Today, start your day in the central part of the Cotswolds. Explore Cirencester—the Roman capital of the Cotswolds—Westonbirt Arboretum, Malmesbury Abbey, and more. In the south, villages like Castle Combe are rooted in 500 years of history, and Neolithic barrows and Iron Age forts dot the hills. Travel farther south and visit the Lacock Abbey, or circle back northward and visit the hallowed halls of Oxford University.
Day 13 – Medieval Medley
Depart Stow-on-the-Wold for the town of Shrewsbury, a market town with a well-preserved medieval center and half-timbered Tudor houses. The town is situated in a scenic loop of the River Severn, and a lovely park and flower garden—created on the site of the old stone quarry—sits along the riverbanks. Visit the red sandstone Shrewsbury Castle and the Shrewsbury Abbey, both founded in the 11th century, before continuing to the medieval walled-city of Chester to settle in for the night.
Day 14 – Chester to the Lake District
Enjoy the morning to explore Chester, a town that was originally founded in the 1st century as a Roman fortress, and its ancient red sandstone walls that still stand. Take a stroll through the Rows shopping district, with its covered arcades and half-timbered houses, and visit the Roman amphitheater, which is the largest one discovered in Britain. In the afternoon, drive to the Lake District and settle in to your lodgings near Windermere Lake.
Day 15 – Tour the Lake District
You will be picked up this morning for a full-day tour of the Lake District, ending back at your hotel at dinner time. Often called Lakeland, this national park is a majestic landscape of craggy mountains, pristine lakes, and panoramic views. This is England’s largest national park, home to Scafell Pike, the country’s highest mountain, and Windermere, its largest lake. There are treks and walks for every level of hiker—through woodlands, along lakeshores, and to the top of mountains—and an array of historic and charming towns to explore.
Day 16 – Enjoy the Lake District
Spend today exploring the park on your own. Take a boat cruise on the island studded waters of Derwentwater, relax in a cozy pub in the hiking hub of Ambleside, visit the home of the Romantic poet William Wordsworth in Grasmere, or climb the 2600-foot-tall Old Man of Coniston.
Day 17 – Train to York
This morning, head to nearby Carlisle and drop off your rental car before catching the train to York, about a 3-hour journey. Spend the afternoon exploring York, one of England’s most enchanting cities. The city is wrapped in ancient walls and filled with well-preserved architecture dating back to the Middle Ages—it’s crowning jewel is the 800-year-old York Minster cathedral.
Day 18 – Tour of York & North Moors
Your guide will pick you up at your hotel this morning for a full-day tour of York and the wild North Moors. Start the tour by learning about the history of York Minster, built over the span of 250 years beginning in the 13th century. The cathedral also boasts more than 100 intricate stained-glass windows. Next you’ll head to the beautiful, desolate heather moorland which sits inland from the Yorkshire coast. A landscape crisscrossed with walking trails and ancient roads, this national park encompasses wild and exhilarating vistas.
Day 19 – Train to London
Today after breakfast you will board a train for London’s King’s Cross Station, about a 2-hour journey. After settling into your hotel in the heart of London, take a walk along the Thames or through the 350-acre Hyde Park. The modern vivacity of London rests on the architectural grandeur of landmarks like Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral, and makes getting to know the city a process of constant discovery.
Day 20 – Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
Spend today exploring London’s highlights—and everything in between—on a Hop-on Hop-off double-decker bus tour. With over 60 stops and five different routes, this is the perfect way to travel all over the city, stopping to explore an area before cruising through the busy streets. Whether you’re on foot or on the bus, enjoy iconic sights like Big Ben, Parliament, the Tower of London, and Trafalgar Square, and as an added treat, enjoy a Thames River Cruise.
Day 21 – The British Museum & High Tea at Claridge’s
Join a scholar and historian for a private, half-day tour of the British Museum. This in-depth tour offers insight into the incredible collection of the museum, which spans art, archaeology, history, the study of languages and scripts. 18th-century excavations in Iraq fueled a drive to document and preserve artifacts and history from ancient civilizations, which inspired what is now a collection of more than 8 million works, including the Rosetta Stone. In the afternoon, enjoy a traditional British High Tea.
Day 22 – Explore London
Today is yours to explore London. Head to the West End to attend a theater production in this renowned arts district, visit the contemporary art collection of the Tate Modern, or stop and smell the roses in the beautiful gardens of Regent’s Park.
Day 23 – Departure
A private transfer will take you to London’s Heathrow Airport for your flight home.
Remarkable Journeys has partnered with Lost World Adventures to create this journey. We partnered with Lost World due to their well-mannered relationships with tour guides, hotellers, airlines, and ground management services in the region. In our opinion, they offer the best value and experience in the region.
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