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Destination Guide to the Heart of England

Home to Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, the city of Oxford, bundles of historic villages and the idyllic Cotswolds countryside, exploring the Heart of England is an essential part of the English vacation experience. The Heart of England is home to the glorious Cotswolds countryside, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty.

Demonstrating rural England at its most quintessential, the Cotswolds region covers much of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire and is typified by gently sloping patchwork fields, rolling hills, meandering rivers and soft woodlands. The region is dotted with traditional towns and villages with eccentric names such as Stow-on-the-Wold and Moreton-in-Marsh. Attractions in themselves, these settlements are attractive collections of honey coloured sandstone houses, thatch cottages and cobbled market squares.

Gloriously picturesque on a larger scale, the cities of Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon are both absolute “must-sees” for this region. Oxford is home to one of the world’s most famous academic institutions at Oxford University, the college buildings offer stunning architecture whilst the city holds a wistful air of academia. An elegant medieval town of timberwork buildings and open greens Stratford was once home to the Bard himself and the surrounding areas hold a wealth of Shakespeare heritage and dedicated sites. Further west along the English border with Wales there are a procession of Tudor market towns and stunning medieval cathedral cities such as Gloucester, Hereford, Ross-on-Wye and Shrewsbury whilst in the centre of England you’ll find the buzzing metropolis of Birmingham, England’s second most populous city.

The Heart of England’s landscapes are punctuated with stately homes and castles including some of England’s best known sites such as Blenheim Palace (near Oxford), Chatsworth House, in the Peak District, the archetypal medieval fortress at Warwick Castle and the lesser known romantic gardens of Sudely Castle. For those who prefer their history more recent, a visit to the designated world heritage site at Ironbridge in the Shropshire hills is not to be missed.

North of Birmingham, you’ll find the Peak District, England’s first protected National Park and another area of outstanding natural beauty. In contrast with the mellow slopes of the Cotwolds, the Peak District is a hiker’s paradise offering dramatic landscapes, rocky precipices, underground caverns, peat bogs and wild moorlands.

Encompassing some of England’s key historic city’s and sites, alongside lesser known gems and some of the country’s most quintessential countryside, central England really is the Heart of England.

Relevant Tours

  New for 2021  
Britain City Tours - Westminster

A Britain Coach Tour – Take a journey through the Highlights of Britain on this tour of England, Scotland and Wales. This itinerary takes you through renowned visitor destinations and lesser-known gems alike – experience the heritage cities of York, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Bath and enjoy a number of Britain’s scenic rural regions including the Scottish Trossachs National Park with Loch Lomond, and the English Lake District, The Cotswolds and West Country. The perfect way to explore the very Best of Britain.

Tours of the Heart of England - Warwick Castle

A Cotswolds Rail Tour – Use England’s rail network to explore the historic towns and quintessential countryside of the heart of England. From the Regency streets of Bath and the medieval colleges of Oxford to the Elizabethan streets of Stratford-upon-Avon, this region is brimming with English history and heritage. You’ll also enjoy day-tours to the rolling hills and chocolate-box cottages of the Cotswolds countryside and over the Wiltshire plains to Stonehenge.

  New for 2021  
Scotland Tours - Isle of Skye

A small group tour of Britain – Beauty of Britain is an epic journey exploring the history, heritage and natural landscapes of England and Scotland. We’ll pass from the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, through the rustic landscapes Yorkshire and the Lake District to the barren wilderness of the Scottish Highlands. Our journey is punctuated with visits to Britain’s heritage cities such as Bath, Oxford, York and Edinburgh and we’ll enjoy a host of local experiences including countryside steam train rides, ancient castle visits, traditional afternoon tea, loch cruises and a whisky distillery tour. The true beauty of Britain is waiting to be discovered.

  New for 2021  

Rail Tour of Britain – Travel by train on this rail adventure through Britain touching the highlights of England, Scotland and Wales. Visit the elegant historic cities of York, Bath and Chester and enjoy scenic rail journeys through the rolling hills of the English Lake District, the Scottish Lowlands and the Welsh border Marches. Your trip is rounded off with stays in no fewer than three capital cities in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff and includes selected day-tours to reach more rural sites such as the Cotswolds and Stonehenge.

England Tours - Lake District

A Northern England Tour – this small group tour focuses on England’s rustic north including Yorkshire and the Lake District. From London pass through the heart of Britain to some of England’s most scenic landscapes including the moors and dales of Yorkshire and the mountains and waterways of the English Lake District.  Besides spectacular scenery you’ll visit historic cathedral cities, walk amidst ancient stone circles, discover England’s literary legends and see castles and stately manors…

Tours of England - Liverpool

A driving tour of England and Scotland - indulge in a unique trip taking in two of Britain’s most unique nations.  Your self-drive vacation will take you through the rural landscapes of England and Scotland before returning your vehicle in Edinburgh and returning to London by rail. The trip will take in the beautiful landscapes of the Cotswolds, Yorkshire, Lake District and Scottish Highlands not to mention a host of elegant cities including York, Glasgow, Edinburgh and London.

Tour of York England

A Britain Rail Tour – Experience the cities and landscapes of two great nations on this rail journey of discovery through England and Scotland.  Travelling from vibrant London in the South to romantic Edinburgh in the North and back again your itinerary will take you through the historic cities of Oxford, Glasgow and York. Along the way you’ll experience scenic rail-rides through the rolling British countryside and enjoy hand-picked day tours to reach the rural sites and villages of the Cotswolds, the Lake District and Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park.

  New for 2021  
England Tours Salisbury

A small group tour of England – England’s Rustic Charm is a leisurely tour exploring the highlights of central and Northern England. Departing the elegant city of Bath you’ll enjoy a journey through the rolling hills and honey-coloured villages of the Cotswolds to the ruggedly beautiful landscapes of the English Lake District and Yorkshire Dales. Along the way we’ll visit the dreaming spires of Oxford, the Tudor streets of Stratford-upon-Avon and spend two nights in the medieval city of York. A leisurely journey that will no doubt leave your enchanted by England’s traditional charm.

England Tours - Lake District

English Pub Tour – Is there anything more quintessentially English than a country pub or coaching inn? Our country pubs of England tour offers the opportunity to tour the scenic and historic destinations of this nations whilst overnighting in traditional pubs and inns sure to offer a warm welcome, homely feel and good “pub grub” food and drink.  Your journey will take you through the rolling fields of Cambridgeshire to York, over the Dales of Lake District to patchwork countryside of the Cotswolds.

Tours of England - Bath

A Castle Tour of England - Enjoy the history and grandeur of an ancient land on this tour of England. By day you'll explore castle ruins, opulent manor houses, historic sites, stunning landscapes and England’s cultural jewels such as Oxford, Stratford, Chester, York and Bath whilst by night you'll live like royalty as you experience historic and characterful castle hotels and country manor house accommodation!

  Improved Itinerary  
Tours England - York

An England driving tour - England Explorer is a comprehensive tour of this great nation taking you from the heart of England to its far-reaching corners including the beautiful Lake District and the coastlines of Cornwall. You’ll experience classic English countryside including the Cotswolds and Yorkshire Dales and a host of historic cities including York, Chester and Bath not to mention a couple of nights in the vibrant English capital city, London.

  New for 2021  
Chelsea Flower Show, London

An English Garden Tour – Is there anything more beautiful than the quintessential English Garden? This elegant escorted coach tour takes you on an incredible journey across England and Wales to visit some of the UK’s most renowned gardens. Explore royal palaces and stately homes to discover the secrets of their formal gardens and rambling estates and enjoy the scenic drives through Britain’s wonderful countryside. A highlight will be your visit to one of the most esteemed garden shows in the country – the Chelsea Flower Show.

Christmas in Britain Tours

A Winter Tour of England - There's nowhere quite like England when it comes to wrapping up warm and enjoying the seasonal magic of Christmas. This small-group tour explores England's most festive attractions as we tour the Cotswolds countryside and cathedral cities of central England.  We'll get in to the Christmas Spirit as we experience Choral Evensong services, discover the traditions of bygone times and set aside time to pick-up some gifts in and maybe indulge in a mug of mulled-wine at some of England's renowned Christmas markets along the way!

  New for 2021  
England Tours of Oxford

A Rail Tour of England – Experience the highlights of England on this concise but attraction packed tour as you traverse the comprehensive English rail network. Enjoy overnight stays in some of England’s best-known heritage cities including Bath, Oxford and York to see iconic sites such as ancient Roman Baths, medieval university colleges and towering cathedrals.  You’ll also experience England’s quintessential countryside as included small-group tours take you in to the heart of the Cotswolds villages and Lake District National Park.

Castle Tours - Blenheim Palace

A Britain Castle Tour - Indulge in the history and heritage of England, Scotland and Wales by day and see its character reflected in your unique and distinguished accommodation each night on this deluxe tour of Britain. With your overnight accommodation in quality castle or manor house hotels, your tour will take you through the elegant cities of York, Bath, Oxford and Edinburgh as well as the natural beauty of the Cotswolds, the Yorkshire Moors, the Scottish Lowlands and the mountains of Snowdonia.

England Tours Salisbury

A week-long tour of England - Icons of England takes you on a journey of discovery of England’s most renowned sites, cities and landscapes.  You’ll experience English icons including Stonehenge, Bath’s Roman Baths, the rolling hills of the Cotswolds countryside, Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon Avon, York Minster, the colleges of Cambridge and a wealth of attractions across the English Capital London.

  New for 2021  
Marazion, Cornwall, England

An England Small Group Tour – Discover the rich history and rustic landscapes of England on this diverse journey from the far South West to England’s Northern territories. England’s Coastline and Countryside takes you from the golden bays and craggy cliffs of Cornwall through the quintessential villages of the Cotswolds to the rugged landscapes of Yorkshire and the Lake District. Along the way we’ll visit the elegant cities of Bath, Salisbury, Oxford and York and enjoy a host of local visits and experiences to truly immerse ourselves in England’s unique charm and heritage.

  Improved Itinerary  
Tours of Scotland - Edinburgh Arthurs Seat

A Great Britain Rail Tour - Make use of Britain's extensive rail network on this comprehensive rail tour through England, Scotland and Wales.  Your journey will take you from the bustling city of London over scenic rail routes to the remote Highlands of Scotland. You’ll experience Britain’s many cultural highlights along the way including the historic cities of Cardiff, Bath, York and Edinburgh. In selected destinations your trip is complemented with small-group day tours to ensure you reach those out-of-the-way highlights such as Stonehenge, the rustic scenery of the Lake District and Loch Ness.

  New for 2021  
Jurassic Coast, Dorset, England

A small group tour of Cornwall – Treasures of Cornwall takes you on a leisurely journey through England’s enchanting West Country. This region is home to a unique Celtic heritage and beguiling landscapes; we’ll travel from the elegant Georgian city of Bath through the rolling hills of Somerset and across the barren moors of Devon to the dramatic coastlines of Cornwall. Along the way we’ll visit ancient stone-circles, taste local specialities, unearth Arthurian Legends, discover cliff-side castles, hear smugglers tales and explore rambling fishing villages. Cornwall’s many treasures are just waiting to be discovered.

  New for 2021  
Tour of York England

A Private Tour of Britain - Indulge your senses in the history, heritage and landscapes of Britain. Relax as in the company of an experienced private driver who’ll share their local knowledge and insight as they guide you through the countryside of England, Scotland and Wales. Enjoy quality and characterful accommodations each night and a wealth of included sightseeing each day including a unique local experience in the heart of the Cotswolds. For those seeking something a little special, the British Indulgence is a “must”.

Tours of Wales - Brecon Beacons

Enjoy an England and Wales driving tour to experience the contrasts of two distinct British cultures on this in-depth tour of two of Britain's intriguing nations.  Enjoy the contrasting vistas of the patchwork fields of the Cotswolds, the rustic Yorkshire Dales, the mountains of Snowdonia and the coastlines of the Pembrokeshire National Park. Not to mention icons of English and Welsh history at Conwy Castle, York Minster, Shakespeare’s Stratford, Cardiff Castle and Stonehenge.

Tours of England - Bath

A Cotswolds Small Group Tour - Heart of England takes you on a journey through one of Britain’s most iconic and traditional regions, encompassing Oxford, Stratford-upon Avon, Bath and the Cotswolds. On your five day trip we’ll experience Oxford’s dreaming Spires, visit enchanting film locations, explore honey-coloured Cotswold villages, ancient abbeys and stately homes not to mention the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bath.

  Improved Itinerary  
Tours of England - Blenheim Palace

A Comprehensive Britain Tour – this elegant escorted coach tour of Britain evokes a bygone age as you journey from Edinburgh to London to discover traditional villages, stately homes, historic castles and beautiful gardens. Featuring two-nights stays in each overnight destination, you’ll journey at a leisurely pace enjoying expertly planned day excursions and city tours in each destination with fabulous local visits designed to showcase each region in depth. A truly engaging and well balanced itinerary of Britain.

  Improved Itinerary  
Tours of London - Tower Bridge

The British Journey tour is a Britain driving tour that takes you on an expedition from the capital of Scotland to the capital of England touching upon Wales and enjoying a wealth of cultural highlights along the way. Explore Scotland’s “Highlands in miniature” and the historic city of Edinburgh before passing south through the inspiring landscapes of the Lake District, Cotswolds and Wye Valley to glorious historic cities including Chester, Cardiff, Stratford upon Avon and Bath. Your trip ends in the thriving metropolis of London.

  New for 2021  
Tours of Scotland - Glenfinnan Viaduct

A small group tour of Britain – Discover what makes Britain Great on this small group journey through the diverse cultures and landscapes of England, Scotland and Wales. This comprehensive itinerary takes you from the peaceful coasts and mountains of Wales, through rustic landscapes of rural England and north in to remote wilderness of the Scottish Highlands. We’ll see iconic landmarks and hidden gems, visit Britain’s quaint villages and heritage cities and enjoy a host of local experiences from steam train rides through the English countryside to whisky tasting in the Highlands.  In the company of your local guides, the Great British Journey is the ultimate way to explore Britain.

Tours of England - Liverpool

A British Rail Tour – Get two countries for the price of one as you use the British rail network to explore the rails England and Wales. Your itinerary will include scenic rail rides through the scenic Welsh border Marches and over the Yorkshire Dales whilst overnight stops include the historic cities of Chester and York and the cosmopolitan Welsh capital city of Cardiff. In order to best explore the rural landscapes of Wales we’ve included two separate day tours to explore the South Wales countryside and the mountains of Snowdonia in the North Wales.

  New for 2021  
England Tours - Cotswolds

Private Tour of the Cotswolds - Discover quintessential England on an exclusive private tour of the historic cities and rolling landscapes of the Cotswolds. Travelling in the company of your local driver, you'll experience the contrasts of this region from the iconic Stonehenge and elegant city of Bath to the countryside life of rural England. Your private driver will share their local knowledge and take you to see the hidden gems of the Cotswolds before inviting you to enjoy a unique experience at a traditional working farm in the heart of the region. Your exclusive overnight hotels will boast both character and quality, the ideal spaces in which to relax after a day touring in the classic Cotswolds.

  New for 2021  
Tours of Britain Search

A small group tour of Britain – Enjoy an epic journey of discovery through the varied histories and landscapes of England and Wales. We’ll see many of Britain’s most beautiful natural landscapes from the golden coasts of Pembrokeshire and the mountains of Snowdonia in Wales to the rustic hills and vales of Yorkshire and the Lake District in England. Along the way we’ll sample traditional fare and enjoy a host of local visits and experiences including archetypal medieval fortresses, stately English manors, ancient abbeys and historic steam train journeys; the ideal tour to discover the very essence of Britain.

  Improved Itinerary  
Tours of Britain Search

Classic Britain Driving Tour - a snapshot of the countryside and historic cities of England, Scotland and Wales. Enjoy the rolling hills and thatch villages of the Cotswolds to the towering mountains and fortresses of North Wales. Pass through the lakes and dales of the English Lake District and the rolling hills of the Scottish Lowlands and Yorkshire Dales. Historic cities to explore on route include Regency Bath, Medieval York, and the capital cities of Edinburgh and London.

  New for 2021  
Britain Tours - Lake District

A Small Group Tour of England and Scotland – From the southernmost tip of the Cornish Peninsular to the remote wilderness of the Isle of Skye, Britain Coast to Mountain takes you on an epic small-group journey through the diverse cultures and landscapes of England and Scotland. Discover the quaint fishing towns of Cornwall, the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, the rustic dales of Yorkshire and the barren moorlands of the Scottish Highlands. Along the way we’ll visit the heritage cities of Bath, York, Chester and Edinburgh and experience regional food, drink and hospitality. Britain Coast to Mountain is the perfect immerse yourself in culture and panoramas of England and Scotland.

England Tours - Stonehenge

Discover quintessential England as you explore the patchwork countryside of the Cotswolds and some of England’s most captivating historic cities. Delight in the whimsical academia of Oxford, Shakespeare’s Stratford and the grandeur of the Georgian City of Bath not to mention a host of lesser-known gems such as the eccentrically named Cotswold villages of Castle Combe, Chipping Campden, Stow-on-the-Wold and Broadway.

  Improved Itinerary  
Tours of London - Tower Bridge

A Small Group Tour of Britain - This Tour takes you from London to Edinburgh providing the full British history and culture experience along the way. Experience the natural beauty of the Cotswolds, Wales’ stunning Snowdonia National Park and the Lake District in between visiting cultural highlights such as Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, the Beatles’ Liverpool and medieval York. Your tour ends in the Scottish capital after a journey through the rolling landscapes of the lowlands.

  New for 2021  
Chester, England

An English Literature Tour – this uniquely themed coach tour of England takes you on an incredible journey following footsteps of some of Britain’s most renowned authors and playwrights. Travelling across the English countryside, immerse yourself in the lives of literary greats from William Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, the charming city of Bath that stole Jane Austen’s heart, the coasts of Dorset and Thomas Hardy Country to the rural idylls of Yorkshire and the Lake District, stomping ground of the Bronte Sisters and William Wordsworth. Along the way, we’ll see historic cities and England’s rustic landscapes.

  Improved Itinerary  
Chester, England

An England Rail Tour – Make use of England’s extensive and far-reaching rail network to explore the corners of this great nation.  From the capital city of London your journey will take you to England’s farthest reaches in on the Cornish Peninsula and the Lake District. Along the way you’ll visit a host of heritage cites including Plymouth, Bath, Oxford, Chester and York. You’ll take in scenic rail rides along the Cornish Coast and over the Yorkshire Dales and enjoy small-group day tours to reach those less accessible spots including Stonehenge, the Cotswolds and the dramatic scenery of the Lake District.

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