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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

  Improved Itinerary  
Tours of England - Liverpool

A brief tour of Britain – discover the essence of Britain on this whirlwind escorted coach tour taking you from the South of England to Scotland. Enjoy a journey of contrasts from the bustling cities of London and Liverpool to the historic elegance of Bath and Edinburgh. Along the way you'll see the natural beauty of the English Cotswolds and the Lake District as well as Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon and the very Royal Windsor Castle.

Tour of York England

Utilize the extensive English rail network to explore the corners of the English nation.  From the Salisbury Plain and West Country coasts , Lake District and Cotswolds to the charming heritage cities of Bath, York, Stratford upon Avon and Chester.  This is the ultimate rail tour of England.

  New for 2020  
England Tours of Canterbury

A South England Coach Tour - Explore England's beautiful South, an area of unrivalled history, heritage and natural beauty. Our journey will take us from the capital city of London to the Cotswolds countryside and the cliffs of the English coastline. Along the way you'll sample traditional English ales, see opulent manor houses, explore grandiose castles and wander quintessential English gardens. Something for everyone and a region not to be missed.

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 London - Tower Bridge

With London as your base and your Britrail London Plus Pass in your back pocket you're equipped not only to explore the wonders of England's capital but also to travel through the tranquil countryside to a host of surrounding heritage towns and cities such as Bath, Stratford upon Avon, Canterbury and Cambridge.

Tours of England - Liverpool

Enjoy two countries for the price of one as you use the British rail network to explore England and Wales. Travelling in comfort enjoy the city highlights including Cardiff, London and York as well as scenic train rides through the enigmatic countryside of North Wales, the Cotwsolds and the Yorkshire dales.

  New for 2020  
England Tours - Lake District

York and the Lake District – this Northern England small group tour focusses on England’s rustic Northern region. From London pass through the heart of Britain to some of England’s most scenic landscapes including the hills 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...

England Tours - Stonehenge

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.

London Tours - Imperial War Museum

An England Small Group Tour - Embark on a journey back in time on the Battles of Britain tour to visit some of the most intriguing aviation and war museums in Britain. With an expert Tour Leader at the helm, we’ll tour central and southern England, a region steeped in history, walking in the footsteps of fallen heroes and enjoying the unique thrill of taking a flight over Cambridge in a fully restored Dragon Rapide aircraft.

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.

Tours of London - Tower Bridge

This Britain Small Group 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 captial after a journey through the rolling landscapes of the lowlands.

Tours of England - Bath

A Comprehensive England Coach Tour - Explore England's unrivalled history, heritage and natural beauty on the Taste of England Tour. Combining the Best of Southern and Northern England tours, this journey of discovery takes you from England's South Coast to the remote and rustic landscapes of the North of England. On our journey we'll visit some of England's greatest historic cities such as Bath, Oxford, Cambridge and York and pass through areas of outstanding natural beauty including the Cotswolds, the Yorkshire Moors and the English Lake District. On route, we'll not only visit ancient castles and stately homes but will also engage with local traditions and culture enjoying historic rail journeys, lake cruises, and sampling regional food and drink. The perfect tour to gain a true flavour of England.

England Tours Salisbury

A Complete Britain Tour - Enjoy the highlights of Britain on this leisurely 15-day tour which takes you from the far South West of England to Scotland’s St Andrews. On route discover national icons such as Stonehenge, Edinburgh Castle and Windsor Castle alongside more “off the beaten path” destinations as you explore the coast and countryside of Devon and Cornwall, the mountains of North Wales and the remote towns and dales of Yorkshire.

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.

Tours of the Heart of England - Warwick Castle

Navigate the English rail network as you explore the heart of England and its historic cities. Sit back and enjoy the scenic countryside roll by before exploring the grandeur of Bath, Shakespeare's Stratford and the University city of Oxford not to mention the capital city of London.

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.

Tours of England - Bath

A Comprehensive Britain Tour - This elegant excorted coach tour of Scotland and England evokes a bygone age; discover traditional villages, stately homes, historic castles and beautiful gardens. Enjoy a leisurely touring pace with two-night stays in each overnight destination. With expertly planned day excursions or city tours from your accommodation bases, not to mention a fabulous array of local visits, this tour is designed to showcase each region in depth. A truly engaging and well balanced itinerary of Britain.

  New for 2020  
England Tours - Cotswolds

Classic Britain - 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.

Tours of England - Liverpool

Experience English icons, a number of heritage cities and the tranquil beauty of the English countryside as you traverse the England's rail network. Smooth rail rides will take you from capital London to York, Liverpool and the Bard's Stratford upon Avon.

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.

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

Heart of England is a Cotswolds small group tour of one of Britain's most iconic and traditional regions, encompassing Oxford, Stratford-upon Avon, Bath and the Cotswolds. On your five day journey 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.

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.

Tours of London - Tower Bridge

This Britain Small Group Tour takes you from London to Edinburgh providing the full British history and culture experience along the way. See Oxford and the Cotswolds, shop at Chester's Rows, wind through Wales' stunning Snowdonia National Park, enjoy medieval York and explore Wordsworth's Lake District before finally visiting mysterious chapels and stately homes in the Scottish Lowlands.

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!

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