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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

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.

  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.

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.

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.

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.

Britain Tours - Lake District

A Luxury Britain Coach Tour - Discover the essence of Britain through knowledgeable experts and passionate locals introducing you to stories of Britain from past to present. Visit significant destinations once frequented by British greats such as Shakespeare and renowned kings. Travel in style on this elegant tour, and spend your evenings in a hand-picked selection of exclusive hotels. Enjoy travel through England to Scotland, whilst relishing in a range of VIP experiences such as the Tower of London for a private viewing of the Ceremony of the Keys, Edinburgh castle and visits to royal gardens. On route visit the Georgian city of Bath and the mesmerising dales of the Lake District on this relaxing, well-paced tour is a trip of a lifetime.

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.

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.

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 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 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 the Mountains of Snowdonia in the North.

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 2020  
Tours England - York

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.

  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.

  Improved Itinerary  
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.

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.

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  
Tour of York 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.

  New for 2020  
Tours England - York

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”.

  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.

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.

  New for 2020  
Gardens Tours England

English Gardens Tour - This escorted motor-coach journey is a must for any nature lovers and English garden enthusiasts. Offering the opportunity to experience the undoubted highlight of the British gardening year, the Chelsea Flower Show, your tour also explores much besides! Enjoy a comprehensive tour taking you from the South West Peninsula through the heart of England, North Wales and the Lake District - every step of the way you'll enjoy elegant historic houses and stately homes with magnificent grounds of woodlands, formal gardens and floral displays.

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.

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.

  New for 2020  
England Tours - Cotswolds

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.

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.

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 capital after a journey through the rolling landscapes of the lowlands.

  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.

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  

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.

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