If you're a Shakespeare lover, a Jane Austen enthusiast, or a Harry Potter fan, this weeklong tour around England is perfect for you! Focused on culture and literary history, the 7-day itinerary starts by following in Austen's footsteps—and later, seeing the filming locations for Bridgerton—in Bath. Then you'll tour Shakespeare's hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon and see the landmarks around Oxford University that inspired J.K. Rowling. As an added bonus, this trip features ample outdoor time, from hiking in the Cotswolds to boating in Oxford to visiting one of the country's finest gardens.

Highlights

  • Learn about Jane Austen's life and times in the charming city of Bath
  • Follow in Shakespeare's footsteps in his hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Explore the Cotswolds at your own pace on scenic hikes and drives
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch on a scenic boat ride around Oxford
  • See the landmarks at Oxford University that inspired J.K. Rowling

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in London & Take a Literary Tour of Bath Bath
Day 2 Discover Bridgerton's Filming Locations in Bath Bath
Day 3 Hike on the Cotswolds Discovery Trail Chipping Campden
Day 4 Explore Shakespeare's Birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon Chipping Campden
Day 5 Enjoy One of England’s Most Inspiring Gardens Oxford
Day 6 Tour Bodleian Library & Picnic in Oxford Oxford
Day 7 Depart London  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in London & Take a Literary Tour of Bath

Roman Baths
Roman Baths in Bath
Welcome to England! You'll arrive in London and take a train to Bath. In the afternoon, you'll go on a guided literary tour. Jane Austen made this city her home from 1801 to 1806, when it was a popular spa resort and a favorite haunt of fashionable society. Upper-class Brits came to Bath to relax and socialize in the Roman Baths, drink the requisite three glasses of water from the Pump Room, and stroll in Sydney Gardens and along the Royal Crescent.

A two-and-a-half-hour guided tour will lead you through these attractions as well as Jane Austen's Bath. Gain fascinating insights about the social etiquette of the day and the nuances of daily life for a woman in Regency England as you learn more about Jane's life and times. You'll overnight in Bath.

Day 2: Discover Bridgerton's Filming Locations in Bath

A stone bridge across the River Avon in Bath
The popular Netflix series "Bridgerton" is set in London during the Regency Period. But many of the scenes were actually filmed in Bath to take advantage of the city's beautiful Georgian architecture. On a private walking tour around Bath, you'll see key locations from the series, including the residences of Lady Danbury and the Featheringtons, the Modiste dress shop, Gunter's tea shop, the street Daphne galloped down to save her love from a duel, and more. Later, you'll have the evening free to relax before continuing onward to the Cotswolds on day three.

Day 3: Hike on the Cotswolds Discovery Trail

Cotswolds Way
Sweeping views over the Cotswolds
Today you'll go hiking on the Cotswolds Discovery Trail. Begin in Cirencester, originally a Roman settlement called Corinium. A military fort was first built here in the first century CE to help defend the then northwestern frontier of the Roman empire. From here, the trail takes you east to Bibury, a gorgeous Cotswold village on the River Coln. Follow the river through a series of idyllic villages before reaching Chedworth. The trail then continues west, meandering through rolling hills to Painswick Beacon and the village of Painswick. The scenic walk to the top of the beacon offers incredible 360-degree views. Continue on to Painswick, the "Queen of the Cotswolds," one of the most interesting and stunning places in the Cotswolds. ​Leaving Painswick, you'll drive south to Minchinhampton, and then to Chipping Camden, a historic market town where you'll spend the night.

Day 4: Explore Shakespeare's Birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon

Cotswold villages
Villages in the Cotswolds
Today you'll continue enjoying the Cotswold Discovery Trail, this time on the north side. You'll have the freedom to explore at your own pace using a trail map, hiking and driving through gorgeous countryside and picture-perfect villages as you take a journey back in time. Along the way, depending on which route you take, you'll see a Stone Age monument, an Iron Age fort, a Roman amphitheater, and Anglo-Saxon settlements. 
 
Later in the day, go on a tour of Stratford-upon-Avon, the onetime home of William Shakespeare. 
William Shakespeare. Walk in Shakespeare’s footsteps from cradle to grave, learning about the Bard's life and times as you explore the picturesque River Avon, the Royal Shakespeare Theatres, a range of architectural gems, Harvard House, the Guild Chapel, Holy Trinity Church, and various architectural gems. Head back to Chipping Camden to spend another overnight.

Day 5: Enjoy One of England’s Most Inspiring Gardens

The gardens of Hidcote Manor

Situated in the beautiful Cotswold countryside, Hidcote Manor features one of England’s most inspiring gardens. Created by the talented American horticulturist Major Lawrence Johnston, they're characterized by colorful outdoor "rooms" that are full of surprises. Wander through a  maze of narrow pathways and secret gardens blooming with exotic plants — many were collected from Johnston’s plant hunting trips in faraway places.

Afterward, head to the famed Oxford University. J.K. Rowling was familiar with the campus and took inspiration from its statues and buildings for the Harry Potter series. You'll go on a walking tour of these highlights as your guide provides insights about the actors, the producers, the filming process, and Rowling's inspirations. You'll also learn about what student life is like at Oxford these days!

Day 6: Tour Bodleian Library & Picnic in Oxford

Bodleian Library, Oxford
Bodleian Library is one of the world's oldest working libraries. Explore its wonderfully historic interiors, including a modern underground reading room, the 15th-century Divinity School, Convocation House, and Chancellor's Court. Afterward, go on a boating tour of River Cherwell. As you set off south from the boathouse, you will glide past Oxford’s famous Botanic Gardens and Magdalen College School, then through Christ Church Meadows, where Lewis Carroll taught in the mid-19th century. Then pass the gardens of St. Hilda’s College. You'll enjoy a packed picnic along the journey! Have one last dinner out in Oxford before the trip comes to an end on day seven.

Day 7: Depart London

Looking down over London

Today the trip ends. After breakfast, you'll head to the airport to catch a flight out. Safe travels! 

More Great 1-Week England Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to England? Check out these other 1-week England itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

Map

Map of Cultural & Literary Tour of Bath, the Cotswolds & Oxford - 7 Days
Map of Cultural & Literary Tour of Bath, the Cotswolds & Oxford - 7 Days