- Explore the charming villages of the Cotswolds by e-bike and horse
- Venture into Wales to tour the castles and northern coastline
- Visit Ambleside, home to Beatrix Potter and the stunning Lake District
- Go punting around the university towns of Oxford and Cambridge
|Day 1||Arrive in London, Self-Guided Tour||London|
|Day 2||Punting and a Picnic in Oxford & Bodleian Library Tour||Oxford|
|Day 3||Transfer to Chipping Campden & Group E-Bike Tour||Chipping Campden|
|Day 4||Cotswolds Discovery Trail (Southern Loop) & Hidcote Gardens Tour||Chipping Campden|
|Day 5||Private Horse Trek & Cotswold Falconry Centre Visit||Chipping Campden|
|Day 6||Cotswolds Discovery Trail (North), Stratford-upon-Avon & Conwy||Conwy|
|Day 7||Conwy Guided Trail Tour||Conwy|
|Day 8||Explore the Northern Coasts of Wales & Transfer to Ambleside||Conwy|
|Day 9||Conwy to Ambleside & Self-Guided Tour||Ambleside|
|Day 10||Lake District: Private, Guided Walking Tour of Buttermere||Ambleside|
|Day 11||Many Lives of Beatrix Potter: Full-Day, All-Inclusive Tour||Ambleside|
|Day 12||Full-Day Electric Mountain Biking Trip in Keswick||Ambleside|
|Day 13||Punting in Cambridge, Sutton Hoo Tour & Transfer to Ipswich||Ipswich|
|Day 14||Transfer to London and Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in London, Self-Guided Tour
Welcome to London! Upon arrival, check into your accommodations and then explore the British capital at your own pace. Start with a great breakfast to fuel you. Perhaps grab breakfast to go at the Burdock so you can make the most of your day.
If you're interested in sightseeing to explore the most recognized landmarks in London, join a hop-on, hop-off, double-decker, open-top tour bus. It takes you to famed destinations, including Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, and the Tower Bridge. You have complete control over your tour and itinerary based on your interests. If you love museums, visit the Charles Dickens Museum or the Sherlock Holmes Museum. Or for something more unique, head out on the Jack the Ripper Walking Tour, while art lovers can take the National Gallery Tour.
If it's delicious food you're after, perhaps venture to Chinatown to grab some dim sum as you wander the area and shop for souvenirs. The evening is at your leisure before departing London tomorrow.
Day 2: Punting and a Picnic in Oxford & Bodleian Library Tour
After breakfast, board the one-hour train to beautiful Oxford. Once you're settled in your accommodations, it's time to enjoy the day! Set out on the water for punting and a picnic. With the help of a trained punter, board a four-passenger, handcrafted punt, and set out to explore the River Cherwell. Your guide will join you for 30 minutes, but you may stay on the river as long as you like—make sure to return at least 30 minutes before sunset.
Set off south from the boathouse and glide gently past Oxford's famous Botanic Gardens, the fields of Magdalen College School, and through Christ Church Meadows—where Lewis Carroll taught students in the mid-19-century when he wrote his famous works, "Alice Through the Looking Glass" and "Alice in Wonderland." Next, pass the gardens along St Hilda's College and enjoy a picnic lunch and head back to the boathouse. Alternatively, if time permits, your guide can continue south toward the Isis (Oxford's name for the River Thames), where the river opens up.
Then, it's on to the 1.5-hour Bodleian Library tour to visit the collection of excellent, historic rooms, including the modern underground reading room, as well as the 15th-century Divinity School, Convocation House, Chancellor's Court, Duke Humfrey's Library, the Radcliffe Camera, and the underground Gladstone Link. Following the day's events, perhaps stroll around the grounds of the University of Oxford a bit more, and then the night is yours to enjoy.
Day 3: Transfer to Chipping Campden & Group E-Bike Tour
Depart Oxford today and head to the charming Cotswolds to join an exciting electric bike tour that spans six hours and up to 30 miles (50 km). Your group ride leaves from Northleach. Your electric bike makes the journey more of a breeze, and your expert guide leads the ride at a relaxed pace, which allows you to appreciate the history and nature of the area. Every ride starts with a short training session to ensure everyone knows how to ride safely in a group. Tours are based on carefully chosen circular routes which take advantage of the quietest country roads and lanes, giving each circuit a subtly different flavor.
Discover some of the best-kept secrets of the beautiful Windrush and Coln valleys, as well as pedaling through stunning Bibury. Experience the broad vistas of the high Cotswolds, ancient Saxon and medieval churches, and the tranquil beauty of lush water meadows with willow-flanked streams. The Cotswold Hills are England's largest Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This protected landscape offers some of the finest cycling in the country with magnificent views, a rich tapestry of seasonal wildflowers, ancient towns, villages, and miles of dry-stone walls crafted from the indigenous Oolitic limestone.
Day 4: Cotswolds Discovery Trail (Southern Loop) & Hidcote Gardens Private Visit
Wake up and head out by car on the Cotswolds Discovery Trail - Southern Loop with your trail map and track pack. This part of the trail is heavily influenced by Roman Britain. Visit the Roman Amphitheatre near Cirencester before the course moves east to Bibury, a gorgeous Cotswold village resting on the River Coln. Then, follow the river through a series of typical villages along the Coln valley and cross Fosseway Roman Road before reaching Chedworth. Continue west through rolling hills to Painswick Beacon and Painswick Village. The charming walk to the top of the Beacon offers incredible 360-degree views not to be missed.
The short drive to Painswick, the "Queen of the Cotswolds," gives you the chance to visit and explore one of the most interesting and stunning areas. Drive south to Minchinhampton, cutting through the famous and beautiful grasslands. Public roads cut through this common land which is also partly a golf course with herds of cows openly strolling around.
Following this leg of the Discovery Trail, spend two hours visiting Hidcote Gardens to view the arts-and-crafts-inspired, intricately designed spaces. Located in the beautiful countryside, Hidcote is one of England's most inspiring gardens with an incredible maze of narrow, paved pathways and secret gardens with vibrant plants.
Day 5: Private Horse Trek & Cotswold Falconry Centre Visit
Greet the day on a private, four-hour horse trek at the world-renowned Jill Carenzaïs riding facility. More than 50 horses and ponies await your arrival and cater to all activity levels. Set in picturesque Stanton at the Cotswolds escarpment, head up into the hills and relish the views among the peaceful countryside. Stop for a pub lunch en route.
Then, dismount and head to the Cotswold Falconry Centre, located in Morton-in-Marsh for the birds of prey tour. The Cotswold Falconry opened in 1988 and some of the birds to see include owls, eagles, hawks, and falcons. There are also various courses and experiences available. This is a great opportunity to learn more about birds of prey. Join one of the experiences called Flying Start, and relish the chance to fly some of the amazing birds of prey. Following the visit, the evening is yours to enjoy in Chipping Campden.
Day 6: Cotswolds Discovery Trail (North), Stratford-upon-Avon Tour & Transfer to Conwy
Today is dedicated to the Cotswolds Discovery Trail - North and has you engaging your wits and employing the maps and tools in your trail pack. The maps provide a wealth of information on each location, along with the challenge of answering clues and questions to uncover more. The trail is structured around many highlights to explore on foot, with a total drive time between 2-3 hours.
Notable stops include Broadway Tower in Chipping Campden, Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe, the Belas Knap Stone Age monument, the Oxfordshire countryside in Buford, and Burton-on-the-Water, as well as The Slaughters and Stow-on-the-Wold.
Day 7: Conwy Guided Trail Tour
Welcome to Wales! It's time to explore Conwy on the 1.5-hour "Conwy Guilded Trail with Tales of a Lady of Wales." This historical tour covers the conquests and river crossings, made interesting with plenty of stories. Your guide is a lady in traditional Welsh costume—tall black hat and all. See all the main attractions in Conwy, including Conwy Castle, Plas Mawr Elizabethan townhouse, the Church of St Mary & All Saints, the Town Walls, the quayside, and much more.
Hear all about the town's rich history and past and present inhabitants, real and ghostly. Your guide is not only a qualified Official Wales guide but also a resident of Conwy, so there's an authentic insight into what it is like living in the town today, as well as in the past.
Day 8: Explore the Northern Coasts of Wales & Transfer to Ambleside
Enjoy some free time today and explore Anglesey and the northern coast, where plenty of castles reside. Yes, there are gorgeous castles all over Wales, but few attract more admiring stares than the glamorous trio of Conwy, Caernarfon, and Beaumaris, which is why they're recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites today. As for the coast, there's a reason that Llandudno has been crowned the "Queen of Welsh Resorts." Its upscale appeal starkly contrasts the wild edges of the Isle of Anglesey, where the waves crash along the South Stack and the breezes eddy around clifftop barrows.
Beyond the sands and stones, this part of Wales offers plenty of opportunities for surfing, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, kitesurfing, powerboating, paddleboarding, walking, and birdwatching. So whether you're interested in watersports, scenic strolls, or nature, make sure to seize the day!
Day 9: Conwy to Ambleside & Self-Guided Tour
Wake up and transfer from Conwy back to the Ambleside in England. Ambleside is a great place to be anchored when launching into adventures in the Lake District—of which you will take full advantage over the next few days. The trip will only take 2.5 hours, so once you arrive in Ambleside, enjoy some touring on your own.
You can board a steamer to take in Windermere's fells and the lake houses along Belle Isle and visit nearby Rydal Mount, home of William Wordsworth. Or, snap photos at the iconic Bridge House and stroll through Stagshaw Garden, followed by a picnic in Borrans Park.
Day 10: Lake District: Private, Guided Walking Tour of Buttermere
Today, embark on a five-hour walk that spans 8.6 miles (13.8 km) in Buttermere. This beautiful area of the Lake District has a remote feel and is also home to Alfred Wainwright's favorite mountain: Haystacks. From your meeting point in the valley, walk toward the northwest end of Buttermere and ascend through Burtness Wood to Scale Beck.
Make your way up to Red Pike via Lingcomb Edge. Then, from the summit of Red Pike, head southeast along the ridge to take in High Stile, High Crag, and Seat. Next, drop down to Scarth Gap to descend back to the valley and return to Buttermere along the side of the lake. After the active walk, return to Ambleside for some free time and relaxation.
Day 11: Many Lives of Beatrix Potter: Full-Day, All-Inclusive Tour
Today, join the "Many Lives of Beatrix Potter" full-day tour, which begins at Wray Castle. Learn about the castle and the people Beatrix met before heading along the steep, narrow Lakehead roads to her home in Near Sawrey. Take a guided walk through the village into Hill Top and its gardens.
Make a stop for lunch in Hawkshead and visit the Beatrix Potter Gallery to see original manuscripts and illustrations by Beatrix. Take a short guided walk around the village, then explore it at your own pace. Move on to the beautiful Tarn Hows, part of the Monk Coniston Estate purchased by Potter, which was eventually bequeathed to The National Trust.
Discover more about the life of Beatrix as a farmer and conservationist and travel to Yew Tree Farm, once owned by Beatrix and used in the film "Miss Potter." Stop to snap some pictures before making the drive back to Ambleside. Next, head into the Armitt Library and Museum to uncover Potter's life as a scientific researcher and illustrator. Gain fascinating insights into Beatrix's interest in mycology as a young woman, showcased by her detailed illustrations left to the library in her will. Following the tour, the night in Ambleside is yours.
Day 12: Full-Day Electric Mountain Biking Trip in Keswick
After breakfast, get ready to pedal on an active electric bike (e-bike) trip in Keswick, where mountain biking is a popular sport. Get outfitted in your gear and helmet, and then set off to explore the scenery on a bicycle furnished with an electric engine, which propels the bike when peddling, allowing you to go further and faster than you ever could on a regular mountain bike and with ease. Make this trip your own by designing your route or opt for the help of a guide. Go the scenic, leisurely route, or choose a more challenging adventure with off-road endurance ride options.
Ride to Threlkeld and back on a railway path explicitly designed for family-friendly cycling trips, or explore Fitz Park and stop at the playground and BMX track—it's also a great place to brush up on your pedaling skills on the path around the perimeter. Additionally, cycle through Whinlatter Forest, home to some of the longest biking trails in the Lake District and a great place to cruise through several trails: Altura, Gorse, and Quercus. More advanced riders can try the Mountain Bike Orienteering challenge, combining forest roads and segments of the Quercus Trail.
Following a full day of riding, return to Ambleside. Indulge in a hearty dinner and get some rest.
Day 13: Punting in Cambridge, Sutton Hoo Tour & Transfer to Ipswich
Depart Ambleside for Cambridge today and head out on a one-hour punting adventure along the Cam River. From the Cam, you can see the separation between the two banks. On one side, view the historic facades of the University of Cambridge colleges, many of which are located along the bank. On the other, see the green expanses of The Backs. Further upstream, the river enters some lovely and tranquil countryside as it approaches the village of Grantchester.
Once finished punting, it's time to visit the Anglo-Saxton site of Sutton Hoo from the Netflix film "The Dig," based on a novel by John Preston. The film features the story of the excavation of the Great Ship Burial at Sutton Hoo in 1939. Many of the events and characters depicted in both the film and the novel are inspired by real events and real people. On this visit, take a guided tour and enjoy free access to the estate (all areas) and the dig site.
Day 14: Transfer to London and Depart
In the morning, make the transfer from Ipswich back to London. If you have some free time before your flight, enjoy a delicious pub lunch, shop for any last gifts, and then head to Heathrow Airport. Safe Travels!
More Great United Kingdom Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to the UK? Check out these other United Kingdom itineraries, explore different ways to spend time in the United Kingdom, or learn about the best time of year to visit the United Kingdom.