Embark on a journey through the soft rolling hills of the English countryside, its forests, and wild moors, where you'll find villages and rugged coastlines. Among the places you'll explore  in England are Canterbury, the castles of South Downs, Devon, the Isle of Wight,  Cornwall, and Oxfordshire.

Highlights

  • See ancient Canterbury
  • Travel through the fairy tale fortress of Arundel 
  • Explore Cornwall’s rugged coastline and sandy coves
  • Visit Queen Victoria's Osborne house on the Isle of Wight
  • Learn about the history of Glastonbury

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Days 1-2 Garden of England Kent
Day 3 West Sussex and Portsmouth Arundel
Days 4-5 New Forest District and Isle of Wight New Forest
Day 6 Devon Devon
Day 7 Cornwall St Mawes
Days 8-9 Glastonbury, Wells, and Bath Bath
Day 10 Oxfordshire Oxford

Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-2: Garden of England

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You'll begin your journey by exploring the 'Garden of England.' This sensory experience will take you through castle parklands, orchards, and downs sprinkled with villages and windmills.  Activities might include: 

  • Shepherd Neame Limited brewery:  Visit and taste brews at one of Britian's oldest breweries, founded in 1698.
  • Canterbury: Marvel at Roman walls, and see where Chaucer wrote medieval tales and Marlowe penned Elizabethan plays.  
  • Rye:  Explore cobbled medieval streets and see where William the Conqueror first engaged the Saxons in 1066.
  • White Cliffs:  Stroll a coastal path that has World War II significance.
  • Brighton: Wander through narrow lanes and discover a Royal Pavilion with an onion-domed roof.  

Day 3: West Sussex and Portsmouth

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Your exploration will continue in West Sussex  (a county in the south of England), and Portsmouth,  a city on the south coast. Some of the sights that you will see, might include:

  • Arundel: Experience the magic fairy tale fortress, and see the ancestral home of the Duke of Norfolk. 
  • South Downs: Visit Nyetimber, an estate first recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086, which is now a vineyard. 
  • Downs bridleways: Venture on walking trails that cut through scenic river valleys and ancient woodlands.  
  • Village of Fishbourne: Discover the mosaic floors of a former Roman palace.
  • Chichester: Discover a town encircled by Roman walls and see a cathedral which overlooks the plains between the South Downs and the sea.
  • Portsmouth Naval Port:  Learn about the history of Nelson's flagship "The Victory" and Henry VIII's Mary Rose. 

Driving time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Driving distance: 75 miles (120 km)

Days 4-5: New Forest District and Isle of Wight

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Your adventure into the sights and history of England will take you to the New Forest District and the Isle of Wight. You'll have a mix of outdoor adventures and cultural activities that might include: 

  • Winchester: Immerse yourself in more than 900 years of history in the former capital of Saxon kings, that was also a power base for bishops and marvel at its architecture and extraordinary cathedral.
  • New Forest: Venture deep into terrain where horses, cattle, and deer roam.  
  • Beaulieu: See this once medieval abbey that is now famous for its National Motor Museum and collection of vintage cars.
  • Buckler's Hard:  Visit a hamlet on the banks of the Beaulieu River in the English county of Hampshire where  you can step back in time at a peaceful hamlet in an 18th century shipbuilding village. 
  • Lymington to Isle of Wight: Take a ferry crossing to the Isle of Wight where you can visit Queen Victoria's Osborne House and the Norman fortress Carisbrooke.  You can also sail to the Solent strait,  which separates the Isle of Wight from the English mainland, to get up close to the sea.

Driving time: 1 hour
Driving distance: 50 miles (80 km)

Day 6: Devon

Devonshire coast
Devonshire coast

Devon County in southwest England has much to explore and a rich culinary tradition. Sights on your itinerary will include:

  • Moors National Parks:  Explore the wild beauty of rolling hills dotted with thatched cottages, and a dramatic  coast with cliff-edged fossil rich bays in the region's national parks.
  • Dartmouth:  Thread your way through the elegant Georgian coastal towns that form the English Riviera and to the harbor of Dartmouth, where you'll have a chance to try Devonshire tea, scones, strawberry jam, and clotted cream.  
  • Dartmoor National Park: Take in the scenery of a vast moorland
  • River Tamar: Try your hand at fly-fishing
  • Buckland Abbey: See the former home of Sir Francis Drake
  • Plymouth:  Visit its historic Hoe and Barbican for breathtaking harbor views and take in the history of the Mayflower steps, where pilgrims set off for America in 1620. 

Driving time: 2 hours
Driving distance: 91 miles (146 km)

Day 7: Cornwall

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You'll make your way to Southern England and Cornwall, where you can take in beautiful coastal views, walk on wildflower-edged cliffs, peer at Atlantic coves, see gorgeous harbor towns, and taste Cornwall crumbly Yargo cheese and Cornish ice cream.

  • St. Michael’s Mount: Visit this small island in Mount's Bay that is linked to the town of Marazion by a man-made causeway. 
  • The Minack Theater:  Explore this open-air theater in the village of Porthcurno and take in views of the Celtic Sea.
  • St. Mawes Castle: Learn about the history of an artillery fort constructed by Henry VIII between 1540 and 1542, which was part of the protection against invasion from France and the Holy Roman Empire.
  • Saint Just-in-Roseland: A  village and civil parish which is said to have been founded around 550 AD in honor of St Lost Gardens of Heligan:  Visit botanical gardens in the 19th century Gardenesque style and explore its ground to see its difference characters and design styles.

Driving time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
Driving distance: 95 miles (152 kilometers)

Days 8-9: Glastonbury, Wells, and Bath

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As you make your way north, you'll learn about some of the most well known English legends. The areas and sights that you'll visit will include: 

  • Glastonbury:  Learn about the town's Arthurian legends and its ruined abbey, including the Chalice Well — where some people believe the cup used at the Last Supper is buried. You can also climb Glastonbury's Tor, for views of the English countryside.
  • Wells: Visit the city which gets its name from the three wells dedicated to Saint Andrew. Here, you can also explore the grounds of the Bishop's Palace and cathedral. 
  • Bath: Explore this historic spa town in the valley of the River Avon, that is the setting for Jane Austen novels. You will have time to experience its Roman baths and thermal springs and appreciate its Regency and Georgian architecture.
  • Castle Combe:  Learn about this 14th century village, which has been the location for countless films.

Driving time: 3 hours and 45 minutes
Driving distance: 200 miles (321 km)

Day 10: Oxfordshire

Streetscape
Streetscape

This county in South East England is best known for its prestigious university, which was established in 1096.  You can explore Oxford University and the area's other sights, such as: 
Blenheim Palace: Visit one of the United Kingdom's finest stately homes, explore its landscaped gardens, see its collection of art and artifacts, butterfly house, and Marlborough Hedge Maze.

Driving time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Driving distance: 78 miles (125 km)