England's most beautiful attribute might just be its famous countryside. It exists everywhere outside the cities: great expanses of rolling green hills, many of them home to grazing sheep dotting the horizon like fluffy white cotton balls. On this 9-day itinerary, you'll visit some of the old towns, palaces, and fishing villages found in this bucolic paradise, making for one unforgettable British vacation.
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England is steeped in history. Like Greece and Rome before it, this relatively small island nation rose to become the what was once the world’s most powerful empire—by 1922, the British monarchy ruled more than a quarter of the world’s population. While the empire may have diminished over the course of the 20th century, the culture of the Britons and the beauty of England’s cities and villages remains steadfast.
When is the best time to visit?
England is famous for its gloomy weather, and unfortunately, this stereotype is mostly true. Fall is gray and drizzly, and winter is gray and cold. The best time of year to visit is summer (June-August) when the sun shows its face—at least for a short while at a time—and you can put the heavy layers away. If you want to beat the crowds and score lower prices on hotels, try visiting during the shoulder spring season of March-May (and remember to bring a rain jacket).
Where should you go?
It wouldn’t be a trip to England without spending time in London. England’s capital is one of the great cities of the world, equal parts tradition, history, modernity, and kinetic energy. In a single day, you can go from the colorful street art of bohemian Camden Town to the open-air markets of Notting Hill, from the gates of Buckingham Palace to a festive working-class pub south of the River Thames.
Two hours southeast of London, in the county of Kent, stretch the famous white cliffs of Dover, and north of London, the university city of Oxford has stunning medieval buildings dating back to the city’s founding in the 12th century. There are other interesting cities in the north, such as Birmingham, Manchester, and Liverpool—the famed birthplace of the Beatles.
Thinking about traveling around the United Kingdom? Learn more about planning a trip to Wales or Scotland. Many travelers also combine their trip to the UK with a visit to Ireland.
How many days do you need?
You can experience the highlights of London in a mere three or four days. With a week you can enjoy the capital and also make time for another city or region, be it the cliffs of Dover or a trip to Oxford. With two weeks you can spend time in London and travel around the countryside to various market towns and villages, and even visit a city or two in the north.
This self-guided 8-day itinerary lets you walk Dorset’s spectacular Jurassic Coast at your own pace. Start in Lyme Regis and travel east along England's south coast, taking in dramatic chalk cliffs, shingle beaches, prehistoric earthworks, and charming thatched villages before ending in historic Lulworth.
Explore the heart of England from the famous "dreaming spires" of Oxford to the Roman baths in Bath, passing by some of the most quintessentially English villages of the Cotswolds. After visiting Oxford, head north via Blenheim Palace and the Cherwell Valley to the home of Shakespeare, Stratford-Upon-Avon. Following an excursion to Warwick Castle, start winding your way through the Cotswolds Hills, passing through a host of pretty villages built from honey-colored limestone. Then explore the elegant city of Bath where you can enjoy the grandeur of its Georgian architecture.
On this week-long itinerary, you'll immerse yourself in the cosmopolitan atmosphere of London, visiting Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, the Tower of London, and much more. Then venture out into England's fertile green countryside, which boasts some of the most scenic landscapes in all of Europe. It's the perfect mix of city and country life, allowing you to enjoy culture and excitement as well as rest and relaxation.
On this British adventure, you'll experience two distinct and wildly different parts of England. Start with a visit to cosmopolitan London, a great global metropolis and a true model of diversity. Then, you're off to the rugged coast and rural beauty of Cornwall, in the southwest region, which is regarded as one of the most scenic counties in England.
This six-day adventure follows a spectacular section of England's famed South West Coast Path. Starting in the seaside resort of Bude, you’ll hike south along Cornwall's Atlantic coast. Enjoy rugged clifftops, sandy bays, ancient ruins, and whitewashed fishing villages before ending your journey in the medieval port of Padstow.
With a warm coat and umbrella, January is an excellent time to take advantage of England's low-season prices and crowds. You'll have more options than you might think, whether...
February is a great time to take advantage of low rates and fewer crowds in England. Though it's winter, there are many options to choose from, with lesser-known cities,...
March signifies a hopeful transition toward spring. This is when temperatures and daylight hours are on the upswing, while rates remain low (except for Easter if it falls...
April is a lovely time to visit England, even though the weather can be fickle with a mix of chilly rain and bright blue skies. One thing is for sure: This is a time when trees...
February is a great time to take advantage of low rates and fewer crowds in England. Though it's winter, there are many options to choose from, with lesser-known cities, romantic drives in the countryside, and outdoor adventures on the southern coast (like cliff walking and surfing). Or, stick around London and see the famous sites—plus, there's a month-long orchid show at the Royal Botanic Gardens.
With a warm coat and umbrella, January is an excellent time to take advantage of England's low-season prices and crowds. You'll have more options than you might think, whether you seek an escape in the quaint countryside, winter surfing on the Cornish coast, or more elbow room at famous cultural sites from York to Bath. Of course, you can always find something buzz-worthy in London, starting with a street parade marking the first day of the year.
November is one of the quietest months to visit England—a fantastic opportunity to spread out at cultural sites and historical attractions. When the sun is out, consider some time outdoors in the late autumn foliage. If the rain is stubborn, use it as an excuse to plan a museum day followed by afternoon tea or a pint at the nearest pub.
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A perfect 2 weeks in England! · England - Apr 18 - Apr 30, 2022
Kudos and more to William and Stephen! What a fabulous 2 week trip they put together for us in April. We started in London, travelled to Swanage and Lyme Regis, experienced Bath and the Cotswalds before returning to London. Our accomodations were charming and all prearranged tours were the best. It was so nice to have all of this plus transportation arranged in advance, as it allowed us to focus on the incredible sights and scenes and not stress about the details. All of the guides we... read more
We booked a trip to England thru KimKim and i... · England - Apr 18 - Apr 30, 2022
We booked a trip to England thru KimKim and it was absolutely fantastic. William and Stephen put together an amazing trip and there was no one thing that was not perfect. Hotels were awesome, the tours they picked for us were fantastic and all transfers showed up on time as arranged. They did everything and all we did was show up. I would highly recommend this group and we will most definitely use them again. read more
England Countryside and Garden Tour · England - Jun 23 - Jul 3, 2019
Without a doubt, the best trip planning experience I’ve ever had. I will never try to plan another overseas trip without kimkim! Louise was absolutely amazing in her creative itineraries, quick responses and knowledge of the area.