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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Explore iconic medieval castles in England's Northeast region. Visit ruins and modern-day palaces, discover the area's military history, and spend quiet afternoons strolling in countryside villages. Start your trip in industrial Newcastle, then continue to Alnwick Castle to see the backdrop for the Harry Potter films. End on the wild Northumberland coast to see isolated 16th-century Lindisfarne castle and sample fresh-caught lobster.
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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.
England trip 2019 · England - May 18 - May 25, 2019
Super fun trip, had a great time! Daniel was always very prompt to answer any questions I may have.