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Highlights of Southern...
 

Highlights of Southern England: London, Bath & Oxford

11 days |  14 days with Canterbury & London extension
11 days |  14 days with Canterbury & London extension
Group size1538 travelers
Physical activity
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Explore England like a royal—complete with a stay at a famous country estate.

From regal urban residences to age-old hamlets cropping up in the countryside, Southern England merits a trip for itself—and that’s before taking London into account. This tour hits it all: Get swept from the English capital to the undulating plains and cobbled lanes of Salisbury, Bath, and Oxford; if that isn’t enough, spend a final night on the grounds of Ashridge House, a storied property that has hosted royals and celebrities over the centuries. Keep basking in British beauty and history on this trip’s extension to Canterbury and Kent, and discover why the latter’s lovingly referred to as “the garden of England.”

Your tour package includes

  • 9 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 9 breakfasts
  • 1 lunch
  • 4 dinners with beer or wine
  • 2 food tastings
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Included highlights

  • London’s Tower Bridge
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Stonehenge
  • Salisbury Cathedral
  • The Jurassic Coast
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Day-by-day itinerary

Print itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to London today.

London3 nights
Day 2: Arrival in London
Included meal: Welcome dinner

Welcome to England! After touching down at London Heathrow Airport—the second-busiest international passenger terminal in the world—transfer to your hotel and unwind. Later in the evening, meet up with your Tour Director and fellow travelers, and get to know one another over a welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of London
Included meal: Breakfast

Join a local guide for a panoramic tour of London’s regal landmarks, soaking in centuries of history and culture along the way.

  • Pass stately Trafalgar Square—a popular public plaza surrounded by museums, galleries, and historic buildings—and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Sat atop Ludgate Hill at the highest point of the City of London neighborhood, this Baroque Anglican church dates back to the 17th century and has hosted state funerals and royal jubilees over the years.
  • See Westminster Abbey, one of London’s four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Since its consecration in 1065, it’s seen 16 royal weddings and the coronation of 40 monarchs, and serves as the final resting place of 18 British rulers.
  • Catch a glimpse of skyline icons like the Elizabeth Tower (the clock tower known as Big Ben) and the London Eye observation wheel. Then, take some time to marvel at the Tower of London: a historic castle that has functioned as a royal palace and prison, and is now home to the Crown Jewels.
  • Stop by Buckingham Palace—the official residence of the ruling monarch—where you might catch the Changing of the Guard ceremony.

From there, depart for an optional, expert-led tour of the longest-inhabited castle on the planet. Or, enjoy a free afternoon in London proper. The 350-acre Hyde Park is a little over a half-mile from Buckingham Palace; make the walk and roam its grassy fields, or maybe even rent a boat for a leisurely cruise on The Serpentine.

Windsor Castle

From $125 per person

Day 4: Free day in London
Included meal: Breakfast

Yesterday, you saw the Tower of London and the London Eye from a distance—today, if you choose, you’ll get much closer. View the city’s past and present from two incredible angles on a pair of optional outings. If you’d rather explore on your own, take your free day to check out some of London’s many excellent museums. (Some of our favorites: the traditional exhibits of the British Museum in the Bloomsbury district, and the more interactive offerings of the Cutty Sark clipper ship in Greenwich, on the south bank of the River Thames.)

Tower of London

From $109 per person

London Eye & Pub Dinner

From $149 per person

Salisbury1 night
Day 5: Salisbury Region via Stonehenge & Salisburg
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Head southwest out of London, setting your sights on the iconic monoliths of Stonehenge. Upon arriving, enter the recently opened Stonehenge Visitors Centre, taking in a number of exhibitions before walking to the monument itself. Gaze upon this UNESCO-listed landmark, erected some 5,000 years ago, before hopping back on your bus. From this prehistoric site, drive to the medieval city of Salisbury for a guided sightseeing tour.

  • View the soaring spire of Salisbury Cathedral, the 765-year-old mother church of the city, and understand why its ornamented exterior is considered an excellent example of Early English Gothic architecture. Then, go inside to marvel at its sumptuous interior—and one of the only four surviving copies of the Magna Carta.
  • Stroll the shopping streets of Salisbury proper, snapping pictures of the city’s historic buildings as you go.

Leave the city and continue to your hotel in the Salisbury region, where you’ll enjoy an included dinner, served with beer or wine, alongside your fellow travelers.

Bath2 nights
Day 6: Bath via the Jurassic Coast & cheese farm
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Tasting

Climb aboard your bus and embark on a scenic drive along the UNESCO-listed Jurassic Coast, so named for the many fossils found in its rocky shores.

  • First stop: Lulworth Cove! Shaped like a scallop and filled with waters that shift from turquoise to navy, it’s a prime example of the area’s geography and topography. Use your free time to explore the beach and surrounding hills—or sit back and take it all in.
  • Keep along the route, admiring its powerful coastline and peaceful countryside, before stopping at West Bay Beach. If it looks familiar, you aren’t mistaken: Its sheer East Cliff and the nearby resort town provided the backdrop for the popular TV series Broadchurch. Soak in the sights, then continue to a local restaurant for an included lunch.
  • Did you save some room? From lunch, make your way to the Somerset region for a tour of a local farm, complete with a tasting of cheeses crafted on-site.

After eating your fill, turn back north and make for the elegant city of Bath. Pull up to your hotel, then spend a relaxing night in. Or, maybe explore Bath’s monument-rich city center.

Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Bath
Included meal: Breakfast

Bath has the unique honor of being a double UNESCO World Heritage Site: first named to the list in 1987 for its mix of Roman remains and Georgian aesthetics, then again in 2021 as one of the Great Spa Towns of Europe. Dive right into its highlights today, with your Tour Director in the lead.

  • Pass a host of famous places, including the Royal Crescent—one of England’s eminent examples of Palladian architecture—and the Circus. And no visit to Bath would be complete without entering its namesake attraction: the Roman Baths that have stood since the first century A.D.
  • Enjoy free time for lunch and shopping, or enter the Bath Abbey on your own. Founded in the seventh century and expanded in the English Gothic fashion, it’s a stone’s throw from the Roman Baths and a worthwhile visit for any architecture aficionado.

Once you’ve recharged, join an optional excursion and head further into the city to visit the home-turned-museum of a certain author—and Bath’s most famous resident. Alternatively, spend some free time indulging at a modern-day spa, fed by the same thermal waters that soothed the Romans thousands of years ago.

Literary Bath & Afternoon Tea

From $129 per person

Oxford2 nights
Day 8: Oxford via the Cotswolds
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

One of 46 nationally designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK, the Cotswolds is widely regarded as the most picturesque landscape in all of England. Today, spend some time driving through its lush pastures and down its country lanes, stopping in villages as you go.

  • Begin in Bibury, a town of just 627 people, and take a leisurely stroll down Arlington Row—a cottage-lined lane so pretty that Henry Ford purportedly attempted to buy them all and ship them to the United States for reconstruction. (He only ended up purchasing one.)
  • Continue to Burford, the “Gateway to the Cotswolds” and a living exhibition of Tudor and Georgian architecture. Walk down High Street, taking it all in, before breaking for lunch.

Wrap up in the Cotswolds and make the short drive to the city of Oxford. Freshen up in your hotel room, then reconvene in the evening for an included dinner, served with beer or wine.

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Oxford
Included meal: Breakfast

Beyond the oldest university in the English-speaking world, you’ll find buildings of every English architectural style in Oxford—even dating as far back as the late Anglo-Saxon period. Spend the first half of your day following a local guide on a walking tour of the city, admiring its spire-studded skyline as you go.

Then, tread the campuses of New College and Christ Church, constituent schools of the University of Oxford and educational institutions that trace their roots back as far as 1379. Learn about their academic heritage and legacy, and come to know how the latter simultaneously serves as a cathedral and place of higher learning. (An extra fun fact: Oxford University was used as a filming location for the Harry Potter franchise, as well as other movies!)

Once you finish, board your bus for an optional trip to Blenheim Palace—birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill—or spend a free afternoon in Oxford.

Please note: The New College closes during the academic year. If it’s closed, your group will visit a different campus instead.

Blenheim Palace & Lunch

From $169 per person

Ashridge House1 night
Day 10: Transfer to Ashridge House
Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting, Farewell dinner

The English countryside is dotted with grand, historic estates set within acres of meadows, woodlands, and immaculately manicured gardens. Ashridge House ticks all those boxes, and today, you’ll be treated as an honored guest.

  • Travel to the former royal residence of King Henry VIII and Princess Elizabeth I and spend a day immersed in regal splendor. While on its 190-acre grounds, you’ll tour the main house and saunter through its Italian gardens.
  • Use some free time to explore the property at your leisure, or perhaps grab lunch at its on-site cafe.
  • Rejoin your group for a tasting of cream tea and scones, a quintessentially English pick-me-up.

Afterward, settle into your overnight accommodations on the grounds of Ashridge House. Get situated, then celebrate your trip with your group during a farewell dinner, served with beer or wine.

Flight Home
Day 11: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home, or extend your stay to continue exploring the storybook scenery of Kent County. (And if you wanted some more time in London, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered.)

Extension to Canterbury & London
You don’t have to go to continental Europe to find Roman walls, medieval streets, and rolling wine country—it all exists just a few hours outside of London. On this trip’s extension, you’ll spend some more time in Southern England, calling the holy city of Canterbury home for two nights. Enter its UNESCO-listed cathedral and see a slew of other highlights; if you’re so inclined, venture out into Kent County on an optional excursion and spend an afternoon sampling the fruits of its vineyards. Finally, end your tour by returning to the English capital for a final night of merriment.
Canterbury2 nights
Day 11: Canterbury via Leeds Castle
Included meal: Breakfast

Thanks to its abundant orchards and hop gardens, the county of Kent more than earns its nickname of “the Garden of England”—and that’s before you realize over a quarter of its area contributes to a pair of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Today, you’ll drive into this lovely corner of the country, stopping at Leeds Castle en route.

Built across two islands in a lake formed by the River Len, Leeds Castle has existed in one form or another since 857. It’s been expanded over the years, and during your tour of the property, you’ll enter its library, dining room, writing room, and salon. Close your eyes and picture the countless late-night parties it hosted in the 1930s as Olive, Lady Baillie’s residence.

Continue to your hotel in the city of Canterbury and enjoy a free evening to explore the area.

Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Canterbury
Included meal: Breakfast

Travel to Canterbury—yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site—this morning and join a local guide for a walking tour.

  • Step inside Canterbury Cathedral, seat of the leader of the Church of England and an enduring symbol of the city.
  • Proceed to the King’s Mile neighborhood and walk about in the shadow of quaint buildings and independent shops.
  • Pass by King’s Bridge, spanning the Great Stour, and stand in Buttermarket square, letting 800+ years of history wash over you.

Add an optional jaunt out into the Kent countryside for an afternoon of wine-sipping, or hang back in Canterbury and explore the city at your pace.

Kent Wine Country & Lunch

From $119 per person

London1 night
Day 13: Transfer to London
Included meal: Breakfast

Return to London this morning and enjoy a free afternoon—or maybe join your new friends on a tasty trip into the East End.

Whichever you choose, regroup in the evening for a farewell drink as a group.

London’s East End: Brick Lane & Curry Dinner

From $139 per person

Flight Home
Day 14: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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Hotels, flights & FAQ

Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.

Hotels

We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
Crowne Plaza London – King’s Cross
Crowne Plaza London – King’s Cross

This upscale hotel is located in London, steps away from the St Pancras railway station. Guests enjoy on-site restaurants, the leisure club, and a fit...

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Mercure Salisbury White Hart Hotel
Mercure Salisbury White Hart Hotel

This elegant hotel is located in Salisbury’s historic center. Guests enjoy the garden, an on-site restaurant, and spacious rooms. Nearby, you’ll find ...

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Henrietta House
Henrietta House

This Georgian townhouse is located in the center of Bath. Guests enjoy house-baked bread and croissants, individually styled rooms, and a trendy on-si...

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Holiday Inn Oxford
Holiday Inn Oxford

This modern hotel sits just outside of Oxford’s City Centre neighborhood. Guests enjoy the fitness center, lobby lounge, and outdoor terrace. Nearby, ...

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Ashridge House
Ashridge House

Rising out of the English countryside, this grand estate crowns the town of Berkhamsted. Accommodations are located in a modern extension near the mai...

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Hampton by Hilton Canterbury
Hampton by Hilton Canterbury

This contemporary hotel is located right in the heart of Canterbury. Guests enjoy the fitness center, bar, and snack bar. Nearby, you’ll find the Cant...

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Hampton by Hilton London City
Hampton by Hilton London City

This stylish hotel is located in London’s East End. Guests enjoy the fitness center, on-site coffeehouse, and restaurant. Nearby, you’ll find Spitalfi...

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Flights

Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
Add our airfare package and you'll get:
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  • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
  • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
  • Find out more about flights

FAQ

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