Day Trips from London
Windsor, Bath, Stonehenge, The Cotswolds, Canterbury, Salisbury, Oxford, Stratford upon Avon and more.
Why not take a private day trip from London? Some tour companies try to combine three different places into a day and if you have limited time this may be necessary but if you prefer not to feel rushed my tours offer you the chance to spend the whole day in just one or maybe two places and explore in more depth at your own pace. I will plan your itinerary with you.
If you have a small group some of the places mentioned below are easily accessible by train but you may prefer to have a car/ minibus and driver, I can take care of booking those for you. Hiring a vehicle gives you more flexibility in planning tour itinerary. For larger groups these tours are only possible by coach. If you have a larger group and already have a coach booked I will work with your driver to conduct the tour or I can assist you with booking a coach.
On this page are suggestions for your bespoke day trip itinerary. You choose the itinerary and how you would like to travel and I will help you to plan a bespoke tour specially for your group. Contact me to discuss your requirements and for a quotation.
Designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cotswolds is a stretch of rolling hills lying mostly in Gloucestershire. The picturesque towns and villages, full of charming limestone cottages, were built as the result of wealth created from the wool trade in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and the area has kept its wonderful old world charm. I will help you to choose the best villages to visit. There is plenty to do in the Cotswolds for a full day but it can be combined with a visit to Oxford or Stratford -upon-Avon or Blenheim Palace. A car/ coach / minibus is required for all itineraries involving the Cotswolds.
Oxford is one of Europe’s oldest University towns, the first students arrived here in the 12th century and university and town are inseparable both breathing life into each other. The Oxford colleges have educated world famous figures throughout the centuries. Our tour will include a visit to one or two colleges. The city has witnessed many of England’s great historical events. Enjoy its special atmosphere and fine architecture, the poet Matthew Arnold referred to its buildings as ‘Oxford’s dreaming spires’. Oxford can be combined with the Cotswolds or Stratford-upon-Avon or Blenheim Palace with a car/minibus and driver.
The home of the Dukes of Marlborough and a supreme example of English Baroque architecture, a World Heritage Site and the birth place of Sir Winston Churchill. View the state rooms and the Churchill exhibition and enjoy the beautiful gardens. Blenheim Palace requires a car or minibus and can be combined with Oxford.
Windsor Castle has been the home of our kings and queens for 900 years. It is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. It is a palace within a castle and one of The King’s official residences. Enjoy a guided tour of the castle precincts and St George’s Chapel, which is the spiritual home of the Order of the Garter, our highest order of chivalry. Visit the State Apartments and Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House. Windsor is 50 minutes from London by train. Later in the day we can explore Windsor on a walking tour and perhaps even cross the bridge over the River Thames to go into Eton to see Eton College where 20 prime ministers have been educated and also Prince William and Prince Harry. Windsor can also be combined with Oxford or Stonehenge or Hampton Court Palace with hire of a vehicle.
Hampton Court Palace
First built as a manor house for Cardinal Wolsey, it was Henry VIII who turned Hampton Court into a palace. Later King William III and Queen Mary employed Sir Christopher Wren to extend it so it is a fascinating mix of Tudor and baroque architecture. The interiors are decorated with paintings and furniture from the Royal Collection. The Palace is situated in a beautiful riverside setting with lovely gardens. A short journey from Central London by train or by car/minibus.
Once an important Roman town Canterbury is where Christianity gained a firm foothold on English soil 1,400 years ago with the arrival of St Augustine. The fine cathedral was built over many centuries and embraces all the stages of Gothic architecture. The site of Thomas Becket’s martyrdom in 1170, Canterbury Cathedral holds a unique place in the history of the Church of England and it is still today the seat of its senior Archbishop and the mother church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. A walking tour this great cathedral city can also be included. Canterbury can be visited by train or with a vehicle could be combined with a visit to Leeds Castle or Eltham Palace.
Leeds Castle in Kent is special because of its romantic setting on two islands on a lake. The oldest parts of the castle date from the 1100s and other parts from the 19th C. The castle was granted to six queen’s of England as part of their marriage agreement. In the 1920s it was purchased by the American Lady Bailie and got striking new interior design by Armand-Albert Rateau and Stephen Boudin.
A beautiful Art Deco style home with a fascinating history. Built 500 years ago as a medieval residence for Edward IV, Eltham Palace was rebuilt in Art Deco style in the 1930s by Stephen and Virginia Courtauld. Also see the magnificent medieval Great Hall which survives from the original palace and the beautiful gardens which are a mix of medieval and modern styles.
Stratford -upon- Avon
This lovely Warwickshire town is famous for its connections with Shakespeare. He was born here in 1564, educated at the local Grammar school and married a local girl Anne Hathaway. After his career in London he returned to Stratford for his retirement. See the house where he was born, Holy Trinity Church where he is buried, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and many other places associated with him. His plays are performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the theatre on the banks of the River Avon. Stratford upon Avon can be combined with the Cotswolds or Oxford and requires the hire of a driver and a vehicle.
The magnificent Georgian city of Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage site. For 2000 years it has been a spa town built around the only naturally occurring hot mineral springs in Britain. We will visit the Roman Baths. In the 18th century Bath became a fashionable place to take the waters for their supposed health benefits and also a popular place for fashionable entertainments. This is Jane Austen’s Bath and it is also the period which gave the city some of Europe’s finest architecture, in the Georgian style. The tour will include a walking tour of the City. Bath could be combined with Stonehenge or Salisbury and requires the hire of a driver and a vehicle.
Stonehenge is a ancient prehistoric structure. Today it is an enigma. How was it built? How were the stones transported and what was it for? This atmospheric site has fascinated and inspired throughout its history. Stonehenge can be combined with Windsor or Bath or Salisbury and requires hire of a driver and a vehicle
Visit the typically English town of Salisbury famous for its beautiful cathedral. This cathedral took just 38 years to build and it is a fine example of the Early English style of Gothic architecture. It is surrounded by the Close, a serene open space bordered by beautiful period houses with interesting historic and literary connections. The town retains much of its medieval character, narrow streets, fine churches, half timbered houses and coaching inns. Salisbury can be combined with Stonehenge or Winchester if travelling by road.
Winchester was a Roman town and later Alfred the Great made it the capital of his kingdom of Wessex so this place has lots of history. It also has a magnificent cathedral, a famous school Winchester College, a medieval Great Hall and a great natural setting in the chalk downs of Hampshire in the green valley of the River Itchen. Winchester could be combined with Salisbury and requires hire of a driver and a vehicle.
Visit this university city with its lovely setting on the River Cam. Discover the delights of the city on a walking tour, visit the magnificent Kings College Chapel and Emmanuel College, enjoy the teashops, even punt on the river. Travel by train from London or with a car/minibus and a driver Cambridge can be combined with Ely Cathedral.