Essential England Bath to Windsor

Tour Highlights

Join us as we discover two of England’s most historic and culturally rich cities, and wind our way through lush green landscapes filled with world-famous attractions. 
In addition to exploring our hubs of Roman Bath and Royal Windsor (6 nights each), we will experience everyday English village life including 2 dinners at traditional pubs serving craft ales and local farm-to-table food, world famous English heritage sites, churches that have watched over their parishes for centuries, independent shops and galleries and so much more. We will learn the stories behind these spectacular cities, stunning scenery, countryside and castles, and sweeten our British experience with a traditional afternoon cream tea and world-famous gin. This tour indeed offers an opportunity to experience the “Essential England”. 

* Those joining any of our tours to Europe must be able to walk fairly long distances and climb stairs easily.

 Tour Highlights:
   • The UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath 
   • Highclere Castle – the real ‘Downton Abbey’
   • Bristol – SS Great Britain and Bristol Cathedral
   • Castle Combe - The ”Prettiest Village in England”
   • Bradford upon Avon, the Magical, historic town
   • Salisbury ‘The City in the Countryside’
   • Lacock Abbey and Castle Coombe
   • Royal Windsor 
   • Ascot Racetrack 
   • Bombay Distillery
   • Hobbs of Henley Cruise on the Thames
   • Oxford - the City of Dreaming Spires

Tentative Itinerary

We depart for London.
Upon arrival we transfer to our centrally located hotel in the UNESCO Heritage city of Bath, for a 6-night stay.
On our walking tour of Bath our guide will show us the stunning honey-coloured Georgian architecture, the iconic Royal Crescent, the majestic Circus and Pulteney Bridge - an historic, shop-lined bridge spanning the River Avon. We then visit the golden town of Bradford-on-Avon, surrounded by glorious countryside, and visit the impressive Tithe Barn - described by English Heritage as “One of the largest medieval barns in England, and architecturally one of the finest.”
We visit the city of Bristol, and at its historic waterfront the ss Great Britain is ready to welcome you aboard. We see what life was like on the world’s first great luxury liner, dressed for departure and decked with flags as she was for her launch back in 1843. Then we visit Being Brunel where we learn about the life of Isambard Brunel - one of engineering's greatest minds during the Victorian era.
Lacock Abbey, on the River Avon, is considered by many to be the birthplace of photography. It was here in the early 1830s that William Fox-Talbot performed his experiments into the properties of light, and took his first "photograph" of an oriel window. The window is still there, unchanged since that history-making photo. Lacock village is preserved intact, so there are no television aerials or any other signs of the modern world. Next is Castle Combe, known as 'The Prettiest Village in England' and with good reason. The cottages are built of wonderful honey-toned Cotswold stone, and walking through this relaxed village will transport you back several centuries in time. Here we enjoy an Afternoon Cream Tea!

We start the day in Salisbury. Traditional & Original. A Cathedral city of ageless beauty and captivating history, Salisbury has been welcoming travellers since 1227.

We travel into Hampshire to visit Highclere Castle - one of England's most beautiful Victorian Castles set amidst 1,000 acres of spectacular parkland. The Carnarvon family has lived here since 1679, and stands on the site of the medieval palace owned by the Bishops of Winchester for some 800 years. Here you can discover the real ‘Downton Abbey’, as this is where much of the series was filmed.
Bath’s compact, visitor-friendly centre is overflowing with places to eat and drink, some of the finest independent shops in Britain, a remarkable collection of museums and galleries and plenty of parks and gardens. Or, you may want to simply sit back and relax in a deckchair in Parade Gardens.
Leaving Bath, we first visit historic Bombay Sapphire where we learn about one of England’s most famous gin distilleries. After a tour and tasting, we proceed to our Windsor hotel for a 5-night stay.
Windsor is steeped in the pageantry and history of the royal family. On our walking tour we learn about this town and its 1000-year-old heritage. We then enjoy a river cruise for fantastic views of Windsor Castle, Eton College, Mill House and Windsor Racecourse.
We first visit Ascot - Britain’s most famous horse racing track. Our tour (guided by one of the iconic Bowler Hat Stewards) includes visits to the weighing room and jockey's changing rooms. Then we proceed to Bucklebury - a rural area dotted with neat villages, grazing horses and ancient hedgerows. This is where Kate Middleton spent her younger years. Our dinner tonight is in an award-winning 17th century pub.
Henley-on-Thames is one of England’s most beautiful towns, and it also has a reputation earned over 175 years as one of the world’s greatest rowing regattas. We start the day with a cruise along the regatta route, followed by a visit to the River and Rowing Museum (named by The Times as one of the best 50 museums in the world). Henley-on-Thames has been the setting for numerous episodes of Midsomer Murders.
Today you may want to visit St. George’s Chapel - the spectacular setting for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. Located in Windsor Castle, the chapel consists of uniquely English Gothic architecture, and is considered one of Britain’s most beautiful ecclesiastical buildings. Later, you may want to take a leisurely walk in Great Windsor Park, or visit some of the fabulous shops.
Oxford is filled with incredible architecture and home to a vibrant arts and culture scene. It was also the setting for many films and TV series. Our guided tour will take us through one of Oxford University’s famous colleges and into Bodleian Library - the main research library and one of Europe’s oldest libraries. Tonight we enjoy our Farewell Dinner!
We fly home from London.

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