Experience the English countryside with a traditional English pub and beautiful gardens or explore some of my favourite places to visit on a day tour from London. Some can be reached by train from central London, whilst others require a private vehicle and driver to take us. Please contact me to obtain quotes for the various options available.
You may like to visit my other web-site which contains more information on day tours from London.
Hampton Court Palace
On the banks of the River Thames, this royal palace makes for a splendid day. See the magnificent Great Hall lined with priceless tapestries where Henry VIII’s courtiers dined and great entertainments took place. Explore the Tudor kitchens and see how tastes changed the decoration of royal apartments through the centuries. Strolling through the colourful gardens allows us to see the history of garden design. There is also a famous maze to get lost in!
Windsor and Eton
Visit the Queen’s favourite home and England’s oldest inhabited castle. See where state banquets take place and admire the priceless paintings from the Royal Collection. I will show you the stunning St George’s Chapel where Henry VIII is buried and the lovely Guildhall where Prince Charles married Camilla.
After enjoying a riverside lunch we can stroll across to the village of Eton with its famous College where Princes William & Harry were educated.
Explore this ancient University City and hear the stories of the famous people who have studied here. I will show you around some of its famous colleges with their dining halls, chapels and quiet courtyards, while telling you about student life today. Admire the view of the “dreaming spires” and see where Harry Potter and Inspector Morse were filmed. We might even have a drink in the pub where Tolkein read his Lord of the Rings!
My favourite way of visiting this World Heritage Site, is to approach it on foot, walking up the ancient Avenue so your first view of the monument is the way ancient man would have done. By exploring the surrounding area of burial mounds and understanding the recent archaeological evidence, you get a much better experience than just arriving in the busy car park!
Following your tour of Stonehenge, we can visit more stone circles at Avebury or visit the lovely cathedral city of Salisbury.
The charming city of Salisbury is dominated by the magnificent cathedral and the tallest spire in England. Find out how the medieval stone masons created these mighty skyscrapers as we explore one of England’s finest cathedrals. In the Chapter House is a copy of The Magna Carta.
We can have lunch in a 14th century inn and explore the lovely buildings that surround the cathedral. It is no wonder the area inspired writers such as Hardy, Trollope and Golding as well as the artist Constable.
Salisbury can be combined with a visit to Stonehenge.
Stratford upon Avon
Explore Shakespeare’s Stratford upon Avon with me to see the place he was born, where he went to school, where he courted Anne Hathaway and the church where he is buried. Our drive en route will include the pretty countryside which inspired him.
There are picturesque half-timbered houses and lovely gardens, which are a riot of colour during the summer. Lunch can be taken in the famous riverside pub used by the actors from the nearby theatre, and you can even have a cream tea in the house where his daughter Judith once lived.
Kent and Sussex
Experience the English countryside – the counties of Kent and Sussex, to the south of London, are some of the loveliest in the country, but they are often overlooked by visitors. Here you will find pretty villages, market towns, moated castles, stately homes and world famous gardens such as Sissinghurst and Great Dixter. No wonder film-makers love the area! There is even an isolated church with stained glass windows by Marc Chagall.
En route we will pass farms and orchards – this is “the garden of England”. Lunch can be enjoyed in a traditional village pub serving local beers and cider and food from local farms.
Rochester and Dickens’ Kent
As we celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens, what better place to visit than the delights of Rochester? Many of the buildings feature in his novels and we will see the house which inspired Miss Havisham’s in Great Expectations, the unique almshouses of The Six Poor Travellers, the fine cathedral that dominates Edwin Drood and the Swiss Chalet he used to write in. There is a superb free museum and the imposing castle ruins as well as lots of tea rooms!
Tours by vehicle can also explore the surrounding area, including the churchyard which inspired the famous opening scene on the marshes in Great Expectations and the house he spent the last 14 years of his life. We can have lunch in a village pub mentioned in Pickwick Papers which has Dickens’ travelling bag on display as well as lots of atmospheric Dickens pictures.
The Cotswolds is a lovely area of villages with honey-coloured stone cottages with thatched roofs, set amongst gentle rolling hills. There are antique shops, historic churches and world famous gardens such as Hidecote and Kifsgate to enjoy.
I will design a day that combines the best of the area with your interests. We can round off the day with a traditional cream tea – delicious scones, clotted cream and homemade jam!