Heart of England

Neolithic man to Roman forces, celebrated writers to contemporary filmmakers have all made a mark on England’s heartland and this tour follows their tracks – covering Wiltshire’s ancient stone circles and movie-set good looks, Oxford’s ‘dreaming spires’ and Bath’s incredible architecture.

Oxford | Bath | Longleat | Avebury

5 days – 4 nights – up to 18 guests

The Back Roads Difference:

  • Pay a visit to the childhood home and final resting place of William Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Go behind the scenes at one of England’s great stately homes: Longleat House
  • Enjoy an afternoon of high tea in Castle Combe
Day 1 - London - Oxford - Cotswolds
After meeting in London, we begin our journey to Oxford and take a step back in time to discover the poets, professors, scientists and sporting heroes that have graced the streets of this historic town. Take in the architecture, become inspired by the flawless grounds of each college and enjoy the town. Next, we venture through quintessential English countryside to meet with the Cotswolds. This charming area is a patchwork of green hills and farmland, peppered with centuries-old villages of caramel-hued cottages. Tonight, we end the day with a delicious welcome dinner. (D)
Day 2 - Cotswolds - Stratford-Upon-Avon - Cotswolds
Riverside Stratford-upon-Avon – where the life and times of William Shakespeare take centre stage on day two. See the playwright’s Tudor timbered childhood home and his wife Anne Hathaway’s pretty thatched cottage – a stroll through the blooming gardens here, with their traditional shrubs and beds of wild flowers is a must. There’s even time to explore more Cotswold hamlets as we wind our way back to our hotel for an evening of free time and leisure. (B)
Day 3 - Cotswolds - Lacock - Bath
It’s time to indulge our taste buds with an afternoon of high tea before we meet with costume drama dreams at Lacock – a showstopper of a village that often doubles as a film set. We step inside the magnificent abbey – whose peaceful cloisters took a starring turn as the Hogwarts hallways in the Harry Potter series – and learn all about the unique architecture. We finish today in Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage city with true ‘wow’ factor, where we make ourselves at home for our final two nights. (B,L)
Day 4 - Bath
Every beautifully preserved building we pass in Bath tells a story. With a morning walking tour, we get up close and personal to Roman life in the breathtaking Roman Baths. After that, the afternoon is yours. You could enjoy a bit of ‘me time’ at Thermae Bath Spa, Britain’s only thermal spa where you can bathe in mineral-rich waters and scan the skyline from the rooftop pool. If you are looking to explore on foot, discover Bath’s proud independent side and wander past stylish boutiques and celebrated coffee shops. For our last dinner together, it’s time to swap stories and look back with fond memories of our English journey. (B,D)
Day 5 - Bath - Longleat - Avebury - London
The best way to follow up a day in Bath is with a morning at Longleat. This English stately home, the current seat of the Marquess of Bath, blends classic architecture with creative interiors. Afterwards, our journey continues to Avebury, an immense stone circle set within an ancient landscape of enigmatic monuments, tombs and roads that were first walked millennia ago. While Stonehenge attracts tourists from around the world and does not permit close access, at Avebury we have the opportunity to walk freely among the standing stones. Steeped in mystery, these prehistoric stone circles are a fascinating sight – and a tremendous final stop on our tour. That just leaves a leisurely drive back to the bright lights of London, where we say goodbye. (B)

Tour Inclusions

  • 4 nights in boutique accommodation
  • Experienced Back-Roads Driver & Tour Leader
  • Premium mini-coach transportation
  • Daily Full English breakfasts, (B) 2 evening meals (B)
  • A guided walking tour of Oxford
  • 1 traditional afternoon high tea
  • Entrance included to: Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Lacock Abbey, Roman Baths, No.1 Royal Crescent, Longleat House and Avebury Stone Circle.

Ask us today for tour departure dates and prices.