Christmas in England Vacation

A 8 day trip to England

Picture the perfect Christmas scene: the air filled with the strains of your favorite carol and the silent dance of falling snow, the smells of hot cider and apple pie rising to your nose, the undeniable feeling of lightness and joy that heralds the coming of the season. If these are your Christmas memories, then this is your Christmas in England vacation.

General Information

Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

London, Chawton, Winchester, Salisbury, Bath, Chipping Campden, Hidcote Mannor, Stratford-upon-Avon

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Christmas in the Kingdom

Touch down in London and be prepared to enter a Christmas wonderland, where lights are strung throughout the mighty metropolis and all the citizens are preparing for the holiday festivities. After being taken from the airport to your luxurious accommodations in your centrally-located hotel, you'll have the chance to relax and recharge before you set out to see the sights of Christmas in London. You'll be amazed by the white sheet covering the top of the Tower Bridge, the turrets of the Palace of Westminster and its famous clock tower, the spectacular decorations that grace Oxford Street, and the impressive and ever-growing array of activities and attractions at the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. Wander the many exhibits at the Magical Ice Kingdom from snow sculptures to ice slides, lace up your skates and take to the UK's largest ice rink, get indoors for a soaring ride on the Giant Observation Wheel (a.k.a. the London Eye), or take your kids to Santa Land, replete with rides, treats and, of course, Father Christmas himself.

Day 2: Celebrating the Yuletide from Chawton to Winchester

Today you set out for the quaint and charming English countryside to visit some of the most beautiful towns and villages in the area, all bedecked in their Christmas finery and covered with a light dusting of snow from the tree boughs to the roofs of the prominent manor houses. Make a stop at the Jane Austen House, where you'll find the exterior and the interior richly decorated in celebration of the season and the staff all made up in period dress.

You can visit the house and learn more about the life and work of Austen before heading out to the gorgeous village of Winchester. There you can visit its immense and immaculate cathedral, sporting the longest nave of any Gothic cathedral in Europe and, in the festive holiday season, a handsome and exciting German-style Christmas market that draws more than 350,000 visitors every year. Impressive stalls and wooden chalets fill the Cathdral's Inner Close and surround an open air ice-rink, offering a wide variety of holiday goods, from mulled wine and hot cider to bratwurst, from fine British handcrafts to jewelry, art and fine clothing. With the magnificent cathedral towering above you, bathed in light while the snow gently falls on the roofs of the many stalls, you'll find yourself entranced once again by the undeniable magic of Christmas.

Day 3: A Morning at the Market, an Evening in Bath

Continue on your holiday jaunt through the most famed towns of South England, making your way to the famous city of Salisbury, where you'll find one of the very best Christmas markets in the entire country, as well as one of the most impressive feats of early English architecture around. You'll be serenaded by local choirs and schools with the warming and familiar strands of traditional songs and carols as you make you way past the many shops and stalls that have been gaily decorated for the occasion.

After exploring the tasteful and unique offerings at this fabulous market, you can spend the early afternoon walking the streets of Salisbury or visiting the famous Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, boasting the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom, which soars more than 400 feet into the crisp winter air, the world's oldest working clock, and the best preserved copy of the momentous Magna Carta, one of the most important political documents in world history. Step inside and take in the impressive nave, the fantastic rib vault ceiling above the clerestory windows, the richly painted sculptures of saints found throughout the cathedral, and the ancient scaffolding that runs the length of thecCathedral's famous spire.

The late afternoon sees you on the road, turning to the famous spa town of Bath, where you'll spend the next two nights filled with the merriment of the Christmas spirit. A sumptuous dinner and an elegant hotel await you upon your arrival.

Day 4: Around Great Britain's Oldest Resort Town

Discover the many offerings of this ancient spa city, founded by the Romans and home to some of the most elegant and luxurious spas in the Empire at the time. Start at the bathhouses themselves, built nearly 2,000 years ago and featuring incredible instances of Roman, Medieval and Georgian architecture, as well as fascinating exhibits about the history of the Bath spas. Right outside the door of the Roman baths is the impressive structure of Bath Abbey, filled with beautiful stained-glass windows and a stolid tower that visitors can claim to catch incredible views over the city and the surrounding landscape.

Walk the Royal Crescent ' a Georgian masterpiece that is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the city ' and even witness what a townhouse would have been like in the 17th and 18th centuries at the peerless No 1. Royal Crescent before turning to Milsom Street and George Street to do some shopping for art, antiques, and British handicrafts. In the evening you can wander the 120 stalls of Bath's Christmas Market, nestled in the shadow of the city's famous abbey and home to artisan goods and handcrafts, delicious food, warming drink and delightful entertainment.

Day 5: 'Tis the Season in Central England

Head north into the heart of England as you wind your way through the incomparable scenery of the Cotswolds and the surrounding regions. Stop for a brief shopping session at Tetbury's Highgrove Shop, where you'll find high quality ornaments and other home accessories at one of the country residences of HRH The Prince of Wales. Continue north and east until you reach the town of Chipping Campden, one of the foremost towns in the Cotswolds and one of the most darling villages in all of England, where you'll refresh and recharge with lunch at the cozy and enchanting The 8 Bells, a pub that has stood since the 14th century.

Visit the vast collection of trees at the St. James Church Christmas Tree Festival, where firs, pines and spruces can all be found in the shadow of this impressive parish church. Next, head to the countryside estate of Hidcote Manor, the home to the first and best-loved Arts and Crafts garden in the UK. Afternoon tea in the garden awaits, as well as plans for a gorgeous and unforgettable stroll through the immaculate Hidcote Manor Gardens, given an added dose of beauty by the strings of multicolored lights that fill your eyes and dazzle your senses. After this one-of-a-kind excursion, you return to Chipping Campden for a delicious meal and an evening full of merry reminisces of all the memories you made today.

Day 6: A Day of Shakespearean Revelry

Today, you leave Chipping Campden and cross over the River Avon to discover the birthplace, home and final domain of the greatest playwright in the English language, William Shakespeare. Your visit to Stratfrod-upon-Avon will be filled with memorable activities and fascinating tours, sure to engage your literary side as well as your merrymaking. You'll feast your eyes upon the decorated thatched roof houses that fill the city, from the house where Shakespeare was born to the one where he courted his wife, from the city center to the far outskirts, from the lowliest hovel to the grand Holy Trinity Church that houses the remains of Shakespeare and his family.

Once you've had your fill of Tudor and Victorian stylings, you can head out to famous Warwick Castle, named Britain's Best Castle by the Good Britain Guide in 2003, and one of the top 10 historic houses and monuments by the British Tourist Authority. You might find a troop of carolers regaling guests with the best-loved ditties of the season, or take in a demonstration of falconry or archery. Walk along the ramparts and towers that have stood since before the Wars of the Roses, or marvel at the immense catapult looming menacingly on the riverbank just below the Castle. From the soaring towers crusted with a thin rime of ice to the elegant castle grounds covered with the lightest dusting of early winter snow to the warmth of a fire roaring in the Great Hall, this is sure to be a day unlike any you've ever known. The evening sees you back in Chipping Campden.

Day 7: Back in London

Turn east back to the banks of the Thames as you make your into England's famous capital. You can stop for a bite and a quick jaunt around Oxford, one of the world's most famous university towns and a true delight in December, or continue on apace to the bustling streets and teeming markets that fill the capital's center. Get any last-minute shopping you might need to do at one of the many fine shopping areas in London. Jermyn Street and Saville Row are the destinations for the well-dressed man in your life; Charing Cross Road near Covent Garden has everything on the list of your favorite bookworm, and Regent Street is filled with toys for the young and old, from the seven stories of Hamleys, London's flagship toystore, to the sleek lines and tech-savvy staff at the London Apple Store. And, of course, no visit to London would be complete without a visit to Knightsbridge and a stroll through Harrods, the world's most famous department store, where the store displays are as impressive as the myriad of merchandise that can be found, and where you'll find many of London's well-to-do finding a fix for their retail demands.

Dinner this evening can be had at one of the city's many fine restaurants, from celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay's Aubergine to the Chelsea Brasserie and Bar, an excellent nearby gastropub.

Day 8: Home for the Holidays

Today sees you leaving the United Kingdom filled with gifts and memories, ready to return home with your loved ones to spend your Christmas in the warm embrace of the familiar. Regardless of your plans, of your customs, of your Christmas traditions, your visit to Great Britain is sure to be something you will treasure with your family for years to come, an unforgettable prelude to the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.



Please inquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on final hotel choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.