A Magnificent Tour of London and the Cotswolds

A 7 day trip to England

There is magic in England, from the buildings of its most famous city to the rolling meadows of its pristine countryside, from elegant formal gardens to humming city streets. There is majesty here, and memories too, just waiting to be made. You're the only thing missing from this perfect scene of vacation delight: why keep England waiting?

General Information

Detailed Itinerary

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Welcome to the UK!

You land this morning in London, one of the world's great capital cities and home to some of the most fascinating and memorable sights, places and experiences you can imagine. After being picked up by private car at the airport and transferred to your centrally-located and elegantly-appointed hotel, you'll have some time to drop off your luggage and recover from the flight before setting out for London's streets. Wind your way through some of the city's most famous neighborhoods and past its most memorable landmarks, from the imposing yet graceful facade of Buckingham Palace to Nelson's Pillar in the heart of Trafalgar Square to the iconic towers and suspension cables of the Tower Bridge. Do some shopping at Harrods, the world's most famous department store, or grab a drink at the famous bar at The Savoy Hotel before grabbing a delicious dinner at one of the city's innumerable restaurants.

Day 2: Living It Up in London

For your first full-day in London, set out to explore the many memorable sites that dot the cityscape on a private tour with a friendly, engaging and knowledgeable guide. Head to the banks of the River Thames and stop by the famous borough of Westminster, home to the world-famous Gothic edifices of British Parliament and Westminster Abbey, perhaps the most important religious building in the entire country and the site of royal coronations for centuries. You can visit the hallowed halls of this gorgeous structure, where you'll see the remains of some of Britain's most famous statesmen, scientists and artists, from Queens Elizabeth and Mary to Sir Isaac Newton, and from Prime Minister William Pitt and Clement Atlee to Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Geoffery Chaucer and the dozens of other writers buried in the South Transept, more popularly known as Poet's Corner.

Continue down the Thames to encounter a unique mix of old and new, beginning at Sir Christopher Wren's crowning masterpiece, the immense St. Paul's Cathedral. Explore the opulent interior from the inner dome to the crypts below, where the Duke of Wellington and Lord Admiral Nelson both lie in repose, before climbing the winding stairway up to the base of the mighty dome where you can gaze down upon the whole of London. You'll be sure to see the sleek and chic lines of the Millennium Bridge linking this august and historic structure to the famed Tate Modern, one of the most visited art museums in the world, as well as the thatched roof and white stucco walls of Shakespeare's Globe. Continue past St. Paul's to visit the ancient and powerful Tower of London, built by the first king of modern England in the 11th century and a long-time symbol of the power of the British throne. A Yeoman Warder ' a member of the famous Beefeaters ' will lead you on a guided tour of this incredible facility, from the stolid White Tower that served for many years as a state prison to the Tower Green where you'll find the famous Tower Ravens, purported to be the descendants of the original ravens who made roost at there during the reign of Charles II in the 17th century. And, of course, no visit to the Tower of London would be complete without a thorough examination of the Crown Jewels, from the swords and scepters of kings past to the astounding Imperial State Crown which includes nearly three thousand diamonds, more than 250 pearls and two of the most famous stones in the world: the Black Prince's Ruby and the Cullinan II.

Day 3: Hitting the Highlights of the Center of the Empire

Another day of history and culture awaits you in London and its environs, featuring fine museums and a day-trip unlike any you've ever experienced. After a delicious breakfast, set out for the city limits to visit remarkable Windsor Castle, a structure associated with the British royal family since its inception in the 11th century and the longest continually occupied palace in all of Europe. You'll be wowed by the sumptuous state apartments, lauded by one art historian as 'the finest and most complete expression of later Georgian taste,' and by the Gothic stylings of St. George's Chapel, a 15th-century structure that is now the headquarters of the UK's most prestigious order of chivalry, as well as the resting place for 10 monarchs of England, including George III, Charles I and Henry VIII. You'll also get the chance to enjoy many of the offerings from the Royal Collection of art, moved to the castle at the behest of Elizabeth II to help make Windsor Castle a place for tourism.

In the afternoon, return to the streets of London to explore the offerings at some of the city's best museums. Start at the incomparable British Museum, where more than 8 million artifacts are housed, including more Egyptian antiquities than anywhere other than Cairo and more than 100,000 objects from Greek and Roman antiquity. You'll see the remains of two Ancient Wonders of the World: the astounding marble panels and sculptures from the Acropolis of Athens and the Rosetta Stone, the world's most famous decoder. Next, visit the nearby National Gallery, housing works of art from cultures across the world, including 'The Water Lily Pond' by Monet, Leonardo's 'The Virgin of the Rocks', and Van Gogh's 'Sunflowers.' You might also want to head further afield and visit the incomparable Tate Modern ' the most visited modern art gallery on Earth ' and the impressive Imperial War Museum, where you can find artifacts and exhibits from the United Kingdom's many foreign conflicts since 1914.

Day 4: Through England's Charming Countryside

Grab a train at gorgeous Victoria Station that will take you deep into the heart of England's beautiful hills, moors and meadows, where the wealthiest Britons took their holidays and kept their manor houses, and where the lush and rolling landscape imparts a graceful serenity that can only be fully appreciated with a cup of tea and an assortment of biscuits. Stop by the charming town square at Stow-on-the-Wold, where there is usually a market in the Old English tradition, and visit the primeval St. Edward's Church, a parish church built in the Middle Ages with a north door that is almost poetically flanked by a pair of English yew trees. After a filling and typical pub lunch at The King's Arms in the town center, you'll drive through the North Costwolds and the surrounding areas, stopping at the scenic village of Bourton-on-the-Water ' with its picturesque High Street, delightful town model and one-of-a-kind Dragonfly Maze ' before winding past Upper Slaughter, Lower Slaughter and Swells Hill and finishing your tour at Chipping Campden, a market town that is intimately tied with the English wool industry. You can perambulate past the limestone edifices and elegant terraces of the shops and hotels on High Street, stop by the splendid arches of the Market Hall, or visit St. James, the ponderous local church that holds an extensive collection of opulent monuments to the family of a local silk merchant, before taking a glass of wine or a pre-dinner cocktail in the garden of the King's Hotel.

Day 5: Hidcote Manor, Sudeley Castle and the Country's Best Gardens

Today is dedicated to discovering the immaculate formal gardens at two of England's greatest country mansions. Start your day at Hidcote Manor, one of the world's most imitated gardens and the first and best-known Arts and Crafts garden in the United Kingdom. A unique and unforgettable layout awaits you, as the Hidcote Manor Gardens are set up as a series of linked 'rooms,' with edges made by hedges, rare trees, perennial border and herbaceous shrubs, and with interiors that are reminiscent of an actual home. You'll be particularly interested by the unusual, chair-like bushes in the White Garden and the brilliant burst of color in the nearby Fuchsia Garden. The plant selection has been lauded by many a horticulturalist, and the gorgeous flowerbeds, stunning topiary, serene ponds and surreal sculptures are sure to captivate and amaze you even if you can't tell the difference between a lily and a lily pad.

Continue on to Broadway, also known as' The Jewel of the Cotswolds.' This former market town is now an acknowledged center for arts and antiques and a must-visit village while in the Cotswolds. Visit Snowshill Manor and its own Arts and Crafts garden, climb the stolid steps of Broadway Tower, or simply enjoy tea or something stronger at one of the many restaurants and pubs in the town before turning to Sudeley Castle, the burial site for the last queen of King Henry VIII and home to a series of award-winning rose gardens. You can tour the house and its surrounding buildings before moseying through the gorgeous and varied gardens that surround the estate. The Queen's Gardens feature stunning hedges and magnificent roses, while the Knot Garden is an enchanting throwback to the highly-stylized gardens of the Renaissance. The evening sees you back in Chipping Campden, ready for a traditional pub dinner at The Eight Bells, featuring a charming atmosphere and unforgettable food offerings, from locally-sourced venison to rare-breed pork sausages to filling pastas.

Day 6: Turning Back to the Thames

After breakfast at your hotel in Chipping Campden, you'll return to the west side of England and to London, but not before making a stop at one of the most famous college towns in the world. You'll visit the majestic and venerable campus at Oxford, the oldest institution of higher learning in the country and the home to the Rhodes Scholarship, one of the most prestigious post-baccalaureate programs in the entire world. Stroll along the fecund Oxford greens past Balliol College, (the oldest constituent school in Oxford), the Classical front of Ashmolean Museum (the oldest university museum on Earth), and the stately Radcliffe Camera (a gorgeous domed-structure that now houses a number of the University's libraries). Make a quick stop by Blackwell's Books, founded in 1789 and claiming to have the largest space dedicated to book sales in Europe, before returning to lively London for one final evening and late afternoon. Freshen up in your hotel before getting one final night of culture as you attend a show at one of the famous theaters in London's West End. After the show, you can make a quick jaunt down to Piccadilly Circus, London's most vibrant and vivid section of streets.

Day 7: Departing England

This morning you'll be taken by private transfer from your hotel to the airport, where you'll board the flight that will take you back to your home country. From the Tower of London to the garden of Hidcote Manor, and from the rolling hills of the Cotswolds to the rippling waters of the River Thames, this is sure to be one Orient-Travel vacation that you'll remember forever.



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