- Discovering the hidden gems of London
- Attending a play in London’s west end
- A private walking tour of Oxford
- A leisurely drive through the Cotswolds
- A private visit to Broughton Castle where “ Shakespeare in Love” was filmed
Day 1 Depart USA
You board your overnight, Business Class flight to London
Day 2 Welcome to Britain
Upon arrival in London you will be met by your driver who will take you on a brief tour through the countryside and into London where you will see all the major sights in a brief orientation tour before arriving at your hotel. We have booked you a table for lunch which gives you the chance to unwind and discuss your upcoming experience. After lunch you have the option of taking a walk in the neighborhood (Buckingham Palace is close by) or taking a leisurely bath to re-hydrate from the flight. The evening has been left open since many people opt for a light snack and an early sleep.
Day 3 The Legacy of the English Theatre
After breakfast, your host will meet you at the hotel to first take you to the replica of the Globe Theatre created as it would have been in Shakespeare's time. You'll have a guided tour of the current theatre and then visit excavations of Elizabethan theatres now underway. You will then board a boat for a trip across the Thames to Covent Garden where the Royal Opera house is located. This was formerly the site of London's flower market and the place where Professor Higgins first encounters Eliza Doolittle in "My Fair Lady". You will have lunch in the Covent Garden area before attending a matinee performance in London's celebrated Theatre district.
Day 4 Bloomsbury and the British Museum
This morning you will depart for Bloomsbury to hear about the "Bloomsbury Group", artists, writers, musicians, philosophers and just plain bohemian characters who lived and worked in the area during the early 20th Century. You'll also learn about Charles Dickens' association with the area. After lunch you will visit the "British Museum" with its unmatched collection of artifacts from all over the globe. You'll see the Rosetta Stone that opened up the key to Egyptian hieroglyphics, the Egyptian mummies and the Elgin Marbles taken by Lord Elgin from the frieze of the Parthenon in Athens. For would be "Indiana Jones'" this is a must see. After your tour, your driver will be at the hotel to take you through the scenic Thames Valley to the city of Oxford. Upon arrival you have a chance to stroll around the town near your hotel before enjoying dinner.
Day 5 The Literary Heritage of Oxford
Today you will have a privately guided tour of the main areas of the University. Dubbed the "City of Dreaming Spires", the university has always had an ethereal air. As an example, for the ten miles that the Thames flows through Oxford it is named the "Isis." The University can be excused its eccentricity, however since it has graduated 5 Kings, 40 Nobel Prize Winners and 25 British Prime Ministers. Either as students or dons (or both) the school embraced Oscar Wilde, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and Lewis Carroll. During your tour you will visit the Ashmolean Museum, founded in 1683 and the Bodleian Library which, while established in 1602 has certain buildings dating back to 1488. In more modern times, the film "Shadowlands" (about C.S. Lewis) and parts of the Harry Potter series have been filmed here.
Day 6 The Churchills and the Rothschilds
After breakfast you head out of the city to visit Blenheim Palace, the ancestral home of the Dukes of Marlborough and the birthplace of Winston Churchill. You will visit the Palace and the gardens and then go to nearby Bladon churchyard where he is buried. You next head for Aylsbury and Waddesdon Manor built by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in the 19th Century to house his art collection. You will have lunch at "The Five Arrows" so named because the Rothschild Crest has five arrows representing the five sons of the dynasty's founder. After lunch you have a chance to view the outstanding art treasures stored within the house before returning to Oxford.
Day 7 A Scenic Drive through the Cotswolds
You leave Oxford for a scenic drive into the Cotswolds. Your first stop will be the town of Banbury where you visit Broughton Castle an Elizabethan gem owned, for many generations, by the Lords of Saye and Sele. It is considered one of the most beautiful Castles in England and was featured in "The Madness of King George" and "Shakespeare in Love" where Joseph Fiennes' character pursues Gwyneth Paltrow. In a case of life imitating art, both Joseph and his bother Ralph are from the same family as the present Lord and Lady Saye and Sele. After a visit you stop in a delightful country pub for a "ploughman's lunch" before arriving at your renowned hotel in the heart of the Cotswolds
Day 8 A Trip to Bath
After breakfast you will drive to Bath and commence a walking tour starting with the Roman Baths which made the town a center of Roman life at that time. Based on natural springs, the baths are still in working order today. Nearby is the Thermae Bath Spa which has modern baths based on the same hot springs. You will have time to walk the Royal Crescent an arc of 30 Regency houses and spend a little time in the footsteps of Jane Austen who lived in the city for five years and based her novels "Northanger Abbey" and "Persuasion" here.
Day 9 Berkeley Castle and the Villages of the Cotswolds
Today you will visit Berkeley Castle which has been occupied by the same family since its construction 850 years ago. It was here that the Barons of the West gathered before going to Runnymede to force King John to sign the Magna Carta. After a tour of the castle you drive through some of the backroads of the Cotswolds passing through (and stopping at, if you choose,) picturesque towns with delightful names such as Chipping Norton, Stow on the Wold and Moreton in Marsh. We will stop for lunch in a scenic inn before returning to your hotel.
Day 10 At Home with Sir Winston
Today you will have the pleasure of visiting Chartwell, the private home of Sir Winston Churchill and the place he is reputed to have been happiest in. You will see his study, the ponds and walls he himself constructed and enjoy the views he enjoyed. People often state that standing in one of the rooms you expect Sir Winston to walk in at any time, such is his presence in the house. After lunch you continue on to a delightful 18th Century Country House which was the ancestral seat of Shelley the famous English poet. You have a farewell dinner at the hotel
Day 11 Return to USA
Your driver will be ready to drive you to the airport for your return flight to the US.
Available Year Round
Luxury Private Journeys - Aspects of Oxford and Cotswolds ULGB06 Location and other villas and tours nearby
Disclaimer: Pins in map may not be accurate if Google Maps cannot find the exact address. In this case an approximation is made.
Tour Location / Places Visiteds
London, Oxford, Cotswolds, Turners Hill, Sussex
Additional Pricing Information
- 1st Class rail travel as indicated on the itinerary
- Superior Rooms at the properties indicated in the accommodations area (We reserve the right to substitute a property of equal quality in advance of departure should the designated hotel be unavailable)
- Private Transfers to and from the airport or rail station at destination
- All meals as indicated on the itinerary by B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
- Private guides for city explorations and private driver/guide while traveling.
- Entrance fees to all museums, attractions and other venues as indicated on the daily itinerary
- Baggage handling at all hotels
- All applicable taxes and service fees
Services Not Included
- International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination)
- Beverages with included meals (unless otherwise indicated on itinerary page)
- Any meals not indicated on the Itinerary page
- Items of a personal nature e.g. minibar, film, postcards etc.
- Gratuities to Guides and Driver/Guides (we provide suggested guidelines for your selected destination in your pre-departure material)
- Any passport or visa fees or government departure taxes (It is the traveler’s responsibility to secure the latest information regarding passports and visa requirements)