In the Footsteps of Legends - Shakespeare, Austen, and Churchill Tour

A 7 day trip to England 
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From the shores of the River Avon to the banks of the River Thames, from the elegance of 17th-century Bath to the undeniable charm of Tudor Stratford-upon-Avon to the might of modern London, you’ll find everything you could ever want when you tour England in the footsteps of William, Winston and Jane.

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General Information

Photos
The Houses of Parliament, London.
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

London, Winchester, Stonehenge, Glasonbury Abbey, Bath, Stratford-upon-Avon, Blenheim Palace, Oxford

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Welcome to the United Kingdom!

Land this morning on the outskirts of swinging London, one of the great cities of the world and home to some of the greatest wits, writers and minds in world history. You’ll be escorted from the airport to your luxurious and perfectly located London hotel by private car, giving you the chance to freshen up and get ready to hit the streets of one of the great metropolises on the planet. Start at the banks of the River Thames, and there you’ll visit the halls of the Houses of Parliament where Churchill once romed, past the statues of great statesmen and the unforgettable Gothic façade. Stop under the iconic clock tower that houses Big Ben, the world’s most famous bell. You can sit in the gallery and take in a meeting of Parliament, explore the passages and courtyards of this stately building and get a sense of a day in the life of a British statesmen, with all its soaring highs and tumbling lows. 

Then walk in the revered and venerated halls of nearby Westminster Abbey, one of the most important religious buildings in the UK and the resting place for some of Britain’s great poets, patriots, statesmen and artists. You’ll see the monument to Churchill, a massive slab of inscribed granite located just inside the west door, the tombs of many of Britain’s greatest monarchs, and the memorials in the South Transept, which has come to be popularly known as “Poet’s Corner.” Here you’ll see a wall plaque dedicated to the memory and Jane Austen and, fittingly, in the middle of it all sits the Bard, in a graceful slouch with his head on his hand, no doubt pondering his next line. 

After your visit to Westminster, head to nearby Chelsea to grab some dinner at one of the city’s best restaurants. Aubergine and Gordon Ramsay are both run by the famous chef, or try the Chelsea Brasserie and Bar, which offers excellent French cuisine.

Day 2: Winchester, Stonehenge and Bath

After a delicious breakfast, you leave lively London for the serenity and breathtaking scenery of southern England, making your way to the ancient spa town of Bath. Make a quick detour at the town of Winchester to visit the magnificent cathedral in town, one of the largest in Europe. It sports the longest nave of any Gothic cathedral on the continent and is noteworthy not only for its spectacular architecture, but also for its historical importance: The cathedral served as the host for two royal funerals, two coronations (including that of Richard I) and two marriages, and now serves as the home of the remains of Jane Austen, who died in nearby Winchester in 1817. You’ll also want to see the crypt (which is often flooded, adding an eerie effect Austen would have loved) and the restored stained glass windows, as well as the gorgeous grounds surrounding the cathedral. 

Then turn to the mysterious megaliths at Stonehenge, one of the most enigmatic and captivating spots on Earth, dazzling visitors with its indecipherable purpose and unbelievable construction. As you make your way up to the wide swath of the Salisbury Plains, passing the first outcroppings of the complex, eyes widening at the enormity of it, you might forget that Stonehenge was completed even before the Pyramids of Egypt. Finally, cruise by the ruined walls of Glastonbury Abbey—originally founded in the seventh century and rumored to be the real-world site of the Arthurian paradise Avalon—before making your way into the decadent center of Bath, fringed by monuments to the city’s Roman and Georgian history. 

Day 3: A Day in the City of Northanger Abbey

Today you experience a day in the city where Jane Austen lived most of the latter part of her life and the oldest principal tourist destination in England. It’s been attracting visitors to its hot springs and baths for more than a millennium. Get an early start and head to the famous Roman baths that have been the hallmark of the city since 70 AD, before stopping at the impressive Bath Abbey, notable for its immaculate stained glass windows and its gorgeous fan vaulting. A Jane Austen-based tour of Bath soon follows, led by a friendly and knowledgeable guide that will show you all of the attractions from Austen’s life in Bath, from the places where she lived and worked, to the spots that gave her special inspiration. 

Following a delicious lunch, you can check out Number 1, Royal Crescent, a former Georgian townhouse redecorated in the fashion of the late-18th century before heading to the Jane Austen Centre to learn about Austen’s continuing role on literature. Discover the day-to-day details of her life, and sit down to afternoon tea in romantic splendor at the Regency Tea Room, where more than 15 varieties of Belgian teas and an assortment of delicious tea treats are available for you to sample in the finest tastes and sophistication. The evening is at your leisure.

Day 4: The Home of England’s Greatest Playwright

Hit the road early this morning at you’re bound for the birthplace of one of the greatest writers in history, set for the quaint and historic town of Stratford-upon-Avon. You’ll make your way through the breathtaking English countryside, filled with darling villages and vast verdant meadows, rolling downs and gently sweeping hills that go on for what seems an eternity. Bathed in the light of the morning sun over Somerset, you can make the last mile on foot, as Shakespeare must have done so many times over the same bridge crossing the tranquil River Avon. 

Once you make it to the village, you’ll want to visit the milestones of Shakespeare’s life, from the restored home where he was born and grew up, to the cottage where he courted his wife Ann Hathaway, to the Holy Trinity Church where his remains now lie, accompanied by beautiful and striking monument. Grab a late lunch at Sorrento Restaurant before seeing a play by the famed Royal Shakespeare Company at the sleek, modern and impressive Royal Shakespeare Theatre. You might even get the chance to see a well-known visitor, such as when Sir Patrick Stewart starred in The Merchant of Venice. After the show you can stop by The Black Swan, one of the best pubs in the town, where some members of the cast will almost certainly stop by for a round or two.

Day 5: A Palatial Country House and the World’s Most Famous University

Say goodbye to Stratford-upon-Avon and make the journey southwest back to London, with no rush or hurry to return to the bustling life of the capital. Your first stop today is at the awe-inspiring Blenheim Palace, the ancestral home of the Churchills since the palace was awarded to the Duke of Marlborough for his military triumph at the Battle of Blenheim. You’ll be stunned by the sumptuous and elegant interior, from the library to the staterooms. Be wowed by the massive edifice and the intricate touches that make the home a true work of art, and be moved by the surrounding gardens, maintained in meticulous fashion to invoke the classic English landscape garden and dominated by the Great Lake and its many cascades. 

Following this foray into aristocracy, you’ll make your way to Oxford, where you’ll tour the grounds of this august institution, the home of higher learning since the 12th century and one of the most prestigious research institutions on the planet. Gaze upon the decidedly medieval exterior of Balliol College, the stately and fecund fronting of Somerville College and the columned entrance to the Ashmolean Museum, the oldest museum in the country and the oldest university museum in the world. Witness the afternoon sun blazing through the trees at the Botanic Garden before setting out for the city to get a sample of this up-and-coming metropolis. Grab some dinner at one of the neighborhood bistros before hitting up a pub, like the Eagle and Child, a favorite haunt of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, or Turf Tavern, considered by many to be the best in the city.

Day 6: The Best of London’s Booksellers and a Night in the West End

After breakfast in Oxford, make the short drive back to London and take a guided ride of some of the city’s highlights, from the towering dome of St. Paul’s to the glowing wheel of the London Eye, from the stately courtyard and immense edifice of Buckingham Palace to the monuments to the nation at Trafalgar Square. 

After arriving at your hotel, you can drop off your luggage and head out to visit some of London’s best booksellers, steeped in tradition and carrying books beyond imagining, from paperback bestsellers to rare and antiquarian manuscripts. Start at Daunt Books, an Edwardian masterpiece on Maryleborne featuring long oak galleries and a unique sorting system: The texts are arranged by country, so that fiction, nonfiction, travel and poetry all mingle together in an exciting and unexpected mix. Then visit the famous Piccadilly Circus to check out Hatchards, the oldest bookstore in London, before losing yourself at Waterstone’s, the largest bookstore in Europe with more than five miles of shelves, a gift shop, an art gallery, and even a bar. 

Once you’ve finished shopping, you can return to your hotel to prepare for a show at London’s famous West End, the best theater district this side of the Great White Way, where you can take in every type of acting from Shakespeare to Sondheim. After the show, you can grab a nightcap at the famous bar at The Savoy Hotel, where bartender Henry Craddock first concocted some of the world’s best cocktails.

Day 7: Returning Home

This morning sees you leaving your elegant hotel and being transferred to the airport, set to say goodbye to fascinating England. From her magnificent cathedrals and impressive state buildings to the rolling countryside and inspiring scenery, from the puissance of Churchill to the majesty of Shakespeare to the joyful wit of Austen, you’ll find it all in this one-of-a-kind journey.

Price

Price 

Your custom trip package will include accommodations, transportation within the country, guided tours and activities, unique experiences, trip planning, and 24X7 support during your trip. 

Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates!