Land Stops: London, Windsor Castle, Oxfordshire, Oxford, Bath, Ullswater Lake, Edinburgh, Inverness, York, CambridgeMajor Sights from the Air: River Thames, Westminster,...
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departure.
Eclectic and enchanting, the English landscape offers a wonderful paradox. Every angle is different. Each feels like the quintessential image of the country. On this unique tour of England, you spend six days flying across England and Scotland by helicopter, basking in all the evocative panoramas. Fly above world-renowned historical landmarks, breathtaking cities, and hidden lakes. All while piecing together the redolent puzzle of English landscapes.
London – A Relaxed Welcome to the Capital
London's skyline pulls you in many directions. Looking east, there's a futuristic expanse of skyscrapers. To the west, spreading out along the Thames, are the iconic markers of England's past, like Big Ben and Westminster. The London Eye towers above, and there are tenements spilling south on the opposite of the river. From the ground, there's never an uninterrupted skyline view. But you'll keep glimpsing it all as you wander around London on your first day. Get greeted at the airport and transferred to a five-star hotel in the heart of the city. Within a few steps of the lobby is the River Thames, and from here, you can get a glimpse of the architecture offered by the city. Enjoy an easy day, relax and reenergize at the hotel, and prepare for the flying that starts tomorrow. Consider learning more about your potential travel agents for England tours, and see how they are able to customize your itinerary to the finest level.
London to Windsor to Oxfordshire – An Aerial Tour of the Famous London Sights
Now you enter the skyline, becoming another part of the famous cityscape. A helicopter cruises high enough for grand impressions of scale, yet low enough to allow focusing on all the intimate details. Propellers whirl and you rise above the River Thames, cruising along its curves and admiring the scale of the Kew Gardens. Royal parks and palaces glisten below, famous Buckingham revealing guards in red uniform and a British flag rippling in the breeze. Flying along the Thames, you bathe in the history. There's Westminster, ornate and shimmering a rustic golden color. Now the monumental dome of St. Paul's Cathedral, pristinely white and unchanged for centuries. Suburbs soar by, and you fly alongside the Shard, Western Europe's highest building and an indication of London's futuristic facade. Canary Wharf, Olympic Park, the Docklands; each moment brings another of the city's icons.
The cityscape descends; from skyscrapers to tenements to apartments, and then the spacious detached houses that mark the edge of the city. And with everything becoming low rise, Windsor Castle appears like a fictitious giant. The world's largest inhabited castle dominates from afar, a magnificent expanse of stone that has never been invaded. Only from the air can you appreciate the mind-boggling scale of it all. It's not just the building and its various wings, but the vast gardens that seemingly surround everything. You land close to Queen Elizabeth II's home and spend a few hours exploring the castle's excess. State apartments are stuffed with famous paintings, golden leaf surrounds wall-sized portraits, and every seat exhales a scent of opulence. Discover a regal doll collection, elaborate tombs of monarchs, and the towering defenses where archers once stood. Then admire the scale for a second time as you return to the helicopter and fly into the Oxfordshire countryside. Your manor house accommodation is firmly immersed in the sumptuous green of rural England.
Oxford to Bath – Cruising Above The Cotswolds and Quintessential England
Cruising skyward, you soar across the “city of dreaming spires.” Oxford was immortalized by Matthew Arnold's 19th-century poem, and his metaphor continues to resonate. College chapels dapple the skyline, rising at random from beside the medieval center, each revealing more than five centuries of history. It's a cityscape that sets the scene for the day as the helicopter cruises above the Costwolds. Gazing down, you pick out dozens of tiny villages, each dating long before any settlers reached America. For many foreign visitors, it's this green landscape that most reflects preconceptions about England. There's not a tree out of place, everything appearing carefully cultivated, including the cottages and manor houses that stand beside private lakes. If you think you've seen it before, it's probably because you've seen various pastel and watercolor paintings of England.
Soar above the Georgian city of Bath and take in its immense scale. The 18th-century townhouses curve around lawns, dozens of luxurious homes standing in neat terraced rows. From the air, you pick out the ancient Roman baths, as well as those redeveloped and adorned in a sublime Georgian style. Land beside the city and the afternoon and evening are free for you to explore at leisure. Bath is easy to walk around, especially considering your five-star hotel is on the Royal Crescent, the city's premier address. Feel the salubrious thermal waters that have been coveted for two millennia, gaze out across the elegant columns and high ceilings, and get lost in a city that's fully preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Shropshire to Liverpool to Lake District – Immersed in the Rural Sentinels of England
Today is perhaps the most serene day of flying, the helicopter swooping along the west coast of England. Watch as hills tumble into the Irish Sea and mist floats across the valleys of the Welsh borders. For close to an hour, there are no cities, just the mesmerizing rurality of Herefordshire, Shropshire, and the Brecon Beacons. With the pilot sticking to the coast, you fly in low past Liverpool, another World Heritage city, its port still emanating old maritime promise. Keep flying, the propellers turning and the hills rising higher as you enter the Lake District. Blue stretches of water fill the views, hiding amongst a patchwork of slopes and curves. It's easy to appreciate the volcanic history; only a natural phenomenon could explain this phantasmal landscape. Some 500 million years after its creation, this stretch of green and blue continues to compel and confound. You'll land near Ullswater Lake, an idyllic place for walking through rural villages and catching a steamboat across the water. Seeing the peaks from the rippling waters of Ullswater provides a view to complement the helicopter window.
Lake District to Edinburgh – Flying Above the Wilderness of Northern England
The further you fly north, the further the landscapes rebel. They appear unruly and primitive, stretches of land that cascade without pattern or plan. It's just about as close to wilderness as you can find in Europe, even if it's dappled with the white speckles of sheep. Fly above Hadrian's Wall, crossing into Scotland and roving along the remote western coast. Edinburgh almost comes as a shock, a belt of manmade landscape revealing the fumes of industry and development. Edinburgh Castle dominates, standing on a hill above the city, delighting in its power over the populace. This is Scotland's most famous attraction, and you have the prime view. Touching down close to Edinburgh, you check into your hotel before enjoying a free afternoon in the Scottish capital.
Moray Firth to Loch Ness to Inverness – Exploring the Splendor of Scotland
Scotland's landscape seems to come from a fairytale. Almost everywhere you look, north of Edinburgh, you find the iconic spread of mountains, glens, and lochs (lakes). The whiskey advertisements don't lie; Scotland really does look like this. Fields of heather stretch out with abandon, steep hills tumble into the lochs, and mountain peaks are omnipresent, yet somehow, never getting any closer. Sporadically, like a phantom, something manmade appears. And it's equally beautiful. Castle Stuart Golf Course provides manicured fairways amongst wild surroundings; Inverness and Urquhart castles unveil an old grandeur, then Culloden Viaduct impresses with its innovative engineering.
These sights fall into the background as the most famous of Scotland's lochs comes into view. Stretching out beneath the helicopter window is Loch Ness, home to the myth and legend of its monster. It can't possibly be real. Or could it? The landscape's mystique quickly pulls you into a realm of fairytales and fictitious happenings. If a monster lived anywhere, it would surely be in this loch, surrounded by the curls of mist and sense of the surreal. Today's flight lands at Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands that's centered on the sublime St. Andrew's Cathedral. The rest of the day is free, and if the weather is good, head out to Nairn, a blinding expanse of white sand that extends beneath rugged cliffs. Even if the sun isn't out, this is one of Great Britain's finest beaches.
Yorkshire Dales to York to Cambridge – Undulating Hills Blurring into the Cultivated South
Now back south, skirting the east coast of the island and flying above raw untrammeled cliffs. Beaches are hidden, lost behind the curves of the countryside. Isolated stately homes appear in clearings before the hills start over, and you're lost in new expressions of undulating green. Fly over the Yorkshire Dales and land in York. Walking into the city, you enter a warren of medieval streets, the buildings leaning over the walkways and the doors opening into traditional tea rooms. Flamboyant in its style, York Minster is the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe, a premier highlight of your two hours exploring the city. Return to the air and soar along, the landscape flattening until you're back amongst the calming pastures of the South. You land for the final time, in Cambridge, a second famous university city. A walking tour reveals the history of the city, and then you go punting – essentially floating down the river in a wooden boat, with a punnet of strawberries and a hamper of champagne.
Cambridge to London – Departure
Today, you take to higher skies, an international flight soaring high above the clouds as you head home. After breakfast, you'll be transferred to the airport for your flight.
- Savor the whole island with six days of private helicopter journeys, the unique route revealing the breadth and depth of quintessential England
- Become part of the skyline and cruise above the world-famous monuments of London, each reveling in their size and grandeur
- Swoop across England's iconic southern countryside and the fairytale pastures of The Cotswolds
- Admire the wild and rugged hills of Northern England, the helicopter swooping above the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and untouched Northumberland
- Bask in the beauty of rural Scotland with two days of flying above lochs, remote castles, and iconic glens
- Explore timeless cities from the ground, including Oxford, Bath, York, and Edinburgh
- Complement the aerial luxury with a handpicked collection of stunning hotels, stately homes, and boutique cottages
Experiencing England from air imbues a wonderful paradox. Each landscape and every angle appear very different; the rugged hills of the Yorkshire Dales, oak-lined rivers in the Cotswolds, vast castles, intriguing cities, cute villages, coastlines that rise with tumultuous tones. With six days of flying, there's thousands of postcard panoramas, each with few similarities to the last. Every angle seems to reflect the very definition of England. As you gaze from the large helicopter window, you can't help thinking, “Ah, this is England.” Only for the same words to be uttered five minutes later. The landscapes and sights are seductively diverse. But each feels iconic and quintessential as if every single vista feels ready to represent England in live high-definition.
With this unique itinerary, you spend six days flying. A private helicopter charter takes you the length and breadth of the country, crossing from London to Oxford to Bath, then to the Lake District and Scotland. Returning south, you chart an eastern path, soaring through Yorkshire towards Cambridge. The tour runs at a relaxed pace, with daily stops for you to explore on the ground before taking to the skies again. For example, you fly over London before taking in the enormity of Windsor Castle. Touch down on the ground, explore the state apartments and ancient turrets, then fly onwards to Oxfordshire. With a helicopter, the aerial sightseeing is complemented by the ease and convenience of travel. In just six days of flying, you can travel from London and the south to the remote landscapes of Loch Ness and Northern Scotland. And then back again. All at a very leisurely pace.
Sometimes it's the countryside that inspires. Great folds of green hills divided by stone walls; wisps of mist rising from hidden lakes; sheep scattered across precipitous coastal cliffs or the jagged rise of Scotland's peaks. At other times, it's the grandeur of England's history. Monumental castles standing unbowed, centuries-old cathedral spires that still dominate city skylines, magnificent Tudor homes surrounded by moats. And then there's the wealth of architecture, revealed as you soar above cities and admire their design. With a helicopter, you fly high enough to take in the scale. But low enough to take in all the intimate details. Gaze one way and rural England spills onto the horizon. Look the other and you clearly make out the turrets of an 11th-century castle.
The helicopter itinerary covers all of England and a large sweep of Scotland. It's customizable on the day, with the pilot able to subtly change the route to take in any special interests. The focus is always on ensuring you have the maximum opportunity to view the two countries from the air. Complementing the helicopter journeys are a handcrafted collection of England's finest accommodations. Picture rustic cottages, stately homes, and boutique guesthouses tucked away from the world.
Consider browsing our other trips to England, and see how you can customize your England vacation of a lifetime to your particular interests and desires.
$5,195 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
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Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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