England's ancient opulence is preserved in its palaces, castles and gardens. A duke's indulgence lives on, the Monarchs' elegance spills through stately homes, and there's a hidden history that complements the heritage. Handcrafted to delight the regality inside any luxury visitor, this 10-day Southern England tour of palaces, castles and gardens reveals the astonishing architecture of England's royals. Welcome to a millennium of beauty, flamboyant tastes, and lushly landscaped gardens.
London – Regal Welcomes to a Famous Capital
Welcome to London, home of the Queen and center of England's millenniums of history. Westminster hangs over the Thames, Big Ben chimes, stern-faced guards change places outside Buckingham Palace. London can't help but deliver on its promise of famous sights. But after landing in the capital, there's a more relaxed way to get acquainted with the luxury. You'll be greeted at the airport and transferred to a five-star hotel in the heart of the city. Recuperate, reenergize with some high tea in the lavish restaurant and get dressed up for a night at the opera. The Royal Opera House is one of London's premier gems, a building of elegance and excess that comes to life when orchestral strings reverberate off the walls. Spend the evening enjoying a performance before post-opera dinner reservations at an upscale London restaurant. Consider reading some of our traveler reviews of England, and gain some inspiration to further refine and perfect your own itinerary.
London – Grandiose Buckingham and the Kew Gardens
London – A Day at Windsor, the Oldest and Largest Occupied Castle in the World
London – A Day Trip to the Castles and Gardens of Kent
Oxford – Exploring England's Finest Stately Home
Oxford – Exploring the Ancient University City
The Cotswolds – Kelmscott Manor and Settling Into the Countryside
The Cotswolds – Royal Connections at Sudeley and Highgrove
The Cotswolds – Postcard Perfect Villages and Gardens
The Cotswolds to London – Departure
- Explore England's finest palaces and stately homes, including the magnificent homes of the monarchs
- Tour the stately rooms of Buckingham Palace, explore ancient Windsor Castle, see the home of the Duke of Marlborough and the opulence of a dozen palaces and castles
- Enjoy four nights of luxury in London, complete with tickets to the Royal Opera House and the sublime botanical gardens of Kew
- Day trip to the lesser-known yet equally inspiring gardens of Kent, then stop off at 13th-century Hever Castle for some more royal intrigue
- Settle into the cobblestone of Oxford and spend two nights amongst the splendor of the world's oldest university
- Journey through the iconic villages and gardens of the Cotswolds and spend three nights reveling in the countryside
- Visit the home of the Prince of Wales, the Queen Mary, Winston Churchill, Henry VIII, and a whole series of England's royalty
It's hard to imagine England without its royalty, with images of the Queen sipping tea from regal china, stories of Henry VIII beheading his wives, or palaces that seem to redefine notions of opulence. The monarchy is shrouded in both fame and mystery, and Southern England is filled with the jewels from its treasure chest. Of course, this handcrafted tour covers the famous sights of the finest England vacations, like the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. But it also pieces together the fabulous castles and stately homes that are far from the limelight. Lush and inspiring landscaped gardens are equally prominent throughout this Southern England tour of palaces, castles and gardens, along with a rural sense of splendor when you escape to the Cotswolds.
London is the ideal starting point, and a performance at the Royal Opera House introduces you to just how luxurious the capital can be. Over four days, you're immersed in a heritage collection that is full of beauty and intrigue. Picture Hampton Court Palace, Sissinghurst Castle, Kew Gardens, Queen Mary's Doll House, the palace throne, and the crown jewels; This is royal England at its grandest. An expert royal guide takes you on private tours in and around London, stopping each day at a picturesque garden so you can enjoy a spot of high tea.
Oxford is a change of pace, its cobbled pedestrianized streets allowing you to explore at leisure. Picture a millennium-old university, the world's biggest library, Gothic chapels, and rustic pubs only serving hand-pulled ales. Oxford is a fascinating mix of architecture and experiences, a living and breathing masterpiece from the past. En route, you'll see Highclere Castle, along with the 18th-century Baroque masterpiece of Blenheim Palace. Surrounded by sublime gardens, this is arguably England's finest stately home, yet it remains blissfully devoid of tourists.
Journeying into the Cotswolds, you're acquainted with timeless impressions of rural England. A boutique hotel is set in a stately home; Prince Charles has his gardens nearby while castles and manors are hidden down elegant driveways. Idyllic and intimate, it's the perfect place to relax after spending time in the cities. Listen closely and all you hear is a boiling kettle and the resonance of sheep herds. Tour buses can flood the villages during the afternoon, so you're out in the country, visiting stunning manor houses, gardens, and royal castles. Then you return to the postcard image when everyone else has departed, enjoying the submersion in a hidden fairytale chapter of England.
$4,545 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.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
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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