The Best of Southern England and London Tour

May 23-31, 2013

Price per person, based on double occupancy, $3,629.00. Single supplement is an extra $375.00

Look at the itinerary below for our 9-day trip to the London and English Countryside.

Visit the forms and brochures page for information about registering for this trip.


We depart Chicago this for an overnight flight to London. Sit back and enjoy the in-flight services.

May 24 – Arrive in London

We arrive in London which begins our amazing adventure through Southern England and London over the next 8 days. We’ll meet our tour guide at the London airport and transfer to the Cotswold region where we will check into our hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day free for our leisure.

Overnight in Cheltenham

May 25 – The Cotswolds Region

After breakfast we will enjoy a scenic day as we enjoy visits to the Cotswold Hills and take time to explore several of its quaint little villages. Cotswolds are a range of hills in west-central England sometimes called the Heart of England”. Cotswold is sometimes attributed the meaning of sheep enclosures in rolling hillsides, incorporating the term Wold, meaning hills. This is an area of England that is popular with both the English themselves and visitors from all over the world because the Cotswolds are well-known for gentle hillsides (wolds), sleepy villages and for being so “typically English”. We’ll also take some time to visit some of the famous shops in Cotswold today. We will then return of our hotel for leisure time on your own.

Overnight in Cheltenham

May 26 – Bath, Stonehenge & Cotswolds

This morning we travel to Bath to visit the amazing excavations of the Roman Baths. Bath is set on the southern edge of the Cotswolds, a series of gently rolling hills and honey-colored villages that are quintessentially English. It is an area of stone walls, hidden river valleys and distinctive market towns and villages made of the famous Cotswold stone. We then move on the prehistoric mystery of Stonehenge. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is composed of a circular setting of large standing stones set within earthworks, believed to have been constructed anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Later this afternoon we return to the Cotswolds region for additional touring of some of the picturesque villages.

Overnight in Cheltenham

May 27 – Warwick Castle and Strafford Upon Avon

This morning we will visit Warwick Castle which is one of the best medieval castles in the world. Located in the county town of Warwickshire, it sits on a bend on the River Avon. In 1153 the castle was taken by King Henry II and had been used to hold prisoners. Under the ownership of Richard Neville in the 15th century, Warwick Castle was used to imprison the English king, Edward IV. In the afternoon, after we enjoy lunch on your own, we will visit Stratford Upon Avon to view Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. Anne Hathaway was Shakespeare’s wife and after enduring her “until he could stand it no longer”, he fled to London to become an actor. We will also visit Shakespeare’s birthplace. While referred to as a cottage, Hathaway Cottage it is actually a spacious twelve-roomed farmhouse with several bedrooms and is set in an extensive garden. We check into our Stratford hotel with time to enjoy a free evening of leisure on your own or with other travelers.

Overnight in Stratford-Upon-Avon

May 28 – Runnymede, Oxford and Hampton Court

This morning we visit Runnymede along the River Thames which is notable for its association with, the sealing of the Magna Carta. We will then go to the charming city of Oxford for a stroll to see the colleges where Britain’s elite receive their schooling. We will enjoy lunch on our own in Oxford and then move on to Blenheim Palace. While it was the home of the 11th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace is the birthplace of Winston Churchill. Our last stop this afternoon will be a walking tour of the breathtaking Ornamental Gardens of Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace. Hampton Court is a royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond upon the Thames and has not been inhabited by the British royal family since the 18th Century. It was a favorite of King Henry VIII. We check into our London hotel which will be our home for the next three nights.

Overnight in London

Good News for those garden and flower lovers who are looking for a garden experience like no other

We are about to add a fantastic opportunity for flower and garden lovers to our England trip. While the London itinerary is pretty well set, other options will be made available. We wish to provide "Wow!" opportunities for travelers who take the trip. They will not only enjoy the Cotswalds Region, in London you will also have the opportunity to see The Royal Botanical Gardens and the Chelsea Physic Gardens. Keep in mind that these gardens will be in full bloom and in their best care since the world famous Chelsea Flower show will just be completed, 2 days prior to our arrival in London. Wouldn’t this be a great extension to the first leg of our journey where you’ll not only experience what many call the “Heart of England”, but to also enjoy the garden beauty of Anne Hathaway’s gardens, former home of Shakespeare’s wife, but also enjoy a walking tour of the beautiful and breathtaking Ornamental Gardens of Henry VIII’s Hampton Court, in addition to the Chelsea Physic Gardens and the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.

May 29 – London – Parliament, Big Ben, Harrods, Westminster Abby, Prime Minister’s Downing Street and Buckingham Palace and St. Paul’s Cathedral

After breakfast we meet our tour guide and enjoy a fun day in London. Our tour will include the Knightsbridge, a notable ultra-expensive residential area known for the density of its upmarket retail stores, including Harrods and Harvey Nichols plus flagship stores of many British & international fashion houses. Some of London’s most renowned restaurants are located here as well. We’ll tour the House of Parliament and Big Ben, the clock tower which holds the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world. We’ll tour the Collegiate Church of St. Peter at Westminster, better known as Westminster Abby. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for monarchs of the Commonwealth realms. We’ll also see the Whitehall’s mounted Horse Guards located at the entrance to Horse Guards Arch. They have been guarding the gateway since Tudor times. We’ll see the Prime Minister’s Downing Street as well as Buckingham Palace, the official residence and office of the British monarch. The afternoon will highlight a visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral, a Church of England and seat of the Bishop of London. We will also view a Changing of the Guard, if it is held. We return of our hotel for leisure time on our own.

Overnight in London

May 30 – London – British Museum and Tower of London. Optional cruise on the River Thames.

We will enjoy a morning tour of the British Museum which is widely considered to be one of the world’s greatest museums of human history and culture. The permanent collection numbers some 8 million works and the pieces originate from all continents and illustrate the story of human culture from its beginning to the present. In the afternoon we’ll visit and explore the Tower of London with its fabulous Crown Jewels. The Tower was built to enforce the power of the king and was strategically on the Thames River and had grown into a stronghold of over 20 towers. While best known for the Crown Jewels, it is also notorious for the many political opponents of the kings that were locked, tortured and killed in the Tower. Later in the afternoon and evening you will be free to enjoy London on your own, perhaps to enjoy a dinner, a play and/or cruise on the River Thames.

Overnight in London

May 31 – Depart of USA

We will check out of the hotel early and depart for the London airport for our flight home.