16-Day Tour of England Itinerary
Welcome to our 16-day ultimate tour of England itinerary!
The difference between our 16-day itinerary and other more compact tours is that alongside seeing the most famous sights and attractions such as Buckingham Palace & Big Ben in London, this itinerary allows you more time to reach charming and captivating locations across the length and breadth of England such as the Cornish Coastal Path and the Victoria Tunnel in Newcastle, that you would otherwise likely miss out on.
We designed this tour as an introduction to the best of England, where your private driver will guide you across the various cities and locations we have included, but if you have already visited our shores before and would like a custom 16-day itinerary focused on your particular interests and requirements then complete our online inquiry form, and we will email you a complimentary draft itinerary.
Our 16 Day private tour includes:
Days 1 - 3: London with your Private Guide
“I like the spirit of this great London which I feel around me.”
– Charlotte Brontë
Our 16-day itinerary will both begin and end in London. The capital city of England has known the world over as a global hub of art, architecture, and culture. Even if you think you understand the city, you can be sure London will have a surprise for you!
Indeed, our guests often find that the hardest part of planning their vacation time in London is how best to manage their time to see as much as possible. That’s why our tour planners will work with you to understand your tastes and interests and use their local knowledge and insight to suggest a tour itinerary that will truly delight you.
As such, there are simply too many attractions in London to list them all here, built some of the most iconic sites are:
Private Tour of Buckingham Palace
Only available in the summer months, but if you time your vacation appropriately then a private guided tour of the Royal Family’s HQ will create simply unforgettable memories.
Located on the bank of the River Thames and rising 135 meters into the London sky, the Eye is the world’s largest Ferris wheel and offers sublime views over the city.
Tower of London
A Royal Palace, defensive Castle, Royal Mint, army barracks, and prison all in one location! The Tower of London had a fascinating history and alongside visiting the Crown Jewels that are housed here, your guide will joyfully regale the engrossing tales based on the historic characters who have occupied the castle walls – from Royal dignitaries to infamous criminals.
The image of this 19th-century combined bascule and suspension bridge has become emblematic of London and England generally. Guided Tours of the Bridge, observation deck, and engine room are provided by the Queen’s Yeomen Warders (The tall black hat bedecked Beefeaters).
Westminster Abbey, Big Ben & Houses of Parliament
3 UNESCO World Heritage sites in what is really essential to any tour of London. Providing a living history of the power structure, Royal Family, and governance in Britain, along with magnificent architecture and the imperious Big Ben Clocktower – which was nearly blown up in a foiled plot – but you will learn more about that on your private tour!
St Paul's Cathedral
Designed in English Baroque style by acclaimed architect Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London in 1666. Alongside a guided tour of the art, architecture, and hidden histories of St Pauls you can climb the 528 steps to the top of the dome for a wonderful panoramic view of the city.
Tate Modern Gallery Tour
Enjoy a guided tour of one of the world’s finest collections of modern and contemporary art. Spend time with your guide contemplating numerous works by Masters such as Pablo Picasso, Damian Hirst, Salvador Dali, and Andy Warhol to name but a few.
Our tour planning specialists can provide suggestions and help to reserve your accommodation for your 3 nights in London, contact our team for a free consultation or email for more information.
Day 4: London - Cotswolds - Bath
It is time to venture outside of London with a full-day trip beginning with your driver guide collecting you in the morning, taking you through selected destinations in the idyllic countryside retreat in the Cotswolds, before your tour of the Georgian-inspired and Ancient Roman-influenced city of Bath. Your driver-guide will then return you to your London accommodation in the evening.
When it comes to picture postcard-perfect English countryside living, nowhere can compare to the Cotswolds. Here the thatched roofed cottages and stone wall mills have been left unspoiled by time and truly make you feel like you have arrived in a different century.
On your tour of the Cotswolds and its villages, you will visit:
The tagline “The most beautiful village in England” has been attached to Bibury ever since it was coined by the poet William Morris. In demonstrating why it deserves the moniker we will take you to visit the row of old weaver’s cottages on Arlington Row with a history going all the way back to 1380. Another highlight of Bisbury is St Mary’s Church with its gorgeous Norman-era arches, 13th-century entrance, and Saxon chancel columns.
Known as the “Venice of the Cotswolds” this is a quaint little riverside town that makes for a very peaceful location to enjoy an afternoon tea or lunch.
The Cotswolds is home to the largest collection of antique and artisan stores outside of London, after exploring some of these boutiques and Market Square at Stow-on-the-Wald your driver will collect you as you head south to the town of Bath.
Bath Architecture Tour
Our guests love visiting Bath for its Medieval heritage, gorgeous Georgian architecture, and Ancient Roman era hot spring and bathing facility.
The Roman Baths are best enjoyed in the morning, so upon your arrival, we will instead enjoy a driver-guided city tour attending and discussing the other main attractions such as:
Also known as The Abbey Church of Saint Peter & Saint Paul, Bath Abbey was constructed in 1572 and formerly served as a Benedictine Monastery.
The Royal Crescent
A row of 30 Georgian structures forming the shape of a crescent, constructed between 1767 and 1774.
The bridge allows you to cross the River Avon and has shops built into it on both sides.
Jane Austen Center
Celebrate the life and works of Jane Austen who lived in Bath for over 6 years.
After enjoying your evening meal and entertainment for the night, your accommodation will be a five-star hotel in Bath city center.
Day 5: Bath - Devon - St Ives
For the next three days of your tour, you will be based in St Ives as you discover the best of Cornwall and the South East Coast with your driver guide. En route to your accommodation, we will first stop at the Roman Baths before making our way down to another town with ancient Roman and Norman heritage, Exeter.
The Roman Baths found in the center of the city were constructed on the site of the only natural hot spring in the UK and still flow with natural hot water today.
You will visit the four main sections of the baths: the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman bathhouse and finds from the Roman Bath.
The East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a natural wonderland with incredible landscapes, scenic vistas, cliffs, hills, and river valleys. From here you can also access a section of the Jurassic Coast – home to prehistoric fossils and rocks.
St Ives Boat Trip
Set off from the beautiful St Ives Bay and sail the stunning Cornish Coast and take a trip to Seal island.
Your accommodation for the next two nights will be in the seaside town of St Ives.
Day 6 & 7: St Ives - Lands End - Penzance - Newquay - St Ives
Along with its thriving art scene, windswept coast, and golden sand beaches, St Ives is also a fantastic base from where your driver guide can deliver you to the most scenic, interesting, and engaging attractions in all of Cornwall.
your driver guide will take you on excursions to:
The most westerly and southerly point of England, Land’s End is perfect for cliff top trails, gorgeous views, and breathtaking landscapes. Be careful to avoid an encounter with the giants, fairies, and pixies who are said to have inhabited the region!
Atop the rugged coastal landscape and accessed by a footbridge from the mainland to the headland, the 13th Century Tintagel Castle is said to be the birthplace of King Arthur, while underneath lies Merlin’s cave! On your tour of the castle, you will meet Gallos, a larger-than-life bronze statue symbolic of the castle’s royal past and the story of King Arthur
Discover the truth about Cornwall’s swashbuckling pirate past and the inspiration behind Gilbert and Sulivan’s Pirates of Penzance Opera and film adaptation.
Levant, Botallack & the Crowns Trail
Immediately recognizable to fans of the Poldark series, enjoy this short scenic coastal walking route dotted with ancient stone walls and hauntingly beautiful ruins.
Day 8: St Ives - Dartmoor Park - Bristol
It’s time to move on from the South East Coast. Before you say goodbye to Cornwall, our driver guide will take you on a tour of wildlife, forests, rivers, Neolithic tombs, and Bronze Age statues in Dartmoor National Park. Following that, you will enjoy the scenic drive to Bristol upon the River Avon.
Dartmoor National Park
Discover castle ruins, waterfalls, gorges, and local legends on a tour of Dartmoor National Park – said to be the inspiration behind Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous Sherlock Holmes novel, “The Hound of the Baskervilles”. For further foreboding thrills, you may also wish to pay a visit to the Dartmoor prison museum which details the story of the prison and its inmates since its origin during the Napoleonic Wars.
Afternoon Guided Tour of Bristol
Begin your afternoon tour with a visit to the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge, a stunning feat of engineering designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Admire the breathtaking views of the Avon Gorge and learn about the bridge’s history and construction from your knowledgeable guide.
Discover the magnificent Bristol Cathedral, a fine example of Gothic architecture with stunning stained-glass windows and beautiful vaulted ceilings. Explore the tranquil cloisters and listen to your guide’s insightful stories about the cathedral’s rich history.
SS Great Britain
Board the historic SS Great Britain, another of Brunel’s masterpieces, and step back in time as you explore the world’s first great ocean liner. Learn about the ship’s fascinating past, from her groundbreaking design to her many voyages across the globe.
Cabot Tower and Brandon Hill
Head to the beautiful Brandon Hill Park and climb the spiral staircase of Cabot Tower for panoramic views of the city. Learn about the tower’s connection to the explorer John Cabot, who set sail from Bristol in search of the New World.
Harbourside Walk and Street Art
Conclude your afternoon tour with a leisurely stroll along Bristol’s vibrant harbourside, taking in the bustling atmosphere of this lively area. Admire the colorful street art, including works by the world-famous artist Banksy, as your guide shares stories about Bristol’s thriving arts scene and the city’s rich maritime history.
Day 9: Stratford-Upon-Avon Shakespeare Tour
Join your driver guide in the morning as you leave Bristol behind and set off to discover the many surviving buildings and sights that would have been so familiar to Shakespeare on a guided tour of The Bard’s hometown, Stratford-Upon-Avon. Starting with the house he was born in, to his school and the church where he was christened, married, and buried!
Locations on the Shakespeare Tour:
- The house Shakespeare was born and raised in.
- Holy Trinity Church & Shakespeare’s headstone.
- Stratford Grammar School.
- Tudor buildings, including Anne Hathaway’s cottage and others of significance to The Bard.
Journey to Liverpool
In the afternoon, rejoin your private driver as you pass some stunning scenery on your way to Liverpool. As you travel north, pass by the vibrant city of Birmingham and the industrial heartland of the Black Country. Catch glimpses of the region’s rich industrial heritage, with its network of canals, historic factories, and repurposed buildings that now house museums, art galleries, and trendy cafes.
As you approach Liverpool, traverse the scenic Cheshire Plains, a region of gently rolling countryside, historic manor houses, and quaint villages. Look out for the iconic red sandstone buildings, traditional half-timbered structures, and well-preserved medieval churches that add to the area’s unique charm.
Upon arrival in Liverpool, you’ll be immersed in a city with a rich maritime history, world-class cultural attractions, and a vibrant music scene, making it a fantastic destination to explore after your scenic drive.
Day 10: Liverpool & the History of the Beatles
Liverpool was often referred to as the second city of the British Empire thanks to its role in the Industrial Revolution and the fact that its docklands were key to the nation’s import and export trade. Although some would say this global significance pales in comparison with the seismic shift in the cultural landscape that came with the 1960s and the arrival of John, Paul, George, and Ringo when the Beatles hit the scene and changed the musical landscape forever!
While spending the day with your private guide as you discover the best of one of England’s cultural hotspots you will visit:
Mersey River Cruise
A fantastic way to orientate yourself with the city and learn about its history. On your boat trip, your guide will provide a commentary full of war tales, smuggling stories, and how the swinging sixties revolutionized the city. Some of the landmarks viewed during the ride include:
- Christ the King Cathedral
- Liverpool Cathedral
- Royal Liver Building 360
- Museum of Liverpool
- Tate Liverpool
Royal Albert Dock & Merseyside Maritime Museum
Formerly the industrial center of Liverpool and much of the British Empire, the Docks are now a cultural hub in the city and the site of the Maritime Museum and The Beatles Story exhibition. Allow your guide to transport you through time from the Docks’ beginnings in 1846, through the industrial modernization of the 19th Century, and Liverpool’s role in World Wars 1 & 2.
The Beatles Story
This award-winning exhibition documents the band’s meteoric rise to fame and era-defining success through recreations of key locations from the band’s career including The Casbah Club, The Cavern Club, and Abbey Road Studios.
For Beatles fanatics, we can arrange tours of Penny Lane, Strawberry Field plus John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s childhood homes, and the Cavern Club where the band made their first performance.
In the evening you will return to your accommodation in Liverpool city center.
Day 11: Full-day Manchester tour & Return to Liverpool
Manchester is famous for many things, it was one of the industrial powerhouses at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution, spearheaded by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, it is a highly regarded University town and was in fact the place where the atom was first split in 1917.
Contemporarily the city holds a huge musical and cultural influence over England and many other parts of the world given the enormous role it played in Britpop with the Smiths and Oasis Being local bands that came to global prominence, and politically Manchester is accredited with being the birthplace of the Suffragette movement for women’s emancipation in the UK.
On your Manchester day trip you can discover:
The UK’s oldest library, and interestingly for a city that benefited so much from the industrial revolution it is also the location where Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels conducted much of their work on the Communist Manifesto – to this day you can sit at Marx’s desk and alcove in the library.
The John Rylands Library
Manchester is a recognized UNESCO city of literature, and that is in no small part thanks to the rare books and manuscripts found within the remarkable Gothic architecture of the John Rylands Library within Manchester University. A must-visit destination on your tour, the library contains the ‘Manchester Fragment’, the earliest known fragment of the New Testament, part of St. John’s gospel.
Memorial statues of Alan Turing & Emmeline Pankhurst
Your guide will be on hand to regale you with the stories of the sad life of brilliant mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing who invented the Turing test and whose Turing machine proved to be a turning point in the war by cracking the enigma code. The statue that honors Emmaline Pankhurst – the symbolic leader of the women’s suffrage movement in Britain is titled “Rise Up Women” and the unveiling in 2018 coincided with the 100-year anniversary of women having the vote and females participating as candidates in general elections.
A Grade 1 listed Masterpiece, Manchester Cathedral provided the stage that much of the city’s story and history has been played ever since Henry V decreed a church should be built here in 1421. The cathedral is the oldest building in Manchester and the Medieval gothic structure combines elegance and beauty of the stained glass windows and spirituality with the spooky vast underground network of crypts to explore with your private guide.
After touring the city and enjoying a meal in the city of Manchester, your driver guide will take you back to your accommodation in Liverpool for your evening entertainment.
Day 12: Liverpool - Lake District - Hadrians Wall - Newcastle
Your driver guide will collect you from your Liverpool hotel in the morning as you set off for the Lake District – one of England’s most outstanding areas of natural beauty, known for serene lakes, diverse wildlife, and idyllic rural villages to explore. You will then reach the limits of Roman England by driving up North to Hadrian’s Wall before finally arriving in the North Eastern town of Newcastle for the night.
Guided excursions for day 12 of your 16-day tour itinerary consist of:
Enjoy the lush mountain landscapes while your guide describes legends and myths around the biggest lake in all of England on a boat cruise across Windermere.
Visit Dove Cottage where the great poet William Wordsworth, author of “As I wandered lonely as a Cloud” lived, and pay a visit to the original Grasmere Gingerbread shop.
St Oswald’s church
Where you will find Wordsworth and his wife’s tombstones, and just behind the church on the banks of the River Rothay is Wordsworth’s Daffodil Garden.
Explore the cobbled streets and stone buildings surrounded by lush green mountain ranges of Keswick, a small town with Medieval heritage.
Visiting Hadrian's wall
Perhaps the most well-known of the Roman frontiers, the wall began construction in 122AD under the orders of Emperor Hadrian. Here you can visit:
Housesteads Roman Fort
The most complete remains of a Roman fort in Britain, and where you can actually climb onto sections of the wall.
Heddon on the Wall
A small village with original remains of the wall running through it.
Guided tour of the Roman Army Museum.
Your driver guide will conclude the day by dropping you off at your hotel in Newcastle for your evening meal.
Day 13: Newcastle - York
Having reached almost the tip of the North of England, your tour plan for today involves discovering more about Newcastle and its role in World War 2 before we begin heading into the Midlands to our destination in the Cathedral city of York.
After coming into existence as a fort on Hadrian’s wall in 122AD, Newcastle is a town famous for its industrial past, immediately recognizable “Geordie” dialect, and being symbolic of a new wave of vibrancy and energy that has risen out of post-industrial town in England. Not to mention the famous Brown Ale that took its name from the town that can be imbibed in restaurants and bars across the UK.
A fascinating exhibition that takes place in an underground Victorian waggonway that we believe should be a part of any trip to Newcastle. A trip through time taking you from 2 key stages in Newcastle’s history – from life in the 19th Century during the industrial revolution through its use in World War 2 as an air raid shelter when civilians would huddle underground here while the Luftwaffe bombed the city from the skies.
After the underground exhibition it’s time to get into the fresh air by discovering Jesmond Dene park, a wooded valley along the river that is a tranquil natural escape in the center of the city and an excellent way to enjoy a peaceful stroll amongst bridges, waterfalls, and wildlife.
Depart for York, one of the prettiest cities in England
Time to depart for York, one of the prettiest cities in England.
Here you can visit the York Minster Cathedral, one of the largest examples of Gothic architecture with over 800 years of history. It is also home to the largest collection of stained glass in the UK, with some pieces dating back to the 12th century.
Meanwhile, overlooking the city, Clifford’s tower is the last intact part of York Castle, making your way up to the top is definitely worth it as the structure affords incredible scenic views looking out across the gorgeous city.
Your accommodation will be in the center of York this evening.
Day 14: Guided Tours of York
Continue to enjoy the best of York with our guided experiences of the city.
Providing amazing photography opportunities and insight into what life was like in a medieval village, the delightful buildings that line the street have been restored back to the magnificent medieval glory. It has been said that The Shambles served as the inspiration behind Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter movie franchise.
York City Walls
Walk along the historic York City Walls, the most complete example of medieval city walls in England. Enjoy panoramic views of the city as you stroll along the 2-mile circuit, taking in the beautifully preserved towers and gatehouses.
National Railway Museum
Visit the National Railway Museum, home to an impressive collection of locomotives, carriages, and railway artifacts. Discover the history of Britain’s railways and marvel at iconic engines such as the Mallard and the Flying Scotsman.
Jorvik Viking Center
An interactive exhibition that gives you the opportunity to understand what life was like in 9th century York, complete with immersive displays, preserved artifacts and remains, and talk to Viking reenactment professionals.
York Castle Museum
Explore the York Castle Museum, housed in a former prison, and delve into the social history of the city. Wander through recreated Victorian streets, marvel at period costumes, and discover the rich collection of artifacts that tell the story of York’s past.
End your day with a leisurely stroll through the picturesque Museum Gardens, a 10-acre park featuring beautiful landscaping, medieval ruins, and the striking ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey.
Return to your accommodation in York for the evening.
Day 15: Lincoln & Cambridge
Your private driver-guide will collect you from your accommodation in York, setting the stage for an exciting day of exploration in Lincoln and Cambridge.
Lincoln Cathedral Tour
Begin your day in Lincoln with a visit to the stunning Lincoln Cathedral, one of Europe’s finest examples of Gothic architecture. Marvel at the intricate stonework, magnificent stained glass windows, and the iconic rose window.
Next, explore the historic Lincoln Castle, which dates back to the 11th Century. Walk along the medieval walls, learn about the castle’s fascinating history, and see one of the four surviving original copies of the Magna Carta.
Stroll down the picturesque Steep Hill, a cobbled street lined with charming shops, cafes, and historic buildings. Take in the views of the city and the surrounding countryside as you make your way through this quaint area.
Scenic Drive to Cambridge
Enjoy a scenic drive from Lincoln to Cambridge, taking in the beautiful English countryside as you travel between these two historic cities.
King's College and King's College Chapel
Upon arriving in Cambridge, visit the prestigious King’s College and its awe-inspiring chapel, renowned for its fan-vaulted ceiling, stunning stained glass windows, and exquisite carvings.
Punting on the River Cam
Experience a quintessential Cambridge tradition by punting on the River Cam. Glide along the water, taking in the picturesque views of the city’s famous colleges and historic bridges.
The Fitzwilliam Museum
Explore the Fitzwilliam Museum, home to an extensive collection of art and antiquities from around the world. Discover works by masters such as Titian, Rembrandt, and Turner, as well as fascinating artifacts from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome.
Overnight in Cambridge.
Day 16: Airport Transfer
Your ultimate 16-day tour of England comes to a close back where it began in London.
Depending on what time your return flight is, we can fill your final day with activities and arrange your transfer to arrive safely on time.
If your flight is in the evening then you may wish to spend some time in London’s famous shopping districts to order a fitted suit from the elite tailors in Savile Row or search for just the right souvenirs of your journey in the city’s most esteemed department store, Harrods.
Alternatively, you may find you have the time to attend a West End Theater production or browse the exhibitions on display in the British Museum – although do make sure you don’t get too engrossed as you browse the 50 galleries worth of human history on display here and miss your flight!
To determine the best use of your final day, simply let us know what time your departing flight is due and our tour planners will provide you with a list of options to ensure every minute of your vacation is filled with charm and joy!
Request a custom 16-day itinerary
The itinerary outlined above tends towards the largest and most iconic sites that would be on most guests’ list of ‘must-sees’ while in England, however, we recognize this is not to everyone’s tastes, or may not be suitable for those who have previously visited England.
If you would like a tailored itinerary for your English vacation that differs from the above or even one that includes sites in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, or even further afield in Europe, then simply complete our online contact form, and our tour planning specialists will be in touch to draft a complimentary itinerary just for you.