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England's Great West Way | 8 Day Self-Drive

 

Tour Inclusions:

Transport

Automatic economy car with:
  • Unlimited mileage
  • Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
  • Theft protection (TP),
  • Value added tax (VAT)
  • Third party liability
  • Location service charge (LSC)

Accommodation

    • London (2)
    • Swindon (2)
    • Windsor (1)
    • Bath (2)

    Other Inclusions

    • Deluxe travel wallet with comprehensive travel documents, luggage tags and driving map.
    • Expert service from dedicated sales guide before, during and after your trip.

    Starts and ends in London

    Tour Highlights*

    8 Days / 7 Nights

    Henley Royal Regatta

    Blenheim Palace & Windsor Castle

    Stonehenge

    Dinner Cruse on River Thames

      

      8 Day England's Great West Way Tour

       

      If England's Great West Way were a party, the culturally adventurous would be quick to RSVP. They'd brush elbows with lifestyle travelers and mature experience seekers. Refine cuisine would feed their palates, while curious banter fed their minds. All the while, they'd marvel at the world famous and be in just as much awe of the yet-to-be-discovered. This group would return home enlightened, refreshed and ready for the next bash. Get ready for an adventure like no other. The Great West Way awaits.

      Day 1: Arrive in London

      Welcome to the start of your Great West Way adventure. London is a great place to start and end your journey. For now, take today to pick up your rental car and sightsee at your leisure. It’s best to start off the Great West Way with an introduction to English culture, and a great place to experience some of this is the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. This is London's largest UNESCO World Heritage site, and it offers landscapes and iconic architecture. Immerse yourself in the largest and most diverse collection of living plants in the world as you gain a stronger appreciation for nature. Later on, head to Hampton Court. This is a royal palace located in the borough of Richmond Upon Thames. There's much to see and do here as you learn about English icons like Henry the VIII. Take the rest of the day to explore at your leisure and get a taste of all things quintessentially English.

      Overnight in London

      Day 2: English Culture & Countryside

      Continue your drive through more of England’s luscious countryside. You’ll pass through the Henley Reach where the Royal Regatta is held each year. This is a great experience full of English culture and a tradition for many to attend. If you happen to be there at the right time of year, you won’t want to miss this event. You'll get the chance to take in more of England's scenery as you drive through North Wessex Downs AONB. Later on, arrive in the town of Swindon. This region is well-known for its ties to the railway. Visit STEAM - the Museum of the Great Western Railway to get an inside look at this industry's importance and roots. You'll see many gems including Queen Victoria's Royal Saloon from 1897. For a taste of art and all things culture, check out the Swindon Museum & Art Gallery. Spend the rest of your evening taking in the sounds and sights of this wonderful area.

      Overnight in Swindon


      Day 3: A Palace Fit for an Icon 

       
      Get ready for some sightseeing and a historical look at England’s rich past. You'll head for a day trip to the World Heritage site of Blenheim Palace. England’s answer to France’s Versailles, Blenheim is a treat for all who set foot on its ground. While it’s currently home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough, this palace was once the dwelling of Sir Winston Churchill and his family. As you tour the palace, you can explore the gilded State Rooms and priceless collections. It’s not hard to imagine royalty and high society crossing paths within Blenheim’s walls. As you tour the Churchill Exhibition, you’ll discover the “Untold Story’ of the life and times of one of Britain’s most iconic, influential voices. Be sure to visit the Private Apartments and walk along the grounds, too. After you get your fill of enchantment and history, head south to Oxford. There’s much to discover in the land of scholars like literary great Lewis Carroll. Visit the Covered Market for a bite to eat and a chance to mingle with the locals. You also won’t want to miss the Bodleian Library – the UK’s second largest library. Established in 1602, this spectacular building contains over 11 million books. You’ll get a great look at the university’s interior with a visit to the Divinity School, as well. Return to Swindon later on for dinner and a relaxing evening.

      Overnight in Swindon

      Day 4: Idyllic Gardens & Famous Baths  


      Your Great West Way journey continues as you leave Oxford this morning. A beautiful drive through the Cotswolds awaits. This lovely scenic region features rolling hills and grassland harbor with thatched medieval villages. Think quaint, cozy cottages outlined in vines and beautiful nearby gardens. If you wish to take advantage of the great outdoors, you can stop and take the walking trail. Later on, arrive in Bath. Known for its natural hot springs and 18th century Georgian architecture, Bath is a place you don’t want to miss on the Great West Way. After settling into your accommodations, head over to the Bath Abbey and Roman Baths for a magnificent experience and the chance to come face-to-face with one of the world’s greatest marvels. Check out Pulteney Bridge and the surrounding area for local shops and great places to eat. There’s much to see and do, so be sure to take it all in.

      Overnight in Bath

      Day 5: Adventures in Bristol  


      Today you’re headed for the cultural hub of Bristol. Straddling the River Avon, this city has a strong maritime history. Visit the SS Great Britain – an iron steamship known as ‘The Ship that Changed the World’. Designed by Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, this ship played many key roles. Among them, it once transported people emigrating from England to Australia. Learn more about its important duties and intriguing story when you tour the ship and museum. From there, continue to Leigh Woods National Nature Reserve. You’ll find many walking trails in this area, as well as scenic city views. One of the most picturesque sights is the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Another onoe of Brunel’s designs, this bridge is a masterpiece of industrial work and crosses the River Avon. You can take a tour of its museum and uncover its story. Later on, return to Bath and enjoy your evening doing anything you didn’t have time for yesterday.

      Overnight in Bath

      Day 6: Stonehenge & Windsor Castle

      It’s time to venture back to London, and you have much to see and do on the way. About an hour southeast of Bath is the prehistoric monument and world phenomenon of Stonehenge. You’ll walk in the footsteps of Neolithic people who came before you and marvel at the mystery and intrigue surrounding this formation. From there, the Great West Way journey continues at Windsor Castle. This is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. It’s also the Queen’s favorite weekend home. If you’re lucky, you’ll see the royal flag waving in the air during your visit, indicating she’s currently at the castle. During your time there, you can see where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were wed in the stunning St George’s Chapel. There are many other treasures on these grounds like the dollhouse of Queen Mary from the early 1920s. After your tour, check out the shops and cafes of Windsor town, just steps away. Later, settle into your Windsor accommodations.

      Overnight in Windsor

      Day 7: The Tower of London

      London is calling as you end your trip on the Great West Way. Answer by paying a visit to the Tower of London this morning. You’ll see the Crown Jewels and hear stories about the tower’s grim past told by the Yeomen Warders. Later, you can cross the iconic Tower Bridge and head over to The Shard – The European Union’s tallest building. For an incredible view of the surrounding city, we suggest going to the top. You can also take advantage of the building’s shops and restaurants. For another magnificent taste of English culture, be sure to check out the nearby Shakespeare’s Globe. Or, if wartime exhibits sound more appealing, the Imperial War Museum is nothing short of impressive. Spend your final evening of this trip dining on a river cruise along the Thames.

      Overnight in London

      Day 8: Return Home

      Head to the London airport and begin your journey home.

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