From London, drive via Winchester and the New Forest to Bath. [2 nights Bath]. Visit Bath, Wells and the Cheddar Gorge or explore Cotswold villages. Continue north via Stratford upon Avon to the Lake District. [2 nights Lake District]. Spend the day enjoying the lake and mountain scenery, literary connections and glorious gardens. Travel east via York to Derbyshire. (2 nights Derbyshire). Visit the Derbyshire Peaks and Dales, Chatsworth or Haddon Hall. Return to London via Sherwood Forest, Bosworth Battlefield or Sulgrave Manor.
A brief description of the various places mentioned in the itinerary:
- Winchester: The Saxon capital of King Alfred, often used for coronations. The present cathedral dates from 1079. Jane Austen connections.
- New Forest: The forest was enclosed as a hunting area for King William I, 1079.
- Bath: World Heritage Site. Roman baths and Georgian architecture. Good shops.
- Wells: A quiet market town at the foot of the Mendip Hills with a wonderful cathedral.
- Cheddar Gorge: A narrow cleft between limestone cliffs.
- Cotswolds: Rolling hills, stone and thatch cottages and unusual village names.
- Stratford upon Avon: Birthplace and burial site of William Shakespeare.
- Lake District: Wonderful scenery of mountains, lakes, stone walls and gardens. Literary connections with Beatrix Potter, John Ruskin, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey and Thomas de Quincey.
- York: Roman town. Medieval streets and Gothic York Minster with glorious stained glass windows. Castle Howard where "Brideshead Revisited" was filmed.
- Derbyshire Peaks and Dales: A scenic area of hills, stone walls and river valleys. The ancient custom of well-dressing. The selflessness of the plague village of Eyam.
- Chatsworth: "The Palace of the Peaks", home of the Duke of Devonshire. Famous collection of furniture and works of art.
Haddon Hall - One of the best preserved medieval manor houses in England.
- Sherwood Forest: Part of the ancient forest survives, always associated with Robin Hood.
- Bosworth Battlefield: Where Henry Tudor defeated King Richard III in 1485, to become King Henry VII.
- Sulgrave Manor: The home of George Washington's ancestors.
- Price varies depending on length of tour, number of people, distance covered and transportation used.
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