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Overview

Self-Drive Holidays
9 Nights
  • Prices from: £1125 per person
  • Availability: Any departure date
  • Best time to go: April - October
  • Transport: Rental car included (optional)

Highlights

Oxford
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Grand and historic, the unique academic ambience of Oxford, boasts the oldest university in the English-speaking world.  Visitors can explore famous colleges such as Magdalen College, Christchurch College and New College Hall, along with the magnificent Bodleian Library.

Blenheim Palace
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Discover Blenheim Palace, a grand country house just outside Oxford. The palace complex is a World Heritage Site and boasts incredibly ornate state rooms, formal gardens, a miniature train, and fantastic exhibitions.

The Cotswolds
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Explore England’s largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty stretching over 6 counties. The Cotswolds is home to delightfully picturesque villages with quaint stone cottages and medieval churches, surrounded by peaceful rolling landscapes.

Bath
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As the name suggests, Bath is home to a wealth of ancient Roman baths as well as Britain’s only natural bathing thermal hot springs. The vibrant city also boasts a wide range of great places to eat and drink, as well as an impressive collection of museums. 

Ancient sites
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Near Bath, you could travel further back in time and discover Stonehenge. Admire this historic site, with its iconic standing stone circle and Neolithic houses. The impressive standing stone circle towers over the Wiltshire countryside and is a must-see on the route. 

Shakespeare & Austen
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Take a short detour from Oxford to visit Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. In Bath, make sure to stop by the Jane Austen Centre on historic Gay Street, and enjoy some cream tea in its beautiful Regency Tea Room.

Discover England’s Classic Highlights

This tour explores the highlights of Oxford and the Cotswolds, travelling to some of the most iconic historic sights in England. Begin by exploring the vibrant and bustling city of London before heading to Oxford, “the City of Dreaming Spires.”

From here, travel around the beautiful Cotswolds countryside and enjoy picturesque villages and peaceful landscapes of rolling green fields. Then head westward, where you will discover the ancient city of Bath.

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Your journey begins in England’s energetic capital city of London where you will find an eclectic mix of cultures, cuisines, tourist attractions and opportunities to delve into the city’s rich and long-reaching history. You could take a boat trip on the River Thames, visit St Paul’s Cathedral or Westminster Abbey or perhaps, view the cityscape from above on the London Eye.

Travelling on, Oxford was named ‘the city of dreaming spires’ by poet Matthew Arnold and its unique atmosphere has inspired many academics over the centuries. There are plenty of sights to enjoy, including the world-famous Bodleian Library, the Radcliffe Camera, the various university colleges, and the Botanic Gardens. 

From Oxford, a visit to the grandiose Blenheim Palace and charming Stratford-upon-Avon are highly recommended. Blenheim Palace boasts a priceless art collection in its state rooms, expansive gardens, and several tours focusing on different aspects of life at the palace. Stratford-upon-Avon is the famous birthplace of Shakespeare and home to Stratford’s Royal Shakespeare Theatre. 

This tour then takes you from historic cities to twee villages in the Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This is a captivating area to discover, with picturesque villages and historic castles dotted between a patchwork quilt of rolling green fields. As well as quaint villages and gorgeous landscapes, the Cotswolds are also surrounded by lively cities such as the ancient city of Bath. 

Bath boasts numerous ancient Roman baths as well as the UK’s only natural bathing, thermal hot springs. Discover Bath’s striking Georgian architecture, and admire the intricate gothic decoration of Bath Abbey. Whilst in Bath, you might wish to take a day trip to the world-famous, Neolithic standing stone circle of Stonehenge.

Itinerary

This is our suggested itinerary for our Classic England: Oxford & The Cotswolds self-drive tour. We design each itinerary around your interests, so think of this as a starting point which can be tailored into something completely unique to you. 

We love the opportunity to use our first-hand knowledge and experience to design and deliver the perfect, bespoke holiday experience for you. 

Day 1: Arrive in London
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Relax and enjoy your first evening in England’s fantastic capital city. You will be spoilt for choice for dinner tonight. London has an incredible restaurant scene with choices from every cuisine in the world and more than 50 Michelin starred restaurants.
Overnight – London

Day 2: London Sightseeing
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Today we would recommend getting acquainted with the city on a hop-on, hop-off tour of the main attractions. You could choose to alight at the Tower of London, the London Eye or the Houses of Parliament among many more attractions besides. For those who prefer to go by foot an historic walking tour is another excellent choice.
Overnight – London

Day 3: London Sightseeing
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You could visit one of London’s many museums and art galleries today including the Tate Modern Art Gallery or the Natural History Museum. After, spend some time exploring the shops around Covent Garden, take a stroll through one of the London parks and finish with tickets to a show in London’s iconic West End.
Overnight – London

Day 4: London to Oxford
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After London, your holiday continues on to the beautiful city of Oxford, home to the prestigious Oxford University. Harry Potter fans will enjoy exploring the many film locations spread across the city, while history buffs will delight in Oxford’s wonderful architecture.
Overnight – Oxford

Day 5: Oxford Sightseeing
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Oxford offers a wealth of sightseeing options including Queen’s College and the world-famous Bodleian Library. Explore the many attractions in the city, or just soak up the relaxing atmosphere on the banks of the River Thames.
Overnight – Oxford

Day 6: Oxford to North Cotswolds
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Travel west towards the Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. En route, you may wish to visit magnificent Blenheim Palace, a grand country house and UNESCO World Heritage Site. You could also take the short detour northwards to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare.
Overnight – North Cotswolds

Day 7: North Cotswolds Sightseeing
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Discover the North Cotswolds, home to cookie-cutter villages and beautiful landscapes. Each Cotswold village is picturesque in its own unique way and offers delightful sightseeing to idle the day away. For something grander, the spa town of Cheltenham is well within reach.
Overnight – North Cotswolds

Day 8: North Cotswolds to Bath
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Heading south you will skirt the edge of the Cotswolds before reaching the vibrant city of Bath, known for its Roman-built baths and stunning Georgian architecture. Bath also has the UK’s only natural bathing, thermal hot springs.
Overnight – Bath

Day 9: Bath Sightseeing
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Join a walking tour of Bath and be awed by the city’s incredible Neoclassical architecture, or visit the fascinating Jane Austen Centre. Alternatively, you may wish to take a day trip to visit Stonehenge, one of the most famous Neolithic sites in the UK.
Overnight – Bath

Day 10: Depart Bath
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After breakfast, it’s approximately a 2 hours and 30 minute drive back to London, where your unforgettable Classic English tour will come to an end.

What's Included?

Your holiday includes:

  • Carefully selected en-suite accommodation for 9 nights including traditional English breakfast
  • Comprehensive information pack and local visitor guidebooks
  • Personalised itinerary with our recommendations for the best places to eat and drink and sightseeing suggestions
  • Map of England with our recommended driving route
  • 7 days rental of an Economy car (other vehicle categories available) including comprehensive insurance
  • London Pass which includes a hop-on-hop-off bus tour and free entry to the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral and over 80 other attractions
  • Tickets for the Oxford City Sightseeing Tour
  • Tickets for the Bath City Sightseeing Tour
  • 24-hour emergency contact number
  • Full financial protection

Your holiday doesn't include:

  • Travel insurance
  • Flights
  • Lunches and evening meals

Accommodation & Prices

Special Places to Stay Special Places to Stay
Special Places to Stay Special Places to Stay
Premium Premium
Premium Premium
Standard Standard
Budget Budget

We know that after a busy day of sightseeing an exceptional place to stay makes all the difference. That’s why all of the accommodation we select is hand-picked using our first-hand knowledge of the best places to stay.

Our discerning team has a wealth of experience, and we extensively research and regularly review all of the accommodation we select for our clients.

Please choose from one of our accommodation categories below. If you wish to combine these categories or perhaps upgrade for a special occasion let us know in your enquiry.

Category
Accommodation type
Price per person
Premium
Boutique Guest Houses and 4* Hotels
From £1815

Our Premium category includes a unique collection of luxurious and stylish boutique Guest Houses and small 4* Hotels. These are wonderfully charming and intimate and run with great flair by their owners.

It also comprises larger 4* Hotels selected for their high standard of accommodation, exceptional service, and great location. These range from traditional luxury to contemporary Hotels.

Standard
4* Guest Houses and 3* Hotels
From £1225

A collection of quality 4* Guest Houses and 3* Hotels often located in beautiful locations which provide an excellent standard of accommodation.

Tastefully decorated and furnished, these properties are generally owned and operated by locals who have a genuine passion for their region which they are keen to share with you. Their warm hospitality is sure to be a highlight of your experience.

Budget
3* B&Bs and Guest Houses
From £1180

A collection of 3* B&Bs and Guest Houses offering comfortable accommodation close to local attractions. Your accommodation is great for the little personal touches.

A chat with your warm and friendly hosts and fellow guests over breakfast will arm you with local knowledge and tips for the day ahead.

Special Places to Stay
Exceptional Hotels and luxury Resorts
Please enquire

From award-winning luxury Hotels to unique country retreats, all of which offer exceptional accommodation with superb facilities and outstanding service.

These are truly magical places and amongst the best England has to offer. The perfect choice when you would like somewhere really special which can be a treat for the night or for your entire holiday.

Car Hire

Our packages include car rental and comprehensive insurance for the duration of your holiday. Absolute Escapes has an excellent relationship with a number of car hire operators and we are able to offer quality vehicles and great value for money.

If you plan to bring your own vehicle, we are also able to offer this itinerary without a rental car.

All our packages include:

  • Collision Damage Waiver
  • Super Damage Excess Waiver
  • Third Party Insurance
  • Theft Waiver
  • Tax
Economy
Vauxhall Corsa or similar
  • Good for 2 people
  • Maximum of 4 passengers
  • 2 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission
Compact
Ford Focus or similar
  • Good for 2 – 4 people
  • Maximum of 5 passengers
  • 2 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission
Intermediate
Volkswagen Passat or similar
  • Good for up to 4 people
  • Maximum of 5 passengers
  • 3 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission
Fullsize
VW Sharan or similar
  • Good for 5 people
  • Maximum of 7 passengers
  • 3 – 4 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission

Make an enquiry

Classic England: Oxford & The Cotswolds

Need something more tailored?
Contact us via email:
enquiries@absoluteescapes.com

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