A five-day itinerary from London to the Cotswolds

England is a land of eclectic contrasts: from inventive cities to rural villages that feel frozen in time. This itinerary takes in some of the country’s most sought-after sights, whisking you from boutique London boltholes to luxury hotels in the English countryside

AT A GLANCE

• Five-day independent itinerary based on arriving and departing from London airports

• Swap the stately neighbourhoods of London’s West end for honey-stone Cotswold villages, all while staying in specially selected SLH boutique hotels

• Highlights include shopping and sightseeing in London, the theatrical heritage of Stratford-upon-Avon and a luxury hotel in the Cotswolds

START IN STYLE: CENTRAL LONDON

Whether this is your first, fifth or tenth visit to England, there is always something new to discover in London. Bright, busy and buzzing with energy, it makes an intoxicating contrast to the gentle countryside that ripples out around it.

To appreciate this historic city in all its grandeur, base yourself among the Victorian boulevards and Georgian Squares of the West End neighbourhoods of Mayfair or Marylebone. Then, if the weather’s on side, stroll through Hyde Park to the Serpentine Gallery (if it’s really warm, you could even swim in the lake). Or take refuge in legendary shops such as Selfridge’s on Oxford Street, or Harrods and Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge.

When it comes to evening plans, make for the theatre or book a table at one of Mayfair’s many Michelin-starred restaurants. Then seek out a clandestine corner of Manetta’s Bar at Flemings Mayfair, with its 1930s-inspired décor and custom cocktails


Settle in for a night or two…

Flemings Mayfair offers contemporary urban luxury with a nod to 1930s glamour. Or stay at boutique Georgian townhouse The Arch London, winner of our Hotel Hero Award for 2017. Or try our brand new hotel in London, Vintry & Mercer, with a restaurant on the roof over looking the city, it'll soon be your favourite dinner spot. Suggested stay 2 nights.

THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES: STRATFORD-UPON-AVON

As the birthplace of William Shakespeare, Stratford-Upon-Avon is a rural town on the riverbank, with an enduring place in England’s cultural history. As you might expect, there are more than a couple of themed cafés and souvenir shops – but look closer and you’ll find plenty more authentic Elizabethan sights to discover. From taking in the original half-timbered buildings on Henley Street (including the house where Shakespeare grew up), to strolling around the gardens of Anne Hathaway’s cottage.

Those who want to pay homage to the Bard can visit his humble grave at Holy Trinity church. And, most evenings, the great playwright’s words are brought to life in performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Unpack your suitcase at: The Arden Hotel

Begin your countryside adventure in style at The Arden Hotel, just opposite the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre. Dine on the waterside terrace before catching a play, then return for champagne or cocktails in the gentlemen’s club-style bar. Suggested stay 1 night.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST: THE COTSWOLDS

Just a short drive from Stratford-upon-Avon is the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This is the England seen on cinema screens and in period dramas, with centuries-old villages tucked away in valleys and woodlands. Think tiny cottages with honey-coloured stone walls and steep, tiled roofs. Or rambling farmhouses and stately manors set in sprawling parkland.

Start your exploration in the village of Broadway. Take a country walk to Broadway Tower for sweeping views across the landscape. Then find a cosy pub for a well-earned pint of local ale. Other scenic spots include Stow-on-the-Wold, which has a pretty high street lined with tea rooms, antique shops and art galleries. The town is also home to St. Edward’s church, with its medieval doorway flanked by gnarled yew trees looking fresh out of a fairy tale.

Unpack your suitcase:

Stay in one of our 5 stunning properties in the Cotswolds. Dormy House Hotel is a restored Cotswolds farmhouse just outside the almost impossibly photogenic village of Broadway, which claimed our Hotel of the Year title in 2017. With individually designed rooms, and a farm-to-table restaurant, you’ll soon see why. Set on the same country estate sits both The Fish Hotel and Foxhill Manor, the first being a collection of luxury hillside shepherd huts with treehouses. Foxhill Manor is perfect for a family get together somewhere special - expect lots of thoughtful surprises throughout your stay. 

Or choose Lords of the Manor Hotel, nestled in eight acres of walled gardens and parkland. This 17th Century honey-stone rectory is perfect for any time of year or occasion. Expect crackling log-fires in the winter and French windows thrown wide in summer. Suggested stay 2 nights.

TRAVEL TIPS

If you don’t want to drive from London, take the train from Marylebone Station to Stratford-upon-Avon to soak up rolling views of the countryside. From there it’s a short journey by car to the Cotswolds. Dormy House hotel offers car rental and private transfers, including an airport shuttle service. Ask our Voice Reservation Team for details about transfers or transport provided by other hotels. 

Book your boutique hotels

To book the hotels on this independent itinerary, get in touch with our Voice Reservation Team on 0800 0482 314 (UK) & 1-877-234-7033 (US). You can find a full list of our dedicated toll-free numbers here. We’re ready and waiting to plan luxury adventures 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So whenever inspiration strikes, just get in touch.