Europe

How to Plan the Perfect Road Trip to the English Countryside

IMG_0390Every year thousands of people gather to Salisbury, England for the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge. Many of these people are Druids dressed in white robes, who are welcoming the first rays of sunlight. We happened to be attending a wedding in Bristol, England on June 20, 2016, a day before the Summer Solstice that year. It was pretty incredible to see Stonehenge in person, and it is no wonder it is a mysterious marvel. Thankfully, we were able to see this and the adorable Cotswolds during on our day trip in the English countryside. Are you staying in London and wish to see the English countryside? If so, then keep reading for a guide to the perfect road trip from London.

London

Since we were in England for a wedding, we only had a one night and a full day to spend in London before we headed to Bristol for the wedding festivities. We found out that Coldplay would be playing at the Wembley Stadium while we were in town so we bought tickets through American Express.

We definitely recommend checking out if any shows are playing at the Wembley. It is an impressive stadium and they often have big names performing there.

The next day we bought the 1-Day Pass for the Big Bus London and took it to all of the sites. We know it is super touristy, but it is so worth it especially if you are in a time crunch. London is very spaced out and there is so much to see. Everyone told us that you could see everything in one day and that is just not true. Unfortunately, we did not see everything we wanted to see, but that just gives us an excuse to go back.

 

You can buy a 1-Day pass online or at any of the stops. You will see BigBus signs throughout the city or you could ask your hotel concierge about the tour. Here are the major sites we recommend seeing if you only have a day in London like we did:

  1. Tower Bridge
  2. Tower of London
  3. River Cruise from Tower Pier
  4. Westminster Pier
  5. Westmintser Abbey
  6. Buckingham Palace
  7. Then ride the bus around the remainder of the stops. Headphones are offered on the tour so you get to learn about each stop as you pass by.

Bristol

 

 

We drove for about 3 hours to Bristol that night and stayed at the beautiful Marriott Bristol City Centre in downtown. The next morning we had breakfast at Café Du Jour before visiting the gorgeous Bristol Cathedral.

Bath

The wedding party planned to meet at 10 am to head over to the Roman Baths as a group. We had visited Paris prior to arriving in England and we were going on our 5th day of non-stop touring so we decided to sleep in and skip this stop. However, we heard it was fun, albeit a little touristy, and definitely recommend going there if you are not sleep deprived like we were.

Stonehenge

IMG_0635

It was fairly easy to purchase tickets at the main gate and we found that you could either walk or ride the bus over to the site. We rode the bus and finally caught up with the wedding group at Stonehenge.

A guide standing near the ropes explained the history of Stonehenge and informed us that we were lucky we arrived the day before the Summer Solstice, because over 12,000 people were expected the next day!

We recommend checking the date for the Summer Solstice if you plan on visiting at the end of June, unless you don’t mind seeing Stonehenge among thousands of druids dressed in robes. It would make for a cool story!

The Cotswolds

 

Bourton-on-the-Water

We drove along the beautiful countryside on our way to the Cotswolds. We found that cell service was spotty so we definitely recommend mapping out your stops beforehand or you can get really lost. If you’re looking for a ready-made guide, join our exclusive list to get a printable guide with step-by-step instructions.

Once we got to the Cotswolds area, there were signs for the popular villages. The first one we spotted was Bourton-on-the-Water. Said to be one of the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds, this town is nestled on the water and offers a variety of shops and restaurants.

We were surprised to find that many of the shops had already closed by the time we got there a little after 5. If you are interested in shopping in the Cotswolds, then we recommend skipping either Stonehenge or the Roman Baths this day to get the Cotswolds early. It appears that all the shops close around 5 even though the sun doesn’t set until about 10 pm!

Stow-on-the-Wold, Cheltenham

IMG_0684

The next village we stopped in was Stow-on-the-Wold. We saw this beautiful door featured on Instagram and knew we had to find it. You can find it on the north side of St. Edward’s Church.

Again, we arrived after it closed, but we just approached the gate a found it opened easily. We weren’t sure if we were supposed to be there at that time, but nobody stopped us.

Broadway, Childswickham

IMG_0700

Our last stop of the day was in the beautiful village of Broadway. We enjoyed traditional fish and chips at Russel’s and toured the village before heading back to Bristol.

Final Thoughts

IMG_0707Even thought we only had a few days to explore London and the English countryside, we feel like we got to see all of the major sites. We ended up spending the rest of our time in England celebrating the wedding festivities. It was really fun to travel with the whole wedding party and experience a new place together.

What is your purpose for traveling to London? Do you plan on taking a road trip to the English countryside? If so, we would love to hear about it!

Subscribe to get latest updates

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.