Don’t let London’s sights end at Trafalgar Square. Having soaked up all that this bustling metropolis has to offer, feel free to explore the history, heritage and scenery of the surrounding countryside. A drive through some of England’s beauty spots delivers an exciting travel experience that is much more unique and memorable. Not only will you have discovered all of the cultural attractions and landmarks of London, you’ll also find a treasure trove of off the beaten track hidden gems. The following is a list of recommended journeys that are within easy reach of London.
1.East Anglia Drive
A 12 mile drive from Luton Airport will take you to the pretty environs of East Anglia, where thatched cottages, wildflower groves and country chapels pervade the landscape. The region boasts a number of fascinating tourist attractions and sights including Holkham Hall, royal Sandringham, as well as the impressive cathedrals of Ely and Lincoln. East Anglia has long captivated artists and writers. Your journey through East Anglia will take you through the sleepy landscape that inspired John Constable’s famous “The Hay Wain” painting as well as the works of countless writers and poets educated at the nearby Cambridge University.
2.Lake District Drive
A drive out to the Lake District is a must for outdoors enthusiasts. The Lake District comprises 16 lakes, gentle rivers and acres of unspoilt parkland. The district’s Scaffell Pike Mountain is popular with hiking and climbing groups, while day-trippers enjoy the year round natural tranquility of the region. If you’re prepared to stay overnight, you’ll find great value at the myriad charming bed and breakfasts and inns, which offer cheap and cheerful hospitality. In the low season, you’re guaranteed to pay less for home comforts here.
3.Bath and the Cotswolds
The beautiful and unspoilt Cotswolds region is situated in Gloucestershire and is characterised by the pretty towns of Bath, Cheltenham and Gloucester. A day-trip to Bath should definitely form part of your tour of the Cotswolds. The city was founded by the Romans, who took advantage of the city’s naturally occurring hot springs, to develop a spa retreat. Today the city is still famous for its therapeutic waters, but has become more synonymous with writer Jane Austen. Special Jane Austen themed tours of the city can be arranged locally, with many offering discounts for larger groups.Driving north of Bath, you’ll enter the heart of the Cotswolds, where character and charm is epitomised in the cottage gardens and quaint tearooms of its sweet villages and hamlets.
4.Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwickshire
William Shakespeare country provides plenty of scope for hire car touring. The playwright’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon is definitely worth a visit. Here you can wander at your leisure through narrow medieval streets, discovering original Tudor style houses and shop-fronts. The town also boasts a number of impressive theatres, churches and scenic countryside.Meanwhile, it’s easy to fall in love with Warwickshire’s pretty country lanes and sleepy villages, which are a dream to explore by hire car. Charlecote Manor House, Warwick Castle and Coughton Court all warrant a visit.