South East England
Gardens & Flowers

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Our most recommended South East England Gardens & Flowers

Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & the Cotswolds

1. Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & the Cotswolds

Blenheim Palace Blenheim Palace is a masterpiece of English Baroque architecture and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The stunning State Rooms are brimming with priceless works of art and magnificent tapestries. The Palace is still inhabited today by the Duke of Marlborough. The Gardens are set in over 754 hectares of land with an exquisite water garden. The Cotswolds In the Cotswolds you'll visit one the areas most beautiful villages, Bourton-on-the-Water. This is a must-see village, referred to as the 'Venice of the Cotswolds' due to the number of attractive bridges that cross the gently-flowing river at its center. Downton Abbey Village Visit the village of Bampton; the film setting for many of the famous landmarks featured within the popular Downton Abbey TV series. See the buildings that played the part of the home of Isobel Crawley, the Downton Cottage Hospital, the church and also the location for two fictional local pubs, The Grantham Arms and The Dog & Duck.

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From London: Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace

2. From London: Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace

Start your journey with a ride on a luxury air conditioned bus from Central London to Windsor Castle. Travel to Windsor Castle and visit the stunning state apartments, admire the gigantic, incredibly detailed Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House. Next, move on to see St George’s Chapel which is the resting place of Henry VIII and other monarchs. Nestled atop a hill in a charming market town, Windsor Castle was founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century. Then, make your way over to the magnificent Hampton Court Palace by bus. Be dazzled by the spectacular Chapel Royal, the grandeur of the Great Hall, and Henry VIII’s kitchens. Wander through the palace’s beautiful gardens and try not to get lost in the world’s oldest puzzle maze. Dating back to the 16th century, the palace is most famously linked to the dramatic lives and loves of Henry VIII and his wives. Hampton Court Palace is a visual treat for visitors and this royal venue promises to be an unforgettable experience. You will then be taken back to the original meeting point in Central London where the tour will end.

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Oxford: Private City Tour & University Historical Highlights

3. Oxford: Private City Tour & University Historical Highlights

Meet your guide outside Oxford's famous Ashmolean Museum with its fine collections of art and artefacts and start your walking tour. Pass by the Martyr's Memorial, dedicated to the Oxford Martyrs, and sop in Broad Street, close to where the old city wall used to be. From here you begin to expand your knowledge about the history of the University.  Get a chance to visit a typical college of the university with its quaint quadrangles and see how the students live and work. Continue your tour and pass by the Sheldonian Theatre, the University's ceremonial hall and then head to the quaint Bridge of Sighs.  Enjoy some time for a photo in front of the bridge and before visiting the Old Schools Quadrangle of the Bodleian Library, where Harry Potter was filmed.  Stop at charming Radcliffe Square with its cobblestones and the splendid Radcliffe Camera. See several colleges in this area before the tour continues to Christ Church Meadows. Marvel at the location of Christ Church College, where Alice in Wonderland was inspired and Harry Potter was filmed.  Walk back towards the Carfax Crossroads, the very centre of the city and have a chance to window-shop as you walk through Oxford's Victorian Covered Market. Your tour finishes in the Cornmarket, giving you an opportunity to enjoy lunch in one of Oxford's pubs, cafes or restaurants or to explore the shops in the Covered Market or the modern Westgate Centre.

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Full-Day Downton Abbey, Oxford and Bampton Tour from London

4. Full-Day Downton Abbey, Oxford and Bampton Tour from London

Explore Oxford, the City of Dreaming Spires, home to one of the world’s oldest universities. Admire the architectural highlights of the many colleges. Next on this 10-hour tour is a visit to Bampton, the setting for the exterior village scenes in Downton Abbey. See the church, the house of Matthew Crawley's mother, homes transformed into the post office and various pubs. Head to Highclere Castle, the country seat of the Earls of Carnarvon. The tour of the Castle’s public rooms includes the magnificent main hall, the library, sitting rooms and other rooms featured in Downton Abbey. Take home a copy of Lady Carnarvon's book as a souvenir of your visit.

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Blenheim Palace Half-Day Tour from London

5. Blenheim Palace Half-Day Tour from London

Discover the vast estate of Blenheim Palace in the Oxfordshire village of Woodstock on a half-day tour from London, traveling by private car. The only non-royal or religious palace in the UK, Blenheim is the ancestral home of the dukes of Marlborough, and was built between 1705 and 1722. Upon arrival, marvel at the sumptuous interior, and discover a masterpiece of Baroque architecture. Once home to Winston Churchill, the palace rooms include the imposing Great Hall and the state apartments. See stunning portraits and tapestries, as well as period furniture and porcelain displays. Then, wander among more than 2,000 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and grounds. See the water terraces of the Formal Gardens, and take on the challenge of the Marlborough Maze in the Pleasure Gardens. Walks around the grounds will take you to the Pump House, rose gardens, Boathouse, and more.

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Chartwell House Tour: Home of Sir Winston Churchill

6. Chartwell House Tour: Home of Sir Winston Churchill

Your guide will meet you at your hotel and you’ll head off on a private drive through the English countryside on this 1-3 hour tour. The duration of the tour depends on whether you choose to add a visit to Quebec House. Set in the beautiful rolling hills of Kent, and just a short drive south of London, lies the family home of legendary former Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill. The house is exactly as Churchill left it and much of the gardens are as he arranged them. It's well worth taking some time to explore the gardens and the larger estate. Churchill was one of the most talented figures in history in the political arena, as was also an accomplished writer, historian, and artist. Many of his paintings are on display in a gallery on the estate. Close by is Quebec House, the home of General Wolfe, who captured Quebec. You can visit the house in addition to Chartwell House for an additional fee.

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From Oxford: Downton Abbey and the Cotswolds Full-Day Tour

7. From Oxford: Downton Abbey and the Cotswolds Full-Day Tour

Leaving the beautiful medieval city of Oxford, head south to Highclere Castle for a morning visit of the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. Immerse yourself in the history of this 19th century castle, still very much a family home, and explore the grounds and beautiful gardens. Imagine sitting at the grand table in the family dining room with the 'Dowager' Violet, Lady Mary and Lady Cora, being served your lunch by Mr. Carson. After the visit to Highclere Castle, your tour continues to quaint Bampton, one of the oldest villages in Britain. Wander around the part of the village used to film Downton Abbey and visit St Mary's Church, where so many events in the life of the Crawley family took place. From Bampton, a scenic drive takes you to the charming old market town of Burford, the 'gateway to the Cotswolds,' with its sloping high street and quaint shops. Enjoy lunch in a typical local cafe or pub. After lunch, go on a panoramic drive through some of the sleepy stone villages of the Cotswolds. Make your last stop in the idyllic village of Swinbrook, which was a film location for 'Downton Abbey' and 'Bridget Jones' Baby.' Delight in a walk through this charming village, before returning to Oxford.

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Oxford: 3-Hour Private Tour with Student Guide

8. Oxford: 3-Hour Private Tour with Student Guide

Embark on an extended 3-hour tour of the best Oxford has to offer with a local student guide. Go behind closed doors with an energetic and knowledgeable student guide who will help you to peel back the complex layers and mystique of this world-famous institution. First, visit one of the oldest colleges at Oxford University for a peek inside this restricted world of academia. Stroll the gardens, unearth the peculiar Oxford traditions, and see from a real student, how this elite educational institution operates. Then, head over to the Bodleian Library - a colossal site that houses over 13 million books. Enter the first purpose-built lecture room at Oxford, where you can admire some of the most ornate medieval architecture in Europe. Listen as your guide explains the early rituals and tests students underwent, how the British Parliament was held in the building by King Charles I and later King Charles II. Discover the library’s role in the most defining ceremony at Oxford and see the locations where multiple scenes of the Harry Potter movies were filmed. Along with these focal points, also cover the most famous landmarks in Oxford city and at Oxford University. Your private tour can be tailored to the specific locations or subjects you wish to cover. Just contact the operator in advance if you have anything specific in mind and they will do their best to incorporate anything that’s available to the public on the day (additional entrance fees may be required for such requests).

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From Oxford: Blenheim Palace Guided Tour

9. From Oxford: Blenheim Palace Guided Tour

The creation of Blenheim Palace was no easy achievement - the main architect was even refused entry to see his completed work. However, it is open today for all to enjoy its sumptuous interior and its expansive gardens, lake house, and maze. The palace entry ticket worth £28.50 per person is included in your ticket price. These tours are only offered as private group tours max 2-6 persons.  Your guided tour, which will highlight the history of the palace and the Marlborough family, will take place while walking through the gardens and grounds. You will then receive an entry ticket worth almost £30 for a self-guided audio guide entry inside the palace staterooms. Enjoy free time to further explore the palace exhibition spaces and garden. Visit other parts of the palace and gardens on your own or enjoy a meal at the palace gardens cafe or interior restaurant. Scheduled start times can be revised provided you make such a request known when you book.

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Private Brighton & Arundel Castle or Petworth House Day Tour

10. Private Brighton & Arundel Castle or Petworth House Day Tour

Spend the day in the beautiful Regency town of Brighton with its famous Royal Pavilion and lively Brighton Pier. Then continue to Arundel Castle, boasting magnificent grounds and overlooking the River Arun, or visit Petworth House, set in Capability Brown gardens. You will be picked up from your central London hotel and driven in style through the Sussex countryside south of London. Your chauffeur will give you a panoramic tour, stopping at the sites you most want to see. First you will travel to the lively seaside resort of Brighton, best known for its ornate Royal Pavilion, designed by John Nash in the style of as a mystical pleasure dome of the Kubla Khan. You will also have time to wander the energetic town’s beautiful Lanes, tiny shopping streets crammed with cafés, antique stores and boutiques. Next, visit Arundel Castle. The former home of the Duke of Norfolk for over 700 years it has magnificent grounds overlooking the River Arun. Alternatively go to Petworth House, the stately home of the Duke of Somerset and rebuilt around 1690. Petworth houses one of the finest collections of paintings in England, as well as boasting gardens and a deer park landscaped by Capability Brown. Wander the antique stores of the village of Petworth before you return to London for your hotel drop-off.

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Other Sightseeing Options in South East England

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What people are saying about South East England

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 93 reviews

Debra was so knowledgable about the Cotswolds and Blenheim, we learned and enjoyed every minute of the day. We learned the back story everywhere. She was also very kind, at the end, talking to each participant to make sure everyone knew how to get “home” Safely. Debra has a wonderful sense of humor and a deep understanding of England’s history. She even told us where to stand to see the Queen on her way to address Parliament Yesterday morning. She was absolutely correct with the time and place. We took video of the procession. What a thrill. We saw the Queen!!!! Thank you, Debra, Michelangelo our driver, and Evans and Evans. What a wonderful tour.

Evans and Evans unfortunately had to cancel my original trip due to lack of bookings but set me up with another trip with no extra charge, and I had an even more amazing time! Debbie, the tour guide, was so knowledgeable, personable, and amazing throughout the entire trip! The company was fantastic, buses were comfortable, and it was an amazing way to get out of London and see a different part of England. 10/10

Outstanding guide and tour. Right pace, learned lots

Phil Bennett was out guide - well informed, professional, helpful and fun. The tour was comprehensive, but Phil made it interesting and complete. His knowledge helped fill in the gaps of knowledge of the group. The Churchill exhibit was outstanding!

It was a very good choice. Cotswold is a nice place to see. Especially when your guide gives you good insights of the place.

Nijel and Kevin are really professional, well organized tour arrangement, I will order again!