The author Samuel Johnson one said “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” The sentiment still rings true today, as the United Kingdom’s largest and most cosmopolitan city offers visitors endless opportunity for exploration. Whether it’s saying hello to the Queen at Buckingham Palace or taking an afternoon nap in Hyde Park, London has it all.
The southwest of England, in particular the county of Cornwall, is a weird and mystical land home to Arthurian legends, Celtic kingdoms, Roman towns and extraordinary coastlines. To truly understand this windswept region, rent a car and spend a few days exploring Cornwall’s charming towns.
The Lake District
England’s famous Lake District is renowned for being the “most beautiful corner of England.” In the early 19th century, the region attracted a number of poets like Wordsworth and Coleridge. To this day, the Lake District enchants visitors with its magnificent scenery of mountains, valleys and lakes. Use the city of York as your base and see this district with a car.
From Stratford-upon-Avon to Bath, the south central region of England known as the Cotswolds is filled with gems. Here, history and culture blend seamlessly with the unspoiled English countryside. Rent a car and enjoy postcard-worthy views of the region’s gentle hillsides, river valleys, and ancient limestone villages with thatched roof houses.
Beatles fans make the pilgrimage up north to Liverpool, the birthplace of the Fab Four. No trip to Liverpool would be complete without a visit to the award-winning Beatles Story, which has the world’s largest permanent exhibition dedicated to the band. Other popular Beatles sites include The Cavern Club, Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields.
Oxford is known as the “city of dreaming spires,” a term coined by poet Matthew Arnold. Home to the oldest University in Britain, Oxford is one of two popular university towns along with nearby Cambridge. Mingle with students in the local pubs and hop on a boat for an enjoyable ride along the Oxford Canal.
Sparkling thermal spas surrounding by emerald green countryside, Bath is a beautiful, elegant weekend escape from London. The city is famous for its honey colored Georgian architecture and thermal spas, which date back to Roman times. Jane Austen fans will delight in the fact that the author spent five years living here!
Northern England is certainly worth the time, and there is no better city to begin your trip than York. Founded by the Romans, York is one of the best preserved wall cities in Britain. The compact city is also known for the 13th-century Gothic cathedral, York Minster, and The Shambles, a cobbled medieval street that looks almost exactly as it did hundreds of years ago.
Travel to London, Bath, Oxford and York on his best of England self-drive vacation. Spend equal time in each city, with tours to make your sightseeing even easier.