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1 Week in England Itinerary
I’m glad you’ve decided to come to England! There are so many great reasons to visit England, and I’ve tried to fit them all into a week’s itinerary. Starting in London and adding Bath, Bristol, the Cotswolds, and the Peak District – this England itinerary will take you through some of the best spots in the country.
This England itinerary includes:
I’d recommend doing the first half by public transport and then hiring a car to see the Cotswolds and the Peak District. There’s more on that decision below, but it’ll allow you to see all the more.
Day 1 in London
Starting your England itinerary You’ll fly into London, so let’s go there first. After checking into your hotel and freshening up it’s time to get out and see the city. You haven’t got long, so I’d recommend staying central. Take a look at some great Hotels in Central London.
If it’s your first time in London you’ll want to hit up all the big sights on your days out in London. Be prepared for lots of walking!
Pro Tip: If you plan to visit a lot of attractions and museums, the London Pass might be a great way to save money. It gives you access to 80 attractions and you can use the Hop on Hop off bus to get around. Buy the London Pass here>>
Head straight to Buckingham Palace and look round the Queen’s digs to see where the British Royal Family have lived since the start of time. There’s usually a special exhibition on here, featuring fashion or jewelry collections from the past. Check out the Buckingham Palace website for details.
If this is your first time in London, make sure you don’t miss the Changing of the Guards.
From here walk through the gardens to Westminster. Here you can see the iconic Big Ben clock, Westminster Abbey where Prince William and Kate got married and the Houses of Parliament. Up to you whether you fancy going in any of them, or they’re good enough to just admire from the pavement.
Once you’re done, walk across the bridge and you’ll get to South Bank. Make sure to take the time to admire the views from the bridge though – London looks its best on a summer’s day down here.
On the South Bank you could visit the London Aquarium, the London Eye, get a bite to eat at the South Bank Food Market (depending on the day and time of year) or just enjoy sitting around and admiring the book market and street performers. Look over the Thames and you’ll see the MI5 building – famously featured regularly on James Bond.
Walk another 25 minutes from here, or catch a red London bus, and you can visit the famous Borough Market. This is where you can try some of the best local food in London. Don’t eat too much though as you’ll want to save for dinner and a show in Soho tonight.
London’s West End is famous the world over. Here you can see shows like The Lion King, Mamma Mia, Matilda and Phantom of the Opera. Search around online for a deal which includes food, as there are some great places to eat in Soho. If you have trouble, then just head to ChinaTown. In recent years it’s more of an ‘Asia Town’, with offerings from Vietnam, Japan and Taiwan too.
If you’ve still got the energy for a night out, then the bars and clubs of Soho will welcome you with open arms! One of my faves is the karaoke at Lucky Voice. Check it out!
Day 2 in London
If you like shopping then Oxford Street and Piccadilly are good fun, but if you’re not really bothered then this is an opportunity to see some more of London. There’s so much to do in the city, but I think these are the key sights. If you need more ideas for a day out in London, check out my post.
I’d recommend you go to Hyde Park though. It’s so nice up here and you can wander around the Serpentine Gallery and the coffee shop there. If you want to see Hyde Park in a different way, then hire some rollerskates and you’ll cover more ground.
In or around Hyde Park you can see Kensington Palace, the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Geographical Society and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
If you’re in London on the weekend, jump on the tube (the London Underground) to Notting Hill. Here you’ll find all kinds of antique shops and trinkets, and some great places for brunch. It’s also one of the best places in London for street photography if that’s what you’re into.
You can easily get the tube from here up to Camden. Camden Market is world-famous – here you can get pierced, pick up some neon studded clothes from cyberpunk, and get a tasty bite to eat to enjoy by the canal. It’s also close to Regent’s Park, where you can just wander and enjoy the green space.
Or, you can pay to get into London Zoo and enjoy the thousands of animals who call it home. From Regent’s Park you can wander up to Primrose Hill, which offers some of the best views of North London. It’s also a pretty area to pick up a bite to eat.
I’d recommend a night out in Camden to finish off your two days in London. This is where you’ll find the rockers, the musicians and the creatives. Head to Purple Turtle and The World’s End for the best nights out!
Day 3 in Bath
Right, you can either hire a car, or just get the train – up to you. Today we’re going to go to Bath Spa for a day trip. It’s an hour and a half on the train, to the other side of the country, or about two hours driving. Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The ancient Roman Baths here date back to around 65 AD. The city is built on hot springs, and you can visit the sites where Romans would relax and replenish in the hot waters.
You can’t swim in the old ones anymore, but there are plenty of new spas set up around the city where you can enjoy the natural healing properties. The best-known spa in Bath is Thermae Spa – it’s also the most luxurious. They have an open swimming pool on the top floor and plenty of rooms for spa treatments and experiences inside. You’ll need to book in advance to visit here.
Apart from all the spas, Bath is a great city to wander around and there are plenty of things to do in Bath. All the British High Street favorites are here, as well as boutique shops and cute and unique places to eat. The city is beautiful and there are some great walks around where you can look down into the valley. One of the top photo spots is at the Pulteney Bridge, looking down the River Avon.
Enjoy a more relaxed evening here, with the rooftop restaurant at Hall and Woodhouse. They serve great cocktails, a wonderful menu and it’s right in the heart of the city. Also, read my post on one day in Bath. And if you decide to spend the night in Bath, take a look at these recommended hotels in Bath.
Day 4 in Bristol
Enjoy a good breakfast in Bath – maybe at Sally Lunn’s so you can try the traditional Sally Lunn bun – and then it’s time for Bristol! Bristol is just 12 minutes on the train from Bath, or 40 minutes in the car, but it’s a whole other vibe.
Top Sights in Bristol
Bristol is known as the cool, creative part of England. In recent years house prices have gone through the roof as so many people want to live there. It’s the place to live in England right now.
You’ll need to fit in all the top sites in the city during your 24 hours here, including the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Clifton, the city center, Stokes Croft, the Science Museum and Bristol Museum too. I’d strongly recommend you walk the route, that way you’ll get to see a whole bunch of amazing Bristol attractions along the way.
Other things to see in Bristol include Cabot Tower – built in the 1890s to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the journey of John Cabot from Bristol to land, which later became Canada. Nowadays you can climb up it and enjoy the views out to the city.
Also, Bristol Zoo Gardens. This is the fifth oldest zoo IN THE WORLD, having opened in 1836. Since then the zoo has saved over 175 species from extinction. Visit and you can see red pandas, tree kangaroos, and gorillas too.
Stokes Croft Bristol
End up in Stokes Croft on your day in Bristol, as this is where you’ll have the best night out. This is where the independent traders are, and in the summer there’ll always be a beer garden party you can join. You could either stay in Bristol that night or just head back to your hotel in Bath on the train. It’s really not far and saves the worry of your luggage!
Day 5 in the Cotswolds
You can do the first five days using public transport very easily, in fact, I’d recommend it. But from this point I’d recommend you hire a car from either Bristol or Bath to really make the most of the Cotswolds and the Peak District. It’s a bit of a mission to use public transport to get from Bristol to the Cotswolds, whereas if you travel by car you can be there in 20 minutes.
The Cotswolds are an established Area of Natural Beauty (AONB) in England, and made up of small, quaint and very photogenic villages nestled in rolling hills and meadows. It’s much simpler to see by car.
I’d recommend driving to Cirencester to start your Cotswolds road trip. Cirencester is seen as the capital of the Cotswolds and it’s the busiest area. Head to Jack’s Cafe for a great breakfast to set you up for the day. Also, wander around Cirecenster a bit – lookout for the famous Fleece Restaurant, and the cute photo spots around the village.
Best Cotswold Villages
There are lots of great places to visit in the Cotswolds on a day out. Top of the list of best best places to visit in the Cotswold to add to your Cotswolds road trip though, and in order from Cirencester are:
- Bibury: the most photogenic spot in the Cotswolds. Arrived early to beat the crowds wanting to take the same photo of the same run of houses.
- Burford: totally underrated village, but also, cute houses galore! Stow on the Wold – famous for the pretty church, and church door. Looks like something from Lord of the Rings.
- Chipping Campden: here you’ll find some pretty boutique food and clothes shops, nice traditional English pubs and an old market place.
- Winchcombe: if you like castles, this is the Cotswolds village for you. Sudeley Castle dates back over 1000 years and is the number one place to see in Winchcombe.
- Cheltenham: then you can spend the night in the famous village of Cheltenham. This town is famed for its literary festival, and its horse racing, but aside from that is a spa town filled with regency buildings. You can enjoy a lovely evening here before you retire to sleep. I’m sure you’ll be tired by now. Oh, and you have the longest drive in the morning, so don’t drink too much Champers!
Day 6 in the Peak District
It’s a 2.5 hour drive to the Peak District, to Bakewell to be precise. The Peak District is one of England’s 10 National Parks, and the nearest one to where I grew up.
The Peak District is great – you can do all kinds of outdoor activities here. From cycling to hiking, to hang gliding and cable cars. Most of the activities are centered in Edale, the foodie delights in Bakewell, and the kids activities in Matlock – but I’d recommend driving round to see the stunning vistas the Peak District has to offer. If you want to know more about how to spend your day in the Peak District, then click through to my blog post.
As well as all the outdoor activities, there are also gardens to see, the stunning Chatsworth House to look round, and the underground caves to walk through. The Peak District is a really beautiful part of England, and a great chance to suck up some fresh English air before your plane journey back home.
Day 7 Return to London
Relax and head back to the airport I’d recommend a lie-in on your final day, and enjoy a good breakfast. And then maybe a short hike from Matlock to Matlock Bath to leave you feeling revitalized? It’s a three-hour drive back to London from Bakewell, straight down the M1.
If you have a late flight then there are still a few gems in England to end your trip with. How about Whipsnade Zoo in the Chiltern Hills Area of Natural Beauty? It’s the UK’s biggest zoo and home to all kinds of exotic animals – including giraffes and penguins.
Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Or, you could go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Warner Bros Studio in Watford. This is where some of the set from the Harry Potter series has ended up, and you can immerse yourself into Harry’s world.
It really is an incredible experience, even if you’re not really that into Harry Potter. They take you through how they made some of the animals, and you get to have a butterbeer. Buy your Wizarding World of Harry Potter tickets here>>
The third option is to visit Windsor and Queen Elizabeth’s famous Windsor Castle. It’s here that she spends most of her time, and it’s also where Prince Harry and Meghan got married back in 2018.
Visit for a few hours and you can see the banqueting rooms enjoy watching the changing of the guard and just walk the grounds of one of the most important buildings in the UK.
Windsor is a really nice town in itself, and has plenty of shops, restaurants and bars to keep you entertained. Windsor is only a 20-minute drive to Heathrow, making for the perfect stop off before your flight.
I hope you’ve enjoyed your week’s itinerary for England. There’s so much to do here, but I think with careful planning using this itinerary, you can see a lot of the country and make some wonderful memories.
This 7 Days in England Itinerary was written by Victoria Philpott, from DayOutinEngland.com. The essential resource for guides and itineraries to England’s best days out. Searchable by interests, counties, cities, and areas – they’re definitely not just for the kids! Also follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.