Take a road trip with old English charm

Take a road trip with old English charm

by Genevieve Northup
Stripes Europe

Oxford (1 day, 1 night)

The City of Dreaming Spires earns its name from the 38 colleges and six halls — most in grand medieval and Victorian structures — that comprise the prestigious University of Oxford, the world’s oldest English-speaking learning institution. Oxford’s fairy-tale campus provided much of the inspiration for the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Beyond the realm of sorcery, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology collections are testaments to the wonders of our planet. Unlock the secrets of Oxford Castle, or toast to fantasy authors and former patrons C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien at the Eagle and Child pub.

Bath (1 day, 1 night)

Though swimming is prohibited, the Roman Baths in Bath are the number one tourist site. You won’t need to imagine what it was like back then, thanks to costumed actors, restoration work and detailed exhibitions. If relaxation is what you had in mind, go to the modern Thermae Bath Spa to soak in the same hot springs the Romans once enjoyed. To learn about Bath’s celebrated Georgian-era writer, visit the Jane Austen Center. 

Bristol (4 hours)

Bristol played an important role in British maritime trade. Board the SS Great Britain, a 19th century passenger liner. From the harbor, you will get a nice view of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, originally built for horse-drawn carriages to cross the Avon River.

The Cotswolds (overnight)

The Cotswolds is what you envision when you think of rural England — grassy knolls, towering trees and thatched-roof stone cottages covered in blooming roses. You need no agenda other than to stroll or drive through these sleepy hamlets.

Stratford-upon-Avon (1 day, 1 night)

Born in a small village that may well have remained insignificant through the ages, William Shakespeare put Stratford-upon-Avon on the map. Walk between five properties linked to the playwright, including his birthplace and Mary Arden’s Farm, a living museum and functioning country homestead. 

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