Discover Historic Castles and Manors of England Self Drive Vacation

Take advantage of your English Heritage Pass to visit historic attractions on your drive north to Scotland. See Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon. Travel to the past in remarkable Yorkshire, wandering through stately Castle Howard, Scarborough Castle with its panoramic views, the haunting ruins of Whitby Abbey, and the Roman Fort at Hadrian’s Wall. In Scotland visit Alnwick Castle, nearby Bamburgh Castle, and vibrant Edinburgh.

DISCOVERY DRIVE PROGRAM - Departs daily - 8-days/7-night package visiting London, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, Cheshire, Wetherby, Yorkshire & Edinburgh. Includes accommodation at country hotels and manor houses with breakfast daily, a compact manual rental car for 7 days, and an English Heritage Pass.


  • Hotels per itinerary or similar
  • Rental car
  • Travel funds escrow protection program
  • Daily continental or buffet breakfast


  • Personal expenses
  • Rental car gas, parking and tolls
  • Entrance fees per itinerary
  • One-way fee for rental car
  • Flights

Daily Itinerary



London – Arrival

Upon arrival, pick up your rental car and check into your hotel. If time allows, make your way to Hampstead Heath in the afternoon, which is one of London’s most popular open spaces, situated just 4 miles from Trafalgar Square.

Accommodation at the Hendon Hall Hotel or similar

Country and Manor Houses: Hendon Hall or similar hotels



London – Oxford – Stratford-upon-Avon

Your route today will take you via Oxford through the beautiful Cotswolds on to Stratford-upon-Avon. Enjoy some time sightseeing in the famous university town of Oxford before heading to Burford via the A40 - a good place for antique lovers. From here, head to Bourton-on-the-Water, either via A40/A429 or via Rissingtons where you will find scenic country roads for more adventurous drivers. On to Stow-on-the-Wold (A429) or you can dip into the Slaughters River for a less touristy experience and gorgeous photo opportunities by the river. From here, head to Chipping Camden or Broadway (via A424/A44) and take any route up to Stratford. Your number of stops today depends on time spent in Oxford and other towns. (B)

Accommdation at the Ettignton Park Hotel or similar

Country and Manor Houses: Ettington Park or similar hotels



Stratford-upon-Avon – Cheshire

Why not spend some time this morning visiting Stratford as well as perhaps venture out to Anne Hathaway’s (Shakespeare’s wife) or Mary Arden’s (Shakespeare’s mother) farm, the latter being less crowded. From here, the route takes you further north and there are some worthwhile visits along the way – visit the Town of Warwick and Castle, which gives you a perfect sense of history. Also Kenilworth Castle is of particular interest for fans of the Tudors, there are castle ruins and a recently restored Elizabethan garden. En route, Coventry Cathedral and Lichfield, a medieval cathedral and National Memorial Arboretum, should not be missed. After Coventry make sure to bypass Birmingham on the east side to avoid big city traffic. The last stop of the day can be Stoke on Trent, famous for its potteries, which can be admired at the Wedgewood museum. (B)

Accommodation at the Rookery Hotel & Spa at Nantwich or similar

Country and Manor Houses: Rookery Hall Hotel or similar hotels



Cheshire – Wetherby

Leaving the hotel this morning and heading further north, there are a couple of options. For the “city trippers” take the route via Chester (A51), there is a lot of Roman history to be enjoyed. Then head to Liverpool where you will find a very interesting slavery museum at the docks. And then there is of course the Beatles connection and the Cavern Club. If time allows, swing by the historic markets in Harrogate and Knaresborough (A56/ A59) before checking in at your hotel in Wetherby. History fans might want to consider a different route via Chatsworth House, the home of the Dukes of Devonshire and the Mitford Sisters. Also Haddon Hall, an Elizabethan manor house which is often used for period film locations. You will come across Eyam, the little ‘plague town’ and you can take a boat trip at Standedge Tunnel. (B)

Accommoation near Wetherby at the Wood Hall Hotel or similar

Country and Manor Houses: Wood Hall or similar hotels



Wetherby – Yorkshire

Today’s route will take you into Yorkshire, the largest of all English counties with a very diverse landscape. Travelling the route via York, Scarborough, and Whitby to Yarm where your next overnight stop is, is not a challenging drive (A64/A171) but still offers some North Yorkshire Moors experience. Ensure some time for sightseeing in York as well as visiting Castle Howard, a stunning stately home. Scarborough was the first British seaside resort, it also has a castle and a port with some old fishing industry history. At Whitby you find coastal views, cliff walks, an old abbey - Bram Stoker found his inspiration for the famous book of Dracula here. It is also famous for its seafood, which is a must try. The more adventurous driver can get an adrenaline kick from taking route A170 instead, which starts outside Thirsk with a very steep climb up the moors. (B)

Accommodation at Crathorne Hall Hotel at Yarm or similar

Country and Manor Houses: Crathorne Hall or similar hotels



Explore Yorkshire

You have more time today to explore this beautiful area of northern England. Travel to Hexam, a historic, bustling town in the heart of the Tyne Valley. Here, you can visit the abbey, before taking a walk along the Hadrian’s Wall Path. The trail is an adventurous walk through stunning landscapes. It is a walk inspired by Britain’s greatest Roman monument, Hadrian’s Wall. Later travel on to Alston, the highest town in an area of outstanding natural beauty. (B)

Accommodation at Crathorne Hall Hotel at Yarm or similar

Country and Manor Houses: Crathorne Hall or similar hotels



Yorkshire – Edinburgh

The last leg of your Britain tour will take you over the border and into Scotland. Take the coastal route to Scotland. We recommend a visit to Alnwick Castle – you might know Alnwick Castle from its starring role as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the first two Harry Potter films. Bamburgh Castle is also nearby which invites a photo stop capturing the castle, shoreline and Farne Island. Then, continue to Berwick-upon-Tweed before heading up to Edinburgh for some sightseeing in Scotland’s capital city. (B)

Accommodation at the Norton House Hotel near Edinburgh or similar

Country and Manor Houses: Norton House or similar hotels



Edinburgh – Return

Drive to the Edinburgh airport and drop off your rental car before for your return flight home. (B)