From magnificent cathedrals to humble parish churches, holy sites are often also temples of art, architecture, music, and deep history—and where the mighty and famous are buried
Meet your guide at Temple Underground Station in London, then board a comfortable minivan and head to St Paul’s Cathedral. On arrival, show your pre-booked ticket or pay your entrance fee (depending on the option selected), and then explore the 17th-century cathedral on an independent, audio-guided tour. Take in the skyline from the dome and descend to the crypt to see the tombs of famous British figures like Sir Winston Churchill.
After roughly 1.5 hours, join back up with your guide and continue to the Mall for the Changing of the Guard. Along the way, pass showstopper sights like 10 Downing Street, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, and learn more about London's history. Hop out of your minivan in Trafalgar Square and set off on foot to Buckingham Palace. See Horse Guards Parade and other royal residences, then marvel at the pageantry of the world-famous ceremony as you march alongside the guards on the Mall.
Continue by minivan to the Tower of London, a majestic castle first built in the 11th century, stopping off on route for lunch (own expense). On arrival, opt to join a complimentary tour by one of the Beefeater guards to learn more about the tower's role in British history. Then, enjoy time at your leisure to see the Crown Jewels, White Tower, Traitor's Gate and other highlights. Alternatively, if you've not upgraded to include entrance fees, make the most of free time to explore the City of London at your own pace. Perhaps stroll along the banks of the Thames River or visit nearby Tower Bridge (own expense).
Make your final stop of the day at the British Museum, which boast the largest collection of antiquities in the world, spanning two million years. Your guide helps you navigate more easily around the vast museum and sheds light on prestigious exhibits such as the Rosetta Stone. If there's any area of history you're particularly interested in, let your guide know so your visit can be tailored to suit your interests.
When the time comes, stroll to the nearest tube stop and ask for directions on how to get back to your accommodation, if required.
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We begin at 8am from Gloucester Road tube station, in the convenient Kensington area of Central London! We travel by luxury midi-coach, with a maximum group size of 28 for a more enjoyable tour! We make our way to the Kent coast with our guide entertaining you on the way with stories from the area! We stop at the Battle of Britain memorial on the Kent Coast! From here we enjoy amazing coastal views, and our first views of the Dover Cliffs! We continue to the White Cliffs Visitor Centre on the top of the spectacular chalk cliffs! Enjoy unrivalled views of the White Cliffs of Dover and the English Channel, and maybe even see France in the distance on a clear day! Take an optional short walk along the cliff-top paths for more spectacular views! Our next stop is Canterbury, a wonderful historic city! Our guide will take you on a walking tour, before allowing time for lunch and exploring the city! Your admission to the breathtaking Canterbury Cathedral is included!! We arrive back to London at 6.30pm approx after a fun-filled day!
Following a morning pickup at your centrally located London hotel at 08.00, hop aboard your private vehicle and take the 1.5-hour journey to Leeds Castle. Widely considered among England’s finest fortresses, Leeds Castle boasts a history dating back to the 12th century.
A unique opportunity to have a private guided tour of Leeds Castle before it opens to the general public. On arrival, take a 1-hour tour of the castle (own expense) which we can arrange for you and gain insight into centuries of royal history. Learn of famous names who once called the residence home and admire the stunning architecture for which the castle is known. Leeds Castle has been a Norman stronghold, the private property of six of England’s medieval queens, a palace used by Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon, a Jacobean country house, a Georgian mansion, an elegant early 20th century retreat for the influential and famous and in the 21st century, it has become one of the most visited historic buildings in Britain. Admission and tour cost: £18.25 per person + £50.00 guide fee payable on the day to Leeds castle.
After your visit to Leeds Castle you'll take a 45 minute drive to Canterbury where you'll have time to explore and have some lunch. Whilst small, Canterbury is truly a beautiful city and well worth a visit. Always busy and full of energy but with a village feel. Canterbury Cathedral is truly breathtaking with its medieval history dating back to 597AD. The Cathedral offers a private guided tour (own expense) which we can arrange for you. The Cathedral tour lasts about 90 minutes and costs £10.50 per person + £50 guide fee payable to Canterbury Cathedral on the day.
White Cliffs of Dover Tour
From Canterbury you head to Dover to start the tour on Dover's seafront looking up at the White Cliffs and Dover Castle. Driving around the castle to the South Foreland (the White Cliffs) where you can look down at the port and across to France. A short drive along the White Cliffs past the South Foreland Lighthouse and through the pretty village of St Margarets at Cliffe to its secret Bay. From here you will head for the beautiful village of Kingsdown and its beach where it's believed the Romans first invaded Britain more than 2000 years ago! Then onto the award winning seaside town of Deal via Walmer Castle the home of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. Discover Deals history of Smuggling before visiting the Medieval town of Sandwich. As you are a private group the day can be flexible to meet your needs (no waiting for other people). Once you're ready to head to London sit back and your driver will take you to your hotel.
Departing London head directly to Stonehenge. The most famous prehistoric monument in the world. Stonehenge stands alone in the vast empty tract of Salisbury plain. Its origins date back nearly 5,000 years. Who were the people who carried and carved these 40 ton rocks? Come and unlock the secrets for yourself. Then time to enjoy a picnic style lunch at the new Visitors Centre restaurant and enjoy an in depth talk from a local guide where you can ask your own questions on the mysteries of Stonehenge.
Heading over Salisbury Plains descend into the Cathedral city of Salisbury. Famous for its Gothic Cathedral and home to England tallest spire standing at 404 feet (123 metres), entrance is included. Seize the opportunity to explore this 'Medieval Masterpiece' and the chance to view one of the 4 remaining Magna Carta books inside the Chapter House - Salisbury's copy of the world-famous legal charter is widely acknowledged as the best preserved of the four remaining documents. Don't forget to view probably the oldest working clock in existence, made of hand-wrought iron in or before 1386!
Next head to Bath, a beautiful Georgian city with delightful crescents, terraces and architecture. Following a scenic drive into the heart of the city and a short walking tour with your guide, there is free time to explore. Perhaps visit the Roman Baths that were built nearly 2,000 years ago, visit Bath Abbey or simply treat yourself to an afternoon tea in one of the many quaint tea houses. Departing Bath arrive back into London for 7:30pm.
Christopher Wren built 53 churches following the fire of London in 1666 and 23 remain. Among these we will visit St. Stephen Walbrook and St. Mary Abchurch. The former has a beautifully designed dome which undoubtedly served as a model for St. Paul's. St. Mary Abchurch contains a wealth of objects including a massive reredos by Grinling Gibbons.
This in-depth private tour is hosted by a professional guide specializing in art history. Please list any special interests you have (art, architecture, history, culture) at time of booking to alert our guide, so that he or she can better prepare for your private tour.
Make your way to Greenwich Pier, the London Eye Pier, Tower Pier, or Westminster Pier, then jump aboard your sightseeing boat to begin your tour. With cruises departing every 30 minutes from 10am throughout the year, enjoy the freedom to take to the water at your leisure.
During your Thames River sightseeing cruise, admire top London attractions such as County Hall, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, Southwark Cathedral, the Tate Modern, Tower Bridge, and the Tower of London from your vantage point on the river. All boats have toilets, bars to buy refreshment (own expense), confectionary, and snacks, and an upper viewing deck for photo opportunities.
Afterward, alight from your sightseeing boat in central London and visit St. Paul's Cathedral — widely considered to be London’s most impressive place of worship. During your visit, explore the crypt — resting place of Admiral Lord Nelson and the cathedral's architect Sir Christopher Wren. Head up to the Whispering Gallery in the dome, and admire spectacular views over the rooftops of London from the Golden Gallery.
Board a coach in central London in the morning, pop in your state-of-the-art Vox headphones and relax on the drive out of the busy city and into the scenic English countryside. Enjoy clear, crisp commentary about the sights from your guide, piping straight into your personal earbuds, adjusting the volume to your preferences. On the way, you’ll drive through Greenwich, home of the Royal Observatory and the Prime Meridian, where the world’s time is set.
Arrive at Leeds Castle before the crowds arrive for a tour of the 12th-century castle and grounds. Leeds Castle is picture-perfect, set in a shimmering lake and surrounded by idyllic greenery that spans 500 acres (202 hectares). Inside, admire a superb collection of medieval furniture and tapestries and Impressionist art, and learn how the castle has traded hands over the centuries. Stop by the bird aviary and try your hand at the castle's popular maze formed by towering hedges.
Next, head to Canterbury Cathedral, a stunning UNESCO World Heritage–listed Gothic church built in the 11th century. Canterbury Cathedral is considered the birthplace of English Christianity, so it comes with some fascinating history. With your Vox headphones, your guide has the unique privilege of leading your large group into the quiet cathedral for a tour of the treasures that lie inside.
Re-board the coach for a drive through the Kent countryside, known as the Garden of England, with its quaint villages and pretty landscapes. Reach the coast to admire the White Cliffs of Dover — towering chalk-white cliffs overlooking the historic English Channel. Look up to see England's largest castle, Dover Castle, looming on the hilltop.
After a day full of sightseeing, arrive back in London in the evening.
Your Viator VIP London tour starts at the Tower of London, which you'll enter before the public opening. Meet your guide as well as one of the tower’s Beefeater guards who will personally show you around. The formidable 11th-century tower was built to act as a fortress, palace and prison — terrifying Londoners and foreign invaders alike. Watch the historic opening ceremony, where members of the military escort march around the tower with the Beefeaters to open it for business.
On your tour of the tower, see the Crown Jewels — a dazzling collection of jewels and diamonds that are still used today by the Queen. Stroll along the East Wall Walk for a bird’s-eye view of the city streets, explore the White Tower, and see the ravens that have lived here since the reign of King Charles II. The superstitious king believed the tower would fall if the birds left.
Next, walk to nearby St Paul’s Cathedral, the much-cherished architectural icon that’s home to the Triforium, an area typically closed to the public but open to you! Standout features include the Dean’s Staircase (featured in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) and a medieval library. See both, and then marvel at the vertigo-inducing views toward the nave. In addition to the Triforium, visit the Whispering Gallery and Crypt, too. Your experience then finishes here.
Please note: The visit to the Crown Jewels is not guided.
Pop in your state-of-the-art Vox headphones as your tour starts and listen to your guide talking clearly about each site.
Set within 500 acres of parkland, Leeds Castle is renowned for housing a superb collection of medieval tapestries and furnishings. During your visit choose to:
- Embark on a self-paced walk around the castle's fairytale surrounds. Set across two islands and surrounded by a tranquil lake, Leeds Castle stands picture-perfect and an inspiration to countless artists
- Beat the crowds and take an early morning tour within the castle walls. Guides will be on hand to point out key points of interest including the aviary of rare birds, the vineyard and the intriguing maze (cost Adult £24.50, Child £16.50, Senior/Student £21.50).
Travel through Kent County to Canterbury, the birthplace of English Christianity and home to the Canterbury Cathedral. A stop for lunch is scheduled, after you opt to either:
- Loose yourself down a maze of cobbled streets on a guided walking tour through the medieval city of Canterbury
- Venture inside the magnificent Cathedral for a closer look at its Gothic-inspired architecture and learn why it is the most important church in the Anglican faith (cost Adult £12.00, Child £8.00, Senior/Student £10.50).
White Cliffs of Dover
Before returning back to London by coach transfer, witness the spectacular White Cliffs of Dover, standing 400 feet above sea level. Sprawled on top of the cliffs, you'll find 800 year old Dover Castle towering over the town below.
Upgrade to include entrance fees, or enjoy the flexibility of deciding on the day which attractions you'd like to visit.
Experience the whole of St Paul's Cathedral – a mainstay of the London skyline – on a self-guided tour. Designed by famous English architect Sir Christopher Wren, the current cathedral was completed in 1708, after the Great Fire of London ruined Old St Paul’s in 1666. The cathedral has always been associated with significant British events, including the wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer, Diamond Jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria and an 80th birthday service for Queen Elizabeth II.
With your entrance ticket, head inside and pick up your audio/video guide, available in nine languages (see below for a list). You’ll tour the cathedral on your own, listening to the audio commentary and using your touch screen for historical tidbits and information about the significance of the cathedral throughout English history.
Begin in the cathedral’s crypt, with its memorials, tombs and monuments of important Brits like Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. Climb upstairs to the Whispering Gallery - giving you a magnificient view of the cathedral - the exterior Stone Gallery and eventually the Golden Gallery with its panoramic views of the capital.
As you walk around, marvel at the soaring dome, the glittering mosaics, the intricate stone carving and the breathtaking view down the central nave toward the quire aisle.
Consecrated in 1708 and designed by Sir Christopher Wren, St Paul's Cathedral is one of the most important and beloved buildings in England. With your entrance ticket, head inside and pick up your audio/video guide, available in nine languages (see below for a list). You’ll tour the cathedral on your own, listening to the audio commentary and using your touch screen for historical tidbits and information about the significance of the cathedral throughout English history.
As you walk around, admire the cathedral’s soaring dome, its glittering mosaics, the intricate stone carving and the breathtaking view down the central nave toward the quire aisle.
Start in the crypt to see its memorials and monuments, including the tombs of Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. Then see the so-called Whispering Gallery - a platform giving you a perfect view of the cathedral from the first level of the dome - the outdoor Stone Gallery and eventually the Golden Gallery around the highest point of the Dome serving as a balcony with panoramic views of the capital.
Keep an eye on your watch and head to the Restaurant at St Paul’s for your traditional afternoon tea, which starts at 3pm. Along with a selection of loose-leaf teas or coffee, enjoy finger sandwiches (Chalk Farm smoked salmon, free-range egg and cress, cucumber and cream cheese) and sweet treats (freshly baked scones with England preserves and Cornish clotted cream). It’s the perfect ending to a visit of one of England’s most iconic attractions.
Leeds Castle sits deep in the heart of the magnificent Kent countryside amid 500 acres of landscaped parkland. The early arrival promises an almost private visit to the Castle, where Henry VIII retreated to escape the plague that raged in London during his reign. As the ultimate Tudor treat, upon arrival at Leeds Castle you will be greeted by an expert guide. Learn about the history of this magical castle and sample a glass of mead as Henry VIII would have had! (During the summer, Mead is unavailable on Saturdays).
Visit Canterbury Cathedral, the home to 104 Archbishops since Augustine, Canterbury is a magnificent medieval city with a wealth of history. Discover the spot where Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170. Learn the intriguing history behind this masterpiece of medieval architecture and appreciate the spectacular stained glass windows, many of which have survived from the 12th and 13th centuries.
Lunch packs will be included.
The White Cliffs of Dover, admire the famous White Cliffs of Dover, with a photo opportunity on the stunning stretch of coastline that faces continental Europe. You'll also get the chance to see Dover Castle, an impressive medieval fortress rising over the English Channel.
Greenwich, set right beside the River Thames, Greenwich is bustling with fine maritime landmarks. See the Royal Observatory and world–famous Cutty Sark, a fascinating 19th–century ship as well as the Old Royal Naval College designed by Sir Christopher Wren.
River Thames boat ride, get a fresh perspective on the city sights with a boat ride on the River Thames from Greenwich to Embankment Pier. Pass Tower Bridge and stunning St. Paul’s Cathedral along the route. Estimated arrival time to Embankment Pier, is around 6.30pm where the tour finishes.
Pick up your London Attractions and Dining Pass from one of the central London redemption points and choose from some of the city’s most noteworthy attractions, tours, West End theater shows, and restaurants. With the flexibility to set your own schedule and enjoy all-inclusive access to all offers for five consecutive days, the card allows you to experience London’s top attractions at your own pace.
Use your complimentary full-color London information map to plan your schedule. Packed with helpful information about each attraction, the guidebook includes highlighted attraction maps to help you find your way around with ease.
Simply swipe your card to gain cash-free access to any of the offered attractions, theater shows, tours or restaurants. Perhaps spend a day away from the hustle and bustle of London on a tour to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Oxford. Begin your day trip with a visit to Windsor Castle to see the magnificent State Apartments (own expense), then head to the UNESCO-listed stone circle of Stonehenge, before finishing the day admiring the honey-colored buildings and towering spires of Oxford University.
Spend an afternoon sampling some of the capital’s culinary delights with a delicious set lunch at Tuttons. Arguably one of the most iconic and long standing restaurants in London’s famous Covent Garden, Tuttons serves a delightfully British menu in a brasserie-style setting with idyllic views of the bustling market.
Round off an evening with a trip to the West End for a theater show. Several select plays and musicals are included with the pass. While these change frequently, typical shows include The 39 Steps, Mamma Mia! and War Horse.
Your card includes admission to all attractions, sightseeing tours, theater shows and restaurants; simply choose from the list below.
Please note: admission to Stonehenge and Windsor Castle are not included.
*Attractions are subject to change
Pick up your London Flexi Attractions Pass from one of the central London redemption points or Heathrow Airport and choose from some of the city’s most popular attractions, tours, West End theater shows and restaurants. With the flexibility to choose from a 3-, 5-,7- or 10- Attractions Pass (each with a 1-month validity), the card allows you to experience London’s top attractions at your own pace.
Use your complimentary full-color London information map to plan your schedule. Packed with helpful information about each attraction, with highlighted attraction maps to help you find your way around with ease.
Head to the View from the Shard for unparalleled views of London’s famous skyline or visit the London Zoo.
Round off an evening with a visit to a West End theater show. Several select musicals and plays are included with the pass. While these change frequently, typical shows include War Horse, Mamma Mia! and The 39 Steps.
Your card includes admission to three, five, seven or 10 London attractions; simply choose from the list below.
*Attractions are subject to change
This is an exceptional photography tour which is private to you and your group. Photograph London with an expert photographer during this private tour. Learn how to capture the best compositions with a professional photographer to guide you.
The aim of this tour is to empower your photography with expert tuition and tips from a professional photographer. Teaching is exclusive to you and your group and is geared towards the camera you own. Your photographer knows the best locations and viewpoints to guide you to.
Walking at a leisurely pace explore from the outside the iconic architecture of Southwark Cathedral. Learn how to set your camera to take different shots and make subjects come alive as you experiment with different angles of view. Marvel at the vibrancey of Bankside as we make our way along the route towards St Paul's Cathedral. Throughout this route there is something to admire and photograph.
Photograph people and places along this colourful route. Explore the imposing structures of the Golden Hind Galleon II, The Globe Theatre, Tate Modern, the Shard, Tower Bridge and Millennium Bridge all with stunning views over the River Thames. This is an outstanding photography tour from which to explore and discover the secrets of the River Thames with great London views and iconic landmarks.
Take time to discover the landscaped courtyards of Southwark and St Paul's Cathedrals. Explore with your personal photographer quirky side streets and small markets and small landscaped gardens within walking distance of the Cathedrals.
You take a short working break for refreshments and to review progress before making our way across to St Paul's.
While London is laden with well-known, memorable landmarks, few represent English history and culture better than Westminster Abbey. During this 3-hour Westminster Abbey Tour, led by a local historian with expertise in royal history, we'll explore the central role that this emblem of British Christianity has played in English history, from its founding in the eleventh century to the recent wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. During the tour we will immerse ourselves in the medieval context of Westminster and journey through nearly 1,000 years of British history.
- Westminster Abbey Tour led by historians with extensive knowledge of British royalty.
- Groups capped at 6 people max.
- 1000 years of British history in one building.
- Includes skip-the-line tickets.
Westminster Abbey Tour
Our walk begins in Parliament Square, beside the Abbey. Surrounded by symbols of royal and parliamentary power, we will place the abbey itself in its historical landscape. Originally a marshy knoll along the banks of the Thames and home to one of the poorest populations in the city, we will discuss the area's transformation over the centuries.
History Through Architecture
Using the abbey itself as a kind of textbook, we will learn how to read and understand Gothic architecture. A palimpsest of historical time periods and styles, the building and its decorative elements form the basis for our discussion on the symbolic use of certain features and the actual use of the building complex as a residence, school, and center for the Anglican church. We will explore the hidden areas of the complex, including the gardens (if possible) and the particularly beguiling cloisters. The relaxed, quiet atmosphere of these spaces will enable us to engage in a serious discussion of the abbey's role in the lives and works of such luminaries as Geoffrey Chaucer, who was employed here and probably drew a good amount of material from the goings on for his Canterbury Tales.
Want to see another London highlight? Try our Tower of London Tour.
Fit for a Queen
As the church of the queen (or king, as it may be), Westminster Abbey served as the setting for all coronations. It is also the final resting place for royalty and legions of other notable Britons, from Elizabeth I to Charles Darwin. Experts estimate there may be over 30,000 graves in all within the confines of the church.
Inside the Church
This fact will shape the second half of our walk as we enter the main church itself and wander among the monuments, tombs, and testaments. Taken together, these objects—and the great church itself—will create a narrative of British history. We will trace the reigns of kings, the intrigues of dynasties, and the impact of certain key figures on politics, art, and science. As we move among the monuments, we will trace a millennium of English history. With over 600 memorials inside the nave and transept of the church, the range of topics we might discuss is wide, though certain themes typically emerge. One such theme is the conflict between Protestants and Catholics. Another is the Great War and the Second World War. Another still is the balance between the sovereignty of royalty and the rise of democracy. In the magical atmosphere of Westminster Abbey and in the presence of so much material history, we will conduct a wide-ranging discussion, exploring facets of English history new to us while supplementing our existing knowledge.
Reading the Church
As we move along, we will continue to pay attention to the intricate architectural decoration that makes this one of the most significant churches in the world, including the Italian Cosmati paving on the high altar, the ornate stone work in the sixteenth-century apse, and the wide range of sculpture represented on the tombs. We will also learn how to read British heraldry (a fundamental talent!) omnipresent elsewhere in Westminster, and indeed throughout London: the portcullis and roses of the Tudors, the lion stretching back to Scotland, and the unicorn, a symbol of Elizabeth I.
Our walk may conclude by witnessing the daily prayer said over the medieval tomb of Edward the Confessor, founder of the church. A rite that has been performed for nearly a thousand years, it give us a chance to wrap our walk with a bit of living history and ponder the continuing legacy of Westminster Abbey.
If you are interested in discovering more about the key role that religion and its architecture has played in British history, we suggest our St. Paul's Cathedral Tour.
Do we go inside the venues or just see them from the outside? You will go inside Westminster Abbey.
Will you pre-purchase tickets? You will purchase your Westminster ticket at venue, but your docent will have special access privileges, so you will not wait in line. Admissions: adults £18, seniors and students £15, youth (11-18) £8, under 11 free.
Is this tour good for kids? Yes! We have some excellent family friendly docents who can appeal to the learning styles of children. Please book privately if you have children under 13. Feel free to provide us with information about your children such as favorite school subjects, and hobbies. This way we can match you with the best possible docent.
Does this tour include Parliament? No, Parliament only allows their own tours led by their guides. You can view more info here. Keep in mind, Westminster is huge, and Parliament is only one part of it!
Make your own way to Parliament Square, where a bevy of London’s most famous sights, including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, await. Then, meet your guide outside Westminster Abbey and head inside to begin your tour.
Walk along the same aisle that Prince William and Kate Middleton took their first steps on as a married couple, and get up close to the Coronation Chair, where the British Royals have been crowned for hundreds of years. Stroll through the cloisters and see College Garden, thought to be the oldest garden in England, along with the graves of Dickens, Hardy and other famous writers.
After touring the abbey, make the short stroll to the Houses of Parliament, which sits resplendent along the banks of the Thames River. Marvel at the golden spires and statues that stud the building’s grandiose facade, and learn about the much-snapped Elizabeth Tower, which houses the Big Ben bell. Then, continue inside and enjoy a roughly 1.5-hour tour. Take in highlights such as Westminster Hall, Queen’s Robing Room, the Royal Gallery and Lords Chamber, and gain a fascinating insight into Britain’s modern-day politics.
Your tour then concludes outside the Houses of Parliament, leaving you free to continue sightseeing independently or make your own way back to your accommodation.
Meet your expert guide in London and set off by coach to the historic city of Oxford, approximately a 1.5-hour drive away. As you travel, your guide will keep you entertained with stories about this must-visit city, home to the world-famous Oxford University.
The colleges that make up Oxford University represent the city’s architectural highlights, and you’ll explore these during a comprehensive walking tour. Wander through ornate chapels, lavish libraries and spacious halls.
Before leaving the city, you’ll have free time to discover its endearing charms independently. Perhaps visit one of its famous ‘Old English’ inns for lunch (own expense) or maybe explore Oxford’s wealth of interesting streets and independent shops.
In the early afternoon, hop back on board your luxury coach and head to the pretty village of Bampton in Oxfordshire, the setting for the exterior village scenes in the TV show 'Downton Abbey'. See Matthew Crawley's mother's house as well as the hospital from the second series. Learn about how the current villagers' homes are transformed into the Post Office and the pub for the TV show, and explore the Bampton Archive and local exhibitions to learn about the village history.
After visiting Bamtpon, head south to Highclere Castle in Hampshire. Famous as the filming location for the hit TV series Downton Abbey, the stately castle dates to the Victorian era and is set in the middle of 1,000 acres (405 hectares) of stunning parkland.
With your guide, tour this incredible castle and see rooms frequented by the likes of Lady Mary, Cousin Matthew, Lord Grantham and other characters in the popular Edwardian drama. Venture through the magnificent main hall, library and sitting rooms, and learn about the real-life family — the Carnarvons — who lived in the castle since the 17th century.
After your walking tour of Highclere Castle, enjoy some free time to explore the beautiful grounds or relax with a hot drink and cake in the castle's tea rooms (own expense). Your full-day tour finishes back in London, where you’ll arrive in the early evening.
Start your day by making your own way to Victoria Coach Station to meet your guide. Settle into your seat aboard a luxury coach, then relax on the journey to Oxfordshire, a picturesque county roughly 1.5 hours away.
Make your first stop at the UNESCO-listed Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir William Churchill. With your headset switched on to ensure you can hear your guide’s commentary clearly, set off on a tour of the lavish State Rooms. Delve into the history of the 18th-century manor house, and get up close to priceless works of art and tapestries. Then, enjoy a stroll through the landscaped gardens.
Next, hop back inside your coach and gaze out of the window as you journey through the Cotswolds, a region of outstanding natural beauty characterized by charming parishes and thatched villages. Stop in Bibury, and walk with your guide to Arlington Row, a set of pretty cottages that date back to the 14th century.
Continue on to the ‘Little Venice’ of the Cotswolds, Bourton-on-the-Water. Have your camera ready as you wander down the high street, lined with shaded greens. Then, feel the tranquility wash over you as you head across arched stone bridges for views of River Windrush.
After, head to Bampton, a quintessentially English village that featured as Downton village in the hit TV show Downton Abbey. See the church where Lady Mary and Matthew Crawley married, and the house that was once the Crawley family home. Pass Downton hospital and take in other sites such as the fictional Grantham Arms pub.You'll also have the opportunity to stop in at a local restaurant or cafe for lunch (own expense).
When the time comes, return to your coach for the journey back to London, where your day trip concludes at Victoria Station.
Westminster Abbey is one of the world's greatest churches, with a history stretching back more than 1,000 years. An essential part of any trip to London, the abbey is an architectural masterpiece of the 13th to 16th centuries and is home to the shrine of St Edward the Confessor, the tombs of kings and queens, and countless memorials to famous figures.
With your entrance ticket, head inside through the North Door and pick up your audio guide to learn about the abbey as you walk around. It has been the setting for every English monarch's coronation since 1066 and has hosted numerous other occasions, including 16 royal weddings, most famously in recent history the nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Today, it is also still a church dedicated to regular worship.
Every year, the abbey welcomes more than one million visitors, and thousands come to worship at daily services. Westminster Abbey is typically open to visitors from Monday to Saturday throughout the year. On Sundays and religious holidays, such as Easter and Christmas, the abbey is open for worship only. All are welcome, and it is free to attend services.
Your tour begins with a visit to one of London’s most iconic attractions, The Tower of London. Be one of the first groups admitted on the day before proceeding to the most historic part, The White Tower. Here you will be welcomed by a White Tower warden for a talk on its unique history. Explore all four floors, including the Royal Armouries Collection, and see the Crown Jewels, which are part of the Royal Collection and still used regularly by the Queen.
Then head into the City of London, where you'll see St. Paul's Cathedral and the Bank of England, among many of London’s other famous landmarks, hearing more about the history of this fascinating city. Cross over iconic Tower Bridge before you visit Borough Market.
Borough Market is London’s most renowned food and drink market and dates back to 1014. Both a source of British and international produce, it consists of more than 100 stalls and strands. Producers from all over the country bring a range of fresh produce to the market including fish, meats, vegetables, ciders, breads, cheeses, coffees, and cakes. You'll have time to explore the many stalls and enjoy some of the local delicacies before heading to Westminster Abbey.
Steeped in more than a thousand years of history, the Abbey has been the coronation church since 1066 and is the final resting place of 17 monarchs. The present church, begun by Henry III in 1245, is one of the most important gothic buildings in the country. Take a comprehensive tour as your guide brings the story of the Abbey to life. Top off the day with a sumptuous afternoon tea at the Cellarium Café located inside the Abbey complete with sandwiches, scones, cakes and your choice of tea. Your tour will end here so you can enjoy your afternoon tea at your own pace.
Please note: A state of the art audio-guide system is used during the walking sections of this tour. You'll receive a personal headset to ensure you never miss a word of the guide's commentary.
Begin your Abbey adventure in London and take a luxury coach to the beautiful and quaint Oxfordshire Cotswolds, to see key filming sites of Downton Abbey.
You'll of course be visiting the Grantham Family home, Highclere Castle. You'll have ample time to venture around the grounds and the castle too and enjoy free time for those that wish to experience the Egyptology exhibit too:
- Pick up at 9am by the thames in a luxury 24 seater coach
- Short trip to Highclere castle, with quizzes as you go, and Downton Abbey Bloopers on the coach TV
- Explore the grounds and castle of Highclere at 10:30am
- 12:30pm pick up from Highclere castles and short trip to Bampton
- 1:15pm tour through Bampton village, the home of "Downton Village"
- 1:45pm lunch at a stunning old world British pub, hot meal included in the price
- 2:15pm you're given time to explore the village and get some great photo opportunities
- 3:45pm Pick up from Bampton village for a further quiz and games on the coach
- 5:30pm arrive back at Victoria Embankment.
Choose between a 3-hour, 4-hour or full-day tour and explore London’s Downton Abbey filming locations with a private guide. Start your tour with a central hotel pickup by London black cab, and meet your professional driver-guide. Settle into your comfortable vehicle and listen to interesting insider facts and insights into the making of the Downton Abbey series and plans for future seasons. Designed to be fun and entertaining rather than a serious historical exploration, this family-friendly tour is a fantastic way to see London through the eyes of the Granthams. Be sure to book early, though — the tour is hugely popular!
Travel deep into the historical heart of London, delving into the prestigious districts of Westminster, Belgravia, Mayfair and the City — all regular haunts of English gentry in the early 1900s. Pause outside the house that served as the Granthams’ family home and see where Harold, the maverick American brother of Cora Crawley, had a picnic with love interest, Madeline, and his mother Martha in the Christmas Special of Season 4.
Pass by the restaurants and gentlemen’s clubs, such as Boodle’s and White’s, Lord Grantham might have frequented. Also, step daintily out of your cab to visit some of the shops where the aristocratic Lord and Lady Grantham might have bought their clothes and hunting regalia. And, discover from your guide how London’s poor lived at the time, often in cramped districts just a few steps from the genteel areas known to families such as the Granthams.
If you have opted to enjoy a 4-hour tour, spend an additional hour exploring more buildings and shops featured in Downton Abbey. Alternatively, select the full-day tour option to include a visit to the grounds of the Granthams’ London home (entry to the house not included) and lunch (own expense) in a 500-year-old Tudor hall that has been frequented by the capital’s elites for centuries.
Your tour finishes when your driver drops you at a convenient central London location.
Please note: all tour options include coffee breaks (own expense), restroom stops, and complimentary water. Depending on availability and group size, you might end up in an old-style black cab or a newer black cab. The maximum passengers per taxi is six.
Head west of London for a day of Downton Abbey sightseeing! After pickup from your central London hotel in a spacious luxury vehicle, your private tour guided by a professional chauffeur will take you out to Highclere Castle, known to Downton Abbey fans as the home of the Earl of Grantham and his aristocratic family. Highclere is used for both exterior and interior filming for the show. If you think the castle is stunning on television, you’ll be absolutely amazed by its appearance in person as you admire its stately Jacobethan style and dramatic façade.
Next, continue following the Crawley family and their servants as you make the drive to Bampton, a village in Oxfordshire where many outdoor scenes of the fictional village of Downton were filmed. Admire the well-preserved village with its charming main street and historical buildings, some of which date to the 12th century.
Your day tour ends as you are returned to your London hotel.
Please note: Entrance fees to the grounds and gardens of Highclere Castle are included in the booking price, however, entrance fees into the castle and exhibition are not included due to limited availability.
Make your own way to Great Portland Street in central London to meet your expert guide. Then, hop inside your comfortable, air-conditioned coach and relax on the journey to Oxfordshire. As you travel, listen to your guide share entertaining tales and trivia about the British period drama TV series, Downton Abbey.
Filmed mostly in and around Oxfordshire, the hit show follows the lives, dramas and scandals of the fictional Crawley family and their servants in the days before, during and after World War I. Hear insider gossip about characters such as Lady Edith and Dowager Countess of Grantham, and uncover little-known facts about the filming locations visited on your tour.
Your first stop is at Cogges Manor Farm. Sip on a hot drink (own expense) in its rustic cafe before discovering a few of the farm’s shooting locations.
Next, head to the Cotswold village of Bampton, a quintessentially English village that featured as Downton village. On a walking tour, see the church where Lady Mary married Matthew Crawley, and the house that was once used as the Crawley family home. Then, stroll along the main street, passing sights such as the fictional Grantham Arms pub.
Continue on to Highclere Castle, one of the most famous Downton filming locations. With your guide leading the way, explore the grand estate that surrounds the castle including Monk’s Garden, White Border, Secret Garden and the Wood of Goodwill, and learn about Highclere Castle’s role as the Grantham family home.
After free time for lunch or a snack in the on-site tea rooms (own expense), make your way into the castle to explore its lavish state rooms with your guide. Follow in the footsteps of the likes of Lady Sybil and Tom Branson as you wander through the dining, smoking and music rooms, and learn all about the Carnarvons, the real-life family who have owned Highclere Castle since the late 17th century.
See other impressive filming sites, such as the Red Stairs, saloon, gallery and bedrooms, then return to your coach and relax on the journey back to London.
Your day trip then concludes with a drop-off at the original start point.
Leave London’s Marble Arch by air-conditioned minivan, and travel west to the rolling limestone hills of Oxfordshire. On the journey, your guide will keep you entertained with tales and trivia about the Downton Abbey TV series that has a fan base spread all over the world.
Filmed mostly in and around Oxfordshire, the British period drama of Downton Abbey documents the dramas and scandals of the fictional Crawley family and their servants in the days leading up to and after World War I. Hear insider gossip about characters such as Lady Mary, and discover little-known facts about the shooting locations included on your tour. Stop at a farm nestled in the hills near Cogges and enjoy a hot drink (own expense) in the farm’s rustic cafe before you check out filming locations around the farm.
Continue to Bampton in the Cotswolds. The stone cottages and leafy, twisting streets in this quintessential English village might look familiar; scenes depicting the Downton village are often shot here and appear throughout the entire series. On a walking tour, see the village church — the site of Lady Mary’s wedding to Matthew Crawley — and the house that was once used as the Crawley family home. Stroll along the main street, spotting shops and the fictional Grantham Arms pub that appear in many episodes.
Travel onward to the historical village of Shilton to explore its center, including a quaint village pub that is surrounded by ponds, medieval bridges and wells. From Shilton, travel to a pub in Swinbrook for lunch (own expense) where Lady Sybil eloped with the family chauffeur Branson; enjoy a quick stop in the village of Bladon to see the graves of Sir Winston Churchill and his wife; and finish the tour at Blenheim Palace — a UNESCO World Heritage site.
While not used as a Downton Abbey filming location, one can imagine the palace's stately grandeur that would impress the Crawley family. Take a walking tour that delves into the history of Winston Churchill's ancestral home, originally given to the first duke of Marlborough as a gift from the English Parliament. Wander through the State Apartments, and then explore a section of the beautiful landscaped gardens that feature the Temple of Diana. Finally, return to your minivan and travel back to London where your tour finishes.
Numbers are limited to 18 on this small-group tour, ensuring personalized attention from a guide.
Leave London’s Marble Arch by air-conditioned minivan, and travel west to the rolling limestone hills of Oxfordshire. On the journey, your guide will keep you entertained with tales and trivia about the Downton Abbey TV series that has a fan base spread all over the world.
Filmed mostly in and around Oxfordshire, the British period drama of Downton Abbey documents the dramas and scandals of the fictional Crawley family and their servants in the days leading up to and after the First World War. Hear insider gossip about characters such as Lady Mary, and discover little-known facts about the shooting locations included on your tour. Stop at a farm nestled in the hills near Cogges and enjoy a hot drink (own expense) in the farm’s rustic cafe before discovering a few of the farm’s filming locations.
Continue to Bampton in the Cotswolds, a quintessentially English village that was used extensively as Downton village throughout the entire series. On a walking tour, see the village church — the site of Lady Mary’s wedding to Matthew Crawley — and the house that was once used as the Crawley family home. Stroll along the main street, seeing shops used for filming as well as sights such as the fictional Grantham Arms pub.
Travel onward to continue to Highclere Castle, one of the best-known Downton filming locations, to explore with your guide. Walk around the lavish estate that surrounds the castle, comprising Monk’s Garden, White Border, Secret Garden and the Wood of Goodwill, and hear all about Highclere Castle’s role as the Grantham family home.
Enjoy free time for lunch or a snack in the onsite tea rooms that serves food from the castle’s kitchens, and then step inside Highclere Castle to explore each of its state rooms. See the dining, music and smoking rooms that the likes of Lady Sybil graced with their presence, and learn all about the real-life family who have owned Highclere Castle since the late 17th century: the Carnarvons.
After exploring further areas of the impressive filming site such as the Red Stairs, saloon, gallery and bedrooms, return to your minivan with your guide. Relax on the journey back to London, and then finish your day trip with a drop-off at the Victoria Train Station.
On this day tour, you will explore some of the 'Downton Abbey' film locations featured in both London and the Oxfordshire countryside. London’s highlights include off-the-beaten track locations full of historical buildings and cobbled streets, as well as grand houses, clubs and restaurants with aristocratic and regal links. Leaving the hubbub of town, your afternoon will be spent visiting Downton Village, Yew Tree Farm and enjoying the picturesque Cotswold scenery and villages.
Travelling by mini coach, the tour will provide you with an insight into the making of the show and uncover stories behind some of the places that you will visit on the tour.
Starting in central London, your tour will take you to the Inns of Court which have been popular sites for filming. You will see the clinic Lady Edith visits when she discovers she is pregnant and the Russian Refugee church where Prince Kuragin is staying. You can follow in the footsteps of Mr Bricker and Cora when they go for a walk and spot the café where Tom spies Lady Rose out with the Jazz singer, Jack Ross. Other London sites visited include exteriors of Lord Gillingham’s townhouse, the Liverpool Grand Hotel and Grantham House. After you have explored London Town, it is time to head out to the countryside. The first location that you visit is about 70 miles out of town and (depending on traffic) the journey lasts between 1.5 to 2 hours.
Upon your arrival at the historic 10th century farmstead which featured as Yew Tree Farm in Series 4 and 5, you can enjoy a complimentary Cotswolds platter. Following lunch, you will have a guided tour of this location which featured as the home of Mr Drewe, the struggling tenant who agrees to secretly help raise Lady Edith’s daughter.
From here, you will set off to the heart of rural Oxfordshire where several villages have been used in the world of Downton Abbey. You will see ‘Kirbymoorside’, where Anna’s bus splashes through the stream outside the pub where Bates worked when he left Downton Abbey. There will be a short stop at the church that Matthew and Edith visit in series 1 (episode 3) and you’ll pass the pub where Branson and Lady Sybil stay when they elope in series 2.
Most notably, you will visit Downton Village where you will get a guided tour of the village and see familiar sites such as exteriors of Downton hospital, the village pub, the former home of Matthew Crawley and the local church, amongst others. Following this guided, tour you will be able to explore the village for yourself. The tour ends in London.
Become Lord or Lady Grantham for the day, as you visit the film locations used for the BAFTA-winning period drama on a Downton Abbey Tour of Locations.
On this small group (max 6 persons) day tour you will start by departing from central London, then heading for the charming Oxfordshire village that has been featured as Downton Village. Here, you will get a guided tour of locations such as Downton hospital, the village pub, the former home of Matthew Crawley and the local church.
Get fascinating anecdotes about how the global hit TV series was made, about the actors involved and about the wonderful history of the places you visit on the tour.
A short comfort break will be taken here. Having explored the village, you will then travel to Highclere Castle, which is used as the main Downton Abbey set. On the way, you will learn about the 1000 year history of Highclere Castle and life ‘above and below stairs’. Admission to the castle is included in the price.
Food for lunch can be purchased at Highclere Castle or you can bring your own lunch and enjoy it in the beautiful grounds. You’ll be able to explore independently the ‘Above Stairs’ area inside Downton Abbey with the aid of our self-guided information sheet.
As you wander around the estate, you will be able to imagine life as it was over 100 years ago and enter the world of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants.
The tour ends back in central London.
You will be met by your guide and board your comfortable air conditioned coach departing from central London at 9am. You will receive informative commentary about the show and the locations you visit on your journey out to Oxfordshire where the first stop of the day will be the beautiful village of Bampton. Here you will be given a fully guided walking tour of the village which was featured as Downton village and you will be able to spot the post office, church, Matthews house and many other familiar sites.
Following a tour of the village you will re board the coach and head to the grand finale of the day - Highclere Castle. Here you will have approximately 3 hours to explore the house and grounds of the castle with the aid of our own self guided leaflet which gives details of what was filmed in each room of the castle.
At Highclere there will be a chance for you to take lunch (not included) and get some wonderful souvenirs from the shop. Finally your coach will return you to central London where the day trip ends.
Experience two top London sights and one of Britain's best traditions on this full-day combo tour. Visit Westminster Abbey; get an inside look at Buckingham Palace, the Queen's official London residence; and watch the Changing of the Guard, a wonderful display of British pageantry. Then, cap your day with an indulgent afternoon tea at a luxury London hotel.
Meet your guide by the column opposite the west entrance of Westminster Abbey, one of the world’s greatest churches and the site of royal coronations for 1,000 years.
Step inside this 700-year-old monument for a guided tour highlighting its most important and fascinating features. Learn how the abbey is a significant structure in British history, welcoming kings, queens and statesmen, and playing host to state funerals and royal weddings — most recently the marriage William and Kate.
Next, follow your guide to see the Changing of the Guard. Depending on the day, you'll either watch the ceremony at Buckingham Palace or at House Guards Parade. Your guide will make sure you’re in a prime position to get the best views and regale you with details on the history and pageantry behind this beloved event. Please note: In heavy rain, the Changing of the Guard does not take place.
After a break for lunch (own expense), it’s time to visit Buckingham Palace, the residence of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, for an audio-guided tour. See the balcony where the royal family appears during major events, and hear stories of intruders and princes scaling the walls to get both inside and out. Then, separate from your guide and head inside to see the magnificent State Rooms, which are only open to the public for two short months out of the entire year.
Join back up with your guide, and then end the day with a sumptuous afternoon tea. Savor delicious scones topped with jam and clotted cream, a selection of sandwiches and cakes, and a pot of fresh tea, all served on fine china in the magnificent setting of a traditional London luxury hotel.
On the morning of your tour, make your own way to Westminster Abbey to meet your guide. Sitting alongside Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, the history-steeped Gothic showstopper is one of the world’s most spectacular churches. It’s also been the site of all of England's royal coronations — with the exception of two — since the crowning of William the Conqueror in 1066.
With your guide and prebooked ticket, which entitles you to fast-track entry, head inside to learn more about the abbey’s storied past. Follow in the footsteps of some history’s most fascinating characters, from Elizabeth I to Queen Elizabeth II, as you walk down the black-and-white checkered isle toward the Coronation Chair. Peer out at the 900-year-old College Garden while you stroll through the impressive Cloisters, and spot the graves of some of the world’s most famous wordsmiths, including Dickens, Hardy and Tennyson in Poets’ Corner.
After touring Westminster Abbey, take a stroll to Horse Guards Parade or along the Mall to watch the Changing of the Guard. Listen to your guide talk about the ceremony’s history as the Queen’s Foot Guards, in their cherry tunics and bearskin hats, or the plumed Household Cavalry pass right in front of you.
Finish your tour outside Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s official London residence. See the balcony where William and Kate kissed before the public after their wedding in 2011, and hear stories of intruders and princes scaling the walls before bidding your guide goodbye.
Please note: If there is heavy rain — or if the Changing of the Guard is rescheduled to early morning — the ceremony will be replaced with an extended walking tour.
Begin the day at your hotel in London or at a convenient meeting point (such as a north London train or tube station) and enjoy a scenic ride through the beautiful English countryside to the stately home of Woburn Abbey, where the family of the Duke of Bedford have lived for centuries.
Situated on a massive estate filled with immaculate gardens and populated by thousands of deer, Woburn Abbey is a sight to behold. The house itself is sumptuously decorated and just when you think you have seen it all, the wonders of the family treasure vault await you. Enjoy some complimentary beverages while you explore the grounds, and then relax as you are driven back to your residence in London.
We all know that Downton Abbey and Downton Village are in beautiful Oxfordshire and whilst we do tours there also, there are many Downton Abbey related locations in London itself. This private tours takes us by foot and on the Underground to various key Downton locations in and around central London.
For good measure we will also visit one or two other locations made popular in other British period drama shows such as Mr. Selfridge and the new hit show The Halycon.
No Downton Abbey tour of London could not include the London home of the Crawley family. We will also visit the iconic building that in Downton Abbey is the home of Aunt Rosamund.
It isn’t just the houses we will visit but also some of the parks and squares that feature in Downton Abbey too where we will learn a little about their real life history as well as their Downton connections.
The tour concludes near Kensington Palace so you might decide to take tea there or simply enjoy the gardens just as many in Downton did.
As with all our tours, this is a private tour and conducted in a leisurely and unhurried pace. We will meet you either at your hotel or convenient location and then make our way to the starting point.