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South East England

Castle & Palace Tours

Our most recommended South East England Castle & Palace Tours

Full-Day Downton Abbey, Oxford and Bampton Tour from London

1. Full-Day Downton Abbey, Oxford and Bampton Tour from London

Explore Oxford, the City of Dreaming Spires, home to one of the world’s oldest universities. Admire the architectural highlights of the many colleges. Next on this 10-hour tour is a visit to Bampton, the setting for the exterior village scenes in Downton Abbey. See the church, the house of Matthew Crawley's mother, homes transformed into the post office and various pubs. Head to Highclere Castle, the country seat of the Earls of Carnarvon. The tour of the Castle’s public rooms includes the magnificent main hall, the library, sitting rooms and other rooms featured in Downton Abbey. Take home a copy of Lady Carnarvon's book as a souvenir of your visit.

London: Full-Day Windsor, Stonehenge, and Oxford Tour

2. London: Full-Day Windsor, Stonehenge, and Oxford Tour

Enjoy a full day of English heritage visiting the exquisite Windsor Castle, captivating Stonehenge, and the beautiful university city of Oxford. On this day trip departing from London, you get the whistle-stop tour of these unique sites with interesting commentary from your guide along the way. Start your day at Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of HM Queen Elizabeth II. Visit the magnificent State Apartments still used for state occasions and royal receptions (if option selected). Take some time to explore the castle grounds and the 14th century St. George's Chapel, where you can admire one of the most beautiful examples of medieval church architecture in England. Next, go to the standing stones of Stonehenge, still clouded in mystery as an amazing feat of human engineering. Explore the prehistoric stone circle and learn about the theories around its construction (if option selected). Continue to the university city of Oxford, known as "The City of Dreaming Spires." A seat of learning since 1249, it's an idyllic location to explore on a fascinating walking tour.

Oxford Castle and Prison: Guided Tour

3. Oxford Castle and Prison: Guided Tour

Step into 1,000 years of Oxford’s history with a costumed tour guide. Climb the Saxon St. George’s Tower, descend deep underground into the 900-year-old Crypt, explore the Victorian Prison D-Wing and Debtors' Tower, and scale the Mound of the 11th-century Motte-and-Bailey castle. Built in 1071 and only closed in 1996, Oxford Castle & Prison is a site with so many fascinating tales to tell. From the modern day stretching all the way back to the barbaric medieval era. The site has links to the birth of education in Oxford, the famous legends of King Arthur, the valiant escape of Empress Matilda and the infamous modern-day cases of murderers and criminals. For hundreds of years, the site has held both famous and infamous residents, serving time as a religious site, a home for royalty, and a center of justice as the county jail. After your 50-minute tour, you will be led into the exhibition wing where you can explore at your own leisure.

London: Canterbury Cathedral, Dover Castle, and White Cliffs

4. London: Canterbury Cathedral, Dover Castle, and White Cliffs

On this full-day excursion from London, your first stop will be the historic cathedral city of Canterbury. There’s plenty to see in Canterbury, including the Cathedral, St. Martin’s Church and St. Augustine’s Abbey. Pilgrims have made their way to Canterbury Cathedral since the Middle Ages, and it remains popular today with visitors from around the world. You’ll travel on to the coast to see the White Cliffs of Dover, one of the country’s most spectacular natural features. An icon of Britain, the White Cliffs have been a sign of hope and freedom for centuries. Take a walk along the clifftops and look out over the busy English Channel. On a clear day you’ll be able to see across to France. Just a short drive up the road from the White Cliffs of Dover is Dover Castle, one of the largest castles in the country, strategically placed at the shortest crossing point to continental Europe. The castle has played a prominent role in Britain’s history, and dates back to the Iron Age. A Roman lighthouse and Anglo-Saxon church still stand within the grounds. Admission to the castle is included in the tour and you’ll also have some free time to explore the grounds.

From London: Windsor, Oxford & Stonehenge Full-Day Trip

5. From London: Windsor, Oxford & Stonehenge Full-Day Trip

Embark on a full-day guided tour to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Oxford from London. Take the scenic route through the lush English countryside in a comfortable air-conditioned bus. The first stop on this tour is Windsor Castle. With its sweeping landscaped gardens and turreted Round Tower, it is easy to see why the castle is the Queen’s favorite weekend residence. Enjoy a fascinating through-the-keyhole peek at the lavish State Apartments, home to priceless artworks by Rembrandt and Leonardo da Vinci. You can also visit Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House and St George’s Chapel - the final resting place of the monarchs of old, including Henry VIII. The tour then moves on to spectacular Stonehenge. You will never forget your first glimpse of the monolithic rock formation rising up against the skyline of the Salisbury Plain. Theories abound as to Stonehenge’s mysterious origin. Was it intended as a religious temple? An astronomical clock? A Bronze Age burial ground? Make up your own mind as you explore this unique landmark. Your final stop of the day is the charming university town of Oxford. Here you will enjoy a walking tour with free leisure time. Stroll the captivating college courtyards and cobbled lanes of this historic university town. The tour will finish at approximately 07:15 PM in London.

Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & the Cotswolds

6. Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & the Cotswolds

Blenheim Palace Blenheim Palace is a masterpiece of English Baroque architecture and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The stunning State Rooms are brimming with priceless works of art and magnificent tapestries. The Palace is still inhabited today by the Duke of Marlborough. The Gardens are set in over 754 hectares of land with an exquisite water garden. The Cotswolds In the Cotswolds you'll visit one the areas most beautiful villages, Bourton-on-the-Water. This is a must-see village, referred to as the 'Venice of the Cotswolds' due to the number of attractive bridges that cross the gently-flowing river at its center. Downton Abbey Village Visit the village of Bampton; the film setting for many of the famous landmarks featured in the popular Downton Abbey TV series. See the buildings that played the part of the home of Isobel Crawley, the Downton Cottage Hospital, the church and also the location for two fictional local pubs, The Grantham Arms and The Dog & Duck.

London: Windsor Castle, Stonehenge & Bath Full-Day Tour

7. London: Windsor Castle, Stonehenge & Bath Full-Day Tour

This full-day tour is a must-do excursion for all visitors to London. Get to see the famous Windsor Castle, the mysterious stone circle of Stonehenge, and the beautiful Georgian city of Bath. Transport by coach and guided tours at all locations are included. Start at Windsor Castle, home to the Royal Family for 900 years. It is still an Official Residence of the Queen. Visit the magnificent State Apartments, still used for state occasions and Royal receptions. Explore the castle grounds and the 14th-Century St. George's Chapel, one of the most beautiful examples of medieval church architecture in England and a burial place of kings and queens, including Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour. Continue through the Wiltshire countryside to Stonehenge. Shrouded in mystery, the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge is an amazing feat of engineering and the most important prehistoric site in England. Head west to Bath, a beautiful Georgian city with handsome honey-colored architecture and the famous Roman baths. Enjoy a panoramic tour of some of Europe’s finest architectural sights, including Bath Abbey, the Royal Crescent, the Circus, Assembly Rooms, and Pulteney Bridge. Choose the option to explore the Roman Baths, built around thermal springs, which have been supplying water for over 2,000 years.

London: Windsor, Stonehenge, Bath, and Roman Baths Day Trip

8. London: Windsor, Stonehenge, Bath, and Roman Baths Day Trip

Explore several top highlights around London on this bus day trip from London. Experience the elegance of Windsor Castle, unlock the mysteries of Stonehenge, and admire the Georgian architecture in the city of Bath. Visit a well-preserved Roman Bathhouse. Windsor Castle Fans of the Royal family will be in their element. Steeped in history, visit the home of Queen Elizabeth II and enjoy a through-the-keyhole experience of the world’s largest and oldest castle. Enjoy the spectacular State Apartments at your leisure and marvel at its lavishly furnished surroundings. Used for State occasions to this day, be a part of where these regal traditions take place whilst admiring world-renowned artworks. Visit St. George’s chapel, where the tombs of numerous kings and queens reside, notably Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour. See Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House and be amazed by the magnitude and intricate design of the world’s most famous Dolls’ House. Mysterious Stonehenge Wander around the world heritage site and be captivated by the unique rock formation. Situated on Salisbury Plain, 40-ton rocks stand alone since their arrival 5,000 years ago. An abundance of theories surround Stonehenge; from a religious temple to an astronomical clock and even a Bronze Age burial ground. Decide for yourself whilst discovering the history of this mysterious monument. Bath Standing proudly on the slopes of the River Avon, Bath was the first city in England to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Admire the gorgeous 15th-century Bath Abbey, the stunning Georgian architecture, and the romantic Pulteney Bridge. Roman Baths Famed for its Roman Baths, Bath houses the best preserved Roman Spa from the ancient world. Miraculously hidden from view until the 1870s, delve into the history of this magical monument and admire its architectural splendor.  Arrival time back in London is at approximately 07:45 PM.

From London: White Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury Day-Trip

9. From London: White Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury Day-Trip

Discover the beauty of Kent on this day trip from London. Travel aboard a comfortable and airconditioned coach to admire the White Cliffs of Dover. Follow your guide on a walking tour of Canterbury to uncover the city's fascinating history. Depart London on a full-day tour to explore the southern county of Kent, known as the garden of England.  Continue to the White Cliffs of Dover, with time to enjoy a coastal breathtaking walk or simply take in the coastal views. On a clear day, see magnificent views of the English Channel and even France. Enjoy an hour of free-time to marvel at the beauty of the White Cliffs. The visitor center offers an opportunity to get refreshments and souvenirs. Then choose to spend longer at the Cliffs, or visit Dover Castle, one of the most impressive castles in England. Continue to the historic city of Canterbury, where your guide will introduce you to the city with an informative walking tour. Wander among the ancient buildings and charming streets of this picturesque city.  Take some free time to visit Canterbury Cathedral if you wish, or spend longer exploring this magnificent historic city. Spend 2.5 hours in Canterbury, with time for lunch, a walking tour, a cathedral visit, and time to explore. Arrive back in London in the early evening

London: Downton Abbey, Cotswolds, and Highclere Castle Tour

10. London: Downton Abbey, Cotswolds, and Highclere Castle Tour

Depart London by luxury mini-coach on an 11-hour Downton Abbey tour. Stop at Yew Tree Farm (Cogges Manor Farm) to see filming sites used throughout the TV series. Continue to the Swan Inn at Swinbrook, location of one of the series' most controversial story lines. Next stop is in Shilton, a Cotswolds village inaccessible to larger coaches. See the old stone footbridge, duck pond and the old pump and well, before the short journey to Bampton (Downton village). Head to Highclere Castle, home to the Grantham family in the series. Enjoy the gardens before entering the castle. Take a guided tour of the castle’s opulent rooms. There will also be time to take in the Egyptian exhibition.

Frequently asked questions about South East England Castle & Palace Tours

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What people are saying about South East England

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 3,726 reviews

It was a fantastic tour! The day tour was a surprise for my parents birthday, and they were thrileld. We really enjoyed discovering the british countryside with the excitement to see Downton Abbey real life places. The Castle was beautiful, and it really felt like jumping into the tv show. A wonderful guide was taking care of us, sharing interesting information and also giving us time to explore by ourselves, and enjoy the quiet. Bus was very comfortable, schedule was kept on time. Deeply recommended.

Overall it was a very pleasant trip, our guide Davin (if I remember correctly) was very knowledgable about Dover and Canterbury and I learned a lot from our guide. Wish we had a bit more time to explore the Cliffs as it was a long walk from one end to the other. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring lots of water with you when coming here

I loved the trip! Bruce and Tony were brilliant as guide and driver respectively. Without Bruce's entertaining skills it wouldn't have been the same, of that I'm sure! We had ample time to see the sights and the tips we were given by this experienced guide were truly useful

Our guide Manon was great! She was super knowledgeable, nice, and helpful. She talked us through the history of each stop and she made sure we had enough time to explore on our own.

I had a great day exploring Highclere and the Cotswolds. Our guide was very knowledgeable and informative.