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  • After settling in for the cosy Christmas season, it isn’t long until signs of spring start to appear and it’s one of our favourite times to get out exploring in Britain, as days lengthen and green shoots start to poke their way through the ground.

    If you’re thinking of planning a trip to Britain this spring, here are our top 5 reasons why it is a great option!

    1. Bluebells

    Bluebells above UllswaterThe emergence of carpets of dancing bluebells filling forest floors is one of the signs that spring has really arrived in the UK. Usually seen from mid-April for a month or so, they can be found in woodland and on hillsides all over the country from the Scottish Highlands to the south coast.

    Some of our favourite places to see these include the Blickling Estate in Norfolk, the woodlands of the Chiltern Hills, Roseberry Topping in North Yorkshire, Skelghyll Woods in the Lake District and Glen Finglas in Scotland’s Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. But there are many other places so we can easily let you know the best options close to where you are staying.

    2. Long days

    Spring sunset in the Yorkshire DalesThe clocks going forward in March always signifies the start of spring and seems to put the whole population in a good mood after the seemingly long, dark months of January and February!

    Visit in May or June and the light days stretch into long, hazy evenings, meaning plenty of opportunity for evening walks watching the farmers making hay as the sun sets in the countryside, or lazy al fresco drinks and dinner in the cities!

    3. Lambs

    Lambs gambling through the fields is one of the quintessential images of British springtime and there is certainly no shortage of opportunity to witness these playful animals. Take to the well-worn footpaths and lanes of areas such as the Cotswolds, the Lamb above WindermerePeak District and the Yorkshire Dales at this time of year and you will see crowds of them racing up and down over every dry stone wall that you peer over!

    If travelling with a family, many farm parks will offer the chance to see lambing or bottle feed newborn lambs, which can be a great way to introduce children to farming.

    4. Gardens

    The grand country houses are often high up on the list of priorities when people come to visit Britain, and the gardens are often as impressive as the houses themselves. Vast, manicured gardens, designed hundreds of years ago and meticulously looked after over the centuries, are found all around the country. Winter is rarely the season to see them at their best but, come spring, the leaves come out, flowers blossom and returning wildlife brings the whole thing back to life.

    There are many to choose from, large and small, but some of our favourites are the gardens and grounds at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, Stourhead in Wiltshire and Chatsworth in the Peak District.

    5. Country walksCauldron Falls, Yorkshire Dales

    We have always said that we think getting out on a walk through the countryside, be it a gentle riverside stroll or a tough hike, is one of the best ways to get a feel for an area. As the tricky conditions of winter give way to grassy meadows, wild flowers and sunny days, while there is still enough rain for waterfalls and babbling streams to be at their best, spring is the perfect season for enjoying Britain’s extensive network of footpaths.

  • VisitEngland/New Forest District Council/Nigel MortonWhile many people are mourning the loss of summer, at GBE we love a bit of autumn weather – the colours changing in the trees, the blustery wind blowing around clouds of falling leaves and the sun taking on a warm glow of the changing seasons.

    Here are our suggestions of some of our favourite places in Britain to make the most of this fantastic season.

    Stourhead, Wiltshire

    Stourhead is one of the most famously beautiful landscaped gardens in Britain and, as the leaves change colour and the autumn sunlight reflects the whole picture in the lake, it is hard to imagine a prettier scene.

    Run by the National Trust, there are lots of ways to make the most of a visit at this time of year – volunteers run daily ‘autumn walks’ to show you the best of the gardens and autumn events include an ‘autumn leaves trail’, for you to get the most out of your visit at this time of year, ‘the Big Draw’ on 6 October with arty events all around the grounds, and ‘Apple Day’ on 20 October when the farm shop with have lots of produce made from apples from the estate to sample.

    Lake District Forests

    (c) VisitEngland/Alex HareThe Lake District is most renowned for its rugged mountain tops, but in autumn its forests can match the fells for drama and beauty.

    Grisedale and Whinlatter, the two large forests managed by the Forestry Commission, are fantastic days out at any time of year, with miles and miles of well-maintained paths for hiking and mountain biking (experienced riders only at Whinlatter, England’s only mountain forest), as well as tree-tops courses, segways, orienteering and sculptures, and activity trails and play areas for younger visitors.

    However, in the autumn, the forests take on a more dramatic and atmospheric look, as yellows, oranges and reds spread across the trees and rusting leaves cover the paths, making it the perfect time to visit.

    Some of the Lakes’ less well-known woodland, such as Dodd Wood, most famous for its Osprey lookout point, and Ennerdale Forest, are other great autumnal outings.

    Loch Lomond

    (c) Visit Britain / Adam Burton

    While Loch Lomond and the area around it sometimes gets overshadowed by the drama and rugged terrain of the Highlands to the north, in the autumn this area, and particularly the National Nature Reserve near Balamha on the eastern side of the loch and the vast Great Trossachs Forest to the north, can rival the beauty of its northerly neighbours.

    The gentle 1.5 mile ‘Millennium Forest Trail’ from Balmaha is a great starting point or, for something more testing, hike up Ben Venue in the Great Trossachs Forest for views across the area. Gentler walking trails, a play trail and walks to spots that inspired literary greats are also available, as well as a loch-side café for some refreshment!

    The New Forest

    (c) VisitEngland/New Forest District CouncilAlthough large parts of the New Forest National Park are no longer actually forested, the sections that are are home to some of Britain’s oldest and most impressive trees – 800 year old oaks, 400 year old beech trees and yews that can beat them both! The autumnal colours make the area truly beautiful and the history of the place can be felt in the atmosphere; a feeling that is only added to by stumbling across pigs roaming the forest floor for fallen acorns!

    Autumn also sees the New Forest host its annual walking festival, this year from 13 to 28 October, when many themed guided walks can be joined (advance booking recommended), and its Food and Drink week, taking place between 29 October and 4 November.


    Arboretums are, of course, at their best during autumn and Britain has many excellent ones to visit all over the country. A couple of our favourites are Wesonbirt National Aroretum in the Cotswolds, a vast collection of over 15,000 tree specimens with a tree-top walkway and lots of activities for the whole family; and Thorpe Perrow Arboretum on the eastern edge of the Yorkshire Dales. As well as a stunning collection of trees turning a beautiful variety of colours this season, the arboretum has a birds of prey and mammal centre and an excellent playground to keep the children entertained.

    (c) Great British Escapes / Matt CoppinA visit to Thorpe Perrow can easily be combined with a trip to the wonderful gardens at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, which also put on a magical display at this time of year.

    For more ideas on where to visit this autumn or help planning your holiday in Britain, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

  • You could take almost any section of the 11,073 miles of Britain’s coastline (and that’s not including the islands!) and enjoy a beautiful walk along cliffs, beaches and dunes. The fantastic network of footpaths in Britain means that nearly all of the coastline is accessible to the public and can be walked in linear stretches or enjoyed as part of a circular route, taking in some countryside as well.

    Here are some of our favourite stretches around the country, to give you a taste of the Great British Coastline!

    1. Around Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire (circular) – 5.6 miles

    Old lifeguard station at Robin Hood's BayThe North Yorkshire coast has cliffs, bays and wildlife to rival any other part of Britain and this loop takes in arguably the area’s most picturesque fishing village, some wonderful cliff walking, the chance to spot fossils on the beach and a stretch of pretty countryside.

    The walk starts in Robin Hood’s Bay – the picture of a smugglers’ cove, with buildings tumbling down the hillside to the sea, and narrow alleyways wriggling through them. The beach here is a great place for spotting fossils and there are plenty of places for refreshment in town (the Old Bakery and Swell café are our favourites).

    From the village, the first section of the walk heads north across fields and stiles (lots of them!). After heading east to get back to the coast, the return leg follows the Cleveland away along the cliff tops back to the village. If you need refreshments mid-way the Hare and Hounds at High Hawsker is a short detour off the route.

    Full route directions are provided by the AA here.

    2. Dartmouth to Brixham, Devon (linear, with a regular bus back to the start) – 11 miles

    Boats on the River DartThe South-West Coast Path follows the whole of Devon and Cornwall’s coastline (as well as a lot of Dorset’s) and the whole route is so stunning you can walk any stretch of it and have a fantastic experience.

    This section from Dartmouth to Brixton in Devon offers fantastic variety – starting in Dartmouth you are in one of the south-west’s most picturesque (and popular!) towns, with its fantastic setting on the Dart Estuary. From there, you hop on a little tug ferry to the pretty village of Kingswear, with its multi-coloured houses clinging to the hillside, before sweeping up and down the cliff-side, taking in hidden coves, long, sandy beaches, stunning views from the cliff-tops and a wide-variety of seabirds, especially around Berry Head Nature Reserve. You also walk past the back entrance to Coleton Fishacre, a 1920s country retreat with beautiful gardens, maintained by the National Trust, which makes a great stop if you have time.

    Brixham itself is a contrast to Dartmouth – rather than a picture-perfect holiday town, Brixham is very much a working harbour town, always bustling and with plenty of places to try the excellent seafood that comes straight off the boats into the huge fish market every morning (an outdoor table at Claws on the harbour front is a great option if you can bag one, or a table at ‘Claws Indoors’ just on the other side of the road if not!).

    Regular buses run from Brixham back to Kingswear where you can hop back on the ferry to your starting point.

    Full route information is provided on the South West Coast Path website here.

    3. Craster to Low Newton via Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumberland (circular) – 6 miles

    Dunstanburgh CastleNorthumberland’s coastline, with its atmospheric castle ruins and vast stretches of empty beach have a wild and windswept charm.

    This walk starts from the small village of Craster, at one time a busy fishing harbour but now a peaceful place with only a few boats, although the famous Craster kippers are still smoked here and well worth a try before or after your walk!

    The first half of the walk tracks along the coast close to the sea, taking you through woodland, sand dunes and rock pools before reaching the moody ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle, looking out to sea.

    After exploring the castle ruins, continue along the coast, passing underneath tall cliffs, looking out for a variety of sea birds and along the wide stretch of sandy Embleton Bay.

    On reaching the little fishing village of Low Newton, the path turns back south, returning along a higher route, offering good views out to sea and over the cliffs and castle and a visit to Newton Pool Nature Reserve.

    Back in Craster, enjoy a well-earned pint with sea views at the Jolly Fisherman or sample some local seafood at L Robson and Sons seafood restaurant (home of the aforementioned kippers!).

    Full route information is provided by the National Trust here.

    4. St Abb’s Nature Reserve, Scottish Borders (circular) – 4 miles

    St Abb's village from the cliffsThe Scottish Borders are most well-known for the beautiful abbey ruins that are scattered across the area but head to the coast and you will find fantastic scenery and great wildlife.

    Start at the little fishing of St Abb’s from where a four mile loop takes you around the St Abb’s Head Nature Reserve. The walk takes you along cliffs that are filled with nesting seabirds during summer to the lighthouse, from where you circle inland and enjoy a return route through the surrounding grassland filled with wildflowers.

    Back in St Abb’s, refuel at little Ebb Carr’s café, right by the harbour, where you can enjoy fresh crab sandwiches, Scotland’s famous Cullen Skink or a homemade scone!

    Alternatively you can park in the National Trust car park, which also has an interesting visitors centre.

    Full route information has been provided by Countryfile here.

    5. Shieldaig Peninsula (circular) – 2.75 miles

    Shieldaig villageThink about walking in the Scottish Highlands and you might be daunted by the idea of needing to be fully kitted out in mountaineering equipment and happy to climb for hours, but Scotland’s west coast offers some of its finest scenery, and often with wonderful views of the mountains without having to be up them!

    There are plenty of options for enjoying some of the coastline and we could have chosen many to feature here, but it is hard to beat the gentle circuit of the Shieldaig Peninsula for squeezing gorgeous scenery and huge variety into a reasonably short and easy walk.

    Start in little Shieldaig village with its picture-perfect setting on the shores of Loch Shieldaig. A rocky track takes you across moorland and around the little peninsula, giving you wonderful views back over Shieldaig, across Loch Torridon to Inveralligin and the Diabaig peninsula and over the stunning Torridon mountains.

    Back in Shieldaig, make sure to pick up some smoked salmon from the fantastic little ‘Loch Torridon Smokehouse’ tucked behind one of the houses on the main street.

    Full route information can be found on Walking Highlands here.

    6. Marazion to Porthleven, Cornwall (linear, with a regular bus back to the start) – 10.8 miles

    St Michael's MountCornwall’s coastline is justifiably popular, with gorgeous beaches, cliffs and coves to be found around the whole county. Walking part of the South West Coast Path is a great way to get away from the crowds that can be found at some of the more popular spots.

    This route from Marazion to Porthelven takes in one of Cornwall’s most famous sights – St Michael’s Mount – and a great mixture of flat walking along the beach and the typical roller-coaster up and down the cliff side!

    It starts in the charming village of Marazion, where you can stroll across the causeway to explore St Michael’s Mount if the tide is low (or take a boat if not) before enjoying the first fairly flat section of the walk, which offers great views over Mounts Bay and back to St Michael’s Mount.

    The second part of the walk takes you up and down the cliffs, providing huge variety – a couple of great sandy beaches at Perranuthnoe and Praa Sands, some of Cornwall’s famous mining ruins at Wheal Prosper (very Poldark!), a smuggler’s cove, beautiful wild flowers in spring and summer and great views from Rinsey Head and Trewavas Head both back over Mounts Bay and ahead to the Lizard Peninsula.

    The walk ends in the quintessential fishing town of Porthleven – popular but not overrun, boats bob around in the harbour and you can get a pot of freshly picked crab, only just out of the sea, from the tiny shop on the harbour side! There are lots of great options for refreshments – including the atmospheric Ship Inn – before hopping on the bus back to Marazion.

    Full route information is provided on the South West Coast Path website here.

    If you would like more information about walking in Britain or would like us to create a tailor-made itinerary for your holiday in Britain, please get in touch.

  • Crummock Water (c) Matt Coppin / Great British EscapesThe Lake District National Park is a very popular area both for British holidaymakers and those coming from further afield; the vast majority of our customers include a couple of nights there during their trip, so it certainly could not be considered ‘off the beaten track’. However, most people stick to the central Lakes, which, while beautiful and with many interesting places to visit, can get a bit busy in the height of summer.

    If you head instead to the north of the area, you will find a very different feel – the same stunning scenery but with a more rugged atmosphere, a focus on hiking and exploring the great outdoors, and many areas where your only company is a few Herdwick sheep!

    Here are our top tips for visiting the area.

    Favourite short walks

    Castle Crag

    The lowest summit to be given the ‘full treatment’ by Alfred Wainwright in his famous pictorial guides, the fell walker thought it well worth the accolade, and we certainly agree – the beautiful approach, the mining heritage and the fantastic views for relatively little effort make this a wonderful outing.Borrowdale from Castle Crag (c) Matt Coppin / Great British Escapes

    There are a couple of options of where to start the walk but we like the route from the little village of Grange (limited parking available in front of the village hall), which takes you down a lane and past the idyllic campsite at Hollows Farm, on the banks of the River Derwent, before climbing through picture-perfect woodland, following the course of Broadslack Gill. You emerge from the woodland only for the last pull to the summit of Castle Crag, which is mostly on a zig-zagging path through the remains of an old slate quarry (care should be taken as slates can move or be slippy in wet/icy weather).

    Emerging onto a flat section of slate, you suddenly get a stunning view over the head of Borrowdale, with the Derwent snaking its way through the flat valley floor. A short climb through a large number of slate cairns takes you to the summit, where there is another stunning view, this time in the other direction, down Borrowdale to Derwent Water and Keswick.

    Descending from the summit, you can either retrace your steps or loop around the summit to join the Cumbria Way footpath close to the river and follow this north, to re-join your original path back at the campsite.

    Derwent Water from Castle Crag (c) Matt Coppin / Great British EscapesGrange boasts the perfect spot to enjoy a well-earned cuppa and cake on your return – at the Grange Bridge Tea Shop the service and produce can be a little hit and miss but a seat in the garden by the river overlooking the summit you have just bagged more than makes up for it!

    Cat Bells

    Another favourite is the short walk up to the summit of Cat Bells. You get stunning views over Derwent Water and the peaks surrounding the Newlands Valley, for fairly little effort. However, this is certainly not one you will have to yourself on anything other than a cold winter’s day (or very early in the morning!), as it’s extremely popular. It also features as part of our ‘long walk’ below! There are quiet routes up to the ridge from the western side of the fell, in the Newlands Valley, if you don’t want to follow the well-trodden ridge route, or to make the route a circuit.


    For a low level option, the circuit of little Loweswater in the Buttermere Valley is a lovely option with a great pub nearby for post-walk refreshments (see below). The National Trust owns the land here and provides walk details on its website.

    Favourite long walk: The Newlands Horseshoe

    Taking in 1190 metres of ascent, 6 summits and 12 miles, this is a full day walk and not for the fainthearted!

    While Cat Bells, the lowest summit on the route, tends to get a lot of visitors (see above), you are very likely to be doing several other stretches of this walk in wonderful peace and quiet (so make sure you have a map and know how to read it!).

    There are several options on where to start the walk but we like the start from the little villages of Stair or Little Town in theDerwent Water and Bassenthwaite Lake from Cat Bells (c) Matt Coppin / Great British Escapes Newlands Valley. Little Town has the advantage of having a good café at Littletown Farm for a well-earned treat when you finish the route! (Although note it is only open in summer and ‘busy periods’ so worth checking before you set off if you’re relying on it!)

    The route starts by climbing to the highest summit of the day – Robinson – from where there are wonderful views of both the Newlands Valley and over into the Buttermere Valley to Crummock Water.

    The ridge then takes you over Hindscarth to Dale Head, for more fabulous views of the Newlands Valley and over to the Skiddaw massif. There is a steep descent down to pretty Dale Head Tarn before climbing again to the summit of High Spy and enjoying a stunning ridge walk over Maiden Moor to Cat Bells. From here, there is a short but steep descent back into the Newlands Valley to end the day.

    It is possible to shorten the route by descending early from the ridge back into the valley at various points along the route.

    Favourite Café: The Lingholm Kitchen

    The Lingholme KitchenThe Lingholm Estate, tucked away on the quieter western shores of Derwent Water, is centred on a grand Victorian Mansion, most well-known as being a holiday location for the young Beatrix Potter, before she made the Lake District her permanent home.

    The estate has recently opened the Lingholm Kitchen and Walled Garden – a large, light and airy café, overlooking the walled garden (reputedly Potter’s inspiration for Mr McGregor’s garden), with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. Service is excellent, homemade cakes and breads are too tempting, and lunches are a great mixture of smart sandwiches and something a bit more unusual. Excellent breakfasts and brunches are also served.

    You are welcome to stroll through the garden and The Walled Garden on the Lingholme Estatewoodland and down to the lake. If you’d rather leave the car behind, you can take the Keswick Launch from Keswick to either Hawse End or Nichol End Marina and make the short walk along the Cumbria Way footpath to Lingholm from there.

    Favourite Pub: The Kirkstile Inn

    Tucked away in the hamlet of Loweswater in the Buttermere valley, the Kirkstile Inn is everything a country pub should be. Packed full of character that has been wonderfully looked after over the last 500 years, all of the requisite ingredients are in place: original timber beams, flag stone floors and roaring fires.

    The atmosphere is cosy and welcoming, whether you pop in for an afternoon pint after a long walk or settle in for the evening to try some of the local food (rooms are also available). On a sunny day, there is plenty of outside space to soak up the grand proportions of the Buttermere Valley.

    Add to this that the Kirkstile has its own micro-brewery (now relocated to near Hawkshead due to its popularity) – Cumbrian Legendary Ales – and sells its own excellent beers alongside a selection of other local favourites and it is hard to find fault!

    Favourite activities

    Boating on Derwent Water

    Rowing boats on Derwent Water (c) Matt Coppin / Great British EscapesThe beautifully located lake of Derwent Water, with Keswick at its northern point and stretching down Borrowdale, flanked by increasingly high mountains on either side, is a great spot for those who like taking to the water.

    There are options to suit every taste – peaceful ‘hop-on-hop-off’ lake cruises, allowing you to explore all around the lake without navigating the narrow lanes; rowing boats; motor boats; and kayaks. Take a fishing trip or, if feeling brave, have a dip from one of the lake ‘beaches’ (confident swimmers only and never go alone).

    For a more unusual option, five times a year, Derwent Island House, on privately owned Derwent Isle in the middle of the lake, is open to the public and you can take a boat trip or canoe to the island and visit the house.

    Whinlatter Forest

    Whinlatter Forest, England’s only mountain forest, is run by the Forestry Commission and, as well as providing wood for fuel and building, offers a variety of activities including well-renowned mountain biking trails (not suitable for beginners), walking trails, a high ropes ‘Go Ape’ course, segways to hire and an excellent woodland ‘play trail’ for the kids.

    If you would like some help planning your trip to the northern Lakes or anywhere else in Britain, just get in touch.

  • London at Dusk (c)MattCoppin/GreatBritishEscapes

    One of the world’s most well-known and fascinating cities, you could spend weeks in London and still only scratch the surface, but if you follow our tips, you can still get a really good feel for the city if your time is limited.

    In just 48 hours you can visit several of the well-known highlights, but make sure to take some time off from box-ticking to wander through the busy, cosmopolitan streets, to soak up the atmosphere and get a feel for the character of this fascinating city.

    Central London is surprisingly compact and it is easy to get between many of the famous sights without having to take public transport, and exploring on foot will help you stumble upon many of London’s ‘hidden gems’.

    Hit the ground running

    Drop your bags at your hotel and get straight out for an early hit of culture! London is well-known for its wide selection of World Class museums and galleries (most of which are free), so squeeze one in on your first afternoon.

    There are many options but it is hard to beat the British Museum in Bloomsbury. Its huge entrance atrium is immediately impressive and the collection includes the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon Sculptures and the Oxus Treasures. Popular exhibitions are also regularly hosted, but may need booking in advance.

    Evening relaxation

    From here you can make the short walk to lively Soho for the evening (making a quick detour to Oxford Street if you fancy some shopping!). The criss-cross of streets south of Oxford Street that makes up the area of Soho is chock full of restaurants, bars and cafes and is the perfect place for some people watching.

    Try to grab a window seat at one of the many bar-restaurants along Old Compton Street for a prime view of Soho life over your pre-dinner drink. The eating options are endless with hundreds of restaurants from the casual cheap-eat to world famous fine dining – one of our favourites is Yotam Ottolenghi’s Nopi, where middle-eastern flavours take centre stage and, if you are feeling sociable, you can take a seat at the communal dining table downstairs (booking essential). It also gives you the chance to pop in for a pre or post dinner pint at The Lyric, a fantastically characterful Victorian pub that offers a wide selection of craft beers.

    Along the South Bank

    Millennium Bridge, London

    Get an early start to make the most of your full day and, after a hearty breakfast to set you up, head for Westminster, where you can see the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and call into Westminster Abbey.

    Once you are finished with the political heart of London, head across Westminster Bridge to the south side of the river, admiring the view back on the Palace of Westminster and the London skyline as you do.

    Head east and, if you would like to get a bird’s eye view of the city, make the London Eye your first stop (buying fast-track tickets in advance saves precious time). Otherwise, continue along the river, enjoying the lively footpath that is always filled with performers, food stalls and art exhibitions.

    Pass the Royal Festival Hall, British Film Institute and National Theatre, which all have options for some refreshment as well as changing exhibitions and a regular farmers’ market, and admire the impressive buildings that line the north side of the river, before reaching the pedestrian Millennium Bridge. On the south side of the bridge, call into the Tate Modern to see the latest exhibition in the vast Turbine Hall, and consider crossing the bridge to visit famous St Paul’s Cathedral.

    Back on the south side, continue on to London Bridge, where the narrowing pathways give a real sense of what this part of London was like in medieval times, and stop at Borough Market, a huge food market, for lunch or to pick up some produce. Pass HMS Belfast, now permanently moored on the Thames and a museum open to the public, to reach Tower Bridge.

    Tower of London (c)MattCoppin/GreatBritishEscapes

    Crossing back to the north side, your last stop is the fascinating Tower of London, a building with one of the most fascinating histories of any in the world. Royal palace, fortress, prison and place of execution, the Tower has witnessed many of the most significant events in English history. It remains home to the Crown Jewels as well as the famous ‘Beefeaters’, who conduct tours of the tower. Advance purchase of tickets can save time queuing.

    If you don't fancy the walk, you can take the River Bus down the Thames from the London Eye Pier to London Bridge or all the way to the Tower of London, getting a good view of the other sights as you pass by!

    Show time!

    For many, a trip to London isn’t complete without seeing a West End show, so grab an early dinner at one of the many restaurants in the theatre district that offers early bird theatre menus and spend your evening singing along to your favourite tunes.

    The most popular shows can sell out months in advance, so booking in advance is sensible if you have something specific you would like to see, but there are always last minute tickets available for some shows, so don’t panic if you haven’t booked ahead.

    If you prefer serious theatre, head for the Old Vic instead (advance booking essential), where you can have pre-theatre dinner and post-theatre drinks at one of the many bars and restaurants that line The Cut.

    Final morning

    Have a slightly more leisurely start to the day, after a big day yesterday, before enjoying a stroll through the Royal Parks of Hyde Park, Green Park and St James’ Park (hire a rowing boat in Hyde Park if time allows!) to reach Buckingham Palace, the famous Royal residence in time to watch the changing of the guard at 11am. You can nearly always get a spot where you can see what’s happening but if you want to be right at the railings, you would need to arrive early! Note that the changing of the guard usually takes place every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, but do check for your dates.

    If you have time for some last minute shopping, stroll up to Selfridges, one of London’s most famous department stores, (where you could grab a quick lunch at the café in the food hall) and along Jermyn Street, where some of the shops seem unchanged in centuries, before heading back to your hotel to collect your bags!

    If you would like any help planning a trip to London or around Britain, please do get in touch.

  • About my Blog

    On this blog, I am going to share some of my favourite things about Britain – taking beautiful country walks, trying out classic british pubs, exploring castles, palaces and stately homes, getting involved in some uniquely British experiences and events and much more. I hope that this blog will whet your appetite for a trip of a lifetime in Britain.

    Helen Coppin
    Founder, Great British Escapes

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