7 Day English Christmas Markets
7 Day Small Group Tour from London to London with Back-Roads
When it comes to wrapping up warm and enjoying the magical chill of Christmas, there’s nowhere quite like England – and on this seasonal tour of the country’s most festive attractions, we’ll find ourselves getting into the spirit of things in true English style. From London to Bath, the Cotswolds and back again, we’ll experience Choral Evensong services, delve into the traditions of bygone times – and of course, explore plenty of Christmas markets along the way.
Day 1: London – Hampton Court – Winchester
After meeting the group in London, we’ll set our sights on the first festive stop of our trip: the magnificent Hampton Court Palace, which will be bursting with Christmas decorations at this special time of year. Then: it’s onwards to Winchester, where we’ll pay a visit to the Cathedral’s Christmas market – which is regarded as one of the best in Europe. With over 100 chalets to explore, it’s the perfect place to pick up a gift or two for your loved ones back at home – so you’ll be free to stroll the stalls at your leisure before we head inside to enjoy a tour of the Cathedral itself. Later on, we’ll reconvene to share a delicious welcome dinner (and toast the start of our trip).
Day 2: Winchester – Salisbury – Bath
This morning we’ll leave Winchester behind and set a course for Salisbury – where a tour of the magnificent Salisbury Cathedral awaits. After that, it’s all aboard the mini-coach as we make our way to historic Bath. This afternoon, we’ll take to the ‘Ten Tree Trail’ in search of the ten charming Christmas trees strewn throughout the city. Of course, we’ll also take the time to soak up the atmosphere at the award-winning Christmas market before we retire to the hotel for the evening. What a day!
Day 3: Bath
We’ve a full day to spend in Bath today – and where better to begin than the famous Roman Baths? Here, we’ll receive a fascinating insight into what local life was like 2,000 years ago as we peruse the artefacts and architecture on a guided tour. Later on this afternoon, we’ll roll up our sleeves for a Christmas cookery class – where we’ll learn the secrets behind the perfect mince pies and mulled wine (cheers!). After dark, we’ll take our seats in Bath Abbey for a spine-tingling Choral Evensong service.
Day 4: Bath – The Cotswolds
Before we hit the road again, we’ll have just enough time to visit the museum at No.1 Royal Crescent – a Georgian house that has been decorated and furnished just as it would have been in the 18th century. Then, it’s off to Cirencester, where we’ll add to our Christmas present collections at the town’s charming Christmas market. Later this evening, an old-fashioned Christmas experience awaits us in Stratford-upon-Avon – where we’ll visit Shakespeare’s birthplace and learn more about the Christmas traditions of the 16th century. With traditionally decorated houses, mulled wine and warm mince pies – not to mention a short theatre performance – it’s the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit.
Day 5: The Cotswolds – London
This morning we’ll take in some quintessentially English country scenery as we make our way through the picturesque Cotswolds region en route to London. When we get there, there’s a spellbinding treat in store for us: a visit to Christmas at Kew. When we get there, we’ll follow the illuminated trail through the world-famous gardens, stopping to observe the magical art installations that pepper the trees, buildings and water.
Day 6: London
After this morning’s breakfast, we’ve a full day to spend seeking out London’s seasonal highlights – starting at the fascinating Charles Dickens Museum, where we’ll have the opportunity to wander the very rooms where the author wrote Oliver Twist, Pickwick Papers and Nicholas Nickelby. Our second stop of the day will be the iconic Covent Garden Market, where we’ll have plenty of time to browse the shops and experience the festive atmosphere. And this evening? We’ll come together to round off our last night in style: by sharing a traditional English Christmas dinner (with all the trimmings, of course).
Day 7: London
This morning you’ll have some free time to take it easy at the hotel before we gear up for the grand finale: a matinee Christmas show in the legendary West End. When it’s over, it’ll be time to say goodbye. Merry Christmas, one and all!
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner
- Attend an atmospheric Choral Evensong service at Bath Abbey
- Visit charming villages and local Christmas markets in the heart of the English countryside
- Enjoy Christmas at Kew: a unique blend of mesmerising Christmas lights and garden trails
- 6 nights in boutique accommodation
- Experienced Back-Roads Tour Leader and Driver
- Premium mini-coach transportation
- 10 Meals: 6 Breakfasts, 4 Dinners
- Accommodation, itinerary and inclusions subject to change.
- Prices are for land/cruise and internal flights as specified only. Flights not specified are not included.
- The Winchester Hotel & Spa (or similar)
- The Abbey Hotel (or similar)
- The Kings Hotel (or similar)