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6 day Classic Literary England


6 days/5 nights from London 

from the SGT ‘Classic Route’ Collection


Great for school groups!


Canterbury, Chawton, Salisbury, Bath, Cotswolds, Oxford, Stratford-Upon-Avon

Overviewicon Itineraryicon

This itinerary is available for private groups, modified to your specific wishes, at the date of your choice – subject to vehicle and guide availability. Great for school groups!


 This tour begins and ends in London



Day 1 Monday



We depart our Central London meeting point at approximately 09:00 and travel via the old coaching route, tracing the path of Chaucer’s Pilgrims. This was an area of London also well known to Shakespeare and Dickens. Our first stop is Charles Dickens’ Rochester. This gem of a city, with its cathedral and Norman castle, overflows with Dickens's sites, places mentioned in his books such as ‘Miss Havisham's house’ and Dickens himself lived here for a time.


Spend some quality time in Chaucer’s mediaeval city of Canterbury. Meander the charming high street, filled with charming shops and cafes, and of course pay respects inside of the historic cathedral. Spending the night here, we will miss the madding crowds of daytrippers from London!


NIGHTSTOP: KENT, Canterbury area

PROPERTY: Canterbury Cathedral Lodge, The Falstaff or similar, https://www.canterburycathedrallodge.org/ http://www.thefalstaffincanterbury.com/

Day 2 Tuesday



Visit Vita Sackville-West and Sir Harold Nicholson's world famous garden of Sissinghurst. Here, we’ll find a Tudor tower complete with Vita’s writing workshop, a walled herb garden, mixed border gardens, an oast house museum, a white garden and a cottage garden. Writer and friend to the ‘Bloomsbury Group,’ Vita’s home usually has Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s printing press on display.


Another home and garden is Rudyard Kipling's home of Bateman's. The rooms, described by him as 'untouched and unfaked', remain much as he left them, with oriental rugs and artefacts reflecting his strong association with the East.


Spoilt for choice should we manage additional touring time today, Kent is steeped in literary heritage! In consultation with your guide, explore based on the particular interests of the individuals aboard as time permits.


NIGHTSTOP: Canterbury area, same property as above

Day 3 Wednesday



A full day today as we make our way west to “Jane Austen Country” the county of Hampshire. It was in the quaint village of Chawton that Jane Austen spent the majority of her later years, where she completed most of her most famous works, Sense & Sensibility and Pride & Prejudice amongst others. Once inside her cottage, we are in her world.


Winchester is a place well known to several authors – this is Thomas Hardy’s ‘Wintoncester’ and the final resting place for Jane Austen in Winchester Cathedral. A walking tour of this original Saxon capital of England will introduce you to the general sights, including England’s oldest public schools.


NIGHTSTOP: HAMPSHIRE: Winchester/Southampton area

PROPERTY: Chilworth Manor, Swan Alton or similar, http://www.bw-chilworthmanor.co.uk/ https://www.oldenglishinns.co.uk/our-locations/the-swan-alton

Day 4 Thursday

Salisbury, Bath


A day simply filled with classical British places! Salisbury is one port of call, where we can pay our respects inside the stunning gothic cathedral and see one of the greatest pieces of writing, the Magna Carta.


Bath, the city of Georgian splendor and Roman antiquity, is our base for tonight. Again, by staying overnight we will have plenty of time to explore once the daytripper crowds have left! Upon arrival, your guide will be on hand for an orientation tour of the highlights. Jane Austen fans will immediately recognize several streets and squares from her novels such as Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. The remains of the day is open so you can explore Bath as you please. We highly recommend time in the Roman Baths and Pump Rooms, the Jane Austen Centre or you could simply wander the lovely tea rooms and antique shops - the choice is yours!



PROPERTY: The Kennard, Edgar Townhouse or similar, http://www.kennard.co.uk/ https://www.edgar-townhouse.co.uk/

Day 5 Friday

Gloucester, Cotswolds villages


The lovely, historic city of Gloucester has many wonderful literary connections. Gloucester Cathedral and the King's School have enjoyed a recent surge in popularity since each was used as locations for Harry Potter’s ‘Hogwarts.’ Gloucester also features as a setting for Beatrix Potter and Humpty Dumpty can claim his origins here.


We will make our way through one or two of the honey-thatch cottage villages in this region of the Cotswolds. Each is unique and pretty in its own right. With our small vehicle, get where larger coaches can’t and avoid the commercialized ‘honey-pots,’ discovering the best.


An evening in Stratford-Upon-Avon provides the opportunity, dependent upon schedules, to attend the theatre at the RSC. There's a wonderful viewing tower and highly rated restaurant so worth a visit even if not attending a performance! See what's on at the RSC: http://www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on/


NIGHTSTOP: Stratford-Upon-Avon

PROPERTY: Swan’s Nest or similar http://www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/our-hotels/macdonald-swan’s-nest-hotel/

Day 6 Saturday

Stratford Upon Avon, Downton Abbey village, Oxford


This morning, time to explore Stratford-Upon-Avon and discover the Shakespeare connections. Visit the local church, burial place for the Bard, and the well-known Birthplace. You will have free time to wander the cobbled streets, touring, shopping and relaxing as you wish.


The ancient market town of Bampton, one of the oldest towns in England, has many pleasant 17th and 18th century houses, a few inns and a Italianate Town Hall. Certainly to be recognizable as many outdoor scenes of Downton Abbey are filmed here, most notably St. Mary's Church and the library, which serves as the entrance to the cottage hospital.


Later see the 'city of the dreaming spires' Oxford. This is the jewel in the literary crown. The Dean of Mathematics at Christchurch College was one Charles Dodgson, better known as ‘Lewis Carroll’ and one finds 'Alice' everywhere here. See the ancient pub in the town centre where the Inklings (CS Lewis, Tolkien…) met to talk and drink. And, of course, contemporary literature is represented by Colin Dexter’s detective 'Morse' and there is Harry’s ‘Hogwarts’ to discover too. A walking tour of the city will introduce you to these highlights and to many others.


Arrive back into London this evening.



Please note: All attraction opening times are correct at time of printing this website. While we will do our utmost to include all of the properties mentioned as central visits, we reserve the right to change an attraction should it become impossible to deliver a planned visit due to changes in opening days or times beyond our control.



Oft imitated, never duplicated! This is an original SGT itinerary, property of Special Group Tours and to be used only with express permission/in conjunction with SGT.

PRE and/or POST tour options

Everyone LOVES London so why not spend some quality time?! You can explore the capital at your leisure and see some of the city’s iconic sites or perhaps go on your very own ‘Literary London’ tour. You can choose to do it yourself or we can assist you with a custom day or multi-day tour extension. London accommodation, airport transfers, London city tours, London attraction passes and London transport passes are separate from our tour but can be added to your overall package as you wish.


Jane Austen never lived in London but there are a few places of interest here for fans; she did visit her brother Henry at his London homes of 10 Henrietta Street and 23 Hans Place. Her cousin Eliza de Feuillide, often regarded as the model for the character ‘Mary Crawford’ in Mansfield Park, is buried in St John’s Hampstead. We recommend paying respects at Jane’s memorial plaque in Poet’s Corner of Westminster Abbey and a visit to the British Library to see her manuscripts. Another choice is the National Portrait Gallery, where among the many painting and photographs of famous Britons, you can see the sketch done by her sister Cassandra. This is the only undisputed portrait of Jane Austen.


There are London’s literary museums and houses to be seen, properties connected with Keats, Dickens, Carlyle and Dr Johnson. Possibly you’d prefer to just take a stroll through the areas rich in literary history, the neighborhoods of Bankside, an area well known to Chaucer, Shakespeare and Dickens or the Bloomsbury of Virginia Woolf, TS Elliot and Lytton Stratchey among others.


Prefer the iconic sites? Go around on the hop-on/hop-off bus, the best introduction to the city. Hop off when you want then hop back on. SGT highly recommends a visit to St Paul’s Cathedral. Their included multi-media personal Ipod Touch tour guide brings hundreds of years of British history to life – literary at your fingertips! Avoid the queues/lines and pre-book your tickets via us. We can also assist you with pre-booking The Tower of London tickets too.


For your evenings, we recommend London’s fantastic theatres – West End, Shakespeare’s Globe or one of the modern ‘off West End’ gems like the Royal Court or the Donmar Warehouse. Spoilt for choice in Literary London!


Oft imitated, never duplicated! This is an original SGT itinerary, property of Special Group Tours and to be used only with express permission/in conjunction with SGT.


What Your Tour Package Includes:

What your tour price includes: 6 touring days with driver/guide companion, accommodation for 5 nights while on the tour including breakfast daily, entrance fees to listed attractions, transportation and all taxes and tips other than those you may wish to give your guide.


Dinners, beverages and any items of a personal nature are not included in the package price.


Airport transfers, accommodation pre and post tour, London city tours, London attraction passes and London transport passes are not included but can be added to your package for the appropriate supplemental cost. Ask us for details.

Mapicon Why SGT?icon

The Special Group Tours Advantage is our unique and intimate understanding of what you expect traveling in the UK and Europe. We have not only visited but have spent many years living in and loving the cultures you will experience down the ‘B’ Roads and off the beaten track. We have worked with local suppliers and our guide/companion team for over a decade, creating unique special interest itineraries. Special Group Tours offers our “insider” knowledge to you.


The SGT Small Group Touring Concept is traveling with just 4 - 14 guests per departure. It is our aim to introduce you to the 'real' country and its people, not just ticking the boxes of a standardized route and treating you as an individual and not a number. Our concept allows for a leisurely touring pace and flexibility to get off the beaten track to discover hidden gems. Of course you'll see the major sites but so much more too!


At Special Group Tours, it is our priority that you have the most enjoyable holiday possible. You deserve it!

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