There is a wealth of history in Hampshire and within a few hours driving distance. Why not relax and enjoy the countryside while you travel in our luxurious vehicle to see these historical areas? If you don't have a mobile phone which operates in the UK then we will loan you one in order for you to call your chauffeur when you want to move from place to place.
Listed below you will find details of recommended tours plus links to the official websites for each area. These are just suggestions and we can plan any tour to fit in with your itinerary.
Suggested Local tours (half or full day)
Locally, there is much to see in Winchester itself including the ancient Cathedral, Wolvesey's Palace (essentially a castle, complete with a keep, walls and fortifications), Winchester College and The Great Hall, the first and finest of all 13th century halls, with the greatest symbol of medieval mythology, "The Round Table of King Arthur". More info
A short drive can take you to Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard where you can visit many attractions including Henry VIII's warship The Mary Rose, Lord Nelson's flagship HMS Victory and the first iron-clad warship HMS Warrior. Weather permitting a 'Round the Harbour' boat tour is very enjoyable and on a clear day, the view from the top of Portsdown Hill is one of the most spectacular in the UK. More info
THE NEW FOREST
Another short drive leads to the historic New Forest, set aside as a special place over nine centuries ago by William the Conqueror. Visit many unspoiled villages where ponies roam freely through the streets and thatched cottages abound. Visit Beaulieu with it's famous vintage motor museum and maybe take lunch or tea in Lymington, a yachtsman's favourite. More info
WINDSOR CASTLE and ETON
Some 900 years ago Windsor Castle, originally made of wood, was built for William the Conqueror to guard the approach to London. The site is above the River Thames, on the edge of a Saxon hunting ground and one day's march from the Tower of London. Since this time it has been a Royal Palace.
Today, Windsor Castle remains a working palace and the Queen's official residence. The State Apartments contain some of the finest works of art, armour, and paintings in the world. There are masterpieces by Rembrandt, Rubens, Holbein and Van Dyck as well as magnificent French and English furniture and porcelain. When the Queen is in residence and on special days the flag flies above the Castle. Those areas which were damaged by fire in November 1992 have been beautifully restored by some of the finest British craftsmen.
Visitors should note that opening times are subject to alteration at short notice. More info
Eton College, founded in 1440 by King Henry VI, is one of the oldest schools in the country. The historic buildings of this foundation are an integral part of the British Isles and many famous people, including 19 prime ministers and royal princes, have been educated here! Ordinary admission includes the school yard, college chapel and the Museum of Eton Life where a short video shows life at Eton today. More info
Full Day tours
The Cotswold's is an area of England about the size of greater Tokyo. Popular with both the English themselves and visitors from all over the world, the Cotswold's are well-known for gentle hillsides (‘wolds’), sleepy villages and for being so ‘typically English’.
There are famous cities and, well-known beautiful towns like Cheltenham and hundreds of delightful villages such as Burford and Castle Combe. Above all, the local honey-coloured limestone, used for everything from the stone floors in the houses to the tiles on the roof, has ensured that the area has a magical uniformity of architecture.
You will see ‘Drystone walls’ everywhere in the fields. Many were built in the 18th and 19th centuries, a matter of considerable skill as there is no cement to hold the walls together. They represent an important historical landscape and a major conservation feature and are of course still used by farmers to enclose sheep and cattle.
Not all villages are well known, and today many still hold their secrets. Amongst the treasures to be found are perhaps a hidden village off the beaten track, perhaps Painswick, Biddestone, Winchcombe or Woodstock, or an unspoilt historic church, such as at Northleach often called the “Cathedral of the Cotswolds” open the church door and you will discover a hidden world of history.
Today, the larger market towns and villages of the Cotswolds are famous for their shops, such as Stow-on-the-Wold, Cirencester, Chipping Norton and Tetbury. More info
STONEHENGE (Can be combined with Salisbury or Bath)
No place has generated so much speculation and wild theories as the standing stones of Stonehenge. After driving for miles through the rolling hills and plains of the English countryside the sight of this unusual structure makes people gasp. A walk around it only provokes more strange feelings. There's a sense that this is something very important. It taunts us with its mystery. For over 5000 years it has stood silent vigil over the earth. It has been excavated, x-rayed, measured, and surveyed. Yet despite all that has been learned about its age and construction, its purpose still remains one of the great mysteries of the world. More info
You can also visit nearby Avebury and walk among the stones. This ancient stone circle is often forgotten in the light of Stonehenge but its sheer size echoes the magnificence of the larger monument. This area crosses on ley lines and is of particular significance to the order of Druids. This can be combined with a tour of ' The Vale of the White Horse' which is steeped in history and local lengends. Among the most famous is the White Horse Hill said to be the scene of St George's slaying of the dragon. More info
Stratford-upon-avon is situated in the heart of the English midlands. A market town dating back to medieval times, Stratford is today most famous as the birthplace of the Elizabethan playwright William Shakespeare. Visit Shakespeare's Birthplace, Hall's Croft, Anne Hathaway's Cottage, Nash's House / New Place, and Mary Arden's House. More info
Warwick Castle is over a thousand years old and has been well maintained with magnificent towers and ramparts. The splendid grounds are an ideal venue for a picnic. There are many attractions at Warwick Castle from dungeons to the Great Hall, State Rooms and the Royal Weekend Party of 1898. Visitors can climb some of the towers and visit the well laid out exhibitions, many have wax figures. Kingmaker's Feasts can be arranged for corporate and groups. Many forms of medieval entertainment are staged at the castle throughout the year. More info
THE GARDEN OF ENGLAND (Kent)
The saying ‘the garden of England’ first came about when King Henry VIII’s fruiterer planted England’s first apple and cherry trees in Kent. The mild climate and fertile soils have long provided a rich environment for gardens and orchards alike. Kent is one of the few areas in England that has successful vineyards, again attributed to the mild climate. Even if gardening is not your thing there are plenty of other attractions in the garden of England to keep you coming back for more. Medieval castles, idyllic seaside towns and villages and even the largest shopping mall in Europe will all vie for your attention in this diverse county. The garden of England has delighted those that have visited since before the time of Caesar, planning a trip to this easily accessible county will not fail to please. More info
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