Southern England in Style
The best of southern England, from quaint leafy villages, to country manors and castles
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- Luxury accommodation throughout
- Private transfers
- Full support from your travel designer and concierge before, during and after your trip
- Expert local guides in each destination
At a glance
After flying into London, you’ll head straight to the heart of the idyllic English countryside, with your first three nights spent in Sussex. From here you will have a range of visits to notable, historic country estates, such as Chartwell – the home of previous prime minister Winston Churchill. You’ll also visit Squerryes Country Estate where you will enjoy an exclusive wine tasting in regal reception rooms usually closed to the public.
Next you will find yourself in the glorious surrounds of the South Downs, where you will enjoy the next three nights in a refurbished castle, dating back to the 14th century. Next, you will feel like the star of a period drama with a visit to the 18th-century Petworth House. No trip to southern England is complete without a game of croquet, and after your private class, you’ll soon be near experts in this most traditional of English sports.
After enjoying the charm of The New Forrest, once William the Conqueror’s old hunting estate, literary fans will rejoice in a tour of Jane Austen’s home town, followed by a visit to Chawton House Library.
You will finish your tour with three nights in The National Trust’s Cliveden House, with over 350-years of history behind its walls. From here you’ll tour several areas of historic interest such as Oxford, Windsor Castle and the home of the Magna Carta, to end your trip with a deep understanding of this country’s intricate past.
Example Trip Itinerary
Airside meet and greet at London Heathrow airport
Private transfer to your hotel in Sussex
Accommodation in Sussex
- 17 rooms
Stroll through exquisitely tended gardens, allowing the scents and sounds of the countryside to welcome you to Gravetye Manor, a peaceful home away from home. Set on 35 acres of enchanting gardens in the Sussex countryside, this hotel is an idyllic rural escape. Named after trees found on the estate, the 17 richly furnished rooms are designed with classic aesthetics in mind. Luxurious fabrics and carefully chosen antiques pick up on the floral theme that runs through the gardens and into the hotel itself. The rooms offer views out over the gardens, meadows and lake. Take a seat in the wood-panelled restaurant for a relaxed meal, or enjoy a pleasant lunch out in the garden. The Michelin starred head chef uses the freshest homegrown produce from the estate to create his seasonal modern British menu. The Gravetye team are proud of their gardens and love to see guests enjoying and using them as they were intended. Sip a cup of tea surrounded by fragrant blooms, stroll along stone pathways and breathe in the scents, and spend some time exploring the wild garden. Let the natural beauty of the estate rejuvenate you.
Visit Chartwell, the country home of Britain’s most famous Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. Chartwell was very much a family home and contains many personal objects which recount the history and lives of the Churchill family. The house was also a sanctuary for Sir Winston and today his studio contains the largest single collection of his paintings.
Sitting proudly within Kent’s last medieval deer park, Knole offers something for everyone. Immerse yourself in the vast estate and follow in the footsteps of those who have visited Knole’s showrooms for 400 years. Originally built as an archbishop’s palace, Knole passed through royalty to the Sackville family, who still live here today. Take in the scale and magnificence of this 600-year-old estate by exploring the grand courtyards and tranquil Orangery or wander the winding paths in the parkland, still populated by wild deer.
The county of Kent is known as the Garden of England and is situated just to the south east of London. At Squerryes country estate, you’ll be welcomed by the owner and his family and enjoy the opportunity to learn about how an English country estate is managed in the 21st century. The house and grounds are usually closed to the public, but you’ll visit the elegant reception rooms with their wonderful collection of paintings, including many family portraits, and drive across the estate to view the vineyards where some of the best English sparkling wine is produced. You’ll have a chance to sample some of this wine at a private tasting hosted by the estate’s wine expert.
This family home set in a beautiful hillside garden offers stunning views across the idyllic Sussex countryside. Designed by Philip Webb, the house is one of the finest examples of Arts and Crafts workmanship, with Morris & Co. interiors creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The house is dressed for a weekend stay in 1925, so you can imagine you are a guest of the family. A major restoration of the 5-hectare hillside garden showcases year-round seasonal highlights and an award-winning plant collection. On the wider estate, footpaths lead out into the woodlands, Ashdown Forest and wider High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
A garden lovers' home for all seasons, with an extensive yet intimate garden set around a romantic house and ruins. One of the National Trust's premier gardens, Nymans was a country retreat for the creative Messel family, and has views stretching out across the Sussex Weald.
Here you can recharge your batteries , while you explore this beautiful place, discovering hidden corners through stone archways, walking along tree-lined avenues while surrounded by lush green countryside. From vibrantly colourful summer borders, to the tranquillity of ancient woodland, Nymans is a place of experimentation with constantly evolving planting designs and a rare and unusual plant collection. The comfortable yet elegant house, a partial ruin, reflects the personalities and stories of the talented Messel family, from the Countess of Rosse to Oliver Messel and photographer Lord Snowdon.
There is a large shop and plant centre with our special collection of plants grown on site, a cafe offering a choice of seasonal food made by us, and a Grab & Go kiosk in the tea garden. Every day there are guided walks and talks in the garden and woods, a small gallery in the house with changing exhibitions for every season, a secondhand bookshop, shop tastings and mobility tours of the garden and woods.
For children there are plenty of opportunities for natural play, geocaching in the woods, pick up and go activities and seasonal trail.
Private transfer to your hotel in West Sussex
Accommodation in West Sussex
- 19 rooms
Set in the picturesque Sussex countryside, this grand building dates back over 900 years. The 19 luxury rooms are each individually designed and feature antiques and rich fabrics paying tribute to the castle’s history, as well as modern en-suite bathrooms. The stylish and comfortable rooms offer views out over the 17th century manor house, gardens, lakes or countryside. Settle into a room with access to the 14th century tower, opt to stay in the charming former 17th century dairy, or choose a room with access to the battlements, with views of the castle grounds. Sit down to an indulgent home-made afternoon tea with a selection of sweet and savory delicacies in the lounge or on the terrace, or, to experience the cuisine Amberley Castle has become known for, take a table in the opulent Queen’s Room or The Great Room. Vaulted ceilings, high lancet windows, tapestries and suits of armor add to the overall dining experience. There are over 12 acres of formal gardens to explore. Make the most of the Medieval stonework, rose-covered arches and ponds as you enjoy the colours and fragrances of the carefully maintained garden. Or spend your afternoon on the 18-hole putting course, tennis court or croquet lawn.
Petworth House is a sprawling 18th century mansion now in the care of the National Trust. It contains one of the best collections of artwork in a country house setting in England, with priceless works by Titian, Bosch, Claude, Ruisdael, Teniers, Van Dyck, Lely, Kneller, Reynolds, Gainsborough, Blake and, most famously of all, landscape paintings by J. M. W. Turner, who was friends with the owner at the time and came to stay at Petworth and paint on numerous occasions.
The Weald and Downland Museum is a unique open-air museum nestled in a Sussex valley. Its carefully-reconstructed houses give a fascinating insight into domestic life across the centuries.
At your hotel, enjoy a round of one of the most English of sports, croquet. An expert tutor will guide you through the game and teach you the subtle rules that govern the sport.
Portsmouth packs a historical punch with a story that goes back to the kings of France via the Mayflower and the D-Day Landings. Its literary connections encompass Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle and Jane Austen and the last legally valid dual ever held in England took place in the city. Accompanied by your guide, visit the Spinnaker Tower for panoramic views over Portsmouth and the Solent and discover naval history at the world-class Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
Private transfer to your hotel near the New Forest
The New Forest
Accommodation near The New Forest
- 70 rooms
- Swimming pool
A stay at the charming Chewton Glen is all about comfort and understated elegance. Ideal for guests looking for a quiet break, this quintessential country house offers tranquility and luxury. The 70 rooms and suites (including a collection of wonderful treehouses) offer views over the surrounding gardens, croquet lawn and parklands. For a truly memorable stay, make one of the 12 luxury tree houses your temporary home. The décor in the rooms ranges from traditional to more contemporary. The team at The Dining Room use fruit, vegetables and herbs fresh from the kitchen garden, in keeping with the hotel’s focus on sustainability. The head chef and estate manager team up when it comes to planning menus according to what is most readily available in the garden. Explore the 130 acres of woodlands and gardens which reach right to the borders of the New Forest National Park and towards the coast. Take your relaxation to the next level at the award-winning spa, where a team of therapists are on hand to help you re-energize. Choose from 50 different treatments, and make use of the hydrotherapy spa pool, aromatherapy saunas, crystal steam rooms and nail studio. Active guests can spend some time on the tennis courts, in the dance studio or play a round of golf.
The New Forest is William the Conqueror’s old hunting estate and today is preserved as a national park. The unique landscape of open heaths and woodland, home to wild ponies that roam freely across villages and country roads. Accompany your local guide on a highlights tour of the New Forest including Buckler’s Hard, a perfectly preserved shipbuilding village and the region’s premier country house, Beaulieu, also home to the the National Motor Museum.
A typical New Forest village with an exceptional heritage, at the heart of Beaulieu lie the ruins of the Cistercian Abbey and the 13th-century Palace House. Combined with the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu has become one of the most exceptional sites in the region. Join your Beaulieu host on a bespoke tour which will take you beyond the regular visitor route to meet the team behind-the-scenes in some of the hidden quarters of this site and see the in-house team at work in the private workshops.
Formerly the capital of England, Winchester retains many important buildings and is one of the country’s finest cathedral cities. Jane Austen is buried in Winchester Cathedral and her place of rest is an important but sombre stopping point for fans of the author.
Today your guide will take you to some of the hidden sites connected to the life of Jane Austen. In the village of Steventon you’ll visit the church where her father was rector. The nearby village of Ashe is a typically picturesque Hampshire village and it was here that Austen’s friends the Lefroys lived.
The local manor house in the village of Chawton was once owned by Jane Austen’s brother, Edward. Today, it contains a unique collection of books written by some of Britain’s most important female writers including Mary Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft.
Private transfer to your hotel in Berkshire
Accommodation in Berkshire
- 47 rooms and suites
- Two restaurants
- Great hall
- Indoor and outdoor pool
- Fitness centre
- Tennis courts
Built in 1666 by the 2nd Duke of Buckingham as a gift to his mistress, Cliveden House is a beautifully historic Grade I-listed building set within 376 acres of National Trust Grounds. It has played host to many an occasion in its 350-year history and today it is every bit as glamorous as it once was. The house has stayed true to its roots, with antique furniture, period pieces and beautiful artwork adorning the walls. Entering the property feels like stepping back in time, but with all the modern amenities and facilities of a contemporary luxury hotel, guests can enjoy the best of both worlds. 47 rooms and suites are spacious and elegant, many coming with private terraces that look out over the courtyard and the surrounding countryside. There is also a three-bedroom cottage perched on the banks of the River Thames with a private garden, two lounge areas with open fireplaces and a kitchen with its own dining area. Guests are spoiled for choice when it comes to eating and drinking. Enjoy fine dining at Andre Garrett, where locally sourced ingredients and a menu that follows the seasons create a brilliantly British dining experience. For a more informal atmosphere, enjoy the mix of classic American and British dishes at the Astor Grill, located in the old stable block, and for something quintessentially English, take afternoon tea in the great hall. The Pavilion Spa is tucked away in the walled garden, and here you can enjoy a dip in the indoor or outdoor pool or relax and unwind with a signature treatment. There is also a fitness suite as well as indoor and outdoor tennis courts.
The presence of Oxford University can be felt throughout the centre of this august city. Nicknamed the City of Dreaming Spires, the patchwork of college buildings, churches and quaint streets make Oxford a beautiful place to discover the stories surrounding some of the most important characters in British history. Your local guide will tailor a tour around your interests, whether it be college gardens, religion, stained glass or Inspector Morse or Harry Potter.
Blenheim Palace is grand, aristocratic and bold, quite suitable for the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The Palace was originally a gift to the 1st Duke of Marlborough from a grateful nation and was later saved from ruin by the dowry of an American heiress. Today, the Palace thrives as one of Britain's most impressive pieces of architecture.
Windsor Castle is still very much a working castle, and is the favourite home of Her Majesty the Queen. The magnificent state rooms provide an overview of architectural and interior design over the centuries and there is no shortage of stories about the characters who once filled these rooms. Windsor town is also a perfect place for some souvenir shopping. Please note that the castle is a working institution and subject to last minute closures.
This water-meadow alongside the River Thames in Surrey is known for its association with the sealing of Magna Carta, and as a consequence is, with its adjoining hillside, the site of several memorials. In a grassed enclosure, on the lower slopes of Cooper's Hill, stands the Magna Carta Memorial. Nearby you'll also find the twin Urban H. Broughton Memorials, and the Air Forces Memorial.
Private transfer to Heathrow Airport
Airside departure assistance
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Southern England in Style
How We Work
We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.
Each time you travel with us, you preserve an acre of precious rainforest through our partnerships.
From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.