If London is your base and you are looking to visit a few of England’s most famous sites away from the city, make a day trip to Bath and Stratford upon Avon.
Bath is a World Heritage City and the location of England’s only hot springs. The Romans founded this city in 60 AD and built a magnificent temple to the Roman Goddess Minerva and an expansive bathing complex which the Romans considered sacred baths.
Driving into Bath, your eyes will be drawn to the region’s honey-colored stone used in the Georgian architecture of the city.
On the same square as the Roman bath’s complex sits Bath Abbey, started in the 7th century. The stonework in the high vaulted ceiling is the most captivating carved stone I have seen. I was also drawn to the markers on the floor and along the walls. The church, for me, is the largest indoor cemetery I think I have ever seen.
Two hours north of Bath is William Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon. Unlike Bath, Medieval Stratford is a decidedly English town with its half-timbered houses and streets lined with shops that radiate in different directions from the roundabouts in the center of town.
On one of those streets, you will find the Shakespeare Center and Museum devoted to the life of William Shakespeare and the adjacent home of his birthplace. Actors recite lines from Shakespeare’s great works in the courtyard. This makes the visit here come to life and more special.
Outside the center of town in a residential neighborhood is Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. Anne was William Shakespeare’s wife and lived in this house as a child. Shakespeare visited Anne and her family many times in his late teens when they married in 1582. He was 18 and Anne was 26. The thatched roof home is likely one of the most photographed houses in England.
So after a very long day, make your way back to London just in time for dinner.