An Easy Five Day Central English Road Trip: Everything You Need To Know
The best way to understand any region is to explore slightly beyond the most popular cities. We learned that by renting cars in the South Island of New Zealand and again in Northern Spain. While London is marvelous, we were looking to experience a bit more of the charming English countryside. We planned a mini road trip with Will’s parents in mid-October, a beautiful time to explore the area.
We tried to stay in some local, historic inns, where we enjoyed a pint in the evening and a proper English breakfast in the morning. Below is an ideal five day itinerary that’s not too aggressive, but still has you feeling like you’re out there!
Drive: Pick-up car at Enterprise Oxford
Eat: For dinner and a drink: The Grapes: Warming pub that’s over 100 years old with craft beer and artisan pizza.
STOP I: STONEHENGE
Drive: To Stonehenge in Amesbury from Oxford, roughly an hour and a half.
See: Stonehenge: An iconic, prehistoric monument.
Eat: For breakfast and dinner: The Wheatsheaf Inn: The local pub has a full restaurant and a complimentary homemade English breakfast is served each morning.
Stay: The Wheatsheaf Inn: A seventeenth century coaching inn located in the Cotswolds hills in the town of Northleach.
STOP II: LYME REGIS AND STUDLAND BAY
Drive: To Lyme Regis from Northleach, roughly two and a half hours. To stop in Studland Bay from Lyme Regis, roughly an hour and a half. To Blandford Forum from Studland Bay, roughly an hour and a half.
See: Walk around Lyme Regis and explore the historic harbor set against cliffs. Stop in Studland Bay for the beaches and nature reserve.
Eat: For lunch: Good Food Cafe and Deli: Local bakery and delicatessen using seasonal and organic ingredients in Lyme Regis.
Stay: The Crown Hotel: The oldest inn in Dorset has been a residence since the 10th century in the town Blandford Forum.
STOP III: BATH
Drive: To Bath from Blandford Forum, roughly an hour.
Eat: For Lunch: Same Same But Different: A family-run, restaurant with all-day brunch and delicious sandwiches on bakery bread. For dinner: Indian Temptation: A wonderful vegetarian restaurant serving dishes from both Northern and Southern India.
Stay: The Travelodge: An affordable way to stay in the center of Bath.
STOP IV: Castle Combe and Malmesbury
Drive: To Castle Combe from Bath, roughly an half and hour. To stop in Malmesbury from Castle Combe, roughly an half an hour. To Birdlip from Malmesbury, roughly an half an hour.
See: Walk around Castle Combe: A quintessentially English village in the Cotswold often dubbed the most picturesque village in England. Walk around Malembury: The Malmesbury Abbey has a continuous history dating back to the 7th century.
Eat: For lunch: The Bell Inn: A pub in a 17th century inn located in the center of Castle Combe.
Stay: The Royal George Hotel: An 18th century hotel in Birdlip with views of the Gloucestershire countryside.