Congested, wet, and grey, London reminds me a lot of New York City in the winter. I love it for all it's worth but for that breath of fresh air and cultural variety, sometimes you have to explore what's outside the city.
On my recent trip to England, I stepped out of the box and ventured to stay two hours outside of London for a day in Gloucestershire and then in Bristol. That adventure took a bit of coordination on my part as far as transportation goes but in the end it was worth it.
I chose to visit Warwick Castle, Stratford Upon Avon, and Oxford, three points of interest I've always wanted to see but didn't think how to coordinate.
The drive to our first stop, Warwick Castle, took two hours, a good drive through the city and then into the countryside. So, if 9 am seems early to start a tour, you have plenty of time to catch a nap. You may not want to sleep, however. The ride is a prime example of the trip being more about the journey and not the destination. There's plenty to see outside the windows.
Along the way, our tour guide pointed out major attractions like Marble Arch, Buckingham Palace, Oxford Circus, and various neighborhoods and luxury hotels in London proper.
Once we hit the outskirts of the city and the farmlands, she narrated about the English countryside, spoke about the pheasants plucking around in the fields, and pointed out the endless sheep we saw on farm after farm in the Cotswolds.
To cover all the ground that we covered, we had to adhere to the schedule. What I will say is that I left each stop wanting more, more time, more exploration, more history, more pics, and more soaking in. I’d be happy spending half a day if not more, in any of the three places that we stopped.
The teaser of Warwick Castle, Oxford, and Stratford upon Avon well worth it and a great snapshot of wonderful things to do outside of London. It was an experience I hope to have again and one that I won’t soon forget.