Bridgerton Film Location in the UK
Bridgerton Film Location in the UK

England Vacations with Lake District, London and Bridgerton & Downton Abbey Locations

Travel in Darley’s footsteps to the UK! She’s been to England twice to explore great destinations and bases this itinerary on her filming for her PBS episodes on England for “Travels with Darley.” London is a must on any trip and this itinerary starts you out in London for the top sights, food and, if you wish, British pubs and shopping. Then it’s off to Manchester, well known for its soccer team, but also its musical legacy.

Stay at a fabulous countryside hotel by Bolton Abbey and enjoy the literary side of Great Britain. See what inspired the Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, to write great works of literature including Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. Next, keep the theme of great works going by hopping aboard the North Yorkshire Moors Steam Train to visit a Harry Potter film site and a real, working train station. Plus, Castle Howard where the hit Netflix series Bridgerton filmed, cuisine in Cartmel and the beautiful Lake District, including gingerbread in Grasmere.

Let our preferred Virtuoso travel agent help you with this Darley Vacations booking or have her customize it to meet the needs of you and your group or family.

10 days/ 9 nights starting at $6073 USD* per person double occupancy 

*package price is per person based on two adults. Prices are subject to fluctuations due to exchange rates at time of payment. Prices and reservations are not guaranteed until a deposit is placed. We are happy to customize this itinerary for you!

England Darley Vacations Itinerary
England Darley Vacations Itinerary

England Vacations with Lake District, London and Bridgerton & Downton Abbey Locations

Highclere Castle

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Tour this castle that was the setting for Downton Abbey on PBS

Day 1: London, England

Upon arrival in London, meet & greet and private transfer to your hotel. 

Check in at your Kensington area hotel for 2 nights: Luxury Hotels of the World, Virtuoso or similar

Discover old world charm, beautiful rich furnishings, exquisite original arts, outstanding cuisine including the famous Afternoon Tea, and an experienced and passionate team at this elegant historic hotel. Located opposite Kensington Palace and Gardens and close to Royal Albert Hall, this London hotel is well located. The deluxe rooms and luxury suites evoke the feeling of an English country manor in the center of London, each featuring original artwork and antiques. No two rooms are alike, with themes ranging from Venetian classicism to the harlequins of 15th century pantomime.

Enjoy dinner in London on your own!

There are lots of great places within walking distance of your hotel, including local British pubs. Let us recommend one for you or book you at the  intricately decorated Cheneston’s, which offers a comfortable, traditionally-inspired environment that complements the fine Victorian architecture. Enjoy exceptional, modern British cuisine, paired with wine from the extensive list of more than 400 vintages.

Your well located hotel in Kensington, London
Your well located hotel in Kensington, London

Day 2: Explore London Landmarks

Explore London’s landmarks: full day privately guided tour

After breakfast, meet your chauffeur at your hotel. Embark on a London tour of famous landmarks. 

Firstly, enjoy a panoramic tour taking in some of the London sights – including Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and Parliament. Next, a visit to Westminster Abbey, an important historical building housing tombs of past Kings and Queens. Famous for coronations and royal weddings. Use the guides entrance to skip the lines or, as they call them in England, “queues.”

Perhaps hop on a Thames Clipper for a trip on the Thames to the Tower of London. As the River Thames weaves its way around London there is history around every bend. See and experience the splendor of this great city from the relaxed comfort of a modern, purpose built, all-weather City Cruises sightseeing boat. A full commentary will enlighten you and there are refreshments and snacks available too.

Other sites we recommend include The Tower of London to experience the Opening Ceremony. Alternatively we could offer a 15-minute welcome talk by the Warden’s of the Tower. A Yeoman Warder or Coins & Kings warden will meet you and give you the insider information and tales of the Tower or the Royal Mint at the Tower. 

The Tower of London has a fascinating history. Westminster Abbey is a must (entrance tk included). The Abbey has provided the glorious setting for every coronation since 1066 and has witnessed many other significant occasions, such as royal weddings and the funeral of Princess Diana.

Westminster Abbey is a must for sights in London
Westminster Abbey is a must for sights in London

Alternate full day privately guided tour of Highclere Castle, a setting for Downtown Abbey

The first written records of the estate date back to 749 when an Anglo-Saxon King granted the estate to the Bishops of Winchester. Bishop William of Wykeham built a beautiful medieval palace and gardens in the park. Later on, the palace was rebuilt as Highclere Place House in 1679 when it was purchased by Sir Robert Sawyer, the direct ancestor of the current Earl of Carnarvon. In 1842, Sir Charles Barry, who also designed the Houses of Parliament, transformed Highclere House into the present day Highclere Castle.

During the First World War, Highclere Castle was converted into a hospital for wounded soldiers run by the 5th Countess of Carnarvon. Throughout the Second World War, Highclere Castle was home to children evacuated from London.

There are between 250 and 300 rooms in the Castle and during your tour you will explore the main state rooms so familiar from “Downton Abbey”. You will see some of the bedrooms after which you will follow the stairs down to the cellars and old staff quarters where you will find the Egyptian Exhibition, celebrating the 5th Earl of Carnarvon’s discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun.

Highclere Castle, the setting for Downton Abbey on PBS
Highclere Castle, the setting for Downton Abbey on PBS

Lunch and dinner on own. Recommendations will be provided!

Day 3: London to Manchester

Hotel pick up and private transfer to Euston railstation to take the train to Manchester.

8:30 am – United Kingdom Time – 2 hours 15 minutes Train from London (EUS) to Manchester Piccadilly (MAN). Upon arrival in Manchester Piccadilly (MAN), you’ll enjoy a private transfer to your hotel. Railstation pick up and transfer to your foodie tour meeting point (driving time about 20min). Your driver will take care of your baggage and will drop it at your hotel.
11:30 am – United Kingdom Time – 2 hours

Manchester “Foodie Northern Quarter Taster” walking tour
(available Saturdays 11.30 am)

Combine culture, history and cuisine!

For five years, Manchester Food Walks have been leading walking tours that eat and drink Manchester. Every weekend, there are two different tours to choose from exploring the original modern city with breaks in Manchester’s eclectic eateries en route.

The Northern Quarter Taster

A roving lunch of five small plates in the best Northern Quarter eateries, accompanied by stories of Manchester’s boho district, old and new. This is the original and most popular tour, looking at the district’s history, from its historic markets, shops and rag traders to its cultural regeneration, highlights and attitude of today. You’ll discover the history of Afflecks Palace and the Arndale, the
curry cafes and the area’s standout public art, and walk in the footsteps of some of Manchester’s most famous names.

Check in at your hotel for the night

You’re staying at an iconic five-star hotel in Manchester, with a large sprinkling of the extraordinary. It delivers a tangible sense of something a bit different from the moment you step through our polished glass doors.

Located on the banks of The River Irwell where Manchester and Salford meet, you can walk around town right from your hotel. The River Restaurant onsite offers lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner with a modern European menu which is one of Manchester’s favorite restaurants in a glass walled setting.

Enjoy Time on own at leisure

If you’d like to take another tour this afternoon, we can suggest the BBC Tour to go behind the scenes and show you how many well known programs are produced. Tours take approximately 1.5 hours and involve a certain amount of walking and standing.

The Lowry Art Centre  is named after Laurence Stephen Lowry (1887 – 1976) – an artist who spent much of his life in Salford and whose work is strongly associated with the city. Salford Museum & Art Gallery had been a long-standing collector of his work and some 400 individual works – as well as an extensive archive of photographs, press cuttings and exhibition catalogues – were transferred to The Lowry on its opening in April 2000. Entrance to the Galleries are free of charge.

Day 4: Manchester Northbound

Morning guided tour in Manchester

Hotel pick up by your private guide. 

You will follow your guide on a tour catered to your interests, whether it is a walking tour or a chauffeured tour, or simply follow Darley’s footsteps and explore the Castlefield area with its Roman history and Salford, the spiritual home of Coronation Street, which is the world’s longest running soap opera and filmed in Manchester. Salford is also home to Salford Lads Club, where you definitely want to snap a photo. The Smiths used the Salford Lads Club as their cover shot for “The Queen is Dead” album. Stop in the Manchester Craft and Design Centre, which is just around the corner from Ziferblat to enjoy the Manchester arts scene. This centre is home to working artists and their studios. 

Private transfer to your next stop: Bolton area, North Yorkshire

Reach your next destination after about a 1 hour and 30 miniutes drive.

Check in at Devonshire Arms Hotel Estate

The Devonshire Arms was built in the 17th century and came under the ownership of the 4th Duke of Devonshire in 1753 as part of the Bolton Abbey Estate.

Today, the hotel retains all of the charm that has attracted visitors through the centuries. Luxury, countryside splendour, and the rugged beauty of the Dales. Here’s to many more centuries of inspiration. Darley loved this hotel, which is dog friendly. It feels like you’re staying at a wealthy British friend’s country home.

Suggestion: Spa time at leisure (Not included)

Housed in an ancient barn, adjacent to the hotel, The Devonshire Spa is one of the most exclusive retreats in the county. With wonderful spaces, an expert team of staff, and the tranquility of the Dales on your doorstep, it’s a spa you’ll want to return to time and time again.

GOOD TO KNOW: 45-minute swim sessions are available to book on a first come first served basis, therefore please let us know as soon as possible if you wish to swim while you are with us. Alternatively, spa experiences can be pre-booked for during the day, to include longer spa access and treatments. Gym access can be booked separately and is available throughout the day.

Please let us know if you wish to book a time slot.

Lunch and Dinner on own (Not included)

Recommendations will be provided.

The indoor pool at the Devonshire Arms Hotel
The indoor pool at the Devonshire Arms Hotel

Day 5: Wuthering Heights

Morning: Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre inspirational landmarks

After breakfast, pick up at your hotel by private driver-guide. 

Travel over Haworth and to visit the Bronte Parsonage Museum. This is where the Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, were inspired to write great works of literature including Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. The family moved to the Parsonage when their father became vicar in 1820. If you have time, walk down from the Parsonage and past the chapel where Emily, Charlotte and their father are buried and up to the rugged, unforgiving moors. The trail is signposted.

Lunch in Pennies (not included)

Enjoy lunch in this beautiful countryside of the Pennines. Recommendations will be provided.

Afternoon: Continue in Darley’s footsteps

This afternoon drive over to Saltaire (20min) to explore this UNESCO site which takes its name from its founder, Sir Titus Salt (1803 – 1876). Salt made his fortune in the Bradford textile industry, manufacturing fine woolen fabrics. Determined to escape the polluted and overcrowded town center for greener pastures, he made a bold decision to relocate his business and his employees to Saltaire.

The River Aire runs through this picturesque and charming village on the outskirts of Bradford. 

On your way back, make a stop for a pint at The Fountaine Inn, Linton in Craven, a cute, small Yorkshire village. Enjoy the scenery en route and after in this area. It’s stunning.

Dinner on own (not included)

Enjoy dinner at the Brasserie or award-winning The Bulrington at the Devonshire Arms Hotel.

Day 6: Castle Howard & Harry Potter Film Site

Check out from your hotel

Hotel pick up by private driver-guide and drive to Moors Steam Train (Harry Potter scene)

After breakfast, continue your journey in Darley’s footsteps to Pickering (About 1 hour and 30 minutes drive). 

Take the North Yorkshire Moors Steam Train from Pickering to Goathland  (Your driver guide will be waiting for your return) and enjoy the scenery of the North York Moors National Park. Goathland Station was the set for the fictional Hogsmeade station, serving both the village of Hogsmeade and the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy, in Harry Potter films.

Walk up the hill from the station to explore this small village, which gained fame as the setting of the fictional village of Aidensfield in the ITV program Heartbeat, set in the 1960s, and enjoy lunch at a pub. Take the train back to your car for the next part of the day.

GOOD TO KNOW: Return ticket from Pickering to Goathland on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway 

Sample timings – 10.55 am departure from Pickering. Arrival in Goathland at 11.50 am 

Time at leisure to explore the village and have lunch. Depart Goathland at 1.30 pm. Arrival back in Pickering at 2.40 pm 

Lunch at a local pub in Goahtland (not included)

Castle Howard, from 17th to Bridgerton Netflix series.

Continue onwards with your driver-guide to reach Castle Howard 45 min later.  

Consistently ranking high on lists of the world’s best mansions, Castle Howard is one of the most magnificent homes in England and the story of the family who still keeps it running today, may remind you of the fictional Crawley family in Downton Abbey… or the Bridgertons! Explore the grounds and the castle.

If you’ve been watching Bridgerton, you may remember the scene when newlyweds, Simon and Daphne, arrive at Clyvedon, the Duke of Hasting’s estate in Bridgerton. I’ve walked (and filmed) those same halls that serve as the modern set for the backdrop of Regency era England in the series.

Even the driveway, what’s called the Avenue, a five mile beech lined road leading to Castle Howard, is more than impressive. Once you reach Castle Howard, both the outside and inside are striking and there’s a world of intriguing stories and anecdotes that history expert Jane Blunt relayed on our tour.

Continue to Cumbria

Continue for about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Depart Castle Howard for Cumbria. Estimate arrival time at your next hotel is 7.30 pm.

Check in at your hotel for 3 nights

Originally family home for the Brettargh-Yates family designed by local architect, Joseph Bintley in 1871, this hotel has a lot of history. It was later owned by Sir Charles Walker whose passion for orchids lead him to build greenhouses against the large garden walls that still remain. His daughters were well known suffragettes.

When he died in 1920 the estate was auctioned off and soon became the Levens Hotel and was altered to designs by Malcom G Shaw (Kendal) in 1928. In the summer of 2012 the sisters moved out and in 2014 Simon Rigby bought the magnificent building and large grounds and transformed it into the beautiful hotel that it is today.

Dinner on own (Not included)

Day 7: Cumbria & Cartmel Foodie Tour

Hotel pick up by your private driver-guide and drive to Cumbria

Transfer by private guide to Cartmel (15 min)

Cartmel on own

Your driver-guide will take you to Cartmel.

Explore the village of Cartmel, Cumbria’s foodie paradise. This town is small and walkable. Spend the day on own without your guide (Guide services are available for the day at additional cost and on request). 

Follow Darley’s footsteps and eat your way through this village. Plan to visit the Cartmel Village Shop, which has baked its way through a quarter of a century, making what’s reputed to be the best sticky toffee pudding in the UK. Sticky toffee pudding is a dessert you’ll find on many menus in Great Britain and the pudding at the Cartmel Village Shop is really good. You can get it hot and eat it on site or get a cold, takeaway version.

Enjoy regional cheeses at Cartmel Cheeses, an artisan cheese shop in the heart of Cartmel, selling a huge selection of some of the world’s most special cheeses, as well as a very wide variety of local ones. The owner has great knowledge and welcomes tastings.

If you have time, check out Unsworth’s Yard Brewery, which brews its own, award-winning craft beers and is right beside Cartmel Cheese.

Lunch and Dinner on own

For lunch or dinner, we recommend L’Enclume, a two-star Michlein restaurant run by chef Simon Rogan. It was also named best in the UK by 2014 Good Food Guide (Reservation in advance is required, so let us know if you are interested in this option).

Day 8: Lake District

Explore the Lake District: a privately chauffeured and guided full day tour

Spend the day exploring the Lake District. 

The Lake District, also known as The Lakes or Lakeland, is a popular destination for Brits and travelers from further afield. The scenery here is comprised of mountains and lakes and is simply beautiful. Serving as an inspiration to poets and literary icons, there’s a lot to see and do here. One must is getting out on the water. Enjoy a lake cruise with Windermere Lake Cruises on the country’s longest lake.

Here are our suggestd visits:

  • Stroll through Grasmere, the home of the World famous Grasmere Gingerbread and the poet William Wordsworth. Arrive at Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread shop and wait in line to get this special gingerbread. It’s worth it! Explore Dove Cottage, St Oswald’s Church and Grasmere Village Centre.
  • Cruise – 45 minute circular cruise on Lake Windemere : No matter where you start your journey be it Bowness, Ambleside or Lakeside you will enjoy magnificent views of The Lake District’s majestic mountain scenery, secluded bays and wooded islands.
  • Dove Cottage & Wordsworth Museum: Dove Cottage was the home of William Wordsworth from December 1799 to May 1808, the years of his supreme work as a poet
  • Hill Top: The author and illustrator Beatrix Potter wrote many of her famous children’s stories in this little 17th century stone house. Characters such as Tom Kitten, Samuel Whiskers and Jemima Puddleduck were all created here, and the books contain many pictures based on the house and garden.
Lunch and dinner on own (Not included)

Day 9: Liverpool & The Beatles

Check out of your hotel.

Hotel pick up and drive to Liverpool (1 hour and 30 minutes)-Byebye Driver-Guide!

Upon arrival in Liverpool, drop your bags at your hotel before saying good-bye to your driver-guide, and continue your journey on own

The Beatles History in Liverpool!

Upon arrival in Liverpool, delve into Liverpool’s maritime and music history at Albert Dock on the Liverpool waterfront. 

Revitalized in the 1980’s and today home to top museums, shops and restaurants, Albert Dock is a cool reminder of Liverpool’s Maritime past. Home to the world-renowned Tate Art Gallery and Mersey Maritime Museum, Albert Dock is also the site of The Beatles Story, a museum that charts the history of the Beatles. A recreation of The Cavern Club, a popular rock and roll venue where the Beatles often played in the early 1960’s, and the white room dedicated to John Lennon bring this museum’s core to new emotional heights. 

Your local guide will take you on a comprehensive tour of the Beatles’ landmarks such as Penny Lane, Strawberry Field, and the childhood homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. 

  • Step inside the lives of a young Lennon and McCartney with this combined escorted tour of Mendips and 20 Forthlin Road – the childhood homes of John and Paul. This is your opportunity to explore where the Fab Four met, composed and rehearsed many of their earliest songs; a real treat for any Beatles or Quarrymen fan! These two small houses in suburban Liverpool offer the only tour that takes you inside these unique and incredibly atmospheric buildings – you can practically hear the sounds of the lads, and almost picture their daily routines played out in front of you. ‘Imagine’ walking through the back door into the kitchen where John’s Aunt Mimi would have cooked him his tea, or standing in the spot where Lennon and McCartney composed ‘I Saw Her Standing There’. 

    Minibus tour at set times – 10, 11, 2.10 pm, 3.00 pm – subject to availability. 

  • Be transported on an incredible immersive journey as we tell the story of how four young lads from Liverpool were propelled to the dizzy heights of fame and fortune from their humble childhood beginnings. Replicas of the Casbah, Mathew Street and The Cavern authentically capture the early 60s, allowing you to personally experience the very places that helped make The Beatles the greatest band in the world.

Continue your day on own

Liverpool’s isn’t only famous for The Beatles, world-class football, radical culture, stunning cathedrals, and pubs! Enjoy the city on own at leisure. 

Home to incredible venues such as Ghetto Golf, Baltic Market, Peaky Blinders Bar and tusk, Cains Brewery Village is full of independent venues for your perfect night out. Founded in 1858, it’s come a long way since then! Bars, coffee shops, food markets and more fill the incredible former brewery buildings

Check in at Pullman Liverpool

Remodeled in 2015, the 4-star Pullman Liverpool Hotel is located by Kings Dock on Liverpool’s iconic waterfront, just a five-minute walk from the vibrant Albert Dock. Relax in stylish, elegant surroundings and enjoy the conveniences of this central hotel.

Day 10: Travel Day

Check out from your hotel

Hotel pick up by private driver and transfer to Liverpool Airport

Safe travels!

Trip Price & Inclusions

10 days/ 9 nights starting at $6073 USD* per person double occupancy 

*package price is per person based on two adults. Prices are subject to fluctuations due to exchange rates at time of payment. Prices and reservations are not guaranteed until a deposit is placed. We are happy to customize this itinerary for you!