The Best of England
The romance of rail travel is encapsulated by British Pullman, A Belmond Train. Travel in unparalleled style through the English countryside, greeting stately homes and historic towns along the way.
Read time: 4 min
The route to Bath is one of our signature journeys. The train’s classically beautiful interiors prepare you for the city’s Regency architecture. A visit to the renowned Roman Baths is essential, as is a view of the stunning Royal Crescent. Those seeking retail therapy will find an excellent mix of independent stores and established brands.
Lovers of fine architecture will appreciate our journeys to iconic homes such as Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, which dates back to 1553. The River Derwent arcs gracefully around the estate. The house itself is depicted in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Its lavish interiors even doubled for those of Buckingham Palace in the critically acclaimed series The Crown.
Known, of course, for its famous 1066 battle, Hastings is catnip for history lovers. The Old Town contains a mix of Georgian and Tudor buildings, with some dating back to 1450. Take a journey on the Cliff Railway up to either East or West Hill to enjoy panoramic views of Hastings. Here, you’ll find the remains of Hastings Castle. Stroll the salty-aired seafront and pop into the numerous pastel-coloured stores. For a quintessential British experience, feast on fish and chips as the sea laps at your feet.
A stunning Medieval fortress in the West Sussex countryside, a visit to Arundel Castle is a must. The castle boasts rare paintings by Van Dyck, a collection of tapestries and masterful stained glass. Be awed by the Regency library and take in the ornate grounds. The fragrant rose garden is a particular delight.
Home to the Marquesses of Bath, the Longleat Estate is famed for its fascinating safari park and free-roaming exotic animals. Stroll through the landscaped gardens or opt for a thrilling safari drive. Wander along the Pleasure Walk that runs between the Horningsham Lodge and Longleat House, stopping to admire the manicured Pleasure Gardens. If you’re feeling brave, enjoy Longleat’s Jungle Cruise and watch as Californian sea lions and hippos escort your boat.
Take a step back in time to witness the glamour and decadence of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Fans of the BBC programme Downton Abbey will recognize the castle’s iconic silhouette, though in real life, this is the ancestral home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. Nibble on classic British treats in the charming tearoom, or stroll the verdant grounds. The castle also houses an Egyptian exhibition that explores the Earl of Carnarvon’s fascination with Egypt.
This monumental baroque country house, birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, has been home to the Dukes of Marlborough since the early 18th century. Look out for the beautiful painted ceilings of the Great Hall and Saloon, and the permanent Churchill exhibition in the Old Stables. The estate also boasts formal gardens and parklands; don’t miss the majestic Water Terraces or the formal Italian gardens.
Oxford is home to one of the most beautiful and famous universities in the world. Visit the Ashmolean Museum, the Bodleian library or any of the numerous historic colleges. Enjoy drama and comedy at the Oxford Playhouse or a musical at New Theatre Oxford. Try Creation Theatre for Shakespeare and other classics. Alternatively, simply stroll and enjoy the beautiful architecture and inviting shops.
The ancient city of Canterbury is a charming place with its cobblestone streets and warm hospitality. It inspired Chaucer’s medieval masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales: a collection of stories about pilgrims travelling to the famous cathedral. Many still make the pilgrimage today, visiting the shrine of venerated saint and martyr Thomas Becket, who was killed there in 1170. Founded in 597 AD by St Augustine, the cathedral boasts a fascinating history and contains over 1,200 square metres of stained glass.
The Salisbury Museum hosts a brilliant collection of archaeological treasures. At Old Sarum, you can visit a Roman hill fort dating back to 400 BC. During the festive season, don’t miss the magical carol service hosted by Salisbury Cathedral School Choir and the nearby Christmas markets. Just nine miles away you can visit the mythical Stonehenge, one the best things to do in the United Kingdom.