Hand Picked Hotels is a collection of country house hotels and island resorts, each settled in much-loved destinations. Experts in creating tailored experiences, Hand Picked Hotels provides a unique opportunity to explore the very best of the UK and Channel Islands.
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Get front row seats to the best of Britain and beyond. Here are some sites not to be missed.
South East England
Castles, cathedrals and rolling countryside are what you’ll find in the South East. Known fondly as The Garden of England, discover wonderful wildlife and tranquil landscapes in Kent, explore the neighbouring Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or chance upon the wild horses of the New Forest in Hampshire.
South West England
Immerse yourself in the mystery of Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire. Spend happy hours fossil hunting on the Jurassic Coast and refuel with beachside seafood or a traditional cream tea. Further inland is the Cotswolds, a collection of chocolate box villages featuring the quintessential honey-coloured stone the area is famous for. Sample delights from local farmer’s markets and ramble through wildflower meadows and verdant footpaths. Be sure to visit Bath while you are here, England’s original wellbeing destination. Admire the Georgian townhouses, visit the Roman baths and ancient thermal springs, then relax as you punt along the River Avon.
Central England is a place steeped in art, history, and culture. Visit the hometown of William Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon and meander down its quaint side streets. In Birmingham you’ll find Europe’s largest library – a bookworm’s heaven – and for chocoholics, take a tour around the delectable Cadbury’s chocolate factory! For retail therapy, Bicester Village should be high on your hit list, with over 160 boutiques and designer stores. Or if it’s a dose of the great outdoors you’re pining for, discover the ancient woodlands, heaths, and wetlands that inspired JRR Tolkien to write The Lord of the Rings.
Full of friendly folk, it’s easy to fall in love with the north of England. Take in the serenity of Cumbria’s Lake District and scale the heights of England’s only mountain range. The Yorkshire Dales is perfect hiking, cycling and motoring territory, or you could drop yourself in the centre of British pop culture with a visit to Liverpool and Manchester to see where some of England’s greatest pop groups were formed, from The Beatles to Oasis. The ancient city of Chester with its famous zoo is a firm family favourite too.
Land in the capital city to kick off your adventure in style. With incredible architecture and a magical castle perched atop a dormant volcano, it’s easy to see how Edinburgh became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin by sightseeing in the Old Town with its picture-perfect streets and discover the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle, or watch the world go by in a cosy café. A short venture out of the city centre will take you to the rolling hills and lush green beauty of the Scottish borders. Further still and you’ll find Loch Ness, Cairngorms National Park and Loch Lomond.
Get a taste of island life in The Channel Islands, a short hop away from Britain and mainland Europe. Holding the title of ‘sunniest place in the British Isles’, get off the beaten track and enjoy an almost Mediterranean ambience. Most northerly is the island of Alderney, a bird watcher's paradise with over 300 species and 50 miles of scenic walking trails. Further south is Guernsey, offering a heady mix of French and British cultures. Feel the sand beneath your feet, explore cobbled streets and embrace outdoor adventures. Finally there is Jersey. Discover an intriguing history at the WWII bunkers and war tunnels, or hire a bike to tour the winding green lanes. With 43 miles of pristine coastline, you are guaranteed some truly spectacular scenery. The gourmet food with French flair and the vibrant arts and culture scene means you are never short of outings.
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