England’s Great West Way® is a new touring route stretching west for 125 miles from London to Bristol. Based on one of the first Great Roads commissioned by the Kings of England, it connects many of England’s iconic sights and extraordinary attractions, offering an endless variety of authentically English experiences. Read on below to learn more about just some of the world-famous attractions that are found along England’s Great West Way®
Explore Windsor, the town the Queen calls her home. See the Guildhall where Prince Charles married his Camilla and the many lanes and picturesque pubs in this historic town. Visit Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world, and admire the magnificent State Rooms, St George’s Chapel and Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House.
Across the river Thames from Windsor, you’ll find Eton, a town centred around its prestigious school. Founded by Henry VI in the 15th century, this is where both Prince Harry and Prince William spent their formative years.
Visit Stonehenge where an audio-guided tour will tell you the fascinating story of this iconic stone circle, built almost 5000 years ago. There are many theories as to why Stonehenge was constructed, and how the massive stones were transported from as far away as Wales.
JFK Memorial, Runnymede
A stepped pathway winds up through woodland to bring you to the glade where a seven ton block of Portland stone stands, inscribed with words taken from President Kennedy's inaugural address in 1961. A paved pathway leads to the Seats of Contemplation from where there is a superb view of Runnymede where King John sealed the Magna Carta in 1215.
Visit Salisbury to admire the cathedral with the tallest spire in Britain, which can be seen from everywhere in the town. Spend some time in this pretty market town, and enjoy the shopping or a meal in one of the many pubs and cafes.
Famous from the Downton Abbey TV series, stunning Highclere Castle is the home of the Earl of Carnarvon. Enjoy exploring the history, gardens, events and life behind the scenes of "The Real Downton Abbey".
Marlborough is the archetypical English market town and there is plenty of accommodation, excellent shopping and a wide choice of places to eat and things to do, making the town an ideal stop along your route. On Saturdays and Wednesdays the High Street hosts a market selling all kinds of produce from locally produced meat and vegetables, to pots, plants, pashminas and pottery.
Lacock village is also a firm favourite for film and TV producers, most notably for its picturesque streets and historic cottages, untouched by modern alterations. The village’s most famous appearances include 'Downton Abbey', the BBC’s 'Pride and Prejudice', and the film 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince''.
On the outskirts of Lacock Village, this Abbey is famous from the Harry Potter films. Its cloisters were used as some of Hogwart's corridors and the courtyard made an appearance as well.
Drive through Britain’s biggest gorge with stunning views and dramatic cliffs rising up on either side of the narrow road. Cheddar Gorge is known for its cheese, which is stored in some of the many caves in the area.
Less famous than Stonehenge, but just as spectacular, Avebury is a village built inside a prehistoric stone circle. Avebury is part of an extraordinary set of Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial sites that seemingly formed a vast sacred landscape. They include West Kennet Avenue, West Kennet Long Barrow, The Sanctuary, Windmill Hill, and the mysterious Silbury Hill. Many can be reached on foot from the village.
The historical market town of Chippenham is one of the West Country’s most vibrant towns.
Nestled on the banks of the River Avon and a little over an hour’s journey from central London, Chippenham offers an ideal centre for relaxation and exploration of rural Wiltshire, Bath and the Cotswolds.
Castle Combe is a quintessentially English village often named as the ‘prettiest village in England.' The village sits in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Castle Combe has featured regularly as a film location, most recently in The Wolf Man, Stardust and Stephen Spielberg’s War Horse. It was also used in the original Dr Doolittle film. The village has a rich history and the houses are made up of the honey coloured Cotswold stone, typical for a village of this area.
City of Bath
Bath is a city so beautiful and special that it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Take a walk around the city centre to see sights such as Pulteney Bridge, a historic bridge with shops built into it, the Jane Austen Centre, and the Royal Crescent, one of the most photographed streets in England. Of course, you can't forget the Roman Baths, the remarkably well preserved remains of a Roman religious spa.
Bradford on Avon
Further south you will find Bradford-on-Avon, with its ancient bridge and picturesque old weavers’ cottages, it’s easy to understand why it’s known as Beautiful Bradford.
Bristol is a unique city that is as cultural and creative as it is historic. Compact enough to get around on foot, yet big enough to boast an exciting line-up of entertainment, shopping, museums, attractions, restaurants and bars, Bristol has much to offer.
SS Great Britain
Brunel's SS Great Britain is one of the most important historic ships in the world. When she was launched in 1843 she was called 'the greatest experiment since the Creation'. It is estimated that 500,000 Australians can trace their ancestry back to immigrants who travelled to Australia on the SS Great Britain.