As the nerve centre of England, London is a dense maze of glitzy fine dining, electrifying nightlife and dynamic culture. It’s a far cry from the Edenic landscapes that lie just a short train or car journey away, the size of the country making all of them easily accessible. As you leave the capital, tarmac and tower blocks morph into rural roads and patchwork fields – disarmingly beautiful settings that inspired the famous works of writers like Lewis Carroll, Charles Dickens and William Wordsworth. Escape to charming villages and wild countryside on these easy weekend trips from the capital.
The land of rolling hills and thatched cottages, the Cotswolds is the classic English countryside we imagine from flowery storybook descriptions and idyllic romance films like The Holiday. Its rural landscape was officially declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and it’s no wonder with its cobblestone medieval villages and fields blanketed by honey-coloured crops. Stay in a traditional Cotswolds cottage and spend the weekend explore the surrounding walking trails, traditional 17th-century boozers and royal real estate.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Woolacombe is no stranger to the top spot on Best Beach of Britain polls. Set in the mouth of a valley on the coast of North Devon, its crescent-shaped shores are the star of the show, backed by creeping plant life that merges the surrounding countryside with undulating sand dunes. The sugar-fine sands and rolling waves are regularly dotted with sun-seekers looking to surf, swim or sunbathe, while further inland you’ll find a charming traditional inn and 100-year-old cafe.
If you’ve ever had dreams of riding waves in the style of Point Break’s Bodhi, then this might be a good place to start. All you need to do is show up in your swimwear (don’t worry, wetsuits are provided) and the friendly instructor will talk you through the safety rules and lay the foundations with an on-shore practice before you plunge into the waters. Learn to navigate the waves with an abundance of tips from your instructor and channel surfer dude swagger that will have you standing up by its end.
Named after the ancient practice of lighting signal fires to warn of incoming invaders, the Brecon Beacons are strewn with the relics of bygone eras. Explore waterfall country, where clandestine neolithic tombs, menhirs (standing stones from the Bronze Age) and Iron Age Celtic hill forts puncture the grassy mountain range. Its highest point lies at the summit of Pen y Fan where you are treated to 360-degree views of the flourishing green landscape.
Be sure to seize this chance to explore the spellbinding wilderness of waterfall country. Setting off from the corner of Brecon Beacons National Park, your guide will lead you through steep valleys, past craggy cliff edges and down stony paths canopied by tangled thickets. Along the trail are four waterfalls that flow from mossy rocks and collect in pools where (weather permitting) you can take a dip. At the pinnacle sits the Sgwd yr Eira (fall of the snow) waterfall, its curtain of water cascading far enough from the rock face for you to walk underneath.
Yorkshire is a charming and historic northern county with storied roots that stretch back to a Roman and Viking heritage. Medieval ruins and stone monuments paint a picture of the area’s ancient beginnings while throughout the towns and villages you’ll find Gothic cathedrals, 12th-century abbeys and Victorian churches that fill in the gaps on the timeline. Affectionately referred to as ‘God’s Own County’, Yorkshire offers a wealth of stunning countryside, fascinating museums and unmissable signature puddings for you to enjoy.
Digging into York’s rich and bloodthirsty past, this walking tour takes you back nearly 2000 years to discover the history of the city and its ancient walls. As you admire the Gothic spires and rebrick pubs, your guide will stop at pivotal parts of the turreted facade, chronicling the events surrounding each section. You will be introduced to the ivy-sprouting stonework of Multangular tower, spooked by the ghostly tales of Treasurers House and intrigued by the dark history of Shambles Street.
Fit for fairytales, the vast Lake District with its glacial bodies of water, storybook woodland and cobblestone market towns have enticed many travellers. The enchanting setting was the home of many prestigious writers, with the likes of William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter drawing inspiration from its rugged fells and ribbon lakes. A trip to the mountainous region promises traditional rustic fare, native fell ponies and plenty of watery landscapes.
You can check ‘climbing to the summit of Britain’s highest mountain’ off your bucket list when you embark on this day-long trek. Led by a friendly and qualified mountain guide, this walk is tailored to the adventurous. While you traverse rocky terrain and admire the looming fells rising from the earth like subterranean Goliaths, your leader will take you up the Corridor Route and offer helpful pointers along the way. At Scafell Pike’s summit is the chance to marvel at dramatic and far-reaching views of the before you descend one more. Be sure to come prepared with suitable walking gear to suit the nine-mile distance.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.