Throughout February, The Red Carnation Hotel Collection is focusing on the love stories inspired by travel. That’s why we’ve curated a suite of experiences—each intimate, immersive and undeniably special—for couples to enjoy. In London, we’ve partnered with esteemed tour maker Evan Evans to introduce visitors to the historical capital and its romantic surrounds. Guests staying at any one of our London properties may enjoy a private chauffeured tour, complete with personal guide and entrance tickets booked ahead of time. An indulgent combination of bespoke and boutique, our chauffeur experience is a stylish way to join the scattered dots of south England’s famous heritage. Here, we look at the most romantic day trips from London by car.
See London in style
London is imbued with a romantic elegance, from the maritime grandeur of Greenwich to the blooming gardens of Kew. Witness traditional equine pomp and ceremony at the Changing of The Queen’s Life Guard; look out over the storied embankments of Westminster towards the Houses of Parliament; and gaze up at the inspiring baroque dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral. With a chauffeured experience, our guests glide easily through London, taking in the capital’s most sought-after locations in supreme comfort and style.
Explore Oxford’s historic havens
A two-hour drive from London with our Evan Evans chauffeur, Oxford is an atmospheric “city of aquatint”. Evelyn Waugh’s famous description still holds true; the city’s otherworldly romance is apparent from the first magical encounter. Each of its narrow alleys are replete with unique architectural features and historical anecdotes—J.R.R Tolkein’s favourite pub here, T.S. Eliot’s dormitory there. In addition to the University of Oxford’s famous buildings, most of which are constructed in grand, golden Headington stone, explore the city’s eclectic collection of boutiques, pubs and restaurants—all of which have quirky traditions and features dating back centuries.
While away a day in Windsor
The bedrock of England’s monarchy, Windsor is a paragon of royal English patronage, superbly studded with heritage buildings, opulent interiors and regal green spaces. An ideal romantic day trip from London, the ancient city is just under an hour’s drive from the capital and is perfect for exploring with someone special. Without a doubt the jewel in the stunning city’s crown is Windsor Castle, the city’s sprawling fortress that stands impressively over the bending Thames. Approaching from the Edenesque lawns of the Long Walk, the castle’s stone silhouette rises firmly but slowly, its crenellations cresting the horizon well before the castle proper rises into glorious view.
Bask in the beauty of Bath
England’s famous Georgian city is dressed head to heel in stunning Bath stone, a golden limestone that shines radiant in even the sun’s faintest glow. Each of its streets is an architectural parade showcasing the finest neoclassical façades. Just over a two-hour drive from London through the rolling hills of North Wessex Downs, Bath became a favourite of the English upper class after the redesign of its naturally heated Roman baths in the 18th century. Visitors today can explore the uncanny thermal springs and admire the Roman ruins, which form one of the best-preserved antique bath houses in the world. Just beyond the centre, the Royal Crescent is perhaps England’s greatest example of Georgian architecture, a semi-circular row of 30 palatial townhouses that gaze out over the city below.
Discover Salisbury’s finest features
Salisbury is a charming medieval city, its timeless grace and English country charm making it a perfect romantic day trip from London. Terraced, timber-framed houses line its high streets, bookended by Gothic buttercrosses and bijoux ateliers. Wandering its whimsical streets is a rewarding pastime for every couple. Go on to explore the towering 13th-century cathedral, the 123-metre spire of which dominates the landscape for miles around; or there’s the four best-preserved manuscripts of the Magna Carta, the 13th century document forming the basis of the English government.
Just outside the city is the dreamscape Druidic cluster of Stonehenge. While the purpose—and method of construction—of this UNESCO World Heritage Site has eluded scholars for centuries, its undeniable, understated beauty has been a muse of creative inspiration since time immemorial. Salisbury and Stonehenge are just over a two-hour drive from London.
Stay at Red Carnation Hotels’ London properties to arrange your bespoke guided chauffeur experience and visit England’s most memorable sites.