Between the venerable cities of London and Edinburgh you can enjoy the culture of Cambridge, the history of York, and the indescribable beauty of the Lake District.
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The capital of Great Britain and the Commonwealth is one of the most vibrant and exciting metropolises on earth. The 7.5 million inhabitants within its city limits make London the largest city in the European Union.
Ever since it was founded by the Romans 2,000 years ago, the city on the banks of the Thames has been a cosmopolitan mix of cultures and religions. Famous landmarks include the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace among many others, not to mention such famous institutions as the British Museum, the National Gallery and Madame Tussaud's. London is also one of the music capitals of the world, offering numerous venues for every type of music from classical performances in the Royal Albert Hall to electronic trends presented in the pubs of Soho.
Few hotels in downtown London offer better value for the money than this family-run inn, made up of two Georgian townhouses in Ebury Street.
Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Sloane Square and Piccadilly Circus are all within walking distance. Yet the hotel offers more than just location: guests will enjoy the friendly atmosphere, bright rooms, good Breakfast and a sitting room equipped with guidebooks, information on local events, restaurant tips and curiosities. Not enough: the rooms on the lower floor have a private entrance to the garden.
Broker: Sunny Cars GmbH
Company: Keddy by Europcar
Vehicle: Vauxhall Astra or similar (CDAR)
Location: London Stansted Airport (Shuttle Service)
The town on the River Cam is located north of London in the rural county of Cambridgeshire. It is known primarily for its University, with a reputation that only Oxford can match.
The first teachers in the 12th century were most likely monks from Paris. In 1318, the university was founded. The city and the colleges are best experienced from the water. Lovely walking trails run along the Rivers Cam and Granta.
The five-star guesthouse is located on a farm about four miles from downtown Cambridge. If you prefer rural life to the lively (and expensive) city, you will find an idyllic countryside of small woods, enclosed meadows and medieval cottages.
The house itself is equipped with modern comfort – despite its historical flair. The attentive hosts serve a rich Breakfast.
The route will take you through the flat, idyllic landscape between the Middle English industrial centres of Birmingham and Manchester.
Along the way you will pass several enchanting towns such as Grantham, Newark and Lincoln. A detour to Selby just a few miles from York is worthwhile to see the town's famous Benedictine Abbey.
York is the northern England's leading city and was England's second most important city after London for centuries. The city is the seat of the Archbishop of York, who is second only to the Archbishop of Canterbury in the hierarchy of the Church of England.
The York Minster, the largest Gothic cathedral in England, towers over the city center. The cathedral is surrounded by narrow, winding medieval streets lined with shops, boutiques and tea rooms. Visitors can walk on top of the historical city walls, from where they can enjoy splendid views of the city. Founded in 71 AD, York remained one of England's main cities throughout the Middle Ages, declining in relative importance only with the advent of the Industrial Revolution.
The Georgian townhouse was built from dark brick in the 19th century and used as residence by a famous Yorker before it was converted into a hotel in 1990.
With its stone pillars lining the entrance, casement windows and antique paintings inside, it still retains its original charm, which is maintained despite its combination with modern comfort. The 41 rooms of the house are spread over three floors and are individually furnished – in the country house style, in a romantic design with four-poster bed or in a contemporary elegant style. In the morning, a Breakfast buffet is served in the hotel's own brasserie in the vaulted cellar, complemented by freshly prepared warm dishes; in the evening, you can enjoy meals prepared from fresh, regional and seasonal ingredients. The hotel is located about ten minutes' walk from York Minster, the medieval city walls and the old town of York and is therefore central but still far away from the tourist hustle and bustle.
After passing Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire, a World Heritage Site boasting some of the most incredible ruins in Europe, you can take a secondary road north-westwards through the romantic green pastures of the Yorkshire Dales.
This sparsely inhabited National Park is a hikers' paradise. You will enter the famous Lake District near Kendal.
England's largest natural lake is located in the Lake District National Park. It is 17 kilometers long and between 400 and 1500 meters wide.
There are 18 islands in Winderemere, the largest is more than one kilometer long and is served by excursion steamers. Picturesque, partly wooded hills line the lake, where you can go for easy hikes. In the north the higher furs rise, as one calls the hills of the Cumbrian Mountains overgrown with grassland. On the north shore lies Ambleside, a pretty village with 2,600 inhabitants and starting point for mountain hikes, mountain bike tours and other excursions in the Lake District.
The small hotel is located in Bowness-on-Windermere near Lake Windermere, in the heart of the Lake District. Eight double rooms and two single rooms, each individually furnished, friendly and stylish, are available; some offer lake views.
In the morning a full English Breakfast with a selection of hot dishes is served; later in the day the hosts offer afternoon tea (must be booked in advance). On a nice day you can relax in the garden; the lake is only a short walk away. Guests also have free access to the Choices Health Club in Troutbeck, a five-minute drive from the hotel.
Location: Edinburgh Airport (Desk at Airport)
Scotland's capital is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. A burgh is said to have stood on Castle Rock – which offers the best view of the city – since the 7th century.
Walls were erected around the town in the shadow of the fortress following bloody and disastrous clashes with England. The medieval plan and narrow winding streets of the Old Town once protected by those walls have been preserved. The area called New Town was created in the 18th century to relieve crowding in the rapidly growing city. With its rigidly ordered grid New Town was considered the epitome of rational urban development during the period of Enlightenment. The main shopping street today is Princess Street, which is lined with shops, galleries and museums. The cultural capital of Scotland is often referred to as the Athens of the North. The city's political history was defined by the rivalry with England. Edinburgh is now once again the seat of the Scottish Parliament.
The Townhouse in the trendy suburb Dean Village has 29 rooms, which – like the whole house – are stately elegant.
The service is friendly, helpful and attentive. Only a few minutes walk from Princess Street – the lively shopping street – the house is in a quiet side street. Restaurants and pubs are within easy reach. Upon request, Breakfast is served in the suite. Highly recommended is the traditional afternoon tea.