Countryside Breaks

Enjoy England’s beautiful countryside at its rural best

With beautiful countryside weaved together by rivers and canals, villages and hamlets  Shakespeare's England is bursting with character alongside historic houses, glorious gardens and woodlands, all captivating our unique heritage making it ideal for a countryside break.

Here you will discover a wonderful escape for a break where the whole family can unwind. Escape the daily grind and enjoy great hospitality, relaxing country house hotels, picturesque market towns such as Alcester and Henley-in-Arden and fabulous local food festivals all set admist miles of rolling countryside ready to be explored.

Explore Stratford-upon-Avon with a countryside ramble through wooded glades and across gently rolling hills.  Follow tranquil nature trails and scenic cycle routes all through the heart of Warwickshire.  Visit the many country parks and nature reserves, explore way-marked trails and footpaths, take a relaxing stroll alongside the River Avon  or cycle the Greenway to Long Marston. 

Kenilworth is certainly worth exploring and the Kenilworth to Berkswell Greenway is a linear Country Park set in the beautiful South Warwickshire countryside.  The site forms a 6.5 kilometres section of former railway.  Within Warwick itself the farmers markets give you a taste of the countryside or head for one of Warwickshire's country parks or walk up the famous flight of 21 locks between Warwick and Hatton on the Grand Union Canal.  

Shakespeare's England also encompasses parts of The Cotswolds, with its famous rolling hills and meadows, so you will be spoilt for choice for ways to spend your time on a countryside break in the area.

We have a wonderful array of country house hotels and retreats

Shakespeare's England has a wonderful array of country house hotels and retreats. There is the splendid Menzies Welcombe Hotel, Spa and Golf Club positioned just outside the town of Stratford-upon-Avon in 157 acres of beautiful countryside. Originally built in 1866, the Jacobean-style house combines the traditional charm of the oak paneled lounge and magnificent four-poster suites with the contemporary décor of the garden rooms and luxury spa.

Ettington Park Hotel near Stratford-upon-Avon is a stunning country hotel, set in 40 acres of glorious parkland in the Warwickshire countryside, a wonderful place to experience England's green and pleasant lands. 

The Stratford Manor Hotel is a 4 start hotel surrounded by countryside, minutes from Stratford where you can enjoy a touch of luxury away from the crowds.

Billesley Manor is a beautiful country house hotel which incorporates an 11th century church within its boundaries, 72 bedrooms, 100 year old listed Topiary Garden, a Health Club & swimming pool, tennis courts, beauty rooms and 2 AA rosette restaurant.

Why not stay in an old country seat of Sir Christopher Wren at Wroxall Estate. Wroxall boasts a magnificent collection of listed buildings and private grounds, which make it an idyllic setting for Weddings and other Special Occasions. Following the recent programme of sympathetic restoration, Wroxall now offers today's discerning guest a country house estate with unrivalled leisure, business and function facilities.

Nearby is also the wonderful Ardencote Manor Hoteland Spa - located in the heart of the Warwickshire countryside, this quintessential English 19th Century Manor House is situated just off M40 J15 and a short drive from the historic towns of Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon.  

There is a wealth of activities to do in the great outdoors

Throughout Shakespeare’s England there are a wealth of activities to do in the great outdoors.  Rural Warwickshire provides a perfect haven from big cities.

There are also wonderful rural towns and villages to visit such as Alcester, Henley, Dunchurch, Polesworth, Southam, Shipston, Wellesbourne and Henley-in-Arden.

See how Warwickshire was farmed centuries ago at Mary Arden’s Farm and step back in time and experience the sights, smells and sounds of a real Tudor farm. It is a working farm with lots of seasonal activities and Tudor events for the whole family to enjoy. 

Set within 400 acres of picturesque parkland and gardens is Ragley Hall, a magnificent stately home, if garden are your thing, then a stop off at Ragley is an absolutely must when visiting the area, there is also a fantastic woodland wallk and wonderful childrens adventure playground with a 3D maze! 

A great way to see the beautiful countryside is to explore the riverways and canals in the area, see our river cruises page for further information, as well as visiting the spendid gardens of Shakespeare's England.

Explore England's green and pleasant land

Day one

A hidden gem only 8 miles from the world famous Stratford-upon-Avon, Alcester is a charming market town that offers something for everyone – history, culture, shopping, accommodation, food and drink – all mixed in with a good measure of flowers, festivals and fun! Meander through its ancient streets, a mix of half-timbered Tudor merchants' houses - splendid Georgian houses and cosy Victorian workers cottages. In the summer these are adorned with thousands of flowers.

Marvel at architectural wonders such as the magnificent St Nicholas Church with its 14th century tower standing proudly looking down the High Street. The nearby 17th century Town Hall, built as a colonnade of 18 pillars of Cotswold stone by the Lord of the Manor as an open market. Step back even further in time and check out Alcester's Roman roots at the fascinating Roman Heritage Centre or simply discover the secret gardens of many in the summer and the log fires in the winter.

In the afternoon carry on your journey to Henley-in-Arden, an idyllic rural town which showcases medieval history and architecture in the 21st century. Come and enjoy eating at a 16th century coaching inn or in a 15th century timber framed building, walk in the beautiful Warwickshire countryside where a 12th century motte and bailey castle used to be. Why not discover for yourself the one mile picturesque High Street where you will find numerous shops, antiques, restaurants, wine bars, pubs and tearooms. Experience the famous Henley Ice Cream Parlour or discover local history with a visit to the 1448 St. John the Baptist Church or the 1170 St. Nicholas Church. During your visit you will be immersed by buildings covering every period in history going back to the medieval times.

Stay overnight at Best Western Henley Hotel – a hotel with personality, style and great service located in the pretty market town.

Day two

Why not take a walk through Abbey Fields in Kenilworth followed by lunch at one the fine restaurants in the area, The Cross is particulary good and then on to visit Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden, one of the largest historic attractions in the West Midlands... the whole family will enjoy exploring the spectacular castle ruins and surrounding countryside.