From country villages and historic university cities to theme parks and world-class horse racing, England’s top attractions can be easily reached from the hotel.
Marylebone station is right on the doorstep of The Landmark. In fact, a wrought-iron covered walkway will lead you from the rear entrance and into this impressive Victorian station. Other main-line stations are also close by and well-connected. Exploring by car opens up further possibilities, and The Landmark can assist with car hire or a car and driver.
Oxford is home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world, and although its foundation date is unknown, teaching existed at Oxford in some form in 1096. The university colleges, with their beautiful architecture, inspired Victorian poet Matthew Arnold to call Oxford the ‘city of dreaming spires’, and it has inspired countless other writers and film-makers. Many of the universities are open to the public during certain hours; also impressive is The Ashmolean Museum, which dates back to 1683 and contains a fine collection of art and archaeology.
(Trains from Marylebone station are direct and take around an hour.)
One of Britain’s best castles, medieval Warwick is an impressive sight. It does a fine job of entertaining children with attractions such as a trebuchet show, knights in armour and jousting, as well as offering some of the castle’s darker history for adults and children over 10 in its dungeon.
(Around 1 hour 20 minutes by direct train to Warwick, then 15 minute walk, or taxi from the station.)
A high-end retail park, Bicester Village has a huge number of designer labels at big discounts, including Armani, Dior and Gucci.
(Around 45 minutes by train from Marylebone.)
The town is inextricably linked to William Shakespeare and visitors can see where the bard was born, the beautiful thatched cottage that belonged to Anne Hathaway, his future wife, and the home of his eldest daughter. The Royal Shakespeare Company has three theatres in the town where you can watch the bard’s plays and other work.
(Around 2 hours from Marylebone to Stratford-upon-Avon.)
The Landmark is near to Paddington station, from where you can catch a train to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Bath. This beautiful spa town is home to Roman history, including well-preserved bath-houses, as well as grand Georgian architecture. Jane Austen set two of her novels in Bath and lived there for five years, and fans can take a tour that follow in her footsteps.
(Around 1 hour 30 minutes from London Paddington to Bath Spa station.)
The stunning swathe of countryside known as the Cotswolds is spread across several counties and dotted with picture-perfect villages with houses made of honey-coloured stone. The market town of Moreton-in-Marsh features a handsome high street with buildings dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, and still hosts a market every Tuesday. Kingham is a pretty village with a green surrounded by thatched and stone cottages and is home to well-regarded pubs such as the Wild Rabbit and the Kingham Plough.
(Moreton-in-Marsh is around 1 hour 30 minutes direct from Paddington, or 1 hour 50 from Marylebone via Oxford. Kingham: around 1 hour 30 direct from Paddington, or 1 hour 40 minutes from Marylebone via Oxford.)
Salisbury is known for its dramatic gothic cathedral, as well as delightful timbered buildings that line the town. Next to the cathedral is Mompesson House, a Queen Anne townhouse with period furniture. Eight miles from Salisbury is the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge, with the mystery still on-going as to the purpose of this circle of giant stones that loom over the landscape.
(Around 1 hour 30 minutes from London Waterloo to Salisbury.)
The region of Kent is famous for its rolling countryside punctuated with conical oast houses that once dried the hops for brewing beer. Kent’s highlights include the pilgrimage site of Canterbury Cathedral, where Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170.
Out on the coast, the seaside town of Whitstable is known for its oysters and has great fish and seafood on offer in its restaurants.
Kent is also home to some poignant reminders of World War II. Dover Castle is a vast centuries-old fortress with tunnels underneath the famous white cliffs that were used as operations headquarters to mastermind the evacuation of British troops from Dunkirk. Down in St Margaret’s Bay there is a four-mile route that traces the role of the area in the war. The Battle of Britain Museum, between Canterbury and Folkestone, is located on the historic airfield at Hawkinge and contains aircraft and artefacts.
(Canterbury West is around 1 hour from London St Pancras station.
Whitstable: direct train from St Pancras in around 1 hour 10 minutes.
Dover Priory: direct train from St Pancras in just over an hour.)
Oxford’s academic rival, Cambridge has historic university buildings in a beautiful setting. Cambridge University was founded when the townsfolk of Oxford became hostile to the academics who then fled to Cambridge for refuge. Each year the two universities battle it out with the Oxford vs. Cambridge boat race, which takes place in London on the Thames (March/April) and crowds flock to riverside pubs to watch. Cambridge’s highlights include the Kings College Chapel, the Fitzwilliam Museum and, when the weather is fine, hiring a punt on the River Cam, taking you past landmarks such as the Bridge of Sighs.
(London Kings Cross to Cambridge in around 50 minutes.)
Ascot and Windsor
Ascot is famous for its horse-racing, particularly Royal Ascot, which takes place in June and is a glamorous affair with a strict dress code – though race-goers often have their own take on that and the fashion gets more coverage than the actual racing. Each day of Royal Ascot starts with the Royal Procession, with the queen and other members of the royal family travelling along the track in horse-drawn carriages. The royals journey to Ascot from nearby Windsor Castle, starting the route in cars, before transferring to carriages. Windsor Castle, home to British kings and queens for almost 1,000 years, is an impressive place to visit, and is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world.
(Direct trains from London Waterloo to Ascot take just under an hour, or from Paddington via Reading, also around an hour.
Direct trains to Windsor & Eton Riverside from Waterloo take an hour, or travel from Paddington via Slough to Windsor & Eton Central in around 40 minutes.)
With its pebble beach and traditional Victorian pier, Brighton is a bustling seaside resort. Away from the waterfront, the city has boutique shopping in the narrow alleyways of The Lanes, and cool cafes and restaurants. Brighton is also home to the incredible Royal Pavilion. Built as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV, it is a stunning hotchpotch of Regency style with Indian and Chinese influences.
(Direct trains from London Victoria and London Bridge take around an hour.)