Hello all-I am just starting to plan an itinerary for a 10 night trip to England, flying in and out of LHR from Nashville, end of May 2019. Already have tickets. Family of 4 (with my 13 and almost 16 yo kids). We have some experience with European travel (2 trips over the last couple years), and we don't mind a busy itinerary. That being said, I don't want to try anything too ambitious or exhausting. We have never been to the UK, and are excited about London, but also want to see some other bits of England. Kids are into history and food, we like walking, exploring, castles, cute little villages, soaking up new places.
My initial thoughts are as follows, but I am definitely open to better ideas.
Day 1 (Monday): arrive LHR 7 am, pick up rental car (or take taxi or bus) to Windsor castle (can you get a car there?) Tour castle, eat lunch. Drive to Cotswolds, sleep Cotswolds (not sure where but maybe Bourton-on-the-water?) Go to sleep early (lol). We usually have been able to make it until about 7-8pm local time before crashing, so I think this is doable.
Day 2 (Tue): Drive/explore Cotswolds, maybe Stratford Upon Avon, sleep Cotswolds
Day 3 (Wed): Avebury (or Stonehenge?) and Bath daytrip, back to sleep Cotswolds (too much for 1 day?)
Day 4 (Thur): Drive to York, stop to see Blenheim Castle (?) or Oxford (?), sleep York, drop off car
Day 5 (Fri): Explore York, sleep York (Is 1 day enough?)
Day 6 (Sat): Early train to London, spend 4 1/2 days and 5 nights in London. Could use a day to take a trip to Oxford or Cambridge if we don't get there before.
Day 11 (Thur): Depart LHR at 9 am
Also have considered flipping and doing London first. These are the places I would ideally like to see, but perhaps there is a better way to organize them that I have not considered. Open to ideas :)
Trying to find the sweet spot with minimizing travel/unpacking/repacking time and maximizing fun time, and seeing lots of cool stuff. We've been to Rome, Pompeii, Florence, Cinque Terre, Prague, Bavaria, Rhine valley, Amsterdam...we like cities (loved Amsterdam and Rome) but also enjoy smaller towns (Rothenburg, Bacharach). We are comfortable with trains and other public transport.