Writing again for other ideas: In September 2015 planning a 12 day car tour of UK (Cotwolds, Peaks, Lakes, Scottish Highland)
First question: Hope to see Blenheim Palace and Chatsworth House. Basically have planned full day for each with all the parks and gardens. How similar and different? Worth seeing both>
Second question: On several Europe trips we have used Viator and always enjoyed these well planned group tours. In the Lakes they have an eight hour tour called "10 Lakes Spectacular to Borrowdale, Buttermere and Beyond" ($62 per person). Very highly rated by 162 reviewers. From Edinburgh Viator has a 12 hour tour to "Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands ($67) per person). Also, highly rated by reviewers.
Although we are renting a car, I don't want be driving all the time, These Viator trips will leave the driving to local experts and sightseeing will be much better, along with commentary. As I said Viator has always been money well spent.
So, your thoughts on the do-it-yourself driving, interspersed with these two group tours; or any others you'd recommend? Thank you.