Sprinkled with gorgeous villages and medieval towns, the part of England that stretches westwards from London to Wales comes as close to an old-world idyll as you'll ever find. A haven of green-cloaked hills, rose-clad cottages, graceful churches and thatched roofs. Add the university city of Oxford to this, with its majestic architecture and youthful scene, and it's obvious why the region is a magnet for visitors. Splendid country houses lie tucked away throughout Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. Further south, there's Wiltshire, littered with more mysterious stone circles (Stonehenge!), processional avenues and ancient barrows than anywhere else in Britain. Hampshire, with the ancient cathedral city of Winchester and navy town Portsmouth. Last but not least: the Isle of Wight.
According to Lonely Planet, these are the top experiences and sights in South England: Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.