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Day trips from London advice

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My husband and I (both 60 yr. olds) will be traveling next month to London and Cotswolds for the first time next month for two weeks. We are trying to avoid a racing- around- to- see- everything instinct knowing that no amount of time would enable us to visit all we would like to and do so sanely. We enjoy gardens, literature and are looking forward to seeing the grandeur of ancient castles, cathedrals and historic buildings.We have two days which are completely flexible while we are in London; we will staying very close to Paddington station. We are deciding between a guided day trip from London to Canterbury/Leeds Castle/Dover Cliffs (1 hr.) or taking a train on our own to Hampton Court or Kew Gardens. We have a dawn visit to Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral.scheduled as well as tickets to Buckingham Palace.. We have friends in London who are joining us over the weekend to see the main sites in the city plus we have reservations for the Globe Theater. We are considering booking a walking food tour on a weekday in London having had such a good experience in other big cities. We will spend hours in the British Museum and have our London Pass and Oyster Cards already. We have sketched out our plans for the week we are in Oxford, Cotswolds and Bath.We are still considering hiring a private guide for 2-3 hr. tour of Oxford. Thank you for any advice!

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