I'd also recommend trying Victoria with HO. Either Owls or HO could be very strong for them. Owls for the reason you state, HO because they are a naturally colonizing civ, tend to build lots of harbor triangles and tend to build IZs. And England really gobbles through Great Admirals, which count the same as a Great Scientist for leylines. For Spain, I think it depends if you tend to go more gold economy or faith economy. Both are great. Owls probably have more relevant bonuses.