Bid now to win this amazing 6-night England, Bath & The Cotswolds Guided Walking vacation for 2!
Stimulate your senses, engage your mind, and refresh your spirit! Every great walk deserves a digestif. Yours this afternoon on your Cotswolds walking tour is a scrumptious cream tea by the riverside in Bourton-on-the-Water. Settling in for scones, jam, and clotted cream, you exchange smiles with local families and picnicking visitors lounging on the grassy banks of the Windrush. From Chipping Campden to Stow-on-the-Wold, your guides have shown you the Cotswolds’ loveliest corners on daily walks along England’s national trails. Honey-colored villages of thatch-roofed limestone cottages draped with climbing roses. Lambs gamboling in meadows crisscrossed by hedgerows. Bath’s elegant Georgian architecture. It’s genteel and harmonious—a remarkably preserved stretch of English countryside awaiting your discovery.
This package includes:
Day 1- Hidcote Gardens to Chipping Campden; 3.5 miles, easy. Optional afternoon loop walk; 2.5
miles, easy to moderate After breakfast on your own, meet your guides at 9:30 a.m. in the lobby of The Arden Hotel. Please be dressed for walking. Upon arrival at Hidcote Gardens, one of England’s most influential Arts and Crafts gardens, there’ll be time to explore its hedge-lined pathways that lead to pretty topiaries and rare trees. After a picnic lunch, you’ll set off on your walk along the Monarch’s Way footpath toward Chipping Campden. We will only follow a fraction of this historical 615-mile footpath. Later, arrive in the small market town of Chipping Campden (chipping is a derivation of “market” in Old English). Enter into town on High Street, which is lined with limestone buildings the color of honey. The stone used to create these masterful structures—an oolitic limestone called Cotswold stone—was quarried locally. Check in to the Noel Arms Hotel, one of the Cotswolds’ oldest inns. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner in the hotel’s restaurant.
Day 2- Walk to Broadway Tower. Independent exploration of Broadway and Chipping Campden; 6 miles, easy to moderate. After breakfast, step onto the Cotswold Way, a 102-mile UK National Trail that links Chipping Campden and the city of Bath. Your walk continues through bucolic pastureland dotted with sheep, through small wooded glens, into a lateral valley, and up a gentle slope to Broadway Tower. At 1,024 feet above sea level, Broadway Tower offers an extensive view across the Worcestershire countryside. Take time to ponder the folly of Lady Coventry during a cream tea break in a converted barn nearby. After, continue downhill to the village of Broadway, often referred to as the “Jewel of the Cotswolds” for its fine 16th-century buildings made from the local stone. Upon returning to Chipping Campden, consider an optional visit to a local vineyard (a one-mile walk from Noel Arms Hotel) to learn about how the farm’s and vintner owner has found success growing Siegerrebe grapes. Dinner is on your own tonight. Chipping Campden has several options for a fine meal.
Day 3- Buckland to Stanway House; 3 miles, easy. Stanway House to Snowshill; 3 miles, moderate. A 20-minute morning shuttle delivers you to the small rural village of Buckland, the starting point for today’s ramble. You traverse the open country to the hamlet of Laverton, where a cluster of stone cottages evokes scenes of rural Old England. Later, arrive in Stanton, an idyllic village where little has changed in 300 years. Your walk continues through the village of Stanway, then ascends slightly through a mixed forest. Leaving the woodland, follow the footpath through gently sloping pastures before arriving at Snowshill, a tiny village resting atop the Cotswold escarpment. As its name implies, and as locals are fond of saying, if there is any snow about, then you will find it here first. After time to explore, shuttle back to your hotel. Dinner is on your own tonight.
Day 4- Walk from Stow-on-the-Wold, Lower Slaughter to Bourton-on-the-Water; 5.5 miles, easy to moderate. After breakfast, today, check out of the hotel and shuttle to Stow-on-the-Wold, a small market town in Gloucestershire. Today’s walk starts in Market Square, flanked by an ancient cross on one end and the town stocks on the other. Rejoin this footpath that you left behind a couple of days ago. Descend from the escarpment through timeless pastureland. This is the Cotswolds of dreams, with wide green fields edged with limestone walls and dotted with sheep. Your walk brings you to the idyllic small village of Lower Slaughter, straddling the River Eye. Leave this lovely hamlet and continue through a small wooded area before traversing more pastures down to the Windrush River, which leads you into Bourton-on-the-Water. This pretty village is known as the “Venice of the Cotswolds” for the bridges that span its river. There’ll be time here for lunch and to explore the village and its many craft shops before shuttling approximately 50 minutes to your home for the next three nights, the Hare & Hounds at Westonbirt, near Tetbury. Dinner is at the hotel tonight.
Day 5- Circular walk to Tetbury. Independent exploration of Tetbury or Westonbirt; 7 miles, easy. After breakfast, stroll directly from the hotel along a meandering trail through tree-dotted pastureland. Your route traverses Highgrove House, the family residence of Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Gatcombe Park, home of Charles’ sister Princess Anne, is also nearby. Shortly after these grand homes, you walk into Tetbury, developed on the site of an ancient hill fort. During your free time in Tetbury, visit one of its inviting cafés, lovely churches, or one of its many antique shops, for which the town is known. You’re sure to find a pleasing spot for lunch on your own. The walking trail circles back to Westonbirt House, a historical Victorian manor house dating back to the end of the 19th century. This afternoon, take an optional self- guided walk around the Westonbirt Arboretum, just steps from the Hare & Hounds. After time to relax back at the hotel, dinner is on your own. You may wish to eat in the hotel’s restaurant or return to Tetbury by taxi.
Day 6- Bath; 7 miles, easy to moderate. After breakfast, board your shuttle to Bath (approximately 50 minutes), a popular traveler’s destination for 2,000 years. Today’s walk starts just outside Bath and follows the final leg of the Cotswold Way, the path you followed to Broadway a few days ago. Begin by traversing Lansdown Hill, the site of the bloody Battle of Lansdown during the English Civil War. From here, you will cross a plateau, passing the famous Bath Horse Racecourse. Shortly afterward, you will have your first views of Bath in the valley below. Conclude your walk at Bath Abbey, where a round, carved stone set into the pavement outside the ornate west doors marks the end of the Cotswold Way. You will have free time to explore Bath and have lunch on your own before returning to the hotel. This evening, recount your memorable journey over a festive farewell dinner.
Day 7- Your England: Bath & the Cotswolds tour concludes. Your tour ends at your Westonbirt, England hotel today. Kemble is the nearest train station to the Hare & Hounds Hotel, around seven miles away, with non-stop service to Paddington Station, London. The hotel will help arrange a taxi to the station.
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