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The Cotswolds, Cottages and Castles
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The Cotswolds, Cottages and Castles

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 8 day(s)
Group Size: 6 - 10 people
Destination(s): England  
Specialty Categories: Walking Tours   Hiking & Trekking  
Season: July
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 1495 Pound Sterling (GBP)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1495 Pound Sterling (GBP)

We walk along footpaths which, during the middle ages, were trodden by sheep drovers and their flocks on their way to shearing. Cotswolds comes from "cots" meaning stone sheep shelters and "wold" meaning rolling hills. We visit palaces, formal gardens, castles and abbeys filled with treasures and centuries of history. The Cotswolds was no doubt an inspiration to Shakespeare to the north and the scholars of Oxford to the south. We look forward to being your hosts, to strolling along escarpments and admiring the truly enchanting countryside.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Guided tour of Oxford. We meet at 12:00 at Oxford station. Caroline's father, Richard Kenyon, a graduate of Merton College, regales us with anecdotes about student life at the University. Then we take a picnic lunch and go punting on the river Cherwell - a must for anyone visiting Oxford. Try propelling a flat bottomed boat with just a pole!

Day 2: Charlbury to Blenheim Palace. We walk along traces of the path of Roman Akeman Street and then climb over a stile to enter the extensive grounds and estate of the Dukes of Marlborough. Footpaths through a magnificent park bring us to Capability Brown's landscaped gardens where a picnic lunch awaits us by the lake. We then tour the Palace, where, though never a duke himself, Sir Winston Churchill was born (3 hours/6 miles).

Day 3: Chedworth Roman Villa. Close to the Fosse Way, a Roman road built during Caesar’s invasion of Britain, we find Chedworth Villa located in the Coln valley. Time to enjoy the extensive excavations and mosaic floors, before embarking upon a beautiful, all day walk through quaint hamlets and sleepy villages, crossing meadows and along wooded slopes with wild flowers in abundance (5 hours/10 miles).

Day 4: Cotswold villages walk. We visit the picturesque village of Bourton-on-the-Water with its eccentrically built miniature model of the village. With the sound of a rushing stream in our ears we continue through Lower Slaughter and Upper Slaughter and admire how exquisitely the many thatched cottages, private and public gardens are kept. The end of this enjoyable walk brings us to the delightful market town of Stow-on-the-Wold with time to admire the antiques and do a little shopping (4 hours/8 miles can be extended to 12 miles).

Day 5: Moreton-on-Marsh - Batsford - Chipping Campden. From the market town of Moreton-in-Marsh we cross open fields to the Cotswold Falconry Center to watch a world class falconry display. Climbing the Cotswold escarpment we reach the village of Blockley for a picnic lunch and then continue with views of open farmland to Chipping Campden (6 hours/12 miles).

Day 6: Sudeley Castle - Hailes Abbey - Stanton. Cast your minds back to Tudor England as we visit Sudeley Castle and its formal gardens where Katherine Parr last wife of Henry VIII lived. As we walk to the ruins of Hailes Abbey we learn about the dissolution of the monasteries and then continue along the "Cotswold Way" past Jacobean Stanway Manor to end our day among the honey-colored stone cottages of Stanton village (4 hours/8 miles).

Day 7: Free half day, afternoon visit to Hidcote gardens. Enjoy a leisurely free morning with time to explore Stow-on-the-Wold. In the afternoon we stroll in the world renowned gardens of Hidcote Manor. Finally let us take you out to Stratford on Avon, home of William Shakespeare and, performances allowing, stay to enjoy a play (3-4 hours).

Day 8: Departure from Warwick. Departure from our hotel at 9:00 for Warwick Parkway station. If you wish, we can help you to extend your stay or make other independent departure arrangements.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Accommodation (luxury hotels, mediaeval palazzi, family run hotels, manor houses and rustic inns)
- Breakfasts are local fare
- Lunches are our beloved picnic feasts or packed lunches
- Evening meals are seasonal menus carefully chosen with local chefs
- Fine wines and ales
- Comfortable 12-seat minibus, transporting you and your luggage safely from place to place.

- Our prices are fully inclusive
- From arrival to departure you will be provided with quality accommodation
- We choose the best which reflects the area
- We look for character, charm and friendly atmosphere
- Food and wine:
* Breakfasts are local fare
* Lunches are our beloved picnic feasts or packed lunches
* Evening meals are seasonal menus carefully chosen with local chefs
* With these we serve fine wines and ales
- Private groups welcome.

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