This week-long holiday is a step back in time into a rural paradise, full of idyllic villages, historic houses and famous gardens. You’ll see William Shakespeare’s home-town of Stratford-upon-Avon. And there’s Bath, where the fantastically-preserved Roman remains and the sweeping Georgian terraces are considered so spectacular. You’ll also have a chance to walk a section of the long-distance footpath, the Cotswold Way. The price includes three nights’ accommodation at the Noel Arms Hotel in Chipping Campden and three nights at the Bay Tree hotel, Burford.
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Driver-guide Cotswold village tour. Your first day exploring the Cotswolds is guaranteed to be fascinating, thanks to your expert driver-guide, who will show you some of the iconic sights, whilst explaining rural life past and present.
You will visit our favourite towns, with High Streets dating back to the 14th century, and villages full of rose-covered cottages clustered round village greens. They all glow with that signature honey-coloured Cotswold stone, against a backdrop of the green rolling hills that surround them.
In the afternoon, you’ll arrive in Snowshill, where the unique manor is crammed with 22,000 extraordinary treasures – from 19th century Samurai armour, made with silk brocade, lacquered metal, bear skin and human hair, to ancient bicycles, sedan chairs and children’s toys. They form part of the collection of Charles Paget Wade, an eccentric Englishman, who bequeathed his estate to the National Trust in 1951.
The cascading hillside garden, with its hidden nooks and crannies, is a constant source of pleasure to visitors. There will be time to take in the scenery, pick up some souvenirs and enjoy a cream tea or a pub lunch.
This self-guided day in Stratford-upon-Avon allows you to explore the five Shakespeare houses in and around the town, which offer a glimpse into the great playwright’s life. But despite the unique charm of the half-timbered buildings, the alms houses, and the unusual ‘weeping chancel’ of Holy Trinity where Shakespeare is buried, don’t let history blind you to today’s pleasures – the individual shops alone make the town worth visiting. Round trip private car transfer included.
Enjoy a leisurely day exploring the countryside on foot. Starting from the market town of Chipping Campden, you will follow the celebrated Cotswold Way footpath, taking in outstanding views over the Vale of Evesham until you reach Broadway Tower. Then it’s down the hill to the ‘Jewel of the Cotswolds’, Broadway, in time for lunch. A short drive away is Hidcote Manor garden, a joy whatever the season.
Considered to be among the finest in the world, this garden was designed by Major Lawrence Johnston, who died in 1957, as a series of outdoor rooms, each with its own character. Next, it’s off to Kiftsgate Court gardens, created by three generations of women from the same family, and home to the famous Kiftsgate rose, the largest in England.
Driver-guide Cotswold village tour. Today is spent visiting the picture-postcard towns and villages that make this area so famous. Many of the sights you’ll see remain unchanged for hundreds of years. There’s Bourton-on-the-Water, the Venice of the Cotswolds, with the lovely Windrush River meandering through its centre. And there’s Bibury, known as England’s most beautiful village, famous for the trout that swim in its cool, clear waters. People come from the world over to see Bibury’s Arlington Row, architectural gems that were once weavers’ cottages.
A self-guided day exploring Bath, known for its splendid Roman baths, which are among the best-preserved remains in Britain. The city is also a prime example of gorgeous Georgian architecture. There is an option to end the day in Castle Combe, a village to take your breath away. It was recently used as a location for the Spielberg film, Warhorse. Round trip private car transfer included.
Depart – Chauffeur transfer to Heathrow airport