The Cotswolds & Oxford
Golden limestone and thatched cottages form the backdrop to this gentle journey through one of England's prettiest regions.
Walking historic footpaths, Roman roads and winding lanes through sleepy villages, we discover the world-class gardens of Hidcote Manor, designed by Lawrence Johnson, and walk through the woods of Batsford House associated with the notorious Mitford sisters. We eat hearty pub lunches with local ale and meet a shepherd and his sheep dog. We visit the Duke of Marlborough's estate at Blenheim and see the quiet village graveyard in Bladon where Sir Winston Churchill is buried.
We explore the ancient university town of Oxford and try our hand at punting on the river.
Walk Rating: Easy to Moderate. Stroll through countryside, gardens, pretty villages and historic footpaths with rights-of-way over meadows and fields. 9-11 miles walking per day.
US$3995.00 per person double occupancy
Walk begins in Chipping Campden, with arrival at Moreton-in-Marsh Rail Station and ends in Oxford, with departure from Oxford Rail Station.
We meander through the quintessentially Cotswold honey-toned stone villages of Broad Campden, Blockley to arrive at Lord Dulverton's Batsford House, once home to the infamous Mitford sisters. From the Arboretum we visit the Birds of Prey Centre where we watch owls, falcons and eagles put through their paces. After lunch we continue walking through this charming countryside towards our hotel.
Today's walk takes us through the gently rolling hills to reach the famous Hidcote Manor Gardens, created by the American Lawrence Johnson almost 100 years ago. Here at the gardens, generally recognized as one of the world's greatest, we can stroll through the 19 'outdoor rooms' which make up this vast garden. We will be greeted by a local TV and radio garden expert who will answer any of your gardening questions. We continue with an afternooon walk to our next hotel for dinner and overnight in Stow-on-the-Wold.
We walk from Stow-on-the-Wold ('where the wind blows cold') and then on through pretty Upper and Lower Slaughter. Their names are from the old word for the stream that links the two picture-postcard villages, rather than referring to any great massacre! A local farmer will tell us about Cotswold farming and introduce us to his sheep dog. After a pub lunch we continue our walk across the gentle hills (‘wolds’), with drystone walls enclosing the pastures, back to our hotel for dinner.
We leave the rural Cotswold hills and villages and head to historic Woodstock to walk through some of the Duke of Marlborough's 2,000 acres of parkland surrounding the awe-inspiring Blenheim Palace. We see the quiet village graveyard where Sir Winston Churchill is buried and, after a hearty pub lunch, head alongside the Thames to that 'city of dreaming spires', Oxford. We continue to our luxurious boutique hotel, superbly located in the heart of the city, where we dine this evening.
After breakfast, we set out on foot to explore this ancient center of learning, seeing aspects of both Town and Gown. We walk through the heart of the University and absorb the views of the city spires from Christchurch meadow. Our route takes us through the university parks to our lunch at a secluded spot on the river. In the afternoon, we experiment with the traditional Oxford pastime of Punting, gliding along the river to an historic pub where we stop for a traditional English afternoon tea. We return to our hotel for our Farewell Dinner.
You can depart from the hotel at your leisure; it is only a 5 minute taxi ride to Oxford Rail Station for onward connections.
This itinerary represents a typical Walk. We prepare itineraries well in advance of the trip and therefore we reserve the right to make changes due to weather, local events or other circumstances - but always to improve the experience of our guests.
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The Grapevine Hotel - Tuesday & Wednesday
T: +44 (0)1451-830-344
Set in the historic market town of Stow-on-the-Wold, amid the warm honey coloured Cotswold stone buildings and rolling countryside, this beautiful and award winning 17th Century hotel has become justly renowned for its warm hospitality and fine dining.
Named after the ancient vine that shades the hotel's Conservatory Restaurant, the Grapevine offers a compelling combination of the finest accommodation, food, wine and service, in the heart of one of the prettiest towns in the Cotswolds.
Blending traditional Cotswold stone and dark wooden beams with comfortable, contemporary furnishings, the Grapevine has 22 beautiful bedrooms. Recently refurbished to the highest standards, each stylish bedroom has an ensuite bathroom, TV, phone, hair dryer, WiFi internet access and its own unique look and feel.
This hotel list is a provided as an example. We may use different hotels of the same quality and style on specific trips. The Wayfarers will notify confirmed travelers of any changes to the hotels.
Before & After Your Walk:
- Visit Regency Bath Englands premier spa town from Roman to Georgian times
- Venture a little further to Salisbury and Stonehenge
- Spend a day at nearby Blenheim Palace, one of the most impressive country houses in England
- There is a choice of good parkland golf courses
- Shop for books, antiques and fine china
Temperatures usually range from around 45º to 65ºF (7º to 18ºC) in spring/autumn and from 60º to 70º F (15º to 21ºC) in summer although it can rise to above 80º F (27ºC) on some days. You are likely to need a light jacket or sweater in the evenings. Rainfall is unpredictable but occurs all year round and can be heavy, even in summer. Equally there can be long spells of warm dry weather so you will need to bring clothing to accommodate all situations.
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Are there any hidden costs?
Our Vacations do not include the cost of air or rail fares to and from the destination or tips for your walk leader and manager.
How large are the Groups?
Our maximum group size is 16, but groups average between 8-12 people.
Will I feel welcome as a single traveler?
Yes! Our walks are the perfect environment of comfortable camaraderie for the single traveler.
Can you accommodate special diets?
How physically fit do I have to be to do a Wayfarers Walk?
If you are in good health and reasonably fit you will be comfortable participating in a walk.
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