- Visit Hidcote Manor Gardens, one of the worlds finest
- Stroll over gently rolling hills and through honey-stone villages
- Visit magnificent Blenheim Palace
- Working sheepdog demonstration by local farmer
- Tour Hook Norton Brewery and sample fine ale
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.
Sunday Overnight: Cotswold House Hotel
Monday Overnight: Cotswold House Hotel
Tuesday Overnight: The Grapevine Hotel
Wednesday Overnight: The Grapevine Hotel
We walk 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! After a pub lunch we continue our walk across the gentle hills (âwoldsâ), punctuated with dry-stone walls enclosing the pastures, finishing the day's walk back in the pretty village of Bourton-on-the-Water.
Thursday Overnight: Macdonald Bear Hotel
We walk to Chastleton House. This rare gem of a Jacobean country house was owned by the same family until 1991 and has been unchanged for 400 years. It has two Victorian croquet lawns and is regarded as the birthplace of competitive croquet. After a pub lunch we visit the mysterious, ancient Rollright Stones, the focus of many supernatural tales, before walking on to the Victorian family brewery of Hook Norton to sample award winning ale.
Friday Overnight: Macdonald Bear Hotel
We set out through the historic village of Woodstock, through the grounds of Blenheim Palace to Bladen, resting place of Sir Winston Churchill. After a pub lunch in Bladen we continue our walk through the magnificent grounds of Blenheim Palace and have a tour of the Palace itself, home of the Churchill family and one of the most imposing buildings in England, before returning to our hotel for our Farewell Dinner.
(Single Supplement $565.00)
Departure: Oxford Rail Station
Hotels - Where we stay
Cotswold House Hotel
This 19th-century former wool merchant's house has been transformed into one of the Cotswolds' finest small hotels. Retaining the elegance and character of this Regency townhouse, the luxuriously appointed bedrooms have everything you would hope to find including ensuite bathroom with bath or power shower, hairdryer, satellite TV and DVD entertainment system, direct dial phone, complimentary broadband access, tea & fresh coffee-making facilities and minibar. Wi-fi internet access is only available in the reception area.The walled garden is both a delight to wander and is a supplier of fresh produce to the highly-regarded restaurant. In the Temple Spa, guests are invited to dip into the hydrotherapy pool, relax in the hammam room, indulge in a massage, facial, pedicure or select from a menu of holistic treatments using high quality products from the nationally renowned Temple Spa range. Please note you have to walk outside to reach the Spa as it is located in a converted coach house in the rear garden.
The Grapevine Hotel
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.
Macdonald Bear Hotel
Once visited by Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, the Macdonald Bear Hotel is one of the finest 4-star hotels in Oxfordshire. Set in the pretty town of Woodstock, in what was once a 13th century coaching inn, the hotel combines history and culture with modern facilities and is within easy reach of the historic city of Oxford.The hotels award-winning restaurant offers excellent dining and the bar serves the finest ales. The comfortable bedrooms are individually styled, traditionally furnished in-keeping with the ambience, and feature en-suite bathroom, work desk, iron and ironing board, hairdryer, TV and Wi-fi.
Start planning your trip
What Is Included in the Price of My Vacation
- Full-time services of two staff - a Walk Leader and Walk Manager
- A backup vehicle for resting walkers and moving luggage
- Comprehensive Travel Information Package and Reading List
- Diverse itineraries with an emphasis on history, geography, cutlure, peoples, flora and fauna
- Demonstrations, wine tasting, admissions to museums and historic sites
- All ground transfers (ferries, cable cars, trains, etc.)
- Maps and unique souvenirs to commemorate your trip
- First-class accommodations with culural and historical interest
- All meals - with choices - (Special dietary requirements? No problem!)
- Wine with dinner
- On-trail snacks and refreshments
- All gratuities at hotels and restaurants