|This adventure takes us to Cotswold, a rural area of south central England with outstanding natural beauty. This sparsely populated farming region is characterized by gently rolling hills covered with a patchwork of green pastures, croplands, forests and quiet country lanes lined with honey-colored stone fences. There are gently flowing crystal clear rivers and streams, wildlife parks, and hundreds of miles of walking tails, some along old Roman roads, pilgrim trails and hilltops with stunning views of the landscape below. This pastoral region is also characterized by picturesque small villages, historic market towns with flower shrouded thatched-roofed cottages and stately manor houses, historic medieval churches, royal castles with magnificent gardens, and interesting historic places and buildings. The Cotswold area has been featured on numerous TV programs including Downton Abbey and in Harry Potter movies. We enjoy leisurely walks each day from the comfort of our upscale historic lodges and inns.
• Classic small English villages with thatched-roofs and honey colored homes with magnificent gardens
• A picturesque countryside with rolling hills covered with patchwork fields, crystal clear rivers and streams
• Enchanting hiking trails with inspiring views of verdant valleys
• An Iron Age fort, royal castles, Roman roads and medieval churches
• Comfortable, luxurious and relaxing four and five star country inns with superb cuisine
Day 1. Sunday, September 3. Depart USA
Day 2. Monday, September 4. Arrive Lower Slaughter
Arrive London and take a train to Moreton-in-Marsh, the nearest town to Lower Slaughter, and then take a taxi (cost included in tour) to Lower Slaughter, one of the most picturesque villages in England, and check into the relaxed ambience of the Slaughters Country Inn, a five star inn located on a quiet four acres of land. All 31 rooms are individually designed and all have a modern bathroom, TV and free internet. There is a stylish pub and a restaurant with a terrace overlooking the River Eye. In the afternoon you can explore the village including the scenic Victorian watermill, the interesting shops, or relax in the cozy comfort of the hotel. In the evening we have our get-acquainted dinner in the hotel restaurant. (D)
Day 3. Tuesday, September 5. Lower Slaughter to Winchcombe – 9 miles /4.5 hours
We walk along the meandering Windrush River to the timeless, unspoiled classic English villages of Naunton and Guiting Power. After lunch we walk through shady woodlands before descending to the ancient Saxon capitol of Winchcombe. We visit the nearby 15th century Sudeley Castle, which has royal connections stretching back over 1,000 years. We tour the Castle and walk in the footsteps of kings and queens including Richard III, Elizabeth I and Lady Jane Grey. Henry VIII’s sixth wife, Katherine Parr, lived and died in the castle. She is now entombed in a beautiful 15th century church found within the Castle’s magnificent gardens, which are world-renowned. We lodge in the historic Lions Inn, a renovated 15th century coaching with a restaurant, trendy pub, beer garden, log fireplace, en suite bathrooms, and WiFi. (BD).
Day 4. Wednesday, September 6. Winchcombe to Broadway – 11 miles/5 hours
We follow an ancient pilgrim’s route to the eerie ruined arches of Hailes Abbey founded in 1245 by Richard of Cornwall in fulfillment of a vow he made following his survival from a shipwreck. It was the object of devotion by pilgrims who walked here from Winchcombe, because of its custody of phials of the Precious Blood of Christ.
After visiting the Abbey we climb a gentle hill to see the earthwork remains of the Iron Age Fortress of Beckbury Camp, a rectangular area of four acres with earthen walls. From the Fortress we have superb views of the scenic valley below. We continue our walk and pass the Stanway House built with Cotswold stone during the English Civil War (1642-1651) and noted for its mellow peaceful atmosphere. It is now a museum and its furniture, including a Charles I table, has been in the house since it was built. The impressive house, gateway and church are surrounded by an enchanting garden and ancient parkland. We stop at a pub in the village of Stanton for lunch. The pub is often used for TV period dramas. We continue our hike through a peaceful meadow to our hotel in Broadway, often referred to as the “Jewel of the Cotswolds” because of its archetypal rural beauty, along a wide grass-fringed street lined with ancient honey-colored limestone buildings, many dating back to the 16th century. We lodge for the night in the comfortable Broadway Hotel, which was originally built as a rural retreat for Abbots of Pershore in the 15th century. The hotel has a restaurant, bar, and a terrace. (BD)
Day 5. Thursday. September 7. Broadway to Moreton-in-Marsh. 8 miles/4 hours or 12 miles/6hours
We first stop to see the 65 foot tall Broadway Tower, an 18th century Gothic tower built in the form of a castle for Lady Coventry. The Tower, which houses an exhibition, is located on a hill at an elevation of 1,024 feet, and from the top we have dramatic views of the landscape below. We continue our walk beneath the scenic Worcestershire Hills, which extend up to 1,394 feet in elevation and are now a conservation area. We descend to Chipping Campden, a small market town noted for its elegant terraced High Street, dating from the 14th century to the 17th century. We stop for lunch in the nearby village of Blockley. After lunch we descend to the village of Batsford and visit an arboretum to see spectacular Coral Bark Maple trees and russet-berried Mountain Ash. We continue our walk to the thriving market town of Moreton-in-Marsh, located at the head of the beautiful Evenlode Valley, and check into the luxurious Moreton Manor, an enchanting 16th-century retreat where we can relax in luxury in a friendly atmosphere. (BD).
Day 6. Friday. September 8. Moreton-in-Marsh to Lower Slaughter. 7 miles/3.5 hours or 12 miles/6 hours
We walk along the Roman Fosse Way, a paved road built by the Romans in the 1st century AD, before branching off through wheat fields and then descending to Stow-on-the-Wold, a small market town at the top of an 800 foot hill, where we have lunch. After lunch we walk back to Lower Slaughter or take an optional walk to Bourton-on-the-Water which is known for its picturesque High Street, flanked by long wide greens and the River Windrush that runs through them. The river is crossed by several low, arched stone bridges. These arched bridges have led to Bourton-on-the-Water being called the “Venice of the Cotswolds”. We continue our walk on to Lower Slaughter and check into the Slaughter’s Country Inn where we enjoy a farewell dinner. (BD)
Day 7. Saturday September 9. Return to London.
We are transferred to Morten-in-Marsh where we catch a train back to the airport in London. (B)
LAND COST: Land Cost: $2,250 per person based on double room occupancy
Single Supplement $594
Cost Includes: Lodging, all breakfasts and dinners at our hotels, taxi transfer from and to train station at beginning and end of tour, luggage transfers between hotels, entry to museums, and an American Tour Guide.
Cost Does Not Include: International airfare, train to and from airport to Cotswold (Moreton-in-Marsh), lunches, or drinks and alcoholic beverages with meals.
REGISTRATION AND INFORMATION
Grade: We walk on well-maintained trails for 3 to 6 hours per day for a distance of 6 to 13 miles, depending on the walks selected. The hikes are rated easy to moderate as we walk at a low elevation (generally 400 to 1,000 feet) and vertical gains and descents are in the hundreds of feet.
If you would like additional information, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us locally at 303-449-0990 or toll free at 1-877-440-0990. Our office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Mountain Time) Monday through Friday.
You may also download our registration form, and mail it in to us.
Idyllic Rural View
11th Century Gothic Church
Idyllic Rural Cotswold
Charming Thatched Roof
Cotswold Cottages, Lower Slaughter
Slaughters Country Inn
High Street, Broadway