Classic parkland landscape, old stone cottages, English country gardens, this easy hiking tour has it all – and no baggage to carry!
A self-guided walking tour
2017 dates: April to mid-October, starting on any day.
Duration: 6 or 8 nights.
Grade: Easy (some people may find some days tiring, but they can readily be shortened).
Tour prices: See “Tour prices” below.
Tour code(s): C6E (6 nights); C8E (8 nights).
C6E: Night 1 Burford; 2 Bourton-on-the-Water; 3 Stow-on-the-Wold; 4 Blockley; 5 & 6 Chipping Campden.
C8E: Nights 1 to 6 as C6E, then: night 7 Stanton; night 8 Winchcombe.
Accommodation. Selected high quality B&Bs. En suite/private facilities are standard.
Meals included. Breakfast each morning. Other meals can be obtained locally without pre-booking.
Extra nights. Can be included at any point at the time of booking. A second night is already included at Chipping Camden. Winchcombe is also popular for an extra night. For those who want somewhere quiet we suggest Blockley or Stanton. Bourton-on-the-Water is very ‘touristy’ during the daytime. Burford is a delightful place to relax after a long journey.
Note on Cotswold gardens. During this tour you have an opportunity to visit the world famous Hidcote Manor Garden (National Trust) near Chipping Campden. This and other wonderful gardens on the route of this tour such as Kiftsgate and Sezincote are generally closed on 1 or more days each week. To avoid disappointment please ask us about this! For details of opening days and times of this and other gardens and houses see our factsheet for this tour (FSC) – see “Detailed Factsheet” below.
Rail stations. The most convenient way to reach the start of the tour at Burford is by train to Charlbury (1 hour 30 minutes direct from London Paddington, 1 hour direct from Reading station) then taxi (15 minutes) to Burford. From Chipping Campden (end of C6 tour) bus (not Sundays) or taxi to Moreton-in-Marsh rail station, then train service as for Charlbury but takes 30 minutes longer. From Winchcombe (end of C8 tour) taxi to Evesham rail station, then train service as for Charlbury but takes 1 hour longer; or taxi to Cheltenham rail station. Rail and taxi fares are not included in the tour price.
Airports. The most convenient airports for our Cotswold Villages tour are Birmingham (BHX) and London. From Birmingham airport, which has its own rail station (Birmingham International), change trains at Oxford for Charlbury. From London Heathrow (LHR) shuttle bus or train to Reading station, then train to Charlbury. From London Gatwick (LGW) shuttle train to Reading station (hourly service, takes 1 hour), then train to Charlbury.
Tour code C6E:
6 night tour, ES or private facilities every night: £575. SRS*: £145. STS**: £175.
Tour code C8E:
8 night tour, ES or private facilities every night: £685. SRS*: £175. STS**: £205
Please read these notes below on pricing:
- Extra nights: £60 per person per night; single rooms £80 per person per night.
- SRS* = single room supplement (applicable when 3 or 5 persons book together).
- STS** = solo traveller supplement (applicable when booking is for one person only).
Prices quoted are per person on basis of two people in double or twin-bedded rooms. Included in the price are bed and breakfast each night, with baggage transfers, maps and route directions. “ES” (en suite) facilities means that there is a private bathroom with shower or tub and toilet within the main door of your room. “Private facilities” means that the private bathroom may be outside the main door of your room. When the booking is made for a party of 3 or 5 customers, a single room supplement is payable. When the booking is made for a single traveller, a solo traveller supplement is payable. Note: normally a maximum of 1 single room per booking.
The villages and ‘wool-towns’ of the north Cotswolds were constructed over many centuries from the famous local honey-coloured limestone.
Each has its own memorable character: Burford’s High Street running down to the River Windrush; the market square at Stow with its mediaeval ‘stocks’; the astonishing array of architectural styles at Chipping Campden; the fine 18th and 19th century terraces of Blockley; the elegant houses of Broadway and Stanton. The villages are linked by well-signposted footpaths along which you can explore this peaceful landscape of placid riverbanks, pastures enclosed by dry-stone walls, stately manor-houses, steep escarpments and broad panoramas.
Our route passes close to a number of famous houses and gardens which are open to the public most days, including the magnificent Hidcote Manor Gardens, Snowshill Manor (both National Trust) and Sudeley Castle (once the home of Henry VIII’s last wife Katherine Parr). And, not least, around lunchtime we can usually direct you to a typical English country pub serving real ale and bar meals…
Laurie Lee’s Cider with Rosie is a poetic account of growing up in the Cotswolds.
More images of this tour…How to Book
Other similar grade hiking tours
Discerning Traveller offers other similar ‘easy’ grade walking tours:
An introductory hiking tour through England’s most scenic National park.
Follow the coastal trail from the Skomer bird reserve to the great cathedral of St David’s.
I want to thank you for the unforgettable trip and I really enjoyed making use of your excellent service. [The best aspects of the trip were] the unforgettable landscape [and] the fact that our luggage was transported every day.Mrs Blusse and Miss Blusse
Beautiful landscapes, hardly any other tourists, nice villages…very thoughtful of ‘Discerning Traveller’ to make sure we arrived at our accommodation each day.Ms M van der Spek and Mrs T de Jong
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