Every fortnight (start in London) from 4 April 2018
And when you’re not taking in all this wonderful heritage and culture you’ll be walking through the stunning countryside of the Cotswolds, soaking in England at its “Chocolate Box” best.
The tour starts at London Paddington railway station where we pick-up all guests from the Paddington Bear statue on Platform 1. We then jump on the bus and travel the one hour to Windsor where we step inside the world of King and Queens and take in everything Windsor has to offer. Packed with regal history at every turn; home to the Queen, the site of Henry VIII’s grave and monarchs since 1066, Windsor is a “must see”. We start the walk in the middle of Windsor Great Park and walk the three miles directly into the castle itself.
A beautiful walk through the North Cotswolds, through Chipping Campden, and the amazing American inspired, Hidcote Gardens for four miles. We then take the support vehicle to the outskirts of Stratford where we will walk into the town via the river Avon. In Stratford, you’ll get a chance to learn about the life of the great playwright William Shakespeare. (There is also an opportunity to watch a play performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company).
Experience the beauty of the Cotswolds, its chocolate box villages are dotted amongst a patchwork quilt of fields and woods. This area of Outstanding Natural Beauty makes for the perfect relaxed day walking with three and eight-mile options. We will walk to Broadway Tower, Snowshill, to the Slaughters, Bourton on the Water and the day ends at Moreton in the Marsh. Many take the opportunity for a shorter walk and the afternoon off, relaxing at the hotel.
Blenheim Palace, the World heritage site, is arguably England’s greatest Palace. The birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim has an illustrious history, stunning architecture and beautiful gardens, landscaped by Capability Brown. Our route travels through the stunning 2000 acres of the Blenheim estate for either a three mile or seven-mile route. The day ends at the stunning Lamb Inn in Burford.
Through the flatter part of the Cotswolds, and via Bampton, where all the outdoor shots of Downton Abbey are shot, we will have a quick walk around the village before getting on the support vehicle to Oxford. We will then walk into Oxford via the River Thames and Port Meadow. We tour around the City of Oxford, where you’ll get a chance to visit the colleges and learn about its rich history. With options from four miles through to six miles and potentially the morning off should you choose!.
We walk up the stunning White Horse Hill, see the Neolithic Ridgeway and long barrow at Wayland Smithy before jumping in the support vehicle and on to Avebury (Stonehenge but bigger) and then onto the World Heritage site and eternal mystery that is Stonehenge for Neolithic day! There is also the opportunity to visit the home of Downton Abbey (Highclere Castle) – home to the Carnarvon family and of course the Crawleys, on the tours between early July and mid-September. Walks vary from 3 to 10 miles.
Bath is a stunning walk down an old roman road, right into the centre of this beautiful city. The Roman Baths, Jane Austen, the Georgian architecture including The Royal Crescent are unmissable. The majority opt to miss the large hill out of the city in the afternoon and travel back to the hotel in the support vehicle. A morning walk of either 3 or 8 miles over the full day.
After a later start and a 3-4 mile walk to the National Trust owned Lacock we lunch and visit Lacock Abbey. We then jump in the support vehicle and transfer guests to the nearest mainline railway station to enable quick and easy on-going travel (only 1 hour to London). Our aim is to have guests back to London by 6 pm.
Guests stay in the best 4* hotels in the Cotswolds region, with unbeatable settings, wonderful accommodation and stunning food – just see Trip Advisor. Further options are available for those who want to stay in a country cottage location or in a selection of hand-picked bed and breakfasts or pubs.
Our walks differ from almost every other type of walking tour – we call it “walk in walking”. Each day you will be transported close to an iconic point of interest e.g. Oxford and you will be able to literally walk directly into the city. The transfers are free, in the morning and afternoon and allow our guests to immerse themselves in England’s iconic places. Transfers are on average 30 minutes, with no one journey over 45 minutes.
Walk as much or as little as you like as there are options to suit all ages and abilities. Every day guest will be able to shorten the walk if required ensuring guests only need to walk the miles that suit them.
And if you need picking up, then, no problem, we are always on hand to help. A support vehicle is with the guided tours at all times.
Guides are local experts in history, heritage, flora and fauna. They know every gate, style and pub!