The Cotswolds Experience
2013 Trips: July 6 – 13; July 13 – 20; July 20 – 27 (new!)
2014 Trips: July 12-19; July 19-26
Our third Cotswolds trip in 2013 (July 20 – 27) is a special week with an emphasis on gardens and a slightly different itinerary. See more information here.
The Cotswolds is an unusually beautiful, mostly rural area located in west-central England, about an hour and a half from London. The Cotswolds are best known for rolling hills, gentle streams, grazing sheep, and well-preserved villages constructed of honey-colored limestone. This was the first place our family visited in the English countryside and we’ve returned several times over the past fifteen years. We really enjoyed sharing this very special place with our European Experience travelers in June 2010.
Our groups base in Chipping Campden in the northern Cotswolds, a welcoming village with a population of about 2500 people. The attractive “High Street” includes a variety of shops, pubs and restaurants and an old market hall built in 1627.
Highlights of our week in the Cotswolds include:
- Picturesque villages and towns as intriguing as their names: Chipping Campden, Stow-on-the-Wold, Broadway, Moreton-in-Marsh, Upper Slaughter, Lower Slaughter and Winchcombe
- The beautiful English gardens at Hidcote Manor and Kiftsgate and the lavender farm at Snowshill.
- Sudeley Castle, one of England’s most famous castles, with a history extending almost 1000 years. One of its best known residents was Catherine Parr, the last of Henry VIII’s six wives.
- Blenheim Palace, one of England’s largest country houses, with extensive parks and gardens. Home of the Dukes of Marlborough since 1705, it was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- The ruins of Hailes Abbey, a 13th century abbey dissolved by Henry VIII in 1539.
- Prehistoric ruins at the Rollright Stones, a circle of 70 stones that dates to 3000 BC.
- Market day at Moreton-on Marsh.
- Typical British experiences, including strolls in the countryside, afternoon tea, lunch at a working farm, and visits to several pubs.
On Wednesday we enjoy a day “beyond” our home base, traveling a bit further to experience another special place. One optional excursion is a day in Stratford-upon-Avon, a lively town just north of the Cotswolds, known for its most famous resident, William Shakespeare. We also offer a day in the architecturally-rich city of Oxford, about an hour to the east, home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world. There’s always the option to have a day on your own in Chipping Campden, including a variety of interesting walks.
Learn more about the Cotswolds and The Cotswolds Experience:
We highly recommend spending a few days (or more!) in London before joining us for a week in the English countryside. The Cotswolds are easily accessible from London’s Paddington station, a 1-1/2 hour trip. We’ll meet the train from London at the Moreton-in-Marsh train station at 3:00 pm on the first Saturday. We’ll return you to the station after breakfast the following Saturday morning.
Our good friend Pauline Kenny loves the Cotswolds as much as we do. Her website Cotswolder provides additional information and photos of the Cotswolds.
2014 Prices: $2,950 per person (double occupancy); $3,450 single occupancy.