It’s time to go overseas to explore the quintessentially English villages of honey colored stone each with its own unique character spread throughout the rolling hills, the ‘wolds’ of the Cotswold region. This very special and wonderfully enchanting place offers so much charm and history to delve into that we’ll spend seven splendid days wandering and exploring the region. It’s the perfect idyllic setting to slow down and immerse in nature and local culture as we walk along footpaths past ancient woodlands and wildflower meadows taking in all the beauty the landscape has to offer.
We’ll marvel at some of England’s most amazing palaces, castles and manor houses each with its distinctive garden where you can effortlessly lose yourself in its beauty. Historic ruins, ancient stone circles and Roman villas dot the countryside with centuries of stories to tell and a purely magical forest adventure awaits. Sip pints in age-old pubs as we take a break from exploration and relax every night at an inn that’s been delighting guests for over a thousand years.
Dust off that passport and get lost in our Cotswold adventure where there will be a surprise around every corner!
Day One: Overnight Flight
Sit back and relax on our overnight flight to our Cotswolds Adventure!
Day Two: Uffington White Horse
After our arrival at Heathrow Airport, we’ll grab our second wind once we reach the grandaddy of English geoglyphs, the Uffington White Horse dating back to the late Bronze Age. This is a place of mystery and romantic legend with stories of dragon slaying and poisoned blood.
No one knows who created this enormous chalk figure or why, so ponder the possibilities as you climb to the top of the hill for rewarding scenic panoramic vistas.
We’ll start our step into the Costwolds storybook at Castle Combe, a sleepy authentic village peppered with slate-roofed, honey hued cottages among a 14th century market square.
We’ll wander this picturesque beauty and enjoy an included afternoon tea picnic lunch in your favorite spot.
The Porch House:
Onto Stow on the Wold which will be our home from where we explore this amazing region. We’ll step into The Porch House, England’s oldest inn, where every nook and cranny exuberates centuries old character within its rustic stone walls.
Relax and have a restful night in this comfy historic space.
Day Three: Blenheim Palace
Today we step into magnificence at Blenheim Palace where we’ll explore 300 years of history within its Baroque styled stone walls and formal gardens.
Take your time to admire the gilded State Rooms filled with priceless collections, wander the formal gardens and find your way through the beautiful Marlborough Maze with an included lunch at the café.
Minster Lovell Hall:
Picture a romantic ruined 15th century manor house set beside a lazy river in a tiny, picturesque village and you’ll find yourself at Minster Lovell Hall, our next stop. Feel the history as you wander the grounds among the ruins beside the River Windrush.
Another sleepy village nearby awaits exploration, Asthall, home to an intriguing, but private Jacobean manor house and garden that was home to the infamous Mitford sisters. Take some time to wander!
Onto the somewhat larger town of Burford with a high street that is literally high, perched upon a hill offering splendid countryside views. Stroll past the 17th & 18th century houses lined with charming shops and cafes until your hearts content.
Day Four: Rococo Gardens
Our journey takes us to the south Cotswolds where there’s so much to explore! We first escape to the unique Rococo Gardens where we can roam free, relax, restore and rediscover among this haven of peace and tranquility.
Let’s now wander through the wool town of Painswick with its captivating scenery that will put your camera in a frenzy.
The 12th century Berkeley Castle with its exciting history and atmosphere will draw us into its storied past. We’ll spend our time exploring the castle, gardens and enjoying an included lunch.
Wotton Under Edge:
Another intriguing town is in our path, Wotton under Edge with the ‘edge’ referring to the escarpment under which the town nestles overlooking the Severn valley.
Walk the historic streets, browse the shops and if you’re brave enough, step foot in front of The Ancient Ram Inn, the most haunted building in England.
Our travels take us near the quaint, market town of Malmesbury so why not stop to see the stunning 12th century abbey, still in use today.
Get ready to fall in love with Bibury, so charming and picturesque that words can’t seem to describe. Wander and enjoy!
It’s been a long day so before heading back home, we’ll enjoy an included dinner at The Stump Pub with “proper pizzas and well pulled pints”.
Day Five: Cotswolds Way Stroll
We start in the tiny village of Upper Slaughter, set on a grassy slope along the trickling River Eye. Follow the well worn footpath Warden’s Way meandering beside the river passing sheep grazing in meadows, antique houses, ancient millponds with stately trees and stone footbridges that lead to the lovely Lower Slaughter with its flower draped cottages, picturesque water mill and romantic Copse Hill Road.
Moreton in Marsh:
Enjoy your lunch and wanderings in Moreton in Marsh with its elegant 18th century inns and houses and rare Curfew Tower with its original clock and bell.
You will feel transported to India at Sezincote, a 200-year-old Mogul Indian Palace set in a romantic landscape of temples, grottos, waterfalls, and canals.
Take your time exploring the extraordinary house and gardens and be prepared to be dazzled!
We’ll step into 5000 years of history at the Rollright Stones, a trio of neolithic monuments fabled to be a king and his knights that were petrified by a witch.
We just can’t miss nearby Kingham, a peaceful and secluded village, taking time to wander in its serenity.
Day Six: Chipping Campden
The vibrant village of Chipping Campden is where we start the day with time to wander the quaint streets and delightful stone marketplace in the center of town.
From here we walk the Cotswold Way to spectacular views atop Dover’s Hill, the site of a natural amphitheater for the original English Olympic Games beginning in 1612.
Off to be amazed at Hidcote Gardens, a world-famous Arts and Crafts inspired garden in which intimate formal spaces create a new vista at every turn.
Take a break to enjoy an included lunch at the café before our next adventure…
Off to discover the myths and mysteries of the ancient country house Chastleton. This rare Jacobean gem has remained unchanged for 400 years offering a timeless atmosphere in a gloriously unspoiled setting.
We’ll explore both the remarkable house and beautifully intriguing gardens.
We’ll follow in the unspoiled authentic pathway straight to the village of Blockley, once famous for its silk mills.
Stroll through this peaceful, charming village with its mill stream winding its way through the bottom of the valley as you take in all its beauty.
Day Seven: Broadway Stroll
Beautiful Broadway is our destination, a place to wander the chestnut tree lined high street peppered with quaint shops, art galleries and antiques galore.
A stroll along the scenic Cotswolds Way will take us to the Broadway Tower, an iconic landmark sitting dramatically at 65 feet high. Keep a lookout for the resident red deer along our path!
We’ll continue on our beauty of a walk to the postcard perfect village of Snowshill, past the Cotswold Lavender farm which will hopefully be showing some lovely purple hues, then onto the extraordinary Snowshill Manor. A place like no other, this unconventional home of eccentric Charles Wade is filled with color and intrigue that will delight all your senses.
Experience the architectural and theatrical techniques used to create dramatic effects both inside the manor and outdoor garden. Enjoy an included lunch during our explorations at the café.
One more stop we just can’t miss is the idyllic village of Stanton filled with butterscotch hued homes with charming, thatched roofs and steeply pitched gables.
Feel the peacefulness and solitude as you wander the picturesque streets, not knowing what delight you might find around the next corner.
Day Eight: Naunton
We start our day in the quiet, uncrowded village of Naunton, strolling and taking in all its loveliness.
What a perfect way to start our day!
Now our brush with fascinating history spanning over 1000 years at Sudeley Castle. Walk in the footsteps of past kings and queens as we explore the castle rooms and 10 magnificent gardens, each with its own unique style and design.
Take a break for an included lunch during our explorations and keep an eye out for the rare species of pheasants roaming the grounds.
The village of Winchcombe is nearby, so let’s stop for a visit to explore the ancient streets full of the character of the past.
Set amid the delightful Cotswold countryside are the tranquil ruins of Hailes Abbey, founded in 1246. Once the center for monastic life, this peaceful space is perfect for relaxing and wandering or browse the museum to undercover the stories of the monks who called this home for nearly three centuries.
Day Nine: Bourton on the Water
This morning we’ll sneak into the well know village of Bourton on the Water, famous for its five stone bridges, in the hope to beat the crowds.
Take your time to wander as much as you please or bring your sense of wonder and adventure to the Dragonfly Maze that contains puzzles within a puzzle to find the hidden golden treasure.
Chedworth Roman Villa:
Tucked away down long winding roads in the picturesque countryside lies a fabulous Roman villa, built in the 2nd century. The magnificent mosaic floors of Chedworth Roman Villa will amaze and delight, and you’ll be surprised by all the “modern amenities”.
We’ll take time to explore this amazing archeological find while enjoying an included lunch.
A mysterious, fantastical wonder awaits at the enchanting and captivating Puzzlewood. We’ll step into another world of twisted trees, stunning moss-covered rocks, wooden bridges, dazzling rock and tree formations as we walk the winding pathways through the Forest of Dean.
It’s a wood like no other and its magic will captivate you from start to finish, so take your time and immerse into this fantasy world of nature.
Day Ten: Breakfast & Flight Home
It’s so hard to say goodbye to such peaceful charm, so let’s bring it home with us to keep in our fond memories!
Pricing & Departures:
Air transportation is provided by United Airlines. A surcharge will apply if United Airlines increases the price of its airfare. One piece of luggage per person (baggage fee by United is not included) and one small carry-on are permitted. A valid, government-issued picture ID is required to board the plane.
Monday, May 22: Flight # departs Newark at AM and arrives in Heathrow at PM
Wednesday, May 31: Flight # departs Heathrow at PM and arrives in Newark at PM
Price per person is $4,495 Twin & $4,995 Single. No reservations accepted without a deposit of $350 per person. Make checks payable to “Group Tours & Travel”, and mail to our address above. Final payment is due March 1, 2023. There are no refunds if cancellation occurs after March 1, 2023. Group Tours is not responsible for any delays, cancellations, injuries or circumstances beyond its control and reserves the right to change the itinerary. All trip components are subject to change in accordance with Government, State and Local guidelines and/or mandates. Travel protection/cancellation coverage is available and highly recommended, but not included. This tour will run rain or shine.
*Due to the changes in airline booking policies, airfare will need to be booked before the cancellation date, Once flights are booked, we cannot refund that portion of the tour unless you’d like to pay an additional cost for refundable tickets.
The Educated Wanderer
Group Tours & Travel
PO Box 632 Berwyn, PA 19312