Cotswolds Guided Walking Tour 2023

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8 Days / 7 Nights
Availability : March to October
Start: Harrington House, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, England
End: Harrington House, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, England

Cotswolds Guided Walking Tour: 7 nights based at Harrington House, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cotswolds

Contact DHTour at 1-888-597-3519 or 905-639-9954 or dhtour@dhtour.ca to book.

Gentle hills, picture-postcard villages and tempting tea shops make this quintessentially English countryside perfect for walking. On our Guided Walking holidays you’ll discover glorious golden stone villages with thatched cottages, mansion houses, pastoral countryside and quiet country lanes.

Tour Details

Highlights:

  • Explore the beautiful countryside and rich history of the Cotswolds
  • Gentle hills, picture-postcard villages and tempting tea shops make this quintessentially English countryside perfect for walking
  • Let your leader bring the picturesque countryside and history of the Cotswolds to life
  • In the evenings relax and enjoy the period features and historic interest of Harrington House 

Pick Up Location & TIme

Harrington House, Sherborne Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BY (Google Map)
4:00pm – You’re welcome to check into the country house hotel from 4pm onwards.

Drop off Location & Time

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way onward.

Price Includes

  • High quality en-suite upgraded accommodation at Harrington House
  • Excellent food in our country house, full board (B,L,D daily)
  • The services of our knowledgeable leader, ensuring you get the most from your holiday
  • 5 days guided walking + 1 free day
  • Choice of up to three guided walks each walking day
  • Transport to and from the walks
  • Use of our comprehensive Discovery Point

Meals

  • 7 breakfasts
  • 6 lunches
  • 7 dinners
  • 0 teas

Price Excludes

  • Airfare
  • Transfers
  • Pre / Post hotel nights
  • Travel to/from the Country Hotel (The nearest railway station is Moreton-in-Marsh. However, the nearest mainline station is at Cheltenham Spa which may be more convenient)
  • Admissions (please allow approx. £10 per day for entrances)
  • Driver / Tour Leader gratuity is at your discretion
  • Travel Insurance
What to Expect
Cotswolds Guided Walking Tour Walking Grade: 1 & 2.

Enjoy a full day’s walking with fellow guests and leave all the planning and navigation to us; it’s what we do best. Nobody knows the UK’s best places to walk like us. Our knowledgeable leaders make sure you’re never short of the inside story on local features, viewpoints and places of interest.

  • Unpack once
  • Accommodation at a country house hotel
  • Full Board Meals – from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day
  • Knowledgeable leader
  • Choice of up to 3 walks per walking day with required transport

On our Guided Walking holidays, we believe that choice is key. Our walks descriptions will help you choose according to your interests and fitness. The walks are grouped together with care by local experts to give the best experience. 

Walking Grades Explained:

  • Grades 1 & 2 – Leisurely walking grades
  • Grades 3 & 4 – Moderate walking grades
  • Grades 5 & 6 – Challenging walking grades
What to Bring

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong type of clothing!” goes the adage. Come prepared for all eventualities and you’ll walk in comfort as well as safety. Britain’s famous for its changeable weather, so here’s our advice on what to wear and bring.

Essentials

  • Waterproof walking boots providing ankle support and good grip.
  • A waterproof jacket and over-trousers
  • Gloves and a warm hat (it can be chilly at any time of the year)
  • Rucksack
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)
  • A small torch (everywhere in winter, year round in mountains)
  • Sun hat and sunscreen
    Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.

Recommended

  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed
  • Specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • A first aid kit inc plasters– your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication
  • Sit mat (insulated pad to sit on when you stop for a break)

You might also want

  • Walking poles, particularly useful for descents.
  • Insect repellent
  • Flask for hot drinks
  • Rigid lunch box
  • Gaiters
  • Blister kit (eg Compeed) just in case
  • Waterproof rucksack liner
Version 1 Itinerary

Day 1Arrival Day

You’re welcome to check in from 4pm onwards. 

Accommodation: Harrington House (D)

Day 2South Along the Windrush Valley

Option 1 – The Quarry Lakes and Salmonsbury Camp
Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)
Ascent: 400 feet (120m)
In summary: On this circular walk from Bourton we follow the Monarch’s Way to Clapton on the Hill. Our return route takes us via the quarry lakes back to Bourton.
Highlight: At the end of your walk there is plenty of time to explore Bourton-on-the-Water. Enjoy a pint in one of the pubs, visit the shops, or find a bench beside the River Windrush and soak up this charming rural village.

Option 2 – Little Rissington
Distance: 7.5 miles (11.5km)
Ascent: 560 feet (180m)
In summary: Follow the Monarch’s Way to Clapton-on-the-Hill, then take the route across the valley to Little Rissington. We return via the quarry lakes to Bourton. 
Highlight: Visit the ‘plague church’ at Little Rissington with its memorial window to the Red Arrows and the graves of those killed at the nearby RAF Flying School.

Option 3 – Sherborne
Distance: 10.5 miles (17km)
Ascent: 700 feet (220m)
In summary: Walk from Bourton to Clapton-on-the-Hill,  then track south to the attractive village of Sherborne before returning to Bourton via the Windrush valley.
Highlight: An opportunity to stretch your legs and enjoy the rolling countryside to the south of Bourton-on-the-Water.

Accommodation: Harrington House (B, L, D)

Day 3The Cotswold Way to Broadway

Option 1 – A Quiet Walk to Broadway
Distance: 7 miles (11.5km)
Ascent: 650 feet (200m)
In summary: A fine walk starting at Ford we head north, partly following the Cotswold Way passing Snowshill, all the way to Broadway.
Highlight: Visiting Broadway a fine show village filled with old cottages and gabled houses 

Option 2 – Three villages and a Hamlet to Broadway
Distance: 9 miles (14.5km)
Ascent: 740 feet (225m)
In summary: A pleasant walk beginning east of Temple Guiting heading through the historic viilage of Snowshill on our way Broadway.
Highlight: Visiting Broadway a fine show village filled with old cottages and gabled houses 

Option 3 – Over the hills to Broadway
Distance: 11.5 miles (18.5km)
Ascent: 1,150 feet (340m)
In summary: A walk from Snowhill through Temple Guiting leading through historic villages and finishing in Broadway. 
Highlight: Visiting Broadway a fine show village filled with old cottages and gabled house

Accommodation: Harrington House (B, L, D)

Day 4Free day

A free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the country house. Our Discovery Points help you make the most out of your free day. There’s plenty of maps and a selection of the best local walking routes, as well as weather forecasts and public transport options – plus details about other places to visit.

Accommodation: Harrington House (B, L, D)

Day 5The Rissingtons Plus

Option 1 – Couple of Rissingtons
Distance: 6 miles (9.5km)
Ascent: 270 feet (80m)
In summary: Crossing Salmonsbury camp we leave the Windrush valley and head up the first of two Rissington villages, Wyck Rissington and then on to Little Rissington with its memorial to the RAF before dropping back down into the valley and back to the house.
Highlight: The moving testament to the memory of RAF serviceman who lost lives in World War II in Little Rissington church. 

Option 2 – Three of the Rissingtons
Distance: 9.5 miles (15km)
Ascent: 500 feet (140m)
In summary: Leaving the valley we explore three of the Rissington villages, Wyck Rissington, Little Rissington (and the RAF memorial) and Great Rissington before returning to the house via the Quarry Lakes of the Windrush Valley.
Highlight: Beautiful Cotswold villages full of character and great views across the Cotswold countryside.

Option 3 – Bourton to Stow and back
Distance: 10.5 miles (17km)
Ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)
In summary: We head north via Greystones nature reserve, taking attractive field paths and tracks to follow the Oxfordshire Way. This takes us to the market town of Stow on the Wold with its 17th and 18th century buildings built around the bustling market square. We leave Stow with views across the Wolds and cross farmland paths to idyllic Lower Slaughter with its fine old houses and cottages sitting beside the picturesque Rive Eye and its attractive bridges. Our walk then follows a track back to Bourton-on-the-Water.
Highlight: St Edwards Church (rarely it has the war memorial inside) and the bustling market square at Stow-on-the-Wold.

Accommodation: Harrington House (B, L, D)

Day 6Through the Cotswolds to Cirencester

Option 1 – Tunnel Inn, Coates to Cirencester
Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)
Ascent: 300 feet (100m)
In summary: Today’s walk will explore the village of Coates, with its church dating from the Norman period. Moving on to the source of the River Thames we’ll continue alongside a canal and through fields into Cirencester, the ‘capital’ of the Cotswolds.
Highlight: Explore Cirencester at the end of the walk. There’s much of historical interest in what was Roman Britain’s second largest city.

Option 2 – Sapperton and Cirencester
Distance: 9 miles (15km)
Ascent: 480 feet (140m)
In summary: We start today’s walk at the ornate church of Sapperton, before walking across  fields and through woodland to the impressive southern entrance of the Sapperton Canal Tunnel. Taking time to visit the source of the River Thames we continue to the village of Coates and onwards to Cirencester.
Highlight: In Cirencester you could explore the Abbey grounds, the Corinium museum or the superb 15th century church.

Option 3 – Wysis Way and the source of the Thames
Distance: 11 miles (18.5km)
Ascent: 800 feet (240m)
In summary: Starting in the village of Frampton Mansell we follow the Wysis Way along the Severn Thames canal. We have the opportunity to visit both north and south entrances to the Sapperton canal tunnel before following the same route as Option 2 to Cirencester.    
Highlight: A walk rich in history, including charming Saxon and Norman village churches, rich Roman archaeology and industrial history. 

Accommodation: Harrington House (B, L, D)

Day 7Along the Gloucestershire Way to Bourton

Option 1 – Hampnett to Bourton
Distance: 6.5 miles (11km)
Ascent: 550 feet (160m)
In summary: Follow the Diamond and the Macmillan Way to Cold Aston. A third trail – the Gloucestershire Way takes us back to Bourton-on-the-Water.
Highlight: St George’s church in Hampnett with it’s beautiful Victorian stencilling. 

Option 2 – Hazleton to Bourton
Distance: 9 miles (14km)
Ascent: 550 feet (160m)
In summary: Follow the Gloucestershire Way and Diamond Way through rolling countryside to the Wold villages of Notgrove and Cold Aston, before arriving back at Bourton-on-the-Water.
Highlight: Notgrove Norman Church and nearby manor house, and the Walk through the long avenue of Beech trees.

Option 3 – The Gloucestershire Way
Distance: 10.5 miles (17km)
Ascent: 850 feet (260m)
In summary: Follow the Gloucestershire Way through the rolling countryside of the Cotswolds. We’ll pass sleepy villages, then make our way back to Bourton-on-the-Water through the Windrush Valley.
Highlight: We start near the supposedly haunted Frog Mill Inn; once the staging post for the Oxford to Gloucester mail coach.

Accommodation: Harrington House (B, L, D)

Day 8Departure Day

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. (B)

Version 2 Itinerary

Day 1Arrival Day

You’re welcome to check in from 4pm onwards. 

Accommodation: Harrington House (D)

Day 2Around the Slaughters

Option 1 – The Quarry Lakes and Salmonsbury Camp
Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)
Ascent: 400 feet (120m)
In summary: On this circular walk from Bourton we follow the Monarch’s Way to Clapton on the Hill. Our return route takes us via the quarry lakes back to Bourton.
Highlight: At the end of your walk there is plenty of time to explore Bourton-on-the-Water. Enjoy a pint in one of the pubs, visit the shops, or find a bench beside the River Windrush and soak up this charming rural village.

Option 2 – The Slaughters and Lower Harford
Distance: 7 miles (12km)
Ascent: 580 feet (180m)
In summary: Visit both Upper and Lower Slaughter and the medieval village of Lower Harford, before a riverside walk beside the Windrush takes us back to Bourton-on-the-Water.
Highlight: The twin villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter are just a couple of miles’ walk from Bourton-on-the-Water. The River Eye flows through these most picturesque of villages, creating a picture-postcard scene.

Option 3 – Naunton & the Windrush Valley
Distance: 10 miles (16.5km)
Ascent: 700 feet (220m)
In summary: Follow a clockwise loop from Bourton along the tranquil valley of the River Windrush to Lower Harford and the village of Naunton. Our return route takes us over the fields via the Slaughters.
Highlight: We should have time for refreshments in the Black Horse Inn at Naunton and/or the charming mill shop at Lower Slaughter. Keep a lookout for herons on the riverside section of this walk.

Accommodation: Harrington House (B, L, D)

Day 3Chipping Campden and the Cotswolds

Option 1 – Ilmington to Chipping Campden
Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)
Ascent: 600 feet (180m)
In summary: Starting from the village of Ilmington we’ll climb up over the ridge past the 18th century Foxcote House to the neighbouring village of Ebrington. Our route continues along the Monarch’s Way into Chipping Campden.
Highlight: Chipping Campden is another fine market town whose wealth derived from affluent wool merchants in the 14th and 15th centuries.

Option 2 – Hidcote to Chipping Campden
Distance: 9 miles (14.5km)
Ascent: 900 feet (300m)
In summary: Our walk links the National Trust gardens at Hidcote Manor with Chipping Campden. We’ll pass over the rolling hills via the village of Ilmington.
Highlight: Hidcote Manor Garden is designed in an Arts & Crafts style and is famed for its colourful outdoor ‘rooms’, each planted in a different design.

Option 3 – Mickleton to Chipping Campden
Distance: 10.5 miles (17km)
Ascent: 1,300 feet (400m)
In summary: Starting from the village of Mickleton, we’ll first climb the hill to Hidcote Manor, then continue over the downs to Ilmington. Our walk continues along the Monarch’s Way to Chipping Campden.
Highlight: Hunt out the 11 mice carved into the pews in Ilmington’s fine Norman church.

Accommodation: Harrington House (B, L, D)

Day 4Free day

A free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the country house. Our Discovery Points help you make the most out of your free day. There’s plenty of maps and a selection of the best local walking routes, as well as weather forecasts and public transport options – plus details about other places to visit.

Accommodation: Harrington House (B, L, D)

Day 5Bourton to Cold Aston

Option 1 – Couple of Rissingtons
Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)
Ascent: 550 feet (160m)
In summary: This walk leaves Bourton-on-the-Water on the Windrush and Gloucestershire Ways to arrive in Cold Aston. A lovely village arranged around a green and a sycamore tree. The Plough Inn is an ideal place for some refreshment. The walk continues across fields and around farms on the Sabrina Way and Monarch’s Way back to Bourton-on-the-water.
Highlight: Do look around at various times for some super views towards Little Rissington.

Option 2 – Bourton to Icomb
Distance: 9.5 miles (15km)
Ascent: 850 feet (260m)
In summary: Leaving Bourton via the quarry lakes we ascend to Great Rissington and then across the Cotswold countryside to the idyllic Cotswold stone village of Icomb. With fine views across the Cotswold landscape we return to Harrington House via Greystones nature reserve and the picturesque main street of Bourton-on-the-Water.
Highlight: Take your camera – plenty of quintessential Cotswolds photo opportunities.

Option 3 – Cold Aston, Notgrove and Turkdean
Distance: 12 miles (19km)
Ascent: 1,100 feet (280m)
In summary: This walk leaves Bourton-on-the-Water on the Windrush and Gloucestershire Ways to arrive in Cold Aston. A lovely village arranged around a green and a sycamore tree. The Plough Inn is an ideal place for some refreshment then we continue to Notgrove, followed by Turkdean, another lovely village. Then back to Cold Aston on the Macmillan Way before turning off on Monarch’s Way back to Bourton.
Highlight: Explore picturesque Notgrove with its Manor house and beautiful church.

Accommodation: Harrington House (B, L, D)

Day 6Around Winchcombe

Option 1 – Toddington to Sudeley Castle
Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)
Ascent: 450 feet (140m)
In summary: Walk through gently rolling countryside, passing a heritage railway, ancient churches, and the ruined Hailes abbey, before ending the day at the interesting Cotswold town of Winchcombe and finishing at Sudeley Castle. 
Highlight: The ruins of Hailes Abbey. Richard Earl of Cornwall, founded the Abbey in 1246, to thank God after he survived a shipwreck.

Option 2 – Winchcombe Circular
Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km)
Ascent: 1,000 feet (320m)
In summary: Enjoy the views over the far reaching Evesham Vale, before passing Hailes Abbey and following the Cotswold Way to end at Sudeley Castle.
Highlight: The little chapel of ease at Farmcote.

Option 3 – Langley Hill, Cleeve Hill & Belas Knap
Distance: 10.5 miles (17km)
Ascent: 1,450 feet (440m)
In summary: Ascend Langley Hill with views out towards the Vale of Evesham and the Malvern hills, before continuing on to Cleeve hill, the highest point in the Cotswolds, with stunning views of Winchcombe and Sudeley castle in the valley below.
Highlight: Belas Knap – a Neolithic long barrow situated on Cleeve hill. 

Accommodation: Harrington House (B, L, D)

Day 7Following the Monarch's Way through the Cotswolds

Option 1 – Broadwell to Bourton
Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)
Ascent: 550 feet (160m)
In summary: A walk along the Monarch’s Way from the village of Broadwell to Bourton-on-the-Water. We’ll stop to explore Stow-on-the-Wold and the delightful village of Lower Slaughter.
Highlight: Timeless Lower Slaughter was voted the ‘most romantic street in Britain’. With its idyllic cottages and watermill. This is delightful spot to stop and relax.

Option 2 – Longborough to Bourton
Distance: 9 miles (14km)
Ascent: 700 feet (220m)
In summary: This walk starts in the village of Longborough. We’ll head first to Stow-on-the-Wold, then on to Lower Slaughter and Bourton-on-the-Water.
Highlight: Stow-on-the-Wold is the highest town in the Cotswolds. Explore the market square, once the site of the town’s annual sheep fairs.

Option 3 – Moreton-in-Marsh to Bourton
Distance: 11.5 miles (18.5km)
Ascent: 920 feet (280m)
In summary: Follow the Monarch’s Way through gently rolling countryside. Starting from Moreton-in-Marsh our route takes us through Stow-on-the-Wold and Lower Slaughter back to Bourton.
Highlight: Our walk follows the Monarch’s Way – the escape route of Charles II to Shoreham and France after his defeat at the battle of Worcester in 1651.

Accommodation: Harrington House (B, L, D)

Day 8Departure Day

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. (B)

Dates and Prices
Version 1
Departure Dates
Per person (single or twin) Single in a double room
2022: March 25 $1,920 $2,200
2022: May 6 $2,340 $2,620
2022: July 8, 22 $2,340 $2,620
2022: August 12 $2,340 $2,620
2022: September 2, 23 $2,340 $2,620
2022: October 14 $2,130 $2,410
Version 2
Departure Dates
Per person (single or twin) Single in a double room
2022: April 8, 22 $2,130 $2,410
2022: June 17 $2,340 $2,620
2022: July 15 $2,340 $2,620
2022: August 5, 26 $2,340 $2,620
2022: September 9, 30 $2,340 $2,620

Pricing

Pricing is per person (pp) based on single/twin/double occupancy.

Supplement applied for single in a double room.

Rates are in $ CAD. Rates include room upgrade (better) and membership fees. 


Contact DHTour at 1-888-597-3519 or 905-639-9954 or dhtour@dhtour.ca to book.

Ask us for the best available pricing for your dates & choice of airline. We can assist in your travel to/from the Country House.

This tour is also available in 3, 4, 5 or 6 night duration. 

This holiday includes active sightseeing and you should expect to spend lots of time on your feet.

While every effort will be made to adhere to the described itinerary, we may occasionally vary the sequence shown here or substitute an alternative route to suit local conditions or for other operational reasons, potentially at short notice. Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.

Travel Details:
Address is: Harrington House, Sherborne Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BY

By Rail:
The nearest railway station is Moreton-in-Marsh. However, the nearest mainline station is at Cheltenham Spa which may be more convenient.

By Taxi:
From Moreton-in-Marsh station a taxi takes approximately 20 minutes and costs £22 if pre-booked. From Cheltenham Spa station a taxi takes around 35 minutes and costs £42 if pre-booked. Please note these are 2020 prices relevant to a 4-seat taxi. 8-seater taxis will be more expensive.

Limozena, our current recommended taxi company, can confirm prices on booking and they will arrange shared taxis wherever possible. To book your taxi please phone or email at least 7-days in advance:

Limozena*
Tel: +44 (0) 1451 820972
Email: denwalmsley@yahoo.co.uk
The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Harrington House Manager.
*Limozena is not owned or managed by us.

By Bus:
From Moreton-in-Marsh station catch the 801 bus to Bourton-on-the-Water,from where it is a short walk to our Country House. Alight next to the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Shop. Cross the road to the war memorial and continue across the bridge. Follow this road for 150 metres until the road forks. Harrington House is on the left.

By Car:
From the A429 take the road into the centre of Bourton-on-the-Water. At the war memorial by the village green, turn into Sherborne Street. Cross the narrow bridge and continue for approximately 100yds. Just before the road forks, Harrington House is on the left. Look out for our sign. A car park is available in the grounds with free parking.

Hotel Descriptions
4

Harrington House

In one of the prettiest spots in the Cotswolds, Harrington House provides a stylish escape in the form of a traditional country retreat, with the trimmings and flourishes you’d expect. All set in a stately Georgian house that mirrors the mellow architectural styles of the Cotswolds and retains many of its original features; the most breathtaking is the sunny walled garden, surrounded by attractive landscaped gardens. As well as 29 bedrooms, two lounges, a cosy bar and pleasant dining room, there are further feathers in this handsome house’s hat. Quintessential English countryside, described by JB Priestly as, ‘the most English and least spoiled of all our countryside’, is just a short stroll away with pretty villages such as Chipping Campden and the Slaughters, rolling landscapes and classic trails from the Cotswold Way to the Gloucestershire Way and Monarch Way waiting for you to discover them.

Address: Harrington House, Sherborne Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BY

Room Amenities: Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in one of the main building’s beautifully presented rooms or in the adjacent cottages. With 26 bright and airy bedrooms, Harrington House has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good, Better and Best Rooms to choose from: for a stylish stay opt for rooms 1 or 2, both large master bedrooms located on the first floor that come complete with some of the original Palladian features dating back to 1730, pretty feature wallpaper and views out of the front of the building of classic Cotswolds scenery. Alternatively, for a romantic hideaway, plump for Room 23 in the Windrush Cottage and toast your good taste in the private garden that adjoins this large twin room.

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers.

Hotel Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, attractive garden, multi-purpose activity room, lounge, library and board games to borrow

After a day ambling through the Cotswolds, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Relax by sitting in the gardens or having a game of croquet on the lawn. Retire to either of the two lounges or climb the sweeping stately staircase to the very top of the house where there’s an observatory looking out across the rooftops of the village. Then pop in to the snug bar for a pint of local ale and a chin wag with fellow guests about their discoveries.

Map

Photos