Trek Notes - England

Classic Cotswolds Walk

This independent Classic Cotswold circular walk is run by our expert local partners and begins by the River Windrush in Bourton-on-the-Water, known as the 'Venice of the Cotswolds'. After one night here you walk to the ancient Saxon capital of Winchcombe, (famous for Sudeley Castle), before an escarpment trail with fantastic valley views leads to the world-famous coaching village of Broadway. From here you walk up to Broadway Tower, a tiny hilltop castle, before descending to C12 Moreton-in-the Marsh along the old Roman Fosse Way, then walk back to end in Bourton.

En route, you'll pass fields of purple lavender stretching into the distance, and hear thundering hooves on racing gallops as prize horses are exercised for Ascot; you'll see Iron Age forts standing sentinel on ancient hilltops, and visit stone follies marking viewpoints from where Oliver Cromwell supervised the burning of local Abbeys.

Everywhere you walk, you'll come across welcoming village pubs with friendly owners and excellent menus, and pass through villages so perfectly preserved they are used as locations for TV period dramas! Walks can be shortened by taxi transfer for a small supplement.

Throughout you'll stay in high quality, hand-picked country inns and historic hotels oozing with quintessential charm and character, and with a choice of restaurants on your doorstep, evening meals are a further highlight of this holiday.

Night 1 & 5 - Washbourne Court, Bourton on the Water: A gorgeous converted rural manor a 15 minute stroll along country paths from Bourton-on-the-Water. Set in lovely grounds on the bank of the River Eye - luxurious rooms and vibrant artwork are an unusual but effective fusion.
Night 2 - White Hart Inn, Winchcombe: An old inn on the main street in Winchcombe, the White Hart is all stripped wood gastro pub downstairs and antique suits of armour upstairs. Creaky rooms are all individual and comfortable.
Night 3 - Broadway Hotel, Broadway: The Broadway Hotel is an old coaching inn on the main street. Luxurious rooms with high quality fabrics surround a small central courtyard, and public rooms are all wooden beams, wood panelling and open fires.
Night 4 - Moreton Manor, Moreton in Marsh: Moreton Manor is in the heart of Moreton-in-the-Marsh. Set in a converted manor on the main street, it radiates luxury and good living. Libraries, comfy sofas, striking artwork and an open terrace characterise the ground floor, while stylish modern bedrooms are upstairs.

Day 1 - Arrive in Bourton-on-the-Water
Regularly voted the prettiest village in England, Bourton-on-the-Water is one of the showpieces of the region and its hidden streets are crammed with tiny shops, Tudor houses and gourmet restaurants for dinner.
Day 2 - Bourton-on-the-Water to Winchcombe (15km/9mi/5hr)
Walk alongside the Windrush, lined with bright daffodils, to the beautifully timeless villages of Naunton and Guiting Power. Then on through shady woodland before descending to the ancient Saxon capital of Winchcombe and nearby Sudeley Castle, last resting place of Katherine Parr, Henry VIII's sixth wife.
Day 3 - Winchcombe to Broadway (9km/6mi/3.5hr)
An ancient pilgrim's route leads from Winchcombe to the eerie ruined arches of Hailes Abbey. It's a gentle climb up to the Iron Age Fortress at Beckbury Camp for superb valley views. After passing Stanway House's magnificent gatehouse and tithe barn, enjoy a pub lunch in Stanton (used for TV period dramas it is so perfect!), then amble through open meadows to charming Broadway, Jewel in the Cotswold Crown.
Day 4 - Broadway to Moreton-in-Marsh (13km/8mi/4hr)
Today's walk takes you beneath the Worcestershire Hills, stopping off first at Broadway's Tower, the C18 folly inspired by Capability Brown, where you're rewarded with stunning unspoilt views. It's then a gentle descent to Chipping Campden's covered market, almshouses and silversmith. Stop for lunch in pretty Blockley, then descend to Batsford - the arboretum here is filled with spectacular Coral Bark Maple trees and russet berried Mountain Ash. Your final stretch is an easy stroll to the thriving market town of Moreton, located at the head of the beautiful Evenlode Valley.
Day 5 - Moreton-in-Marsh to Bourton-on-the-Water (13km/8mi/4hr)
Follow the Roman Fosse Way before branching off through wheat fields and copses of hawksbeard and buttercups, and descend to the antique shops of Stow-on-the-Wold for lunch overlooking the stocks on the village green. Listen for woodpeckers in oak woods on the way to Lower Slaughter, from where a gentle stroll brings you back to the tourist honeypot of Bourton on the Water.
Day 6 - Leave Bourton-on-the-Water

Daily departures from 1 May - 31 October 2011

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