The Cotswolds Gardens Experience

A Special Trip in 2025!

The “red border” at Hidcote Manor Garden near Chipping Campden

2025 Trip: June 20 – 27

We’re thrilled to offer this special version of our Cotswolds Experience week in June 2025. This week has many of the same features of our primary Cotswolds trip, but we’ll have an additional focus on gardens. The Cotswolds was the first place our family visited in the English countryside and we’ve returned many times over the past thirty years. We always enjoy spending time here and sharing this very special place with our European Experience travelers.

Our groups base in Chipping Campden in the northern Cotswolds, a lovely town with a population of about 2500 people. We’ll base at the welcoming, family-owned inn where our Cotswolds groups have stayed since 2010. Campden’s historic “High Street” includes a variety of shops, pubs and restaurants and an historic market hall built in 1627. The town is decorated with flowers, and there’s even a “secret garden” dedicated to Ernest Wilson, a famous plant collector from Chipping Campden.

In a cottage garden in Chipping Campden

Our week is scheduled to include Chipping Campden’s annual “Open Gardens” weekend. A fundraiser for local charities, 25-30 local residents will open their private gardens to visitors. We’ll enjoy a mix of large, formal gardens and small, cottage gardens, often offering the opportunity to chat with the homeowners.

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. Some of England’s most spectacular gardens are in the Cotswolds. In addition to the gardens open to us during our weekend, we’ll visit several other special gardens.

This trip has also been organized to pair up with our four-night Inside Bath trip, June 27-July 1. Located at the southern end of the Cotswolds, the attractive city of Bath is known for its Georgian architecture and is decorated with flowers. The group will enjoy a high tea in the beautiful garden of the Royal Crescent Hotel. If you book both trips, we’ll include your transportation from Chipping Campden to Bath on June 27.

The Tithe Barn garden at Sudeley Castle

Highlights of our special “Gardens” week in the Cotswolds will likely include:

  • Chipping Campden’s Open Gardens weekend on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Visits to picturesque villages and towns as intriguing as their names: Chipping Campden, Broadway, Moreton-in-Marsh, Bourton-on-the-Hill, and Snowshill.
  • The beautiful English gardens at Hidcote Manor, Kiftsgate, and Bourton House.
  • The intriguing manor house at Snowshill with the eclectic collections of Charles Wade, lovely garden below the house, and wide views of the countryside.
  • The arboretum at Batsford and the lavender farm at Snowshill.
  • Sudeley Castle, one of England’s most famous castles, with a history extending almost 1000 years, and award-winning gardens.
  • The ruins of Hailes Abbey, a 13th century abbey dissolved by Henry VIII in 1539
  • Other private visits to estates and gardens, often hosted by the owner or head gardener. Possibilities include Broughton Castle, Broughton Grange, and Upton Wold.
  • An evening at the cottage home and garden of local friends in Chipping Campden.
  • Delicious and memorable meals featuring locally-grown products from the surrounding countryside.

The White Sunk Garden at Kiftsgate Court Gardens

Learn more about the Cotswolds and gardens in the Cotswolds:

Getting to Know…The Cotswolds Experience (a Virtual European Experience)

Gardens of the Cotswolds (a Virtual European Experience – one of our first!)

Garden Experiences in Cornwall and the Cotswolds (Kathy’s blog)

A Cotswolds Experience: The Cotswold Lavender farm near Snowshill (Kathy’s blog)

A Cotswolds Experience: Kiftsgate Court Gardens (Kathy’s blog)

A Cotswolds Experience: Discovering History and Gardens at Sudeley Castle (Kathy’s blog)

Arrivals and Departures

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 mid-afternoon on the first day. We’ll return you to the station after breakfast on the last day. The specific schedule will be confirmed after train schedules are released.

Leader: Kathy Wood

Prices: $3,700 per person, double occupancy. $4,100 single occupancy of a double room.