The Cotswolds Experience
2021 Trip: July 17 – 24
2022 Trips: July 2 – 9; July 16 – 23; July 23 – 30
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 towns and villages constructed of honey-colored limestone. This was the first place our family visited in the English countryside and we’ve returned many times over the past twenty-five 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 welcoming town 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.
This trip was launched in 2010. We hosted groups in 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. In 2022 we’re also offering The Cotswolds Walking Week, July 9 – 16.
Experiences in the Cotswolds
Highlights of our week in the Cotswolds include:
- Picturesque villages and towns as intriguing as their names: Chipping Campden, Broadway, Moreton-in-Marsh, Snowshill, and Winchcombe. We’ll enjoy a special walking tour of Chipping Campden with a voluntary Cotswold warden, an opportunity to learn much more about the history and architecture of this town that’s our home for the week.
- The beautiful English gardens at Hidcote Manor and Kiftsgate and the Cotswold lavender farm. Optional visits to one or two other gardens are possible.
- Sudeley Castle, one of England’s most famous castles, with a history extending almost 1000 years. One of its best known residents was Katherine 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 77 stones that dates to 3000 BC.
- Market day at Moreton-on Marsh.
- An afternoon in the small, isolated village of Snowshill, including lunch at the village pub and a visit to Snowshill Manor and Garden (a National Trust site) to see the unusual collections assembled by Charles Wade.
- Typical British experiences, including strolls in the countryside and pub visits.
- Memorable meals in a variety settings, including our hotel’s outstanding restaurant, a restaurant known for its tradition of British “puddings,” and a historic village pub that just may be haunted.
We enjoy one day “beyond the Cotswolds,” 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 Experience
Garden Experiences in Cornwall and the Cotswolds (Kathy’s blog)
A Cotswolds Experience: A Walk Along the Cotswold Way (Kathy’s blog)
A Cotswolds Experience: Kiftsgate Court Gardens (Kathy’s blog)
A Cotswolds Experience: Sticky Toffee Pudding (Kathy’s blog)
Experience the Cotswolds with European Experiences (Kathy’s post Anglotopia)
Arrivals and Departures
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 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.
Leaders: Kathy Wood and Susan Tseng
Prices: $3,600 per person, double occupancy. $4,000 single occupancy of a double room.