Return to the Cotswolds
This beautiful, mostly rural area in the “Heart of England” is about an hour and a half from London… but a very different world. The Cotswolds are best known for rolling hills, gentle streams, grazing sheep, and well-preserved villages constructed of honey-colored limestone. We’ve been spending time in the Cotswolds for over 25 years, with our Cotswolds Experience groups and for our own pleasure.
At the request of several of our travelers, we were delighted to offer this special Return to the Cotswolds week in 2019. This trip was designed primarily for people who enjoyed the area on one of our Cotswolds Experience trips and wanted to experience even more. We also welcomed their travel companions. We would love to offer this trip again in 2021 or 2022 if there is enough interest.
Our group will base again in Chipping Campden in the northern Cotswolds, a welcoming village 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. We stay at the same family-owned inn, enjoying the flower-filled courtyard, bountiful meals, cozy pub, and enthusiastic staff. Everyone appreciates that feeling of “coming home” to this comfortable place.
This area is rich with history, natural beauty, colorful gardens, unique homes, and quaint villages… much more than we could cover in our first one-week Experience. The “Return” week expands our immersion in the culture and landscape of the Cotswolds to include different places and experiences.
As those who have spent time in the Cotswolds can attest… the food is outstanding! Forget what you may have read about British food in the past. From simple tea rooms to “gastropubs” to ethnic restaurants, local chefs and cooks can draw on the abundance of local produce nearby to produce healthy and creative meals. Just be sure to save room for Charley’s favorite sticky toffee pudding!
The specific itinerary for this trip will be finalized based on the group and the interests of the group members. Our list of possibilities for the week includes:
- Lesser-touristed villages such as Stanton, Swinbrook, and Broad Campden. Tiny Swinbrook has a famous pub and a unique church with four of the famous Mitford sisters are buried in the churchyard.
- The charming market town of Stow-in-the-Wold, with its many antique shops and galleries.
- Snowshill Manor, a 16th century country house containing the unusual collections of its last eccentric owner, Charles Wade. Adjacent to the pretty village of Snowshill, the manor house is surrounded by attractive gardens.
- Chastleton House (pictured above), a unique 17th century Jacobean house somewhat frozen in time. This is one of the most intriguing places we’ve visited anywhere in England.
- An historic brewery founded in 1849, which still makes some deliveries by horse and cart. Another possibility nearby is a new gin distillery, offering an introduction this popular British spirit.. and tastings too.
- A daytrip to the southern Cotswolds, potentially including a visit to Kelmscott Manor, the country house of writer, designer and socialist William Morris. (There are many other interesting villages, gardens and historical spots we could visit on this day.)
- A private tour of Broughton Castle as well as a private tour of neareby Broughton Grange garden. (Many considered this the highlight of our 2019 week.)
- A day trip to the Regency town of Cheltenham, on the western edge of the Cotswolds, including a walking tour with a local guide. We’ll travel by historic steam train, a memorable experience!
- Walks in the countryside, relaxing times in local pubs, and memorable meals in interesting venues.
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 at 3:00 pm on the first Saturday. We’ll return you to the station after breakfast the following Saturday morning.