Cotswolds Discovery Tour
Code: BNHCRPrint page
Meadows & hills
Our Discovery Tours really get into the heart of the countryside. These are sightseeing tours by minibus, visiting places not normally reached by a full-sized coach. Our Discovery Tours really get into the heart of the countryside. These are sightseeing tours by minibus, visiting places not normally reached by a full-sized coach. Small groups and friendly leaders make this a great way to enjoy Britain at its best.
Rural and full of history, this Discovery Tour takes you through the best of the Cotswolds. The beautiful honey-coloured stone buildings stand out against the picturesque backdrop of gentle green rolling countryside. Stroll round the grand Roman city of Cirencester, explore the 17th century market hall in Chipping Campden, relax in quaint villages like Snowshill and wander through the stunning gardens of Sudeley Castle – the famous country estate where Catherine Parr lived and is buried.
- The picturesque village of Bibury
- The Roman city of Cirencester
- The wool church at Northleach
- The wool town of Chipping Campden, the small Cotswold town with a 17th century market hall
- Beautiful rural countryside with lush valleys and woodlands offering easy walks
- The lovely gardens of Sudeley Castle, the famous country estate where Catherine Parr lived and was buried in the castle chapel
- Optional short strolls of up to 1½ miles
- High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
- The services of our knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, ensuring you get the most from your holiday
- Full-day excursions with all transport on touring days in a good-quality, comfortable mini-coach with a PA system
Dating from the Tudor period and of, considerable historic interest, Harrington House mirrors the mellow architectural style of the Cotswolds. Its peaceful atmosphere and proximity to the charming centre of Bourton-on-the-Water make it ideal for those who prefer a less active holiday.
Harrington House has 29 bedrooms. Most are located in the main house, with others in the adjacent cottages.
Choose your room
• Check in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• 23 inch TV
• Tea and coffee-making facilities
• Double or two single beds
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
• Same facilities as our classic rooms plus...
• Check in from 1pm
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Larger beds
• Toweling robe, complimentary slippers
• Ultradown pillows
• Smalls drying rack
• Small welcome gift
• Luxury tea tray
• Enhanced toiletries
• Available from an extra £15 per person per night
• Check-in from 2:30pm
• 3 or 4 beds
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk or occasional beds for children
|• Excellent boot and drying rooms
• Main house there is a lounge, dining room and a bar
• At the very top of the house is the observatory
• Free WiFi in public rooms
|• Range of board games and books
• At the rear of the house there is an attractive walled garden with a large croquet lawn
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
Due to the layout and age of Harrington House, it is not recommended for wheelchair users or anyone with restricted mobility.
Although one bedroom has wheelchair access, the access to the main house has some steps and internally there are some steps to negotiate.
- Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued
- Mobile phone reception is generally good from the main building
- Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
- Information can be provided in large print
- Staff have received disability awareness training
- Special diets can be catered for. Specialist food can be obtained with prior notice
- Fridge for medication can be supplied
During your Discovery Tour you'll have the opportunity to visit many fascinating places. The following is our provisional programme, and your HF Holidays' leader may adjust it at their discretion, taking into account factors such as weather, local opening times, or other events. This holiday includes active sightseeing and you should expect to spend lots of time on your feet.
Friday: Arrival day
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (premium rooms from 1pm). We invite everyone to afternoon tea. This is the first occasion when everyone meets together – an opportunity to meet your leader and fellow guests, and find out more about your holiday.
Saturday: Historic Cirencester
We visit the famous wool church at Northleach before exploring Cirencester, one of the Cotswolds’ most popular towns, with a chance to see its award-winning Roman museum. In the afternoon, we view the famous stained glass at Fairford and then stop for tea at the Filkins Woollen Weavers centre. The day ends with a short stroll in the East Leach valley.
Sunday: Sudeley Castle & Winchcombe
We view the delightful villages of Stanway and Stanton, both often used as film locations, before visiting the atmospheric ruins of the abbey at Hailes. We then visit Sudeley Castle, with its links to Tudor history and extensive gardens. Our final destination is the historic town of Winchcombe, a major centre in medieval times.
Monday: 7-night holiday: Free 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.
3-night holiday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast
4-night holiday: Arrival day
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (premium rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea.
Tuesday: Roman Chedworth & beautiful Bibury
The day begins at Chedworth, where we explore a well-preserved Roman villa set in a peaceful valley. Then we move on to Bibury (the village that William Morris described as the most beautiful in England) before a lunch- stop in Burford, with its magnificent church and excellent shops. In the afternoon, we view the haunting ruins of Minster Lovell Hall, and end our day in the village of Swinbrook, home to the notorious Mitford family in the 1930s.
Wednesday: Batsford Aboretum & Kiftsgate Court Gardens
Our first visit is to Batsford, home to a famous Arboretum and an excellent Garden Centre. This is followed by a visit to Broadway Tower, perched high on the Cotswold escarpment and housing a fascinating exhibition on the life and work of the designer, William Morris. Our lunch stop is in the village of Broadway before an afternoon spent exploring the spectacular gardens of Kiftsgate Court.
Thursday: Chipping Camden & Chastleton House
We drive via the village of Adlestrop, with its fascinating literary connections, to the charming market town of Stow, before moving on to Chipping Campden, to explore its famous wool church, shops and galleries. Our afternoon is spent at Chastleton House, an unspoilt Jacobean treasure, where the rules of croquet were invented.
Friday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast
For maximum flexibility, admissions are not included; please remember to bring your National Trust or English Heritage cards if you have them. Otherwise please allow a maximum of £10 per day for entrances (there may be concessionary and group discounts which may reduce this price).
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.
Discover the Cotswolds
Bourton-on-the-Water is situated at the heart of the Cotswolds, a beautiful area of rolling green hills and attractive stone towns and villages.
Harrington House is located in a quiet street, just 100 metres from the centre of Bourton. This is one of the most popular villages in the Cotswolds, frequently busy with visitors. The River Windrush winds its way through the central village green and is crossed by a series of attractive stone bridges.
Bourton-on-the-Water is a popular destination in its own right with its specialist shops and attractive village green. Local attractions include the motor museum, model village and Birdland wildlife park, all within easy walking distance.
The village has a good range of facilities including a small supermarket, post office, newsagent, pubs and bank.
During your stay at Harrington House you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:
The mellow market town of Chipping Campden, about 30 minutes' drive north of Bourton-on-the-Water, is one of the most visited towns in the Cotswolds.
Hidcote Manor Gardens
Owned by the National Trust, Hidcote is a small manor house with an exceptional garden designed in the Arts and Crafts style. Around 35 minutes' north from Bourton-on-the-Water. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hidcote
Considered as one of the most beautiful villages in Britain it is easy to see why so many visitors are attracted to Broadway. Don’t let this put you off; Broadway is still worth a visit. To get away from the crowds, consider a walk to Broadway Tower for stunning views of the Vale of Evesham. Around 30 minutes' drive from Bourton.
Famous for its Shakespeare connections, Stratford is an attractive town spanning the River Avon. Of particular interest are the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the Shakespeare Birthplace Museum. Around 40 minutes' drive from Bourton. www.rsc.org.uk or www.shakespeare.org.uk
Blenheim Palace is one of the grandest and best-known stately homes in Britain. It sits in extensive parkland and is also famous as the ancestral home of Winston Churchill. www.blenheimpalace.com
The fine Regency spa town of Cheltenham has an excellent range of shops and facilities. Cheltenham is around 25 minutes' drive from Bourton, and can also be reached by an hourly local bus.
The Cathedral city of Gloucester is about 35 minutes' drive to the west of Bourton. The fine Norman cathedral is well worth visiting, as is the National Waterways Museum. www.gloucestercathedral.org.uk or www.canalrivertrust.org.uk
Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway
Ride the steam railway through attractive Cotswold countryside from Cheltenham to Toddington about 30 minutes' drive from Bourton. Now restored, this was once the Great Western main line to Birmingham. www.gwsr.com
The famous university city of Oxford is about an hour’s drive from Bourton-on-the-Water. You may wish to stroll through the historic colleges or visit the Ashmolean Museum. www.ashmolean.org
Hidcote Gardens image ©National Trust Images/Jonathan Buckley
Travel to Bourton-on-the-Water
Our address is: Harrington House, Sherborne Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BY
The nearest railway station is Moreton-in-Marsh. However, the nearest mainline station is at Cheltenham Spa which may be more convenient. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).
From Moreton-in-Marsh station a taxi takes approximately 20 minutes and costs £21 if pre-booked. From Cheltenham Spa station a taxi takes around 30 minutes and costs £42 if pre-booked. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Harrington House Manager.
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.
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. Follow this road for 150yds, crossing the river and passing the motor museum until the road forks. Harrington House is on the left before the fork. Look out for our sign. A car park is available in the grounds with free parking.
Travelling from overseas
For most guests, travelling to London Heathrow airport is the most convenient option.
From Heathrow first take the train to London Paddington station. From here there are direct trains to Moreton-in-Marsh. It's a relatively straightforward journey - just over 2 hours. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
From Moreton-in-Marsh you can travel on to Bourton-on-the-Water by bus or taxi (see above).
Mike is a professional Blue Badge Guide based at Winchester in Hampshire and enjoys combining the facts and stats with a bit of fun and trivia. A keen historian and member of an archaeology group in Hampshire, he likes nothing better than researching new places and learning about their ‘hidden secrets’ and telling their story. ‘History fascinates me. It’s like pulling at a thread that never stops unravelling.’ He’s also quick to acknowledge though that when people are on holidays, sometimes it’s just about relaxing - sharing a breathtaking piece of landscape or soaking up the atmosphere of a beautiful garden.
Mike has also worked in the theatre as a professional actor in the past including rep, national tours, West End and a production of 'Baby Doll' Tenessee Wiliiams at the Royal National Theatre in 2000.
Mike made the holiday most enjoyable. He is a very friendly and knowledgeable leader and it would be a great joy to go on another holiday with him.
Audrey is widely travelled, both in the UK and worldwide, and is an experienced HF Holidays’ leader and National Trust volunteer. Living close to the New Forest, her local knowledge ranges from butterflies to badgers.
Audrey appreciates the many opportunities to explore our history, architecture, culture and customs HF Holidays’ Discovery Tours provide. She enjoys seeking out local stories, historical personalities, unusual buildings and legends that enhance the experience on a holiday.
Audrey has a range of interests including gardening, reading, walking, art, history, opera and wild flowers.
A delight to be with - she loves what she does and it shows.
Frances has been an enthusiastic student of English literature since primary school when a Mrs Darling sparked her interest! She has lived a very itinerant life with extended periods in the US and India. She worked as a fundraiser for charities in the developing world for many years and travelled widely with them.
Many years ago, she was involved in running a small theatre and even occasionally appeared on stage. Now she works as a Blue Badge guide, concentrating on literary tours and religious themes. As well as going to the iconic, obvious sites, she tries to include lesser known places and to entertain visitors with stories about the many people who are associated with an area - kings and queens, local legends, artists and writers.
She is also a keen hiker and tries to find routes that will allow her to visit some sort of literary shrine.
She was interesting, knowledgeable and stimulating. She was also friendly and created a good companionable feeling amongst our group.
Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|8 Jun 2018||BNHCR - Discovery Tour - Bourton on the Water||3||£369.00||£369.00||Book Now|
|10 Aug 2018||BNHCR - Discovery Tour - Bourton on the Water||3||£369.00||£369.00||Book Now|
|10 Aug 2018||BNHCR - Discovery Tour - Bourton on the Water||7||£869.00||£794.00||Book Now|
|5 Oct 2018||BNHCR - Discovery Tour - Bourton on the Water||3||£359.00||£359.00||Book Now|
|5 Oct 2018||BNHCR - Discovery Tour - Bourton on the Water||7||£799.00||£724.00||Book Now|
|8 Oct 2018||BNHCR - Discovery Tour - Bourton on the Water||4||£489.00||£489.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Premium single room: £15 per night
- Premium twin/double room: £15 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person
Our policy is to reward early bookers with our best rooms, therefore depending on how early you book will depend on the room allocation. Please note that cannot take any room number requests as we are unable to guarantee them.