7-Night Cotswolds Tread Lightly Guided Walking Holiday

Bourton village centre.jpg
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Tread Lightly
Walking Grade: 1 & 2
from £749pp

We are all well-versed in ‘leaving no trace’ but now we invite you to join us in taking it to the next level with our new Tread Lightly walks. We have pulled together a series of spectacular walks which do not use transport, reducing our carbon footprint while still exploring the best landscapes that The Cotswolds have to offer. You will still enjoy the choice of up to three top-quality walks of different grades as well as the warm welcome of a HF country house, all with the added peace of mind that you are doing your part in protecting our incredible British countryside. Gentle hills, picture-postcard villages and tempting tea shops make this quintessentially English countryside perfect for walking. On our Guided Walking holidays you'll discover glorious golden stone villages with thatched cottages, mansion houses, pastoral countryside and quiet country lanes.

Holiday Highlights

  • Enjoy breathtaking walks from the doors of our country house
  • Discover the quaint and picturesque Cotswolds villages
  • Keep a lookout for herons on the River Windrush
  • Wander through the bustling market square at Stow-on-the-Wold

What’s included

  • High quality en-suite accommodation in our country house
  • Full board from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day
  • 5 days guided walking; 1 free day
  • Use of our comprehensive Discovery Point
  • Choice of up to three guided walks each walking day
  • The services of HF Holidays Walking Leaders

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDF’s for each holiday, please click the button below to find the right trip notes for your departure date.

On our Guided Walking holidays, we believe that choice is key. Our walks descriptions will help you choose according to your interests and fitness. The walks are grouped together with care by local experts to give the best experience. While every effort will be made to adhere to the described itinerary, we may occasionally vary the sequence shown here or substitute an alternative route to suit local conditions or for other operational reasons, potentially at short notice. Some of our breaks have more than one itinerary. To check which itinerary is running on your holiday date please refer to the Dates, Prices & Trip Notes tab.

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.


Option 1 - The Slaughters and Salmonsbury Camp

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 150 feet (100m)

In Summary: On this circular walk from Bourton we visit the pretty villages of Lower and Upper Slaughter following the River Eye, before returning to Bourton via Salmonsbury Camp.

Highlight: The twin villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter are just a couple of miles' walk from Bourton-on-the-Water. The River Eye flows through these most picturesque of villages, creating a picture-postcard scene.

Option 2 - The Slaughters and Lower Harford

Distance: 7 miles (12km)

Total ascent: 580 feet (180m) 

In Summary: Visit both Upper and Lower Slaughter and the medieval village of Lower Harford, before a riverside walk beside the Windrush takes us back to Bourton-on-the-Water.

Highlight: The twin villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter are just a couple of miles' walk from Bourton-on-the-Water. The River Eye flows through these most picturesque of villages, creating a picture-postcard scene.

Option 3 - Naunton & the Windrush Valley

Distance: 10 miles (16.5km)

Total ascent: 700 feet (220m)

In Summary: Follow a clockwise loop from Bourton along the tranquil valley of the River Windrush to Lower Harford and the village of Naunton. Our return route takes us over the fields via the Slaughters.

Highlight: We should have time for refreshments in the Black Horse Inn at Naunton and/or the charming mill shop at Lower Slaughter. Keep a lookout for herons on the riverside section of this walk.


Option 1 - Bourton to Cold Aston

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km)

Ascent: 550 feet (160m)

In Summary: This walk leaves Bourton-on-the-Water on the Windrush and Gloucestershire Ways to arrive in Cold Aston. A lovely village arranged around a green and a sycamore tree. The Plough Inn is an ideal place for some refreshment. The walk continues across fields and around farms on the Sabrina Way and Monarch’s Way back to Bourton-on-the-water.

Highlight: Do look around at various times for some super views towards Little Rissington.

Option 2 - Cold Aston and Clapton

Distance: 8½ miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 600 feet (180m)

In Summary: This walk leaves Bourton-on-the-Water on the Windrush and Gloucestershire Ways to arrive in Cold Aston. A lovely village arranged around a green and a sycamore tree. The Plough Inn is an ideal place for some refreshment. The walk continues across fields and around farms on the Sabrina Way. The route then goes to Clapton on the Hill, before descending down through Marshmouth Farm and back into Bourton.

Highlight: The lovely church at Clapton on the Hill.

Option 3 - Cold Aston, Notgrove and Turkdean

Distance: 12miles (19km)

Ascent: 1,100 feet (280m)

In Summary:  This walk leaves Bourton-on-the-Water on the Windrush and Gloucestershire Ways to arrive in Cold Aston. A lovely village arranged around a green and a sycamore tree. The Plough Inn is an ideal place for some refreshment then we continue to Notgrove, followed by Turkdean, another lovely village. Then back to Cold Aston on the Macmillan Way before turning off on Monarch’s Way back to Bourton.

Highlight: Explore picturesque Notgrove with its Manor house and beautiful church.


Discover more about Harrington House and the local area for ideas on how to fill your free day.


Option 1 - The Quarry Lakes and Salmonsbury Camp

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km)

Total ascent: 400 feet (120m)

In Summary: On this circular walk from Bourton we follow the Monarch's Way to Clapton on the Hill. Our return route takes us via the quarry lakes back to Bourton.

Highlight: At the end of your walk there is plenty of time to explore Bourton-on-the-Water. Enjoy a pint in one of the pubs, visit the shops, or find a bench beside the River Windrush and soak up this charming rural village.

Option 2 - Windrush Valley, Clapton and Little Rissington

Distance: 7.5 miles (11.5km)

Ascent: 560 feet (180m)

In summary: Follow the Monarch’s Way to Clapton-on-Hill, then take the route across the valley to Little Rissington. We return via quarry lakes to Bourton.

Highlight: Visit the ‘plague church’ at Little Rissington with it’s memorial window to the Red Arrows and graves of those killed at the nearby RAF flying school.

Option 3 - Windrush Valley and Sherborne

Distance: 10.5 miles (17km)

Ascent: 700 feet (220m)

In summary: Walk from Bourton to Clapton-on-the-Hill, then track south to the attractive village of Sherborne before returning to Bourton via the Windrush valley.

Highlight: An opportunity to stretch your legs and enjoy rolling countryside to the south of Bourton-on-the-Water.


Option 1 - Three of the Rissingtons

Distance: 9½ miles (15km)

Ascent: 500 feet (150m)

In Summary: Leaving the valley we explore three of the Rissington villages, Wyck Rissington, Little Rissington (and the RAF memorial) and Great Rissington before returning to the house via the Quarry Lakes of the Windrush Valley.

Highlight: Beautiful Cotswold villages full of character and great views across the Cotswold countryside.

Option 2 - All Four of the Rissingtons

Distance: 10.5 miles (17km)

Ascent: 650 feet (200m)

In Summary: Leaving the valley behind we ascend to explore all four of the Rissington villages – Wyck Rissington, Little Rissington ( with a chance to visit the RAF memorial), Great Rissington and Upper Rissington (Disused RAF airfield) before returning via the Quarry Lakes of the Windrush valley.

Highlight: Take a stroll through history as we explore the outstanding churches and stone cottages ranging from the 1400’s to the present day.

Option 3 - Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter

Distance: 5.5 miles (9km)

Ascent: 480 feet (140m)

In Summary: An attraction of this walk is that it includes three villages. We start in bustling Bourton-on-the-Water, crossing farmland to idyllic Lower Slaughter with its fine old houses and cottages sitting beside the picturesque Rive Eye and its attractive bridges. With time to visit the church, look at the Mill, and possibly enjoy the tea room, we then cross meadows to the sleepy and unspoilt village of Upper Slaughter before picking up the River Windrush to return to Harrington House.

Highlight: The mill at Lower Slaughter and two unspoilt Cotswold villages


Option 1 - Couple of Rissingtons

Distance: 6 miles (9.5km)

Ascent: 270 feet (80m)

In Summary: Crossing Salmonsbury camp we leave the Windrush valley and head up the first of two Rissington villages, Wyck Rissington and then on to Little Rissington with its memorial to the RAF before dropping back down into the valley and back to the house.

Highlight: The moving testament to the memory of RAF serviceman who lost lives in World War II in Little Rissington church. 

Option 2 - Bourton to Icomb

Distance: 9½ miles (15km)

Ascent: 850 feet (260m)

In Summary: Leaving Bourton via the quarry lakes we ascend to Great Rissington and then across the Cotswold countryside to the idyllic Cotswold stone village of Icomb. With fine views across the Cotswold landscape we return to Harrington House via Greystones nature reserve and the picturesque main street of Bourton-on-the-Water.

Highlight: Take your camera – plenty of quintessential Cotswolds photo opportunities.

Option 3 - Bourton to Stow and back

Distance: 10½ miles (17km)

Ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)

In Summary: We head north via Greystones nature reserve, taking attractive field paths and tracks to follow the Oxfordshire Way. This takes us to the market town of Stow on the Wold with its 17th and 18th century buildings built around the bustling market square. We leave Stow with views across the Wolds and cross farmland paths to idyllic Lower Slaughter with its fine old houses and cottages sitting beside the picturesque Rive Eye and its attractive bridges. Our walk then follows a track back to Bourton-on-the-Water

Highlight: St Edwards Church (rarely it has the war memorial inside) and the bustling market square at Stow-on-the-Wold.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.


You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.


Option 1 - The Slaughters and Salmonsbury Camp

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 150 feet (100m)

In Summary: On this circular walk from Bourton we visit the pretty villages of Lower and Upper Slaughter following the River Eye, before returning to Bourton via Salmonsbury Camp.

Highlight: The twin villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter are just a couple of miles' walk from Bourton-on-the-Water. The River Eye flows through these most picturesque of villages, creating a picture-postcard scene.

Option 2 - The Slaughters and Lower Harford

Distance: 7 miles (12km)

Total ascent: 580 feet (180m) 

In Summary: Visit both Upper and Lower Slaughter and the medieval village of Lower Harford, before a riverside walk beside the Windrush takes us back to Bourton-on-the-Water.

Highlight: The twin villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter are just a couple of miles' walk from Bourton-on-the-Water. The River Eye flows through these most picturesque of villages, creating a picture-postcard scene.

Option 3 - Naunton & the Windrush Valley

Distance: 10 miles (16.5km)

Total ascent: 700 feet (220m)

In Summary: Follow a clockwise loop from Bourton along the tranquil valley of the River Windrush to Lower Harford and the village of Naunton. Our return route takes us over the fields via the Slaughters.

Highlight: We should have time for refreshments in the Black Horse Inn at Naunton and/or the charming mill shop at Lower Slaughter. Keep a lookout for herons on the riverside section of this walk.


Discover more about Harrington House and the local area for ideas on how to fill your free day.


Option 1 - Bourton to Cold Aston

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km)

Ascent: 550 feet (160m)

In Summary: This walk leaves Bourton-on-the-Water on the Windrush and Gloucestershire Ways to arrive in Cold Aston. A lovely village arranged around a green and a sycamore tree. The Plough Inn is an ideal place for some refreshment. The walk continues across fields and around farms on the Sabrina Way and Monarch’s Way back to Bourton-on-the-water.

Highlight: Do look around at various times for some super views towards Little Rissington.

Option 2 - Cold Aston and Clapton

Distance: 8½ miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 600 feet (180m)

In Summary: This walk leaves Bourton-on-the-Water on the Windrush and Gloucestershire Ways to arrive in Cold Aston. A lovely village arranged around a green and a sycamore tree. The Plough Inn is an ideal place for some refreshment. The walk continues across fields and around farms on the Sabrina Way. The route then goes to Clapton on the Hill, before descending down through Marshmouth Farm and back into Bourton.

Highlight: The lovely church at Clapton on the Hill.

Option 3 - Cold Aston, Notgrove and Turkdean

Distance: 12miles (19km)

Ascent: 1,100 feet (280m)

In Summary:  This walk leaves Bourton-on-the-Water on the Windrush and Gloucestershire Ways to arrive in Cold Aston. A lovely village arranged around a green and a sycamore tree. The Plough Inn is an ideal place for some refreshment then we continue to Notgrove, followed by Turkdean, another lovely village. Then back to Cold Aston on the Macmillan Way before turning off on Monarch’s Way back to Bourton.

Highlight: Explore picturesque Notgrove with its Manor house and beautiful church.


Option 1 - The Quarry Lakes and Salmonsbury Camp

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km)

Total ascent: 400 feet (120m)

In Summary: On this circular walk from Bourton we follow the Monarch's Way to Clapton on the Hill. Our return route takes us via the quarry lakes back to Bourton.

Highlight: At the end of your walk there is plenty of time to explore Bourton-on-the-Water. Enjoy a pint in one of the pubs, visit the shops, or find a bench beside the River Windrush and soak up this charming rural village.

Option 2 - Windrush Valley, Clapton and Little Rissington

Distance: 7.5 miles (11.5km)

Ascent: 560 feet (180m)

In summary: Follow the Monarch’s Way to Clapton-on-Hill, then take the route across the valley to Little Rissington. We return via quarry lakes to Bourton.

Highlight: Visit the ‘plague church’ at Little Rissington with it’s memorial window to the Red Arrows and graves of those killed at the nearby RAF flying school.

Option 3 - Windrush Valley and Sherborne

Distance: 10.5 miles (17km)

Ascent: 700 feet (220m)

In summary: Walk from Bourton to Clapton-on-the-Hill, then track south to the attractive village of Sherborne before returning to Bourton via the Windrush valley.

Highlight: An opportunity to stretch your legs and enjoy rolling countryside to the south of Bourton-on-the-Water.


Option 1 - Three of the Rissingtons

Distance: 9½ miles (15km)

Ascent: 500 feet (150m)

In Summary: Leaving the valley we explore three of the Rissington villages, Wyck Rissington, Little Rissington (and the RAF memorial) and Great Rissington before returning to the house via the Quarry Lakes of the Windrush Valley.

Highlight: Beautiful Cotswold villages full of character and great views across the Cotswold countryside.

Option 2 - All Four of the Rissingtons

Distance: 10.5 miles (17km)

Ascent: 650 feet (200m)

In Summary: Leaving the valley behind we ascend to explore all four of the Rissington villages – Wyck Rissington, Little Rissington ( with a chance to visit the RAF memorial), Great Rissington and Upper Rissington (Disused RAF airfield) before returning via the Quarry Lakes of the Windrush valley.

Highlight: Take a stroll through history as we explore the outstanding churches and stone cottages ranging from the 1400’s to the present day.

Option 3 - Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter

Distance: 5.5 miles (9km)

Ascent: 480 feet (140m)

In Summary: An attraction of this walk is that it includes three villages. We start in bustling Bourton-on-the-Water, crossing farmland to idyllic Lower Slaughter with its fine old houses and cottages sitting beside the picturesque Rive Eye and its attractive bridges. With time to visit the church, look at the Mill, and possibly enjoy the tea room, we then cross meadows to the sleepy and unspoilt village of Upper Slaughter before picking up the River Windrush to return to Harrington House.

Highlight: The mill at Lower Slaughter and two unspoilt Cotswold villages


Option 1 - Couple of Rissingtons

Distance: 6 miles (9.5km)

Ascent: 270 feet (80m)

In Summary: Crossing Salmonsbury camp we leave the Windrush valley and head up the first of two Rissington villages, Wyck Rissington and then on to Little Rissington with its memorial to the RAF before dropping back down into the valley and back to the house.

Highlight: The moving testament to the memory of RAF serviceman who lost lives in World War II in Little Rissington church. 

Option 2 - Bourton to Icomb

Distance: 9½ miles (15km)

Ascent: 850 feet (260m)

In Summary: Leaving Bourton via the quarry lakes we ascend to Great Rissington and then across the Cotswold countryside to the idyllic Cotswold stone village of Icomb. With fine views across the Cotswold landscape we return to Harrington House via Greystones nature reserve and the picturesque main street of Bourton-on-the-Water.

Highlight: Take your camera – plenty of quintessential Cotswolds photo opportunities.

Option 3 - Bourton to Stow and back

Distance: 10½ miles (17km)

Ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)

In Summary: We head north via Greystones nature reserve, taking attractive field paths and tracks to follow the Oxfordshire Way. This takes us to the market town of Stow on the Wold with its 17th and 18th century buildings built around the bustling market square. We leave Stow with views across the Wolds and cross farmland paths to idyllic Lower Slaughter with its fine old houses and cottages sitting beside the picturesque Rive Eye and its attractive bridges. Our walk then follows a track back to Bourton-on-the-Water

Highlight: St Edwards Church (rarely it has the war memorial inside) and the bustling market square at Stow-on-the-Wold.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.


Harrington House

In one of the prettiest spots in the Cotswolds, Harrington House provides a stylish escape in the form of a traditional country retreat, with the trimmings and flourishes you’d expect. All set in a stately Georgian house that mirrors the mellow architectural styles of the Cotswolds and retains many of its original features; the most breathtaking is the sunny walled garden, surrounded by attractive landscaped gardens. As well as 29 bedrooms, two lounges, a cosy bar and pleasant dining room, there are further feathers in this handsome house’s hat. Quintessential English countryside, described by JB Priestly as, ‘the most English and least spoiled of all our countryside’, is just a short stroll away with pretty villages such as Chipping Campden and the Slaughters, rolling landscapes and classic trails from the Cotswold Way to the Gloucestershire Way and Monarch Way waiting for you to discover them.

 

Rooms

Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in one of the main building’s beautifully presented rooms or in the adjacent cottages. With 26 bright and airy bedrooms, Harrington House has plenty of space and there’s a range of Classic, Premium and Superior Rooms to choose from: for a stylish stay opt for rooms 1 or 2, both large master bedrooms located on the first floor that come complete with some of the original Palladian features dating back to 1730, pretty feature wallpaper and views out of the front of the building of classic Cotswolds scenery. Alternatively, for a romantic hideaway, plump for Room 24 in the Windrush Cottage and toast your good taste in the private garden that adjoins this large twin room.

All ‘Classic' rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Premium’ and ‘Superior’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress and larger television – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.

Facilities

Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, attractive garden, multi-purpose activity room, lounge, library and board games to borrow

After a day ambling through the Cotswolds, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Relax by sitting in the gardens or having a game of croquet on the lawn. Retire to either of the two lounges or climb the sweeping stately staircase to the very top of the house where there’s an observatory looking out across the rooftops of the village. Then pop in to the snug bar for a pint of local ale and a chin wag with fellow guests about their discoveries.

Food & Drink

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Food at Harrington House is varied with a strong emphasis on the use of seasonal British produce. Our experienced chefs create each dish using only the freshest ingredients and, when in season, use home grown herbs and vegetables taken from our own gardens to give a true taste of the local area.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865 or view the accessibility information online for Harrington House

10537_0039 - Harrington exterior

Getting to Harrington House

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Essential Information

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong type of clothing!” goes the adage. Come prepared for all eventualities and you’ll walk in comfort as well as safety. Britain’s famous for its changeable weather, so here’s our advice on what to wear and bring.

Essentials

  • Waterproof walking boots providing ankle support and good grip.
  • A waterproof jacket and over-trousers
  • Gloves and a warm hat (it can be chilly at any time of the year)
  • Rucksack
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)
  • A small torch (everywhere in winter, year round in mountains)
  • Sun hat and sunscreen
    Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.

Recommended

  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed
  • Specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • A first aid kit inc plasters– your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication
  • Sit mat (insulated pad to sit on when you stop for a break)

You might also want

  • Walking poles, particularly useful for descents.
  • Insect repellent
  • Flask for hot drinks
  • Rigid lunch box
  • Gaiters
  • Blister kit (eg Compeed) just in case
  • Waterproof rucksack liner

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £30 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2023
17 Nov - 24 Nov 2023
7 Version 1 £919 Trip Notes Book Now
01 Dec - 08 Dec 2023
7 Version 1 £749 Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
7 nights
Type:
Tread Lightly
Walking Grade:
1

7 nights from £749pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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