Autumn Colours of the Cotswolds

Code: BNGDA

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Activity types:

  • Central location
  • Flora
  • Meadows & hills
  • Outdoors

Holiday overview

New at HF Holidays

Imaginative gardeners past and present have created some fantastic gardens in the Cotswolds. Soak up the glorious autumn colours and forms of the gardens and revel in their quiet beauty with fewer visitors around than in summer months.

Holiday highlights

  • Visit Westonbirt, Batsford and Oxford arboreta
  • Resplendent autumnal colours of three Cotswolds gardens
  • Enjoy the gardens and arboreta with fewer visitors than in peak season

Price includes

  • High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
  • The guidance and services of our knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, ensuring you get the most from your holiday
  • All transport to and from gardens on a comfortable, good-quality mini-coach with PA system
  • All garden admissions costs (please note this does not include entrance to stately homes/houses, for which there is a separate admission fee)

In pictures...

Accommodation

HF Holidays' Harrington House in Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham

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

Classic Rooms
• Check in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation 
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• 23 inch TV
• Hairdryer
• Tea and coffee-making facilities
• Double or two single beds
• Toiletries
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
Premium Rooms
• 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
Family Rooms
• 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

Facilities

• Excellent boot and drying rooms 
• Main house there is a lounge, dining room and a bar
• Ballroom
• 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

Dining

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.
 Take your fill from our famous self-service picnic lunches
A relaxed social dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses

An example of Bourton-on-the-water evening meal

Your evenings

Make the most of your evening or join us at the bar


Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.

All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.

Accessibility

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.

More details on Bourton accessibility

Additional information

  • 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

Itinerary

Arrival day

You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. All guests are invited to join us for afternoon tea at 4pm – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday. Before dinner your Garden Tour leader will give you a brief introduction to this wonderful holiday programme.

Daily programme

Dyrham Park and Westonbirt Arboretum

Armed with our tasty picnic lunches, our first garden visit will be to Dyrham Park where the William and Mary House sits in a landscape and gardens influenced by London, Wise and Repton in turn.   The extensive landscape style featuring a deer park will be enveloped with mature trees making their transit from Summer to Winter.

We'll spend the afternoon at Westonbirt, the National Arboretum. Run by the Forestry Commission and set in what was originally a Victorian Picturesque style setting this arboretum site includes 16,000 trees from around the World, including 125 different maple, hickory and some stunning trees not only giving colour but fragrance at this time of year. There are 17 miles of paths through the Arboretum. We won't cover them all but we will see many brilliant specimens!

Oxford Arboretum and Hidcote Manor

After a hearty breakfast we head off to visit the Oxford University Arboretum. Even though it is a part of the Botanical Gardens of the University it is flowing rather than the more regimented formal Botanical gardens in the City. This will be a good place to take a more relaxed walk through the trees and find a few conkers and nuts after a busier visit to Westonbirt the day before.

In the afternoon we visit Hidcote, the famous garden of rooms (and more colour) created by American, Lawrence Johnston in the twentieth century.

Batsford Park Arboretum and Painswick Rococo Garden

Batsford Arboretum bills itself as the nation's favourite arboretum and you will be in a position to consider this jewel of yellows, golds, reds and greens.

Our final visit will be to Painswick, a Rococo style garden set in a wooded area. The Rococo style with its follies, frivolity and eccentricity is also a rare gem with few parallels and then only on the Continent generally. This is a wonderful day to round off our splendid holiday.

Please note: You'll spend a lot of time on your feet: there'll be up to 5 miles during the course of the day, around the gardens.  During the day we'll be visiting a variety of gardens, so come prepared: please bring stout, comfortable footwear for rough, wet or uneven terrain in gardens, and appropriate outdoor clothes for the great British weather!

In the evenings there will be a mixed programme of activities. On some evenings there will be a dedicated activity based around your holiday's theme; on others, you can join in with the general social activities taking place in the Country House or relax in the bar with new-found friends.

Departure day

Depart after a leisurely breakfast

Every effort is made to adhere to this itinerary; however there may be circumstances beyond our control which could lead to a change in the programme.

What to bring

As you'll be walking around the gardens please bring stout, comfortable footwear for rough, wet or uneven terrain in gardens, and clothes for the great British weather!

Local area

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:

Chipping Campden
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.

Pathway through elegant gardensHidcote 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 

 

 

Rolling hills and Broadway TowerBroadway
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.

 

Inside the Royal Shakespeare TheatreStratford-upon-Avon
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

 

 

Exterior and gardens of Blenheim PalaceBlenheim Palace
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

 

 

Cheltenham
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.

Gloucester
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

Oxford
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

Travel to Bourton-on-the-Water

Our address is: Harrington House, Sherborne Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BY

How to get to us by train

By train:

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).

Get to us by Taxi

By taxi:

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.

Bus

By bus:

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.

Driving to us

By car:

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.

 Travel by plane

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).

Leaders

Harry Mycock

Harry’s first Holiday with HF was on Arran in 1971. He has been a walks leader since 2007 and a garden tours leader since 2010. Harry has holidayed at all the current HF houses having led from most of them, too.

On top of a lifelong love of gardens and being a passionate gardener himself, Harry has also taught Garden Design and Horticulture at degree level for several years and is one of only a small number of Chartered Horticulturist in the UK. Harry has a Masters in Horticulture from the Royal Horticultural Society.   He is also an RHS Flower Shows volunteer, providing guidance on RHS Gardens at shows such as the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show and RHS Chelsea Flower Show where he has been involved in delivering several medal winning gardens.  He is also a specialist garden inspector for the National Trust. 

Harry enjoys sharing his knowledge of the landscape, gardens and their design and history. He knows from experience of this vast field that there is something new to learn from each other at every turn. During his Garden Tours, Harry sets the pace so that there is time to stand and stare and soak it all in. 

Harry does everything well - he is prepared, knowledgeable, considerate, communicative - he's the best.

Dates & Prices

We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.

Prices are per person

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