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. Small groups and friendly leaders make this a great way to enjoy Britain at its best.
During this holiday we will visit historic towns, great houses and picturesque villages, all built with the beautiful honey-coloured Cotswold stone and set amongst the backdrop of the gentle green rolling countryside (wolds) of this ‘quintessentially English’ region.
- The picturesque village of Snowshill
- 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
Great reasons to join us
- Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, plus five full-day mini-coach tours, with plenty of stops at places of interest and short walks of up to 1½ miles
- Knowledgeable leader: learn more about the history and landscapes of the Cotswolds from your knowlegeable leader
- Accommodation: stay at historic 4-star Harrington House, full of charm and character, in the centre of Bourton-on-the-Water
- Sociability: we pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays - explore together, eat together and relax together
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.
Our classic bedrooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available for an extra £8 per night.
You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium bedroom. Premium rooms are available at just £5 extra per person per night.
If you are travelling with your family, we have a selection of 3 and 4-bedded family bedrooms. These have all the facilities of our classic rooms plus full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk beds or occasional beds for children.
A limited number of value twin rooms are available at a discount of £8 per person per night and value single rooms with a £5 per night discount. Our value rooms have the same facilities as our classic rooms, but bathroom facilities are nearby rather than en-suite.
All our Country Houses are tailored to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms.
In the main house there is a small lounge, an attractive dining room and a cosy bar. The ballroom is a flexible space which can be used as a lounge, for dancing or for a variety of leisure activity holidays.
At the very top of the house is the fascinating observatory: an opportunity to try some star-gazing, or just enjoy the bird’s-eye view.
Free WiFi is available in the public rooms. There is also a range of board games and books.
At the rear of the house there is an attractive walled garden with a large croquet lawn. This is a particularly attractive spot to relax after a day’s walk or activity.
All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.
Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from a wide selection on the cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. Maybe enjoy a lighter option of fruit and yoghurt followed by scrambled egg, go for porridge followed by a full English breakfast, or select something in between.
Choose from our famous self-select picnic lunches - everything you need to keep you going on a day outdoors. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.
Our house-based Leisure Activities include an in-house lunch (generally soup, sandwiches etc).
The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.
All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
Guided Walking: enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks. After dinner there will be an activity or entertainment which you will be welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a talk on local history from a visiting speaker, a team quiz, or a stroll around Bourton-on-the-Water. Alternatively if you prefer, feel free to just relax in our lounge or bar.
Leisure Activities: many of our Leisure Activities holidays continue into the evening with programmed sessions. Other holidays will have the evenings free, and you will be welcome to join in other social activities that may be happening in the house.
Self-Guided Walking: there may be evening social activities happening in the house during your holiday, and you will be most welcome to join in. However, not all self-guided holidays will have evening activities available – if these are important to you, please check before booking.
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.
Arrival & car parking facilities
- There is a small car park at the front of the house and a larger one at the rear
- 2 disabled parking bays
- The surface of the car park is tarmac, slightly uneven
- Assistance with luggage provided upon request
Main entrance & reception
- The front entrance has 5 steps (each step is 15cm in height) up to it and the back entrance has 3 steps (each step is 4.5cm in height)
- Ramp is available on request. Handrail at the front entrance (height 93cm)
- The office is situated in the front hallway. The hallway is well lit and the width of it is 295cm
Public areas - hall, stairs, landing, corridors etc
- In general, due to the age and layout of the house, most of the rooms are accessed via carpeted hallways & corridors with firedoors and steps in them. Minimum width 73cm
- Hallways and corridors are generally well lit. Staircase to the upper floors is steep and narrow in places
- Portable ramp available
Public areas - sitting room, lounges, lobbies etc
- From the main hallway, there is level access to the lounge, dining room, and ballroom
- The bar is accessed via 1 step of 16cm high, 85cm wide
- The lounge has very good lighting, thick carpet and internet access
- The entrance door into the lounge is a fire door and 93cm in width
- The observatory in on top of the house. The stairs up are steep, each step is 18cm high and 81cm wide. The stairs have handrails and are well lit and thickly carpeted
- The boot room is located near the main entrance and has a coded lock on the door. One step of 8cm in height into the boot room
- The ballroom is located near the bar with one step down (14cm high). The entrance width is 93cm
- Wooden floor, good lighting
- Chairs are 45cm high with arm rests. Tables are 49cm high. Window seats 47cm high. All furniture easily movable
- The painting room is located in the Windrush Cottage (accessed from outside). Minimum entrance width 79cm, minimum corridor width 70cm, one step down of 18cm.
- The chairs are 44cm high, tables 49cm. All furniture is easily movable
- Well lit room with a rug in the middle of vinyl tile floor
- The public toilets are located down the hallway, just off the main reception area. There are two steps up, each 19cm high
- The width of the main door is 74cm, the cubicle doors are 58cm. Ladies toilet height is 38cm and the gents is 37cm. Both have a tiled floor. Sink is 90cm high
Dining room & bar
- The dining room is located off the main hallway. The door width is 96cm
- Five movable tables, all 70cm high and all chairs are 46cm high with no arm rests
- The dining room is well lit and has thick carpet
- Breakfast service is self service cold buffet with assistance available, if required. Table service for hot meals
- The bar is also located off the main hallway. The door width is 85cm. One step, 16cm high
- The chairs are 47cm high, some with arms. The bar counter is 108cm high
Bedrooms & sleeping areas
- Room 30 is the room best suited for anyone requiring wheelchair access. The room is located on the ground floor of Jubilee Cottage
- The entrance is 80cm wide
- The room is carpeted and has 2 single beds (each 58cm high), 1 sofa bed, 2 bedside tables, a dresser, a wardrobe and 2 chairs
- The room is 431cm wide
- The entrance to the en-suite bathroom is 82cm. Non-slip flooring
- Walk-in shower with a shower curtain
- The sink is 79cm high with a lever tap. Mirror and shaver light
- Height of the toilet is 40cm
- The rest of the rooms are a mixture of singles, twins and doubles. Bedrooms are located in the main house (1st and 2nd floor), the annex, Windrush (ground and 1st floor) and Jubilee Cottage (ground and 1st floor)
- Most of the rooms are en-suite, three basic single bedrooms only have a sink in the rooms and they share two bathrooms along the corridor
Grounds and gardens
The garden at the back of the house is flat and pebbled with seating available
- 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
Friday: Arrival day
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. We invite everyone to afternoon tea at 4pm. 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: An abbey, a castle and a town
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.
Sunday: Wool churches, glass and weaving
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
Monday: Free day
A free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the Country House. There are never too many Cotswolds villages to explore, along with a wide range of venues to suit different interests, such as the Cotswolds Falconry Centre or the Cotswold Farm Park. Why not relax in the village and discover its charms including the motor museum and model village
Tuesday: A villa, a town and three enchanting villages
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: Gardens, villages and a tower
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: Two Cotswold towns and a Jacobean home
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 £80 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.
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.
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.
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
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.nwm.org.uk/gloucester
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
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
Harrington House, Sherborne Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BY
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).
By taxi: The 8 mile journey from Moreton-in-Marsh railway station takes approximately 20 minutes. Taxis cost approx £19 for 2 passengers. The 17 mile journey from Cheltenham Spa railway station takes approximately 30 minutes. Taxis cost approx £38 for 2 passengers. Every year we negotiate a pre-booked rate for these journeys. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. We recommend pre-booking your taxi and the taxi company will arrange shared taxis wherever possible. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Harrington House Manager.
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.
To help you plan your journey, use www.traveline.info
After 30 years as a Transport Planner, Graham successfully retrained as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide. He is a geographer by qualification and an explorer by instinct, and frequently has a map in his hand. Graham's travels have taken him to many parts of the country, where he enjoys discovering out-of-the-way places as well as an area's better known towns and buildings. He has a particular interest in the countryside, waterways, industrial heritage and places where history happened. Graham is also an HF Holidays' walking leader and has led at more than half of the UK's Country Houses.
Chrissie Le Marchant
Chrissie grew up in Yorkshire and spent her early years exploring the North York Moors. Having obtained a degree in Geology and Geography, she spent the next few years working for an international mining company, prospecting in the West Country and gold mining in Africa, driving home overland from Johannesburg via India.
She spent the next few years raising children and working for two National Parks, Snowdonia and Dartmoor. After training as a teacher of design technology she returned to civil engineering building roads. Eventually she became a Blue Badge Tourist Guide and has worked in the West Country and southern England and all over Europe as a guide and tour manager.
As a ‘Deviationist’ on the Ffestiniog Railway she drove trains, tipped wagons and appeared on Blue Peter and has been leading railway holidays for several years.
Liz Lowry was born in Derbyshire and has lived in the Heart of England all her working life. She is a qualified Blue Badge guide and has degrees in History and English Local History. Liz has journeyed extensively around Britain and abroad. She enjoys travelling and sharing her appreciation of architecture, history and the local environment with others. She is especially fascinated by the development of the English landscape and how it reveals echoes of the past.
|Date & Rating||Customer Review||HF Holidays says|
19 Jun 2016, 8:36 a.m.
I felt that the standard of food for the evening meal did not come up scratch. Several of the meals were bland and heavy on carbohydrates and low on protein. Breakfast and packed lunch were fine .
Some of the venues visited, listed on our itinerary, were closed. But, overall I thought the holiday was very successful.
8 Jun 2016, 3:04 p.m.
Very good value.
Harrington house was beautiful, loved the location. The staff was friendly and helpful. The leader of our tours was knowledgeable and interesting.
8 Jul 2015, 8:18 a.m.
I am always satisfied with the service
It was an enjoyable holiday
20 May 2015, 7:13 p.m.
HF holidays seems to need a be a bit more efficient in it's accounting office.
When I paid my first payment I was told, via the website, that I needed to pay the remainder by a certain date. When I did I received no confirmation of my payment, neither by email or "snail mail". I waited a few days and still nothing so I emailed the place I was going to be staying but the manager couldn't give me an information. This was only a few days before I was to be getting there. He said to contact the HF main office.
I would say it was "fair", not good or poor but in between. Harrington House was something of a disappointment. My single room was tiny with no personality. It felt like I was staying at a cloister. There was a sound coming from somewhere in the building that never stopped and forced me to wear earplugs. The grounds were equally disappointing, with no gardens that were being maintained as were the beautiful ones throughout the town of Bourton. The breakfasts were adequate although communicating with the staff was difficult since they didn't speak English. The dinners were edible but that is about all. Any attempt at something like Thai was a failure. One too many sites were visited. Dinner was much too late being at 7:30. I will probably not do another HF Holiday again.
Thank you for your comments.
I was disappointed to read that you did not enjoy your holiday experience. We strive hard to ensure our guests enjoy their holidays and, I am sorry that on this occasion this was not the case.
I will be passing on your comments to my Head of Hotel Operations and my UK Product Managers to take onboard for future holidays.
I do hope you may reconsider your decision to book with us again and assure you of our best intentions at all times.
I will be emailing you personally.
Customer Relations Manager
17 Sep 2014, 8:56 a.m.
No review provided
I have been on HF Holidays many times and over many years and have always found them enjoyable.
Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|26 May 2017||BNHCR - Discovery Tour - Bourton on the Water||4||£505.00||£505.00||Book Now|
|26 May 2017||BNHCR - Discovery Tour - Bourton on the Water||7||£855.00||£805.00||Book Now|
|30 May 2017||BNHCR - Discovery Tour - Bourton on the Water||3||£365.00||£365.00||Book Now|
|20 Oct 2017||BNHCR - Discovery Tour - Bourton on the Water||3||£355.00||£355.00||Book Now|
|20 Oct 2017||BNHCR - Discovery Tour - Bourton on the Water||7||£805.00||£755.00||Book Now|
|23 Oct 2017||BNHCR - Discovery Tour - Bourton on the Water||4||£465.00||£465.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
- Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
- Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person