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.
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
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.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
These rooms truly are the best in the house for extra luxury during your stay. They include:
Only an extra £20 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplements to upgrade to 'Better' or 'Best' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At the house
|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.
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.
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
This is the 2018 itinerary. For 2019 there'll be a couple of small tweaks to enhance your holiday experience. We'll update this page shortly with these minor amends, but overall the programme isn't changing too much.
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.
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.
You;'re welcome to check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (best & better rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea.
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.
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.
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 (best & better rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea.
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.
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 (in October Kiftsgate Court is closed so we'll soak up the autumn colours at Hidcote instead).
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.
Depart after a leisurely breakfast
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 who has been guiding for 12 years and enjoys combining the facts and stats with a bit of fun and trivia as well.
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 is quick to acknowledge though that ‘sometimes it’s just about relaxing. Sharing a breathtaking piece of landscape or soaking up the atmosphere of a beautiful garden or mediaeval cobbled street. People are on holiday’.
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 D Salter
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.
Brought up in south-east England, Jill has lived in the West Country, Scotland and, since 1998, Cumbria. She has a real passion for Britain, its history, geology and wildlife and loves sharing that with other people. She loves visiting stately homes and gardens but is also interested in how ordinary people lived in the past. Jill works as a Blue Badge Guide which is the perfect job for combining her wide range of interests with a love of communicating with people.
I cannot praise Jill enough. She was a mine of information which she put over in an interesting way. She organised everyone efficiently and pleasantly and ensured everyone felt included and had a good time.
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.
We really enjoyed her sense of fun, vast knowledge and complete devotion to the group.
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Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|28 Jun 2019||BNHCR - Discovery Tour - Bourton on the Water||3||£389.00||£374.00||Book Now|
|28 Jun 2019||BNHCR - Discovery Tour - Bourton on the Water||7||£915.00||£840.00||Book Now|
|1 Jul 2019||BNHCR - Discovery Tour - Bourton on the Water||4||£549.00||£524.00||Book Now|
|16 Aug 2019||BNHCR - Discovery Tour - Bourton on the Water||3||£389.00||£374.00||Book Now|
|16 Aug 2019||BNHCR - Discovery Tour - Bourton on the Water||7||£915.00||£840.00||Book Now|
|19 Aug 2019||BNHCR - Discovery Tour - Bourton on the Water||4||£549.00||£524.00||Book Now|
|4 Oct 2019||BNHCR - Discovery Tour - Bourton on the Water||3||£379.00||£364.00||Book Now|
|4 Oct 2019||BNHCR - Discovery Tour - Bourton on the Water||7||£835.00||£760.00||Book Now|
|7 Oct 2019||BNHCR - Discovery Tour - Bourton on the Water||4||£515.00||£490.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person
We like to reward early bookers with our best rooms so book early to avoid disappointment.
Please note that we aren't able to take room number requests as we are unable to guarantee them.