Music of Elgar & the Malvern Hills



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Activity types:

  • Central location
  • Culture
  • Indoors
  • Meadows & hills
From £479.00 - 4 nights


Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

Elgar was born in 1857 at Broadheath, close to Worcester – his father had a music shop and he tuned pianos. His life and music are closely linked to the area. We’ll visit places associated with him, listen to his music and take time to appreciate and understand the countryside that greatly inspired him.

Holiday highlights

  • Visit to Elgar’s Birthplace Museum at Broadheath
  • Talks and informal discussions with an expert leader
  • Enhance your understanding by listening to selected pieces of music

Great reasons to join us

  • Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, plus all activities
  • Expert leader: we carefully select friendly and knowledgeable leaders for each holiday
  • Accommodation: enjoy high-quality accommodation and excellent food at our Country Houses
  • Sociability: we pride ourselves on the sociable atmosphere of our holidays – listen to music together, eat together and socialise together

In pictures...


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    4-star Visit Britain Guest Accommodationcentre 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 

Public WCs

  • 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

  • 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 

Other bedrooms

  • 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 

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


Monday: Arrival day

You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. Please join us for afternoon tea at 4pm. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday. After dinner enjoy an illustrated talk on Elgar’s early life and background, which will enhance tomorrow’s tour.

Tuesday: Elgar’s Countryside Tour

A full day touring visiting places of interest associated with Elgar. We visit the birthplace museum at Broadheath, and Great Witney Court where his father tuned pianos for Queen Adelaide and the young Edward performed for the Dudley Family. There will be an opportunity to visit Worcester Cathedral and view buildings in the city associated with Elgar. After dinner there will be a short recital of music associated with today’s visits.

Wednesday: Elgar’s Inspiration

9.30am – 12.30pm: This morning we will view the iconic Portrait of a Composer documentary produced by Ken Russell, celebrating the life and work of Elgar. Following a coffee break, there will be an illustrated talk and discussion on 'the Hereford years'.

12.30pm: Lunch followed by a free afternoon to explore the area independently, or relax in the Country House.

5pm – 6.30pm: A consideration of Elgar’s choral and vocal music.

After dinner: Elgar miniatures.

Thursday: Enigma Resolved?

9.30am – 12pm: A musically illustrated talk - Enigma Resolved - looks at the possible origins of the theme and at the characters portrayed in the Enigma Variations (with a coffee break).

1pm – 5.30pm: Enjoy viewing places of interest associated with Elgar in and around Malvern. We visit the Elgar family graves at St Wulstan's Church, Little Malvern, spend some time in the centre of Great Malvern and enjoy views of the Malvern Hills which were a constant inspiration.

After dinner: A few final observations.

Friday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast

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.



What to bring

All of the music will be provided for you. You may want to bring a notebook and pen to make notes of the music you listen to.

Local area

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. 



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. or



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.



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. or

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.

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.


Hidcote Gardens image ©National Trust Images/Jonathan Buckley


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 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


Marcus Martin

Marcus Martin studied at piano, organ, singing and general music subjects at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and subsequently obtained an MA degree in Arts Management at City University London. Professionally he has combined a career of teaching, accompanying, conducting, performing and latterly, administration. For many years he taught piano and lectured on academic studies and also has worked extensively in the musical theatre as musical director for amateur and professional productions. For a long time Marcus has been associated with ‘Light Music’. His 35 piece Alassio Concert Orchestra, comprising musicians from the major London orchestras, regularly gives music-lovers a chance to hear the original orchestrations of some of the very best compositions of this genre. He has over 45 years' experience as a church organist and regularly conducts choirs and singing groups of varying sizes.

In 2012 he received an invitation to attend the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in May. The citation for this honour was in respect of 25 years of services to music and charities in Worthing - through involvement with amateur and professional choirs and orchestras, work with young performers within the music festival organisation and in particular the raising of a total of £40,000 for various local and national charities during the past 10 years of presenting Morning Melodies.



Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
21 Apr 2016, 10:12 a.m.

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Service review:

Hotel room & food excellent, interesting activities, smoothly run. Level of information and contact from HF itself could have been higher but was sufficient - feel I got comparatively little contact in early days from HF compared with their constant marketing flyers, though that may be because I understand some trips get cancelled quite close to event because of poor numbers.

Product review:

Only comment is holiday title which implied more exploration of Malvern Hills & countryside than the itinerary included, although it was still very enjoyable.
18 Apr 2016, 6:13 a.m.

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Service excellent, but found sitting room and dining room rather cramped. In sitting room lack of space and some uncomfortable chairs

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Well organised and interesting
1 Jul 2015, 3:23 p.m.

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excellent lecturer and well organised visits

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friendly atmosphere and good bedroom
Thank you for reviewing your recent Leisure Activities break to the Cotswolds. We're really pleased that you enjoyed your HF Holidays experience. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon.

HF Holidays Ltd.
1 Jul 2015, 10:56 a.m.

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Food weak area but improved Elgar leader excellent

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Leader for Elgar was excellent, food improved after previous chef left
29 Jun 2014, 12:01 p.m.

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Service review:

Good accomodation. Excellent food. Friendly company. Clear arrangements.

Product review:

A very enjoyable few days. I am still humming Elgar's music. The teachingand content of the sessions was excellent. So was the Worcester visit. I would have liked longer in Malvern however, and think that the able bodied members of our group could have had the opportunity to go further up in the Malvern Hills.
29 Jun 2014, 5:31 a.m.

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Very friendly & efficient service throughout.

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Extremely well planned & executed course on Elgar. Visits to sites were very enjoyable & evening & daytime talks entertaining & interesting.

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
17 Jul 2017 BNAME - Music of Elgar & The Malvern Hills - Bourton-on-the-Water 4 £519.00 £479.00 Special Early Booking offer - £40.00 off pp 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

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