English Music Festival

Cotswolds

Code: BNAFT

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Activity types:

  • Central location
  • Culture
  • Indoors
  • Meadows & hills

Holiday overview

New at HF Holidays

The English Music Festival, based in Dorchester-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, celebrates Britain’s rich musical heritage by showcasing the brilliance, innovation and beauty of English music, with a focus on music from the early 20th century. We include tickets to three performances from the festival programme.

Holiday Highlights:

  • Tickets to three performances, with good quality seats
  • Talks and discussions with our knowledgeable leader
  • Free time to attend other events during the festival or explore the local area independently

Great Reasons to Join Us

  • Great value: all prices include full board en-suite accommodation, transport and performance tickets
  • Accommodation: enjoy high quality accommodation and excellent food at Harrington House
  • Knowledgeable leaders: all our leaders are experts in their field and will ensure you get the most out of your holiday
  • Sociability: spend time with like-minded people in a fun and relaxed environment

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
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• TV
• Hairdryer
• Tea and coffee making facilities
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
Premium Rooms
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Toweling robe Complimentary slippers 
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Available from an extra £10 per person per night
Family Rooms
• 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 with breakfast, picnic lunch and evening meal. 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.

 

Itinerary

Friday: Arrival day

Welcome to Harrington House. Your room will be ready from 2.30pm onwards (1pm for premium rooms). Afternoon tea will be provided so you can meet your fellow guests and leader. If you need assistance carrying your luggage to your room, please speak to the house manager when you arrive to arrange this. Your leader will talk you through the holiday, including its timetable, on the first evening. After dinner we’ll look at Holst’s Hymns from the Rig Veda and Tippett’s Five Spirituals.

Saturday:

9.30am – 12.15pm: Enjoy a film on Gustav Holst: In the Bleak Midwinter (Tony Palmer, 2011) with coffee break.

12.30 pm: 3-course lunch

The afternoon is free for you to relax in the Country House, or use the Discovery Point to independently explore this beautiful area.

3.30pm: Leave Bourton-on-the-Water for Dorchester-on-Thames

5pm: Pre-concert talk (village hall): Vaughan Williams — the Makings of a Genius, by John Francis

7pm: Godwine Choir (abbey)

Hilary Davan Wetton (conductor)
Timothy End (piano)

Dyson: Three Songs of Praise
Macfarren: Orpheus with his Lute
Macfarren: Blow, blow, thou winter Wind
Hawkins: Four Carols
Holst: Toccata
Holst: Nunc Dimittis
Brian: It was a Lover and his Lass
Brian: The Dream
Finzi: Lo, the full, final Sacrifice
Holst: Hymns from the Rig Veda (third group)
Brian: Sweet Solitude
Holst: Hymn to Agni
Holst: Hymn to Soma
Bliss: Toccata
Gardner: O clap your Hands
Tippett: Five Spirituals

9pm: Leave for the country house

Sunday:

9.30am – 12.15pm: Learn more about Britten with the film Britten – A time there was (Tony Palmer, 2006) and Britten's Simple Symphony, with coffee break.           

12.30pm: 3-course lunch

The afternoon is free for you to relax in the country house, or use the Discovery Point to independently explore this beautiful area.

3.30pm: Leave Bourton-on-the-Water for Dorchester-on-Thames

5pm: Pre-concert talk (village hall) Delius: English music’s outsider by Dr Lionel Carley

7pm: Bath Camerata (abbey)

Bristol Ensemble
Benjamin Goodson (conductor)
Johane Ansell (soprano)
Alex Otterburn (baritone)

Vaughan Williams: Dives and Lazarus
Britten: Simple Symphony
Bridge: Nocturne from Suite for Strings
Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music (choral version)
Carr: Requiem for an Angel

9pm: Leave for the country house

Monday:

9.30am – 12.15pm: We’ll listen to Purcell’s Fairy Queen, with coffee break.

12.30pm: 3-course lunch

The afternoon is free for you to relax in the country house, or use the Discovery Point to independently explore this beautiful area.

3.30pm: Leave Bourton-on-the-Water for Dorchester-on-Thames

5pm:  Pre-concert talk (village hall): Performing and Programming British music in post-Brexit Britain by George Parris

7pm: Orchestra of the Swan ( abbey)

David Curtis (conductor)
David Pike (baritone)

Purcell: The Fairy Queen Suite I
Walton: Two Pieces from Henry V
Finzi: Let us Garlands bring
Purcell: The Fairy Queen Suite II
Elgar: Sospiri
Tippett: Little Music for Strings

9pm: Leave for the country house

Tuesday: 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.

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).

Train at Moreton-in-Marsh station 

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.

 Bus heading to Bourton-on-the-Water

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).

 Quantas Boeing 747

Leaders

Steven Robinson

Steven Robinson is a freelance music lecturer. Following the completion of a PhD on the symphonies of Beethoven's pupil, Ferdinand Ries, he taught for 10 years at Liverpool University and also contributed to undergraduate courses at Manchester University and the Royal Northern College of Music.  He has led for HF Holidays since 2002, presenting holidays on Bach, Handel, Beethoven, Ries, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Bartok and Shostakovich, as well as general surveys of the main periods of music history (Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Twentieth Century), and Festival holidays including Cheltenham Music Festival, Three Choirs, Welsh National Opera and Opera North. Steven teaches piano at home and plays the organ at several churches in the Manchester area. 

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

Information

  • Premium single room: £15 per night
  • Premium twin/double room: £10 per person per night
  • Non-member associate fee: £10 per person

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