On offer

HF Book Club in The Cotswolds: Secrets & Spies

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Duration: 4 nights
Interests: Literary holidays
from £599pp £549pp

For fans of fiction writing that focuses on espionage and intrigue, our Secrets & Spies Book Club break seals the deal. Not only will you get to dive deeper into this genre and explore its ever-evolving narratives, but you'll be staying in the comfort of Harrington House - our characterful country house in Bourton-on-the-Water. These holidays are the perfect way to connect with like-minded spy-fiction fans and fabulous for solo travellers looking for friendship-forming experiences.

What you’ll love

  • Meeting like-minded book lovers 
  • Discussing a variety of literary works 
  • Enjoying a guided sightseeing visit 
  • Group discussions with our expert leaders 
  • Connecting with other spy fans 

What’s included

  • Free-flowing literary discussions throughout your holiday
  • Transport to and from venues on your excursion day
  • Entry to Bletchley Park and a guided site tour
  • Comfortable en-suite accommodation in our country house
  • Cream tea on arrival day
  • Cooked or continental breakfast every morning
  • Daily packed lunches
  • Three-course evening meals, plus tea & coffee
  • Easy-to-follow routes, maps, and information available in our Discovery Point if you want to explore independently

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards. Enjoy a complimentary cream tea on arrival.


This Book Club break will explore the shadowy world of spies and secrets as represented in literature. Your leaders will facilitate discussions about the themes and topics featured in their chosen titles and there’ll be an open forum to discuss opinions.  

Your reading list will be published soon. 


This holiday wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Bletchley Park, home of Britain’s wartime code-breaking efforts, and a venue which embodies all things secrets and spies. We’ll explore the site on a guided tour before enjoying some free time to enjoy all Bletchley has to offer. Entry to the site, and the guided tour are included in the price of this holiday.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.


Harrington House

You get the best of all worlds at this Grade II-listed retreat just a skip away from the heart of Bourton-on-the-Water – the impossibly pretty Cotswolds town with chocolate-box cottages, old-fashioned tearooms, and low-arched stone bridges that span the River Windrush. Not only will you be within walking distance of the Cotswold Motoring Museum, the Model Village, and Birdland Wildlife Park & Gardens, but it’s an easy drive from village beauties Broadway and Bibury. For walkers and hikers, there’s no shortage of thrills, especially for those keen to explore the well-trodden trails and paths around the Windrush Valley, Lower and Upper Slaughter, Gloucestershire Way, Cotswold Way, and Monarch Way.

 

Rooms

Designed with your comfort in mind, Harrington House has 27 well-appointed guest rooms available in three categories: Classic, Premium, and Superior. 

Classic Rooms are comfortable en-suite guest rooms, ideal for a peaceful night's sleep. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, and shower gel), and a TV. 

Premium Rooms are more spacious en-suite guest rooms. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses.

Superior Rooms are even more spacious en-suite guest rooms offering upgraded views of the surrounds. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses.

We love: Rooms 1 and 2 on the first floor for their master bedrooms, original Palladian design, and lovely views. Room 24 in the Windrush Cottage is a large twin room with its own private garden.  

The Choose Your Room service is available at our UK country houses, allowing you the option of choosing and confirming a specific room for an extra charge of £30 per room. This is subject to availability. Upgrade supplements apply. 

Check in & check out 
You are welcome to check in from 4:00pm at the earliest. On arrival, you’ll enjoy a complimentary cream tea and get to meet your fellow guests, our HF Holidays Leaders, and the rest of the friendly team.  

On the day of departure, we kindly ask all guests to check out by 10:00am. You’ll be asked to settle your bill prior to leaving. You may, of course, make a charitable donation to our HF Holidays Pathways Fund if you wish. Please note that we only accept card payments.  

Room supplements

Superior Premium single Premium double/twin Choose your room
£25 pppn £20 pppn £20 pppn £30 per room

About your stay

A warm welcome
We want you to feel comfortable from the moment you arrive. You’ll find a welcome pack in your room with guest registration forms, menus, order forms for dinners and picnic lunches, the Wi-Fi password, and the front door code. Our houses are locked at night, so we recommend noting the Duty Manager’s number on arrival in case of an emergency (or getting locked out). 

Evening entertainment
While evening entertainment varies from house to house, the HF Holidays Big Pub Quiz held after dinner on Wednesdays is a weekly staple. Your HF Holidays Leader may be around for tips on guided and self-guided walking routes as well as visit-worthy local attractions. 

Walks talks 
Our HF Holidays Leaders host guided walking information briefings before dinner on arrival days. This is followed by a group Walks Talk for information on the following day’s walking delights (held before dinner every evening). Self-guided walking guests are, of course, welcome.  

The walking day
Prior to setting off on walks, your HF Holidays Leader will run you through a short safety briefing. There’s also an up-to-date weather forecast on display at the house to ensure you have appropriate clothing and footwear. If you choose to do your own walks or are on a self-guided walking holiday, we ask that you please complete an Independent Walker Card each day. These can be found near the Discovery Point in the house. 

Food & drink

Led by experienced chefs, we serve a wide range of dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients. We always aim to source the best produce available and use home-grown herbs and vegetables from our own gardens whenever possible. Additionally, we have a licensed bar with beers, soft drinks, and a superb selection of spirits. Full-board comes as standard and includes a cream tea on arrival and a hearty breakfast on departure day.

HF Holidays understands the importance of managing allergens effectively to ensure food is safe for guests with food allergies. Whilst we are always able to confidently inform guests which allergens are present in our ingredients and dishes, we are unable to guarantee absolute freedom from the 14 main allergens in our kitchens. Vegetarian and vegan menu choices are available. If you have allergies, food intolerances, or any special dietary requirements, please inform our reservation team at the time of booking.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865 or view the accessibility information online for Harrington House

10537_0039 - Harrington exterior

Getting to Harrington House

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Address

Harrington House
Sherborne Street
Bourton-on-the-Water
Gloucestershire GL54 2BY

Tel: +44 (0)1451 821213

By train

The nearest station is Moreton-in-Marsh.  

However, the nearest mainline station is at Cheltenham Spa. 

Check National Rail for train times and routes. 

By taxi

From Moreton-in-Marsh, it’s a nine-mile journey taking 20 to 30 minutes.

From Cheltenham Spa, it’s an 18-mile journey taking 35 to 45 minutes.

For pricing, please contact Limozena taxis directly.

Limozena
You can pre-book a taxi from our recommended company, Limozena*. We recommend booking your taxi at least seven days in advance by contacting:

Tel: +44 (0)1451 820972
Email: denwalmsley@yahoo.co.uk

A return journey can be arranged on your behalf by the HF Holidays House Manager at Harrington House.

*Limozena is not owned or managed by HF Holidays.

By bus

The 801 bus goes from Moreton-in-Marsh to Bourton-on-the-Water and takes about 30 minutes. Alight next to the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Shop from where it’s a short walk to Harrington House.  

By car

There’s free car parking at Harrington House if you decide to drive. 

Directions 
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. Cross the narrow bridge and continue to just before the road forks. You’ll find Harrington House on the left.  

By air

The nearest airport is London Heathrow Airport.

From the airport 
Take the train to London Paddington station from where there are direct trains to Moreton-in-Marsh, which takes just over two hours. Then you can get the bus or a taxi to Bourton-on-the-Water. 

Please bring along your own copy of the books we'll be discussing either in paper format or on a tablet/e-reader if you prefer. The full reading list will be shown on the itinerary tab as soon as it is confirmed.

We’ll also be heading out sightseeing so please be sure to bring comfortable shoes that you can wear when we’re out and about. And given the UK’s famously unpredictable weather, you may also want to pack waterproof clothing and/or sun cream.

Harrington House Calendar

  • Guided Walking
  • Self-Guided Walking
  • Special Interests
  • Unavailable to Book

Alison Carr

With Alison as your expert tutor, you’re in safe hands when exploring all the themes of your favourite books. She’s a qualified English teacher, well-versed in sparking discussion on literature classics and popular reads. Her broad knowledge and great enthusiasm will help give you deep appreciation and new perspectives on a text. 

Alban O'Brien

A self-confessed bookworm, Alban is a fan of all things literature. He describes the three pillars of his life as family, football, and Shakespeare. After a long career in education, Alban has been waxing lyrical about classic books and British beauty spots as one of our expert tutors since 2012.  

Jill Durnford

A bookworm since childhood, Jill loves books and reading so much she moved to Hay-on-Wye – the pretty market town on the English-Welsh border that lives up to its moniker as the second-hand book capital of the world. Given Jill’s job as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide, history books (both fiction and non-fiction) are always high on her list, but she enjoys anything with intriguing characters and a thought-provoking plot.

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take an alternative route, or vary the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.


Holiday prices

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2025

24 Mar - 28 Mar 2025

4 nights

Book Club

Single from

£599 £549

Double from

£599 £549 pp

from

£599 £549 pp

from

£599 £549

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Duration:
4 nights
Interests:
Literary holidays

4 nights from £599pp £549pp

On offer

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