Railways of the Cotswolds



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Activity types:

  • Central location
  • History
  • Meadows & hills
From £579.00 - 4 nights


Prices are per person

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Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

See the best of the restored heritage railways of the south of England.

Holiday Highlights:

  • Travel on the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway from Cheltenham into the picturesque Cotswolds
  • See Brunel’s broad gauge at the Didcot Railway Centre
  • Visit Steam, the Great Western Railway Museum

Great Reasons to Join Us:

  • Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, coach transport and train travel
  • 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: we pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays – explore together, eat together and relax 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.

Tuesday: To the Severn Valley & Bridgnorth

The Severn Valley Railway at Kidderminster is one of the longest and best-preserved lines, redolent of the Great Western railway. It runs to Bridgnorth, where you may choose to explore the town and Cliff Railway, or visit one of the lovingly preserved stations en route. You could alight at Bewdley to explore this picturesque town, or Highley, where the visitor centre includes some royal carriages.

Wednesday: Didcot Railway Centre & Steam, Museum of the Great Western

We visit two major sites which house major exhibits of the Great Western Railway. First we go to the Didcot Railway Centre, situated by the Great Western Railway main line. Here are working re-creations of Brunel’s mighty broad-gauge steam engines. Then we visit Steam, Museum of the Great Western, with its exhibits in part of the former Swindon Works.

Thursday: Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway

We visit the Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway at Toddington. This is another preserved Great Western line and runs through lovely Cotswold scenery to Cheltenham racecourse. There will be the opportunity to alight at wayside stations, and explore the beautiful surrounding countryside or picturesque villages.

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.




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. 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



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


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


Graham Horn

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.

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
7 Aug 2017 BNHRH - Railways of the Cotswolds - Bourton-on-the-Water 4 £619.00 £579.00 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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