Shakespeare’s Way Guided Trail

Rural homes, Cotswold, UK
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Trails
Walking Grade: 2
from £949pp

Follow Shakespeare from magnificent Oxford to iconic Stratford through lovely Oxfordshire and Cotswold countryside. Discover historic Blenheim Park and delightful Cotswold towns and villages such as Chipping Norton and Halford. We may even have a little bit of fun with the bard’s works on our journey.

Holiday Highlights

  • Follow Shakespeare from Oxford to Stratford through lovely Oxfordshire and Cotswold countryside
  • Discover historic Blenheim Park and delightful Cotswold towns and villages
  • We may even have a little bit of fun with the bard’s works en route

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

We see where Shakespeare stayed in Oxford and briefly explore the main sights of this famous University City. Then, we head along the River Thames and Oxford Canal towpaths and across farmland into the Oxfordshire countryside. We visit Winston Churchill’s grave at Bladon and arrive at the fascinating town of Woodstock.

Distance: 11 miles (18 km), with 125 feet (40 m) of ascent


We start with a walk through Capability Brown’s landscape at Blenheim Park, with views towards Blenheim Palace. Farmland and a brief section of Roman Road bring us to another estate, Ditchley Park, again with Churchill connections. Then we encounter woodland and a lovely village and church on our way to Enstone. Distance:

10  ½ miles (17 km), with 375 feet (120 m) of ascent.


A day without any walks programmed and the opportunity to explore the local area independently.


Continuing to follow the River Glyme towards its source, we encounter the sites of medieval villages and more lovely woodland. We pass through the typical Cotswold town of Chipping Norton, followed by more Cotswold villages, before reaching a delightful rural church at Little Rollright. We have an optional one mile diversion to see the Bronze Age Rollright Stones (think of them as an intimate version of Stonehenge) before reaching Long Compton.

Distance: 12½ miles (19.5km), with 840 feet (270m) of ascent.


Emerging from the morning woodland we will have fine views looking down on the Midland Plain. The succession of delightful villages and peaceful farmland continues. After a brief look at the lively market town of Shipton-on-Stour we have easy walking on lanes to our day’s destination.

Distance: 12½ miles (20.5km), with 750 feet (240m) of ascent.


We follow the River Stour walking through woodland and farmland. On our approach to Stratford we can visit Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare was christened, married and buried, before walking through the town with which he is most associated, to finish our journey next to the house where he was born.  

Distance: 11 ½ miles (18 km), with 310 feet (100 m) of ascent.



Harrington House

In one of the prettiest spots in the Cotswolds, Harrington House provides a stylish escape in the form of a traditional country retreat, with the trimmings and flourishes you’d expect. All set in a stately Georgian house that mirrors the mellow architectural styles of the Cotswolds and retains many of its original features; the most breathtaking is the sunny walled garden, surrounded by attractive landscaped gardens. As well as 29 bedrooms, two lounges, a cosy bar and pleasant dining room, there are further feathers in this handsome house’s hat. Quintessential English countryside, described by JB Priestly as, ‘the most English and least spoiled of all our countryside’, is just a short stroll away with pretty villages such as Chipping Campden and the Slaughters, rolling landscapes and classic trails from the Cotswold Way to the Gloucestershire Way and Monarch Way waiting for you to discover them.

At the house

  • 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 law

Dining

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.
  • Take your fill from our famous self-service picnic lunches
  • A relaxed social dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses

Your evenings

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.

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

Rooms

Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in one of the main building’s beautifully presented rooms or in the adjacent cottages. With 26 bright and airy bedrooms, Harrington House has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good, Better and Best Rooms to choose from: for a stylish stay opt for rooms 1 or 2, both large master bedrooms located on the first floor that come complete with some of the original Palladian features dating back to 1730, pretty feature wallpaper and views out of the front of the building of classic Cotswolds scenery. Alternatively, for a romantic hideaway, plump for Room 23 in the Windrush Cottage and toast your good taste in the private garden that adjoins this large twin room.

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.

Facilities

Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, attractive garden, multi-purpose activity room, lounge, library and board games to borrow

After a day ambling through the Cotswolds, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Relax by sitting in the gardens or having a game of croquet on the lawn. Retire to either of the two lounges or climb the sweeping stately staircase to the very top of the house where there’s an observatory looking out across the rooftops of the village. Then pop in to the snug bar for a pint of local ale and a chin wag with fellow guests about their discoveries.

Food & Drink

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Harrington House is hearty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might tuck in to Cotswold leg of lamb, Bibury rainbow trout and a selection of Gloucestershire cheeses, accompanied with Harrington House homemade chutneys.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

10537_0039 - Harrington exterior

Getting to Harrington House

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

More Information

What to Bring

Essential Equipment

To enjoy walking/hiking comfortably and safely, footwear, clothing and equipment needs to be suitable for the conditions. Safety is our priority and Britain is famous for its changeable weather, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities.

  • Footwear with a good grip on the sole (e.g.Vibram sole) is the key to avoiding accidents
  • Walking/hiking boots providing ankle support and good grip are recommended (ideally worn in), and specialist walking socks to avoid blisters
  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed, are better than a single layer (include spares)
  • Fabrics (lightweight and fast drying) designed for the outdoors are recommended
  • Waterproof jacket and waterproof over trousers
  • Warm hat and gloves. Gaiters are an optional but useful extra
  • Denim jeans and capes are not suitable on any walks
  • Rucksack with a waterproof liner
  • Thermos flask for hot drink
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre)
  • Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar
  • Small torch
  • First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed)

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Camera

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change.
Non-Member fee: £10 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Version Price Status Trip Notes Book
2020
12 Jun - 19 Jun 2019 Itinerary £949 Available Book Now
Duration:
7 nights
Type:
Trails
Walking Grade:
2

7 nights from £949pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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