Theatre in the Cotswolds
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This holiday provides the opportunity for theatre lovers to enjoy three plays from our base at Bourton-in-the-Water in the Cotswolds, one of which will be at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
- Enjoy performances at excellent theatres such as Stratford, Cheltenham, Oxford or Worcester
- Talks on each play and post-performance discussions to enhance the theatre visits
- Free time to explore the lovely local area using the Discovery Point at the Country House
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 social atmosphere of our holidays – enjoy performances together, eat together and relax together
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
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• Tea and coffee making facilities
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
• 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
• 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
|• Excellent boot and drying rooms
• Main house there is a lounge, dining room and a bar
• 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
|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.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
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.
Other days: Bourton-on-the-Water is a convenient base from which to visit the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford. We spend a day here, with time to visit sites connected with Shakespeare's life and enjoy a performance at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. On the other days we enjoy two further varied performances at a regional theatre, illuminating theatre talks as well as free time to explore the lovely local area by using our Discovery Point at Harrington House.
Productions included in these holidays are given below as they become finalised.
Day 5: Depart after a leisurely breakfast
During the holiday starting on 3rd July, we shall enjoy the following productions together:
Tuesday: Racing Demon by David Hare at the Theatre Royal, Bath
David Hare’s richly intelligent, funny and gripping drama received all four major Best Play Awards when it opened at the National Theatre in 1990 and has since been a hit all over the world.
Four clergymen seek to make sense of their mission in inner-city London whilst facing their own personal crises. David Haig plays Lionel Espy, a cleric whose faith is wavering as his parishioners dwindle; there’s tabloid-hounded gay vicar Harry Henderson; ‘Streaky’ Bacon, a genial reverend with a taste for tequila, and a charismatic young curate, Tony Ferris whose arrival is set to fan the flames, whilst his sexual relationship with his lover turns to ash. The day of judgement is at hand for all.
Wednesday: Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare and adapted by Paul Hart at the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
Paul Hart’s powerful, explosive production of Shakespeare’s immortal tale of an all-consuming love, Romeo and Juliet, will tour nationally and internationally in 2017. The production combines a thrilling contemporary feel with an outstanding ensemble of actor-musicians. Featuring music by Mumford and Sons, The Vaccines, The Civil Wars, Hozier and new original music by Johnny Flynn, the aim of the production is to challenge the way live music is used alongside text and to investigate new responses to Shakespeare's work.
Thursday: Vice Versa by Phil Porter at the Swan Theatre, Stratford upon Avon
A side-splitting comedy romp, lovingly ripped off from the Roman comedies of Plautus by Phil Porter (The Christmas Truce, 2014; A Mad World My Masters, 2013). A wily servant and a pair of wronged young lovers team up to bamboozle a pompous general in this riotous new farce. Dodgy disguises, comic capers and a talking monkey create pandemonium as the tricksters try to save the girl, free the servant and live to tell the tale! Director Janice Honeyman (who directed Antony Sher in the Baxter Theatre’s 2009 production of The Tempest in association with the RSC) piles on the physical fun in this world premiere production.
For our Theatre holiday starting on 9th October, we shall enjoy the following productions together:
Tuesday: Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhry at the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
When elderly widow Daisy Werthan crashes her car one day in 1948, her son hires her a chauffeur, an African-American named Hoke Colburn. Daisy and Hoke’s relationship gets off to a rocky start, but as times change across a 25 year backdrop of prejudice, inequality and civil unrest, a profound and life-altering friendship blossoms in this acclaimed comedy drama.
From its landmark off-Broadway production in 1987 to the remarkable success of the 1989 film version, which was the winner of four Academy Awards including Best Picture, Driving Miss Daisy has touched the hearts of millions worldwide. From her multi award-wining performance in I, Claudius to the epic film Dune, from a Tony nominated performance of Marlene on Broadway to Cabaret in the West End, Dame Siân Phillips has enjoyed a dazzling career which spans more than seven decades. RSC actor and legendary children’s show presenter, Derek Griffiths’ numerous West End credits include the original production of Beauty and the Beast in which he originated the role of Lumière and the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Wednesday: Dido by Christopher Marlowe at the Swan Theatre, Stratford upon Avon
Aeneas is a refugee in exile, fleeing a war-torn Troy and seeking new roots in Europe. Shipwrecked in Carthage, the meddling gods intervene; they fill Queen Dido with all-consuming love for Aeneas. In Marlowe’s unsettling tale of sacrifice, the lovers must decide whether to follow their hearts or fulfil their political destinies. Dido, overwhelmed with passion, is propelled to her terrifying final act.
Director Kimberley Sykes delves into Marlowe’s darkly humorous politics of identity and happiness, creating an urgent world where gods meet man, East meets West, sea meets land and fate hangs by an unforgiving thread.
Thursday: People, Places & Things by Duncan Macmillan at the Oxford Playhouse, Oxford
Following a critically-acclaimed, sold-out season at the National Theatre and in London’s West End, Duncan Macmillan’s People, Places & Things comes to Oxford Playhouse.
Emma was having the time of her life. Now she’s in rehab. Her first step is to admit that she has a problem. But the problem isn’t with Emma, it’s with everything else. She needs to tell the truth. But she's smart enough to know that there's no such thing. When intoxication feels like the only way to survive the modern world, how can she sober up?
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:
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.
Hidcote 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
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.
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
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
Travel to Bourton-on-the-Water
Our address is: Harrington House, Sherborne Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BY
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
Dave is passionate about theatre, and has been so since his 'London youth' (a one shilling and sixpence ticket at the Old Vic to see Olivier in The Merchant of Venice is an early memory!). Now living in North Yorkshire, he believes in supporting regional theatres, aware of their significant role in local communities. Dave is equally enthusiastic about cinema, travelling every year to events such as the Berlin Film Festival. He is also a keen walker, and a walks leader with HF Holidays - as well as leading European City Breaks!
Mike is a professional Blue Badge Guide based at Winchester in Hampshire and enjoys combining the facts and stats with a bit of fun and trivia. A keen historian and member of an archaeology group in Hampshire, he likes nothing better than researching new places and learning about their ‘hidden secrets’ and telling their story. ‘History fascinates me. It’s like pulling at a thread that never stops unravelling.’ He’s also quick to acknowledge though that when people are on holidays, sometimes it’s just about relaxing - sharing a breathtaking piece of landscape or soaking up the atmosphere of a beautiful garden.
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
- Premium single room: £15 per night
- Premium twin/double room: £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person