Three Choirs Festival

Cotswolds

Code: BNAFF

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Activity types:

  • Central location
  • Culture
  • Indoors
From £435.00 - 3 to 7 nights

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Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

No other music festival in the United Kingdom has the history and tradition to match that of the Three Choirs, nor concert venues as beautiful as the three medieval cathedrals. 2017 will be the 301st anniversary of the meeting of choirs of Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester, the venue being Worcester. A very English festival, and the oldest choral festival in the world, the core programme of music features work from English composers.

The 7-night holiday includes tickets to five concerts, the 3-night holiday to two concerts and the 4-night holiday to three concerts. 

Holiday highlights:

  • Soak up the festival atmosphere with a group of like-minded people
  • Get more from the festival with pre-concert talks and informal discussions with our expert leader 
  • Enjoy free time to explore the local area of relax in the Country House 

Great reasons to join us:

  • Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, all essential transport and concert tickets 
  • 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 music together, eat together and relax together

In pictures...

Accommodation

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.
  

Bedrooms

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 no extra charge.

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 £10 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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Facilities

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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Food

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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Evening

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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Accessibility

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

Itinerary

Friday 21 July: 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, enjoy an introductory talk to the festival an illustrated talk.

NB: The final timings for talks in the house, and departure times from the Country House, will be published soon.

Saturday 22 July: Tippet A Child of Our Time

7.45 pm – 10 pm

Worcester Cathedral

Sarah Fox soprano

Hilary Summers alto

Andrew Tortise tenor

Neal Davies bass

Three Choirs Festival Chorus

Philharmonia Orchestra

Peter Nardone conductor

Elgar Great is the Lord 10’

Britten Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes 16’

Tippett A Child of Our Time 72’

Elgar’s opulent 1912 anthem contrasts with the distinct musical styles of Britten and Tippett, marking changes in the musical landscape influenced by two world wars. Taken from Britten’s opera, the Four Sea Interludes depict both the moods and tempers of the North Sea and the opera’s dark protagonist, Peter Grimes. By contrast, Tippett’s contemplative oratorio is a shifting tapestry of light and shade, its spirituals acting like chorales in a Bach Passion and its text reflecting on the individual’s fate, ending with a plea for pacifism.

10pm: Leave Worcester for the Country House

Sunday 23 July: Mendelssohn St Paul

7.45 pm–10.30 pm

Worcester Cathedral

Judith Howarth soprano

Yvonne Howard mezzo-soprano

John Mark Ainsley  tenor

David Stout baritone

Three Choirs Festival Chorus

Philharmonia Orchestra

Geraint Bowen conductor

Mendelssohn St Paul 130’

A rare chance to hear Mendelssohn’s first oratorio rather than the more frequently heard Elijah. Influenced by Bach’s Passions (of which Mendelssohn was an early champion), the work is full of dramatic writing. It contains some glorious melodies, including How Lovely are the Messengers and one of the most beautiful choruses Mendelssohn ever wrote: Happy and Blest are They Who Have Endured.

10.30pm: Leave Worcester for the Country House

Monday 24 July: Departure day/Free day/Arrival day

We say goodbye to our 3-night guests as they depart after a leisurely breakfast, and welcome our 4-night guests 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, this evening. After dinner, enjoy an introductory talk to the festival or an illustrated talk.

For those on the 7-night holiday, enjoy a Free Day to relax in the Country House, or explore the area independently using the Discovery Point in the house.

Tuesday 25 July: Elgar The Dream of Gerontius

7.45 pm–10 pm

Worcester Cathedral

Susan Bickley mezzo-soprano

David Butt Philip tenor

Roderick Williams baritone

Worcester Cathedral Girl Choristers

Three Choirs Festival Chorus

Philharmonia Orchestra

Martyn Brabbins conductor

Elgar The Dream of Gerontius 100’

In the heart of ‘Elgar country’, Gerontius is perhaps the work most synonymous with today’s Three Choirs Festival. In turn both theatrical and breathlessly delicate, earthly and ethereal, there is no wonder this work has endured in audiences’ hearts decade after decade. Conducted tonight by a celebrated champion of British music, Martyn Brabbins, alongside a stellar cast of soloists this is sure to be a memorable performance of a festival favourite.

10pm: Leave Worcester for the Country House

Wednesday 26 July: Janáček Glagolitic Mass

7.45 pm– 9.40 pm

Worcester Cathedral

Natalya Romaniw soprano

Sarah Connolly mezzo-soprano*

Claudia Huckle contralto

Daniel Norman tenor

Ashley Riches bass

Christopher Allsop organ

Three Choirs Festival Chorus

Philharmonia Orchestra

Frank Beermann conductor

Strauss Metamorphosen 26’

Torsten Rasch A Welsh Night* (version premiere) 14’

Janáček Glagolitic Mass 40’

Janáček’s towering Glagolitic Mass is in turns raw, triumphant and affirmational. After its Prague premiere, Janáček wrote that he ‘did not take the path trodden by slippers… we were a fresh spring breeze’. Similarly heartfelt is Strauss’ Metamorphosen, an anguished elegy to a ruined Europe in the closing months of WW2. The premiere of Torsten Rasch’s orchestration of his song cycle A Welsh Night (premiered at the festival in 2015) takes an altogether more private tone, setting lines of fond remembrance from Welsh poet Alun Lewis. 

9.40pm: Leave Worcester for the Country House

Thursday 27 July: Tudor Masterpieces The Cardinall’s Musick

3pm – 4.50 pm

Worcester Cathedral

The Cardinall’s Musick

Andrew Carwood director

Sheppard Gaude, gaude, gaude Maria 14’

Cornysh Ave Maria, mater Dei 3’

Tye Ad te clamamus 3’

Mundy Vox patris caelestis 18’

Taverner Mater Christi sanctissima 6’

Byrd O gloriosa Domina 5’

Tallis Euge caeli porta; Gaude gloriosa 21’

16th century England stood apart from the European mainland with a musical inheritance which was radically different. During the life of Henry VII, English composers produced huge and awe-inspiring settings of texts in honour of the Virgin Mary that influenced Tallis, Sheppard and Mundy. This is a rare opportunity to hear some of these magnificent Tudor ‘symphonies’ in one concert. Full of colour and drama, they push the limits of invention. The programme is punctuated by more modest ‘sorbets’ – the English could excel at miniatures as well!

5.40pm: Leave Worcester for the Country House

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

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. 

Reviews

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
21 Jul 2017 BNAFF - Three Choirs Festival - Bourton-on-the-Water 3 £435.00 Book Now
21 Jul 2017 BNAFF - Three Choirs Festival - Bourton-on-the-Water 7 £995.00 Book Now
24 Jul 2017 BNAFF - Three Choirs Festival - Bourton-on-the-Water 4 £609.00 Book Now

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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