War Secrets & Blenheim Palace in the Cotswolds
This trip focuses on two places which have associations with WWII. You’ll visit Blenheim Palace – a grand 18th-century country house set in magnificent landscaped gardens. This World Heritage Site is home to the Duke of Marlborough and was also where Winston Churchill was born. His grave is in nearby Bladon. Next up is a day exploring world-famous Bletchley Park, historic site of Britain’s code-breaking efforts in WWII and where the Enigma machine was invented – the forerunner to modern computers.
- Spend a whole day at Bletchley Park
- Discover the secrets of the code-breaking activities including the Enigma machine
- Visit Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and a World Heritage Site
- High-quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our country house
- The guidance and services of our knowledgeable HF Holidays Leader, ensuring you get the most from your holiday
- All transport on touring days on a comfortable, good-quality mini-coach
- All admissions to places of interest that form part of your holiday itinerary, excluding National Trust and English Heritage properties
You're welcome to check-in to your room from 2:30 p.m. onwards (upgraded rooms from 1 p.m.) Please join us for afternoon tea.
We’ll spend most of the day exploring this magnificent World Heritage palace and its beautiful grounds. As well as finding out about the Dukes of Marlborough, our visit features Blenheim’s many associations with World War II, including stories of evacuation and spies. Winston Churchill was born here – we’ll see the room he was born in, and later, his grave at nearby Bladon.
We visit Bletchley Park to get inside the brilliant minds of the World War II code-breakers. Options for the day include a tour of the site, viewing the mansion and decoding huts, understanding how the Enigma, Lorenz and Bombe machines work, and learning more about Alan Turing and his colleagues. This is not The Imitation Game, this is the real deal!
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.
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
- 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
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
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.
- 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
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.
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.
For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865
What to Bring
To enjoy your holiday comfortably and safely, it’s essential that your clothing and footwear is suitable for the conditions likely to be encountered. Changeable weather is possible throughout the year, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities – hot, cold, wet or dry.
All of our Heritage Tours involve active sightseeing and you should, therefore, be prepared for walking between the sights and wear flat, comfortable shoes. In the evening most guests wear casual clothing. You will probably find a small rucksack or cross-body bag useful for carrying spare clothing, a camera, sun protection, and drinks during the day.
Please be sure to bring your National Trust or English Heritage membership cards if you have them - admissions to sites owned by these two organisations are not included in the price of your holiday. If you are a member of an organisation which has reciprocal arrangements with National Trust or English Heritage, do be sure to bring your membership cards too.
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.
Excellent leader. Did his best to make the holiday as good as possible for each one of the guests on the Discovery Tour.
All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £10 per person.
|Date (Start - End)||Nights||Itinerary||Price||Status||Trip Notes||Book|
17 Apr - 20 Apr
|3||Heritage Tour||£465 £425||Save £40 Per Person||Trip Notes||Book Now|
02 Oct - 05 Oct
|3||Heritage Tour||£465 £425||Save £40 Per Person||Trip Notes||Book Now|
3 nights from £465pp £425pp
...or call 020 3974 8865