ENGLANDíS COTSWOLDS WALK
A walk for discerning people who enjoy staying at a relaxed, warm and comfortable home mixed with exercise in the fresh air, beautiful scenery, charming architecture, lush gardens and congenial company. In short, it is a walking vacation in Englandís cotswolds, a favorite among visitors.
The Cotswolds is an area of England which lies to the north and west of London and is famed for its unspoiled countryside and villages. The area takes you into the Cotswolds Hills. These great whale backed limestone hills stretch from Wotton-Under-Edge in the south to Chipping Camden in the north, a distance of about miles. They are considered to be one of the most beautiful and unspoiled regions of England. The area is softly rolling hills divided by stone walls and trout streams and broken up by beech woods and charming villages of honey colored Cotswolds stone. Since the Middle Ages, sheep farming has allowed these peaceful communities to make a prosperous living which has resulted in beautiful architecture from every period since.
This is a walk through the most scenic part of the Cotswolds along woodland paths, tracks and fields covering between ten and twelve miles a day.
There are many highlights to this walking tour. Each day brings something special. But one of the most dramatic and memorable is the visit to Sudley Castle gardens, home of Lord and Lady Ashcombe, considered one of the most beautiful and romantic gardens in England. You will visit Bibury, which has been described as the most beautiful village in England.
Your base will be The Taller, a lovingly restored country house beautifully sited in the midst of this sweeping countryside, or a local guesthouse. Each room is beautifully decorated and is complete with ensuite bathroom.
A day of arrival and pickup from Kemble Railway Station, near Cirencester. You will be taken to your accommodations for your first night. Accommodations will be at one of three lovely restored guesthouses.
To Coln St. Dennis and down one of the most delightful valleys in the Cotswolds, the valley of the River Coln. There are horses, stable yards, barns, farms, manor houses and ancient churches. You will stop for refreshments at Coln St. Roger and explore its one thousand year old Saxon church, mostly intact. At lunchtime you arrive at Bibury, described by William Morris as the most beautiful village in England. You will pass Arlington Row, originally a 14th century wool store, altered to weavers cottages. You follow the river past the Norman Church and its well kept churchyard, and arrive at Bibury Court. This stately many gabled Jacobean manor house, towering above its glorious garden, was once the home of the Sackville family. After a picnic lunch by the banks of the river, you will follow the valley away from Bibury where it becomes even lusher, a sweet gentle countryside sheltered and fertile. At Quenington you will rest and enjoy the unusual Norman church doorways, probably built by the Knights Hospitallers. Move on to Fairford, a medieval town and an important posting stage on the old London to Gloucester coaching runs. Take a guided tour of its church including its world famous set of medieval stained glass windows. On to the delightful village pub at Barnsley for dinner. Walk approximately 9 miles.
You will be driven to Stanton, one of the most perfect and distinguished villages on the Cotswolds. Nearly all the houses are in Tudor style, many with thatched roofs. You will visit the 800 year old church. You will walk below the escarpment and through an 18th century deer park past ancient ridge and furrow to arrive at Lord Neidpathís Jacobean house at Stanway. You will pass Stan-way Church. Up the escarpment to the Iron Age fort of Beckbury from where Cromwell watched the destruction of Hailes Abbey. You will walk through the extraordinary village of Farmcote and visit the Saxon church high on the escarpment overlooking the ruins of a Cistercian pilgrimage abbey. After a picnic lunch to the Winchombe Valley and Sudeley. Walk approximately 10 miles.
Start high on the Cotswold edge with amazing views across the Severn towards Wales. You will pass Damsells Mill which wove cloth and ground corn, and Tocknells Court, one of the gems of the Cotswold towns. Have a leisurely lunch in this hillside town of charming narrow streets lined with limestone buildings with a chance to explore the art galleries and antique shops. After lunch you will continue your walk to Painswick House and explore its Roccoco garden. Walk approximately 6 miles.
You will walk to the picturesque village of Miserden to visit its park and garden, where you will rest and have refreshments. This garden has a fine topiary, herbaceous borders within a walled garden, roses and interesting specimen trees, with all this overlooked by 17th century Miser-den House, partly designed by Sir Edwin Luryens. After a picnic lunch you will make your way to the small village of Edgeworth, dominated by its 17th century Manor House built on the site of a Roman villa, and the 700 year old church. You pass Pinbury Park, a converted medieval nunnery before you arrive at Sapperton where you end your walk. You will then be brought back to rest at the Taller. before being taken to The Fossebridge Hotel for dinner. Walk approximately 7 mile.
Visit the Roman town of Cirencester, enjoying its antique and craft shops and Roman Museum. Then you will be taken to Kemble Railway Station, which is on the main line on London, Paddington Station.