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Hand-Picked Cotswolds –Walking Tour Classic

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Highlights
  • Stratford upon Avon – birthplace of Shakespeare
  • Quintessential English villages – Stow on the Wold, Moreton in Marsh, Bourton on the Water and the not at all scary Lower Slaughter
  • Rolling sheep clad hills, river valleys and ancient woodlands
  • Amazing views and a Royal Castle
  • The dreaming spires of Oxford
 Activity options
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Description
You'll discover innumerable stunning hamlets and visit Broadway, Moreton in Marsh, Stow on the Wold, the Slaughters, Bourton on the Water, Winchcombe and Chipping Campden. History and wildlife abound, cosy inns beckon and timeless, glorious landscapes will refresh. The itinerary is relaxed and we have chosen a characterful mix of hotels for you to enjoy and relax in at the end of each day.

You have a choice of itineraries –The shorter 4 night/5 day tour takes you from Stratford upon Avon to Oxford via two of our favourite small towns and Cotswold villages, but if you have a little longer our 7 night/8 day tour takes you on to picturesque Bourton and then one of our favourite day’s walking on to Winchcombe and historic Sudeley Castle where 4 English Queens have lived before returning.

Day One -Stratford upon Avon
The tour startswith your arrival in Stratford on Avon. Check into your hotel located in the heart of the town. The day is yours to explore the Stratford that Shakespeare knew including the houses where he and his family lived. You may also wish to enjoy a Shakespeare play in the evening at the Stratford Theatre.

Day Two -Chipping Campden
Take time to further explore Stratford this morning before your host meets you. He will run through your itinerary and familiarize you with the route before transferring you to Chipping Campden, where a warm welcome awaits at your village accommodation. Often described as the jewel of the Cotswolds, this honey coloured stone village has quite a history to unravel. If you are into gardens, we suggest an afternoon visit to the nearby gems of Hidcote and Kiftsgate. For those keen to get walking there is a short circular route through shaded woodlands and past breathtaking views.Optional 3 miles (5 km) or 5 miles (7 km).

Day Three -Chipping Campden to Moreton-in-Marsh
Today's walk takes you through several charming villages as you wend your way up and then down to the market town of Moreton in Marsh. Follow a charming brook through a steep sided valley to enter hilly grazing land. Flank woodlands, ancient parks and take in Batsford Arboretum if that appeals. Several cosy pubs mark the route and some stunning views. 8 miles (13 km).

SHORT TOUR
Day Four –Moreton in Marsh to Oxford
Spend some time this morning exploring Moreton in Marsh –there is plenty to do locally or just enjoy a wander around the quaint and interesting shops before catching the train to Oxford where you can spend the afternoon taking a walking tour (or bus tour!) of this stunning city. Spend your last night soaking up the atmosphere.

Day Five–Explore Oxford
Enjoy the treasures of this beautiful city today and stroll through the lovely colleges of the University with their magnificent architecture and gardens. Take in the museums, galleries and libraries galore, and perhaps a concert or play. Discover the little tea rooms and fine restaurants, the unique shops and back streets and the river backwaters dotted with punters and rowing eights.

LONGER TOUR
Day Four -Moreton In Marsh to Bourton On Water
Full of interest, this walk takes you over the high Wolds and through some idyllic villages to Stow on the Wold with its characterful market square and antique shops. Its then a downhill walk through picturesque water meadows and a mill on the River Dickler to charming Lower Slaughter. A little further on lies Bourton on Water, nestled in a valley with the River Windrush flowing through its heart. Sometimes described as the Venice of the Cotswolds, the village has your overnight stop located at its centre.12 miles (19 km).

Day Five -Bourton On Water to Winchcombe
Perhaps the tour's most idyllic day of walking, you follow the Windrush Valley this morning and discover yet more classic Cotswold villages. The footpath leads through sheltered woods before you take a very pretty descent down the Cotswold scarp with amazing views. Stop at Sudeley Castle if you wish, where many Royal tales can be told before relaxing in Winchcombe -an unspoilt small Cotswold town.12 miles (19 km).

Day Six -Winchcombe to Broadway
Walking for much of the time below the scarp face of the Cotswolds, this is a gentle day -a lowland treasure of long views and tiny villages, of superb specimen trees and individual buildings that make you pause and wonder. There's splendour, peace and finally the bustle of Broadway where you will spend the night.10 miles (16 km).

Day Seven -Broadway to Chipping Campden
This is a dramatic end to the tour with a short but steep ascent up the Cotswold scarp to the Broadway Tower with its stunning panoramic view. This is not the only big view of the day before you slip quietly into elegant Chipping Campden, a market town without equal and a fitting finish to the highlights of the Cotswolds. We will meet you after lunch and transfer you to Moreton in Marsh station for the short train ride to Oxford. Spend the afternoon getting to know the ‘dreaming spires’ and ancient history of this famous city.4 miles (7 km).

Day Eight –Explore Oxford
Enjoy the treasures of this beautiful city today and stroll through the lovely colleges of the University with their magnificent architecture and gardens. Take in the museums, galleries and libraries galore, and perhaps a concert or play. Discover the little tea rooms and fine restaurants, the unique shops and back streets and the river backwaters dotted with punters and rowing eights. 
Additional Information
Inclusions:
  • 4 or 7 Nights en-suite accommodation with full English Breakfast.
  • The services of our friendly local host to welcome and brief you, share their local knowledge and look after you.
  • Transfer from Stratford to Chipping Campden on Day 2
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Train fare between Moreton in Marsh and Oxford
  • Transfer from Chipping Campden to Moreton in Marsh Day Seven (longer tour only)
  • Emergency 24 hour phone number and support
  • Adventure Handbook - packed full of information, history and photos of the area your tour covers, as well as The Carter Company's insider tips on how to discover the local secrets and hidden gems most tourists never see!
  • Written Route Directions and OS maps with your route marked
Exclusions
  • NOT INCLUDED: airfares, travel to and from the trip start and finish points unless specified, entrances to attractions unless specified, boat fares unless specified, lunches and dinners unless specified, alcoholic beverages, mini bars and meals pre and post the trip.