The Cotswolds & Beyond

Dixie & Dan

3rd - 16th June 2024

Duration: 14 Days / 13 Nights


Overview

With a knowledgeable Wilderness guide, join us on a walking tour showcasing the enchanting nature of the Cotswolds. Spend a couple of days getting acquainted with the city of Oxford before heading for the rolling green fields. Cherished for its pastoral charm, this stunning region in southwest England encompasses lush river valleys, wildflower meadows and villages of honey-coloured stone. Designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the landscape is also rich in history – peppered with ancient ruins, tumbling castles and intriguing archaeological sites. With a fantastic network of quiet rural lanes, leafy bridleways, and winding riverside trails, enjoy discovering the beautiful countryside on foot. Visit historic market towns, traditional local pubs and artisanal shops full of local produce. As the soft evening light slips below the hedgerows, unlace your hiking boots and relax in the warmth of English hospitality, enjoying fresh seasonal food and lovely company.

Highlights

  • Hike through the beautiful pastoral landscape, visiting old churches, haunted ruins and fascinating historical sites.
  • Explore pretty limestone villages full of classic Cotswold architecture and quintessential English charm.
  • Stay in stunning local accommodation, enjoying excellent cuisine and welcoming hospitality.

Day by Day

Day 1 - 3rd June - Travel to Oxford

Touch down in London and catch the train to Oxford. Situated in central southern England, the city is steeped in academic tradition and renowned for its prestigious university, which stands as a symbol of excellence and architectural beauty. Nestled along the banks of the River Thames in England, Oxford University, established in the 12th century, is one of the oldest and most esteemed educational institutions in the world. Beyond its academic allure, Oxford offers charming cobbled streets, picturesque gardens, and a vibrant cultural scene. Settle into your accommodation this evening and take some time to find your feet.

Overnight: Oxford | Old Parsonage
Meals Included: None

Day 2 - 4th June - Exploring Oxford

Today is a day for you to find your feet and explore at your own pace. Oxford unfolds like a captivating journey through time and knowledge. Perhaps begin with a stroll through charming streets, leading to the hallowed halls of the Bodleian Library. A midday pause in Radcliffe Square offers a scenic interlude. Afternoon could be dedicated to discovering the unique charm of Oxford’s colleges, while a tranquil punt along the River Cherwell provides a serene perspective. The day concludes with a delightful dinner at a historic pub or local eatery, wrapping up a day in Oxford characterized by intellectual discovery, architectural marvels, and timeless allure.

Overnight: Oxford | Old Parsonage
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 3 - 5th June - A Final Day in the City

Embarking on a new day in Oxford promises a new tapestry of experiences. Begin with a morning visit to the Ashmolean Museum, where art and artifacts from across the centuries come to life. Wander through the Botanic Garden, a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city, before indulging in a delightful lunch at one of the eclectic eateries on Little Clarendon Street. In the afternoon, venture to the Oxford Castle and Prison, exploring the historical site and enjoying panoramic views from the tower. A meandering walk along the Oxford Canal unveils hidden gems and scenic spots. As evening falls, savour a gourmet dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant or opt for a cosy bistro, rounding off a day in Oxford filled with art, nature, history, and culinary delights.

Overnight: Oxford | Old Parsonage
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 4 - 6th June - Blenheim Palace and Bibury

Meet your Wilderness guide at your hotel this morning and begin your adventure. A short drive north will take you out of the city and into the easterly folds of the Cotswolds. Visit the incredible Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill. After lunch, explore the peaceful grounds before visiting Churchill’s grave in the nearby village of Bladon. Travel to Bibury and visit Arlington Row – a stunning string of cottages built in 1380. This evening, settle into your lovely accommodation, your home for the next four nights.

Overnight: Bibury | The Swan Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 5 - 7th June - The Windrush Valley

Following a leisurely breakfast, enjoy a circular walk through the Windrush Valley. Begin by meandering through the pretty market town of Burford, looking out over sweeping arable fields and passing through the now deserted hamlet of Widford. Not much remains of the settlement now, apart from the tiny 13th-century St Oswald’s Church that sits quietly in a grassy meadow. Enjoy a packed lunch, listening to the skylarks and blackbirds, before returning to Burford. This evening, enjoy an aperitif in the beautiful gardens of your hotel and a delicious, locally sourced dinner.

Overnight: Bibury | The Swan Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 6 - 8th June - Chedworth Roman Villa

After a short, scenic drive, enjoy a walk through the picturesque countryside. Chat with your guide about the history of the area, arriving along the way at the remains of Chedworth Villa – one of the grandest Roman villas in Britain. Tucked beneath old trees, the peaceful tranquillity of the place is matched only by its exceptional insight into life during the Roman period in Britain. Enjoy some time exploring before continuing your ramble through the pastoral landscape. Back at the hotel later this afternoon, unlace your boots and take some time to relax.

Overnight: Bibury | The Swan Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 7 - 9th June - Exploring the Cotswolds

Wake up this morning in the peaceful rural beauty of the Cotswolds. After a leisurely breakfast, join your guide for a scenic walk along the banks of the River Coln. A landscape of green fields and wildflower meadows, tumbling castles and ancient ruins, it is a joy to traverse by foot. Our route will take us through old villages with babbling brooks, past weavers’ cottages with thatched roofs and under the canopy of old deciduous trees. Lunch will be found in the nook of a small village cafe before we continue on our circuit, circling back to Moreton-In-Marsh. Take some time to relax before dinner, perhaps enjoying a deep bubble-filled bath or a glass of fizz in the low-lit, fragrant garden.

Overnight: Bibury | The Swan Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 8 - 10th June - Bourton-on-the-Water and The Slaughters

This morning, enjoy visiting Bourton-on-the-Water, which is regularly voted one of the prettiest villages in England. Known for its five stone bridges that arch across the River Windrush, it’s an idyllic place to enjoy a morning meander. Transfer over to Lower Slaughter and enjoy a circular walk that ribbons its way through the countryside. Along with wonderful views, the trail passes a 16th-century Dovecote and through Upper Slaughter, another quintessential Cotswold village home to a beautiful parish church. After the walk, transfer to your award-winning hotel nestled in the charming town of Chipping Camden.

Overnight: Chipping Campden | Cotswold House
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 9 - 11th June - Snowshill

As sunshine pools in through the open window, enjoy breakfast before heading out with your guide for another cracker of a walk. From Snowshill Manor, stroll through the village and enjoy the sweeping views of the valley towards Stanton. Joining the Cotswolds Way, wander through a quiet woodland, an old orchard and across a babbling brook before returning to the Manor to enjoy piping hot tea and light, springy sponge. Back at your hotel later this afternoon, enjoy a free evening. Either dine at the hotel or stroll down the pretty high street and pop into one of the local restaurants.

Overnight: Chipping Campden | Cotswold House
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 10 - 12th June - The Cotswolds Way

After breakfast, spend the morning hiking a beautiful section of the Cotswold Way – a 164km trail that stretches from the old wool merchants’ town of Chipping Camden to the Roman city of Bath. Along the way, pause to ascend the famous gothic folly Broadway Tower, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Overnight: Chipping Campden | Cotswold House
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 11 - 13th June - Hiking in Dalesford

Transfer to Daylesford this morning and head out on a lovely circular walk. Starting from an organic farm shop, meander past the walled gardens and the stables before strolling along fields fringed with wildflowers and down to the Jacobean manor house of Chastleton. Meander through a leafy avenue of trees and emerge in Adlestrop – a village connected to the well-loved English novelist Jane Austen. On your return, visit the ancient site of the Rollright Stones and learn about the history and folklore of the King’s Men and the Whispering Knights.

Overnight: Chipping Campden | Cotswold House
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 12 - 14th June - Return to Oxford

Enjoy a relaxing start to the day with a traditional English breakfast and a large cup of fresh coffee. Afterwards, you’ll transfer through the Cotswolds to the historic city of Oxford, your home for the final couple of nights. Here, your guide will drop you at your hotel and say their farewells. After you’ve settled in, you may wish to head out and explore on foot for the afternoon, marvelling at the architectural triumphs and sampling some of the local delicacies. Settle in this evening and enjoy a glass of wine to the sound of the city.

Overnight: Oxford | The Old Parsonage
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 13 - 15th June - Relaxing in Oxford

Today, enjoy a free day exploring Oxford and perhaps take the day to relax at your hotel. Enjoy observing the stunning Georgian architecture and soaking in the sights and sounds of the city. Oxford has a compact city centre with an outstanding collection of world-famous buildings. Its origins lie in the late Saxon period and its original street pattern still survives along with some of its earliest monuments. It contains one of the best-preserved groups of medieval and later university buildings in the world and a wealth of architectural gems from the classical to the modern.

Overnight: Oxford | The Old Parsonage
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 14 - 16th June - Depart for London

As the beautiful Georgian architecture presses honey-yellow against the blue sky, soak in the sights and sounds of a city founded by the Romans for well-being and relaxation. Depending on your onward travel plans, you may wish to spend the morning wandering the city before waving goodbye and travelling to London to begin your journey home.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • All accommodation from Day 1 to Day 14
  • Most meals as indicated above
  • Services of an experienced and knowledgeable qualified guide from Day 4 to Day 12
  • Ground transportation from Day 4 to Day 12
  • All guided hikes and activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personalised trip design and delivery
  • Snacks throughout the trip
  • 24-hour in-country support from the Wilderness Team
Exclusions Read More
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Activities and entrance fees not mentioned in the inclusions
Pricing Read More

The price of this trip is £9,095 per person and is based on availability at the time of booking.

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