Become immersed in the history and literature of England's Cotswolds as you hike along country lanes and overgrown carriageways to charming villages, such as Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water, Bibury, Chipping Campden, and Broadway—as well as Stratford-upon-Avon and Bath.

Starting at: $5,745 * Price includes special offer Register Interest or Call 833-254-6678
 Hiking through the countryside of the Cotswolds  Village in the Cotswolds  Typical village in the Cotswolds  Snowshill, Cotswolds  A church in the Cotswolds  Signpost in Bath  The Roman baths of Bath, England  Abbey in Bath

A Literary Hike Through the Cotswolds

8 days from $5,745

Become immersed in the history and literature of England's Cotswolds as you hike along country lanes and overgrown carriageways to charming villages, such as Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water, Bibury, Chipping Campden, and Broadway—as well as Stratford-upon-Avon and Bath.

or Call 833-254-6678

SPECIAL OFFER

Save $250 per person when you book by December 28, 2019!*

*Offer valid on new bookings only.

Call Our Active Journeys Specialists at 833-254-6678 (M-F 10 am - 8 pm ET) to Book or to Learn More, or Register Your Interest / Ask Questions Online and we will reach out to schedule a convenient time to talk. For calls from outside of the U.S., please call 510-852-8350.

Overview

Soft rolling green countryside and honey-colored buildings mingle with a rich history in the Cotswolds, making for the quintessential English landscape. Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cotswolds is an idyllic region that remains true to its medieval character and way of life. So too, it was home to literary giants such as Shakespeare and Austen. Become immersed in the region’s history and literature as you hike through its charming villages and storybook landscapes. (Level 3/Daily hikes of 4 to 8 miles. See our Activity Level Description on the Tour Details tab for more information.)

Highlights

  • Countryside Hikes: During daily hikes, follow country lanes and overgrown carriage ways as you gaze upon grassy meadows with flowers, small birds, and the sheep that once enriched the wool trade of yesteryear. Enjoy exploring charming villages, such as Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water, Bibury, Chipping Campden, and Broadway. 
  • Literature and History: Spend an afternoon in Stratford-upon-Avon, visiting sites associated with Shakespeare and attend one of his plays at the Royal Shakespeare Company. In the World Heritage designated city of Bath, visit the Jane Austen Centre, where you’ll learn about her work and the Georgian era in which she lived, plus explore the Roman baths. You’ll also tour Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill, and walk the famous grounds of Highclere Castle.
  • Lodgings: Immerse yourself in the most charming of settings and most comfortable of amenities at historic boutique properties ranging from 17th-century village coaching inns to an urban property comprised of four beautiful Georgian terrace buildings that exude an understated opulence.
  • Small Group Feature: With a small group of no more than 18 people, you'll quickly develop a strong camaraderie with your Adventure Guide and fellow active travelers—resulting in an interesting and enjoyable trip that is also more flexible!

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S.

Day 2 —Arrive in London, England

Arrive in London this morning. Your guides will meet you at London Heathrow Airport for the transfer to Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. An elegant country house, Blenheim Palace was the birthplace of Winston Churchill. Today it still serves as the residence for the Dukes of Marlborough and is a World Heritage Site.

After exploring the lovely grounds and gardens, we will continue to our hotel in the charming Cotswolds village of Moreton-in-Marsh. Gather with your guides and fellow travelers this evening for a welcome dinner. (D)

Day 3 — Moreton-in-Marsh to Chipping Campden

Our first day of hiking starts right from the front door of our hotel. Hike across pretty, rolling countryside to reach the adorable village of Chipping Campden. For those who wish, extend the walk to take in Dover’s Hill, a natural amphitheater on a spur of the Cotswolds which sits above the village. Hike to the top to enjoy views over the green expanse of the Vale of Evesham.

Otherwise, you can stroll the narrow streets and explore before a short transfer takes us back to our hotel mid-afternoon. Dinner is on your own in the village tonight. Hiking 6 miles, 3 hours. Optional 2 miles, 1 hour up Dover’s Hill. (B,L)

Day 4 — Chipping Campden to Stratford-upon-Avon

This morning we set out on a hike along the Cotswolds Way from Chipping Campden to Broadway. Follow country lanes and overgrown carriageways to a small section of woodland. Our destination is the Broadway Tower, a beacon site dating from ancient times and the second highest point in the Cotswolds.

After descending to the village of Broadway for lunch, visit nearby Stratford-upon-Avon, the home of Shakespeare. Follow in the footsteps of the Bard as we explore Shakespeare's birthplace and other famous sites around town.

As a special treat, attend a performance of one of the masterpieces presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Hiking 5 miles, 2-3 hours (B,L,D)

Day 5 – Stow-on-the-Wold and Bourton-on-the-Water

Today’s hike visits some of the most beautiful villages in all of England. Start the day in Stow-on-the-Wold. After a wander through the village, hike south towards the twin villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter. Continuing south, arrive at Bourton-on-the-Water, sometimes called the “Venice of the Cotswolds.”

Enjoy free time to wander the quiet canals and graceful bridges. Lunch is on your own today whenever you find the perfect café to suit your fancy.

This afternoon, a short transfer brings you to the tiny settlement of Bibury, best known for Arlington Row, a famous row of cottages dating back to the 1300s. Hiking 4 miles, 2-3 hours (B,D)

Day 6 — Hiking Into Bath

A one hour transfer takes us to the start of our hike today, following the Cotswolds Way from the village of Cold Ashton directly into the City of Bath. Feel like you stepped back in time as you walk past small villages and traditional English countryside. Our destination today is the City of Bath, whose waters have long been thought to contain healing properties.

We’ll enjoy a delicious lunch in town before visiting some local baths to partake in some traditional treatments – the perfect way to recover from the hike! Dinner will be on your own tonight. Hiking 8 miles, 4-5 hours (B,L)

Day 7 — Jane Austen’s City of Bath

Start the day with a loop hike near Bath. In the quiet morning hours, enjoy the sights and sounds of the English countryside, keeping an eye out for small birds and flowers. After lunch near our hotel, visit the Jane Austen Centre to learn more about one of England’s most famous authors and Bath’s most notable residents.

We will gather at our hotel this evening for a final farewell dinner together. Hiking 6 miles, 3 hours (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Highclere Castle and Departure

Say goodbye to the Cotswolds today. Transfer back to London, stopping along the way to visit the lovely grounds of Highclere Castle, the inspiration for Downton Abbey. We won’t visit the castle itself, as it is closed on Fridays and Saturdays, but there are plenty of viewpoints along our hike.

Arrive back at London Heathrow in time for flights home this evening. Hiking 3 miles, 2 hours (B,L)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)