A two-day tour winding through the pretty and scenic roads of the Cotswolds in the delightful spring weather. This route includes small country towns, chocolate box villages and typically English countryside.
“The most English and the least spoiled of all our countrysides” wrote JB Priestley in 1933.
The honey-yellow stone towns and villages of the Cotswolds have enchanted visitors for generations and it is a perfect touring area with quiet, meandering roads and quaint architecture. This region is an area of outstanding natural beauty and our suggested route will take you along the most scenic drives, and offers plenty to do and see.
THIS TOUR IS NOW FULLY BOOKED
May be subject to change.
Day 1 : 23 April 2017
Arrive in Southrop any time after 3pm and check in to your room. For those arriving early, indulge in afternoon tea, enjoy a stroll through the village, relax in the Olive Garden or explore the kitchen gardens. We shall all be having a welcome dinner at 7.30pm at The Swan.
Day 2 : 24 April 2017
Today’s circular tour takes you round the northern part of the Cotswolds. Surrounded by rolling green hills, dotted with sheep that made the area so rich from the wool trade, visit the towns that prospered during those times. Start with lovely Northleach and then drive onto the stunningly pretty villages of Lower and Upper Slaughter. Head on to Stow on the Wold, a town that made it’s fortune on the medieval wool trade.
Continue on to the quintessentially English, hilltop village that is Snowshill, owned by the National Trust and then the pretty village of Broadway, just over the border in Worcestershire, where the Cotswolds join the Vale of Evesham. Broadway makes a great place to stop for lunch in one of the fine restaurants dotted along the wide main street. Proceed to Hidcote and the famous gardens and then on to Chipping Norton and Burford, before heading back to Southrop. Dinner is not included this evening, by local recommendations will be made.
Day 3 : 25 April 2017
Visit the beautiful village of Bibury, with it’s famed Arlington Row, before driving onto Barnsley, where Barnsley House (now a hotel) has gorgeous gardens by Rosemary Verey. Then it’s on to the Cotswold Water Park followed by the lovely town of Tetbury. Westonbirt Arboretum is the next point of interest. Then turn north to Stroud and Painswick Rococo Gardens. Head onto Winchcombe and Hailes Abbey. Drive back towards Southrop, visiting Chedworth Roman Villa. Dinner is included this evening, again at The Swan.
Day 4 : 26 April 2017
Depart for home at your leisure.
Thyme is a collection of 17th-century, honey-hued stone cottages scattered across the sprawling Southrop Manor estate and offers a classic country break in the Cotswolds. Well, almost: the green pastures, home-farmed cuisine and assorted heirlooms are present and correct, but look closer and you’ll spy mod-rustic interiors and a cookery school prepping future Michelin-star holders.
The rooms are situated in the houses and cottages around the courtyard to the north of the magnificent barns. They are a moment’s walk away from the reception and Baa which sits adjacent to the beautiful Tithe Barn. The Baa is an elegant drawing room where teas, herbal infusions and coffees are served throughout the day. There is a wonderful wine and cocktail list which specialises in carefully selected English wines, sparkling wines and botanical cocktails which take seasonal inspiration from the herbs growing in our gardens, water meadows and hedgerows.
With few exceptions, everything on your plate is grown or farmed on site. Thyme has a two-acre kitchen garden for herbs and vegetables; eggs come from the resident hens, quail and geese, and lambs and pigs are reared in the grounds. The hotel recycles and composts waste, heating comes from a wood-pellet-fuelled boiler or a ground-source heat pump (in the Tithe Barn and cookery school).
Dinners will be at the Swan, just a few moments away in the village centre, a lovely pub-restaurant that has stayed true to its country-pub roots, championing localism (ingredients’ ancestry is traced on the menu) and dishing up hearty portions. Dishes are mostly modern British, with a little Italian and French influence. Breakfast is served in the Tithe Barn.
We have exclusive use of Thyme for this tour.
- An extensively researched and carefully designed itinerary to optimise your trip
- Three nights accommodation in a beautifully luxurious twin or double room
- Full breakfast each morning in the tithe barn
- A three course dinner on two evenings at The Swan, with wine (half a bottle per person)
- A complete route book detailing our suggested route, along with maps, and a tour book detailing places to visit and things to do in the areas you will pass through
- Rally plaque
- A National Trust gift card (worth £10 per person) – can be used against membership, entry or in the gift shops or cafes of any NT property
- Experienced and friendly tour guide – Sarah Dowding, accompanied by Nick Richmond, chiropractor & physical therapist (on hand for any human mechanics)
What’s not included
- Lunches and one evening meal
- Drinks, other than mentioned
- Entry into attractions (although quite a few are free for National Trust & English Heritage members)
- Travel or medical insurance
- This tour is open to all classic, vintage and sports cars of any age
- Please ensure you have suitable travel insurance
- It is a good idea to carry a warning triangle, first-aid kit, fluorescent jacket, set of replacement bulbs and a national identification sticker.
- The most important requirement is that you take pleasure in motoring through fabulous scenery, relish individual, character hotels and enjoy the company of like-minded travellers.