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Classic Cotswolds (Tour A)

A two-day tour winding through the pretty and scenic roads of the Cotswolds. This route includes small country towns, chocolate box villages and typically English countryside which covers the counties of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, northern Wiltshire, southern Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

“The most English and the least spoiled of all our countrysides” wrote JB Priestly 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 has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and our suggested route will take you along the most scenic drives, and offers plenty to do and see, from rolling hills and sweeping meadows to bucolic villages and stately homes.

The glorious towns and villages of the Cotswolds look as if they have strayed into the 21st century from another era. The sheep-shaped past here is appealingly evident in striking wool churches and manor houses built by wealthy textile merchants. Flourishes of later heritage include a fine legacy of the Arts and Crafts movement. The tour is based in one of England’s most beautiful villages, Lower Slaughter.

Tour Highlights

  • Visit the amazing and enormous Blenheim Palace
  • Explore one of England’s most beautiful areas
  • Discover picture-perfect honey-stone villages
  • See the haunting ruins of Hailes Abbey
  • Visit the fascinating Snowshill Manor (National Trust)
  • Stroll around the charming village of Broadway
  • See Chedworth Roman Villa

Tour Map


Day 1:  Explore the northern Cotswolds

66 Miles

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 Winchcombe, the Saxon capital of Mercia and the nearby Hailes Abbey. Nearby is the Bugatti Trust and Prescott Hill Climb which will appeal to many car enthusiasts.

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 Stow on the Wold, before heading back to Lower Slaughter.

Day 2:  Visit Blenheim Palace

79 Miles

After a good breakfast leave Lower Slaughter and make your way to Woodstock and visit Blenheim Palace, home to the Dukes of Marlborough, and now a World Heritage Site. Then head through Minster Lovell to Burford and onto the exquisite villages of Bibury and Barnsley. Tour Chedworth Roman Villa before heading back to Lower Slaughter.

Where we'll stay

Stay in the beautiful village of Lower Slaughter near Stow on the Wold, often called England’s prettiest village. We have a choice of two hotels: The Slaughters Inn or Lower Slaughter Manor.

The Slaughters Country Inn offers a unique refreshing twist on luxury country house hotel ethos, with an enviable reputation for exceptionally fine food. A truly splendid 17th century hotel, once an Eton cramming school, standing in four acres of beautiful grounds alongside the River Eye in the centre of Lower Slaughter, is an inspired mix of exciting contemporary design and handsome historic features. Traditional beamed ceilings, stone mullioned windows and the most magnificent fireplace in the bar, all harmonise with a restaurant style that is both bold and contemporary whilst being wonderfully comfortable. During the summer, guests really appreciate lunch or drinks on our Riverside Terrace, a truly charming riverside setting, with wild birds strutting across the lawns, giving every impression of being so appreciative of their beautiful natural habitat. In the cooler months, guests enjoy relaxing in front of the real log fires.

Queen of the Cotswolds, Lower Slaughter Manor reigns supreme; serene and gracious. This lovely manor house displays all the hallmarks of refined, regal luxury and is testimony to inspired contemporary design complementing fine period features to exalted effect. One of the finest 17th C country houses in the south of England, Lower Slaughter Manor stands in its own lovely gardens next to the historic church in the heart of the beautiful Cotswold village of Lower Slaughter. The rooms are as refined and luxurious as you would expect from such a regal manor house hotel; stunning contemporary design works so well with stately architecture to fabulous effect. Dine in either the award-winning restaurant, perhaps the most superbly designed and most comfortable restaurant in the Cotswolds, or al fresco in the lovely gardens.

What's included



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