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Cotswold - 7 dagen

Cotswolds Villages, langs de dorpjes en ‘wolstadjes’ van Noord-Cotswold

zwaarte level 2
De dorpjes en ‘wolstadjes’ van Noord-Cotswold vinden hun oorsprong in de Middeleeuwen. Dankzij de wolhandel kreeg het gewone volk de middelen kleine huisjes te bouwen. Men gebruikte daarvoor de honingkleurige lijmsteen uit deze streek. Elk plaatsje heeft zijn eigen karakter en charme. Bij Chipping Campden kunt u een bezoek brengen aan de wereldberoemde Hidcote Manor Garden. Alle dorpjes zijn verbonden door gemarkeerde voetpaden, ideaal voor een gemakkelijke wandelvakantie. U loopt langs riviertjes, over glooiende velden en door weilanden die vaak door gestapelde muurtjes zijn omgeven. Het wandelarrangement eindigt bij het schitterende kasteel Sudeley, het kasteel waar de laatste vrouw van Hendrik VIII haar laatste levensjaren heeft doorgebracht. De combinatie van middeleeuwse dorpjes, statige manor-houses en steile hellingen met weidse uitzichten maakt Cotswold een ideale wandelbestemming. Note on Cotswold gardens. During this tour you have an opportunity to visit the world famous Hidcote Manor Garden (National Trust) near Chipping Campden. This and other wonderful gardens on the route of this tour such as Kiftsgate and Sezincote are generally closed on 1 or more days each week. To avoid disappointment please ask us about this! C6 (6-night tour): Day 1. Arrive Burford. Train to Charlbury, then taxi to Burford, or bus from Oxford to Burford. Explore town. Day 2. Burford to Bourton-on-the-Water; 10 miles/16km/6hrs. Along Windrush valley. Day 3. Bourton-on-the-Water to Stow-on-the-Wold; longer option via Naunton 11 miles/18km/6hrs; shorter option 5 miles/8km/2.5 hours. Both options include Upper and Lower Slaughter. Day 4. Stow-on-the-Wold to Blockley; 7 miles/12km/4hrs. En route at Bourton-on-the Hill are *Sezincote House & Garden and *Bourton House Garden. Day 5. Blockley to Chipping Campden; 5 miles/8km/3hrs (the walk can be extended to include *Hidcote Manor Garden and/or *Kiftsgate Court Garden). Both gardens can also be reached by local bus (less frequent on Sundays) from Chipping Campden to Mickleton. Day 6. In Chipping Campden. Another chance to visit one of the nearby gardens, or (not Sundays), for a day trip by bus to Stratford-on-Avon and back. Direct bus in each direction about 8 times per day on Mondays to Saturdays, journey time 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Day 7. Departure from Chipping Campden. Bus/taxi to Moreton-in-Marsh, then train; or bus to Stratford-on-Avon. C8 (8-night tour): Days 1 to 6 as C6 (6-night tour); then: Day 7. Chipping Campden to Stanton; 11 miles/17km/6hrs. Route follows Cotswold National Trail via Broadway. Also close to our route is *Snowshill Manor & Garden. Day 8. Stanton to Winchcombe; 10 miles/16km/5.5hrs. En route is the ruin of Hailes Abbey. Near Winchcombe at the end of the day is Sudeley Castle. Both open every day throughout our season. Day 9. Departure from Winchcombe. Taxi to Evesham rail station, then train on the Cotswold Line to Oxford, Reading (for Heathrow and Gatwick airports) and London; or bus/taxi to Cheltenham rail station for trains to all destinations. * Limited opening days: for more details see our separate document ‘Cotswold Villages: houses and gardens open to the public’ (document code HGC). More details of the route Days 1 to 2. We start our walk at the beautifully preserved Oxfordshire market town of Burford, with its wide main street sloping down to the river Windrush. It is a town which still preserves memories of the upheavals accompanying the English Civil War in the 17th century. We follow the Windrush upstream into Gloucestershire, passing the villages of Little Barrington, Windrush and Great and Little Rissington on the way, to Bourton-on-the-Water, once a crossroads on the Roman Fosse Way and now a delightful and ever popular attraction for visitors with its series of footbridges over the Windrush which flows beside the main street. Day 3. From Bourton-on-the-Water we head up the Windrush valley, now narrower and steeper-sided, to the perfectly situated village of Naunton; then across the plateau to the two famous Slaughters (Upper and Lower) on the tiny River Eye. The Slaughters are known as 'thankful' villages since, although they sent men to both world wars, all returned safe home. We continue to the ancient hilltop town of Stow-on-the-Wold, whose streets, now home to a good number of antique shops, crowd around the market square in which the old punishment 'stocks' still stand. Days 4 and 5. From Stow the longer walks continue past the ever-flowing spring of Stow well to the village of Broadwell. Then we continue via Donnington (its brewery still producing traditional English Ale on sale in many local pubs) to Longborough and Bourton-on-the-Hill, near which are the extraordinary Moghul (Indian) architecture of Sezincote House (limited opening), fine gardens at Sezincote and Bourton House (both limited opening), and the famous tree garden of Batsford Arboretum (open daily). Day 4 ends in the well-preserved late 18th century/early 19th century streets of the silk mill town of Blockley. We continue through woods and across farmland to tiny Broad Campden, with its 17th century Quaker Meeting House, and on to celebrated Chipping Campden, doyen of all Cotswold wool towns. Its busy main street is a treasure house of the finest domestic architecture in a range of styles, and also contains the famous market building. It is barely a half-day's walk from Blockley to Chipping Campden, and our itinerary allows time for an excursion on foot or by taxi to the magnificent National Trust gardens four miles away at Hidcote Manor (closed 1 or 2 days per week). Adjacent to Hidcote Manor is another famous garden at Kiftsgate Court, known for its roses and its panoramic views. *n.b. You should check opening days of Sezincote House, Bourton House Garden. Hidcote Manor Garden and Kiftsgate Court Garden, and Snowshill Manor if you want to be sure of visiting some of these attractions. See our separate document entitled: ‘Cotswold Villages: houses and gardens open to the public’ (document code HGC). Day 6. In Chipping Campden. Another chance to visit one of the nearby gardens, or (not Sundays), for a day trip by bus to Stratford-on-Avon and back. Direct bus in each direction about 8 times per day on Mondays to Saturdays, journey time 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Day 7 (6-night tour). Depart Chipping Campden. Bus or taxi (not included in tour price) to rail station at Moreton-in-Marsh on the Cotswold Line, with direct trains to Oxford, Reading (for rail or bus link to Heathrow airport), London Paddington, Worcester and Hereford. Alternatively it is also only a 10 mile/16km bus or taxi ride from Chipping Camden to Stratford-on-Avon. Day 7 (8-night tour). Next you turn south along the Cotswold Way long distance trail (now a designated National Trail) which alternately follows the crest and the foot of the great Cotswold escarpment. We cross from Gloucestershire into Worcestershire and reach the much admired (and much-visited!) village of Broadway, its main street lined with palatial houses of Cotswold stone. We continue to the equally beautiful and quite undeveloped village of Stanton, with an opportunity en route to visit the fine Elizabethan manor at Snowshill, whose name reflects the severe winters which can afflict the higher and more exposed parts of the Cotswolds. Snowshill Manor, owned by the National Trust, is a treasure house of collectors’ items and objets d'art and is open to the public 6 days per week. Days 8 and 9 (8-night tour). After Stanton the Cotswold Way, now in Gloucestershire again, passes the exquisite gatehouse of Stanway Manor (possibly the finest single piece of architecture on this tour - exterior always accessible). The trail then climbs onto the lofty Cotswold lofty escarpment and crosses the impressive iron age hill fort of Beckbury before descending to the ruins of Hailes Abbey (open daily). Until the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII this Cistercian abbey was a staging point on the medieval Salt Way along which salt was transported from mines in Worcestershire to the Thames at Lechlade, whence it was shipped by barge to London. Our tour ends at the ancient town of Winchcombe, once a capital of the kingdom of Mercia. Close by and open daily is Sudeley Castle, where Henry VIII's last wife, Katherine Parr, lived and died. Energetic walkers could also include a visit to the well-preserved long barrow (Neolithic burial chamber) high above Winchcombe at Belas Knap (always open), or to the temporarily uncovered mosaic floor of a Roman 'villa' (manor farm house) in the woods near Sudeley. An extra day at Winchcombe would provide an opportunity to visit both Belas Knap and Sudeley Castle at leisure, or to continue along the National Trail to Cleeve Hill (the highest summit in the Cotswolds) before catching the bus back to Winchcombe. Depart from Winchcombe by taxi to train station at either Evesham or Cheltenham, or by bus to the long-distance bus station at Cheltenham.
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