RMC Travel & The Easthampton Trails Preservation Society present …
The Cotswolds, Bath and London
May 11-22, 2010
The Cotswolds … this area of gentle hills and honey-colored stone villages about 100 miles west of London, has some of the best walking in England. The footpaths are exceptionally well-maintained while the nature of the landscape means that the walking is within the capabilities of almost every one. The Cotswold Hills offer a wealth of historic monuments and buildings from prehistoric times to the present day and our walks include visits to Stone Age burial chambers, Iron Age hills-forts, Roman villas, medieval churches, market towns, manor houses, the canals and mills of the industrial revolution and more. There also will be ample time for sightseeing and admiring the ever-changing landscapes in one of England’s most outstanding natural beauty regions. Then we’re on to Bath, designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and a town that presents some of the finest architectural sights in Europe. We end the tour with a stay in London for some sightseeing, a chance to explore and shop on your own, or attend a show as we end this special journey with a dinner cruise on the Thames River.
• Round-trip air transportation
• Round-trip transportation to JFK
• Round-trip transfers between airport and hotels
• Accommodations in outstanding hotels and Inns
• Airline and hotel taxes
• Service charges at the hotel
• Daily breakfast
• Additional lunches and dinners as indicated
• Sightseeing tour as per itinerary
• Sightseeing entrance fees
•Wonderful walks and easy hikes
• Escorted by a special guide in the Cotswold
• A visit to Hidcote Manor Gardens, one of England's greatest gardens
• Visit to Bourton, claimed to be the 'prettiest village in England'
• The 18th century Broadway Tower from where, it is said, you can see thirteen counties (on a clear day!).
• Optional Skyline walk around the outskirts Bath• Special Thames River Farewell Dinner cruise
(B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Day 1 - Tuesday, May 11: Depart for England
Depart from Montauk or Easthampton to JFK for our flight to Europe.
Day 2 - Wednesday, May 12: To Rodborough (D)
Arrival in London, where our coach and escort will meet us and transfer to The Bear of Rodborough, a 17th century Cotswold coaching inn on a common above the Stroud Valley. If time allows, there will be an introductory walk on Minchinhampton Common, a large swathe of open grassland on the hilltop and slopes of the Cotswold escarpment. It is a really important archaeological landscape, with prehistoric field systems, burial mounds and the remains of a defensive earthwork, known as The Bulwarks. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Note: If time allows, a short walk on Michenhampton Common.
Day 3 - Thursday, May 13: To Stow-on-the-Wold (B/L/D)
After a leisurely breakfast, we transfer to Bourton-on-the-Water, with its series of charming small bridges spanning the gentle River Windrush. We’ll have time to explore Bourton before continuing on foot to the even lovelier Lower Slaughter, one of the many Cotswold villages laying claim to be the 'prettiest village in England'. Then it is on to Stow-on-the-Wold, the highest village in the Cotswolds and the only one with a piazza at its heart rather than a village green. Lunch is included today. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Today’s walk is approximately 3 hours.
Day 4 - Friday, May 14: In Stow-on-the-Wold (B/L)
Board our coach and depart to Moreton-in-Marsh, straddling the old Roman Fosse Way and walk across country. A short diversion to see the grandeur of Sezincote House, an eccentric piece of Mughal architecture sitting in this very English countryside, before passing through the quiet village of Longborough and thence to Broadwell, where the church has some fine old tombs in its yard, and where the pub overlooks the vast green. Walk back to Stow for overnight. Lunch in the pub at Broadwell if it can be arranged (or picnic lunch). Dinner on your own at one of the charming local restaurants or pubs.
Today’s walk is approximately 4 hours.
Day 5 - Saturday, May 15: To Chipping Campden (B/L)
We say goodbye to Stow and after breakfast depart for Moreton-in-Marsh where we start our walk via Blockley, a former wool mill village. Continue to Chipping Campden, the finest of all Cotswold towns, with a high street that is a jumble of magnificent stone houses, a magnificent 'wool' church and still strong associations with the William Morris inspired Arts and Crafts Movement. There will be a short walking tour of Chipping Campden before we settle in at our hotel for the next for three nights. Luggage transferred to Campden and we will have lunch in Blockley. Dinner on your own.
Today’s walk is approximately 3 1/2 hours.
Day 6 - Sunday, May 16: In Chipping Campden (B/L)
We start the day with a walking tour from Chipping Campden to include visit to Hidcote Manor Gardens, one of England's greatest gardens, an Arts & Crafts masterpiece with a series of outdoor rooms each with its own unique character; old roses, unusual plants and trees from around the world; and nestled in the Cotswolds with stunning panoramas across the Vale of Evesham. Return to Campden for overnight. We will have lunch en-route and dinner is on your own.
Today’s walk is approximately 3 hours.
Day 7 – Monday, May 17: In Chipping Campden (B/L/D)
After a hearty breakfast, we will walk along the Cotswold Way (a National Trail of 100 miles linking Chipping Campden with Bath), to Stanton, an almost perfect village much used for films, and walk to the old coaching village of Broadway. Lunch in Broadway and then return to Chipping Campden via Fish Hill and the 18th century folly known as Broadway Tower from where, it is said, you can see thirteen counties (on a clear day!). In the evening, we have our Farewell to the Cotswold Dinner.
Today’s walk is approximately 4 1/2 hours
Day 8 – Tuesday, May 18: To Bath (B)
Transfer to Bath in the morning and before checking in to your hotel, there will be an introductory sightseeing tour. This beautiful Georgian city justly deserves its status as a World Heritage Site, with its delightful terraces, elegant crescents and stunning architecture. On our panoramic tour of the city we’ll see the Royal Crescent, the Circus, Pulteney Bridge, modeled on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, and Bath Abbey. Then into the Roman Baths built over 2,000 years ago and still in perfect working order. Balance of the day free to explore on your own and enjoy a dinner at one of the many quaint restaurants.
Day 9 – Wednesday, May 19: Free day in Bath (B)
Free for independent exploration or an optional Bath Skyline walk of approximately 5 miles around the outskirts of the city. The compact city center offers irresistible shopping and there are plenty of activities to enjoy in the surrounding area. Discover Bath's heritage at the world famous Roman Baths, bathe in Britain's only natural thermal waters at Thermae Bath Spa or visit the 15th century Bath Abbey. From art and history, to fashion and Jane Austen, there really is something for everyone. Dinner on your own.
Optional Bath Skyline walk of city (approximately 5 miles)
Day 10 – Thursday, May 20: Morning departure for London (B)
An early breakfast as we depart for London. After checking into our hotel, we will have a panoramic city tour of London’s West End featuring Piccadilly,Trafalgar Square,Whitehall, Guard at Buckingham Palace and a visit to Westminster Abbey. Return to your hotel and maybe time for a late- afternoon tea - a delicious tea of dainty finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream, home-made preserves and fancy cakes, all served with a selection of teas. This will fortify you for an evening on your own, perhaps to enjoy a play at one of London's many theatres.
Day 11- Friday, May 21: In London – Free day. Evening farewell dinner cruise (B/D)
A full day to explore London on your own. Maybe take in the wonderful new Tate Modern at Bankside. This incredible structure was once a power station, which has now been converted into an incredible exhibition space. Or visit the British Museum opened in 1753 and has prided itself on remaining free for all that time. The British Museum houses more than an incredible 7 million objects and it would probably take a week to see everything … or just walk through the city. Then in the evening, we are off to board our Thames River cruise boat for a wonderful dinner as we sail past “London at Night”. A welcome cocktail awaits you as you board. A live band and singer will provide the background music to your meal whilst London's landmarks provide the background view to your entire evening. The cruise continues with the chance to 'dance beneath the stars' or simply relax and enjoy the rest of this magical evening before returning to your hotel.
Day 12: Saturday, May 22 – To USA (B)
Transfer to the airport for your flight back to JFK and on to the East End.
Note: Itinerary correct at time of printing and subject to change for circumstances beyond our control.
Our Hotels (or similar)
In Rodborough: The Bear of Rodborough Inn
In Stow-on-the World: Grapevine Hotel
In Chipping Campden: Noel Arms Hotel
In Bath: Mercure Francis Hotel
In London: Millennium Gloucester Hotel