On this delightful hiking trip, discover dreamy English countryside - rolling hills, hedgerow-lined fields, and postcard-pretty hamlets. Hike from village to village, taking detours to visit iconic sites. Indulge in some Shakespeare with a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon, take in England's grand history with a visit to the World Heritage Site of Blenheim Palace, and explore the beautiful town of Cirencester with its strong Roman influence. Other highlights include a prehistoric white horse carved into a hillside, Neolithic tombs, and sampling pints of the finest bitter - together making the perfect English hiking trip.
Hike through postcard-perfect English countryside, passing through villages such as Chipping Camden, Stow-in-the-Wold and Bourton-on-the-Water
Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Blenheim Palace and the historic Roman town of Cirencester
Stay in welcoming country inns, offering character-filled accommodation and great meals
After meeting in Oxford (easily reached by train from London and Heathrow Airport), take a 30-minute transfer to Blenheim Palace, known for its striking Baroque architecture. Enjoy a private tour of the Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, then stretch your legs on a wander through its wonderful garden and extensive landscaped grounds. Then take a 30-minute transfer into the Cotswolds and to the picturesque village of Burford, home for the next two nights.
Today, embark on the first hiking adventure in the Cotswolds. Hike from one enchanting village to another on good trails, through pastoral green countryside. Highlights include the hamlets of Bourton-on-the-Water (known as the 'Venice of the Cotswolds'), and Lower Slaughter (much nicer than its name suggests) before finishing at the equally lovely Stow-on-the-Wold. A short 15 minute transfer leads back to the hotel in Burford.
Today starts with a short transfer to the historic market town of Chipping Campden, the official start of the Cotswolds Way trail. Set off southward toward the village of Broadway, then up Dover's Hill to take in great views across the region. After checking in to the hotel in Broadway, take an afternoon trip to the medieval market town of Stratford-upon-Avon (30 minutes away), renowned as the 16th-century birthplace of William Shakespeare. There may even be time to catch a show before returning to Broadway.
Today continue on the Cotswolds Way, hiking directly from the hotel southwards out of Broadway on rolling terrain. Climb up to an Iron Age hill fort before descending again to cross fields and some woodland at the bottom of the escarpment. From here, pass through various pretty villages including a ruined abbey and ancient churches before arriving in the Cotswolds town of Winchcombe. A short transfer leads back to the hotel in Broadway, where you spend another night.
After a one-hour transfer into the central Cotswolds, start hiking just north of the hamlet of Painswick, for a climb up to Painswick Beacon. Situated over 900 feet up on the escarpment, it commands a fine vantage point to survey the surroundings. The hike then leads past an Iron Age fort before descending into woodlands which, in early summer, are filled with bluebells and wood anemone. Leaving the woods, descend into the Stroud valley and into the center of Stroud, a town known for its independent shops, cafés, and galleries.
Continue on the Cotswolds Way, hiking from Stroud to the nearby town of Dursley. The route continues into Penn Wood, and onto Coaley Peak, which features stellar views over the Cotswolds and west towards Wales. Climb the little summit of Cam Long Down, and down into the market town of Durlsey, then transfer east to nearby Bibury. Tonight's hotel is located just yards from Arlington Row, a row of 17th-century weavers' cottages often said to be the prettiest street in England. Enjoy a stroll around before dinner.
The final hike of the trip explores the ancient chalk downs of Oxfordshire following ancient trails known as ridgeways. Pass a Neolithic long barrow and chamber tomb site before reaching the end point, the site of Uffington Castle and the famous 'White Horse,' a 360-ft-long prehistoric hillside sculpture that's more than 3,000 years old. Leaving the horse behind, transfer into nearby Cirencester, a historic town of Roman origin, known as the capital of the Cotswolds. Spend the afternoon exploring it and transfer back to Bibury for a final farewell dinner.
After breakfast, transfer back to Oxford where the trip concludes.
MT Sobek works only with expert local guides who take hikers deep into the heart of the English countryside and foster camaraderie at quaint inns.
This custom designed journey for MT Sobek features a visit to one of England's most famous towns, Stratford-upon-Avon, the 16th-century birthplace of William Shakespeare.
Trekkers take in the prehistoric 'White Horse,' a 360-ft-long and 3,000-year-old hillside sculpture, the oldest such site in Britain.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Easy to moderate hikes through the pretty pastoral landscapes of the Cotswolds, paired with guided tours of historic sites and medieval market towns.
Quintessential English inns and charming hotels in ancient buildings, featuring period details, modern amenities, and a welcoming ambience.
Mornings are cool and misty, while afternoons are clear and warm. Rain is common, but you can expect sunshine, too. Summer months can be quite warm.
You will need to travel to the trip's starting point on your own. We will meet you in Oxford at 12pm on Day 1 to gather before boarding our vehicle to start the trip.
You can wear hiking shoes, but cross-trainers will probably get wet. The best footwear for this trip are water-proof walking shoes or lightweight hiking boots.
Yes. If we are staying in the same hotel, you may simply relax at the hotel and explore the nearby villages. When we are changing hotels, you would ride with our guide in the minibus.
Although we do have a support vehicle throughout the day, it is not always quickly accessible to the walkers.
We highly recommend that guests pack their rain gear in their day packs each day. There will be several opportunities to access the vehicle during each day.
On this trip, lunches are either a great picnic lunch on the trail, prepared by your guides, or in a cozy pub along the way. All lunches are included on this trip.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
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