Day 1 Sunday: Arrive in Chipping Campden and walking tour of Chipping Campden
Andrew Guppy will meet you at 2pm to welcome you to the Cotswolds and provide an introduction to the week ahead. We take a stroll into Chipping Campden to enjoy a walking tour of one the Cotswold's finest 'wool' towns, where we see the 15th-century parish church, the 17th-century alms houses and market hall. We also have a chance to see how traditional Arts and Crafts are flourishing in the Old Silk Mill being run by a co-operative of artists. Overnight at your accommodation in Chipping Campden or nearby. Group dinner included.
Day 2 Monday: Hidcote Manor and Kiftsgate gardens (walking distance 4 miles/ 6.5 km)
We begin our day by walking to one of the greatest Arts and Crafts inspired gardens in England, Hidcote gardens. It was devised by an American Major Lawrence Johnston. Laid out in a series of outdoor 'rooms' the garden contains many rare plants. Nearby is Kiftsgate Court gardens which has inspired three generations of female gardeners and was instrumental in providing ideas for the formation of Hidcote. We have the chance to walk back to Chipping Campden on a different route or take a taxi back to Chipping Campden or your accommodation for free time. Lunch included.
Day 3 Tuesday: Broadway Tower, Cheltenham Arts and Crafts collection and Stanway House (walking distance 3 miles / 4.8 km)
We begin our day by admiring the fine views from the top of Broadway Tower that stretch across the Vale of Evesham and on into Wales. The tower or folly was often used as a holiday retreat by William Morris and Sir Edward Burne-Jones. We continue south to Cheltenham for a guided tour of the impressive Arts and Crafts collection at the newly renovated Wilson museum. After lunch we walk on to Stanway for a guided tour of the house and watermill before finishing in Stanton. We return to Chipping Campden for some free time and your accommodation. Lunch and group dinner included.
Day 4 Wednesday: Gordon Russell museum and Kelmscott Manor (walking distance 4 miles / 6.5 km)
Completing our tour of Arts and Crafts exhibitions we visit the Gordon Russell museum in Broadway with its fine collection of Arts and Crafts inspired furniture. Making our way south we travel to Kelmscott Manor, a summer retreat shared by William Morris and Dante Gabriel Rossetti from 1871. The house is a natural, 'organic' example of traditional crafts in perfect harmony with its surroundings and the gardens gave Morris inspiration for his textile designs. Overnight in Cirencester. Lunch included.
Day 5 Thursday: Sapperton, Selsley and Cirencester (walking distance 5 miles / 8 km)
Our walking tour begins in Sapperton by visiting the local church and admiring the craftmen's houses. We take a short trek via Pinbury Park and Oakridge to The Daneway Inn for lunch. After lunch we visit the Arts and Crafts church at Selsley before heading back to Cirencester for a guided walking tour of the town or free time to explore the award winning Corinium museum. Overnight in Cirencester. Lunch included.
Day 6 Friday: Bibury and Buscot Park (walking distance 6 miles/9.5 km)
William Morris considered Bibury to be the most beautiful village in England and what better place to enjoy an idyllic stroll along the banks of the river Coln than at Arlington Row. This picturesque set of former weaver’s cottages serves as a timeless reminder of their craftsmanship and endeavour that Morris’s was looking to preserve. After lunch we visit Buscot Park to admire the fabulous mural painting by Sir Edward Burne-Jones; The Briar Rose Series. The house is set in magnificent grounds and time will allow for an afternoon tea. Overnight in Cirencester and group farewell dinner. Dinner and lunch included.
Day 7 Saturday: Departure after breakfast.
NB - on rare occasions it may be necessary to change the sequence of the tours, or a section of a route, due to factors outside our control - i.e. weather, footpath diversions, museum closures etc.
Click to see photos of this tour: Arts and Crafts Guided Tour Photo Gallery
Steven Blake: Before taking early retirement in 2006, Steve worked for 30 years at Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum, where he eventually filled the post of Museum & Collections Manager. He has a particular interest in the history and architecture of Gloucestershire, and especially the County’s medieval churches, and is a member of the Gloucester Diocesan Advisory Committee on the Care of Churches. He is also Chairman of the Gloucestershire Local History Association and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.
Stuart Manton: Originally from Gloucestershire, Stuart lived in the Cotswolds for several years. He is actively involved in landscape conservation for the Woodland Trust, working on the Cotswold escarpment, and has a keen interest in the history of the English Landscape. He has extensive experience of walking in the area, including the Cotswold Way National Trail, and is an active member of local history and naturalist societies.
Jane Bingham: Author of The Cotswolds: A Cultural History (Signal Books and Oxford University Press, 2009) and a prolific writer of history books for young people, Jane also writes on English heritage in the national and local press. Jane gives tours and talks on the Cotswolds and has served twice as a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Oxford Brookes University.
Read more on our blog: Introducing Jane Bingham
Andrew Guppy: Having spent many years as a tour guide for an international travel company finding a career closer to home that was going offer the same rewards was not easy. That opportunity soon arose when the previous owners of Cotswold Walks were looking for someone to take over the running of the company. Having successfully grown the company and living in the heart of the Cotswolds, my passion for walking and leading tours enables me to get out of the office as much as possible to meet clients. I hope to see you soon should you wish to join us on one of our wonderful walking tours.ACCOMMODATIONS OPTIONS
Our tours are priced to suit all budgets and so is the accommodation you select. Rather than being given no choice as to where you stay you have the chance to book exactly wherever suits your budget. We will give you every assistance to book accommodation in or near Chipping Campden and Cirencester and all clients will be collected at the start of each day and transferred back again the end of the day. You might like to select luxury accommodation such as the Dormy House Hotel in Chipping Campden or The King's Head Hotel in Cirencester or a regular B&B suggestion from our hand-picked list. All accommodations will offer en-suite rooms and breakfast and 3 group dinners will also be included. See the Dormy House hotel for yourself on their YouTube video.
Dormy House, Chipping Campden
Lamb Inn, Burford