Cotswolds Escape

Cotswolds Escape

Behold beautiful rural England and the endearing Cotswolds on this 7-night adventure! Stay in Woodstock and enjoy enriching excursions to Oxford, Blenheim Palace and Shakespeare’s childhood home in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Take in Bath’s stunning architecture and spend a full day exploring the traditional, fairy-tale villages of the Cotswolds. Plus, meet with a local family while touring their traditional farm! Embrace rural England’s breathtaking natural beauty and warm welcome on this fulfilling adventure!

Trip Itinerary:

September 12 Depart gateway city

AHI FlexAir passengers depart for London, England. Please check your luggage from your gateway city to your arrival city. Your claim checks should have the following airport code: LHR.

September 13 London, England | Woodstock

Arrive at London’s Heathrow Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the Arrivals Hall, where an AHI Travel representative will meet you.

Transfer to Woodstock and check in to the Macdonald Bear Hotel. Please note, if you arrive before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available. Spend some time getting familiar with your surroundings. Later, gather for a Welcome Reception, followed by a Welcome Dinner of local cuisine.

September 14 Oxford | Woodstock

Oxford. After breakfast, enjoy a drive to Oxford and reminisce about your own college years while seeing the oldest university in the English-speaking world. There are over 39 colleges at Oxford and, though each is a part of Oxford University, each is also an independent entity. Four British kings, one pope and a host of poets, philosophers, authors, scientists and physicists have graduated from Oxford. Join a walking tour of the university town and visit one of the colleges for a closer look. (Moderate)

Revel in the day’s adventures during a group lunch.

Blenheim Palace. Continue to Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill and a celebrated UNESCO World Heritage site. Located in a park designed by “Capability” Brown, this stately palace was built in the 18th century to celebrate victory over the French in the War of the Spanish Succession. Uncover over three hundred years of history as you see the palace’s elegant state rooms and formal gardens. (Moderate)

Dinner is at your leisure this evening. Perhaps head to the center of Woodstock to visit one of the town’s delightful restaurants or sit down with friends at a Public House to dine on local favorites and a craft beer.

September 15 Stratford-upon-Avon

Enrichment: English Writing Tradition. Join an expert who shares the fascinating life of English writers, from Chaucer to Shakespeare and William Wordsworth.

Stratford-upon-Avon. Step into the life of William Shakespeare with visits to Anne Hathaway’s family home and Shakespeare’s childhood house. The home of Shakespeare’s love, Anne Hathaway, still displays many of the Hathaway family’s personal possessions and furniture. Continue to the home where William Shakespeare grew up before becoming the world’s greatest dramatist. Step into the rooms where he daydreamed as a child, a teenager and a newly married man, and where he perhaps conjured up his critically acclaimed stories of human emotion and conflict. Plus, enjoy exclusive access to 400-year-old documents relating to Shakespeare’s life events, business dealings and theatrical world. As you witness these UNESCO-listed Shakespeare Documents, chief archivists and Shakespeare experts share insights into the life and significant contributions of the great dramatist. (Moderate)

Join your fellow travelers for lunch at a local establishment.

Dinner is at leisure in Woodstock tonight.

September 16 Bourton-on-the-Water | Stow-on-the-Wold | Minster Lovell

Cotswolds District. Delight in breathtaking rural England during an outing to charming Cotswolds villages, each with its own unique history and character. Visit Bourton-on-the-Water, famous for its ancient stone bridges, and Stow-on-the-Wold, designed with narrow lanes that allowed for easy shepherding during the wool trade era. You might also visit Minster Lovell, nestled along the romantic River Windrush. Enjoy panoramic drives through Moreton-in-Marsh, which dates from the Saxon era, and picturesque Chipping Campden, famous for its unusual High Street. (Mild)

Take time for lunch at leisure along the way.

Enrichment: Contemporary England. A local expert discusses modern England, including current events and significant historic moments.

Sit down to a group dinner tonight.

September 17 Cotswolds

Traditional Cotswolds Life. Visit a large rural family farm located in the heart of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Tour the property and learn about the farm’s traditions and operations. Enjoy time to chat with the owners and sit down to a delicious lunch. (Moderate)

After your return to Woodstock, the remainder of the day is at leisure.

September 18 Bath

Bath. Trace rich history as you walk through the well-preserved city of Bath, a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site nestled along the River Avon. Bath was built around the only natural hot spring in Great Britain, and the city was originally an exclusive spa getaway for European aristocrats. View the Roman Baths, and see artifacts offered to Sulis, the healing goddess, as well as remnants of an ancient heating system. Also, admire the stunning architecture of Bath Abbey, Pulteney Bridge and the 18th-century Georgian Royal Crescent, a row of 30 terraced houses with Georgian façades and Romanesque columns. (Moderate)

Free Time: Enjoy time at leisure to make your own discoveries in this sophisticated city. You may wish to relax at the Thermae Bath Spa or visit Bath’s Fashion Museum, which houses a collection of archaic costumes. Find lunch at leisure.

Dinner is at leisure tonight back in Woodstock.

September 19 Woodstock

Discovery: Rousham House and Gardens. Travel by motor coach to the Rousham House and Gardens for a tour of the Gothic manor house and perfectly appointed grounds. Here, the English landscape style highlights the work of William Kent. Rousham represents the first phase of English landscape design and remains almost as Kent left it, one of the few gardens of this date to have escaped alteration, with many features which delighted 18th-century visitors to Rousham still in situ. These include the ponds and cascades in Venus’s Vale, the Cold Bath, the seven-arched Praeneste, Townsend’s Building, the Temple of the Mill, and, on the skyline, a sham ruin known as the ‘Eyecatcher.’ Three 17th-century walled gardens delight with deep herbaceous borders that spill over the paths; peaches, apricots, plums and pear trees trained against the ancient brick walls; and a pool with a fountain surrounded by roses. The property is the purest example of an Augustan landscape garden. (Mild)

After your adventure, return to Woodstock for an afternoon at leisure.

Cap off your English adventure over a Farewell Reception and Dinner tonight.

September 20 Depart for gateway city

After breakfast, bid farewell to London. AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for London’s Heathrow Airport for your return flights home. Your Travel Director will provide the details.

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