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Walking in South Wales and the Cotswolds (plus London )

United Kingdom
On this exciting tour we will walk through impressive countryside and picturesque villages led by experienced, expert hiking guides. 
Each day there will be a choice of 3 different levels of walks, each designed for the avid walker. The gentle walks will range from 5 - 6 kms with ascents of up to 150m.  More challenging walks will also be offered daily for those interested.

The first 7 nights will be in the Cotswolds town of Bourton-on-the-Water (voted one of England’s prettiest towns), where gentle hills, picture-postcard villages and tempting tea shops combine to make this quintessentially English countryside perfect for walking. Here we will stay at the Harrington House, which retains many of its stunning original Georgian features - the most breathtaking is the sunny walled garden with a landscape of green rolling hills and timeless golden stone villages in the background. 

We will spend the following 3 nights in Brecon (Wales) - a quaint market town at the foot of the Brecon Beacons - an area of sweeping high moorland and beautiful green valleys. Our hotel, the historic Nythfa House, is a charming country house on the edge of Brecon within easy reach of the Brecon Beacons National Park and many fine walking areas - a location is perfect for walkers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Our final 2 nights will be at a centrally located hotel in ‘everyone’s favorite city’, London.

Tour Highlights:

   • Walking the stunning Cotswolds countryside with green rolling hills criss-crossed by countless footpaths
   • Bath - a UNESCO World Heritage Site
   • Stratford-upon-Avon, including Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Distillery
   • Brecon Beacons National Park 
   • London

* Those participating on this walking tour must be able to complete a minimum of 6 km of walking.

Itinerary / Excursions

We depart for London
We arrive in London and transfer to our country house hotel in the centre of Bourton-on-the Water. On our guided walking over the next few days we’ll discover glorious golden stone villages with thatched cottages, mansions, pastoral countryside and quiet country lanes. This evening is our Welcome Briefing and Dinner.
We start by following the Monarch’s Way before crossing the Windrush Valley, passing some of the quarry lakes to Salmonsbury Camp and Bourton. At the end of our walk there is plenty of time to explore Bourton-on-the-Water. Enjoy a pint in one of the pubs, visit the shops, or find a bench beside the River Windrush and soak up this charming rural village.
Starting at Fish Hill we follow the Cotswold Way with time to visit Broadway Tower. Then we descend to spend time exploring Broadway. Broadway Tower was the brainchild of the great 18th Century landscape designer, Capability Brown. His vision was carried out for the Earl of Coventry and was completed in 1798.
We spend the day in Shakespeare country! We start at Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall, where Shakespeare spent his schooldays, discovered theatre and was educated and inspired to become the world's greatest playwright! There will be free time before we head out to Shakespeare Distillery, where we’ll learn about the history of gin, how it is made and the many different ingredients used. There will of course be a tutored tasting to finish off our day.
 We start this walk by exploring the beautiful 12th century church of Hampnett, with its astonishingly ornate patterns of mock-medieval stencilling. We then follow the Macmillan Way to the small rural parish of Yanworth. Finally we arrive at the Roman Villa at Chedworth.
 We explore Hailes Abbey before walking to Winchcombe. We enjoy the views of the heritage steam railway before arriving at Sudeley Castle. Steeped in history, the castle was home (and now the burial place) of Queen Catherine Parr - one of Henry VIII’s many wives.
We walk along part of the North Cotswolds Diamond Way, crossing undulating farmland and woods, dipping into valleys, before reaching the picture-postcard honey-coloured houses of Chipping Campden - a fine market town whose wealth derived from affluent wool merchants in the 14th and 15th centuries.
We depart the Cotswolds and make our way to Brecon, arriving at our country house hotel, Nythfa House, for a 3-night stay. The hotel is surrounded by hidden coves, breathtaking scenery and some of the best walks in Wales.
(Walk 6km with 60m ascent). We take a circular walk around the lovely town of Crickhowell. After crossing the picturesque Usk bridge, we follow the canal passing the village of Llangattock, then return to explore Crickhowell with its shops, cafes and art galleries featuring local artists.
Our walk starts with a journey on a beautifully restored steam railway line to the top station at Torpantau. Then we walk on a forested track high above Pentwyn Reservoir before descending to a tree-lined path along the Pontsticill Reservoir to Pontsticill station where there is a café and small museum.
Enroute to London we stop in Bath for some free time to explore this UNESCO World Heritage City, famous for its beautiful architecture, Roman Baths and fascinating history which has attracted visitors for centuries. Later we arrive at our central London hotel.
A free day in London to visit or revisit some of the countless attractions. At our Farewell Dinner we will raise a glass to say ‘Cheers’ for this memorable walking tour.
Air Canada takes us home.
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