7-Day Private Driving Tour to the Gardens of The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in England, typified by green rolling hills or ‘wolds’, honey-stone buildings and a picturesque idyll. Nestled in the many valleys are some of the world’s top-class formal and country gardens, and arboretums, which are enjoyed throughout the seasons.

per adult from

$1,845

NZD

Duration

6 days

Voucher

Mobile ticket

Select Date and Travellers

No tour options available.

  • What's included :
    • Bed and Breakfast Accommodation
    • Fully comprehensive tour pack with colour coded routes on local maps
    • Smartphone App with GPS
    • Emergency Telephone Assistance
    What's excluded :
    • Transport to and from the Cotswolds
    • Car hire (optional extra)
    • Meals
    • Attraction Entrance Fees
    • Entry/Admission - Batsford Arboretum
    • Entry/Admission - Bourton House Garden
    • Entry/Admission - Birdland
    • Entry/Admission - Chavenage House
    • Entry/Admission - Hidcote Manor Garden
    • Entry/Admission - Kiftsgate Court Gardens
    • Entry/Admission - The Garden at Miserden
    • Entry/Admission - Painswick Rococo Garden
    • Entry/Admission - Snowshill Manor and Garden
    • Entry/Admission - Sudeley Castle
    • Entry/Admission - Westonbirt House and Gardens

  • Day 1: Arrival & Batsford Arboretum (approximate driving time: 1 hour each way)

    Stop At: Batsford Arboretum, Batsford, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 9QB England
    Exiting Cheltenham to the north east, enjoy the scenic drive via Guiting Power and Bourton-on-the-Hill before arriving at Batsford Arboretum near to Moreton-in-Marsh. Batsford Arboretum is home to the country’s largest private collection of trees and shrubs and has something on show all year round. Despite a collection that spans species of the globe, Batsford has a particularly spectacular collection of plants from the Far East, including over 1,300 different trees, shrubs and bamboos. They also have the UK’s National Collection of Japanese Flowering Cherries with at least 70% of the world’s known cultivars growing in the arboretum. Batsford really is a special place. On the return from the garden, many opt to detour to Chipping Campden – a gorgeous market town – and Winchcombe where you will find Sudeley Castle in a gorgeous village setting.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Bourton House Garden, Bourton-on-the-Hill, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 9AE England
    Enjoy the scenic drive from Cheltenham to Bourton-on-the-Water, one of The Cotswolds best known destinations – famous for its meandering, shallow river and its picturesque setting. Bourton House Garden is a stunning, award-winning three-acre garden with an 18th centry Manor House set in the grounds. The garden is known for its extensive terracing and wide herbaceous borders and the gardening team has worked hard to create displays with amazing plant, texture and colour combinations. There is also a knot garden, parterre and topiary walk, along with plenty of water features to spot on your rounds. In 2013, the gardens also opened a unique seven-acre field area which has been planted with specimen trees. On the return to Cheltenham, clients can detour via Stow-on-the-Wold and Upper Slaughter which are both Cotswold must-sees.
    Duration: 1 hour

    No meals included on this day.
    No accommodation included on this day.

    Day 2: Birdland Park & Gardens / Chavenage House

    Stop At: Birdland, Rissington Road Parking: what3words ///pizza.bulky.strikers, Bourton-on-the-Water GL54 2BN England
    Perhaps not what you would expect to find in the small village of Bourton-on-the-Water, but Birdland Parks & Gardens is a fantastic attraction. Nine acres of garden and woodland surrounding the River Windrush, are home to 130 bird species including many rare and unique birds. Originally built by a local Cotswold builder with a passion for birdlife, the park is now home to the only breeding group of King Penguins in the UK. The attraction is known for their extensive conservation programme and offers an interesting and unique day out. When you are done, spend some time in Bourton-on-the-Water before returning to Cheltenham.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Chavenage House, Chavenage, Tetbury GL8 8XP England
    Virtually unchanged for 400 years, Chavenage House is located in the gorgeous market town of Tetbury, which is also famous for the Prince of Wales’ Highgrove Estate. With ownership traced back to the sister of Edward The Confessor (Princess Goda), Chavenage House is loaded with history and is now in the hands of the Lowsley-Williams as a private house. It is surrounded by 35 hectares of landscape park, along with a 19th century ornamental garden. It is best known for its specimen trees, many of which are ancient. Most recently, the house has provided a backdrop for filming of the hit TV series Poldark.
    Duration: 1 hour

    No meals included on this day.
    No accommodation included on this day.

    Day 3: Hidcote Manor Gardens / Kiftsgate Court Gardens

    Stop At: Hidcote Manor Garden, Hidcote Bartrim, Chipping Campden GL55 6LR England
    Leaving Cheltenham to the north, travel through small, idyllic villages including Gotherington, Dumbleton and Broadway arriving at Hidcote Manor Gardens, just a short distance from Stratford-upon-Avon. The Hidcote Manor Gardens were inspired by the Arts & Crafts movement and created by American horticulturalist Major Lawrence Johnston. They are now managed by The National Trust in the UK. Two of Hidcote’s main attractions include The Pillar Garden and The Bathing Pool Garden, which are both nestled in the formal grounds. The Pillar Garden is dominated by vast yew pillars set over three terraces, creating a natural architectural landscape, all offset by delicate, sculptural planting to soften the effect. The Bathing Pool Garden meanwhile is approached through the Fuschia garden emerging to see a burbling fountain with box hedges and topiary yew birds. Guests often elect to return to Cheltenham via a short stint in Stratford-upon-Avon, soaking up all things William Shakespeare.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Kiftsgate Court Gardens, Chipping Campden GL55 6LN England
    Based just beyond the market town of Chipping Campden, a visit to Kiftsgate can be combined with a visit to Hidcote in the same day or explored by itself. Kiftsgate Court is a truly stunning garden and a gorgeous homage to the three generations of women that created the garden. The garden has now been established for over 100 years and as well as the garden itself, visitors are advised to look out for the famous Kiftsgate Rose which is truly stunning. This fabulous garden offers a fairly informal style, complete with a sunken garden, a wildflower garden, a bluebell wood and lots and lots of glorious borders.
    Duration: 1 hour

    No meals included on this day.
    No accommodation included on this day.

    Day 4: Miserden Gardens / Newark Park

    Stop At: The Garden at Miserden, Miserden, Stroud GL6 7JA England
    Located just outside the market town of Stroud, The Gardens at Miserden are often noted for its timeless appeal and spectacular views across the deer park. It is a design that was established for peace and tranquillity and is noted for its yew hedgerows and topiary, combined with herbaceous borders which are a riot of colour. The pinnacle of the garden is a mulberry tree, believed to have been planted in 1620. It has been listed as one of the top 10 most romantic gardens in the world and is definitely not to be missed!
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Wotton-under-Edge, Wotton-under-Edge, Stroud District, Cotswolds, England
    Located just outside the market town of Stroud, The Gardens at Miserden are often noted for its timeless appeal and spectacular views across the deer park. It is a design that was established for peace and tranquillity and is noted for its yew hedgerows and topiary, combined with herbaceous borders which are a riot of colour. The pinnacle of the garden is a mulberry tree, believed to have been planted in 1620. It has been listed as one of the top 10 most romantic gardens in the world and is definitely not to be missed!
    Duration: 1 hour

    No meals included on this day.
    No accommodation included on this day.

    Day 5: Painswick Rococo Gardens / Snowsill Manor Gardens

    Stop At: Painswick Rococo Garden, Gloucester Road, Painswick GL6 6TH England
    Exiting Cheltenham to the South West, the small country roads take clients out to Painswick past Cooper’s Hill – site of the famous Cheeserolling every May where brave (or stupid) competitors chase a wheel of cheese down a VERY steep slope. On past Painswick Beacon, which is worth a stop for the view, clients arrive in the gorgeous village of Painswick. Look out for the church with its 99 yew trees, before proceeding to the Rococo Gardens. The Rococo Gardens combine formal garden design with grandeur and theatre, starting out as a gentleman’s experimental creation rather than a horticultural dream. Perhaps the most famous aspects of the garden are not the flowers, although the planting is stunning, but the quirky architectural features that litter the garden setting. Rococo describes the fashionable art era of the 1700s and this garden does not disappoint.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Snowshill Manor and Garden, Snowshill WR12 7JU England
    Located just south of Broadway this beautiful country drive takes you to Snowshill Manor and Garden. Bought in 1919 by Charles Wade and lovingly restored to its former glory, the house – Snowshill Manor – is home to a lifelong collection of extraordinary treasures. Set in a glorious, traditional English country garden, the gardens follow a traditional ‘room’ model, divided into individual segments, each with unique planting. It includes formal lawns, colourful borders and glorious water features and there are plenty of benches to sit and enjoy. While you are here, don’t miss “Wolf’s Cove” a model village that is being carefully restored.
    Duration: 1 hour

    No meals included on this day.
    No accommodation included on this day.

    Day 6: Sudeley Castle / Westonbirt Arboretum

    Stop At: Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe GL54 5JD England
    One of the few privately-owned castles in the UK that are open to the public, Sudeley Castle is located on the outskirts of the village of Winchcombe. The drive to reach the village is a lovely country route, rising up Cleeve Hill which is the highest point in The Cotswolds, before descending into the village to the Castle. Sudeley Castle has an extensive royal history and in the centre of the gardens you will find St Mary’s Church, final resting place of Queen Katherine Parr’s, Henry VIII’s final wife. The grounds are divided into 10 different gardens which sweep around the Castle and the ruins, each with a unique design and influence, including of course a Secret Garden to add to the allure. Finish the day with an exploration of Winchcombe before returning to Cheltenham.

    As an alternative, clients preferring to take a break from driving can opt to take the traditional heritage railway steam train from Cheltenham to Winchcombe with a short walk to the Castle and grounds.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Westonbirt House and Gardens, Unnamed Road Main entrance off A433 London Road, Tetbury GL8 8QG England
    The scenic drive to Westonbirt Arboretum will take you south from Cheltenham through Painswick and Nailsworth. Arrive at the Arboretum which includes 2,500 tree species from around the globe, including five national tree collections. You can also enjoy the recently installed canopy walkway taking you to the tops of the trees, or opt for a guided door of some of the best-loved treescapes. Westonbirt Arboretum was originally created by the Holford Family in the heyday of Victorian plant hunting, creating a collection which is both internationally renowned and breathtakingly beautiful.

    The number of gardens included will vary based on the duration of the tour. We work on 2 gardens being visited per active day e.g. a three night tour will include up to 6 gardens.

    Duration: 1 hour

    No meals included on this day.
    No accommodation included on this day.
  • Departure Point :
    Cheltenham, UK
    Departure Time :
    9:00 AM
    Return Detail :
    Returns to original departure point
    Hotel Pickup :
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Service animals allowed
    • Near public transportation
    • Most travelers can participate
    • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
    • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

Language

English - Written

Age Req.

-

Fitness Req.

None

Group Size

2

Organised by Compass Holidays

Activity ID: V-70427P4

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