- Exclusive access to Badminton House, home to 12th Duke of Beaufort
- A unique opportunity to play polo before watching the Warwickshire Cup Final polo match
- Visit authentic Cotswold villages off the tourist trail and discover Bath's most captivating sites
- Tour the beautiful gardens at Highgrove House, home to HRH the Prince of Wales
An invitation to rub shoulders with British nobility and to enjoy private and exclusive access to some of England’s most auspicious stately homes, gardens and events.
The largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Great Britain, the Cotswolds are synonymous with bucolic and pastoral settings. Thousands of miles of drystone wall stretch across fields of wheat and barley while sheep lazily graze on impossibly green grass. Wooded glades and lush meadows border meandering streams and rolling green hills are dotted with iconic limestone villages. Thatched cottages nestle in patchwork fields, stout Norman churches are surrounded by crumbling cemeteries, and traditional country inns serve traditional, refreshing ales and delicious meals. This picture of an idyllic England may sound like the stuff of Jane Austen or Thomas Hardy novels but still survives and thrives in the Cotswolds. The charm and allure of the Cotswolds has attracted visitors for centuries and its perfectly preserved appearance and way of life has inspired countless artists, writers and thinkers.
The surface of the Cotswolds is picturesque. What lies beneath is fascinating. This tour goes on a journey through quintessential English villages and beautiful countryside. Our local guides will explain the incredible history of the Cotswolds and will introduce you to some of the charismatic people and characters who live here. Explore the Cotswold's hidden gems then journey to Bath with its world famous Roman Baths, majestic Abbey and museums. Try fly-fishing for trout at Heale House, stroll around the private gardens of HRH the Prince of Wales, have a go at polo, join nobility to watch England’s top Polo Trophy Cup and have a private lunch at Badminton House, the private home to the Dukes of Beaufort.
So often, the reality of a popular tourist destination does not live up to the reputation. Here, the opposite is true; the real Cotswolds is far more alluring, more beautiful and more inspirational than you can possibly imagine.
Why travel to the Cotswolds with Steppes Travel?
We know the Cotswolds; it is our home and we are excited about showing you our favourite bits. We are based in the capital of the Cotswolds, Cirencester and everyone who works for Steppes lives locally. This means we have special connections and unique access to some of the Cotswolds most interesting sites. Every day of your trip has been specially planned to give you special experiences and encounters that other operators just don't offer.
What can I expect from the accommodation on this Cotswolds Tour?
The hotels we have chosen for you are some of the very best in the area. All would have been private family homes in the past and have been lovingly converted into five-star luxury establishments, where modern style and décor blends harmoniously with Cotswold charm and character.
Pubs, restaurants and hotels all offer high quality, locally sourced, fresh, seasonal produce, cooked to perfection by talented chefs who are typically the proprietors of their respective businesses.
what is the food like?
The days of England being synonymous with overcooked vegetables and stodgy puddings are mercifully, long behind us. At this time of the year, you can expect wonderful fresh vegetables and organically farmed meats from local Cotswold farms. Asparagus is in full season at this time of year and whether you prefer it served simply with lemon and butter or more extravagantly with hollandaise sauce, English asparagus is unbeatable. In June, carnivores in rural England are spoilt for choice with spring lamb being on the menu while other local specialities include game such as rabbit and venison. Fish and seafood is particularly good in the UK and in the Cotswolds, locally caught rainbow trout is a favourite as are scallops and fresh crab. Most of your meals have been included in the cost of the trip as we want your dining experiences to be some of the happiest memories from your holiday. Dining at the Michelin star restaurant at Lucknam Park Hotel, taking a private lunch in the Old Hall at Badminton House or enjoying a traditional English picnic while watching the polo will likely be highlights of this holiday to the Costwolds.
What is the shopping like?
We have put together a busy and fulfilling itinerary however there will be a few opportunities to explore on your own, and if the mood takes you, do some shopping. Hundreds of farmers, growers, artisans and entrepreneurs contribute to a thriving community of independent Cotswold traders producing the finest goods and services. Artisan foods such as bread and cheese, honey and chocolate are widely available in shops, emporiums and markets.
Throughout the Cotswolds you’ll find galleries and boutiques offering fine art, handmade crafts like pottery, wood carvings, jewellery and stonework, as well as antiques and high-quality clothing brands such as Barbour and Hunter. Antique shops and markets are particulalry good in Bath and Tetbury, where you will have time to explore independently.
Is previous riding experience needed to try my hand at polo?
There is no need for you to have sat on a horse before you try your hand at polo but clearly previous experience of horse riding will help you feel more comfortable. Our experts will be on hand to gently guide you every step of the way and help you to maximise your enjoyment of this amazing, unique experience.
For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.