London, Waterperry, Broadway, Chipping Campden, Stow-on-the-Wold, Beckford, Whichford
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Day 1: Beginning Your Adventure in Luxurious London
This morning sees you touching down just outside of London, the largest city in Europe and one of the great metropolises in world history, a center of culture and sophistication unlike anywhere else on Earth. A driver will escort you from the airport to your perfectly situated and incredibly luxurious hotel, where you can drop off your bags before setting out to see some of the city’s best known and loved public parks. Walk beside the shores of the Serpentine and listen to an impassioned bit of oratory at Speakers’ Corner at famous Hyde Park, London’s answer to Central Park and one of the most popular spaces of public greenery in the city. Or you can check out the gorgeous Italian Garden fountains, the darling carvings of elves, gnomes and small animals on the Elfin Oak, and the elegant and opulent Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens.
You also might want to take this opportunity to visit some of London’s best shopping areas, from the fine men’s clothiers on Jermyn Street and Saville Row to the famous fashion houses that line Bond Street to the inimitable grandeur of Beauchamp Place, where celebrities and royalty turn when they need to engage in some retail therapy. Dinner can be had at one of London’s many Michelin-starred restaurants, featuring fare from across the culinary spectrum, from upscale Indian cuisine to some of the best French food in the world.
Day 2: Arriving in the Jewel of the Cotswolds
After a delicious breakfast and a leisurely morning in London, you’ll be driven by private car deep into the delightful and darling English countryside, passing by charming villages and scenery that is simply breathtaking. On your voyage out, you’ll rest at the quaint town of Waterperry, where the famous Waterperry House has stood for 300 years, surrounded by gardens that are of such exquisite beauty that they have been attracted generations of visitors. The former Waterperry School of Horticulture could be found here until 1971. Now the site has been converted to one of the finest gardens in southern England, filled with beautiful beds of roses and alpine plants, a serene riverside walk, a perfectly planned knot garden and a vast array of nurseries and orchards.
Following your afternoon excursion at Waterperry, you’ll be taken to your hotel in the simply stunning village of Broadway, where you can stroll through the street shopping for antiques or visit the nearby Broadway Tower, an 18th-century folly that soars more than fifty feet into the South England sky. Finally, enjoy a delicious dinner in this idyllic setting.
Day 3: A Day of Arts and Crafts in South England
Today you continue your tour of the incomparable English countryside and its most picturesque gardens when you visit the quaint village of Chipping Campden, a former market town that is the epitome of Gloucstershire charm. Here, you can mosey through the winding cobblestone lanes and past the beautiful limestone buildings, stop to peruse the wares at the various antique dealers and marvel at the resplendent terraces of the hotels on High Street, cross under the impressive archs of the Market Hall or gaze upon the lavish memorials and monuments to the kith and kin of a wealthy local silk merchant at the stolid St. James Church.
After exploring Chipping Campden’s many incredible attractions, you’ll tour the impressive exhibits at the Court Barn Museum, where you’ll get a private tour of some of the best pieces from the Cotswold Arts and Crafts Movement that swept the country in centuries past. After a delicious lunch at a neighborhood restaurant, the afternoon is spent at the splendid gardens of Hidcote Manor, the first and best-known Arts and Crafts garden in the country and a truly unique and unforgettable piece of horticultural genius. The gardens at Hidcote are set up in a series of linked “rooms,” each with their own character and charm and filled with a selection of plants that have been lauded by experts for its inimitable beauty and hardiness. You’ll be dazzled by the incredibly shaped topiary and the explosive burst of color in the Fuchsia garden and delighted by the darling hedges and simple yet elegant designs of the White garden; whatever you love in garden design, you’re sure to find it at Hidcote Manor.
Day 4: Stow-on-the-Wold and Cooking with Strawberries
Spend some time today at the darling market town of Stow-on-the-Wold, a center of medieval trade routes that has grown into one of the most delightful villages in South England, home to rich and vibrant fair in every May and October as well as an impressive number of antique shops in the heart of the village.
After a leisurely morning of perusing the wares of the best of these darling establishments, you’ll visit the amazing Kiftsgate Manor, whose gardens have been tended by three generations of dedicated, women which has made them some of the very best in the area. Filled with a wide swath of color that covers nearly the entire spectrum, all laid out in meticulous care to maximize its effect, making the garden nothing less than a living tapestry. Kiftsgate is also home to the world-renowned Kiftsgate rose, a scented climbing rose that can grow to truly astounding sizes while still maintain a grace and delicacy that you would expect from such lovely flora.
The evening presents you a demonstration of how to make some of the most delicious dishes imaginable from that most famous of English summertime fruits: the strawberry. From the delicate balance of fruit, cream and liqueur that is the hallmark of strawberries Romanoff to the elegant presentation of Eton Mess to the indescribable deliciousness of black pepper and strawberry crepes, you’ll be sure to leave this evening with a wide store of recipes to try on friends and family at your next summer get-together.
Day 5: Roses in the Garden, Lavender at Teatime
A delicious breakfast awaits you this morning and prepares you for another exciting day in the heart of the south English countryside, beginning with a visit to the village of Beckford, where you’ll get fascinating tour and demonstration at their world-renowned silk printing factory. Here, you’ll learn about the process of dying and printing silk and silk velvet, the history of the factory and its influence on the town, and the surrounding area before getting a chance to snag some bargains on wholesale fabric and beautiful and tasteful silk items, from scarves to shirts to neckties.
Your next stop is at the 15th century residence of Sudeley Castle, where you’ll find one of the best rose gardens in the country. While the castle is still a private residence – and, thus, not open to the public at all times – we’ve arranged for a splendid tour of the house and the surrounding buildings, where you can marvel at the sumptuous interior and elegant accommodations before turning outside to walk the grounds of its award-winning gardens. The knot garden is a spectacular throwback to the formal gardens of the Renaissance, while the Queen’s Garden features trimmed hedges, magnificent statuary and a rose garden that is simply overflowing with color.
The afternoon features a truly remarkable tea treat, as you’ll take your tea and refreshments in the midst of an endless field of vibrant lavender at the Snowshill Lavender Farm, one of the most beautiful stretches of earth in the entire country, casting a fantastic purple hue over the land as far as the eye can see.
Day 6: Heading Back East to Mighty London
You say goodbye to southern England as you turn east, bound for the banks of the winding River Thames and the bustling streets of London. Your journey back is truly memorable, filled with incredible sights and breathtaking scenery as well as a stop at one of the best potters in the entire country: the famous Octagon Gallery at Whichford Pottery. You can peruse the products of the finest English and Japanese craftsmen, from bowls and jars to jewelry and clothing as well as fine art.
After exploring the wares – and maybe selecting one to take home with you – the journey continues until you reach your elegant London hotel in the mid-afternoon, ready to explore the rest of this truly world capital. You can check out one of London’s most famous sites, like the Palace of Westminster and the ancient and august Tower of London, or experience the blinding brightness and frenetic energy of Piccadilly Circus, the brightest section of city this side of Times Square, before catching a play or a musical at London’s famous West End. You can grab dinner at one of the delicious eateries in Chelsea or near Trafalgar Square or take a nightcap at the bar of the famous Savoy Hotel, where barman Henry Craddock invented some of the most famous cocktails in the mixologist’s lexicon.
Day 7: A Fond Farewell to Enchanting England
After a leisurely morning, a private car will take you to the airport with plenty of time for you to board the flight that will take you back home. Your heart will be filled with the memories of a simply enchanting past week, your bags will be filled with the sensational souvenirs from London and the Cotswolds, and your mind will be filled with the plans of the return visit you’re sure to be planning on the plane ride home.