Walking the English Countryside: the Cotswolds and Cornwall
Walk the English Countryside with experts, discovering sweeping landscapes, learning local history, sampling traditional foods and enjoying the vibrant culture of two unique regions.
Program No. 18730RJ
15 days
Starts at
Flights start at
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4.94 Average
Encompassing not one but two of the most iconic destinations England has to offer, and timed perfectly at the most comfortable time of year temperature-wise for hiking (Americanism for what the English call "walking"), this program appealed to me most of all the Road Scholar offerings for its destination of the year, England. The combining of the Cotswolds with Cornwall made it irresistible to me since I had visited neither area despite many previous trips to England. With the addition of city tours in the university city of Oxford, the cathedral city of Wells, and the Roman spa city of Bath, the itinerary was perfectly suited to my interests. Only trouble is I am a fair weather hiker, and our days were visited by rain nearly half the time. So despite the stigma of not soldiering through the wind and wet with this hardy hiking group, especially on the cliff top coastal walks in Cornwall, I got my steps in by exploring villages and landscapes often used as sets in my favorite British TV series such as Father Brown and Doc Martin, not to mention PBS Masterpiece Theater's Poldark and Downton Abbey. One of my British-born neighbors at home was green with envy at my opportunity to see Kelmscott Manor where she's never been, and gardening friends were impressed with the photos I took in the Lost Gardens of Heligan when the entire group got rained out of the day's designated hike. A chance to see Tintagel Castle was enough to woo most of our group from setting out on the final day of hiking when the leaders dropped the majority us off at this British Heritage site. Our two hostelries were also iconic, one being the home of the famous "Pudding Club" and the other the former parsonage for Saint Julitta's church, used in the filming of Doc Martin's wedding. Altogether this program was a big hit in quenching this Anglophile's thirst for lifelong learning about British history & culture, despite her missing some of the "walking" it entailed!
This was a superb experience in every respect. The locations chosen for the hikes, the mix of educational opportunities, the accommodations and the wonderful guides were as good as it gets.
This program included beautiful countryside and beautiful coastline, fast-paced long walks, abundant good food, great accommodation and lots of interesting activities. We really enjoyed it!
There are many programs that take you to the Cotswolds but only one Road Scholar one where you truly experience the beauty and history by walking through the countryside and this is it! Add Cornwall to the mix and you have a perfect trip. Our leader, Heather, was so knowledgeable and made each day one that I'll never forget. Bruce added to the overall experience with his humor and comments; and the 15 other RS participants made the journey so enjoyable.
If you like walking through farmland and villages and across scenic cliffs overlooking the ocean more than anything, this is the trip for you!
One of the very best vacation trips we've ever experienced. The Cotswolds and Cornwall have a tremendous amount of beauty, history and cultural interest, and the design and organization of this trip allowed us to maximize our exposure to what these places and their people have to offer. Highly recommended!
A unique opportunity to feel you are walking through history, from Roman forts to ancient field systems, through medieval cities and Georgian or Victorian-era villages, along coastal bluff with the roaring ocean crashing below and a lighthouse in the distance, through sheep pastures with braying lambs, along meandering rivers with moorhens or a swan and her cygnets gliding peacefully, over green hills sectioned by centuries-old stone walls, over stiles and river fords, along routes long tread by human foot. Enchanting and enriching from beginning to end. Thank you, Road Scholar.
This reviewer did not give a star rating.
Great trip with a great group of people. The leaders were the best -- very supportive to even the slowest of us (me). Accommodations and food - couldn't have asked for better. The scenery - especially in Cornwall - WOW! All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this trip.
This was my first Roads Scholar trip, as well as the first trip I have made solo with an organized group. I was a bit unsure what to expect, but my experience far exceeded my expectations. The pace was just right for me, the places we walked were beautiful, and the food was excellent--I enjoyed it much more than I should have, perhaps. In spite of walking many miles each day, I managed to gain a few pounds. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys walking.
This program came highly recommended by hikers I met on another Road Scholar hiking trip, and I was not disappointed. The true way to fully embrace Cornwall and the Cotwolds is by walking these incredibly lovely footpaths, which have lasted centuries! The scenery, camaraderie, villages, architecture, and the itinerary were indeed memorable. I returned home with a sense of tranquility not typical of other travels. If you like long walks back to back which offer historical stops then you will love this trip.
The walk in the Cotswolds and Cornwall was stupendous. The hikes were through beautiful countryside, and charming villages. The leaders were outstanding - as were the participants! It was a terrific mix of hiking, walking and some poking around in charming locations. Seeing the filming of a scene for Doc Martin in Port Isaac was just icing on the cake. But typical of the opportunities available on this trip. Definitely good value!
What a great trip! First and foremost, please be sure to understand that it is high activity level! The days are full of hiking, exploring new sights such as Saxon churches and museums of local history - one of our favorites was the museum of Roman remains. The hikes are energetic, and high paced. The views are extraordinary. Hiking through lanes, farm fields, along canals and along the coast is exhilarating. And, you'll make a friend or two.
Be prepared to hike through some beautiful country and stretch your legs and stamina climbing up and down the hills. Side trips to Oxford, Wells, Bath and Cirencester were varied and interesting. Field trips to a tin mine, winery and an afternoon tea added to the local interest. As fans of Doc Martin and Poldark we particularly enjoyed our trip in Cornwall to Port Isaac and the surrounding area where they were filmed. I also enjoyed learning about the legend about Tintagel and King Arthur from a couple of enthusiasts in our group. The weather was incredible! Average weather forecasts did not prepare me for the gorgeous weather during our trip in early September. We were most comfortable in shorts and only had one day of hiking in the rain.
Absolutely beautiful hikes! Food very good but perhaps too many desserts. I think that most of our group felt that they'd overeaten.
We hiked through fields of "baaing" sheep and lambs; meadows of wild flowers; horses trotted over to fences as we passed. We walked through Kissing Gates and climbed over Stiles. Cornwall had steep climbs up and down. Hiking the Coast Paths in Cornwall was exceptionally scenic. Food was excellent and our Country House Hotels were very comfortable and interesting. Our Group Leaders, Graham and Stewart, guided us with their expertise. My collapsible trekking poles were easy to pack and were essential to me. This was an Adventure! I am so glad I had this opportunity. The Lost Gardens of Heligan was wonderful. I especially enjoyed walking across the Rope Bridge in the Jungle and the Sleeping Mud Maid.
This is a strenuous hiking program, though doable for most active adults. There is little free-time during the days with only brief stops in the villages you walk through which can be disappointing as they were quite charming and I would have liked more time to wander a bit and take our time with lunches. Both the Cotswolds and Cornwall were lovely areas and our guides did a very good job with planning the hikes with the exception of the hike at St. Ives which was not very interesting---I think staying in the town would have been more pleasant for a couple of hours.
Trip was pretty much as presented. The walking was not as difficult as expected ( I am a walker/hiker), and I did not have to use walking sticks. Some did use them, others did not. food was good and plentiful. We were not given a map of the Cotswolds. And they are not as charming as they were probably 50 years ago. I was prepared for this. there was a tourist map available for Cornwall. These walks were more varied and I enjoyed them more.

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