Landscapes of Longleat and Stourhead
Friday 28 – Sunday 30 June
(2 nights) (easy ‘A/B’ grade: 3-8 miles)
from £312 half board
Splendid mid-summer walking, relaxed and serene, in two of Britain’s favourite landscapes: Stourhead and Longleat. We stay at a stylish boutique hotel adjacent to the Longleat Estate, savouring the delights of sophisticated comfort and award-winning cuisine.
- varied, relaxed and expertly-crafted guided walks in two of England’s most loved and treasured landscapes, led by two friendly, experience, professional and enthusiastic guides
- a delightful old inn, offering comfortable en-suite accommodation and excellent food; wherever possible good country pubs for lunch – a highlight of our days out!
- a very warm welcome with a complimentary glass of good cheer and the congenial company and camaraderie of friendly walkers, comprising singles, couples and friends
- short commentaries and poems on route, highlighting features of special interest, natural and man-made, to provide insight into the area’s history, culture and habitats
- an enhanced sense of well-being that a few days of peace, fresh air, exercise, scenic beauty and close contact with nature gives you, leaving you refreshed, relaxed and restored
What to Expect
Grading of Walks: The routes are suitable for anyone of average fitness, able to walk up to 9 miles on varied terrain for up to 5 hours with a break of approximately 1 hour for lunch. Some ascents and descents can be expected from time to time. On both days the walks consist of a morning loop and an afternoon loop. You can therefore, if you wish, just walk one loop and spend, say, the afternoon exploring Stourhead or Longleat House.
Accommodation: Set in the quintessentially English village of Horningsham, The Bath Arms is a stylish and quirky boutique hotel, relaxed and informal. Lying within Lord Bath’s magnificent Longleat Estate, it’s the kind of place where nothing is too much trouble. The food is excellent, home grown where possible, or otherwise sourced within 50 miles of Longleat. (2 AA Rosettes have been awarded for the quality of the food). For more information, see http://www.batharms.co.uk
Price per person for 2 nights: £312 double and twin rooms; £15 per night supplement for single occupancy of double rooms (there are no single rooms)
- Welcome meeting with complimentary glass of wine
- Stylish, comfortable en-suite accommodation
- 3-course award-winning dinners
- Full English breakfasts to set you up for the day
- Two guided walks
- Mini-bus transport on one day
- Commentaries on features of interest along the way
- Drinks and items of a personal nature
- Gratuities (optional)
Enjoy meeting your fellow guests over a glass of good cheer before we dine together in the hotel’s award-winning restaurant.
Saturday: Heaven’s Gate, Longleat and Shearwater
Glorious woodland and parkland walking through the Longleat Estate to an opulent Elizabethan mansion and picturesque lakes.
Morning: The first view of Longleat as you gently ascend Prospect Hill is unforgettable. As you walk down the azalea- and rhododendron-lined path to Heaven’s Gate, nothing quite prepares you for the superb panorama that stretches to the distant Mendip Hills. Central to this composition is Longleat House, an exquisite Elizabethan stone manor in a glorious, wooded, lakeside setting that looks like a fairy-tale palace from a distance. You will discover that there is far more to Longleat than the well-known safari park, as we explore a little of the thousands of acres surrounding the Marquess of Bath’s home.
Afternoon: After lunch at The Bath Arms, we explore the unspoilt village of Horningsham itself. Here there are no crowds: you can simply enjoy the wonderful setting of this magical place.
Sunday: White Sheet Hill and Stourhead
Today you can choose to walk 8 miles or to select only the 5-mile morning loop or the 3-mile afternoon loop, thus enabling you to combine walking with visiting Stourhead itself.
Morning: White Sheet Hill Wonderful views westwards over Wiltshire chalk downland to King Alfred’s Tower on the skyline. To the southeast views extend across Blackmore Vale to the Dorset downs beyond. Step back in time to visit this ancient landscape rich in prehistoric monuments, including a rare neolithic camp and an Iron Age hill. (5 miles) Lunch at the Spread Eagle Inn, Stourton, with its 18th-century cottages, ancient church and graceful medieval cross.
Afternoon: Stourhead Estate Arguably one of the finest landscape gardens in the world, often referred to simply as ‘Paradise’. Simply stunning views with numerous classical features, lakes and a series of splendid and unexpected vistas. The walk, set in the rolling beauty of a rich and varied Wiltshire landscape, explores the surrounding farmland and magnificent woodland of exotic trees. (3 miles)
By rail: hourly trains from London Paddington to Frome (2.15 hours) with onward travel by taxi (4 miles).
By road: total mileage from central London 110 miles
Please note that we reserve the right to change the above itinerary if circumstances dictate.
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