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Summer Events in the Cotswolds

The following events occur throughout the summer months. Other events occur on specific dates and these are found below. We can also arrange tailor made tours and private day tours of the Cotswolds and surrounding areas. Please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page if you would like more information about availability about these events.

Events that occur throughout the Summer:

Events that occur on specific dates:

Select the tours you are interested in by clicking the checkbox next to the title & fill out your details at the bottom of the page and we'll contact you with more information.

Inspector Morse Tour

Date: Every Saturday June-August

Fans of this iconic British detective will love this walking tour of Oxford, through the many streets and past the colleges where he solved his most difficult crimes.Inspector Morse has been shown on US TV, and has become in the UK a cult figure. His irascible character made him one of the best-loved detectives in British TV history. Not forgetting the red Jaguar and his long-suffering sidekick Lewis. If you’ve not heard of him, we will send you a DVD of the show so you can make up your own mind.

TCE Privilege: After you have finished this fascinating tour, we will take you to one of Morse’s favourite pubs for lunch, and, if you wish, arrange for to drive the same model Jaguar through Oxford’s leafy lanes!

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Fountain at the Manor

Stanway House

Dates: June, July and August

Detail: Stanway is a very special Jacobean Manor with beautiful church and tithe barn, set in a pretty village just a few miles from Broadway. Stanway is an outstandingly beautiful example of a Jacobean manor house, owned by Tewkesbury Abbey for 800 years then for 500 years by the Tracy family and their descendants, the Earls of Wemyss. Stanway House is currently the home of Lord and Lady Neidpath.

The house (in the opinion of Fodor’s Great Britain 1998 Guidebook "As perfect and pretty a Cotswold Manor House as anyone is likely to see"), its fascinating furniture, the jewel-like Gatehouse, the church and 14th-century Tithe Barn, the 18th-century water-garden (one of the finest in England), the specimen trees and avenues, the surrounding villages, farms, parkland and woodland – all subtly and harmoniously combine to create an enclave of very English and almost magical harmony. You will be guided round the house and gardens, and taken to the newly-restored Fountain. Lovingly restored a few years ago by Lord Neidpath himself, it is the largest gravity fountain in the world.

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Wingwalking a Wedding

Date: June,July & August

Planning a wedding in 2008 and hoping to get marriage off to a flying start? The happy couple and a highflying vicar are strapped to the top wing of the famous biplanes, before taking to the air for the wedding blessing of a lifetime. Friends and family will watch the airborne ceremony from the team’s beautiful First World War airfield in the heart of the lovely Cotswolds, before enjoying a sumptuous wedding breakfast.

“I can’t imagine a more unique celebration than declaring your vows whilst soaring above the Cotswold countryside,” says one of the professional wingwalkers; “It is such fun to help the bride onto the wing in her bridal gown!” The lovebirds will be prepared for their special day with regular skincare treatments, ensuring the happy couple look wonderful while literally feeling on cloud nine!

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Prescott Speed Hill Climb

Racing car

Sates: June thru September. To be confirmed on enquiry

Drive quietly through the switchback country lanes of Gloucestershire and you could easily miss the entrance to one of the world’s oldest motor-racing venues. In 1937, a muddy and rutted track was converted into a speed climb for the fastest cars of the day. This winding track now runs up through 60 acres of pretty, wooded hillside and hosts a series of international events, for vintage and veteran cars or for today’s fastest racing machines. This is a fun day out.

We will organize everything you need (the obligatory pub lunch nearby, perhaps?) to make this enjoyable. But if, as you read this, your fingers are itching to get your hands on a steering wheel, we can organise you to drive it for yourself! You can go up in almost any car, but surely the only way to do it is in a vintage sports car – Jaguar, MG, Morgan, perhaps. We will provide a qualified instructor, and any special kit you will need. (Goggles should just complete the picture!)

If anyone in your party finds this activity as exciting as watching paint dry, TCE will take them off, after lunch, for another activity; maybe shopping in nearby Cheltenham’s leafy Promenade, or pampering in a sumptuous Spa. In the evening you can re-unite for a meal at a nearby gourmet restaurant to swap stories of speed and relaxation. One thing is for sure – your daily drive on the freeway will never be quite the same again!

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TCE Christian Heritage Tour

c Church

The Cotswolds have such a wealthy Christian history, that we will custom-make your tour to suit your taste. Are you interested in our many beautifully preserved churches of the Saxon or Norman period? Or maybe the grandeur of Tewkesbury Abbey and Gloucester Cathedral, mercifully saved from destruction, or Hailes Abbey which was not, but whose rich history has been preserved for us, as it nestles romantically in the Cotswold Hills.

Or how about John and Charles Wesley (Tewkesbury boasts one of the very first English Baptist Churches); one of many men and women of courage who preached the gospel wherever they could. Or Tyndale, probably the most widely-read man in the world, responsible for translating the New Testament into English. Born here in the Cotswolds, he spent most of his life being persecuted and eventually was martyred in Holland, paying the ultimate price for making the Bible accessible to us.

Or maybe you have distant family buried in a Cotswold churchyard. Give us as many details as you can, and we will research this for you, and then take you to the church in question and show you where your ancestors lived and worked.

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The Fastest Way to Slow Down

River Boat

We can organise a self-drive boat for you, or you can join others in a larger boat. The choice is yours! Although you can book a one-hour trip we would recommend you do it the TCE way: We will collect you from your hotel and drive you to the boat house. We will get you on board your boat armed with a good supply of coffee and cakes (and also a Captain’s hat if you wish to get into the spirit!)

As you take your time sailing up- or down-stream, you will inevitably need to stop for lunch. What would you like – Pub lunch on the river, or picnic hamper on the bank – we will organise it. Another couple of hours cruising and we will collect you and take you for a quick walking tour of Oxford taking in one or two of its finest landmarks, before returning you to your hotel. Your journey will seem very fast after your leisurely day. To be truly decadent, (and why not-you have earned it!), let us take the tiller and drive you for the day, pointing out places of interest on the way.

Warning: Brandishing a cutlass, and threatening to board other boats in the style of Pirates of the Caribbean may be somewhat frowned upon!

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Paint and Picnic at Prinknash

Cotswold Garden

Dates: April – September

Details: Prinknash (pronounced Prin-nich) Bird and Deer Park is set in a wooded valley at the centre of a monastic estate between the impressive new Abbey to the North and the old Abbey, once the hunting lodge of the Abbots of Gloucester and King Henry VIII. The park has an unusually relaxed atmosphere, it is different from many other Bird Parks in that the landscape has been designed as an 18th century park with traditional follies enhanced by beautiful birds and animals. On entering the Park over 50 peacocks and waterfowl welcome you as you walk towards the Love Bird Aviary and the Golden Wood full of golden pheasants leading to the haunted 'Monks' Fish pond' teeming with large fish. Leaving the wood your attention is quickly drawn to the lovely two storey Tudor Wendy House by the lake. A joy for the children who play at being adults, while adults sit and watch wishing they were children.

We’ll provide a picnic for you as you meander around this lovely park, which sits on the edge of the Cotswold escarpment, overlooking the Seven Vale and the Black Mountains beyond. This is an artist’s paradise. Whether you are a complete beginner or experienced painter, we can provide with an easel, stool and paints. The view and the peace will come from Prinknash itself. If you’ve ever wondered how time can slow down so quickly, this is an excellent way to find out, as you capture the view on canvas.

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A Village Cricket Match

Date: May thru September – Weekends

Experience the mystery and fun of a village cricket match, the source of a game that has spread throughout the world. If you want to get under the skin of English village life, you could start here.

Privilege: To the initiated, Cricket is completely mystifying, or as some would say, a true glimpse of eternity! For others it is like an intricate chess match played out in a beautiful setting. Let us show you a fun afternoon in a Cotswold setting. TCE will arrange for you to have instruction over lunch (and maybe a glass of warm beer!), in a country pub. Then we will take you to the game itself, give you a straw hat (absolute necessity!) and watch the game together, culminating in a glass of Champagne and Strawberries and Cream for the essential cricket tea. You will leave tranquil and contented, having begun to understand how a game that can last 5 days with no result can still be interesting. At TCE we know that the US is a great country, but we do believe, until cricket is made one of the national sports, it will not be quite perfect

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The Original Power Breakfast

Dates: April-October

Venue: Chatcombe Shooting School

Details: Traditional country pursuits in the Cotswolds embrace huntin’ shootin’ and fishin’. At Chatcombe, we can arrange for you to have a taste of the shooting side after a tasty breakfast. We’ll collect you from your hotel and drive you to the Chatcombe Estate situated high in the Cotswolds, amid mature, undulating woodland. We will arrange for you to have the appropriate clothing, including wet weather gear if appropriate. In this lovely country setting, enjoy a full English Breakfast before being taught the necessary safety procedures. Then you will be allowed to shoot . The terrain and targets are ideally suited to both Game and Clay Pigeon Shooters whether they are experienced shooters or absolute beginners. Chatcombe Estate combines the essence of the most exciting shooting available. And you may fire at targets which simulate every form of British game bird - Driven Pheasants from ninety feet to over one hundred feet, Crossing Pigeons, Driven Partridges and Snipe.

By prior arrangement you may also receive teaching on fly casting, archery and enjoy gun dog demonstrations. But be warned - at the end of the day, you will have start to feel thoroughly English, and may even begin to enjoy warm beer and start to develop an interest in Cricket! And don’t forget the words of one of England’s finest playwrights – P G Wodehouse: ‘The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether you are at the right or wrong end of the gun.

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Have fun at the Castle

Sudeley Castle

Dates: April – October, by appointment

Venue: Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe

Details: 1000 years ago you would have been imprisoned for this! Sudeley Castle, once the home of Katherine Parr, sits in beautiful gardens in this most charming part of the Cotswolds. It also owns 1200 acres of neighboring land, including terrain ideal for some off-road adventure. If you spend time during the year looking after your car, and keeping it free of mud, well, now’s the time to let your hair down!

We will provide qualified instructors and hardy vehicles as you navigate the slopes and mud-filled gullies in the shadow of Sudeley. At the end of your drive, allow your adrenalin to subside over a leisurely lunch in nearby Winchcombe, before returning to the Castle for a guided tour of the apartments in the afternoon. (If you left your window open during the drive, we will provide somewhere to shower and change.) This way, you will get adventure and culture in the same day. Can life get much better than this? At the end of the afternoon, you will be handed digital photographs of your 4x4 escapade, although you may not be easily recognized behind a mud-splattered windscreen!

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Murder at the Manor

Manor House

Dates: April – October, by appointment

Venue: The Cotswolds

Details:After a game of tennis, or croquet, maybe, on the lawn, you dress for dinner. The setting is a quintessential Cotswold Manor House, owned by the same family for generations. Over a delicious dinner with the owners in their wood-paneled dining room, something extraordinary happens – one of your fellow diners takes a sip of the ’83 Sancerre, and promptly dies at the table, after a suitably theatrical scream!

This is the setting for our murder mystery play, in which you play a crucial part. Fortunately, there is a detective on hand to examine the clues, and interrogate the guests. With a complex and twisting plot, the truth begins to emerge. And eventually the ‘suspects’ are assembled in the library for the denouement! It will be so convincing, you may even suspect you may have been responsible for the victim’s demise. If you can guess, before hand, the identity of the murderer, you will receive a bottle of Dom Perignon and a TCE gift certificate. And when you finally have to make your way to the bedroom in the manor, we will ensure your room has a strong lock on it!

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Events on specific dates:

Open Farm Sunday

Cotswold Farm

Day: 1st June

Details: See a Cotswold Farm in action! Open Farm Sunday is a fantastic opportunity for everyone, young and old to enjoy the living, vibrant countryside. Take time to listen to the birds, soak up the scenery, experience the smells of the farmyard and really get in touch with the land that sustains us all. Discover at first hand what it means to be a Cotswold farmer and taste the produce. So come and feed your senses on Open Farm Sunday. This is an event that will captivate the whole family. Each event will be unique with its own activities - based around the host farm’s own individual story. Activities during the day may include a farm walk, nature trail, tractor & trailer rides, pond dipping, activities for kids, mini farmers market or picnics. When you make your inquiry, we’ll present you with a list of farms taking part, and you can choose the one you like the most.

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Friendship Walk with a difference!

Friendship Walks Logo

Date: 1 June

Breast Cancer Campaign is inviting you to enjoy the summer and the great outdoors by participating in the Cotswold Classic Friendship Walk on Sunday 1 June. Discover what makes the Cotswolds so special by joining us on this 8 mile walk. Enjoy views across to Broadway and as far as the Malvern Hills and trek along some of the National Trails Cotswold Way. Stop for lunch in picturesque Chipping Campden and enjoy the chocolate box characteristics of the town. After lunch you’ll climb up to Dover’s Hill before embarking on a downhill ramble back to the Cotswold Conference Centre on Farncombe Estate. For anyone wishing to experience England at its best then this is the walk for you.

Everyone joining in the fun is asked to raise donations of $100 dollars from friends and family which will be sent to this worthwhile Charity. The Cotswold Experience will be delighted to pay the entry fee for each of our clients who come over and enjoy this day with us. We need your support and fundraising more than ever as we strive to beat breast cancer. Over 44,000 women and 300 men are diagnosed with breast cancer throughout the UK each year. You can help us make a significant impact on breast cancer for the benefit of patients by being active, getting involved and participating in the Cotswold Classic. Please call us so we can register you.

TCE Privilege: Unless you are used to walking this distance regularly, you may feel slightly weary by the end of this walk. You will need a pamper! Allow us to supply a couple of hours pampering in a nearby health spa, followed by a sumptuous and well-deserved meal at a local Cotswold Inn!

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Opera in a Village Setting

Dates: 11th June – 6th July

Venue: Longborough, Gloucestershire

Details: Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, Teatro dell’Opera, Rome….. All wonderful venues, but Longborough? – Read on.. Martin Graham is an unusual man. A great lover of opera, he decided to build his own opera house next to his Cotswold farm. A 485-seater theatre, with room for a large orchestra, combined with excellent acoustics, makes Longborough Opera House a serious venue within a delightful Cotswold setting, overlooking the Evenlode valley.

This is fun in formal surroundings. Come dressed up, and you will be provided with drinks on the lawns outside before the program starts. After the first act, there is a 90 minute interval to enjoy a delicious picnic, on a warm summer’s evening. (At this time of year, it stays light until 10pm.) And most of all enjoy a professional production. This year, the featured operas will be Das Rheingold, Verdi’s La Traviata and Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen.

This isn’t just an opera, but a delightful English country experience. As you leave the theatre, we can arrange for a ‘nightcap’ to be served in an adjacent manor house so you can enjoy reflecting on the evening, before being returned to your hotel.

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Fire and Drive your own Steam Locomotive

Steam Train

Venue: Toddington, nr Broadway

Date: 13th June

Time: 9am – 5pm

Details: There are many ways to experience the romance of the Cotswolds, but possibly none as dramatic as from the footplate of your own steam engine. This is a day course, at the end of which you will drive a train on one of the loveliest stretches of private track in the country; from Cheltenham Racecourse to Toddington.

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Roman Baths by Torchlight

Dates : 1st July-31st August

Time: Sunset

Venue: Bath

Details: Relax and enjoy the romantic torchlit ambience of the Great Bath and avoid the crowds by visiting on a summer evening. As darkness falls, the ruins of this vast Roman building are an awesome sight. By the light of flickering torches, you can walk on 2000 year old pavements and really sense the spirits of the ancients, providing a truly magical atmosphere which no other venue can surpass. With its steaming waters and Roman artefacts this is an unforgettable and unique experience.

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Summer Concert at the Castle

Castle

Date: 5th July

Details: Don’t miss a fantastic evening of music, opera and fireworks in the stunning grounds of Warwick Castle at the best event of its kind in the Cotswolds. The annual summer concert this year features the Welsh National Opera playing The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Dukas and Tchaikovsky's Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture, with their soloists joining the orchestra for a number of pieces including excerpts from operatic favourites Puccini’s Tosca and Madame Butterfly. The evening finishes with a spectacular firework finale. Sit back, relax and enjoy an evening of popular and uplifting music on the Castle’s Pageant Field., followed by an awesome firework display.

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Musica Deo Sacra Tewkesbury Abbey

Dates: 28 July 2009 to 03 August 2009

Details: You may have seen some of the coverage of the summer floods, following the Cotswolds ‘perfect storms’ of July 2007. Now, memories of those dreadful days have faded and you can once again enjoy the sound of sacred music being played in this spectacular venue. Come and listen this music being played where it was designed to be heard. Known to some as the 'Westminster Abbey' of the feudal barony, Tewkesbury Abbey is one of the most impressive Norman churches in the country. Here are some of the finest bosses in England as well as a wonderful collection of medieval tombs and monuments.

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A Grand Day Out

Date: August 1 – September 13

Venue: Cheltenham

There are three parts to this very special day for you, in the Cotswold’s elegant Spa town of Cheltenham – Retail Therapy, Fascinating History and Extreme Pampering!

Cheltenham is a fine example of a Regency Spa town, with wide tree-lined streets, city centre parks, and elegant architecture. Let us take you around and show you why it is the shopping destination for the region. In its delightful shopping areas you will find a teasteful and eclectic mix of high fashion and antiques. We will guide you around the stores you would like to see. After ‘doing lunch’ in one of its many wine bars and restaurants, we will take you on a guided walk to see some of the beautiful buildings that adorn this town. There is history here in abundance.

By the end of the afternoon, you will need a massage and pamper before looking for one of the many cosmopolitan restaurants nestling almost side-by-side.

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Picnic in the Gardens with a Difference

Dates: Saturday's July 12th and 26thth , August 16th, 30th

Venue: Oxford Botanical Gardens

Oxford Botanical Gardens are a delight to visit at any time, but we like add something to every gem that you visit. We will provide you with a picnic for this fun family event in the heart of the gardens. This year the Garden’s popular summer picnic afternoons will be full of sowing, growing, planting, munching and cooking, along with selections of stories, music, tours and trails to compliment the Garden. Visitors bring a picnic, find a shaded corner, relax and enjoy the afternoon and its entertainment as they unfurl. Each picnic runs from 1.00pm - 4.00pm.

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Dark Tales from Gloucestershire

Date: July 20th

Do you think Gloucestershire is just an exquisite slice of England? Well, of course it is, but let us show you scenes of skulduggery and strange goings-on! This is open-air theatre in beautiful Arlingham, on the banks of the River Severn. Loads of fun for the family. The village itself is a sleeping beauty of a settlement with plenty of things to interest you as you stroll round on a summers’ evening. A perfect place too to find refreshment in a Cotswold Inn as you enjoy a long summer’s evening.

The Spaniel in the Works theatre company return for an evening of entertainment performing in the open air amphitheatre at St Augustines Farm in the Severn Vale hamlet of Arlingham. This year we're in for a bit of a treat with the theatre company performing local tales of Gloucestershire featuring hanged men, drunken fairies and mythical beasts - all entwined together using music, poetry, puppetry and dance, in an hour long production. "Through rhyme, rapping, music, dance and puppets, the trio prove that they are masters of their art using simple but highly effective props to increase overall amusement."

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