15th to 18th September 2020:

An early-autumn tour focusing on Arts & Crafts gardens in the Cotswolds, hosted by HORTUS editor David Wheeler, led by experienced tour-leader Sophie Piebenga and, for one day, by garden historian Marion Mako.

The Arts & Crafts movement of the early twentieth century found a natural home in the rural surroundings of the Cotswolds with its beautiful architecture and celebrated craft traditions. While Broadway and Chipping Campden attracted many artists to the north of the Cotswolds, a few architects and craftsmen set up shop further south, in Sapperton. We will visit both areas over four days, enjoying some exclusive views of the best houses and gardens in the style. We stay at one of the region’s finest hotels, Lords of the Manor, a seventeenth-century country house establishment (with a garden designed by Julie Toll) in the unspoilt village of Upper Slaughter, near Stow-on-the-Wold. Each room has been carefully fash- ioned, every comforting detail attended to, with a restaurant serving delicious food that includes for us on one night the chef ’s tasting menu, showcasing the Cotswolds’ finest fare.


Day 1: Tuesday 15 September

We begin at midday at Kemble Station, near Cirencester (see Joining Arrangements overleaf ) and start the tour with a private visit to Rodmarton Manor, where we are invited to lunch by John and Sarah Biddulph. Rodmarton was built for John’s great-grandparents, newly-weds Claud and Margaret Biddulph, from 1909 to 1929 by Ernest Barnsley, and survives as a remarkably intact example of the Arts & Crafts movement. Lunch in the manor’s dining room is followed by a short illustrated presentation by Marion Mako, who takes a profound interest in Cots- wolds Arts & Crafts. After a tour of the house and garden we travel on to the nearby idyllic village of Sapperton to view the garden at Upper Dorval House, where architect-craftsman Ernest Barnsley once lived. He and his brother Sidney (and fellow A&C associate Ernest Gimson) are all buried in the adjacent church- yard. We then drive to our hotel, with time to settle in before dining together, with wine included.

Day 2: Wednesday 16 September

The whole of this day is devoted to the artistic community which settled in the beautiful village of Broadway. Under the expert guidance of Marion Mako we visit a number of private gardens, starting at Russell House with its delightfully- planted garden and eighteenth-century follies. Here, in 1886, John Singer Sargent finished his famous painting Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose. We then cross the road to Luggers Hall, former home of the painter and little-known garden designer Alfred Parsons (1847–1920). After lunching together in Broadway we move to Springfield House, former home of the Blomfield family, a scion of which was the architect and writer Sir Reginald, to whom certain garden features can be attributed. The well-planted garden is beautifully maintained by its present owner Karen Bloch, who has invited us for afternoon tea. We then return to our hotel where we dine together.

Day 3: Thursday 17 September

Owlpen Manor, private home of the Mander family, is a Tudor house with a rich and imposing history. After a period of neglect in the nineteenth century it was bought in 1925 and ‘rescued’ by architect Norman Jewson. Beautifully situated, its ‘Old-English’-style garden was much admired by Gertrude Jekyll and Vita Sackville-West. Our visit includes a private viewing of the house with its wonder- ful collection of Arts & Crafts furniture and fittings, and a delicious lunch prepared for us by Lady Mander in Owlpen’s fifteenth-century Cyder House Restaurant. In the afternoon we visit the garden at Miserden in the Golden Valley, where Sir Edwin Lutyens designed the terraced gardens, making full use of superlative far-reaching views beyond a long mixed herbaceous border brimming with colour. Tea and cake will be served in the converted glasshouse at the excellent adjoining plant nursery. Return to Lords of the Manor Hotel where, again, we dine together.

Day 4: Friday 18 September

For our final morning we head into the historic market town of Chipping Campden, where the Guild of Handicraft made its home in 1902, the story of which is por- trayed in the town’s Court Barn Museum. A visit to the museum is followed by a guided walk along the High Street to see its numerous Arts & Crafts buildings. After some free time for lunch we make our way to Cotswold Farm, home of the Birchall family, for a rare opportunity to view this private house and garden. The house was extended in the Arts & Crafts style in 1926 by architect Sidney Barnsley and his assistant Norman Jewson, who also laid out the adjacent gardens with its yew terraces. After tea the coach returns to Kemble station for a late-afternoon train to Paddington, and then returns to Lords of the Manor for those guests who have left their cars at the hotel.

How much & what’s included:

Price per person: £2399

(Single supplement of £255 levied by the hotels)

The price includes: bed and breakfast for three nights at Lords of the Manor Hotel, Upper Slaughter; three evening meals with wine at the hotel plus three lunches, and all transport from Kemble Station. The price does not include extras at the hotel or travel insurance. Please note that Boxwood Tours uses hotels of character featuring a variety of rooms and styles.

Joining Arrangements: Depart Kemble station at 12:00. Alternatively, if you wish to take your own car to the hotel earlier we can collect you from there at 11:00. On the last day, the coach returns to Kemble station in the late afternoon and then returns to the hotel for guests who have parked their cars there.


Arena Tours Ltd is a company committed to customer satisfaction and consumer financial protection. We are therefore pleased to announce that, at no extra cost to you, and in accordance with ”The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018” all passengers booking with Boxwood Tours are fully protected in the unlikely event of our insolvency, please contact us for further details.

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