Join the Monadnock Humane Society and Travel Fever Tours for a dog lovers’ adventure in the Costwolds, one of the loveliest parts of England. Together we will receive a private introduction to sheep dog handling from one of the leading sheep dog trainers in the UK. We’ll attend sheep dog trials. We will visit dog breeders and animal shelters.
And when we’re not obsessing about all things dog, we will visit fine English estates and gardens, while also visiting a few pubs for dinner and perhaps live music in the evening. Read on for more information.
Burford, Oxfordshire, England, in the Cotswold region of the UK.
Burford, home base for our tour of the Cotswolds, is one of the most picturesque towns in this part of England. The town sits beside the meandering River Windrush where there is a lovely 4-arched medieval bridge, widened in the 18th century.
With its medieval bridge, old stone houses and attractive Tudor and Georgian facades, Burford is often referred to as the ‘Gateway to the Cotswolds.’ The town was originally a fortified Anglo-Saxon settlement which later grew to be an important regional crossroads and wealthy wool town. Though no one is sure when the area was first settled, it is known that there was a small community of 200 there in 1086.
Little changed over the centuries, leaving Burford popular with visitors, both for its beauty and history but also for its independent shops and the wide variety of places to eat.
Burford offers much more variety of styles and periods than most Cotswold towns. The most striking example of this is the number of half-timbered buildings, including The Tolsey. It is a striking medieval building raised on timbers, with an open space beneath, where once wool merchants gathered and collected tolls. It now houses a small local museum.
The heyday of Burford's prosperity stretched from the 14th to the 17th century, when the wool trade flourished. Many of the most interesting buildings along the High Street date from this period.
Tour Dates: June 2 to 9, 2020
Maximum group size: 12
How to Register:
Places on this tour are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The trip is expected to fill quickly given the subject of this tour and the location’s popularity.
Through the week, our attention will be divided between dog-related activities, tours of gardens and estates (and visits to a few pubs, as well).
Over the course of our week in the Cotswolds, we will undertake a number of dog-related activities, including:
Sheep Dog Demonstration:
We will spend a morning with a top English sheep dog trainer, Dick Roper. Dick will introduce us to his dogs and explain for our group how he approaches the training of his Border Collies. Our visit will be followed by Tea and Cakes on the English estate where Dick works.
Sheep Dog Trials
Following our morning with Dick Roper, we are invited to attend sheep dog trails on the estate where he keeps a flock of sheep. A series of trainers and dogs will face-off in this traditional English competition.
We will visit a number of local breeders who specialize in a variety of traditional English breeds.
As in the US, there are a variety of dog rescue shelters in the area around Burford, where we’ll be staying. We will visit one or more. The differences or similarities to our own shelters will be informative.
Garden and estate activities:
England is justifiably famous for its estates and grand gardens. We will devote most afternoons to visiting some of these estates, many of which have been preserved by the National Trust. Here are a few that are close to Burford:
We’ll take time to explore the gardens at this estate. Here is how the estate describes its gardens:
“Hidcote is an Arts and Crafts garden in the north Cotswolds, a stone’s throw from Stratford-upon-Avon. Created by the talented American horticulturist, Major Lawrence Johnston its colourful and intricately designed outdoor ‘rooms’ are always full of surprises. It’s a must-see if you’re on holiday in the Cotswolds.
Explore the maze of narrow paved pathways and discover secret gardens, magnificent vistas and plants that burst with colour. Many of the plants found growing in the garden were collected from Johnston’s many plant hunting trips to far away places.”
Snowshill Manor and Garden:
This estate is also run by the National Trust. Here we can visit both inside the manor and outside in the gardens. Here is how the National Trust describes this manor:
“Snowshill Manor is a Cotswold manor house packed with extraordinary treasures collected over a life time by Charles Wade. Inside these rooms you can discover this eclectic collection that he restored and displayed. We have maintained the atmospheric settings he created with low lighting and few labels. From tiny toys to Samurai armour, musical instruments to fine clocks, thousands of objects are laid out for you to see just as Mr Wade intended.
The garden is the perfect place to unwind and explore hidden vistas, quiet corners and unexpected delights including Charles Wade’s uncomplicated home, the Priest’s House.”
Lodge Park Estate:
An estate dating to the 17th century that includes a mile-long dear coursing route and grandstand. It is also owned by the National Trust. Here is how they describe it:
“England's only surviving 17th-century grandstand, within a tranquil Cotswold estate full of diverse wildlife, John 'Crump' Dutton built this 17th-century grandstand, fuelled by his passion for deer coursing, gambling, banqueting and entertaining.
Lodge Park became the National Trust's first restoration project in 1998 and relied on archaeological evidence to return the building to its former glory.”
For dinner and in the evenings we will eat at a variety of restaurants, with a preference to sampling England’s pub culture. We will visit such classic pubs as Victorias in Eastleach or the Falkland Arms in Great Tew. Sometimes live music is available.
Other meals will be taken at local restaurants. Dinner and breakfast are included in the cost of the tour.
Total cost of the trip is $3,350
Supplement for single occupancy of $475
Deposit required to reserve a place on the tour: $350
(Places on the trip are limited to 12 and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.)
What’s included in the cost of the trip:
Participation in all tour activities
7 nights lodging
Breakfast and dinner each day (including a reasonable amount of alcohol).
Pickup and drop off at designated airport or train station
Local transportation by van and driver
Sheep dog demonstration and admission to sheep dog trials
Admission to garden and estate sites
What’s not included:
Admission to other museums and local sites
$350 non-refundable deposit to hold your place
$1500 initial payment
(Due January 15, 2020)
$1500 final payment
(Due April 15, 2020)
Single occupancy supplement: $475
Places on the tour are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. A deposit is required to reserve our place. This deposit is non-refundable, unless of course the trip is canceled for any reason by Travel Fever Tours. Natural disasters, political instability or low enrollment would form the basis for canceling a trip. You will be contacted once the trip reaches minimum enrollment so that you can proceed with purchase of your flights and make other travel arrangements. In all cases, review of enrollment numbers will not take place any later than the date of the First Installment payment.
We’ll be staying in the center of Burford at a hotel/guest house called the Golden Pheasant.
Single and Double rooms are available. Double rooms have either a single bed or twin beds. All rooms have private bathrooms.
Traditional English breakfasts to be taken at the hotel.
Dinner will be taken at local pubs or restaurants.
Pre-trip or End-of-trip add-ons (optional):
At the start or end of the trip, participants may opt for additional nights in the region or elsewhere in the UK. You may like to fly into a different airport in England and take a train to join us in the Costwolds. These trip extensions are up to trip participants to organize, but Travel Fever Tours can make recommendations on what to see, how to get there.
We encourage you to arrive a few days early to overcome jet lag and acclimate to British life.