The English Cotswolds
A Journey of Botany and Beauty
July 20th to 27th, 2013
Join internationally known Herbalists / teachers Rosemary Gladstar, Anne McIntyre, and Donna Bryant Winston for an inspirational journey through the beautiful English Countryside.We will explore the relationship between nature and plants in all their beauty, and how they can help promote longevity, physical health, and emotional well being, amidst one of the most beautiful areas in England.
The Cotswolds is an idyllic area of Middle England known for its beautiful rolling hills, open views, and spectacular English gardens.
The ancient limestone architecture suggests a place where time has stood still and yet the 21st century is very much alive among its quaint villages and towns. During our 7 day adventure we will visit exquisite gardens, impressive castles & estates, lavender fields, herb filled woodlands & hedgerows, historic towns and charming olde worlde villages.
This trip will include lectures and hands-on classes on topics ranging from rejuvenation through Ayurvedic practices, incorporating adaptogenic herbs into your health regimen, using botanicals to nourish and heal the body, to the field botany of English herbs.
We will visit Anne McIntyre’s splendid herb garden, which is laid out in a spiral and represents a journey through life expressed through herbs. There are approximately 150 medicinal herbs in her garden, which you will have a chance to see and identify.
We will indulge all five senses as we immerse ourselves in the culture, tradition, and beauty of the Cotswold countryside that inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s magical Shire.
Each day of your visit will bring splendid gardens, superb architecture, and the beauty of nature. Below are photos and descriptions of the places we will visit.
Bibury Court Hotel
We will enjoy High Tea at this charming Jacobean mansion dating from Tudor times. Bibury Court is located in 6 acres of landscaped grounds, and secluded gardens. The village of Bibury has been described by William Morris as the most beautiful in England.
Hidcote Manor Garden is one of England’s greatest gardens.
It is considered an Arts and Crafts masterpiece. It is made up of a series of outdoor rooms each with its own unique character and filled with a glorious display of old roses, dramatic topiaries, as well as rare and unusual plants and trees from all over the world.
Next-door neighbor to the well known Hidcote garden, this acclaimed beautiful 20th century garden features a Mediterranean garden, water garden, and sunken garden.
Snowshill Lavender Farm
Snowshill Lavender Farm has, 53 vibrant acres, containing 250,000 lavender plants. Some of the finest lavender in the world is grown in these limestone hills, producing the best of English essential oils. This unique farm distills its own lavender creating a unique range of lavender products.
Blenheim Palace has been listed as a world heritage site since 1987. This remarkable palace is a unique example of English baroque architecture as well as formal gardens. Set on 2100 acres of beautifully landscaped parkland, it is the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Formerly a private garden of the present Duke’s father, the beautiful Secret Garden offers a unique opportunity to study tree and plant life, and provides inspiration for all types of creative work.
This picturesque village is filled with 16th & 17th century architecture and is built along the river Windrush, which has given the town its nickname “Venice of the Cotswolds”. It is a bustling little village that draws people from the surrounding areas to sit and picnic by the river and enjoy its pastoral beauty.
Oxford: The City of Dreaming Spires.
For over 800 years Oxford has been home to royalty and scholars. Established in the 9th century, and steeped in history it is now a mixture of both ancient and modern architecture. This city is home to Oxford University, the Ashmolean Museum, the Bodleian Library, as well the famous “Eagle & Child” pub where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, met every Tuesday morning to discuss their literary works. (Participants will have the opportunity to explore this city during their free time.)
University of Oxford Botanical Gardens
We will visit the University of Oxford Botanical Gardens: This splendid garden is the oldest botanic garden in England and contains over 7,000 different types of plants, with extensive greenhouses, walled gardens, water and rock gardens.
The Ancient town of Winchcombe is a classic example of Saxon English architecture, a wonderful assurance that Olde England is still alive. This picturesque Cotswold village is filled with quaint inns, restaurants, tea rooms and shops which you will have time to explore. Also located in the village is St. Peter’s church built in 1465, known for its splendidly grotesque gargoyles.
Sudeley Castle is set against the backdrop of the beautiful Cotswold hills, and is steeped in history. With Royal connections spanning a thousand years it has played an important role in the changing and turbulent times of England’s past. It was at one time the home of the famous King Henry VIII and his sixth wife. The magnificent gardens were restored and redesigned in the 19th century with elaborate knot gardens, English wildflower gardens, and gorgeous display of irises, peonies, clematis, and of course, roses.
English Gifford’s Circus
And a ticket to the eccentric and quintessentially English Gifford’s Circus. Established in 2000, Gifford’s Circus is a small circus company that delivers circus / theatre fusion to the villages and market towns of rural southwest England. It combines dance, comedy, horses and live music in a one hour show, located on village greens in a small white tent surrounded by traditional hand-made burgundy and gold showman’s wagons.