This wonderful winter walking tour is a feast for all the senses whether you are a connoisseur of history, culture, wildlife or the more material pleasures of luxury shopping. This trip covers it all! Start off in Oxford where there is so much to explore from the world renowned university - the oldest in the English speaking world; the one thousand year old Oxford Castle; and Museums and galleries galore with plenty of cafes and hostelries for refreshment. We have included a tour to help you get the most from your visit. The next day get away from from the bustle of the city with a surprisingly rural walk along the canal and river with lunch at one of our favourite pubs. After a second night in Oxford we will take you to Woodstock for the next two nights and a day exploring Blenheim Palace with a choice of outdoor walks in the grounds and indoor discovery in the Palace. On your last day it's time for a little retail therapy. Our driver will take you to Bicester Village - Britain's leading designer shopping outlet and return you to your hotel for a last night in Woodstock.
from £750 per person
from £925 per person
Includes a complimentary 'G and T' and dinner on your first night in Woodstock
Based on two people sharing a room
Bus tour or group walking tour of Oxford. Transfer to Woodstock on Day 3, and return transfers to Bicester on Day 4. Transfer back to Oxford at the end of your tour. Entrance to Blenheim Palace. Hands Free Shopping and VIP discount card at Bicester Village. See what’s included as standard
Start & Finish
Starts Fridays in Oxford, finishing with a transfer from Woodstock back to Oxford Station or your car.
Well located and stylish hotel and a four star inn
Boutique hotel and 17th Century townhouse
This tour is priced without a guide and you are free to explore on your own. If you would like a guide for part or all of your trip, we are happy to provide a knowledgeable, local guide
Gentle walking (1) More info...
1 day 6 miles, other days optional
- Private guided walking tour of Oxford
- Additional day in Oxford instead of Bicester Village
Classic & Luxury
1. Day one
Culture - Oxford
Arrive in Oxford on Friday and check into your accommodation located close to the heart of the city. Your host will meet you at a convenient time to run through your itinerary and familiarize you with the route and itinerary before you start exploring! Your group guided walking tour (or open top bus tour), will unlock the treasures of this beautiful city as you stroll through the lovely colleges of the University with their magnificent architecture and gardens. Take in the museums, galleries and libraries galore, and perhaps a concert or play. Discover the little tea rooms and fine restaurants, the unique shops and back streets and the river backwaters dotted with punters and rowing eights. Stop for refreshment at the Eagle and Child – famous for serving The Inklings C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and others.
2. Day two
Countryside - River and Canal
A different but equally delightful scene beckons today as you wind your way out of Oxford along the canal. Houseboats and wildlife abound; then cross the meadows to reach a tiny riverside hamlet. Continue to the ancient Church of St Margaret of Antioch. This historic spot is a haven of tranquillity hidden from the modern world amidst the trees of the ancient Thornbury, where, as legend has it, St Frideswide, the patron saint of Oxford, who was born around 680, cured a Mercian Prince of blindness with water from St Margaret’s Well, which she caused to appear by praying to St Margaret of Antioch. In medieval times, "treacle" meant "a healing fluid", and Lewis Carroll referred to it as a "treacle well" in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Retrace your steps for a fine lunch at the village pub - there’s been an inn on this site for at least 800 years. And in that time the pub has been a favourite of some of Britain’s best poets and authors, a frequent haunt of Inspector Morse, and even an influential venue on the British Jazz scene.
After lunch head back into Oxford following the Thames, as it weaves its way through locks and past old mills and backwaters. Amble on back to your hotel through the heart of the city centre.
6 miles (9.5 km)
3. Day three
Culture - Woodstock
Your driver will meet you at your hotel and take you to the Cotswolds village of Woodstock and the gates of Blenheim Palace; the only non-royal and non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title ‘Palace’. If the weather is good make the most of this glorious estate with a choice of several circular walks to enjoy the formal gardens, lake and Grand Cascade or the complete perimeter, before resting for lunch at one of the delightful restaurants followed by an exploration of the palace and its many treasures, including the Churchill Experience. From 22nd November to 5th January, the gardens will be lit with thousands of lights for the Blenheim Palace Winter Trail - a festive journey of exploration and wonder. The Great Court will play host to a Christmas Market with irresistible gifts and unique designer works. At the end of your day wander gently back into Woodstock to your hotel – where your luggage will be waiting for you, and a roaring fire and good dinner will round off the day.
4. Day four
Couture - Bicester Village
Today it’s back into the modern world – shop till you drop at Bicester Village Britain’s leading designer shopping outlet. Your driver will collect you from your hotel after breakfast for the 30 minute drive to Bicester Village – browse collections of luxury brands from Armani to Versace and everything inbetween. We have arranged a VIP discount card, and don’t worry about carrying all those bags – they will be delivered back to the Visitor Centre for you to collect. At the end of the day – we will take you back to your hotel in Woodstock for a tiptop English afternoon tea and rest maybe?
5. Day five
Enjoy a relaxed breakfast and a last dip into Woodstock’s wonderful history before we transfer you back to Oxford Station or your car.