Painswick is the Queen of the Cotswolds. Malmesbury is The Queen of Hilltop Towns. Come from North of Chavenage (M5, A40) and we will begin with morning coffee in Painswick followed by a coach tour of the Gloucestershire Golden Valleys. Come from the South (M4) and we’ll begin with morning coffee in Malmesbury followed by a gentle trail through the honey stoned streets and quaint tumble of old shops and inns of Malmesbury to visit the imposing and beautiful seventh-century abbey.
Whichever morning you enjoy we arrive in well-to-do Tetbury for free time for lunch.
Only two families have owned Chavenage House - a wonderful Elizabethan manor of mellow Cotswold stone. Steeped in history and ghostly legend, Cromwell and his general stayed here. Chavenage House is the BBC’s go-to country manor, appearing in Poldark, Agatha Christie’s Poiroit, Wolf Hall and Lark Rise to Candleford.
You’ll love the tour led by the octogenarian owner or another member of this friendly and welcoming family. A potted history is laced with personal anecdotes and lots of humour. This really is one of the quirkiest and most enjoyable manor house tours in the country.
The afternoon concludes with a cream tea served in the ballroom before we make tracks for home at 4.45pm.