Australia's Leading Specialists in French Barge Cruises

Ultimate England & Scotland – Cotswolds & “Spirit of Scotland”

jones and campbell

Imagine a week in a beautiful 16th century stone Manor house, exploring charming Cotswolds villages, Sudeley Castle & Bath as well as enjoying typical English past-times such as a local farmers market and a polo match complete with cream tea! Your Welsh hosts Joe and Angharad worked on and managed luxury hotel barges in France for many years, and now they have combined their passion and extensive hospitality experience to create the ultimate Cotswolds dream. Their attention to detail and exceptional love for people will ensure your every expectation is exceeded during your stay.

Staying in this idyllic setting, each day brings a new adventure combined with plenty of free time to relax at the Manor, and stunning cuisine and wine is all part of this superb itinerary. Next, we continue on to a week-long barge cruise on the beautiful luxury barge “Scottish Highlander”. We enjoy a quintessential barging experience complete with exquisite landscapes as we sail through the famous lochs of the Great Glen, historic castles such as Inverlochy, Urquhart, Eilean Donan, and Cawdor; sites such as the fascinating Culloden Moor and enjoy local musicians and pipers while tasting the very best Scotch whiskey.

The Spirit of Scotland features three decks of living and entertainment space. The lower deck boasts six fully modern, air-conditioned staterooms, with en suite bathrooms and a choice of twin or double beds. The spacious middle deck features bright and spacious saloon and dining areas with picture windows, a bar and an integral forward wheelhouse that gives guests an unobstructed view of the route ahead.

Outside there is a sheltered deck with a covered dining terrace and a heated jacuzzi, while the full-length upper sundeck is the perfect place for relaxing and admiring the stunning Highlands scenery as the barge glides sedately along the Caledonian Canal and across mystical lochs.

2018 Tour Dates:
September 16th – 29th, 2018

OR if you have a ready-made group or are a family that would like build a holiday around this beautiful combination, please ask us for availability on other dates!

Tour Price:
Twin/double share: 9,935 euros per person

Detailed Itinerary

Detailed Itinerary

Sunday 16th September, 2018 – London to the Cotswolds
Greeted by your host, you will depart London in our luxury private transfer service direct to The Manor house. A champagne reception will welcome you as you are introduced to the staff. After you settle in to your state rooms, enjoy a cocktail on the terrace overlooking the rolling hills of Bisley before indulging in a delicious five course dinner, prepared by your private chef.


Monday 17th September – Sudeley Castle and a free afternoon relaxing
After breakfast, depart for a visit to the famous Sudeley Castle & Gardens; a fifteenth century castle in North Cotswolds which is one of the few castles in England which is still in residence.  The castle contains many fascinating treasures from ancient Roman times to the present day. Outside, the castle is surrounded by award-winning gardens and a breathtaking 1,200 acre estate. Sudeley Castle & Gardens is also the only private castle in England to have a queen buried within its grounds; Katherine Parr, the last of Henry VIII’s six wives!

Return to the manor for your first lunch, followed by either a relaxing afternoon by our heated pool or a gentle stroll to the local village.

Enjoy cocktails and another superb five course dinner at the manor.


Tuesday 18th September – Bath
After breakfast today you will explore one of Britain’s most beautiful cities; the city of Bath, made famous by Jane Austen. Visit Bath’s iconic landmarks including the Royal Crescent, The Circus and Bath Abbey. Indulge in a magnificent lunch at a Michelin starred local restaurant in the heart of the city, before continuing to the Roman Baths – the most popular attraction in the city! Enjoy some free time browsing Bath’s exceptional boutique shopping before returning to the manor in the late afternoon ready for sipping cocktails on the terrace and enjoying another gourmet meal.


Wednesday 19th September – Farmer’s Market & Polo Match
After a leisurely breakfast, the chef will accompany you where you visit the bustling multi award winning Stroud Farmer’s Market which is well known as one of the biggest, busiest and most popular farmers’ markets in the UK. Select local ingredients and delicacies and return to the manor to share some of the chef’s culinary secrets over a cooking demonstration and a beautifully prepared market lunch.

This afternoon you will attend a quintessentially British sporting match – polo! Established in 1894, amid 3000 acres of parkland and woodland on one of the country’s most beautiful parks, enjoy cream tea or a glass of Champagne at Cirencester Park’s Country Polo Club.

Return to the Manor for a relaxing afternoon and enjoy evening cocktails and another delicious meal.


Thursday 20th September – Burford and Bibury – Quintessential Cotswalds!
After a relaxing morning and delicious lunch, set off for your tour of medieval Burford, one of England’s prettiest villages. Discover the hidden treasures through intriguing alleyways and courtyards between the seventeenth and eighteenth century buildings and see the splendour of the parish church built from the wealth of the wool trade. From here, continue on to Cotswolds Woollen Weavers, where you will learn of the heritage of textiles in the area and how it was the source of the infamous wealth of the Cotswolds. On your homeward journey, stop briefly at Bibury, home to the famous Arlington Row; built in 1380 as a place to store wool for the monastery, which were then converted to Weavers cottages in the seventeenth century.

Return to the manor for cocktails and another wonderful five course dinner.


Friday 21st September – Cirencester and a free afternoon relaxing
After breakfast, depart for a short drive to Cirencester – one of Britain’s oldest cities, where you will take a guided stroll through the town, visiting its architectural landmarks which span over several centuries. You will then visit the award winning Corinium Museum, home to one of the largest collections of Romano-British antiquities. Enjoy some free time to roam Cirencester’s antique & craft market before returning to the manor for an exquisite lunch and a relaxing final afternoon at The Manor.

Before the cocktail hour is upon you, enjoy a traditionally English game of croquet on the lawn with your companions and staff, before indulging in a memorable seven course gala dinner.


Saturday 22nd September – London
Enjoy your final breakfast at The Manor, before returning to London with our host via private transfer. This evening we will enjoy a night in London at a beautiful 5 star hotel. We can arrange dinner reservations or a show.


Sunday 23rd September – Inverness
Today we fly to Inverness where we will be met by the crew of the “Spirit of Scotland”. A champagne welcome by the Captain and crew and perhaps an early evening stroll before our first dinner on board.


Monday, Day 2 Banavie to Laggan
Our excursion today will take us to the mystical area of Glencoe, renowned for its geographical beauty and famed for one of the darkest days in Scottish history. Alternatively, we can enjoy some breath-taking panoramic views on a cable car ride to the summit of Aonach Mor mountain. If time permits we can visit the ruins of the 13th century, Old Inverlochy Castle, before embarking on our first cruise, through Moy Bridge, the last hand-operated bridge of its type on the Caledonian Canal. En route, we may visit the Clan Cameron Museum, before crossing Loch Lochy. As we approach our mooring at Laggan, a Highland Piper may be there to greet us with a stirring rendition of traditional Scottish music. Dinner on board.


Tuesday, Day 3 Laggan to Cullochy
Today, we take in some of the finest scenery Scotland has to offer as we drive to one of its best known and most photographed castles, Eilean Donan, which has featured in movies such as “Highlander” and James Bond’s “The World Is Not Enough” and overlooks three sea lochs.
Our afternoon cruise today takes us across the very scenic Loch Oich, with the opportunity of enjoying a walk en route, then onto our pretty mooring at Cullochy. Dinner on board.


Wednesday, Day 4 Cullochy to Fort Augustus
This morning we cruise to Fort Augustus and down the “flight” as the locals call it, to moor opposite the Benedictine Abbey at the entrance to Loch Ness. After lunch on board, we encounter some of Scotland’s bloody past as we visit the ruins of Urquhart Castle in a spectacular setting overlooking Loch Ness, then take a gentle drive to the Invermoriston Falls and the “Old Bridge” designed by Thomas Telford where you may even see a salmon leaping. This evening we have dinner ashore at a local restaurant.


Thursday, Day 5 Fort Augustus to Dochgarroch
This morning we enjoy a picturesque cruise across world-famous Loch Ness, with perhaps a chance of spotting “Nessie”, before mooring at the hamlet of Dochgarroch. After lunch we visit Cawdor Castle, forever immortalised in Shakespeare’s “Scottish Play”. The picturesque gardens have been listed as being amongst the top 100 in the UK. The castle contains a superb collection of tapestries, pictures and furnishings and is still in use as a home for the Dowager Countess of Cawdor who resides there for several months of the year. Then we visit Culloden Moor, scene of the last major battle on British soil in 1746 and end our tour at the Clava Cairns, a pre-historic clan chieftain burial site dating back to 2000 B.C. Dinner on board.


Friday, Day 6 Dochgarroch to Muirtown
Today, our final cruise will take us through Tomnahurich swing bridge and then the locks to Muirtown, where there will be the opportunity to take a bicycle ride or walk to the sea lock with wonderful views over the Moray and Beauly Firths. After lunch we drive through stunning hill scenery to take a closer look at one of Scotland’s best known exports, whisky, at the Glen Ord distillery, founded in 1838 on the Black Isle by the Mackenzie’s of Ord. A fascinating description of the maturing and ageing process of single and blended malts is followed by our special tasting. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.


Saturday, Day 7 Muirtown
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to their choice of location in Inverness.


Tour Inclusions: This tour is all-inclusive apart from the evening in London where you are free to make your own arrangements for meals. Otherwise all meals, beverages including premium wines, accommodation, private air conditioned buses on day tours, private guides, all entries and excursions, and the full time services of your tour director are included in the tour price.

Cotswolds & Scotland Photo Gallery