Fine Art in the West
- Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery
Discover works of local, national and international importance.
- Gloucester Cathedral
Gloucester Cathedral is home to beautiful stained glass, medieval cloisters and royal tombs.
- No fly
- Half board
From old masters to modern art, discover some of the west's fine galleries and museums
From your base on the southern edge of the Cotswolds, enjoy six visits on four included excursions to admire an exciting array of art in the galleries of Cheltenham, Bristol, Bath and Cardiff. Compare the works of the old masters with those of the modern day, as well as tour the architectural gem that is Gloucester Cathedral and enjoy two evening talks by your art host.
Your art gallery visits are unguided so you can decide what you'd like to see most and take your time exploring independently.
- Half board
- Four excursions with six visits
- Three art talks
- Saga host and art appreciation host
- Tea and coffee on arrival
- Welcome drink
- Porterage in your hotel
- Cancellation rights
Bondend Lane, Upton St Leonards, Gloucester GL4 8ED
Relax on a country break at the the 4-star Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel, set in 12-acres of sweeping parkland. The elegant, listed Georgian hall is surrounded by attractive countryside with the town of Gloucester approximately four miles away.
The 72 classically-decorated bedrooms feature peaceful woodland views. There is no lift and rooms could be on the first to fourth floors.
Food and Drink
The hotel has a Brasserie restaurant serving a range of dishes. You can also enjoy light snacks and meals in the bar and lounge area.
Set in 12 acres of park and woodland, in the village of Upton St Leonards, the 4-star Mercure Gloucester Bowden Hall Hotel is a handsome, listed Georgian house-turned-hotel. Stroll through the pretty village or put on your walking boots and hike over the nearby Cotswolds Hills. The town of Gloucester is approximately four miles away, with plenty of historic sights, a Folk Museum, individual shops, an antique market and vibrant theatre. Bath is a drive of around one hour and ten minutes away.
Out and about
Amazingly, five English counties can claim some of the landscape of rolling hills or 'wolds' that is known as the Cotswolds, although Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire are the main ones. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is dotted with charming hamlets, stately homes and gardens. The city of Gloucester, set below the Cotswolds Hills in the lush Severn Valley has a long history, from the Roman fort to Elizabethan port – the furthest inland in Britain. In 1794 a canal link to the Stroud water and Thames canals provided a direct trading route for goods to London and the Midlands. The city has since undergone a major regeneration programme, particularly at the historic Gloucester Docks. This lively, revitalised waterfront is home to Victorian warehouses converted into museums and exhibits about the city port's history, along with restaurants and bars. You won't want to miss the cathedral either. Here you can trace back the architecture from its Norman origins, through the medieval period and to the present day – craftseople are still working here restoring the structure. Admire the fan-vaulted cloisters, stained glass windows and the tomb of King Edward II, then perhaps climb the tower's 269 steps or descend to the crypt…
A visit to the National Arboretum at Westonbirt is a must for nature lovers, while Bristol and Bath are perfect for sightseeing and shopping.
In addition to the included and optional excursions you might like to visit the Wye Valley to explore the caves or ride the heritage railway. Alternatively, walk part of the Cotswold Way and visit the Roman villa remains at Great Witcombe.
You will be accompanied by an expert host who will give talks and join you on all excursions.
Three talks and six visits during three full-day included excursions and one half-day included excursion:
Cheltenham Art Gallery and Gloucester Cathedral
Cheltenham Art Gallery has undergone an impressive redevelopment and is home to a nationally-important Art and Crafts collection, featuring work by artists including William Morris and Ernest Grimson. On display are also paintings and sculpture ranging from the 16th century to the present day, with a particular emphasis on British work. Next you'll visit Gloucester to tour its impressive cathedral with its 14th-century stained glass, towering fan vaulting and Romanesque crypt. Built on the site of an Anglo Saxon religious house founded in AD 679, the building of a large Abbey began in the late 11th century, but it wasn't until 1541 that it was finally given the status of a cathedral.
Wales National Museum, Cardiff
The collections of this national museum span some 500 years and include works from Renaissance Italy to French Impressionists and Victorian England. See works by Daumier and Millet as well a version of Rodin's 'The Kiss' cast in bronze. Works by notable Welsh artists also feature strongly, including landscapes by Richard Wilson and Thomas Jones.
Victoria Art Gallery, Bath and The Holburne
The Victoria gallery houses over 1,500 decorative art treasures from the 15th century to the present day, including works by Gainsborough, Sickert, and Zoffany. You'll also visit the elegant Holburne Museum which houses the once private collection of Sir Thomas William Holburne. It's a fascinating collection that has been thoughtfully added to over the years, giving it a distinct character of its own.
Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery
Set in stunning galleries this museum and art gallery has an art collection that includes works by Italian and Dutch old masters, French art, British and European paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as modern and Victorian works. It's also home to collections ranging from archaeology and the ancient world to geology and wildlife.