- Experience knowledge and beauty at Bodleian Library
- Explore the Cotswolds
- Walk in the shoes of royalty at Blenheim Palace
- Hilton Garden Inn Abingdon (3Q)
Oxford, Blenheim Palace and the Cotswolds
- New holiday
- Half board
A hub of ideas since the 11th century, Oxford awaits your exploration
Honey-coloured colleges, highlighting Oxford as a centre for education as far back as the medieval era, satellite villages that are quintessentially British, and historical landmarks that tell the story of Britain’s Georgian past. These are all elements waiting to be found on this Stay and Discover tour.
Spend a full day in Oxford, seeking out its hidden gems and exploring secret passages, visit Bodleian, often described as one of the oldest libraries in the world, and take a tour of the Cotswolds by coach. You will also step aboard a train on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway and enjoy time at UNESCO-listed Blenheim Palace.
4 nights at your hotel
8 meals: 4 breakfasts (B) and 4 dinners (D)
Dedicated Saga Host
- Cancellation rights
- Hosted drinks reception
- Free hotel Wi-Fi and safe
- Tea-and-coffee-making facilities in your room
- Porterage at your hotel
Included excursions and visits
- Oxford (full day)
- Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway and Cotswold coach tour (full day)
- Blenheim Palace (full day)
Day 1 Abingdon-on-Thames
Settle in to your hotel and join your host for a welcome drink before dinner. D
Day 2 Oxford
It is known as ‘the brains of the nation’, though many Cambridge scholars would disagree! Today, take a trip to the City of Spires, Oxford, a city that was founded under Saxon rule and has boasted a prestigious university since the 11th century.
As you wander the streets and winding passages on a guided walking tour, you will spot many of Oxford’s oldest colleges, pass beneath Hertford Bridge – popularly known as the Bridge of Sighs – and soak in the atmosphere of this truly historic place. During your time in the city, you will have the opportunity to visit Bodleian Library, the main research library for the university and one of the most beautiful libraries ever built. The building is hailed as one of the finest examples of the English Gothic architectural movement and was built between 1737 and 1748. During a guided tour of Bodleian, you may recognise several of its parts from famous films, especially if you’re a fan of Harry Potter!
The afternoon is yours to enjoy Oxford independently. Perhaps explore the colleges, walking in the footsteps of Tolkien, TS Eliot and 38 former prime ministers, or enjoy a drink in one of the city’s many taverns before returning to your hotel for dinner. B, D
Day 3 Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway and Cotswold coach tour
Begin your day by stepping aboard the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, a heritage line operated entirely by volunteers. Take your seats in one of the vintage carriages, lovingly restored by enthusiasts, and enjoy a 28-mile round trip through the Cotswolds, your introduction to this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which straddles six counties (Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, South Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset). The era of steam train travel was an unimaginable dream in the medieval era when the Cotswolds was a thriving centre for England’s lucrative wool trade; The name Cotswold comes from an old English term for sheep enclosure.
Disembarking from your train, you will board a coach and explore some of the Cotswolds’ loveliest villages. Included in that list of loveliness is Bourton-on-the-Water, nicknamed Venice of the Cotswolds because of the village’s abundance of bridges, and Stow-on-the-Wold. At the height of the Cotswolds’ wool trade, huge annual fairs were held in the village square, at which as many as 20,000 sheep were sold at one time! During some free time, you may like to seek out St Edward’s Church with its yew tree-flanked north door (said by many to be Tolkien’s inspiration for the Doors of Durin), or sit down to a pint in The Porch House, considered to be one of England’s oldest inns. You will also pass through Chipping Camden, noting its honey-coloured, terraced high street, before returning to your hotel. B, D
Day 4 Blenheim Palace
UNESCO-listed Blenheim Palace is your destination for today’s included excursion. Following breakfast, you travel through the Georgian town of Woodstock, still retaining many buildings from that era, to arrive at the palace in which former prime minister Sir Winston Churchill was born, and provided a convalescence hospital to wounded soldiers of the First World War. Explore Blenheim’s stately rooms, adorned with grand portraits, and step out into the gardens which were extensively landscaped by the legendary Capability Brown.
Return to your hotel for your farewell dinner. B, D
Day 5 Depart Hilton Garden Inn Abingdon
Check out and make your way home. B
Hilton Garden Inn Abingdon 3Q
Comfortable, clean and tastefully decorated in a modern style, the Hilton Garden Inn is located a mile from the quaint market town of Abingdon-on-Thames and eight miles from Oxford.
Each of the hotel’s 146 rooms is equipped with air-conditioning units, complimentary Wi-Fi, a 43-inch television, a mini-fridge and tea-and-coffee-making facilities.
Abingdon-on-Thames claims to be the "oldest continually inhabited town in England", a fact illustrated by its historical buildings and scant remains of the 7th-century abbey (largely destroyed during Henry VIII’s Reformation). During your free time, you may like to visit Abingdon’s museum, exhibiting local history and providing views across the town from its rooftop.