Cottages & Gardens inspired Foot Trails (walking & hiking trips and tours)

Cottages & gardens

Traditional English cottages, built from the local materials, they give each area its own unique character. And not forgetting the gardens you can glimpse over the walls and through the gates as you walk by.

There’s the grand houses too, from Elizabethan masterpieces like Montacute House to the grand 18th century mansions like Stourhead. Built by the wealthy and powerful of the day they are often full of art and antiques. Visits to houses & gardens can be included in your Foot Trail.

Previous slide
Next slide


Arriving into a centuries old village with its cottages is one of the pleasures of walking in the countryside of southern England. There’s a a few hundred cottages centred around an ancient church, a school and a pub, and a story around every corner too.

The buildings and architecture reflect the materials and stones available in the immediate area bringing wonderful variety as you explore. Built from the land they sit comfortably in the landscape.

From the yellow limestone of the Cotswolds, to the plastered cottages of Dorset, the grey greensands of Wiltshire, the burnt honey of Ham Stone from Somerset, to the flint & brick of the chalk river valleys where there’s no stone, as with the cob & plaster walls & cottages. Each brings its own character.

Here are a few suggested example itineraries to get you started:

A must for anyone who loves English country houses and gardens. From stately homes to wandering down long meandering driveways, see the South West's greatest gardens with a memorable Foot Trail.
Our classic inn to inn walking & hiking trail through the heart of The Cotswolds, perfect for 6 to 8 night stays. Walking from village to village on local paths, you’ll discover peaceful countryside and charming Cotswolds character away from the busy national trails.
Montacute house, Somerset

Montacute House & Gardens (Somerset)

Choose Foot Trails Country Houses and Gardens and you can enjoy exploring Montacute House and Gardens. Montacute is a masterpiece of Elizabethan renaissance architecture and design. With its towering walls of glass, glow of hamstone and surrounding gardens, it is a place of beauty and wonder. Outside you will find formal gardens, surrounded by wider parkland.

Honeysuckle at Hidcote Gardens

Capability Brown - Garden Designer

Lancelot Brown, more commonly known as “Capability Brown” was an English landscape architect. He created over 170 parks including several you can see on your Foot Trails including our Wessex Ancient Kingdom trip. 

He was nicknamed Capability because he would tell his clients that the property had “capability” for improvement. Of course to some gardeners he is seen as a vandal, removing many grand formal gardens in favour of his romanticised landscapes.

Stourhead House & Gardens

Stourhead Gardens (Wiltshire)

The jewel of landscape gardens, on Foot Trails Wiltshire trails, you’ll find Stourhead House and Gardens. Now looked after by the National Trust it was created by wealthy banker Henry Hoare. 

Despite its tremendous beauty, with a lake, grand house, temples and grottos, all inspired by Henry’s extensive European travels, Henry’s personal story was tragic, outliving all his children.

Hidcote Gardens

Hidcote Gardens (The Cotswolds)

The delightful and characterful gardens at Hidcote were created during the peak of the Arts & Crafts movement, which had been centred locally in Chipping Campden. It has linked ‘rooms’ of hedges (the garden is divided into a series of outdoor rooms) all planted to give a different atmosphere or colourful scheme. And there are rare trees and shrubs and herbaceous borders.

How do our trips work?

A Foot Trail is a self-guided (independent) walking trip. This means you walk independently but benefit from the expert planning, materials and support we provide. 
Itineraries can be from 4 nights to 4 weeks, journeying from inn to inn / place to place. Our trails do not have set start days but we can help advise on what will work best for you and your trip.

Typically you stay for 2 nights at each selected country inn with a different and varied walk each day. It allows for a little less packing & moving on, and a little more exploring like a local. Luggage transfers are included when you hike to your next country inn.

Your itinerary consultant is here to guide you through creating and arranging your Foot Trail. Simply get in touch below to start a conversation.


Like to find out more?

To find out more and request an example itinerary for one of our trails, just pop your details in below or give us a call on +44 (0) 1747 820626.

Scroll to Top