Things to do in
The Cotswolds

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Our most recommended things to do in The Cotswolds

From London: Small Group Cotswolds Tour

1. From London: Small Group Cotswolds Tour

Depart from London and leave the busy streets of the city behind as you head towards the Cotswolds, the single largest Designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK. With its rustic rural charm, rolling hills, vibrant market towns and picture-perfect villages, the Cotswolds covers nearly 800 square miles of unspoiled countryside. Take a small group trip through its rolling hills, home to some of the most famous and historic towns and villages of England. An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this range of hills in west-central England is packed with picturesque villages built of Cotswold stone, beautiful churches and vast manor houses. As you make your way through little villages and historic market towns you will have the opportunity to explore the honey-coloured cottages of Bourton-on-the-Water, Bibury and Burford. Highlights include a stunning row of 17th-century weaver’s cottages and a tranquil river flowing through the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’.

From London: Full-Day Cotswolds Small-Group Tour

2. From London: Full-Day Cotswolds Small-Group Tour

Spend a day exploring the quintessentially British countryside of the Cotswolds, an area known for its green landscapes, charming villages, and honey-colored stone cottages. Enjoy the highlights of the Cotswolds, as well as some of the quieter, less seen areas of countryside. The first stop will be the small town of Burford. It's one of England’s most unchanged medieval towns and many buildings are over 500 years old. Its church is one of the most historic in the region. Visit the church, stroll along the attractive high street, and explore the town while you're here. The next stop is Bibury, often described as the 'prettiest village in all of England. Wander along the river and see the Arlington Row, a set of weaver's cottages that are now one of the symbols of the Cotswolds. There will be plenty of time to explore the village, an unmissable Cotswolds location. Head on to the picturesque town of Bourton-on-the-water. Affectionately known as ‘the Venice of the Cotswolds’, it's a popular destination for visitors. Take ample time to stroll by the river and its small bridges, admire the stone cottages and there will also be time to have some lunch.  The final stop is Stow-on-the-Wold, a jumble of inns and antique shops situated around the ancient market square. Stow has been a center of trade in the Cotswolds for centuries and was the location of the last battle of the English Civil War in 1646. It's also the location of ‘England’s oldest pub’.  Afterward, the tour returns to the meeting point.

From London: Full-Day Cotswolds Tour with Lunch

3. From London: Full-Day Cotswolds Tour with Lunch

Enjoy the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, and visit 4 of its loveliest villages – Burford, Bibury, Bourton-on-the-Water, and Stow-on-the-Wold. Travel through the Cotswolds, an area seemingly unchanged with the passing of time. See rolling landscapes, dry stone walls, quaint churches, and streams that tumble past tiny villages and charming hamlets. On this full-day excursion from London, you’ll begin your tour in Burford, where the magnificent High Street slopes down to the River Windrush. See the town’s small tea houses before heading south to picturesque Bibury for lunch. Dine in one of the prettiest villages in England. A 2-course meal awaits you in the heart of the Cotswolds at the Swan Hotel. The restaurant, overlooking the River Coln, is housed in a 17th-century former coach inn, and serves a popular range of traditional dishes, along with ales and fine wines. Explore Bourton-on-the-Water, one of the loveliest villages in the Cotswolds. Afterwards, you’ll travel to Stow-on-the-Wold, a small market town known for its annual fairs. Enjoy a guided walk through the town center before returning to London.

London: Downton Abbey, Cotswolds, and Highclere Castle Tour

4. London: Downton Abbey, Cotswolds, and Highclere Castle Tour

Depart London by luxury mini-coach on an 11-hour Downton Abbey tour. Stop at Yew Tree Farm (Cogges Manor Farm) to see filming sites used throughout the TV series. Continue to the Swan Inn at Swinbrook, location of one of the series' most controversial story lines. Next stop is in Shilton, a Cotswolds village inaccessible to larger coaches. See the old stone footbridge, duck pond and the old pump and well, before the short journey to Bampton (Downton village). Head to Highclere Castle, home to the Grantham family in the series. Enjoy the gardens before entering the castle. Take a guided tour of the castle’s opulent rooms. There will also be time to take in the Egyptian exhibition.

Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & the Cotswolds

5. Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & the Cotswolds

Blenheim Palace Blenheim Palace is a masterpiece of English Baroque architecture and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The stunning State Rooms are brimming with priceless works of art and magnificent tapestries. The Palace is still inhabited today by the Duke of Marlborough. The Gardens are set in over 754 hectares of land with an exquisite water garden. The Cotswolds In the Cotswolds you'll visit one the areas most beautiful villages, Bourton-on-the-Water. This is a must-see village, referred to as the 'Venice of the Cotswolds' due to the number of attractive bridges that cross the gently-flowing river at its center. Downton Abbey Village Visit the village of Bampton; the film setting for many of the famous landmarks featured in the popular Downton Abbey TV series. See the buildings that played the part of the home of Isobel Crawley, the Downton Cottage Hospital, the church and also the location for two fictional local pubs, The Grantham Arms and The Dog & Duck.

London: Stonehenge, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Bath, and Cotswolds

6. London: Stonehenge, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Bath, and Cotswolds

Explore the region beyond London with a full-day excursion to some of England's most fascinating and essential sights. Head straight to Stonehenge, the most popular prehistoric monument in the world. Marvel at the huge 40-ton Sarsens and the volcanic blue stones that were brought from the Preseli Mountains, located more than 280 miles away. Move on next to the beautiful Georgian city of Bath. You'll have plenty of time to shop and explore the charming streets. Drive through the picturesque Cotswold region. Take in scenic views of open countryside, crisscrossed by dry stone walls and bustling market towns. Visit the birthplace of William Shakespeare at Stratford-upon-Avon. See the home of the greatest writer in the English language and the world-renowned Royal Shakespeare Company. Admire Stratford with its delightful river that winds its way past the Holy Trinity church, where Shakespeare was laid to rest. Receive a private tour of Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall, take part in a Tudor lesson, and write with a quill and ink.

From London: Blenheim Palace & the Cotswolds with Lunch

7. From London: Blenheim Palace & the Cotswolds with Lunch

Discover the captivating Cotswolds! Enjoy views of breathtaking countryside, sleepy villages, and bustling market towns on this panoramic tour of one of England’s most beautiful regions. Bask in the beauty of Blenheim Palace! Early arrival at the Palace ensures an almost private visit of this fairy-tale country mansion. See the sumptuous State Rooms with their priceless treasures, stroll through sweeping landscaped gardens designed by Capability Brown, and grab a photo opportunity at the shimmering lake. Known as the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’, the picturesque village of Bourton–on–the–Water boasts of many traditional features of the Cotswolds. Take time to marvel at its elegant low bridges and stroll along the magnificent Main Street. Estimated arrival time back to London is around 6.30 pm.

From London: Oxford and Cotswolds Villages Day Trip

8. From London: Oxford and Cotswolds Villages Day Trip

Embark on a full-day guided trip to Oxford and Cotswolds from London. See the historic Oxford University, explore the Cotswolds villages, and admire the lush English countryside. Depart London and travel by a luxury Mercedes minibus and spend the morning exploring the beautiful university city of Oxford. Wander amongst the listed buildings and colleges, and climb one of the vantage points for breathtaking views of the spires. Marvel at the Ashmolean Museum's collection before making your way to the quaint Cotswolds villages to see traditional tiny cottages built from stone. Arrive at the village of Burford, the Gateway to the Cotswolds, and lose yourself in this bustling market town. Make the short journey to Bibury and stroll to the famous and fairytale-like Arlington Row. Admire these 14th-century cottages and gain an insight into the history from your guide. After, enjoy the scenic ride back to London.

From Oxford: Cotswolds Adventurer Tour

9. From Oxford: Cotswolds Adventurer Tour

Be introduced to some of the most enchanting villages in the Cotswolds on a full-day tour from Oxford. Head to the ancient town of Bampton, one of the oldest towns in England, known as the village in the TV series Downton Abbey. Stop to see the village church and library, where many scenes of this popular show were filmed. Continue to Kelmscott, once the summer home of the famous Arts and Crafts movement founder, William Morris. Afterwards you’ll visit Lechlade, an old market town on the River Thames. From there, your route takes you through pretty stone villages with a chance to stop and have a refreshment in a typical village shop. A short scenic drive takes you to Bibury to see its 17th-century cottages, beautiful river, and trout farm. Following the picturesque Coln Valley, drive through narrow country lanes and over rolling hills, before arriving in the quiet town of Winchcombe. Enjoy lunch in a rustic pub and browse the quirky shops. After lunch, a panoramic drive takes you past Sudeley Castle, the burial place of Catherine Parr, 6th wife of Henry VIII. Continue through pretty hamlets to Stow-on-the-Wold, to browse its quaint cafes and antiques shops. Return to Oxford via Woodstock, home to Blenheim Palace where Sir Winston Churchill was born.

From London: Oxford, Stratford & Cotswolds Guided Day-Trip

10. From London: Oxford, Stratford & Cotswolds Guided Day-Trip

Embark on a full-day guided tour of the English countryside from London. Admire the fairytale houses of the Cotswolds, the historic Oxford University, and the birthplace of William Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon. Depart London on a full-day tour that takes you west to experience the beauty of the Cotswolds countryside, and Oxford and Stratford, England’s most romantic cities. Head to Stratford-upon-Avon in the Warwickshire countryside, and enjoy 2 hours in the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Your guide will provide suggestions on the best sites to see. Take a walk around the town center to see beautiful Tudor-style buildings and sites connected with the life of Shakespeare, including the Swan Theatre. Next, your drive will continue through the Cotswolds, as you enjoy views of the lovely landscape and stone villages. A designated area of outstanding natural beauty, this is the English countryside at its finest. Continue to Oxford to explore the most famous university city in the world. Take a walk among the college buildings and admire their dreamy spires. Your guide will recommend a walking route that covers the most famous sites, including the Bridge of Sighs and Christchurch Cathedral. Learn about Oxford’s connection with Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter. Find a great place for a meal (you guide will provide recommendations), or join local scholars and academics over a pint in the city’s most haunted pub. You'll be back in London in the evening and you can use the London Underground to travel quickly to all areas of London.

Other Sightseeing Options in The Cotswolds

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What people are saying about The Cotswolds

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 2,483 reviews

A most enjoyable trip! The seven towns visited were well selected and captured, not just the charming chocolate-box idyll of the Cotswolds (no shortage of thatched cottages!) but it's unique history, linked to the wool trade and interestingly, to the English Civil War. Our excellent driver and guide, Ian, was a font of local knowledge, entertaining us with surprising stories not heard before. The trip involves a fair amount of walking so comfy shoes are a good idea.

Love time , learn so much during the trip and very pleasant! Only thing I did not enjoy too much is our bus driver , a bit none professional and using his mobile all the time during the work, feel it is bit dangerous!

This is a wonderful tour of The Cotswolds!!! You visit the villages that other tours don't. Time to spend in the larger villages to shop and dine!! My best experience in the region, yet!!

Wonderful days drive in the country. Would highly recommend this for anyone who wants to experience the rural beauty of the Cotswolds in a carefree adventure

Maravilloso tour por Blenheim palace y the costwolds.