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The Cotswolds

Architecture

Our most recommended The Cotswolds Architecture Tours

From London: Oxford and Cotswolds Villages Day Trip

1. 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 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.

Oxford, Stratford, Cotswolds & Warwick Castle Day-Tour

3. Oxford, Stratford, Cotswolds & Warwick Castle Day-Tour

Walking tour of Oxford Follow in the footsteps of Oxford's famous students, from C.S. Lewis to Bill Clinton, as you stroll the captivating college courtyards and cobbled lanes of this historic university town. Take in the famous 'dreaming spires' and see Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe. You'll be captivated by the unspoiled narrow alleys and ancient squares of this naturally beautiful town. Oxford is famous for being home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world – countless bright young things have wandered the town’s cobbled streets over the years! During this guided walking tour you will see the stunning University Church of St Mary the Virgin and furtively discover unspoiled narrow alleyways, ancient squares, and towering spires. Entry to the 13th century University Church of St Mary the Virgin. Soak in spectacular sights of the unique baroque design and architecture as you explore the center of the University of Oxford. This absolute gem is a must-visit on your trip to Oxford. After visiting Oxford, you will leave the university city and return to London. The Cotswolds Enjoy views of the breathtaking countryside, sleepy villages, and bustling market towns as you drive through the charming scenery of one of England's most beautiful regions. Stratford–upon–Avon  A unique market town, famous as the home of William Shakespeare, arguably the world's greatest writer. Visit the picturesque half-timber house where the legendary bard was born, and gain fascinating insights into his childhood. Shakespeare’s birthplace: See where the famous playwright grew up and spent his years as a married man. Warwick Castle  Be part of Britain’s greatest medieval experience deep in the heart of Warwick Castle. Immerse yourself in battle preparations and feel the weight of a medieval sword. Become a soldier – try on a battle helmet for size. Visit the spectacular State Rooms and feast your eyes on Victorian party preparations. 

From Oxford: Cotswolds Adventurer Tour

4. 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

5. 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.

From Oxford: Cotswold Explorer Full-Day Tour

6. From Oxford: Cotswold Explorer Full-Day Tour

Start your unforgettable Cotswold journey by boarding the minibus in Oxford. Then, set off on a scenic drive to the charming village of Minster Lovell. Enjoy seeing the pretty thatched houses and exploring the ruined 15th century Hall. Continue the route through the idyllic villages of Asthall and Swinbrook to Burford, the 'Gateway to the Cotswolds'. Make a stop here to give you time to stroll around the sloping High Street and browse in the quirky shops and cafes. Next, travel further on your panoramic drive through the old quarrying villages of Taynton and the Barringtons towards Bourton-on-the-Water, the 'Venice of the Cotswolds'. Take a walk along the quaint River Windrush crossed with delightful stone bridges. From Bourton-on-the-Water, follow the route through some enchanting Cotswold villages to Broadway with its golden stone houses. Find a pub or cafe for lunch in this village which inspired artists and writers, such as Frank Millet, J M Barrie, and William Morris. After lunch, visit the beautiful market town of Chipping Campden, with its old market hall and wool church. Then, explore Stow-on-the-Wold, the highest town in the Cotswolds. Here you can browse among the narrow footpaths and the antique shops and art galleries. Finally, return to Oxford via the bustling market town of Chipping Norton with a final brief photo stop in Woodstock, the site of Blenheim Palace (the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill).

The Cotswolds: Guided Cycle Tour

7. The Cotswolds: Guided Cycle Tour

Enjoy the beautiful rolling hills and some of the prettiest scenery that the Cotswolds has to offer on this guided cycling tour. Starting and finishing at the pretty market town of Moreton-in-Marsh, this spectacular guided group tour offers something for everyone. You'll pass through pretty Cotswold villages such as Paxford, Ebrington and Chipping Campden. There will be plenty of time to admire the beautiful countryside scenery in between. The distance is easily manageable over the course of the day and the pace is relaxed, offering plenty of time for photo stops, sightseeing and some refreshments at one of the plentiful Cotswolds pubs along the way. available

London: Stonehenge, Bath, Lacock, & Avebury Small Group Tour

8. London: Stonehenge, Bath, Lacock, & Avebury Small Group Tour

Depart London in the early morning and be one of the first visitors of the day to Stonehenge. As you arrive at Stonehenge your guide will tell you the facts and theories behind this most famous of Stone Age structures. Was it a temple, a clock, a place of worship, or a burial site for the elite? Then it’s on to Bath, which has seen visitors since the time of the Celts. Centuries later, in the 1st century A.D. the Romans arrived, calling this place Aqua Sulis. Even later, during the Georgian Era of the 18th century, the rich and wealthy arrived from London to see and be seen and took to the waters to rid themselves of joint stiffness and gout.  Stop for a break in the delightful village of Lacock. Seemingly untouched by modern times, this charming place has been used as a setting in many films, including Cranford, Moll Flanders, Pride and Prejudice, and Harry Potter. Enjoy a guided tour of this lovely village before you make your way to Avebury, a pretty village of thatched cottages nestling in the middle of a huge stone circle. After a guided walk in Avebury, depart for your return journey to London.

Warwick Castle, Stratford, Oxford & Cotswolds Day Trip

9. Warwick Castle, Stratford, Oxford & Cotswolds Day Trip

Travel into Britain's past as you escape the hustle and bustle of London. Start off the day with a short walking tour of Oxford, home to one of the world’s most famous universities. The ivy-clad colleges that make up the university are seen as some of the finest architecture in Europe. There will be some free time to shop for souvenirs before heading through the Cotswolds towards Stratford. Private tour of Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall Described as ‘one of the most atmospheric, magical and important buildings in the whole of Britain,’ Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall opened it’s doors to the public for the first time in 2016 to mark the 400th anniversary of the writer's death. Step back in time to the 1570’s when William Shakespeare was a pupil learning to read and write, and see the room where leading theater companies came to perform - a strong influence on the young playwright. You will be invited to enjoy a private tour before the school opens to the public in the morning, including the chance to take part in a Tudor lesson, write with a quill and ink, witness the rare medieval wall paintings, and much more.  Stratford-Upon-Avon The birthplace of William Shakespeare, the greatest writer in the English language and home to the theatres of the world-renowned Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford is a charming market town set in the heart of rural England. A delightful river winds its way through the town, past the beautiful Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare lies buried. See some wonderful half-wooden buildings that date back to Shakespeare's time, including Shakespeare’s birthplace. Warwick Castle This is, quite simply, the greatest medieval castle in Britain. With a history that dates back over 1,000 years, Warwick Castle will take you back in time to a world of sumptuous banquets, bloody battles, and royal splendor. Enter over the footbridge and explore the castle's ramparts, towers, and gardens. Oxford and the Cotswolds Oxford, the city of dreaming spires, boasts one of the world’s greatest and oldest universities as well as some of the finest architecture in Europe. The colleges themselves, which make up the university, are amongst the architectural highlights, their ivy-clad stone walls protecting beautiful chapels, halls and libraries. Soak up the atmosphere of this remarkable town with a guided walking tour of the city or take tea in the shop where the real-life Alice (inspiration for Alice in Wonderland) bought her sweets! Your trip to Oxford promises an unforgettable experience for young and old alike. On the way to the remarkable city you will also enjoy a short drive through the scenic Cotswolds.

From London: Cotswolds Guided Day Tour

10. From London: Cotswolds Guided Day Tour

Explore 5 historic and picturesque villages in the Cotswolds area on this private day trip from London. Visit Burford, enjoy relaxing views of the rolling English countryside, and stroll through Bibury. Leave London and head for Burford. Stroll down the town's beautiful High Street to reach the River Windrush and marvel at the historic bridge crossing the river. Continue to Lower Slaughter to enjoy a view of a water mill dating from the 19th century. Stroll through Stow on the Wold's historic market square, surrounded by pubs, the town hall, and antique shops. Stop for lunch (not included) at a local pub or a tea room. Continue to Bourton on the Water to enjoy a relaxing walk along the River Windrush, surrounded by honey-colored stone buildings. Finish your tour with Bibury. Stroll along Arlington Row, filled with stone cottages built in 1380. Enjoy between 45 minutes and 1 hour in each town, giving you the opportunity to have a coffee, see the sights, or buy a souvenir. Return to London in time for dinner.

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What people are saying about The Cotswolds

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 771 reviews

Great and absolutely fun experience, well done to the organizers. Small and agile group so we moved swiftly from place to place without delays. Our driver/guide was super friendly, welcoming and hillarious and made sure the trip was pleasant and comfortable for everyone. The choice of places was also great, all villages visited were worth strolling around and there was ample time to relax, unwind, take photos and grab a coffee/lunch. Totally recommended!

Your guide is very knowledgeable. Good coverage of 4 different town in Cotswold. Good time management ensuring clear instructions to all travellers.

Thank you so much Adam for a wonderful tour of the Cotswolds! We enjoyed your fun stories and historic facts. Excellent tour, highly recommend!

Amber was fantastic as a guide, so knowledgeable and made the day alot of fun . I’d recommend her & this tour to any Downton Abbey fans!

Well organized journey, driver very friendly and knowledgable + great fun.