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The Cotswolds Small group activities

Our most recommended The Cotswolds Small group activities

From London: Full-Day Cotswolds Small-Group Tour

1. 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 the countryside. First, stop in the small town of Burford, one of England’s most unchanged medieval towns with many buildings over 500 years old. Visit the historic church, stroll along the attractive high street, and explore the town. Next head to Bibury, known as the prettiest village in all of England. Wander along the river and see Arlington Row, a set of weaver's cottages that are now one of the symbols of the Cotswolds. Enjoy free time to explore the enchanting village. Continue on to the picturesque town of Bourton-on-the-water. Take ample time to stroll by the river and its small bridges, admire the stone cottages and have some lunch.  Cap your tour with a visit to 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 Oxford: Cotswolds Adventurer Tour

2. 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 Oxford: Cotswold Explorer Full-Day Tour

3. 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).

From Oxford: Cotswolds Towns and Villages Small Group Tour

4. From Oxford: Cotswolds Towns and Villages Small Group Tour

Discover quaint villages, tiny tea rooms, and 15th-century ruins on a day trip to the Cotswolds from Oxford. Explore Stow-on-the-Wold, Burford, Bourton-on-the-Water, and more unusually named places. Admire the scenery as you drive through the pretty countryside to picturesque villages. Departing from outside Oxford Railway Station in the morning at 10:00 AM, head to the village of Great Tew. Continue to Stow-on-the-Wold to reach the highest town in the region and browse the honey-colored buildings and tiny tea rooms. Visit the pretty village of Lower Slaughter before going to Bourton-on-the-Water, known as the "Venice of the Cotswolds", where you will have time for lunch. After lunch, discover the gateway to the Cotswolds in the village of Burford. Journey through the valley of the River Windrush and discover amazing villages such as Swinbrook along with the ruins of 15th-century Minster Lovell Hall. Departure will be late afternoon, returning to Oxford Railway Station by 5:00 PM

From Oxford: Half-Day Cotswold Taster Tour

5. From Oxford: Half-Day Cotswold Taster Tour

Leave the medieval city of Oxford and head first to the pretty village of Minster Lovell. Walk through the village and see the pretty thatched cottages and River Windrush. Relax on a scenic drive that takes you through the idyllic hamlets of Asthall and Swinbrook to the old market town of Burford, the 'gateway to the Cotswolds'.  Enjoy time to browse in the sloping High Street of Burford, with its quirky shops and cafes. Continue through the old quarrying villages of Taynton and the Barringtons, where a panoramic drive takes you to Bourton-on-the-Water, often called the 'Venice of the Cotswolds'.  Wander along the banks of the quaint River Windrush with its old stone bridges or stop for a refreshment in one of the many cafes. Leaving Bourton-on-the-Water, you climb up to Stow Hill to Stow-on-the-Wold, the highest town in the Cotswolds and a market town since the 12th century. Stow is known for its many antique shops and art galleries, as well as many other shops and cafes.  Don't forget to visit St Edward's Church with its old door which inspired the writer Tolkien. On your way back to Oxford pass by the market town of Chipping Norton and Woodstock, the site of Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Stop for a brief photo stop of the palace before your return to Oxford.

From Oxford: Cotswolds and Shakespeare Full-Day Tour

6. From Oxford: Cotswolds and Shakespeare Full-Day Tour

See the natural beauty of the North Cotswolds and historic Stratford-upon-Avon on a full-day tour from Oxford. Make several stops in quaint Cotswolds villages and learn about the birthplace of Shakespeare. Head west from medieval Oxford and your first stop will be the old market town of Burford. Explore the ‘Gateway to the Cotswolds’ and stop for a refreshment. From there you’ll be taken on a scenic drive through some of the old quarrying villages of the Cotswolds until you arrive at Bourton-on-the-Water. Wander along the pretty riverside with its historic stone bridges and browse some of the country shops and cafes. Next, after crossing some rolling hills you’ll reach the charming old market town of Chipping Campden. Visit the old market hall and perhaps stop for lunch in a local pub or restaurant. Finally, follow a route that takes you past more breathtaking views until you reach Stratford-upon-Avon. Here you’ll receive a tour of Shakespeare’s hometown, where you’ll see picturesque timber-framed houses, the famous Shakespeare theaters, the River Avon, and Shakespeare’s birthplace.   After Stratford, head back to the Cotswolds via Shottery, where you’ll see the enchanting Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. Return to Oxford via the market town of Shipston, the idyllic village of Great Tew, and Blenheim Palace (birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill).

Wales and the South West: 5-Day Small Group Tour

7. Wales and the South West: 5-Day Small Group Tour

Day 1: Leave London and travel west to the rolling hills of the Cotswolds through England’s prettiest historic villages. Get the best photos and hear the most fascinating local tales. Travel through the Welsh Marches marked out by the ancient Offa’s Dyke. Head into the heart of the Cambrian Mountains and beautiful Elan Valley. Finally, head to the beautiful seaside town and cultural center of Aberystwyth, where you spend the next two nights. Day 2: Travel to the mountainous region of Snowdonia National Park. Visit the mountain village of Beddgelert to see the famous grave of Gelert, the legendary dog, or explore the nearby copper mine. Next, head to the town of Machynlleth to see the ancient clock tower and the quaint houses, and go antique hunting. Move on to Porthmadog and over the Cob causeway before reaching the impenetrable medieval Harlech Castle. After a fulfilling day, return to Aberystwyth in the late afternoon. Day 3: Travel around the coast of Cardigan Bay through Aberaeron to New Quay. Explore the picturesque harbor and get the chance to spot dolphins and whales. Head into the foreboding Black Mountains to explore a bedrock cave under a castle, before you visit Laugharne, where Dylan Thomas wrote the famous play Under Milk Wood. Move on to Tenby, a charming seaside town and your base for two nights. Day 4: See some of Britain’s most gorgeous coastlines at the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Travel to the tiny cathedral city of St Davids for lunch and exploration, and stop in the county town of Pembroke to enter the thick medieval walls of the castle. From here, return to Tenby for a relaxed evening. Day 5: Leaving Tenby in the morning, begin your return journey to London. Head past the industrial cities of South Wales to the outskirts of Cardiff, and visit the outdoor National History Museum. Take the Severn Bridge back into England, and take a break at Castle Combe, a Cotswold village perfect for a relaxed stroll amongst 16th-century ironstone cottages.

From Oxford: Day Trip to The Cotswolds

8. From Oxford: Day Trip to The Cotswolds

This enchanting half-day tour begins with a drive to the pretty village of Minster Lovell. Enjoy walking through the village and seeing the charming thatched cottages. The route continues to the idyllic village of Bibury, once described by William Morris as the most beautiful village in England.  Delight in a walk along the River Coln and see the trout farm and the famous 17th-century weavers' cottages on Arlington Row. A panoramic drive takes you through the stunning Coln Valley, passing through enchanting stone hamlets, hidden valleys and breathtaking scenery, before arriving in the historic wool town of Northleach.  Visit the famous wool church with its imposing Perpendicular church tower, cross to the North Cotswolds and follow the course of the River Windrush through the beautiful villages of the Windrush Valley. The next stop is in the bustling town of Burford, known as the Gateway to the Cotswolds.

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What people are saying about The Cotswolds

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 37 reviews

We LOVED our tour of the Cotswolds! This is a must-do tour if you are visiting London. Our tour guide Jamie was phenomenal! He kept the drive interesting by pointing out all the main sights along the way and providing information we wouldn’t have known otherwise. The Cotswolds are beautiful and we had plenty of time in each of the villages we stopped in! Highly recommend!

Highly recommended tour. Kevin our driver and tour guide was very knowledgeable, helpful and funny. The tour was well organised and places visited lovely.

Our guide Kevin was friendly and informative. We really enjoyed our day in the country. Weather was bad but that’s the norm for this place in the winter

Very beautiful places peaceful amazing. Only need more time in bibury and not so much time in last station.

Beautiful towns and our guide was amicable and knowledgeable