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The Cotswolds

Small group activities

Our most recommended The Cotswolds Small group

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: Small Group Cotswolds Villages Tour

2. From London: Small Group Cotswolds Villages 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 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-colored 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 Oxford: Cotswolds Towns and Villages Small Group Tour

3. 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 the Oxfam Store on Broad Street, Oxford 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 the Oxfam shop in Oxford by 5:00 PM

From Oxford: Cotswold Explorer Full-Day Tour

4. 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 Stratford-upon-Avon / Moreton-in-Marsh: Cotswolds Tour

5. From Stratford-upon-Avon / Moreton-in-Marsh: Cotswolds Tour

Join a local driver/guide on a relaxing full-day tour of the Cotswolds National Landscape. Experience the very best of this quintessentially English region on a tour that stops at 6 different and unique locations with ample time built into the day for self-exploration, shopping, and lunch. The tour stops at: • Dover's Hill: the Northern-most Cotswolds viewpoint offering panoramic views out towards Stratford-upon-Avon, Birmingham & Coventry • Chipping Campden: a historic wool town where you have an hour of free time to explore with our unique maps and local recommendations • A secret off-the-beaten-track Cotswolds village (join to find this one out) • Stow-on-the-Wold: your designated lunch stop with a wide range of wonderful food options to choose from  • Bibury: often referred to as the prettiest village in England it's also the home of the iconic Arlington Row of cottages • Bourton-on-the-Water: famed for the crystal clear waters of the River Windrush and the pretty bridges that cross it Between the stops, your driver-guide will tell you the story of the Cotswolds with a fun, fact-filled commentary as you travel the narrow back lanes only the locals know about.

From London: Oxford, Stratford, and Cotswolds Day Trip

6. From London: Oxford, Stratford, and Cotswolds Day Trip

After a morning pick-up in central London, you’ll head to Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, and the Cotswolds on a full-day tour that takes you through English history and beautiful countryside. Visit Shakespeare’s Stratford, take a short walk past the house where Shakespeare was born in the center of town, and then visit Shakespeare's Schoolroom with your tour manager. Afterward, you will have free time to explore Stratford with its rich Tudor and Shakespearean history. Enjoy a drive through the picturesque Cotswolds, an area of astounding natural beauty. Admire the landscapes of beautiful rolling hills and honey-colored stone villages. Weather permitting there will be time for photo stops. Next stop is Oxford for a walking tour with a guide who will show you many points of interest, such as the Sheldonian Theater, Balliol College, Christ Church, and the Museum of Science. Your expected arrival time back in central London is 19:00.

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

7. 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.

From London: Cotswolds, Country Pub Lunch, & Blenheim Palace

8. From London: Cotswolds, Country Pub Lunch, & Blenheim Palace

Drive through the narrow, winding lanes of the Windrush Valley to Minster Lovell, with its ribbon of thatched cottages lining the main street. Meander on through Asthall and Swinbrook. picture-perfect houses nestle either side of the River Windrush as the bus travels up the narrow lanes to Stow-on-the-Wold. Admire the town square and the views from the hilltop, before stopping for a delicious lunch at one of the regions finest pubs, a traditional pub in Burford. Continue to neighbouring Bibury, a village referred to by authors and poets alike as "the prettiest in England." Admire the clear, trout-filled stream and village green, before traveling up the single-track country lane, through Ablington. Travel a little further along this secluded valley before heading onward to Bourton-on-the-Water, otherwise known as 'The Venice of the Cotswolds' with its stream running through the center of the village, dotted with stone bridges.  The tour then continues after lunch down to Woodstock and the magnificent Blenheim Palace - the largest privately-owned house in the country and birthplace of none other than Winston Churchill. Dating back to 1704, beautiful landscaped grounds surround the Palace. Explore the opulent interior, see the room where Sir Winston Churchill was born and marvel at the great dining hall and library. A wonderful way to end the day before the leisurely drive back to London.

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

9. 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 London: Oxford, Stratford, and Cotswolds Day Trip

10. From London: Oxford, Stratford, and Cotswolds Day Trip

Escape the bustle of London on a full-day sightseeing tour to see some of England's most glorious sights and countryside. Travel in a 16-seat Mercedes mini-coach, and enjoy an intimate, personalized experience as you visit Oxford, Stratford, and Cotswolds villages. Head out of the city on a route that shows you some of off-the-beaten-path London, and your guide will provide full commentary along the way. Then travel into the countryside, heading north-west to picturesque Stratford-upon-Avon. Before you arrive in Stratford, hear about the town’s history and its most famous resident, William Shakespeare. On arrival you’ll have the option of visiting Shakespeare’s birthplace if you wish, or you can explore the town on your own. Enjoy lunch in Stratford, and then take a guided walk through the town that includes a stop at the unusual church where Shakespeare is buried. Leaving Stratford the tour heads south to Oxford, passing through the stunning landscape of The Cotswolds. See some of the loveliest villages that the country has to offer. Narrow country lanes wind their way through classically English villages with clusters of thatched cottages. When you arrive at the world-renowned university city of Oxford, your guide will lead you on a walking tour to take in the city’s stunning architecture. See Oxford University’s colleges, some dating back 900 years. Explore gardens, alleys, pubs, and other hidden delights this city has to offer, as you hear about its history. After the walking tour, you’ll have plenty of time to explore further at your own pace, armed with a map provided by your guide. Afterwards the coach will head back to London, arriving at around 08:00 PM.

Frequently asked questions about The Cotswolds Small group

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What people are saying about The Cotswolds

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 37 reviews

Very engaging, interesting driver. Set expectations well. Excellent managing the traffic. Initially, finding the bus was a confusing and stressful experience. A better way would be providing gpa coordinates. Maybe by email the day before.

Great trip in the Cotswolds. Ian, our guide was great. Took us to places others might not see. Great stories along the way. Sufficient time at stops. Had a great adventure with others from America and Canada.

Isabel and David are both very knowledgeable and take good care of you. This is an amazing tour to see all the hidden gems the Cotswolds has to offer. Go and see for yourself.

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!

the only change that would make it perfect: having more time at each stop