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The Cotswolds is a scenic area containing some of England's best countryside and it is one of the few such areas within easy driving distance of London for a day tour.
A tour coach will take about 2 hours to get into the Cotswolds from London.
The lure of the Cotswolds is the English countryside and villages that you see in all the tourist promotional literature.
Sleepy villages made of the local limestone with thatched or slate roofs. A pub, maybe a murmuring stream running through and a backdrop of greenery.
What is more, this picture is not an out of context place put on especially for tourists, but real, living villages, covering a very wide area.
A typical Cotswold day tour from London will stop at two or three of such villages, all very different and somewhere during the day find time for a cream tea or lunch.
Most will also stop at somewhere else of interest on the periphery of the Cotswolds region, Oxford, the university city and Stratford On Avon for all things Shakespeare are the most popular such stops.
Many tours pass through the Cotswolds and give a tantalising glimpse of the Cotswolds, this tour gives the Cotswolds centre stage and spends all day in the Cotswold region.
Burford, Bibury, Stow-on-the-Wold and Bourton on the Water are the villages that you can explore and the tour passes through many more.
You can enjoy a 2 course lunch included in the price of the tour at one of the villages visited.
The Cotswolds represents an area that is forever England, remaining seemingly unchanged with the passing of time. Rolling landscapes, dry stone walls, perpendicular churches and sparkling clear streams fuse with tiny villages and hamlets with their charming limestone houses, tea shops and inns.
Bibury was described as the most beautiful village in England by William Morris and you can enjoy a short walking tour here as well as a fabulous two course lunch in the Swan hotel, situated in the centre of Bibury, overlooking the River Coln.
The 17th century former coaching Inn serves a fabulous range of traditional cooking, ales and fine wines. On rare occasions an alternative may be used if the Swan cannot be used.
Cotswolds and lunch in pretty pub, guided day tour from London
• Adult £108 • Child (3-16 years) £98 • Senior & student £105
• 2-course lunch in a 17th Century former coaching Inn in Bibury • Photo stops at Bourton-on-the-Water, Burford, Bibury and Stow-on-the Wold • Professional guide • Luxury air-conditioned coach with free Wi-Fi
This small group tour is another that focusses on the Cotswold only. On this tour there are a maximum of 16 people sharing the tour which can make it feel much more personal. An additional benefit with small group tours in the Cotswolds is the size of the vehicle you are travelling within. Large coaches are often not allowed close to some of the Cotswold villages, whereas a luxury small group vehicle on occassions will get you much closer.
On this tour you will explore two stunningly beautiful Cotswolds villages and have a photostop at Bibury. On your journey you will also pass through other beautiful villages and enjoy the incredible scenery and history of an area of outstanding natural beauty.
At Bibury, you'll stop for photos and look at the River Coln running alongside the traditional 17th century weaver cottages. From here, you journey to Burford, known as the gateway to the Cotswolds. You'll find many small boutique and antique shops here, perfect for those looking to browse or buy some authentic souveniers of their visit. The river Windrush runs by Burford and the village is well known as a beautiful example of Cotswolds architecture and design.
The second village you'll visit is one of the most well known, Bourton-on-the-Water. Here you'll enjoy a relaxing afternoon exploring the shops, walking along the river, taking amazing pictures and enjoying the quaint cafes.
From Bourton-on-the-Water you are taken back to London for the early evening.
Small group guided tour of Cotswolds (max 16 people)
• Adult from £97 • Child (3-16 years) from £88
• Visit Bourton-on-the-Water and Burford • Photo stops at Bibury • Professional guide • Luxury small group vehicle
There is a weekly version of the in-depth Cotswolds tour above but in a small group format, maximum 16 passengers. As the vehicle is much smaller the tour can venture down country lanes and visit villages the larger tour coaches cannot.
In addition to visiting Bourton-on-the-Water, Burford, Bibury and Stow-on-the-Wold, this tour also includes entry to Blenheim Palace and gardens as well as lunch in a beautiful country pub.
Cotswolds and lunch with Blenheim Palace, guided day tour from London
• Adult from £164 • Child (3-15 years) from £144
• Visits to Bourton-on-the-Water, Burford, Bibury and Stow-on-the Wold • Entry to Blenheim Palace & Gardens • Lunch with drink included • Professional guide • Small group day trip - maximum 16 people per tour • Luxury air-conditioned coach with free Wi-Fi
The small bus comes into its own on this tour into the picturesque Cotswold region, a couple of hours' drive to the north west of London. With the small bus you can go down country lanes and visit places the big tour buses and crowds are prohibited from. You'll see more of the unspoilt countryside and villages that attract people to the Cotswold region in the first place.
Your first stop of the day is Stratford Upon Avon, including a minibus tour of the Tudor town and the timber framed houses that have survived from Shakespeare's own time. There's a photo stop outside the Bard's wife, Anne Hathaway's Cottage. Finally, you'll enter Shakespeare's Birthplace, the intriguing museum devoted to William Shakespeare.
In the middle of your day you'll visit the quaint Cotswold towns and villages of Burford, Bourton-on-the-Water and Taynton, as well as the the picturesque twins of Great and Little Rissington. Lunch is at the delightful town of Stow-on-the-Wold with its village green and historic market square.
At the end of your day it's off to Oxford, with an informative and in-depth walking tour of the University, colleges and town.
On this tour you will be travelling with no more than 16 other people - guaranteed! Purpose-built minibuses have large windows, good air circulation and clear PA systems so that your professional guide can escort you comfortably through the wonderful countryside.
There are no minimum numbers required to operate this tour.
Oxford, Cotswolds & Stratford day tour from London
• Adult from £154 • Child (3-15 years) from £134
• Small group max 16 ppl • Admission Shakespeare's Birthplace • Admission Divinity School Oxford • Walking tour Oxford • Explore Cotswold villages • Professional guide
Just about the only mainstream tour from London that visits Blenheim Palace, this tour only runs all year round but not during the month of December.
You will start your day visiting the quaint village of Bampton, the traditional English village made famous for being the filming location for the popular period drama television series, “Downton Abbey.” You'll see the home of Isobel Crawley, the Downton Cottage Hospital, the village church, as well as the location for two fictional local pubs, The Grantham Arms and The Dog & Duck.
Following your visit to Bampton, your next stop will be Bourton-on-the-Water, the 'Venice of the Cotswolds,' on the River Windrush. Here you can enjoy a traditional afternoon tea experience in a riverside café, or take a stroll down the river banks and peruse the eclectic mix of local stores offering everything from homemade ice cream to charming gifts for friends and family back home.
Finally you'll finish your day at Blenheim Palace, Blenheim 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.
Blenheim Palace, Cotswolds and Downton Abbey film locations guided day tour from London
• Adult from £87 • Child (3-16 years) from £78
• Entry to Blenheim Palace & Gardens • Scenic drive through the Cotswolds • Discover two traditional villages • See filming locations of 'Downton Abbey' • Professional guide • Luxury air-conditioned coach with free Wi-Fi
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