4. Oxford and The Cotswolds: 3-Day Small-Group Tour
The first day of your tour will begin with you leaving London at 9:15AM, after which you will visit the world heritage site of Blenheim Palace. Learn about the history, explore the gardens, or even take a ride on the estate’s very own miniature railway line. Following lunch you will continue to the Rollright Standing Stones, these are an ancient complex of Neolithic and bronze age monuments that sit on the crest of the Cotswold Hills. This magnificent site marks the borderlands between the great counties of Oxfordshire and Warwickshire. You will round off the afternoon with a visit to the Hook Norton Brewery, where you will learn about the production of beer in one of the Cotswolds’ most beautiful areas and savor a lovingly produced local drink. At this conclusion of this day you will travel to Stratford Upon Avon which will be your base for the next two nights.
On the second day you will travel to Warwick Castle, one of England’s best preserved medieval castles. Dating back to the time of William the Conqueror, Warwick Castle is often named as one of the best historic monuments in Britain. In the early afternoon, you will return to Stratford Upon Avon, the birthplace and home of the playwright William Shakespeare. Here you will have a chance to explore the places that shaped the life of Shakespeare, by visiting Shakespeare’s birthplace. At the conclusion of this day you will have an overnight in Stratford and soak up the ambience of this historic and inspiring settlement.
On the morning of your final day, you will leave Stratford Upon Avon on a journey to the Cotswolds, a huge area that covers five counties and offers a variety of unique landscapes and charming villages. The rolling hills, villages, and farms of this area give you a glimpse back in time to an England with a gentler pace of life. The first stop of the day is Broadway Tower, a unique Saxon tower with a curious history. Then visit Stow on the Wold, the highest of the Cotswolds Towns. The large market square is testament to the huge markets and fairs that were once held in this hill top market town.
You will continue onto Bourton on the Water, nestling in the rolling Cotswolds hills. Known as "The Venice of the Cotswolds", you have time to explore this ancient village that has stood on this spot since Anglo Saxon times. Your final stop of the tour is in the City of Oxford, here you have time to explore the beautiful listed buildings, explore the precincts of the colleges, climb one of the vantage points to take in the skyline, or see the art and antique collections in the Ashmolean Museum. At the conclusion of this day you will return back to London.