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Stow-on-the-Wold

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Our most recommended things to do in Stow-on-the-Wold

From London: Full-Day Cotswolds Tour with Lunch

1. From London: Full-Day Cotswolds Tour with Lunch

Enjoy the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, and visit 4 of its loveliest villages – Burford, Bibury, Bourton-on-the-Water, and Stow-on-the-Wold. Travel through the Cotswolds, an area seemingly unchanged with the passing of time. See rolling landscapes, dry stone walls, quaint churches, and streams that tumble past tiny villages and charming hamlets. On this full-day excursion from London, you’ll begin your tour in Burford, where the magnificent High Street slopes down to the River Windrush. See the town’s small tea houses before heading south to picturesque Bibury for lunch. Dine in one of the prettiest villages in England. A 2-course meal awaits you in the heart of the Cotswolds at the Swan Hotel. The restaurant, overlooking the River Coln, is housed in a 17th-century former coach inn, and serves a popular range of traditional dishes, along with ales and fine wines. Explore Bourton-on-the-Water, one of the loveliest villages in the Cotswolds. Afterwards, you’ll travel to Stow-on-the-Wold, a small market town known for its annual fairs. Enjoy a guided walk through the town center before returning to London.

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

2. 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 7 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 • Broadway Tower: a quirky 18th-century folly perched on the second-highest point of the Cotswolds hills • 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.

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From Oxford: Half-Day Cotswold Taster Tour

3. 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.

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From London: Oxford, Stratford & Cotswolds Village Tour

4. From London: Oxford, Stratford & Cotswolds Village Tour

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.

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Oxford and The Cotswolds: 3-Day Small-Group Tour

5. 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.

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From Oxford: Stratford-upon-Avon and the Cotswolds Tour

6. From Oxford: Stratford-upon-Avon and the Cotswolds Tour

Embark on a journey through the heart of the English countryside, to the unblemished rolling green hills of the famous Cotswolds. Piercing the morning fog, to explore the traditional farmland; the small vehicle you will travel in is able to visit locations others simply are not. Be transported back to a simpler time, of quaint villages, thatched cottages and medieval churches. A guide will expertly uncover the history and beauty of this area that has attracted global attention. Of course, you may incorporate some time to visit rural shops to sample their natural and rare products, along with a traditional historic pub for lunch. You can either eat the locally sourced produce at this pub, or take in the idyllic views with your own packed lunch (not included).

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From Oxford: Cotswolds Towns and Villages Small Group Tour

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

Departing from the visitor information center 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 and Asthall, along with the ruins of 15th-century Minster Lovell Hall. Departure will be late afternoon, returning to the visitor information center in Oxford by 5:00 PM.

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From Oxford: Cotswolds and Blenheim Palace with Pub Lunch

8. From Oxford: Cotswolds and Blenheim Palace with Pub Lunch

This small-group tour takes place in England's most outstandingly beautiful countryside, the region of the Cotswolds. The small, executive vehicles allow the tour to go off the beaten track through the valley of the River Windrush, and along single track roads to the town of Burford. Take a guided walk to the historic church, then after further exploration, continue to the Coln Valley and the charming Bibury, once described as the prettiest village in England. Stroll through the water meadows and see historic Arlington Row, a group of ancient weaver's cottages. It's then onwards to Bourton-on-the-Water and Stow-on-the-Wold, all the while taking in the leafy, winding country lanes that big coaches cannot travel on.  After that, enjoy lunch at a traditional country pub. Menu choices include Pan Roast Chicken Breast, served with Potato Cake, Roast Carrots & Tarragon Cream, or Chef's vegetarian special of the day; examples are Caramelised polenta cake, served with aubergine caviar, confit shallots, rocket & Parmesan (v) OR Goats Cheese and Sun Blush Tomato Croquettes. Then explore the beautiful village before the tour departs for the final and perhaps most impressive stop, Blenheim Palace. Next, head over to Blenheim Palace, the largest privately-owned house in Britain, home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill in 1874. The house was designed by Sir John Vanburgh over 300 years ago, to rival the Palace of Versailles. You will be able to tour the magnificent rooms, stroll around the stunning gardens, see the Winston Churchill exhibition, all the while enjoying the sheer opulence and breathtaking beauty of the Palace before returning to Oxford.

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Oxford, Cotswolds, and Stratford-upon-Avon Tour from Oxford

9. Oxford, Cotswolds, and Stratford-upon-Avon Tour from Oxford

Embark on a small-group day trip departing from Oxford. Your day begins with an eye-opening guided walking tour of the city, including the ancient colleges and academic buildings of Oxford University, as well as picture perfect churches and chapels dating as far back as the 11th century. Afterwards, head to the timber-framed splendor of Stratford-upon-Avon for a guided tour of Shakespeare's hometown, where many buildings survive from his own lifetime. Enjoy a narrative from your expert guide about the history of the poet as you drive to sites that were important in his life, such as the Holy Trinity Church where he was baptized and buried, and his birthplace, where you will have some time to go inside and explore.  After some free time in the town, a scenic drive will take you into the limestone uplands known as the Cotswold Hills. Narrow country lanes, meandering streams, honey-colored stone villages and green pastures are characteristic of this area. After some time exploring the villages such as Bibury, Burford, and Stow-on-the-Wold where you have some time for lunch, you'll head back to Oxford.

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The Cotswolds: Private Customized Tour

10. The Cotswolds: Private Customized Tour

If you only have one day in the Cotswolds then this is the tour for you. Starting at your location of choice, your tour will focus on the North Cotswolds, as this is where many of the most famous and beautiful villages can be found. Driving through stunning countryside and using quiet country lanes, you will visit or pass through a dozen or so quaint Cotswold villages, with options to visit a Manor House, an English Garden or maybe take a short hike in the countryside. All the major spots are easily covered in one day with plenty of time for getting out of the car and enjoying the scenery and atmosphere. You will be looked after by a knowledgeable local driver-guide, and will travel in a luxury vehicle that can hold up to 8 guests. Your guide will give you a background of the area's history and at each of the stops you are free to either explore the village with your guide or to have some free time to yourself to have a look around. All tours are bespoke and the itinerary is totally flexible so let us know if you have specific places you wish to visit or have any custom requests.

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What people are saying about Stow-on-the-Wold

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 381 reviews

We had Cotswolds trip with lunch. The guide is Frank, he is friendly and helpful. The drive is Andre, he is Polish and he is nice and friendly. Hope can see them soon! Thanks

Tom was really friendly, knowledgeable, approachable and enthusiastic, we went to some great places and had a great time.

A wonderful day. Our guide was very personable and extremely well-informed and entertained us with local anecdotes.

Very informative and entertaining experience. Not too rushed nor overwhelming.

It was a well structured tour with very informative and helpful guide