Things to do in
The Cotswolds

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Our most recommended things to do in The Cotswolds

From London: Small Group Cotswolds Tour

1. From London: Small Group Cotswolds 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 small group 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-coloured 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 London: Full-Day Cotswolds Tour with Lunch

2. 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.

From London: Full-Day Tour of the Cotswolds

3. From London: Full-Day Tour of the Cotswolds

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 countryside. The first stop will be the small town of Burford. It's one of England’s most unchanged medieval towns and many buildings are over 500 years old. Its church is one of the most historic in the region. Visit the church, stroll along the attractive high street, and explore the town while you're here. The next stop is Bibury, often described as the 'prettiest village in all of England. Wander along the river and see the Arlington Row, a set of weaver's cottages that are now one of the symbols of the Cotswolds. There will be plenty of time to explore the village, an unmissable Cotswolds location. Head on to the picturesque town of Bourton-on-the-water. Affectionately known as ‘the Venice of the Cotswolds’, it's a popular destination for visitors. Take ample time to stroll by the river and its small bridges, admire the stone cottages and there will also be time to have some lunch.  The final stop is 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 London: Oxford and Cotswolds Villages Day Trip

4. From London: Oxford and Cotswolds Villages Day Trip

Depart London and travel by a luxury Mercedes mini-coach to 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, then head towards the quaint Cotswolds villages to see traditional tiny cottages built from stone. Visit the village of Burford, the Gateway to the Cotswolds, and experience the small market town. Make the short journey to Bibury and stroll to the famous and fairytale-like Arlington Row.

From Oxford: Cotswolds Towns and Villages Small Group Tour

5. 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.

Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & the Cotswolds

6. Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & the Cotswolds

Blenheim Palace Blenheim Palace 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. The Cotswolds In the Cotswolds you'll visit one the areas most beautiful villages, Bourton-on-the-Water. This is a must-see village, referred to as the 'Venice of the Cotswolds' due to the number of attractive bridges that cross the gently-flowing river at its center. Downton Abbey Village Visit the village of Bampton; the film setting for many of the famous landmarks featured within the popular Downton Abbey TV series. See the buildings that played the part of the home of Isobel Crawley, the Downton Cottage Hospital, the church and also the location for two fictional local pubs, The Grantham Arms and The Dog & Duck.

London: Downton Abbey, Cotswolds, and Highclere Castle Tour

7. London: Downton Abbey, Cotswolds, and Highclere Castle Tour

Depart London by luxury mini-coach on an 11-hour Downton Abbey tour. Stop at Yew Tree Farm (Cogges Manor Farm) to see filming sites used throughout the TV series. Continue to the Swan Inn at Swinbrook, location of one of the series' most controversial story lines. Next stop is in Shilton, a Cotswolds village inaccessible to larger coaches. See the old stone footbridge, duck pond and the old pump and well, before the short journey to Bampton (Downton village). Head to Highclere Castle, home to the Grantham family in the series. Enjoy the gardens before entering the castle. Take a guided tour of the castle’s opulent rooms. There will also be time to take in the Egyptian exhibition.

London: Stonehenge, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Bath, and Cotswolds

8. London: Stonehenge, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Bath, and Cotswolds

Explore the region beyond London with a full-day excursion to sites of cultural and historical significance. First, you will head straight to Stonehenge, the most popular prehistoric monument in the world. Marvel at the huge 40-ton Sarsens and the volcanic blue stones that were brought from the Preseli Mountains, located more than 280 miles away. Next, visit the beautiful Georgian city of Bath. You'll have plenty of time to shop and explore before driving through the Cotswolds, for breathtaking views of open countryside, crisscrossed by dry stone walls and bustling market towns. Finally, the birthplace of William Shakespeare awaits at Stratford-upon-Avon. Visit the home of the greatest writer in the English language and the world-renowned Royal Shakespeare Company. Admire Stratford, a charming market town in the heart of rural England with a delightful river that winds its way past the Holy Trinity church, where Shakespeare was laid to rest. Get a private tour of Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall. You will be invited to take part in a Tudor lesson, write with a quill and ink, witness the rare medieval wall paintings and much more.

From Oxford: Cotswold Explorer Full-Day Tour

9. 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 Adventurer Tour

10. 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.

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What people are saying about The Cotswolds

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 2,483 reviews

It was amazing to see the locations of the Downtown Abbey series! The guide was very attentive and gave information throughout the tour. The transport left on time and everything went according to plan.

Go Tours was awesome and it was a wonderfully pleasant journey with their courteous and knowledgeable guide :) A completely amazing experience and I would highly recommend them.

Our tour guide, James, was very knowledgeable and informative! Our two bus drivers were cautious and very kind.

It was very nice and the English countryside was beautiful. The trip overall was worth it.

tour guide was great.. provided a lot of information. enjoyed the trip