The Cotswolds

­The Cotswolds, with their distinctive village architecture and gently rolling hills, ancient churches steeped in history, and grand country houses, are one of the most enchanting areas of England. For hundreds of years this area had the best sheep in Europe, and the cloth produced made its farmers and merchants wealthy enough to build fine houses and endow churches. 

The City of Bath is at the southern point, and from there it is easy to take a full or half day tour. The following examples leave from Bath, but we can begin the tours anywhere, such as Bristol or Swindon.

Half day or full day country walks will enable you to see the parts a coach can not reach. 

Country walks start from all the towns listed below.

Half-day tours

1. The South Cotswolds: Bath, Westonbirt, Tetbury, Bath
From the city we drive up steep and winding roads, with deep valleys to one side, as we head towards the market town of Tetbury. On the way you will see pretty limestone villages and Dyrham Park, where, in a fierce battle nearly 1500 years ago, a Saxon army finally drove out the British Celts. We can visit the National Arboretum at Westonbirt, particularly beautiful in spring and autumn.

In Tetbury, you can see the picturesque Market Hall, and perhaps visit some of the exquisite little shops, including  Highgrove, which is owned by the Prince of Wales, and offers lovely, high quality goods.

2. Meeting in Cirencester
It is possible to do a variety of half day tours taking in either Burford and Bourton-on-the Water or Stow-on-the-Wold.

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Whole-day tours

1. The Cotswold Edge: Bath, Tetbury, Cirencester, Stow-on-the-Wold, Broadway, Winchcombe, Cheltenham, Bath
From the city we drive up steep and winding roads, with deep valleys to one side, as we head towards the market town of Tetbury. On the way you will see pretty limestone villages, and Dyrham Park. The place where, in a great battle nearly 1500 years ago the Saxons finally drove out the ancient Celts. We also pass the National Arboretum at Westonbirt.

In Tetbury, you can see the picturesque Market Hall, and perhaps visit some of the exquisite little shops, including  Highgrove, which is owned by the Prince of Wales, and offers lovely, high quality goods.

The road from here to Cirencester follows the old Roman Road from Bath.  Cirencester itself was one of the most important Roman towns nearly 2000 years ago, and is often still referred to as the Capital of the Cotswolds. The central market place is wonderful, with the splendid Cotswold “wool” church dedicated to St. John.

Next we travel to Stow-on-the-Wold. This is a typical, small Cotswold town, with a “wool” church, quaint streets, and many good restaurants and cafes: a good place for lunch.

Afterwards, we pass through very pretty countryside to Broadway, with its wide main street and excellent shops. There may be time for some retail therapy!

On our way back, we pass through Winchcombe, near where Henry Vlll’s last wife, Catherine Parr, lived after Henry died, and soon after, we drop down off the Cotswolds escarpment to the Regency town of Cheltenham. Travelling back to Bath, there are wonderful views towards the City of Gloucester and South Wales.

2. The Gentle Cotswolds: Bath, Cirencester, Bibury, Burford, Bourton-on-the-Water, Bath
The same wonderful views at the start of our day and then our route branches off to Bibury where we can stop to admire the pretty weavers’ cottages in Arlington Row and the tranquil trout stream. Burford makes the ideal lunch stop as the golden stone houses tumble gently down the hill to the river and splendid church at the bottom. Burford limestone was used to build St. Paul’s Cathedral and many of the colleges in Oxford. It is then not far to Bourton-on-the-Water. With its pretty stone bridges, it is called the ‘Venice of the Cotswold’s.

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Bibury cottages

The start or finish of many lovely walks.

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If you're ready to book your tour, please fill out our online booking form and we will will be in touch to make arrangements and provide you with a quotation.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

 

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Your guide

Your guide

All guides have gained the coveted Blue Badge and all are members of the Institute of Tourist Guiding. We have specialists in all the topics covered and guides speaking English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Dutch. We aim to make tours informative and entertaining.

Local Area

Country walks from:
1. Bibury
2. Bourton-on-the-Water
3. Broadway
4. Burford
5. Cirencester
6. Chipping Campden
7. Stow-on-the-Wold
8. Tetbury

Local area

Country walks from:
1. Bibury
2. Bourton-on-the-Water
3. Broadway
4. Burford
5. Cirencester
6. Chipping Campden
7. Stow-on-the-Wold
8. Tetbury

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