Today I want to tell you about a great Cotswolds day tour. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is one of my favorite places in England, and it’s an easy day trip from London. Given it can be tricky to cover a lot of ground here via public transport, a day tour to the Cotswolds is the perfect way to see as many towns and villages as one day will allow.
Cotswolds Day Tour
I start my day tour in London, where I board a minibus in Kensington and settle in for the drive to the Cotswolds. In just over two hours, I’m taking in the quintessential green fields and golden stone cottages the area is famous for.
My Cotswolds day tour starts with a stop in Burford. Often referred to as the Gateway to the Cotswolds, this town in Oxfordshire is known for its pretty high street, historic church, and eye-catching cottages.
It’s a great place for walks, too. I did a Burford circular walk here and loved seeing the nearby villages in the Windrush Valley.
But today I’m focusing on the town, as I only have an hour to explore. I’m on my Cotswolds day tour with a friend, and we stop for sausage rolls at a local cafe before hitting the high street.
When we do, we discover great local shops full of home goods and country clothing. We also find picture-pretty houses with roses climbing their facades.
The side streets are even more charming, what with their mix of traditional cottages, country inns, and local pubs.
From Burford our Cotswolds day tour takes us through more classic villages until we get to our next stop: Bibury. This village is home to Arlington Row, one of the most photographed places in the Cotswolds.
The historic weavers’ cottages on Arlington Row draw admirers from all over the world. They’re not the only things Bibury has to offer, though. There are lots of pretty houses, a local church, and a trout farm in the village, too.
My friend and I walk around and take in as much of Bibury as our time allows, then hop back on the bus in time for it to take us to the next stop on our Cotswolds day tour.
Bourton-on-the-Water is one of my favorite Cotswolds villages, and I haven’t been here since my very first Cotswolds day trip. Sitting astride the River Windrush, it features some of the most idyllic scenery of any place in Gloucestershire.
The village is also packed with attractions, shops, restaurants, pubs, and cafes. My friend and I stop for cream tea before heading out to explore.
We discover the Cotswold Motoring Museum, which features vintage cars and a toy collection. At the other end of the high street, we spot The Model Village, which is home to a miniature version of Bourton-on-the-Water.
Beyond attractions, we walk over the low bridges, take in the Cotswold stone cottages on the river, and people-watch as we pass pub gardens and outdoor cafe tables.
The last stop on our Cotswolds day tour is Stow-on-the-Wold. I’m particularly excited to be here because it’s the only place on the itinerary I haven’t visited before.
The town of Stow-on-the-Wold sits on a hill and dates back to Norman times. It’s packed with beautiful stone buildings housing shops, pubs, and art galleries. St Edward’s Church features doors that lie between old yew trees, too. It all feels magical.
My friend and I do a bit of shopping, picking up clothing and other fun finds. Afterwards we settle in for drinks at The Porch House, a local pub that’s said to be England’s oldest inn. Dating back to 947, it has an atmospheric interior with a warren of rooms.
Cotswolds Day Tour
Drinks finished, we hop back on the bus and our Cotswolds day tour takes us back to London. It’s been a great day out, and a fun way to visit the Cotswolds without a car. I highly recommend it.
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