The Cotswolds is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which has inspired artists, writers and philosophers for many centuries. Come and discover idyllic English villages, nestling in quiet valleys, small stone thatched cottages, majestic castles and manors and charming high streets peppered with quaint tea shops and antiques shops. Let your knowledgeable guides show you the English countryside at its best. This is an extended half-day tour from Oxford, ideal for those who would love to see some of the Cotswold villages, but cannot spare a whole day.
Your Cotswold Taster begins with a drive to Burford (the Gateway to the Cotswolds) through Minster Lovell, with its attractive thatched houses and ruined Hall - and the beautiful villages of Asthall and Swinbrook (home to the Mitford sisters). We continue through the quarrying villages of Taynton and the Barringtons and arrive in Bourton-on-the-Water, the Venice of the Cotswolds - with its delightful bridges over the River Windrush.From there we follow a picturesque route through Lower Swell to Stow-on-the-Wold, the highest town in the Cotswolds. Here you can enjoy exploring the narrow streets with their quaint shops and cafes. We return to Oxford via the bustling market town of Chipping Norton, with a final stop in Woodstock, the site of Blenheim Palace (birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill) before returning back to Oxford.