Welcome to The Cotswolds

No one’s sure what the name means, but ‘wolds’ are rolling hills, while ‘cots’ might be ‘cotes’, or sheep pens. Certainly the region owes its wealth, and exquisite architecture, to the medieval wool trade, when ‘Cotswold Lion’ sheep were prized across Europe. Attentions later turned towards textiles instead, but the Industrial Revolution passed the Cotswolds by. Hailed by William Morris in the 19th century as encapsulating a timeless English rural idyll, it remains both a prime residential area and a treasured tourist destination.

Criss-crossed by long-distance trails including the 102-mile Cotswold Way, these gentle yet dramatic hills are perfect for walking, cycling and horse riding.

Top experiences in The Cotswolds

Travel guides

Starting at $32.49

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The Cotswolds activities

$53.53 Day Trips & Excursions

Tour of the Cotswolds from Moreton-in-Marsh

Greeted at Moreton-in-Marsh station by your driver guide - and after a short welcome and introduction to the day - you’ll soon depart for the first stop on your tour of this designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The short journey to Dover’s Hill viewpoint is an opportunity to watch the landscape change and meet your fellow passengers. Upon arrival, your tour guide will tell you the fascinating story of the Cotswolds; a story that includes facts, stats, history, unusual events and local folklore. This 20 minute stop is followed by the short journey to Chipping Campden just 5 minutes away. The hour long stop is the first of three “self-explore” stops during the tour where you’ll have opportunity to walk the streets of the historic market town on your own with maps provided by your guide. The map features a variety of things you can see and do from historic buildings to quirky shops selling gifts, local produce and fantastic coffee. Broadway Tower and the “secret” off-the-beaten-track Cotswolds village are the next two stops on the tour where you’ll find out more about these interesting and beautiful locations. At around 1pm the tour arrives in the highest town in the Cotswolds, Stow-on-the-Wold. This is your second self-explore stops and with an hour and ten minutes free time there is ample opportunity to grab a bite to eat from the fantastic array of options located around the market square. Maps are once again provided featuring a list of things you can see and do. Following Stow-on-the-Wold the tour heads South to the village of Bibury – once famously referred to as "the most beautiful village in England" by poet William Morris. The 25-minute stop provides ample time to visit Arlington Row – arguably the most iconic row of cottages in the Cotswolds – and stroll alongside the river Coln. You may even be lucky enough to spot a water vole or a brown trout or two! Leaving Bibury behind you'll then travel through the narrow country lanes to the final stop of the day and the “jewel in the crown” of the Cotswolds – Bourton-on-the-Water. After a brief introduction to the picturesque little village you'll have approximately 40-minutes free-time to explore on your own and stock up on souvenirs to remind you of your day in the Cotswolds. The tour finishes at Bourton-on-the-Water before making its way back to Moreton-in-Marsh – arriving at approximately 5.00pm. Ticket price includes a pick up from Moreton-in-Marsh rail station, making it a tour that is easily accessible from London, Oxford and Worcester. Lunch is not included. Pick-ups from Chipping Campden are also available. *Thursday tours operate from the start of June to the end of September. 

$120.45 Cultural & Theme Tours

Cotswolds Villages Full-Day Small-Group Tour

Departing the Visitor Information Centre in Broad Street, Oxford at 10am, you will start the day by visiting the fascinating village of Great Tew. From Great Tew continue on to Stow-on-the-Wold, the highest town in the Cotswolds. Here you will have time to browse among honey-coloured buildings, cosy pubs, narrow streets, interesting shops and tiny tea rooms.  Your next stop is the picturesque village of Lower Slaughter, one of the prettiest villages in the Northern Cotswolds and set in the most amazing countryside.The next stop is arguably the most famous Cotswolds town and regularly voted one of the prettiest villages in England, Bourton-on-the-Water.  Known as the Venice of the Cotswolds there is plenty to see and do with a wealth of attractions, shops, restaurants and tea rooms.From Bourton-on-the-Water your route takes you through some enchanting Cotswold villages to Burford, known as the Gateway to the Cotswolds.  In Burford, you can enjoy lunch (not included) at an awarding winning Cotswolds pub where you can sample a traditional ale out in the sunshine, if you’d like. Or spend more time exploring.After lunch, spend the afternoon traveling along the stunning Windrush valley visiting hidden villages including Swinbrook, Asthall and the highlight of tour the beautiful village and ancient ruins of Minster Lovell. This pretty village on the River Windrush boasts plenty of Cotswold stone and thatched roofs, as well as holding the title of being the region’s most haunted village. Minster Lovell is perhaps best known for the ruins of its 15th century hall, owned by generations of the Lovell family.Departure will be late afternoon returning to the Visitor Information Centre in Broad Street, Oxford by 5pm.

$12.04 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Walton to Hampton Court Return Boat Trip

Board the boat at Walton-on-Thames, from the pier outside "The Anglers" at 12:00 for a peaceful journey to Hampton Court. Your journey will take you past a number of river islands, still popular today for residential and commercial use and provide a glimpse of the life enjoyed by the many people who still live and work along the Thames. The boat passes through Sunbury Lock which has a unique second barge lock adjacent to it still in operation. As well as Sunbury Lock your journey will take you through Molesey lock which at nearly 82 meters is impressive by its size, being the second longest on the River Thames.On approaching Hampton Court, you will pass some lovely house boats, some formerly owned by stars such as Diana Dors. You are then afforded superb views of Cardinal Wolsey's majestic palace. The boat will arrive in Hampton Court for 13:15 allowing time to explore, before departing again at 14:30.This relaxing cruise is perfect for any family wishing to visit the palace and perhaps puzzle out the famous maze before taking a tranquil cruise back to Walton-on-Thame, arriving at 15:35.