This half-day tour is the ideal introduction to the Cotswolds for those who would love to see some of the region’s delights, but cannot spare a whole day.
The ‘Cotswold Taster’ begins by heading westwards from Oxford (or Woodstock) to the picturesque town of Burford. Sometimes described as The Gateway to the Cotswolds, Burford stands sentinel on the upper slopes of the Windrush Valley, with a broad main street heading steeply down through the heart of the town to the ancient bridge that spans the river.
Burrowing deeper into the Cotswolds we arrive in Minster Lovell. The splendidly ruined Hall was once home to the Lovell family, who lost favour after the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. The romantic remains of their former home and the village’s quaint thatched cottages make Minster Lovell popular with artists and photographers.
Continuing through the beautiful village of Asthall we reach Swinbrook. Four of the famous (infamous?) Mitford sisters are buried in the churchyard: Nancy, Unity, Diana and Pamela.
After passing through the quarrying villages of Taynton and the Barringtons, where much of the Cotswolds’ famous stone is sourced, we arrive in Bourton-on-the-Water. Here a succession of decorative bridges cross the River Windrush as it flows through the heart of the village, with weeping willows trailing their branches in the water.
Leaving Bourton-on-the-Water we follow a picturesque route through Lower Swell to arrive at Stow-on-the-Wold, the highest town in the Cotswolds, with its narrow streets bordered by medieval stone-built houses, peppered with art galleries, antiques shops and quaint pubs.
We return to Oxford via the idyllic village of Cornwell and the bustling market town of Chipping Norton, passing finally through Woodstock, the site of Vanbrugh’s magnificent creation; Blenheim Palace, and the birthplace and home of Sir Winston Churchill.
Day for this tour: Sundays only
09:30 – 14:30 (Autumn/Winter)
13:00 – 18:00 (Spring/Summer)
Price: £65.00 per person
Tours depart from The Visitor Information Centre in Broad Street, Oxford.
Price does not include entrance to optional attractions.
The above itineraries and routing may be subject to change depending upon weather, traffic restrictions or other factors beyond our control.
Please note: The hours for this tour vary between the Autumn/Winter Programme (1st Nov – 23rd March, 09:30 – 15:30) and the Spring/Summer Programme (24th March – 31st Oct, 13:00-18:00). These times are not interchangeable, so please bear this in mind. Contact us for further details..