General

This memorable Autumn/Winter journey begins with a drive to Burford; the Gateway to the Cotswolds. Perched on the slopes of the Windrush Valley with far-reaching views across rolling countryside, the town is rich with handsome buildings constructed from the characteristic mellow Cotswold stone.

Read below for a full description of the Cotswold Explorer tour, and click the Availability tab to the left to check on dates and complete a booking.

Description & Route

From Burford we travel west, through Minster Lovell with its its quaint thatched houses and ruined Hall, and on to the beautiful villages of Asthall and Swinbrook – once home to the Mitford sisters.

Continuing through the quarrying villages of Taynton and the Barringtons, we reach Bourton-on-the-Water. A succession of decorative bridges span the River Windrush as it flows through the heart of this small town, earning it the accolade The Venice of the Cotswolds, where we will make a stop for lunch.

After lunch we drive on through Stow-on-the-Wold to the beautiful market town of Chipping Campden. In the late 19th century this historic town was a focus for the popular Arts & Crafts Movement, with some of the key designers and craftspeople of the time setting up their workshops and studios in Chipping Campden. The Movement is still alive and well today. Here, you can browse in the quaint shops or visit the impressive ‘wool church’ and ruined manor house.

We start heading back towards Oxford, following a beautiful route which offers stunning views as we pass through the charming thatched-cottage villages of Broad Campden and Blockley. We pause in the busy market town of Moreton-in-Marsh, with its art galleries and antiques shops, before returning to Oxford via Chipping Norton and a final stop in Woodstock.

This town is the site of Blenheim Palace, one of the most imposing houses in the country, home to the Dukes of Marlborough and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. He is buried in the churchyard of nearby Bladon.

Day for this tour: Mondays, 09:30 – 16:30
Price: £85.00 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: This Monday schedule is available as part of our Autumn/Winter Programme, which runs between November and March 31st. Outside these dates, the timing and detailed itinerary of the tour changes slightly to take advantage of the longer daylight hours. This extends from 1st April through to the end of October, so if you are planning a visit during the summer months, please bear this in mind. Full details are included on the Cotswold Explorer – Spring/Summer page.  Contact us for further details.

Available departures

We can accommodate a maximum of 12 passengers on any of our minibus tours. The availability of spaces shown here on the website is as up-to-date as we can make it, but occasionally bookings are taken through other means, and there can be a delay of an hour or so in updating the availability here. If you make a booking and, for any reason, we are unable to accommodate you, we will let you know straight away, and offer an alternative date or a refund.

Please remember that this tour is part of our Autumn/Winter Programme, so bookings can only be made between November and March. If you are planning a visit between April and October, please check availability for the Spring/Summer description for this tour.

Select your tour date using the calendar below to book this tour.

This tour is repeated every week on a Monday.

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Bourton-on-the-Water

Bourton-on-the-WaterVisited on both our Cotswold Explorer and Cotswold Taster tours, Bourton-on-the-Water is recognised as one of the most picturesque small towns in the Cotswolds. Bourton straddles the Windrush, as this stage a modest river, perhaps only a few feet wider than a stream, but sufficient to demand that the town’s growth has been punctuated by Read more

Burford

BurfordClinging precariously to the steep southern slopes of the Windrush valley, Burford has been an important market town since the 13th century. The settlement originally grew up around the best fording point across the river – there’s a hint in the name, with burh being Anglo-Saxon for a fortified town. That river can be a Read more

Oxford

OxfordMany of our Cotswold tours start – and finish – in Oxford. Our company began more than ten years ago when Isobel Lewis started offering her guided walking tours through the streets of Oxford, and these personal and hugely enjoyable group explorations remain at the heart of what we do. Oxford is one of the Read more

The Cotswolds

The CotswoldsThe Cotswolds is the largest designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the United Kingdom and occupies an upland region in the “West Country” of Britain, some eighty miles from London. The Cotswold Hills are bordered to the west by the River Severn and the Bristol Channel, to the north by the Vale of Evesham Read more