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.
Read below for a full description of the Cotswold Taster tour, and click the Availability tab to the left to check on dates and complete a booking.
Description & Route
The ‘Cotswold Taster’ begins by heading westwards from Oxford (or Woodstock) towards the picturesque town of Burford. The route takes us steadily deeper into the Cotswolds, passing Long Hanborough and Witney, to 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. From there it is a short run to Burford itself. Sometimes described as The Gateway to the Cotswolds, the town stands sentinel on the upper slopes of the Windrush Valley, with a broad main street heading steeply down through the heart of the community and over the ancient bridge that spans the river.
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 between the houses and alongside the road, 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, with a final stop in Woodstock, the site of Vanbrugh’s magnificent creation; Blenheim Palace, the birthplace and home of Sir Winston Churchill.
Day for this tour: Sundays only
09:30 – 14:30 (Autumn/Winter)
13:00 – 18:30 (Spring/Summer)
Price: £65.00 per person
Tours depart from The Visitor Information Centre in Broad Street, Oxford. We can, occasionally, pick up from other points along the route, including The Market Place in Woodstock.
Additional charge: £15.00 per person
Please note: we run this tour throughout the year, but the times for departure and return to Oxford vary, dependant upon prevailing daylight hours. Our Spring/Summer schedule runs from March 24th through the the end of October, while the Autumn/Winter schedule extends from the beginnning of November through to the end of March. If you require clarification, please Contact us.
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 that all our photographs are copyright. If you would like to use one for a non-commercial purpose, please contact us.