Think of Cotswolds, and what comes to mind are lush rolling hills, green meadows, and quaint villages made with the amber-colored Cotswolds stone. To visit Cotswolds is to enter a whole different world. This beautiful British landscape is spread over six English counties. A little under 140 kilometers from London, the Cotswolds make for a lovely day tour. Leave behind the fast-paced lifestyle and enjoy a break in the quintessential English countryside. Here’s everything you need to plan you London to Costwolds day trip.
Visitors are now allowed to visit the Cotswolds, with new guidelines and measures in place to ensure their security. You can now explore the stunning rural countryside through various Cotswolds tours.
Cotswolds is about two hours away from London, making it an easy location to access when taking a day trip. While London is all about the thrill of the hustle and bustle of the city with its numerous attractions and experiences, Cotswolds gives you a chance to sit back and relax. Cotswolds was declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) nearly half a century ago. When in Cotswolds, you can visit castles, parks, buildings, and churches, and admire the gentle waterways. Its verdant landscapes, grassy hills, and charming, old-world villages make for an unforgettable experience.
A Cotswolds guided tour is the perfect way to discover this stunning area in all its glory. When taking a tour, such as a London to Costwolds day trip, you get the company of an expert guide who knows the Cotswolds like the back of their hand. Additionally, as part of this tour, you will also be provided with transport to and from the venues, ensuring a smooth and comfortable visit.
A non-guided Cotswolds tour is great for those who like to explore on their own. As part of this self-guided tour, you can pick and choose which attractions you want to visit, when you want to visit, and how you will visit. You, however, will have to arrange for your own transportation, which can sometimes get a little overwhelming, especially if you plan to visit more locations.
A combo tour is for those who want to explore the UK beyond Cotswolds. Combo tours from London cover a host of locations such as Stonehenge, Windsor, and Bath. In this specific case, tours to Oxford, Stratford, and Warwick are extremely popular from Cotswolds. You will be accompanied by a knowledgeable guide and transfers are included.
For a budget-friendly Cotswolds tour, you can purchase tickets to the specific attractions you want to visit, along with transportation tickets. Wherever possible, look for tickets with audioguides to get the most out of your visit.
If you want to discover the Cotswolds in-depth, pick a guided Cotswolds tour. Your knowledgeable English-speaking guide will take you to all the major attractions and experiences, all the while giving you facts and trivia about the area.
You can explore more than just Cotswolds by choosing a combo tour. Visitors can choose from locations like Oxford, Stratford, Warwick, and more. These tours show travelers the best of the country within a day or so.
Here are some of the attractions you will get to see as part of your day trip to Cotswolds.
Often referred to as the ‘prettiest village in England’, Castle Combe is best known for its beautiful honey-colored Cotswold stone buildings. The Market Cross monument and St Andrew’s Church, the latter of which features a faceless clock, are must-visit attractions.
Built in the 1700s in the English Baroque architecture style, Blenheim Palace is best known as the ancestral home of British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, and has since welcomed many visitors.
This is the highest castle in the Cotswolds, and is a great example of English heritage. Visitors can take the Broadway Tower Circular Walk path to explore the Broadway Tower & Park, covering a distance of 1.2 km.
Fans of the popular TV series Downton Abbey will recognize Bampton from the show. This picturesque village is the fictional ‘Downton’ of the series. Apart from visiting filming locations, visitors can explore St. Mary’s Church and the stunning Chimney Meadows Nature Reserve.
The best time to visit the Cotswolds is between March and May. June and September are popular months to visit as it is the summer, but between March to May is when the weather is pleasant and the attractions aren’t as crowded, making your visit a smooth and unhurried experience.
Winter in Cotswolds is also a wonderful time. If you don’t mind the cold, head to the quaint towns and enjoy the crisp, fresh air, and head to one of the cafes for a delicious hot chocolate.
The Cotswolds has all sorts of places for people to eat and drink at - be it pubs, restaurants, cafes, and Michelin-star eateries.
When in the Cotswolds, visitors are encouraged to try Single Gloucester cheese, Stinking Bishop cheese, Gloucester Old Spot pork, Tewkesbury mustard, Bibury trout, and Hobbs House bread.
Cotswolds Distillery is the region’s first ever distillery, which is best known for its Cotswolds Dry Gin and Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky either.
Other food and beverage experiences to try out include visiting a farmers market, traditional afternoon tea, and food festivals like Cheltenham Food Festival and Tewkesbury Food Festival.
The Cotswolds has a lot of accommodation options for travelers. If you are on a budget, you can opt for a hostel or go camping. If you’re looking at a mid-sized budget, why not visit a bed & breakfast or a country inn? And if luxury is what you seek, you can find yourself a boutique townhouse, a manor house, or a luxury hotel.
And if you’re looking for a unique experience, why not go glamping? This glamorous camping experience is the perfect way to enjoy the natural beauty of the Cotswolds with a splash of luxury. Some popular glamping options are The Red Lion, Cotswold Farm Park Caravan and Camp Site, National Star Camping Pods, and Gold Rush Cabin.
For those who are sick of High Streets, Cotswolds is heavenly. There are an array of independent shops within the area that sell anything and everything you desire. When in the Cotswolds, one must visit the many antique shops, such as the ones in Burford, Broadway, and Tewkesbury.
Tewkesbury, along with Chipping Norton and Nailsworth, is also well-known for its vintage shops, which sell not just things to wear, but also things you can use to decorate your home.
Here are some things you absolutely must do when in Cotswolds:
Yes. You can purchase Cotswolds tour tickets online. Additionally, even if you are looking to visit an attraction, you need to book your tickets online, as only visitors with pre-booked reservations are allowed.
This depends solely on the kind of ticket purchased. Some tickets offer a full refund if canceled up to 24 hours in advance, while others cannot be cancelled, amended, or rescheduled. Please ensure you check the cancellation policy before booking.
Some popular attractions covered are Batsford Arboretum & Garden Centre, Blenheim Palace, Sudeley Castle & Gardens, Cheltenham Racecourse, and Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens.
To ensure you make the most of your trip, it is best to take a guided tour of Cotswolds. If you're looking to explore further, you can also get a combo tour from London to Cotswolds. This can take you to other destinations such as Bath and Oxford.
While this primarily depends on the attraction, most attractions offer discounts to seniors, children, and disabled individuals.
While it is possible to purchase same-day tickets, it is advised that you book tickets online, as most attractions follow the time slot ticketing process in order to get your preferred time slot for the visit.
Yes, you can purchase tickets for a guided tour in the Cotswolds online. While slightly expensive, the tour will be enriching as you will be accompanied by an expert guide who will give you information, facts, and trivia about the region.
Yes. As most Cotswolds attractions have reduced their visitor capacity as part of their health measures, they do not allow walk-in visits. It is best to book tickets in advance for access to the attractions.
A Cotswolds tour typically takes about ten hours.
While June and September are popular months to visit as it is during the summer, March to May is when the weather is pleasant and the attractions aren’t as crowded, making it the best time to visit the Cotswolds.