"The Cotswolds", as an area, has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) since 1966. It's essentially a range of hills in the West and Central England, a large proportion of people call it the "Heart of England". The hills are located in a south-west direction from a point south of Stratford-upon-Avon to the southern-most point at the Roman city of Bath. The dimensions of the area varies from 25 miles wide and about 90 miles in length, in total covers a massive 790 miles2, the largest AONB in England.
The countryside is rolling with ridges and hills, the highest point being Cleeve Hill which is 1083 feet, approximately 330 metres.
The area is famed the world over for its attractive small market towns and villages built of the locally quarried 'Cotswold Stone', which is actually a yellow 'oolitic limestone'. If you look closely at some of the stone of the houses you will that the stone has been created with embedded sea fossils. Way-back in the 'Medieval' period, the Cotswold's prosperity was created through the trade in wool. A proportion of this money from the Merchants was given over to the building of local churches. You will be able to see a number of large as you travel around, of course these are known as "Wool Churches".
The town of Chipping Campden is notable for being the home of the Arts and Crafts movement, founded by William Morris at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries and the tradition carried on by architect and designer Charles Robert Ashbee. Occasionally, William Morris would vacate London and spend long period of time in Broadway Tower. Chipping Campden is also known for the annual "Cotswold Olimpicks" (Origins in Robert Dover's Games), local sports and games dating back to the 17th century, and may have inspired Baron Pierre de Coubertin and the Modern Olympics revival.
The area remains affluent and has attracted people who now own second homes in the area or have chosen to retire to the Cotswold's for a more gentile lifestyle.
The Cotswolds can geographically be split into two distinct areas, North Cotswold's and South Cotswold's, each with differing architectural styles, larger towns or smaller villages and lifestyle activities.
Touring the Cotswolds is similar to an African Safari, you have the same 'Big Six' market towns and villages and then different places that might interest you if like gift shopping, fine dining/eating, shopping for antiques, wandering round stately homes or romantic classical British gardens.
Selecting the correct tour will help you the enjoy the whole experience even more, so let us help you focus a bespoke tour for your express requirements.
If you know the places you wish to visit, please let us know in advance so we can plan the best route to give you the most time possible at each of the attractions. If you have no idea and you want to see the prettiest of the 'Classic Cotswolds' towns and villages, then tell us the type of attractions or things to do that takes your interest and we can tailor a tour programme to match your needs. Therefore, getting the most out of your precious time on the tour and see the most that the Cotswold's has to offer.
Send Us A Request
Contact us with any Questions
If you have any questions, a special request, order a quotation or just to check the availability then please send an enquiry.
North Cotswolds, Classic Market Towns and Villages
This particular area has an abundance of old world charm and elegance with many smaller towns and quaint villages bursting with character architecture, independent shops and antique centres as well excellent places to have a mid-tour cup of tea and then an excellent lunch, dining in bygone-era pubs or historic cafes. Sudeley Castle, in Winchcombe, is fine example of an attraction that you could spend all-day visiting.
Places of Interest to Visit (North)
- Bibury (Arlington Row)
- Bourton on the Water
- Broadway & Broadway Tower
- Chipping Campden
- Snowshill Manor
- Stow on the Wold
Best Places to Eat/Drink (North)
- The Village Pub (Barnsley)
- Lords of the Manor Hotel
- Lygon Arms or Dormy House
- The Ebrington Arms (Pub)
- Snowshill Arms (Pub)
- Old Stocks Hotel
South Cotswolds, Historic Market Towns
The South of the Cotswolds has the majority of the larger historic market towns and Cirencester, the capital town of the Cotswolds. The area consists of the famous five valleys and is now home to an array of artists and crafts-people that have now given a 'Bohemian' feel to the area. Located here are some of the best-preserved market towns in Britain, stunning architecture, beautiful cafes and fine restaurant dining.
Places of Interest to Visit (South)
- Chedworth Roman Villa
- Highgrove Estate (HRH Prince Charles)
- Painswick & Rococo Gardens
- Westonbirt Arboretum
Places of Interest, Further a Field
- Castle Combe