The Cotswolds is nominated as the largest ‘area of outstanding natural beauty’ in England and Wales. It’s no surprise when you experience the beautiful Cotswold hills and see the size of the landscape. The region is popular for small group tours, tourists from all around the world and educational school visits. The area was famous for being one of the largest suppliers to the English wool trade, but has remained unspoilt and well-preserved over the years, since the cloth trade moved to the North. If you’re visiting England, then you should make a visit to the beautiful and breath-taking region of the Cotswolds. Located in the South-West of England, The Cotswolds is a vast area stretching 1,164km squared and has a population of around 139,000 people. It covers Worcestershire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and regions of Warwickshire, North East Somerset, Bath and Wiltshire.
The Cotswolds History
The Cotswolds are a beautiful area of picture-perfect countryside, pretty villages and stunning market towns. The local stone of the area is known as Cotswold stone, a honey-coloured pale limestone that has been used to build throughout towns and villages, highlighting the residences in the countryside and contrasting the green grass of the rolling hills. Villages have woodland and chocolate box styled thatch cottages, secret wildflower gardens, pretty village greens and schools with less than a hundred students. Village life often has a strong community spirit keeping an old-fashioned approach to looking after neighbours and parish councils. Most of the Cotswold market towns are listed in the Domesday Book and were once the local focus of Cotswold sheep trading. Market squares were purposefully built to hold farmers stock and towns such as Stow-on-the-Wold have small alleys leading off the market square, so that sheep could be counted going in and out of the market. Most of the market towns are unspoilt in the town centres, each with a majestic town hall overlooking the square and pretty boutiques, cafes, gift shops and restaurants. Tourism is popular in The Cotswolds with visitors coming from all over the world for group tours.
The Cotswolds in Oxfordshire
The Cotswold attractions include Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Pitt Rivers Museum and the Oxford University Museum of Natural History in Oxford, The Cotswold Wildlife Park in Burford and Cogges Manor Farm in Witney. Oxfordshire in The Cotswolds is spread out amongst the rolling hills of the countryside, with the market towns of Woodstock, Chipping Norton, Burford and Witney.
Gloucestershire in The Cotswolds
The Cotswold attractions in Gloucestershire include the Forest of Dean, Dean Heritage Centre, Chedworth Roman Villa, Prinknash Abbey, Batsford Arboretum, Berkeley Castle and Sudeley Castle. Gloucestershire market towns are home to Moreton-in-Marsh, Cirencester, Stow-on-the-Wold, Chipping Campden, Northleach and Chipping Sodbury.
North East Somerset in The Cotswolds
The huge Cotswold city of Bath is well-known for the unique Roman Baths in the city centre, the magnificent Bath Abbey, the Bath Fashion Museum, Jane Austen Centre, Royal Victoria Park and the Prior Park Landscape Garden. Bath city is a beautiful place to visit and the Georgian architecture is built from natural Bath Stone, evolving from the Palladian revival.
Group Cotswold Tours with The Secret Cottage
If you’re staying in or visiting The Cotswolds in England, make the time to see the English countryside at its’ best. Book a group tour to the area with the Secret Cottage tour. A Secret Cottage tour takes you to all the best places in the area, ensuring you are finding the most beautiful places to get a true sense of the area. The Cotswold Secret Cottage Tour caters for small tour groups, taking you and your friends or family around the Cotswolds in a 7-seater luxury Mercedes minibus. If you’re staying in London, there’s a quick train from London Paddington direct to Moreton-in-Marsh only taking an hour and 40 minutes. We pick you up from the train station for a 6-hour tour of The Cotswolds, stopping for morning coffee and pastry at our home, the Secret Cottage then also providing a delicious home cooked buffet at lunchtime. To make sure you don’t go home hungry, we also give you a traditional Cotswold cream tea. Our guides have plenty of experience, showing you all the best places in the area. We will drive past beautiful and magnificent Cotswold stately homes, chocolate box villages, market towns and some of the most amazing Cotswold attractions around. Group tours of the Cotswolds is the perfect way to absorb the beautiful Cotswold countryside, giving you a true sense of English heritage. Don’t miss out, book your tickets now!