Many of the Cotswold market towns are named in the Domesday Book and were well-known as the local focus for sheep trading. Town market squares in the Cotswolds were purposefully built to hold farmer’s flocks of sheep and towns such as Moreton-in-Marsh and Stow-on-the-Wold have many small lanes leading off the market square so sheep could be counted going in and out of the market. Many of the Cotswold market towns have stayed the same in the town centres, each with a majestic town hall overlooking the square with many cafes, gift shops, boutiques and restaurants surrounding it. Thousands of visitors come to the Cotswolds every year, to experience English tourism at its best and to see the stunning sights of the countryside.
The Cotswolds is an unspoilt and idyllic area in the south-west of England. Stunning and picture-perfect countryside includes pretty villages and quaint market towns. The typical well-known stone of the area is famously called Cotswold stone, a beautiful and light honey-coloured limestone that has been used to build homes and commercial constructions throughout towns and villages. The stone is an inspiring contrast, highlighting the green of the countryside and complimenting the rolling hills and the dense woodlands. Pretty villages have chocolate box thatched cottages and hidden, secret gardens, and village greens are perfectly kept by the locals.
Villages in The Cotswolds
The village of Lower Slaughter near Stow-on-the-Wold has a road called Copse Hill Road which has been famously named by Google Maps as the ‘most romantic street in Britain’. Lower Slaughter is possibly the most picturesque village in the Cotswolds. Great Tew and Little Tew are hidden away down long country lands and just some of the pretty villages close to Banbury. The Tews are home to Soho Farmhouse where celebrities escape for some privacy to the Cotswolds. The village of Bourton-on-the-Water is famously known as ‘little Venice’ and is well-known for the beautiful views of the River Windrush that gently flow through the centre. Bourton has many tourist attractions such as Birdland, the Model Village which has an identical built village that stands waist height, and the British Motoring Museum. Guiting Power is listed in the Domesday Book and was where many Cotswold masons lived throughout the years and the beautiful village is built on a slope in the Cotswold hills.
Market Towns in The Cotswolds
Cotswold market towns are famous for their contribution towards the English wool trade before the industrial revolution. Bliss Mill in Chipping Norton was famously once a tweed and wool mill, but since the cloth trade moved to the north of England, it was converted to residential homes with a gym and a swimming pool. Blenheim Palace in Woodstock is still owned by the late Duke of Marlborough and was once residence to the Churchill family and the famous birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Moreton-in-Marsh, Chipping Sodbury , Chipping Campden and Northleach are all market towns in Gloucestershire, giving some of the most stunning scenery with charming towns that are popular with visitors. Burford is the beautiful hillside town and nearby is the famous Cotswold Wildlife Park where visitors flock every year to see wild animals set amongst the stunning grounds of a Cotswold manor house.
Secret Cottage Cotswolds Tour
A Cotswolds tour promises to take you to all the beautiful places in the area, making sure you experience the most stunning sights to get a true sense of English countryside at its most perfect. If you’re visiting staying in London or thinking of visiting the Cotswolds, then book a Cotswolds tour for your group with Secret Cottage. We are a private tour company that caters for small tour groups, taking you around the beautiful area in our comfortable 7-seater luxury Mercedes minibus. If you’re staying in London, you can easily get the train from London Paddington to Moreton-in-Marsh and it only takes one hour and 40 minutes. Secret Cottage Tours pick you up from our nearby train station and take you on a 6-hour tour around the Cotswolds. We take our guests to our home The Secret Cottage for morning coffee and a pastry, the return for a delicious lunch homemade buffet lunch. We even treat you to a traditional Cotswold cream tea in the afternoon! Our experienced guides will show you the beautiful sights of the area, including a drive through pretty villages, past a magnificent Cotswold stately home, and through charming market towns. The Secret Cottage Tour is booked up quickly, so we advise our guests to book soon!