Cotswold villages and pretty market towns are always the most appealing part of the Cotswolds to those who visit. Villages and hamlets have perfect village greens, crystal clear trickling streams that run through the village, a local shop and sometimes a small primary school. Bourton-on-the-water is the best example of a typical Cotswold village, especially with the River Windrush in the village centre where dogs and children paddle next to the grassy green lawns that encompass the village square. Bourton village green is overlooked by bustling cafes, popular shops and interesting antique shops. When you are driving through the Cotswolds, you will see charming villages, grand stately homes and quaint thatched cottages made from Cotswold stone.
Cotswold Sheep & Market Squares
Pretty market towns with hanging baskets and stone houses which are hundreds of years old are all the focus around the market square in the centre of Cotswold towns. The Cotswold region was once famous for being one of the largest contributors to the European wool trade and Cotswold market town squares were heavily used for sheep markets. Sheep farmers used to gather weekly to trade sheep but since the cloth trade moved to the north of England after the industrial revolution, sheep farming in the Cotswolds has reduced. Cotswold sheep were typically known as the ‘Cotswold Lions’ because their fleeces were golden, resembling a lion’s mane. In more recent years, Cotswold market towns have local markets that sell fresh produce and gifts. The Cotswolds have remained unspoilt and peaceful since the time of the industrial revolution when the cloth trade moved to the north of England and the Cotswolds avoided industrialisation.
The Most Beautiful Countryside
Clusters of houses and stone cottages nestle sporadically amongst the beautiful rolling Cotswold Hills and dense woodland. Wildflower meadows colour the landscape in the spring and daffodils fill the banks during summer. It’s no surprise that the stunning countryside in the Cotswolds has been named as an area of outstanding natural beauty and is the second largest in England and Wales. Visitors come from far and wide to take in the breath-taking scenery and get snapshots of the views as they wander through hidden villages and quintessential market towns. There are hundreds of famous historical landmarks and the area is a perfect vision of charming country life in England. Hidden villages are discovered at the end of quiet, winding lanes where you can drive for miles through tunnels of trees. Picturesque villages in the North Cotswolds include Chastleton, Upper and Lower Slaughter, Bourton-on-the-Water, Bledington, Great Tew, Long Compton and Kingham.
Touring the Cotswolds
The pretty market towns in the north of the Cotswolds include Moreton-in-Marsh, Chipping Norton, Woodstock, Stow-on-the-Wold, Burford and Cirencester. The Cotswolds is in the south-west of England and spreads through several counties including Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and some parts of North East Somerset. The region stretches across 800 square miles and the Cotswolds has a population of 139,000 people. A private tour in the Cotswolds will take you through the breath-taking countryside with incredible views, showing you quaint villages, pretty market towns and magnificent stately homes. If you want to discover the true essence of the Cotswolds, then a private family-run tour is always the best experience.
The Secret Cottage Tour
If you’re planning on booking a Cotswold private tour, then you will see all the hidden villages and beautiful countryside views on our amazing Secret Cottage Tour. Guests travelling from London, can get a direct train to our local station at Moreton-in-Marsh from London Paddington. We collect our guests in our 7-seater luxury Mercedes minibus and take you on a 6-hour tour around the north Cotswolds. Explore the most beautiful areas in England and experience the best way to see the region with the Secret Cottage. We not only take guests on a unique tour of the Cotswolds but we also invite you into our home. The Secret Cottage is nearly 500 years old and is a beautifully quaint, pretty Cotswold stone cottage. We provide a hot drink and pastry in the morning, then a tasty homemade buffet lunch and a traditional Cotswold cream tea in the afternoon. The Cotswolds really is one of the most breath-taking places in England, so if you’re coming to England, then don’t miss out! See what previous guests have written – we have over a 1,000 5* reviews on Trip Advisor.