Visitors come from every part of the world to delight in the awe-inspiring views that the countryside in the Cotswolds has to offer. Charming villages are hidden down long country lanes with pretty, thatched cottages, delightful village greens, meandering rivers, friendly local pubs and cost cottages. Across the Cotswolds there are several stately homes, grand manors, estates, castles and a palace. The Cotswolds history goes back through hundreds of years to medieval times and also has a famous roman road called the Fosse Way. Cotswold market towns are classic of English countryside towns, with stunning market squares, friendly cafes, hotels and inns, gift shops and plenty of antique shops.
The Cotswolds is the second largest area of outstanding natural beauty in England and Wales, covering 800 square miles and stretching across Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and parts of north-east Somerset. It’s no surprise that thousands of visitors come from all over the world every year to see this beautiful place. The Cotswolds have a delightful, bustling atmosphere where people admire the beautiful ancient architecture, are inspired by the incredible views and learn all about the famous wool trade in the Cotswolds.
The Cotswold Wool Trade
Prior to the cloth trade moving to the north of England after the industrial revolution, the Cotswolds was most popular and well-known for being one of the largest contributors to the European wool trade. The Cotswold countryside were home to hundreds of Cotswold sheep, nicknamed the ‘Cotswold Lions’ because of their incredible golden wool. Cotswold farmers took their sheep to the town market squares every week, trading their flocks in the famous market squares. Now sheep farming has reduced, the towns have weekly markets selling food, homewares and fresh produce.
If you’re coming to England and want to see picture-perfect English countryside, miles and miles of beautiful rolling hills, pretty, picturesque villages and historical market towns, then make sure you discover private Cotswold tours.
Historical Places to Visit in the Cotswolds
Whether you’re on a private Cotswold tours or thinking of planning a weekend to visit, the Cotswolds is famous for having many historical places to visit. Snowshill Manor near Stow-on-the-Wold is now owned by the National Trust but was once home to Charles Paget Wade, an English poet, architect and an artist / craftsman. Wade collected curious objects and artefacts since he was a young man, housing all his belongings in Snowshill Manor where they still remain. Blenheim Palace in Woodstock is a magnificent palace set in a huge estate with 2000 acres. It was Sir Winston Churchill’s birthplace and belonged to the Churchill family for many years. The palace is still owned by the 11th Duke of Marlborough, the late John Spencer-Churchill who died in 1999. Chastleton House near Moreton-in-Marsh is over 400-years old and was originally built by a wool merchant called Walter Jones. The house was passed on through his family and was also owned by Robert Catesby who is known to be part of the famous gunpowder plot to blow up parliament. History tells that Catesby planned some of the gunpowder plot in his bedroom at Chastleton House.
Private Cotswold Guided Tours
If you’re interested in booking a daytrip to the Cotswolds with an experienced private tour, then book your place with the Secret Cottage Tour. If you’re coming from London, then you can get a direct train to Moreton-in-Marsh train station which only takes one hour and 40 minutes from London Paddington. We pick our guests up in our 7-seater luxury Mercedes minibus and take you on a 6-hour tour around the north Cotswolds, visiting some of the most beautiful places in England. We go through hidden villages, drive by majestic stately homes and show you some of the most beautiful places in the Cotswolds. The Cotswold countryside has incredible views and in some places, you can see as far as the Welsh Mountains. A truly unique and special part of our tour is that we invite you in to our home – the Secret Cottage which is a 400-year old thatched cottage hidden away from the village main street. We provide our guests with a homemade delicious buffet lunch and a traditional Cotswold cream tea, along with a private tour of our ancient cottage. After the tour, we will return you to the train station so you can get your train back to London for the evening. Book your place with the Secret Cottage Tour today, to avoid disappointment.