The Cotswolds are the best example of charming country life in England, Scotland and Wales. The area was once well-known for being one of the largest suppliers of wool in Europe before the industrial revolution. Busy sheep farmers attended the sheep markets in Cotswold market towns every week when the Cotswold countryside was covered with Cotswold sheep, nicknamed ‘Cotswold Lions’ because of their golden shaggy fur. After the industrial revolution when the cloth trade moved to the north of England, the Cotswolds remained peaceful and unspoilt, avoiding heavy development in contrast to many other areas throughout England. The rolling hills of the Cotswolds offer incredible views across the vast countryside. Sightseeing in the Cotswolds is an experience that inspires and charms many visitors that come from all over the world to see the true essence of England at its best. Explore pretty market towns, perfect country villages, magnificent castles and enormous stately homes and some of the most historic landmarks in England.
Market Towns of the Cotswolds
Cotswold market towns are typically a unique experience to visit. They are bustling friendly places that have a wealth of interesting shops and streets to explore. Most of the buildings throughout the Cotswolds are built from the well-known limestone of the area called Cotswold stone. Cotswold stone originally comes from the Jurassic period and is a pale-yellow honey coloured stone that is a complete contrast to many other stones in England. Pretty Cotswold market towns offer interesting places to stay, antique shops, gift shops and plenty of friendly cafes providing tasty food and Cotswold cream teas. Market towns in the Cotswolds include Chipping Norton, Burford, Stow-on-the-Wold, Moreton-in-Marsh, Witney and Woodstock. The market towns are well-known for bring home to the sheep markets that once regularly visited for farmers, now weekly markets providing fresh produce and household items.
Charming Cotswold Villages
Many of the villages have rivers running through and sit on historic Medieval sites. Cotswold villages are often found down long country lanes that are surrounded by daffodils in the spring. In fact, visitors say that perhaps one of the most tantalising draw of the Cotswolds is the pretty villages that nestle amongst the Cotswold hills, close to dense woodland and bluebell woods. Most villages have expansive views across the countryside, making them feel peaceful and idyllic for any homeowner or weekender staying for a few days who loves country living. Village houses are often welcoming quintessential thatched cottages with wood burning fires smoking that make it feel cosy in the winter. On the edge of each village, stately homes offer many stories to tell. In fact, the village of Chastleton is famous for Chastleton House, a 400-year old Jacobean home. Chastleton house was once owned by Robert Catesby who was one of the leaders in the gunpowder plot to blow up parliament. It’s believed that many of the plans made for the plot were carried out in Catesby’s bedroom at Chastleton House.
The Secret Cottage Tour
If you want to explore the Cotswolds with passionate tour guides and discover many of the hidden and charming places, then book a tour with the Secret CottageTour. Our tours are unique because guests will not only get a wonderful tour of the Cotswolds but also be invited into our 400-year old home. The Secret Cottage is a thatched cottage, welcoming visitors on a cottage tour to give you a taste of Cotswold village life. You will be taken to some of the most idyllic and undiscovered spots in the Cotswolds, including pretty market towns, quaint villages and views of huge stately homes. There’s no need to bring lunch with you as we invite guests into our home to enjoy a delicious homemade buffet lunch and we also provide a tasty Cotswold cream tea in the afternoon. The Secret Cottage Tour picks guests up from Moreton-in-Marsh train station, so if you’re staying in London then it’s a direct train from London Paddington which only takes 1 hour and 40 minutes. After the 6-hour tour you will be taken back to the train station, ensuring that you will be back in London in time for your evening meal. Our tours are very popular so if you want to explore the Cotswolds, then book today to ensure you don’t miss out!