The Cotswold countryside has beautiful views of the Vale of Gloucester and Evesham where you can see tiny hamlets nestled in between dense woodlands and wildflower meadows that carpet the landscape of the Cotswold hills. The Cotswold hills were once covered with sheep when the area was famous for sheep farming and one of the major suppliers to the European wool trade. When the cloth trade moved to the north of England after the industrial revolution, the Cotswolds were left unspoilt, idyllic and peaceful. If you’re coming to England and want to experience the beauty of the Cotswolds, then booking a Cotswold tour will give you an inspiring day trip. Local towns and villages close to Oxford and Cheltenham include Chipping Norton, Stow-on-the-Wold, Moreton-in-Marsh, Chastleton, Broadway and many more beautiful and charming market towns and villages.
Blenheim Palace in Woodstock
The beautiful Blenheim Palace in Woodstock is one of the most popular historical places to visit in the Cotswolds. The palace is set in 2,000 acres of land with stunning lakes, trees and lawns, alongside perfectly kept palace gardens. Blenheim Palace is famously known as the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and a beautiful estate where the Churchill family have lived for decades. The estate was originally given to the 1st Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill who was awarded the palace by Queen Anne after his victory over France in the War of the Spanish Succession. Queen Anne also gave him £240,000 to pay for the repairs of the home as it was in a dilapidated state. The palace is still owned by the 11th Duke of Marlborough, the late John Spencer-Churchill who died in 1999.
Between Chipping Norton and Moreton-in-Marsh is the charming village of Chastleton with an enromous stately home called Chastleton House, now owned by the National Trust. The historical home is over 400-years old and is an impressive example of Jacobean architecture and a vision of Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations. Chastleton House was originally built by Walter Jones, a wealthy wool merchant and it belong to his family for centuries. The home has hardly changed over the years because the family had financial difficulties so it has not had repairs or much renovation through the years. Therefore, it has many of the original features still which provides a fascinating delve into history for visitors. Chastleton House was once owned by Roberts Catesby, a major player in the plot to blow up the houses of parliament. It is believed that much of the planning was done in his bedroom at Chastleton House.
Broadway tower overlooks the village of Broadway, where many famous designers and artists have lived and where there are plenty of workshops and antique shops of interest. The Vales of Gloucester and Evesham can be viewed from the top of Broadway Tower, standing 1024 feet above sea level. The tower was paid for and sponsored by Lady Coventry in 1799 and built by James Wyatt. Lady Coventry was keen to know if she could see the beacon hills from her house across the hills and commissioned Wyatt to build the tower. Thankfully, Lady Coventry could see the tower and admired it from her house every day. The tall and impressive tower has been described as the perfect example of gothic 18th century architecture and has museums inside, so is an extremely popular attraction in the Cotswolds.
Secret Cottage Tours
If you would like to experience a family-run private tour of the Cotswolds, then book your seat on the Secret Cottage Tour. We enjoy taking our guests on an exciting 6-hour tour around the Cotswolds, showing you some of the most beautiful places in the area. You will see beautiful stately homes, stunning views, charming villages with Cotswold stone thatched cottages and learn all about the history of the Cotswolds. One of the most unique parts of our tour is that we invite you into our home the Secret Cottage to enjoy a tour of our 400-year old home and some delicious homecooked food for lunch. We also treat our visitors to a traditional Cotswold cream tea in the afternoon. If you’re coming from London, then it’s an easy journey with a direct train from London Paddington to Moreton-in-Marsh taking only 1 hour and 40 minutes. Our 7-seater luxury minibus will pick you up from the train station and drop you back there at the end of the tour so you are back in London in time for the evening. Book now to avoid disappointment! Read our 5-star reviews on Trip Advisor!