Hello, I’m Becky from Secret Cottage. I’m married and have two teenage children.
My fantastic team and I run a day tour of picturesque hidden Cotswold villages that includes an invitation into my private home for tea or coffee with pastries, a buffet lunch, and a traditional Cotswold cream tea served inside Secret Cottage.
Whether you’re looking for a great day trip from London, are staying here on holiday or are a local who wants to explore more of the area, our Secret Cottage Tour will exceed your expectations. The six hour guided tour of North Cotswold villages, combined with intervals in my private thatched cottage, runs every day throughout the year.
One of the Secret Cottage team will take you in our Mercedes minibus to outstanding hidden villages that are inaccessible by public transport. The unspoilt villages that I’ve carefully selected are made up of thatched cottages, clipped lawns and dusty lanes, which perfectly illustrate what life was like in the 16th century. Having lived in the area for twenty five years, my local knowledge is invaluable to visitors and you’ll experience it as if you are a local.
I’m lucky that I’ve travelled extensively throughout the world. However, I know what it’s like to get home, only to discover you’ve missed an amazing secret, all because you weren’t familiar with the area. I also know that we’re all fascinated by how people live their lives. It was these two things that gave me the idea for the Secret Cottage tour. I’m fortunate enough to live in a pretty thatched cottage and I love showing people what I experience every day!
I’ll make sure you don’t miss anything in this unspoilt part of England. My team and I are here as your personal Cotswold Tourist Guide to take you on a unique and memorable day through hidden villages we know and love.
My cottage is called ‘Secret Cottage’ and is quintessentially perfect for guests to explore and experience how the English live in the Cotswolds. Inside everything is old and quaint. There are three inglenook fireplaces which are open log fires used to heat the cottage, the winding stairs and floors are made from original elm planks and the heavily beamed listed cottage is nearly 500 years old!
During the tour of villages, we periodically return to Secret Cottage for tea or coffee with pastries, a generous buffet lunch and in the afternoon, you’ll enjoy eating homemade scones fresh from the Aga. These are essential for the traditional English Cotswold cream tea which is served on the finest Spode bone china.
All our guests are overwhelmed by the experience of being invited into a private home with many of them describing it as fairyland. Increasingly, many say Secret Cottage was the highlight of their trip to the UK.
Each tour is unique because of the different seasons and local events. We consistently deliver a bespoke memorable tour that is guaranteed to please everybody with plenty of surprises.
During the tour you’ll see a selection of amazing honey coloured limestone houses and cottages, view landscapes and drive through parkland, see topiary, historic manor houses and stunning ancient churches. You’ll see National Trust houses, farms, gardens, wells, streams, fords, ponds, barns, dovecotes, animals, wildlife and village greens. You’ll visit picturesque villages that most tourists never get to see – stopping off at some and driving through others.
But that’s not all…
You’ll discover something that isn’t in your tourism guide. You won’t find it listed in the tourist information centre and it doesn’t appear in books and maps…
With only seven passenger seats in the Mercedes minibus, you’re guaranteed that you can choose when you’d like to stop and take your pictures.
TripAdvisor has ranked Secret Cottage #1 of 44 ‘Tours and Activities in the Cotswolds’.
The pickup point is the ticket office of Moreton-in-Marsh railway station – we do not pick up or drop off anywhere else. Many arrive by train from Oxford or London-Paddington in time for the tour which starts at 10.00 and ends at 16.20. The cost is £95 for the day, inclusive of all food and drink served at Secret Cottage.
Some of you may have taken the Cotswolds Mystery Tour and are wondering if we take the same route. The Secret Cottage Tour is entirely different with no overlap or duplication. So if you enjoyed one tour, we’d encourage you to book the other to get the full benefit of both.
All in all you’ll spend six hours being our special guest. I guarantee you a fantastic day out with plenty of surprises. You’ll not go hungry and you’ll remember this day forever!
Food and drink during the Secret Cottage Tour
As our personal guest for the day at Secret Cottage all you need to do is relax while we take care of the food and drink. We’ll provide morning tea and coffee with a selection of pastries, a wonderful buffet lunch and the most amazing traditional cream tea later in the afternoon. A selection of decaffeinated coffee, herbal teas and soft drinks are available.
Please make us aware of any dietary requirements or food allergies when you book or three days before arrival by email.
Inside Secret Cottage
There are two loos upstairs – on the first and second floors.
We do not have disabled facilities.
Our kitchen has been fully inspected by the Environmental Health Department and has been given a 5 star rating.
Please do not take pictures of the paintings.
Pick up and drop off times
Secret Cottage Tour.
Please wait in the ticket office of Moreton-in-Marsh railway station. We’ll meet you at 10.00, get into the minibus at 10.10 and the tour starts promptly at 10.15. We’ll drop you back at the station at 16.20. We do not do pick ups or drop offs from anywhere else. If you miss the start of the tour at 10.15, we are unable to issue a refund or provide a replacement/free tour on another day.
If you are coming by car
The postcode for Moreton-in-Marsh railway station is GL56 0AA. Allow time for busy traffic, time to park your car and to buy a ‘pay and display’ ticket from the machine. There is a car park at the railway station and another as you approach the railway station. Tuesday is market day and therefore, it will take you longer to find a space.
If you are arriving by train
If the train is late, we will wait for you or have contingency plans for you to join the tour later.
If you’re arriving and departing by train please check times before you travel by contacting National Rail Enquiries on +44 (0)345 7 484950 or visit http://www.gwr.com. We constantly check and update the following train times. However, we are not liable if you miss your train for any reason.
Trains ARRIVE from the direction of Oxford/London (Paddington) at:
Trains DEPART from Moreton-in Marsh in the direction of Oxford/London (Paddington) at:
The Secret Cottage Tour costs £95 per person, fully inclusive of the tour and all food and drink served at the cottage. Taxis charge around £40 for a one hour trip and you’ll see very little, compared to our tour lasting roughly six hours. I think you’ll agree that for £95 inclusive of food and drink, its incredibly good value.
Children aged six and over pay the full tour price. Children under six and pets are not permitted on the tour.
Our Mercedes minibus
- Air conditioned
- Fantastic all-round raised visibility.
- Luxurious and comfortable.
- Our minibus is fully insured for private hire.
- We hold an operator’s licence.
Terms and conditions for secret Cottage
- We operate the Secret Cottage Tour daily throughout the year, apart from December 25th and 26th.
- We reserve the right to cancel the tour at any time with a full refund. In the unlikely event of us being unable to run the tour due to adverse weather conditions, you’ll be fully refunded for your Secret Cottage Tour.
- Regrettably, we do not accept children under the age of six.
- Please do not bring your suitcases or hand luggage as we do not have room on the minibus. Please see the following link for luggage storage.
- If you are late and the minibus has left without you a refund will not be given. However, if your train is delayed we will wait for you
- Cancellation is 100% refund, 30 days prior to the tour date. If you notify us less than 30 days before the tour date, we will make your seat(s) available and will only issue a refund of 100% if your seat(s) are re-sold.
- Smoking inside the minibus and cottage is not permitted.
- Taking photographs of pictures and paintings inside the cottage is not permitted.
- We have public liability insurance.
- Please remember that Secret Cottage is over 500 years old, you’ll need to be careful when using the elm staircases and when ducking under beams and doorways. The owners and their insurers are not liable for any accidents or injuries whilst you’re in the cottage or the garden.
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