“Hello, I’m Becky from Secret Cottage. I’m married with two teenage children and I have lived in the Cotswolds for over 25 years. Thank you for visiting our website and we look forward to welcoming you on our exclusive Secret Cottage Tour.”
My wonderful team and I run a special day tour of picture-perfect hidden Cotswold villages that includes a personal invitation into my private home which is nearly 500-years old. We love to treat guests, inviting them in for morning tea or coffee with pastries, a delicious buffet lunch, and a traditional Cotswold cream tea served inside Secret Cottage. We believe that this gives guests the perfect experience for a wonderful day tour of the Cotswolds.
Whether you’re looking for a fantastic day trip from London, or you’re staying in the area on holiday, or are a local who wants to explore more of this beautiful area, our Secret Cottage Tour will exceed every expectation. The six-hour guided tour of North Cotswold villages, combined with relaxing intervals in my private thatched Cotswold cottage, runs every day throughout the year.
Our experienced Secret Cottage team will take you in our luxurious Mercedes minibus to pretty, hidden villages that are inaccessible by public transport. The beautiful and unspoilt villages I’ve carefully selected will show you quaint thatched cottages and perfectly clipped lawns, which perfectly illustrate what life was like in the 16th century. I have lived here for 25 years, so my local knowledge is invaluable to visitors and guests love to experience our trips as if they were locals.
I feel very lucky that I have travelled extensively throughout the world. However, I know what it’s like when you get home and discover you’ve missed an amazing secret to a place, all because you were not familiar with the area. I also know that most of us are intrigued by how people live their lives. It was these two specific thoughts that gave me the idea for the Secret Cottage tour. I’m fortunate enough to live in a pretty thatched Cotswold cottage and I love to show people what I experience every day!
My team at Secret Cottage make sure you don’t miss anything in this idyllic and unspoilt part of England. We are here as your personal, friendly Cotswold Tourist Guide, taking you on a unique and memorable day through all the local hidden villages that we know and love.
Our home called ‘Secret Cottage’ is quintessentially the perfect place for guests to experience and explore how the English live in the Cotswolds. Everything inside is old and quaint with three inglenook fireplaces which are open log fires used to heat the cottage, the ancient winding stairs and floors are made from original old elm planks and our heavily beamed, beautiful listed cottage is nearly 500 years old!
We periodically return to Secret Cottage during the tour for tea or coffee and pastries, a generous homemade buffet lunch and in the afternoon, we give you delicious homemade scones freshly cooked in the Aga. We believe these are essential ingredients for the traditional English Cotswold cream tea which is served on our finest Spode bone china.
All our guests are always overwhelmed by the wonderful experience of being invited into a private home and so many of them describe it as a fairyland. We now have more and more Secret Cottage guests who say it 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.
You will see a selection of amazing honey coloured limestone houses and cottages during the tour, incredible views of landscapes, wonderful drives through parkland, beautiful collections of topiary, historic manor houses and stunning ancient churches. In the Cotswolds, there are National Trust houses, farms, gardens, streams, fords, wells, ponds, barns, dovecotes, animals, wildlife and village greens. We visit picturesque villages that many tourists never get to see – driving through some and stopping in others.
But there’s more…
You will experience something that isn’t in your tourism guide and you won’t find it listed anywhere in the tourist information centre, also not appearing in books and maps…
With only seven seats in our luxury Mercedes minibus, you are guaranteed to choose when you would like to stop and take photographs of the views.
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 guests arrive by train from Oxford or London-Paddington which is perfectly in time for the tour which starts at 10.00 and ends at 16.20. The cost is £95 for the day, inclusive of delicious homemade food and drinks served at Secret Cottage.
Some of you may have taken the Cotswolds Mystery Tour and are wondering if the tours are similar? The Secret Cottage Tour is completely different with no overlap or duplication. So if you enjoyed one of our tours, then we would encourage you to book the other to get the full benefit of both.
All in all you’ll spend six hours being our very special guest and we can 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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