Join our Complete Cotswolds tour from London and explore the highlights of this captivating area on a relaxing day-trip. Travel with a small-group in the company of a knowledgeable driver-guide, as your minibus navigates the narrow country lanes. Enjoy charming scenery, discover the local history and visit the most charming towns & villages.…
The Cotswolds is home to picturesque scenery and represents the quintessential English countryside.
Around the corner of every country lane is another historic town or village waiting to be explored.
The wool industry has been integral to the Cotswolds for centuries, so expect to see a few sheep grazing in the fields.
The word ‘Cotswold’ can be loosely translated from old English as ‘sheep enclosure in the rolling hills’. The two key features of the Cotswolds are its graceful hilly scenery, and its history as an important sheep farming area. The landscape is formed of a Jurassic limestone that is up to 200 million years old; this rock is rich in fossils which gives it a distinctive gold/honey colour.
There is evidence that the Cotswolds was settled by humans as far back as the Neolithic and Bronze ages, but it wasn’t until the Middle ages that the region prospered. From the 12th century, the wool industry had become the backbone of the English economy, and the Cotswolds was at the heart of this. With a landscape ideal for grazing and a local breed of sheep nicknamed the ‘Cotswolds Lions’, the area became famous across Europe for the high quality wool it produced.
In the 17th century the Cotswolds became a central battleground of the English Civil War. Following a breakdown in the relationship between King Charles I and Parliament over time, a war was fought between the Roundheads and the Cavaliers. With the Cotswolds a Royalist stronghold, it became a crucial area with numerous key battles fought were here, including the wars’ very first battle at Edgehill, and also its last, at Stow-on-the-Wold.
Today, the region is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) due to its unique landscapes and variety of wildlife, which includes many endangered species. Covering nearly 800-square miles, much of the Cotswolds is set in the central counties of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, with Stratford-upon-Avon considered the most northerly point, and the city of Bath on the southern edge.
Whilst wool trading has declined, agriculture remains the most important industry, with over 80% of land in the Cotswolds dedicated to farming; both for crop growing and sheep grazing. Many of the iconic features of the region remain, including honey-coloured stone cottages and historic churches, both bi-products of the widespread wealth created by the wool industry. These features, along with the beautiful countryside setting, make the Cotswolds Britain’s most desirable rural area to live.
Charming countryside, quaint villages and sheep grazing the fields. Explore the Cotswolds and you’ll see all of these things. There are many charming villages to visit throughout the region, but none more beautiful than Bibury, described by some as the ‘Prettiest village in England’. Here you’ll find the beautiful Arlington Row; a stunning terrace of cottages built in the 1380’s, which are now one of the most iconic sights in the Cotswolds.
There are also places of great history, like Stow-on-the-Wold. This town has hosted a market since 1107 and was one of the most important centres of the wool trade, with up to 20,000 sheep sold per day. The town has famously inspired JRR Tolkien, and is also home to the Porch House, said to be England’s oldest pub. Stow was also the location for the final battle of the English Civil War in March of 1646, where Royalist forces were defeated by their Parliamentarians foes.
Join our Complete Cotswolds tour from London and spend a relaxing day exploring the highlights of this beautiful region. Travel in a small-group on a comfortable minibus, in the company of our knowledgable driver-guides. Enjoy charming scenery, travel along narrow country lanes and visit the most iconic towns & villages.…
Find out more about our Cotswolds tours and join us to explore!