The Cotswolds, England's largest (AONB) Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty


Small settlements of golden limestone stone cottages sit beside gentle streams, traditional local shops, and cosy country pubs. The Cotswolds Hills are perfect for grazing sheep making the Cotswolds territory a big wool producer vital for the British economy. 

The steep rolling hills of the Cotswolds make up the largest Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB) in England. Stay at the Lygon Arms in Broadway and spend a few nights. Touring opportunities from this base are endless, such as Hidcote Manor Gardens and Kiftsgate Gardens. Our Driver Guides will be on hand to whisk you off to Highgrove Gardens, the country home of HRH Prince Charles or go antiquing in the historic market town of Tetbury

This countryside, with its quintessentially English towns and villages, offers a peaceful escape. This region of England is a perfect haven to relax and enjoy a charming, cosy, and unspoiled piece of rural English life. Spend your time sampling traditional country pubs, browsing antique shops, and taking afternoon tea in beautiful gardens. For, as Henry James said: “There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea”.

Golden limestone villages, elegant parish churches and great pubs

A brief history of the Cotswolds

The Golden Fleece
During the middle ages, England produced the highest grade wool. Britain has a climate and landscape suited to grazing cattle and sheep. The Island has reasonable amounts of sunshine, a decent volume of rain and rich fertile soil. These perfectly balanced elements produce high-quality, nutritious grass. Sheep love Britain, it is like heaven for them, and they prefer a cool climate. The result is fit, healthy sheep with high-grade fleeces. The high value of said fleeces made England wealthy.

Weaving the Wool
The steep hills of the Cotswolds made ploughing fields challenging; the grazing of sheep is a better idea. Immigrants from war-ravaged Europe brought skilled weavers to England, who manufactured high-end cloth. The Cotswolds region is blessed with deep fast flowing rivers, that energy source was essential to power the new mills, producing the fabric. The exported raw wool and cloth made wool merchants wealthy. 

The Wool churches
The affluence created from the wool industry filtered down to people at the bottom of the industrial food chain. During the 1700s, foreign visitors were amazed that poor people lived in stone houses. The great wealth of the wool merchants meant the construction of large elaborate dwellings. The great prosperity made people more concerned for their souls; huge sums poured into parish church upgrades, wool merchants paid for chapels, and steeples, guaranteeing safe passage to heaven. Visit these architectural gems on your Driver Guided tour of the Cotswolds.    

Stay in the Cotswolds
There is no denying it; the Cotswolds is a popular part of England to visit. It is a large enough area not to feel like you are staying with a million other travellers. It is a vast area, and we think it is essential to tour off-the-tourist-trail avoiding any large groups. We offer an Electric Bike Tour of the Cotswolds, antique hunting days and ideal for families there is the Cotswolds Water Park with tons to do. 

Touring and accommodation
The Cotswolds region is a huge landmass designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or AONB. Leave London and visit Oxford, Blenheim Palace and the Cotswolds on a day trip. We recommend staying for a few nights in the Cotswolds and visit Blenheim Palace and Oxford with your driver-guide. Enjoy Bike tour of the Cotswolds, or surprise a family member with a Balloon Flight in the Cotswolds. Day trips that combine well with the Cotswolds include; Stratford-upon-AvonWarwick Castle and Hidcote Manor Gardens.

Our Town and Country Tour itinerary features the region. It will always be customised by our Tour Designers to match your interests and accommodation preferences. 

Stay at the Lygon Arms Hotel in the beautiful village of Broadway in the heart of the Cotswolds. Alternatively, stay at Buckland Manor, the classic Cotswold country house hotel. However, the region has a huge variety of Manor House Hotels, Castles and Traditional Inns to stay. Please view our Best Hotels in the Cotswolds page.

There are many ways to enjoy the Cotswolds region -  The style of the tour will depend on your interests and the season you wish to travel. Touring England in the winter allows you to enjoy cosy country pubs with roaring fires, the Autumn, see the changing colours, holiday shopping and gardens. The spring and summer offer the bird song, thriving gardens, outdoor activities and country fairs. Please see our various suggestions on our Private Tours of England pages. However, we can customise a tour of England for you.

Enjoy an authentic Tour of the Cotswolds

Explore off-the-beaten-path with our Driver Guides

  • (AONB) Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Electric Bike Tours Available
  • Antique Hunting
  • Meet the Gun Dogs of Broadway
  • Tour the Great Cotswolds Gardens

Help us make your trip exceptional

Our UK, EU and US office-based staff will listen to what you want to see and experience.

Whether you are a honeymoon couple, a family or a corporate incentive group, our team’s collective resources will be brought together to build the experience that’s right for you.

We will require your arrival and departure dates, details of your personal preferences and places that you would like to visit as well as the events you would like to experience.

We will then prepare a draft itinerary and send it to you by email for your approval. Once agreed, we will send you a Booking Confirmation with Personalised Itinerary and Information Pack via email.

Contact information

From the UK: +44(0)20 8669 3666

FREE from Canada or the USA: 1-888-472-1799

Email: [email protected]

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