Explore the Cotswolds
The Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is an iconic part of England, filled with picture perfect villages, beautiful vistas and a traditional way of life. From Oxford to Bath, enjoy a road trip with a local (private) driver-guide to see this quintessential bit of Britain.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Visit the university town of Oxford and magnificent Blenheim Palace
- Wander through quaint villages filled with independent shops and delis
- End your trip in the Georgian city of Bath to marvel at the Roman Baths and Abbey
When To Travel
Day 1: International Flight
Begin your journey with an international flight (most likely overnight) to London.
Day 2: Transfer to the Cotswolds
You will be met at arrivals by your private driver who will transfer you to your hotel, located in the north of the Cotswolds. (Our favourite hotel in the area? Foxhill Manor)
The drive should take approximately two hours, depending on traffic. On arrival to your hotel, relax and unpack at leisure and then enjoy the hotel facilities and beautiful grounds.
Day 3: Cotswolds Gardens
Today, explore the beautiful local area of the butterscotch stoned northern Cotswolds. Firstly, enjoy a private morning tour of the family run Kiftsgate Court Gardens with the head gardener or owner of the property.
The views from the old swimming pool are second to none, overlooking rolling countryside. From here head to the neighbouring estate, Hidcote Manor Gardens. Created by the talented American horticulturist Major Lawrence Johnston, it's colourful and intricately designed outdoor 'rooms' are always full of surprises.
After your tour, depart with your driver-guide to explore the local villages and to stop for lunch in a traditional pub. The market town of Chipping Camden, often described as the 'jewel in the crown' of the Cotswolds, has been intricately preserved. Visit the artist shops and delis that fill nearby Broadway before returning to your hotel.
- A private tour of Coughton Court and its beautiful grounds
Day 4: Oxford & Blenheim
This morning drive an hour and a half with your guide to charming Oxford, a medieval city steeped in culture and history, and best known for its world famous university.
Your guide will show you Christchurch College, many other buildings of architectural interest and the incomparable Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, which was founded in 1683.
Enjoy lunch in the city centre before your driver-guide will transfer you to the nearby Blenheim Palace, a journey of around half an hour. The palace was an - extremely generous - gift from Queen Anne to John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough, in 1704 for defeating England's perennial enemy, France, at the battle of the same name. 170 years later, the palace was also the birthplace of another great Briton, Sir Winston Churchill. After your tour your driver-guide will transfer you back to your Cotswolds hotel.
Day 5: Central Cotswolds
This morning, check out of your hotel and your driver-guide will transfer you to Stanway House for your private tour; learn all about the fascinating history of the house, its owners and their guests as well as seeing the beautiful fountain, which is the tallest gravity fed fountain in the world.
After your tour, explore the beautiful villages of Upper Slaughter and the famous Bourton on the Water, otherwise known as the 'Venice of the Cotswolds' due to River Windrush, which runs right through the middle of it.
When you're hungry it's to Barnsley for lunch at The Village Pub before making the 30-minute journey for check in at Calcot Manor, which is located near Tetbury.
Day 6: Highgrove
Today you and your driver-guide will depart for the nearby town of Tetbury, where you can spend the morning exploring the countless antique and independent shops on the high street.
After lunch in a one of the delis or independent cafés in the town, head to Highrove, the Prince of Wales' private home and estate. The private champagne tea tour has a maximum 16 people touring the beautiful gardens with an expert guide before you enjoy traditional afternoon tea and some Highgrove champagne in The Orchard Restaurant.
Day 7: Bath
After a leisurely breakfast leave your hotel with your driver guide for Bath, the journey taking approximately 45 minutes.
Bath is a beautiful Georgian vity with many interesting sights and excursions. Take a walking tour with your guide to look at the famous Roman Baths, built in 60AD, and the Abbey, which is considered to be the last of the great medieval churches of England.
Day 8: Flight Home
Check out of your hotel where your driver-guide will be waiting to transfer you to the airport for your onwards flight, your journey from Calcot should take approximately two hours.
Letitia, Rita, Susie and Caroline are our experts for this itinerary and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.