Day tours by driver guide
The large coaches miss the best parts and the Cotswolds and will not show you the hidden gems. You can only see the Cotswolds by walking, cycling or by driving in a small vehicle. Our driver guides, with expert local knowledge of its traditions history and scenic beauty will bring it all to life.
Our private day tours allow you to follow your own interests and travel at your own pace.Your qualified driver guide will take you to places many visitors miss and only the locals know.
A Day in the North Cotswolds.
We will arrive at your door to start the day in style, picking you up at your chosen place and time. Each of the towns are about 6 or 7 miles apart. This is the distance villagers would walk from one town to the next for work.
North Cotswold tour in Blue
South Cotswold Tour in Red
This is a story of Wool and Stone. –
Wool was the great cash commodity in medieval times and sheep grazed the open fields. The towns grew up after the Norman conquest along the streams and rivers used for the buffing of the wool.
Stone – Limestone is the main building material giving the wonderful honey colour to the houses towns throughout the landscape.
Our journey will take us through Winchcombe once the Saxon capital of Mercia to Stanton and Stanway where John Wesley preached. 13thC Hayles Abbey and church, now a ruin, shows the simplicity of ancient worship.
We drive on to Broadway with its wide coach route we can visit quality shops in Tudor surroundings. If you are animal lovers we will see 2 packs of English fox hounds. On to Snowshill with a chance to visit the fascinating hand crafted collection of Charles Wade at the Manor and see the village where Renee Zelweger filmed the first scenes of Bridget Jones Diary. The Lavender fields in July are a treat as the fields turn the most vivid blue at the Lavender farm. The oils are a great local souvenir.
To Broadway Tower and stroll along the road taking your photos of some of the finest thatched cottages in the Cotswolds, as we drive through to the market town of Chipping Campden. Tea rooms pubs and coffee houses are all on offer. This was the centre of the Art and Craft movement in the 19thC after many artists brought their crafts, escaping the chaos of East London, to the quite tranquillity and cheaper real estate of the Cotswolds.
To Stow on the Wold. You will want time here to explore the square with its antique shops and a great selection of interior design outlets. Charity shops should not be missed as they often throw up a hidden treasure.
The Slaughters can only be seen by small vehicle as we slowly drive through the quite country villages of Upper and ower Slaugter. Not as brutal as it sounds – mean ‘A watery place’ – nothing to do with slaughtering animals. Artists often set up their easels capturing the scene.
Bourton on Water – The Venice of the Cotswolds ! We have to be careful not to visit at prime times in summer as it can also be the most beautiful town in the Cotswolds – spoilt by people. Your guide will time your visit to make sure you enjoy the town without the many large coach loads of people that come to this one place where they can park. The beginning or later in the day is the best time – Another reason to have your own driver.
Through Greater and Little Rissington to the town of Burford.
This pretty Cotswold Town is often regarded as being the gateway to the Cotwolds as it is the first town along the A40 from Oxford that visitors appreciate the limestone houses lined along the main High Street. Here, we often stop for lunch or coffee depending upon the time of day we arrive.
The South Cotswolds
A drive along the 2,000 year old roman road takes us from North to South Cotswolds. The most idyllic drive early morning following the flow of the River Coln takes us through unknown and unspoilt villages to Barnsley: the home and garden of Rosemary Verey, and on to Bibury. Willam Morris, the great designer in the 19thC, said this was the prettiest village in England. The trout farm and ancient Mill surrounded by protected nature reserve certainly has unique charm.
We make our way through the backroads to Filkins and the home of the Cotswold Weavers. Here we find both Wool and Stone. Superb garments for both men and women, blankets and throws, in traditional and modern styles allow you to purchase items that are true quality. The museum style presentation shows us the story of wool from bygone days. A master stone mason carves limestone onsite allowing us to see this skilful ancient craft. Full day courses in stone carving can also be arranged.
To Fairford Church. This is a favour visit to a church that is a magnificent example of 16thC architecture but you would not expect the treasures within. Here we have the finest example of stain glass from the early 1500s. All other parish churches had their glass destroyed in the Protestant Reformation in the 16thC . Fairford Church’s glass survived for some reason, and can be seen today in its full glory.
To Lechlade and the river Thames and across to Cirencester, Tetbury, Malmesbury. We can visit the magnificent Roman Settlement at Chedworth before returning to your hotel.