Hidden Cotswolds villages are magical places, often found down narrow winding lanes on the edge of hills, next to dense woodland or on the outskirts of pretty market towns. If you want to experience beautiful English countryside that is unspoilt, lush and green, and full of mystery, then visit the Cotswolds. The area stretches over several counties and boasts 800 square miles of rolling hills, pretty villages and towns, located in the south-east of England. It has been aptly named as the second largest area of outstanding natural beauty in England and it’s no surprise when you visit. There are many hidden villages in the Cotswolds and village life is relaxed, friendly and very much outdoors. Locals remark how living in the Cotswolds is perfect, a peaceful life in beautiful countryside, yet only one hour and forty minutes on the train to the capital city of London.
Bourton-on-the-Water has been named as the ‘Venice of The Cotswolds’ because the centre of Bourton village bustles around the pretty River Windrush. This beautiful Cotswold village is popular for Cotswold tourism with plenty of cafes, shops and restaurants, but also some interesting local attractions. The fascinating Model Village is a waist-high exact model of Bourton village and you can walk by foot through the Cotswold streets, overlooking the houses that stand beneath you, feeling like you are a giant. Bourton also boasts the British Motor Museum with an incredible selection of vintage cars, classic cars, caravans and motorcycles. Birdland Park is on the edge of the village, drawing families and visitors to view over 500 birds including penguins, peacocks and pelicans.
The beautiful village of Bibury is hidden down country lanes off the A40 between Burford and Cheltenham in Gloucestershire. The village is located next to the River Coln and is particularly famous for Arlington Row, an unusual group of cottages that date back to the 16th century. Arlington Row is a famous landmark in the Cotswolds and many Cotswolds guided tours visit daily to see this historical site. The tiny weaver’s cottages were built as a monastic wool store where cloth was made then taken to Arlington Mill to be hung out on timber frames. The row of famous cottages has now been preserved by the Royal College of Arts and has since been a popular filming location for blockbuster movies such as Stardust and Bridget Jones’s Diary. The village of Bibury also has a charming village church called St Mary’s which was originally founded in the 8th century with Norman carvings and pretty, Medieval windows. Artist and designer William Morris once stated that Bibury was “the most beautiful village in the Cotswolds”.
The Village of Chastleton
The village of Chastleton is set back in the depths of the countryside from the A34 between Chipping Norton and Moreton-in-Marsh. The beautiful homes and tiny cottages in the village surround the magnificent Chastleton House, a 400-year-old Jacobean stately home that was once owned by a wealthy wool merchant named Walter Jones. The majestic home still has many of its original features since the family suffered poverty during the civil unrest, unable to repair or upkeep the property. Chastleton House has now been passed on to the National Trust and is a popular location for guests to visit when they are touring the Cotswolds. It is believed that Robert Catesby who was a previous owner of Chastleton House was one of the main characters in the ill-fated plot to blow up Parliament. Although Catesby had already sold Chastleton House when the event took place, his mother was still living there. Many believe that some of the theories and the plots were thought up in his room and Chastleton House.
Discover the Cotswolds
If you would like to experience a daytrip to the Cotswolds, then a book your seat with the Cotswolds Mystery Tour. We delight in showing our guests the beautiful countryside surround the north of the Cotswolds which is one of the most stunning areas to visit. We take you through hidden villages, past magnificent stately homes, show you pretty market towns and several secret attractions of the area. If you are staying in London, then you can get a direct train from London Paddington to Moreton-in-Marsh where we will pick you up. Relax in our 7-seater luxury minibus while we show you some incredible views and take you to the most charming places in the Cotswolds. There’s no need to bring a picnic lunch as we take you to a 16th century inn to eat, and also stop at a friendly village café for a snack and drink in the morning. Experience the Cotswolds with knowledgeable tour guides and our friendly team, book your place today to avoid disappointment.