The warm glow of autumn sun highlights the natural beauty of the Cotswolds as the leaves change from green to gold, brown, red and yellow. Autumn in the Cotswolds is a picture-perfect haven of quintessential English countryside at its best. Pretty clusters of thatched cottages line village greens as gentle billows of smoke puff from the chimneys of wood burning fires and locals huddle around tables in the local, friendly village pub. Majestic stately homes are framed by tall, ancient trees reaching forwards towards them and long driveways have scattered autumn leaves that wait to be swept away. Autumn in the Cotswolds is one of the most beautiful times of year, a natural transition from fertile green countryside in the summer, to the drawn in nights of winter. Cotswold market towns and villages have a friendly air about them, welcoming visitors from all over the world to relish in the beauty of the Cotswolds and to admire the stunning countryside that expands out from every town.
The Town of Woodstock
Woodstock is one of the closest market towns to Oxford and one that has plenty of history to it, making it one of the most popular tourist towns for visitors. The architecture in Woodstock is a delightful mix of tudor-style buildings and the honey-coloured Cotswold stone, a famous feature to any Cotswold market town. Woodstock is home to the beautiful Blenheim Palace where the famous Churchill family lived and where Sir Winston Churchill was born. The palace was given to John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough on his victory over France during the War of the Spanish Succession. At that time, it was in a derelict condition and a poor state, so Queen Anne awarded John Churchill with £240,000 to fund the repair. Blenheim Palace is set in 2,000 acres of beautiful land and the palace sits at the top of the hill, overlooking lakes, lawns, trees and stunning views of stately home splendour. The Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock houses fascinating artefacts of archaeology and art and is located in a large, historic house called Fletcher House in the town.
Market Town of Stow-on-the-Wold
Stow-on-the-Wold is a picturesque market town 800-feet above sea level in Gloucestershire. The town centre focuses around a big market square that is busy with shops, cafes serving homemade good, restaurants, pubs, antique shops, stunning art galleries and interesting gift shops. Stow-on-the-Wold is one of the most well-known towns in the Cotswolds and played a large part in The Cotswolds towards the wool trade. The beautiful rolling Cotswold hills surround the town with stunning countryside and Stow was built on the Roman road called The Fosse Way. In past years, Stow-on-the-Wold was a common meeting place with six roads leading from many locations joining the town. The wool trade was the main trade that the Cotswolds is famous for, until the cloth industry moved North and Stow town was well-known for its annual fairs where sheep and other animals were traded weekly. The Gypsy Horse Fair still takes place in fields just outside the town centre, and twice a year, hundreds of gypsy travellers gather to sell horses and ponies.
Chipping Norton Town
Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds is still very much a working market town. The pretty town has several cafes and pubs, with charming gift shops and antique centres, alongside the usual amenities of banks, supermarkets and regular shopping. The locals have nicknamed Chipping Norton as ‘Chippy’ and it is well-known for being residence to celebrities such as Amanda Holden and Jeremy Clarkson. The Chipping Norton town hall dominates the heart of the towns market square and sits on the high street, a popular venue for concerts, craft fairs, weddings and local charity fundraising events. The town hall has transformed over the years from a building that was originally built on arches with 4 locking cells for prisoners, as well as space for a fire engine and weighbridge. Bliss Mill is a famous landmark in Chipping Norton and was once the industrial base for local wool and tweed production, originally known as Bliss Tweed Mill. The beautiful and impressive building was originally designed by George Woodhouse and was a 19th Century factory with an unusual dome based chimney. Now, Bliss Mill is converted houses and apartments but still a beautiful landmark that looks like an enormous mansion, standing majestically in the valley to the town.
The Cotswolds Mystery Tour
Explore the beautiful area of the Cotswolds with the famous Cotswolds Mystery Tour. We operate 6-hour day tours taking guests to beautiful hidden villages, charming market towns and all the historical places in the Cotswolds. We pick guests up from Moreton-in-Marsh train station which has a direct link from London Paddington, taking only 1 hour and 40 minutes. We stop at a quaint village café in the morning for a drink and take you to a wonderful 16th century Cotswold inn for a delicious lunch. After the tour, we return you to the train station so you can be back in London in time for your evening meal. Read out 5-star reviews on Trip Advisor!