The Cotswolds spread through 800 square miles across Warwickshire, Gloucestershire, parts of north-east Somerset, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire and is perhaps considered one of the most beautiful and idyllic places in England. The countryside offers vast spaces of grasslands and the Cotswold hills are famous for their gentle slopes, dipping into rivers and woodlands, a stretched patchwork quilt that covers the south-west of England.
Visitors come from all over the world to see the Cotswolds which have been noted as an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) and the second largest in England and Wales. The Cotswolds is famous for the beautiful Cotswold stone, a pale-yellow limestone that was once the bedrock in Jurassic times. Cotswold stone has been used to build throughout villages and market towns, providing a gentle but beautiful contrast between the town buildings and the backdrop of the lush Cotswold hills. Market towns are built on sloping hills, providing beautiful views across the countryside, often next to rivers and tiny hidden villages are only within a few miles away.
Villages in the Cotswolds have a somewhat magical aspect about them. In summer, the locals gather outside the village pub for a drink of local ale or a white wine spritzer while gaze over at cricketers playing on the village green. In spring, daffodils, bluebells and wildflowers sprinkle the grass verges, banks and cottage gardens and in the winter, the country lanes are scattered with autumn leaves and smoke gently billows from the chimneys of houses. Cotswold villages are pretty, idyllic, charming, quaint and magical and it’s no surprise that what may seem like normal life to the locals, is heaven in a nutshell for visitors who come here. No matter what time of year, you will likely see walkers and ramblings wandering through the villages, following walking trails through fields and woods to see some of the most beautiful panoramic views around the region.
Breath-taking Market Towns
The market towns in the Cotswolds are one of the most eye-catching visions of beautiful English architecture. Typical market towns are built in Cotswold stone, with only a few more modern houses on the outskirts of towns, but the traditional town centre is ancient, breath-taking and quite simply a delight to wander around. In the centre of each town, there is a market square where sheep markets once used to take over the town when the Cotswolds was one of the largest suppliers to the European wool trade. Now, the market squares are home to a weekly market where fresh produce, baskets, pet supplies and local handmade pottery can be purchased. There’s also monthly farmer’s markets on a Saturday where you can buy finer cuisines, homemade products and furnishings. There is a town hall in every market town, often overlooking the market square – a place for locals to entertain, charity fundraising events to be held and even marriages to take place. Cotswold market towns include Moreton-in-Marsh, Stow-on-the-Wold, Chipping Norton, Woodstock, Witney and Burford. The market town history often dates back to Medieval times, offering some fascinating places to see and buildings to explore.
The Cotswolds Mystery Tour
If you’re planning a trip to England or traveling to the south-west of the UK, then join a Cotswold tour which gives you the best and most memorable experience. The Cotswolds Mystery Tour is a privately-run 6-hour tour that takes guest around the magical region of the Cotswolds. We explore hidden villages, show you some of the most magnificent stately homes, visit pretty market towns and discover some of the most beautiful views in the Cotswolds. If you’re staying in London, then you can get a direct train from London Paddington to Moreton-in-Marsh taking just 1 hour and 40 minutes door to door. We pick our guests up from the train station in our 7-seater luxury Mercedes minibus and return you there after the tour so you can get your train back. There’s no need to bring food as we take you for a delicious lunch at a 16th century Cotswold inn, also a hot drink and pastry at a quaint village café in the morning. Book your Cotswold private tour today to avoid disappointment and please feel free to enjoy reading our 5-star reviews from recent guests on Trip Advisor.