Cotswolds Tourism AwardsA few weeks ago we were absolutely delighted to find out that we’d been “highly commended for new business” in the Tourism Experience of the Year category of the Cotswold Tourism Awards 2015.

We had to keep it quiet until it was officially announced in the January edition of Cotswold Life magazine, which went on sale yesterday. We found this incredibly hard!

We’re very proud to have even been recognised by Cotswolds’ Tourism – the official tourism group for the Cotswolds, who give out the awards. Although we didn’t win a Gold, Silver or Bronze award the judges wrote to us to say we were being highly commended for what we’ve achieved so far and they hoped this recognition would help us go on to further success in 2015.

To be acknowledged by such an organisation is a huge boost to a small start-up like us!

This acknowledgement in addition to the excellent feedback we’ve received from our customers in person and on TripAdvisor so far also gives further motivation for us to succeed in providing – and improving – a service we’re very passionate about.

By the river in Stratford-upon-Avon.

By the river in Stratford-upon-Avon.

As a keen traveller my aim has always been to ensure that visitors to this area – the place I’m so lucky to be able to call my home – get to appreciate just how good it is.

Both Stratford-upon-Avon and the Cotswolds are featured as things to do in The Lonely Planet’s The World: A Traveller’s Guide to the Planet, yet before we existed there was no easy, affordable way for tourists in Stratford to properly experience the Cotswolds despite it’s proximity!

Instead of taking a whistle-stop day trip from London to ‘tick off’ The Cotswolds and Stratford in a day why not venture out of the capital, stay in Stratford-upon-Avon and experience the beauty of the Cotswolds from there instead? It’s only 2 hours from London by train, has fantastic hotels and guesthouses, great tourist attractions and a whole variety of excellent pubs and restaurants.

A recent Go Cotswolds group out in the Cotswolds. Unfortunately having to utlise our umbrellas on this occasion!

A recent Go Cotswolds group out in the Cotswolds. Utilising our stash of umbrellas on this occasion!

By offering our tours we want to help visitors consider Stratford-upon-Avon as the next must-see place to visit (and stay in) in England after London. We want to see visitors staying here for longer, and using it as a base to appreciate rural England and its rich heritage.

Visiting Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, taking in The Cotswolds, visiting the castles of Warwick and Kenilworth and enjoying the pubs and restaurants of a quintessentially British town as part of the same short break certainly sounds appealing to me anyway. And I live here!