“I don’t want to take a guided tour of the Cotswolds”
We get it. A guided tour of the Cotswolds isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
When you think of a guided tour, you probably think of being herded around like lemmings by a guide with a flagpole in the air. Most of the time you can’t hear what the guide is saying, and the bits you can hear are boring, dry historical facts.
Or maybe you think of a coach tour, where you whizz around cities so fast you barely have time to get your camera out. And once you’ve finally worked out how to switch the pre-recorded commentary on your headset from Russian to English, you’ve missed half the tour anyway.
Our guided tour of the Cotswolds is different
When Tom first started Go Cotswolds back in 2014, he knew exactly what he DIDN’T want. And what he didn’t want were things I described above.
No herds of people following a tour guide with a flagpole, or rushing around with barely enough time to take a photo. No pre-recorded audio or boring commentary from a guide with no interest in their guests.
So, we did it differently!
On our tours, the maximum group size is just 16 people (though at the time of writing, we are socially distancing with just 10).
On all of our small-group tours, we visit several different, beautiful locations, but you’ll never spend more than 30 minutes in one stretch on our minibus.
You have a lot of free time, with maps we provide to give you suggestions of things to do.
Our guides are all friendly, travel-oriented people with bundles of local knowledge and insights, not waffling historians who will bore you to tears.
And we definitely DON’T carry a flagpole!
Visiting the Cotswolds? Here are 5 reasons why you should take a guided tour of the Cotswolds
1.To make the most of a short amount of time
Perhaps you’re just passing through the Cotswolds? Maybe you’re a weekend traveller? Just need to get out of the city for a day to breathe some fresh countryside air??
Don’t wander aimlessly around the Cotswolds. When you take a guided tour, then you get the added benefit of the guide’s local knowledge. They can show you the best spots, give you fascinating local insights, and recommend the best places to eat and shop.
A good tour guide will really add value to your day (even Rick Steves came to us!).
2. Because you don’t have a car
If you don’t have a car, it can be tricky to get around the Cotswolds. There aren’t many train stations, and the local bus services can be slow and infrequent. Some villages are completely inaccessible by public transport!
For all of our guided tours of the Cotswolds, we can pick you up from Stratford-upon-Avon or Moreton-in-Marsh train stations. So, hop on a train from places like London, Reading, Oxford, Birmingham and Worcester, and we’ll pick you up from right outside the station.
If you’re staying in Stratford-upon-Avon, we can even pick you up from right outside your hotel or guesthouse door.
3. Because you don’t want to take a car
Do a good thing for the planet. Leave the car at home and take a guided tour of the Cotswolds.
If our passengers travelled by car instead, then there would be up to an extra 16 cars on the narrow Cotswolds lanes. For the small villages in the Cotswolds, that’s a lot of extra traffic! Our comfortable touring vehicles are still small enough to navigate the narrow country lanes – and you can see above the hedgerows too!
We’re members of Good Journey – a non-profit organisation that promotes car-free tourism. We think it’s important.
4. To get an overview of the area before you explore on your own
The Cotswolds is HUGE. At 800 square miles, it’s the largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England. So, where do you start? With a guided tour of the Cotswolds!
Take our Cotswolds in a Day tour, so you’ll get an overview of what the Cotswolds is all about. Or, see a different side of the Cotswolds with our ‘Cotswolds Trails & Villages‘ walking tour, or our ‘Brewery, Pub Lunch & The Cotswolds‘ tour.
Spend time talking with our friendly local guides, too – they’re a goldmine of valuable local information. We’re all seasoned travellers, so we’re always happy to help!
5. To get to know a local
Our guides all live in and around the Cotswolds and have years of Cotswolds tour guiding experience between them – but they’re all thoroughly nice people too!
We love meeting people from all around the world, and have even visited some of our former customers in their own countries! Let us show you our ‘neck of the woods’, so you’ll feel like you’re travelling with a friend.
Don’t just take it from us!
This is one of my all-time favourite Go Cotswolds Tripadvisor reviews:
I’m usually not a tour guy. I don’t like tours, they don’t like me. At worse, they can be boring, overly long, and tell you nothing you couldn’t learn in a guidebook or by just reading the placards.
Our experience with Go Cotswolds was anything but. Full of insight, and filled with information that you couldn’t get from anyone who didn’t know the area intimately, if it is your first time to the Cotswolds, or if you have just never gotten a real insight into what the region is all about, you need to “Go Cotswolds.”
Colin, our tour guide, was kind, patient, and made sure to connect with each tour member personally.
The tour was perfectly paced, the sights world class, and everyone had a smashing time. I can’t wait for you to try this tour out! You’ll get to know the Cotswolds so well, you’ll feel like it’s a second home!