Want to visit the Cotswolds but are short on time? Well, luckily for you, it’s perfectly possible to visit this Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty as a day trip from London, the UK’s capital city! Here’s your guide to the best Cotswolds tours, itineraries, experiences, and itineraries from London to the Cotswolds…
Best Cotswolds Tours from London
There are countless tours and excursions you can book between London, Oxford, and the Cotswolds. Whether you’re looking for a historical excursion, a foodie experience, or a cultural day out, here’s your guide to the best of Cotswolds tours!
Oxford, Stratford, and Cotswolds: Day Trip from London
This full-day tour from London lasts for 10 hours and includes a visit to Shakespeare’s Birthplace (Stratford-upon-Avon), the chance to spy the beautiful buildings of Oxford, and a drive through the stunning Cotswolds. Check prices and availability here.
Oxford and Cotswolds Villages Day Trip from London
This 10-hour guided day trip from London includes a visit to the University City of Oxford, where there’s the chance to the Great Hall which inspired Harry Potter, as well as the breathtakingly beautiful villages of Bibury and Bampton (which was used to film many scenes from Downton Abbey). Check prices and availability here.
Cotswolds Tour with Lunch
Incredibly well-reviewed, this 11-hour experience includes not only the chance to enjoy some of the prettiest towns in the Cotswolds, but also the opportunity to have a two-course lunch at the Swan Hotel. Other highlights of this day trip from London include a visit to Burford, Bibury, Bourton-on-the-Water, and Stow-on-the-Wold. Check prices and availability here.
Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & the Cotswolds
For those who are searching for a taste of the quaint and regal during a day excrusion from London, this Blenheim Palace and Downton Abbey filming locations visit is an absolute must. Packed with a visit to the Royal Residence, as well as a visit to Bampton (the Cotswold village where lots of Downton Abbey was filmed). Check prices and availability here.
Warwick Castle, Stratford, Oxford & Cotswolds Day Trip
Imposing and impressive, Warwick Castle is widely regarded to be one of the most beautiful castles in England. This full day tour from London to the Cotswolds includes a tour of Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall in Stratford-upon-Avon, a fast-track entrance to Warwick Castle, and the chance to enjoy scenic Cotswolds views, as well as the city of Oxford. Check prices and availability here.
Stonehenge, Windsor Castle & Bath Tour
Though this excursion is more about big monuments and famous residences as opposed to the chocolate box villages that are so synonymous with the Cotswolds, this London day trip is an absolute must for all the history buffs out there. Be amazed by the Royal Residence of Windsor Castle, see the prehistoric stones of Stonehenge, and experience the Roman Bath that transformed into a wealthy resort town during the Georgian period. Check prices and availability here.
Cornwall and Cotswolds: 5-Day Small-Group Tour
If you have a little more time than a day trip from London to the Cotswolds, then you might consider booking this 5-day visit to the Cotswolds and to Cornwall, the most South Westerly part of England. Filled with castles and stunning scenery, this well-reviewed exploration of England includes the chance to sample plenty of local cuisines, as well as the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Doc Martin, Poldark, Sherlock Holmes, and even King Arthur. Check prices and availability here.
Cotswolds Villages you can visit without a car as a day trip from London
While, of course, the best way to see many of the smaller and more remote Cotswolds villages is by car, this is not always possible! Instead, though, you’ll be pleased to know that there are still several Cotswold towns you can visit via train and get to within a couple of hours of London.
With this being said, if you truly want to make the most of your visit to Gloucestershire/ Oxfordshire, then you’ll want to book a guided tour or rent a vehicle so as to truly see everything! If you’re still planning on visiting the Cotswolds without a car, then you’ll likely want to book overnight accommodation in a Cotswold town. This way, you won’t be pressed for time and can enjoy your Cotswolds excursion at a leisurely pace…
Though not as cosy and quaint as some of the other Cotswolds villages that are indeed a little more remote, one of the easiest towns to visit via train is Moreton-in-Marsh. There are direct services between London and the town on a regular basis and these take around 1.5 hours each way. The main attractions of Moreton-in-Marsh include St David’s Church and Wellington Aviation Museum.
At just over an hour from London, Charlbury is undoubtedly one of the easiest Cotswolds towns to visit without a car. The direct route via train from London to this charming settlement doesn’t require any changes and once there, you’re free to explore the stunning streets and enjoy some local produce in one of Charlbury’s many cafés, pubs, and taverns.
Whether this market town is ‘truly’ part of the Cotswolds remains up for debate. However, if there is one thing that’s clear, is that Cheltenham is certainly worth your time! Best-known as being home to the famous ‘Cheltenham Ladies School,’ highlights of this town include relaxing in Montpellier Gardens and the Holst Birthplace Museum. London to Cheltenham takes just over two hours and the train line is direct, meaning no changes!