England, Europe & UK

Cotswolds

The Cotswolds is an area in south central England, of predominantly rural landscape with rolling hills and picturesque small towns and villages built of cotswold stone, a type of yellow jurassic limestone.

Popular cotswolds towns consisting of historical stone-built villages, stately homes and gardens include Burford, Bourton-on-the-water, Stow-on-the-wold, Chipping, Moreton-in-marsh and various others.

We joined a day tour with VIATOR, departing from Victoria Coach Station, London at about 8.30am. The tour includes lunch and visits to the market towns of Burford, Bourton-on-the-water and Stow-on-the-wold.

BURFORD

Burford, which is about one and a half hours drive from London, is the first market town on the itinerary. The town is centred along the about one kilometre long main road, with small hotels, restaurants and shops selling all kinds of local products.

The main road of Burford

The side road leading to the Church
A very old church in Burford

Shops along the main road of Burford

Enjoying home made ice cream and brunch

The building with the white facade is the market where the locals will bring their wares and produce to sell

Behind these gates is the house (mansion) of Robert Maxwell’s daughter
ARLINGTON ROW

The Arlington Row is a row of historical buildings and are the property of the National Trust. Close by is a Trout Farm, reputedly one of the oldest in England and the Swan Hotel, where we had lunch.

The row of historical buildings which are properties of the National Trust

The Trout Farm

The Swan Hotel where we had lunch, with a choice of trout from the trout farm next-door or ham
BOURTON-ON-THE-WATER

After lunch, the next market town on the itinerary, is Bourton-on-the-water. This town is much bigger than Burford and is quite a walk from the coach parking lot. The main attraction is the clear stream (river) which runs across part of the town. As this was one of the hottest summer day of 2016, both banks of the stream were packed with visitors. The stream is extremely shallow and I remember the same thoughts I had when I was here more than 20 years ago – will it dry up soon!

Bourton-On-The-Water

The extremely shallow stream that runs across the town

Apparently the British Royalties are also their customers

The Motor Museum for vintage car enthusiasts
A very unique wall build of cotswold stone
STOW-ON-THE-WOLD

This is the last market town on the itinerary and most of the shops are located around the big town square. The beautiful St Edward’s Parish Church is definitely a must visit.

St Edward’s Parish Church
Harry Potter?
Inside St Edward’s Parish Church
The beautiful Stow Lodge Hotel. Definitely the ideal place to stay if you are planning to stay in the Cotswold

The tour ends at about 4.30pm and we reached Victoria Coach Station, London at about 5.30pm. If time permits, I would recommend a two days tour of the Cotswolds, driving leisurely around the narrow and picturesque roads with a rental car.

All images shot with the Nikon D810 and Nikkor 18-35mm f3.5-4.5g lens and processed in Adobe camera raw and photoshop.

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