The best Cotswolds tours 2017

Secret Cottage, the Cotswolds
Secret Cottage, the Cotswolds

Want to get to the heart of rural life in the British countryside? Then book on to one of these wonderful Cotswolds tours and courses

Secret Cottage, the Cotswolds
Secret Cottage, the Cotswolds

The glorious Cotswolds region is home to some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain, with honeypot villages so pretty you just want to wrap them all up and take them home. One of the most rewarding ways of exploring this bucolic area is on a behind-the-scenes tour and here are some of our favourites.

Take afternoon tea in a thatched cottage

Charming, tailored tours of the Cotswolds by a seasoned local (Becky) are on offer at Secret Cottage, including a classic cream tea hosted in the guide’s own beautiful home.

Bampton Church (credit Oxfordshire Cotswolds
St Mary’s Church in Bampton is the setting for some of Downton Abbey’s most dramatic scenes. Credit: Oxfordshire Cotswolds

Visit Downton Abbey locations

Want to act like the Crawleys for the day? Then visit the villages of Bampton and Shilton in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, where much of Downton Abbey is filmed. Plan your own route or book on to a specialised Downton Abbey tour.

Cotswolds rural skills. Crredit: Paul Felix Photography
Learn how to thatch with Cotswolds Rural Skills. Credit: Paul Felix Photography

Learn traditional rural skills

Join one of the expertly-led traditional training courses on offer with Cotswolds Rural Skills and you can help conserve some of the region’s prized assets.

Barnsley House, Sisley Garden Tours
Barnsley House, Sisley Garden Tours

Discover secret gardens

Sisley has been designing and running exclusive, specialised garden tours since 1993, and will take you to some of the most breathtaking and tucked away green spaces in the Cotswolds, such as the Prince of Wales’ Highgrove, with lunch at Barnsley House.

Daylesford Cookery School, the Cotswolds
Daylesford Cookery School

Take a cookery class at Daylesford

The revered Daylesford Cookery School, set within the famous 2,350-acre organic farm, is the ultimate Cotswolds foodie experience.

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