Travel Tour Reviews

The 5 Best Tours of Oxford & the Cotswolds From London

The Cotswolds have been famous for the rolling, green hills in the countryside as well as the quaint homes made of their unique, local limestone.

These villages have been home to poets and artists and even a few movie scenes. Now it’s your chance to take it all in with a Cotswold Village tour from London.

Best Tours of Oxford & the Cotswolds

 Cotswolds Tour with Lunch From LondonBlenheim Palace, Downton Abbey & the CotswoldsOxford & Cotswolds Village Day Trip from London
editors choice
Cotswolds Tour with Lunch Oxford and Cotswolds Villages Day Trip from London
Departure Point:Victoria Coach StationVictoria Coach StationBehind Victoria Train Station, Stand 3
Departure Time:8:15 AM8:45 AM9:15 AM
Duration:11 HoursFull day10 hours
Includes:Luxury coach transportation, professional guide, lunch in Bibury VillageGuided tours of both Bourton-on-the-Water and Downton Abbey VillageLuxury coach transportation, maximum of 16 travelers

Be sure to see our reviews of Bus Tours of London, Stonehenge Tours and Tower of London Tours.

Quick Answer: The 5 Best Tours of Oxford & the Cotswolds From London

  1. Cotswolds Tour with Lunch From London
  2. Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey & the Cotswolds
  3. Oxford & Cotswolds Village Day Trip from London
  4. Oxford, Stratford & Cotswolds: Day Trip from London
  5. Oxford, Stratford & Cotswolds Villages Full-Day Tour

We have reviewed the top rated tours to Oxford and the Cotswolds, providing overviews and highlighting the details of each. We also make recommendations on staying in London in our guide section.

Tours to Oxford and the Cotswolds Reviews

#1 Cotswolds Tour with Lunch From London

Cotswolds Tour with Lunch

Tour Highlights At A Glance:

  • Departure Point: Victoria Coach Station, Gate 19-20
  • Departure Time: 8:15 AM
  • Duration: 11 hours (approx.)
  • Includes: luxury coach transportation, professional guide, 2-course lunch in Bibury Village

Your first stop once you leave Victoria Coach Station is Burford Village. This is a famous Cotswold village due to the River Windrush passing by beautiful homes.

Walk down High Street to the banks of the river and don’t forget to check out a tea house or two.

Bibury Village is up next and is the site of the Swan Hotel. This hotel calls a stunning 17th-century structure home.

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The restaurant, where you will enjoy a delicious 2-course meal, serves many cuisines. Be sure to try a local ale or wine while you dine as well!

You’ll also take quick walking tours of both Bourton-on-the-Water and Stow-on-the-Wold. Stow-on-the-Wold is well known as a market town where you can find local deserts and imported, crafted items year-round.

It’s also home to several annual fairs and festivals you won’t want to miss.

Your professional guide will walk you through four of the most beautiful villages in the Cotswolds, telling you of the most famous spots to stop in each. Have your camera at the ready for some stunning photo ops.

 

For tour prices, transportation and availability:


#2 Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey & the Cotswolds

Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & the Cotswolds

Tour Highlights At A Glance:

  • Departure Point: Victoria Coach Station, Gate I-5
  • Departure Time: 8:45 AM, 9:00 AM
  • Duration: 1 day (approx.)
  • Includes: Guided tours of both Bourton-on-the-Water and Downton Abbey Village, optional entry ticket to Blenheim Castle

Blenheim Castle has long been regarded as a pristine example of English Baroque architecture. With entry to the castle, you can tour many staterooms filled with both art and tapestries, as well as explore the gardens.

Blenheim Castle is also the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of England during WWII. Bourton-on-the-Water is a Cotswold Village often referred to as the “Venice of the Cotswolds.”

The river running gently through the village can be crossed or even overlooked by many quaint bridges. Some of these bridges have stood over the river for centuries.

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Bampton Village in the Cotswolds is often referred to as Downton Abbey Village. Much of the popular TV show was filmed here and many of the landmarks you will see while on tour may look familiar to you.

Two of the fictional pubs featured in the show are real, working pubs in Bampton. This tour can be purchased either with the admission to Blenheim Castle or without it.

If you are interested more in exploring the villages, the flexible day tour provides all transportation without castle entry. The day tour from London can be purchased with the price of admission included as well.

 

For tour prices, transportation and availability:


#3 Oxford & Cotswolds Village Day Trip from London

 Oxford and Cotswolds Villages Day Trip from London

Tour Highlights At A Glance:

  • Departure Point: Behind Victoria Train Station, Stand 3, Greenline Coach Terminal
  • Departure Time: 9:15 AM
  • Duration: 10 hours (approx.)
  • Includes: Luxury coach transportation, maximum of 16 travelers, professional driver and guide

Oxford is home to one of the oldest universities and while it’s renowned for providing only the best education, it is also well known as “the City of Dreaming Spires.” When you arrive, you’ll be able to wander amongst the beautiful buildings.

Dating back to the 12th-century, these buildings are home to many colleges and departments under Oxford University. You’ll also have a chance to take in the beautiful exhibits at the Ashmolean Museum, filled with art and antiquities.

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When leaving Oxford, you’ll head first to Bampton Village in the Cotswolds. This village is commonly known as Downton Abbey Village. Many of the landmarks here were commonplace when filming the TV show, including St. Mary’s, the parish church in Bampton.

Your last stop will be in Bibury Village where you will have time to explore independently and also enjoy a traditional English tea in the afternoon.

Your luxury coach and professional driver will bring you back to London with plenty of time to enjoy a late dinner.

 

For tour prices, transportation and availability:


#4 Oxford, Stratford & Cotswolds: Day Trip from London

Oxford, Stratford, and Cotswolds: Day Trip from London

Tour Highlights At A Glance:

  • Departure Point: across from Gloucester Road Underground Station
  • Departure Time: 7:45 AM
  • Duration: 11 hours (approx.)
  • Includes: luxury coach transportation, professional driver and guide, independent exploration of Stratford-upon-Avon and Oxford

You’ll head toward Stratford-upon-Avon when leaving London, enjoying some of the most beautiful countryside in England.

Stratford is the birthplace of Shakespeare and while there you will also be able to view, and possibly tour the Swan Theatre. In Stratford, you’ll also see the famous Tudor-style architecture and have a full 2 hours to see the city.

Your professional guide can give you suggestions on where to visit based on what you are most interested in. This is a great place to pick up a souvenir to take home.

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After a bit more countryside driving, you’ll arrive in Oxford, the city that revolves almost entirely on the University of the same name.

The walking route through Oxford that takes you past most of the famous landmarks you’d like to see is not long and your guide can send you in that direction. However, you are welcome to explore the city independently as you’d like.

After your guide gives you the lowdown on the connections between Alice in Wonderland and even Harry Potter and this historic city, you can choose a local restaurant in which to enjoy a meal or you can head to Turf Tavern, supposedly haunted by Old Rosie, to enjoy a beverage with local academics.

 

For tour prices, transportation and availability:


#5 Oxford, Stratford & Cotswolds Villages Full-Day Tour

Oxford, Stratford & Cotswolds Villages Full-Day Tour

Tour Highlights At A Glance:

  • Departure Point: across from Earls Court Underground Station, Warwick Road Exit
  • Departure Time: 9:00 AM
  • Duration: 1 day (approx.)
  • Includes: roundtrip transportation, visit Stratford-upon-Avon, entrance to Shakespeare’s birthplace, countryside drive with photo op stops, walking tour of Oxford

Stratford-upon-Avon is your first destination after leaving London by coach. Your guide will give you a short tour around the city to orient you to the most popular stops. Then, you will have free time for independent exploration.

Your tour includes entrance to Shakespeare’s birthplace where you can see many artifacts related to the poet and playwright.

Don’t forget to stop by the Swan Theatre, also of interest to Shakespeare fans, before boarding your coach for a countryside drive.

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With good weather, your driver will stop at several places along your drive through the Cotswold countryside for photo ops of the green, rolling hills and the unique, quaint villages along the way to Oxford.

On a walking tour with your guide, you’ll see much of “the City of Dreaming Spires” and come to understand why it’s been nicknamed that since 1865 in a poem now famous by Matthew Arnold.

You’ll also stop by the Sheldonian Theater, the Museum of Science, and Balliol College before heading back to London.

 

For tour prices, transportation and availability:


Planning Guide For Your London Trip

 

best tours to oxford from london

If you’re planning a trip to London anytime soon, be sure to add one of the best Stonehenge tours from London to your itinerary. But which ones are the best? We’ve reviewed the top 5 Stonehenge tours and provided you with a guide for visiting both Stonehenge and London.

Most likely, your day trip to Stonehenge from London will be a small part of your vacation to this historic English city. Here, we offer a guide to visiting London, from the airport you will be arriving at to other attractions you may want to visit and even the weather.

Let’s help you make the most of your vacation to London!

Airports & Entry

There are five airports that service London, England. If you are traveling abroad, you will most likely be arriving at London Heathrow. For shorter flights departing European airports, should you be heading to London from a previous vacation spot, you may fly into one of these smaller London airports:

  • London City
  • London Gatwick
  • London Luton
  • London Stansted

To enter the United Kingdom, UK, you will need a valid passport. Your passport must be valid for your entire stay and can’t expire before your expected departure.

Planning Tips

Visiting London is unlike visiting any other city on earth. Because of this, you will want to keep some things in mind when planning and packing. We list our top 5 tips for visiting London below. Do you have additional tips to suggest? We’d love for you to comment them below!

Tip #1: Bring Your Walking Shoes

Much of your travel around the city will be walking. Even when you head out of town for a day tour, such as those to Stonehenge, most of the tours require quite a bit of walking. It’s best to be relaxed wearing athletic shoes instead of wearing more fashionable shoes that can make the necessary walking uncomfortable.

Tip #2: Bring a Converter or Transformer

Your electric and electronic devices made for use in the US will not work in the UK without a converter or transformer. A converter is made to use with electronics such as your phone or tablet and a transformer with electric devices such as a hairdryer. The US runs on 120 V and the UK on 240. This means that using your US devices without a voltage converter or transformer in the UK may damage them.

Tip #3: Start Planning Your Trip Early

London receives millions of tourists each year. This means that you will most likely have to book tours well in advance. You should also book your accommodations and reservations in restaurants as soon as possible. This is especially true for tickets to theater events and shows.

Tip #4: Always Bring an Umbrella

It doesn’t matter what time of year you’re visiting London, quick showers and rainstorms are always a possibility. It’s best to bring an umbrella with you as purchasing one at a convenient location in the city will most likely cost much more. A collapsible umbrella that is easy to carry with you is ideal.

Tip #5: Start Budgeting in Advance

London is quite an expensive city to visit but it’s worth it. Be sure you have budgeted for your flight and accommodations as well as your daily meals. You should have plenty of British pounds, the local currency, on hand as taxis and some stores may not take debit or credit cards. Also, keep in mind that the farther out your trip is planned, the better deals you will get, especially on accommodations.

Restaurants & Eating Out

There are several Dishoom restaurants located around the city. These restaurants serve high quality and delicious Indian food within a modern atmosphere. London is one of the best places to enjoy Indian food outside of India. These restaurants often have a wait but the wait is well worth it.

Not only will you want to experience the delicious Indian food, it also wouldn’t be a trip to London without an afternoon tea. There are plenty of places around town to enjoy your tea, but afternoon tea at The Savoy Hotel, London is something not to be missed. Sketch is another afternoon tea hotspot offering a unique experience.

If you’re looking for a meal with a great view, you’ll want to make reservations at the Duck & Waffle. However, don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy the most popular meal in London, fish and chips, at many local hotspots.

Nightlife & Entertainment

Nightlife in London can be anything you’d like it to be. There are nighttime tours of the city and surrounding areas for something a little more low-key, or you can head to a nightclub or one of the many music venues to turn up the entertainment dial.

From standup comedy and dramatic theater to the trendy clubs of the West End and even the casinos that can be found around town, nightlife in London is perfect for everyone.

Getting Around

As mentioned, visiting London requires a lot of walking. However, you can also choose to ride the subway, board a boat, or even hop on a bus or take a taxi. You may find the subway also referred to as “the underground” or “the tube.”

The cost of transportation by any of these methods will be determined by your destination’s distance from central London. The city and surrounding areas are divided into zones that determine distance and cost. If you’re going to be visiting for at least a few days, you may want to invest in a daily or weekly Travelcard pass.

Accommodations

There are many choices in accommodations when visiting London. You may find a great Airbnb location, and you can also find everything from a small hostel to a five-star, luxury hotel. The accommodations you choose should be determined by your budget, but also by the type of experience you’re looking for. An Airbnb can instantly make you feel like a local.

A hostel can provide plenty of opportunities to meet other tourists and learn more about attractions and eateries. If you’re looking for a luxury experience, the Camden Enterprise Hotel or even the Dorset City London can provide it.

Weather

The average low temperatures during the winter months are in the mid-40s Fahrenheit or around 7°C. These mild winter temperatures make London an ideal vacation spot for the holidays. July, London’s hottest month of the year, usually doesn’t reach the 70s Fahrenheit, or above 18⁰ Celsius.

Even with mild temperatures during the summer, it can feel quite humid and you may run into a short shower or two. Once again, always have an umbrella handy.

Attractions

A vacation to London necessitates a visit to Buckingham Palace. Other attractions include the Coca-Cola London Eye, the Ferris wheel easily seen in every London skyline, as well as historical landmarks such as Kensington Palace, the London Tower, or the Churchill War Rooms.

While in London, be sure to visit one of the many museums and art galleries that can be found in nearly every area of the city. Parks, waterfronts, and bridges provide great photo ops and can provide a beautiful place to rest and take in the local sights.

The History, Beauty, in the Cotswolds and Oxford

When planning your vacation to London, be sure to plan for a day trip to the Cortswods  while there. The best guided tour from London to Oxford and the Cotswords will allow you to experience the English countryside.

However, that doesn’t mean you can skip on visiting the many museums and art galleries, enjoying some of the best food available, and taking time to appreciate the beautiful mix of modern style and historical sites that London provides.

Enjoy your trip to London!

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The Oxford, Stratford, and Cotswolds: Day Trip from London is our Editor's Choice with its combination of sites seen, tour guides and value.

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Krysha Thayer

Krysha is a passionate freelance writer who appreciates everything outdoors. Living in rural New Mexico, she enjoys everything from hiking to snowshoeing and 4x4 trail riding to international travel. Being able to combine a love for writing with a love for being in the open, outside air is a dream career come true.

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