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From London to the Cotswolds | Day Trips and Directions

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This post covers how to take a day trip from London to the Cotswolds, including tips on organized bus tours, shuttles, trains, and more.


Overview

The Cotswolds is a large area comprising many small towns, so if you’re planning a day trip, you’ll want to decide on a few specific locations you’d like to visit.

Alternatively, you can also take an organized bus tour to the Cotswolds, and these services typically choose a few towns to visit, giving you less to worry about.

Here are a few of the towns you can expect to visit on these outings:

  • Bibury
  • Burford
  • Stow-on-the-Wold
  • Bourton-on-the-Water
  • And others

In addition to that option, you can also take an organized bus tour that combines a trip to the Cotswolds with stops at notable landmarks such as the following:

  • Bath
  • Oxford
  • Stonehenge
  • Stratford-Upon-Avon
  • And more

While these combo organized tours are an excellent option for anyone who wants to see as many sites as possible in a short amount of time, it’s worth noting that these services usually don’t give you much time to explore each stop.

If you want to have more freedom over your itinerary, we suggest either taking the train or driving there so you can decide when and where to explore!


Organized Bus Tours to the Cotswolds

There are several tour companies that offer organized day trips to the Cotswolds from London. These outings typically include travel by coach to and from the area, as well as a tour while you’re there.

Prices tend to range from £65 - £100 per person, and you can expect these tours to run for approximately 8 - 11 hours on average.


Go Tours

This company offers a small group organized day trip to the Cotswolds which includes stops in several beautiful villages, including Burford, Bibury, and Bourton-on-the-Water.

Guests can expect transportation via coach to and from the Cotswolds, free time to explore each town, and information about the area from their tour guides.

Ticket Details

Things to Consider

Go Tours currently enjoys an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 on Get Your Guide (read reviews here). Most guests indicate their tour guide was knowledgeable and the coach ride was comfortable.

One of the best things about this service is that it’s relatively low priced, and it’s also available quite frequently. This is the kind of day trip to the Cotswolds that you don’t have to plan out, which makes it perfect for any spur of the moment holidays!


Evan Evans Tours

This company is one of the better known tour services in London, and they offer one of the better rated day trips to the Cotswolds. As a matter of fact, this tour has an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 on Get Your Guide (read reviews here).

During this 10 hour outing, you can expect to visit multiple villages in the area, including stops at locations such as Burford, Bibury, and Bourton-on-the-Water.

Ticket Details

  • £99/Adults (17+) | £89/Children | £94/Seniors & Students
  • Hours: 9 am - 7 pm
  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Availability: Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

Things to Consider

While prices for this day trip to the Cotswolds are a bit more expensive, the tour company is fairly well-known and respected.

This tour is also limited to a group size of 16, as the coach is a much smaller luxury bus with free wifi and USB chargers.


Anderson Tours

This is one of the most affordable organized day trips to the Cotswolds on our list, and they also have a great rating of 4.6 out of 5 on Get Your Guide (read reviews here).

Over the course of 10 hours, you’ll travel by coach from London to the Cotswolds to see some of its most notable villages. While on this trip, you’ll have free time to explore Burford, Bourton-on-the-Water, and other areas.

Along the way, your tour guide will provide a lot of useful and interesting information about the Cotswolds.

Ticket Details

Things to Consider

Although their ratings are great, the only downside to this day trip is that it is only offered a few times per month at most. This means you’ll have to plan your trip well in advance, and that might not be possible for everyone.

Thankfully, there are other options in this price range that are offered more frequently. If you can’t manage to take this one, we recommend Go Tours instead.


Premium Tours

If you’re planning to spend as much time as possible in the Cotswolds, this service might be your best bet, as it runs for approximately 11 hours aidn includes a 2-course lunch at no extra cost.

During the tour, you’ll visit sites such as Burford, Bibury, Bourton-on-the-Water, and Stow-on-the-Wold. Your tour guide will give you time to explore most of these villages.

While you’re in Stow-on-the-Wold, you’ll be given a walking tour of the area and free time to discover the town on your own.

Ticket Details

  • £108/Adults (17+) | £98/Children | £105/Seniors
  • Hours: 8:15 am - 7:15 pm
  • Duration: 11 hours
  • Availability: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

Things to Consider

Premium Tours currently enjoys an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 for this tour on Get Your Guide (read reviews here). Most guests agree that their guides are very helpful and informative.

One of the nicer things about this day trip to the Cotswolds is that it actually includes a free walking tour of Stow-on-the-Wold. 

The free lunch included is also nice, as you’ll have to pay for your own lunch on other organized bus tours.


Combo Tours Including the Cotswolds

A lot of the tour companies that offer day trips to the Cotswolds will include stops in other areas along the way. Some of the places you can expect to visit on these combo tours include:

  • Bath
  • Oxford
  • Stratford
  • Stonehenge
  • Highclere Castle
  • Blenheim Palace
  • Stratford-Upon-Avon
  • Downton Abbey Village
  • And more!

These combo day trips include stops at multiple popular attractions and locations throughout the area, but that also means less time to spend in the small villages of the Cotswolds.

If you’re interested in seeing as much as possible within the span of a day, this is an excellent option, and prices range from £60 - £200 depending on the attractions included. You can expect these outings to take 10-12 hours on average.


Premium Tours

In addition to their day trips focusing entirely on the Cotswolds, this company also offers organized bus tours which include stops at several other notable locations.

If you’re looking to visit as many landmarks and historic sites as possible in just one day, consider one of the following outings.

Stonehenge, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Bath, and Cotswolds

  • £111/Adults (17+) | £101/Children | £108/Seniors
  • Includes admission to Stonehenge
  • Includes private tour of Shakespeare’s School
  • Includes free time to explore Bath
  • Hours: 7:45 am - 7:45 pm
  • Duration: 12 hours
  • Availability: Saturday - Monday, Wednesday, Thursday
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

Warwick Castle, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Oxford, and Cotswolds

  • £111/Adults (17+) | £101/Children | £108/Seniors
  • Includes admission to Warwick Castle
  • Includes private tour of Shakespeare’s School
  • Includes free tour of Oxford
  • Hours: 8:15 am - 8:15 pm
  • Duration: 12 hours
  • Availability: Tuesdays
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

As with their day trip to the Cotswolds, these alternative options are also very well rated, with most guests giving them a rating of 4.4 out of 5 on Get Your Guide (read reviews here).


Evan Evans Tours

Much like their competitors, this company also offers day trips to the Cotswolds that include stops at additional attractions and notable landmarks.

If you can believe it, some of these outings cost less than their standard service to the Cotswolds, but that also indicates you’ll have less time to explore all those beautiful little villages.

Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village, and the Cotswolds

  • £89/Adults (17+) | £79/Children | £84/Seniors & Students
  • Includes admission to Blenheim Palace
  • Includes visit to Bampton, the Downton Abbey village
  • Includes panoramic tour of the Cotswolds
  • Hours: 9 am
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Availability: Friday - Monday, Wednesday
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

Much like their other services, this organized day trip to the Cotswolds has also received a great overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 on Get Your Guide (read reviews here).


Gray Line | Golden Tours

This is a popular international tour company, and they are well-known for providing day trips from various popular destinations around the world.

As such, it shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise that they also offer these combo day trips including stops in the Cotswolds.

Blenheim Palace + The Cotswolds w/ Lunch

  • £115/Adults (17+) | £105/Children | £110/Seniors & Students
  • Includes admission to Blenheim Palace
  • Includes panoramic tour of the Cotswolds
  • Includes 2-course lunch at British pub
  • Hours: 8:30 am - 6:30 pm
  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Availability: Sunday, Wednesday, Friday
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

Oxford, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwick Castle, and the Cotswolds

  • £99/Adults (17+) | £89/Children | £94/Seniors & Students
  • Includes admission to Warwick Castle
  • Includes admission to University Church of St. Mary
  • Includes drive through the Cotswolds
  • Includes walking tour of Oxford
  • Hours: 8:30 am - 6:30 pm
  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Availability: Daily
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

Although their ratings aren’t as good as the competition, they still have an overall rating of 4.3 out of 5 on Get Your Guide (read reviews here).


Shuttle Buses and Trains to the Cotswolds

If you’re not interested in an organized bus tour to the Cotswolds, you can also take either a bus or a train to get there.

Since the Cotswolds includes multiple villages across a wide area of land, there aren’t going to be bus or train stops in every single village along the way.

Because of that issue, we don’t recommend this option, because you won’t be able to see as much of the Cotswolds as you would typically see during an organized day trip.

Even so, if you plan to take either the train or a shuttle bus, you can expect the journey to take 1 hour 30 minutes - 3 hours and tickets run from £35 - £75 depending on how far in advance they are purchased.

Check Kayak for more details or to purchase tickets.

NOTE: The most typical destination is Moreton-in-Marsh, which is at the northernmost corner of the Cotswolds.


How to Get to the Cotswolds

There are so many small villages in the Cotswolds that it would take quite a while to list directions on how to reach all of them. Even so, we’ll include maps to the most notable towns in the Cotswolds to make your life easier!

For even more locations to visit in the United Kingdom, make sure to read our full post on day trips from London.


About The Author

Margaret

An American simply by accident of birth, Margaret moved to London over 16 years ago and hasn’t looked back since! With a keen interest in History – and a BA degree to match – Margaret prides herself on her knowledge of the amazing city she calls home and she's been guiding here now for nearly a decade. Social history is her real expertise, with sound understanding of the day-to-day lives of Londoners over the past centuries.
Updated: September 6th, 2022
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