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Best Tour to the Cotsworth


My sister (77) and I (75) are looking for a good day trip from London to the cotsworth area in uk. In doing the research I see that viator is a major day trip business however I have been told to stay away from them as they often overbook and cancel at the last minute. Can anyone offer an alternative?

thank you

Posted by
20290 posts

Viator is simply a travel agency (owned by Trip Advisor) that sells tours operated by others. So if the actual tour operator cancels a trip (usually because not enough people signed up) there is not much Viator can do other than refund the money.

Do you perhaps mean the Cotswolds? Might help in your searches to use the correct spelling.

Posted by
14094 posts

Well, in fact, Viator is a 3rd party booker. You can look on Viator and they do list the names of the companies who actually run the tours, then you can book directly with the company that runs the tours.

For the Cotswolds, I've only ever taken a tour from Bath so not any help to you going from London.

How many days do you have in London?

Posted by
199 posts

A few years ago while surfing the internet, I found Secret Cottage Cotswold Tours (Becky's the owner) and decided to take a chance and book it. It was absolutely wonderful! They gave me clear instructions on which train to take from London and where to get off. When I did, their driver was already waiting with a clean and comfortable van which seated about 8-10 people. There were, counting myself, about 8 tourists that day. The driver politely asked us to change seats after each stop so that we would all have a chance looking out either side.

We stopped at a couple or few Cotswold villages---sorry, can't find my notes which towns exactly. We stopped at Secret Cottage for cream tea in a thatched roof cottage, once in the morning, then again in the afternoon. In the warm and cozy kitchen was such a spread of delightful goodies, sweet and savory, all different each time. I tried just about everything. Many were homemade. Delicious! We were served tea in delicate English bone china cups and saucers.

We could enjoy our goodies anywhere on the property, so I sat a bit in the garden full of flowers, then in the parlor where it looked like Miss Marple would be back in a minute.

On our tour, the driver told us who lived in some of the grand homes, visited a church which had a friendly cat,, drove past a building I swear I'd seen in an episode of Father Brown, visited a pub that looked like it was from Midsomer Murders, stopped at an antique shop located by a babbling brook. The shop was stuffed full of wonderful vintage and antique items, postcards and more with Glenn Miller music playing overhead, but no time to linger! Darn! Must be back for more tea and goodies!

We were not rushed at all, yet I felt we had a very full, up-close experience of the Cotswolds. For the day, I really stepped into another world or movie set or a story book. Even the weather cooperated with sunshine and puffy clouds. Then the driver took us back to the train station. It was an absolutely delightful, unforgettable tour and I highly recommend it.

Since the pandemic, there might be changes made from the tour I took.
And getting to the bathroom was a challenge. It's upstairs via a very snug circular staircase with very narrow, small steps, so small I had to turn my foot for more secure footing. It was rather like a climb.

Enjoy your visit to England whatever you decide!

Posted by
8747 posts

Research the London Walks ( ).

I believe they do a Cotswolds day out. Might combine it with a visit to Oxford as well.

I have not taken that specific offering but have taken many of their walks. Last one was in 2022, Legal London Inns of the Court.

Stellar guides, small groups, great price.

Posted by
2477 posts

I second Carole of San Francisco’s comments about Becky’s Secret Cottage tour, a fantastic day trip I took in Sept. 2017. I took the train from Paddington station in London to Moreton-in-Marsh where I was met by the guide and driver, Becky herself! I believe the tours have restarted after closing for the Pandemic. You will enjoy this tour very much.

Posted by
11280 posts

It would be helpful if you corrected the spelling of the name to Cotswold in your title.

Posted by
4163 posts

I did the Secret Cottage Cotswold Tour in 2016 and absolutely loved it. Some of those in our group had taken the train from London to Moreton-in-Marsh for it.

Becky took a hiatus due to the pandemic, but I recently saw that the tours will begin again on 1 April 2024. The details about the tour are at this link:

I took the train from Bath and spent 2 nights in the Bell Inn with the tour on the day between. It's an easy walk from the train station. The Bell Inn has some fun history and was a great place to stay, as the link indicates:

Posted by
12 posts

Thank you everyone! I'm sorry for spelling the area (Cotswolds) incorrectly. I know better but got so confused doing the research I wasn't paying attention. Thank you all again!

I am trying to book a tour with Becky's Secret Cottage tours and am having a heck of a time with the payment method. Does anyone have their email? I think their website is having issues.

Thanks in advance:)

Posted by
4163 posts

Not knowing where the sign up form is going, you might try emailing using the address below that showed up when I clicked on the "Contact us -- Email us" link at the bottom of the page on the right. You could try the form that link takes you to. If it doesn't work, it may indeed be a website glitch.

When you click on it, this says it's an email address: [email protected]

Of course it may be too soon to make reservations even though it looks like you can, or they may be on vacation at the moment, but if Becky's answering her email, she should be able to tell you what's going on.

Posted by
323 posts

I highly recommend "Cotswold Teacup Tours" -Private tours- owned and operated by the lovely Victoria. My friend and I took this tour and absolutely loved it! Easy train ride from London to Hanborough and she picks you up in her adorable, comfortable and immaculate red VW Van (or at least I think it was a VW- Im not a car person) but it was so cute! She will customize the tour to your interests and desires. We went to Lucy's tearoom for afternoon tea and it was fabulous! at your own cost- but I still dream about that tea to this day. She took us to a bunch of cute villages, and we got some history and even a little shopping in (we asked for that). She is so friendly and knowledgeable- I felt that we were spending the day with a friend! My photos from this day trip are just incredible. It was a trip highlight.