Blenheim Palace, Cotswolds, Country Pub Lunch – Day Tour

Departing London you journey to the picturesque villages of the Cotswolds. On our fully guided tour you visit the elegant market town of Burford and Bibury, “the prettiest village in England”.

Journey through narrow lanes to Stow-on-the-Wold, the highest town in the Cotswolds then enjoy a two course lunch in one of the oldest Inns in the country.

Take a photo stop in Woodstock and enter the magnificent Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Admire the interior of this stately home and see the room where Sir Winston Churchill was born.

Then explore the beautiful gardens that surround the Palace before returning back to London.

 

from £82.00

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Tour Highlights

  • Small group tour with maximum 16 people
  • Expert, friendly guide
  • Fully guided tours in Burford, Bibury, Bourton on the Water and Stow on the Wold
  • Scenic countryside route to see over the hedgerows, where the big buses cannot go!
  • Photo stop in Woodstock and entry to magnificent Blenheim Palace and gardens
  • Two course lunch in one of England's oldest pubs
  • Travel in executive, air conditioned mini-coach
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Tour Schedule

Only an hour and a half’s journey time from London and you enter a different world. Big city life dissolves away to wide open spaces, chuckling streams and honey-coloured stone cottages. We drive through the market town of Witney and follow the narrow lanes of the Windrush Valley to Minster Lovell, with it’s ribbon of thatched cottages lining the main street. Meandering onwards through Asthall and Swinbrook we come across Burford, the elegant market town, that made its fortune centuries ago through the affluent wool trade, a trade that the Cotswolds was renowned for across all of Europe. Here we take a guided walk to the 900 year old church of St John the Baptist and see unique wool-sack tombs and historic memorials.

After some free time we depart the River Windrush and continue down to the neighbouring Coln Valley. From here we drive over to Bibury, “the prettiest village in England”, according to the art critic and writer William Morris. We can walk along the picturesque Arlington Row, one of the most photographed group of cottages in the country dating back to 1380, and enjoy the clear trout filled stream and village green.

A single track country lane will take us up further up the Coln Valley through Ablington and Coln Rogers and onto the 2,000 year old Roman Fosse Way. Hamlets of stone cottages huddle together on the hillsides while flocks of sheep graze on the roadside. Along this delightful secluded valley we make a stop at the ancient stone church at Coln St Dennis, then on wards to Bourton-on-the-Water, the Venice of the Cotswolds with its stream running through the centre of the village criss crossed with stone bridges. Picture postcard houses nestle either side of the River Windrush as we follow the narrow lanes up to Stow-on-the-Wold, the highest town in the Cotswolds. This attractive market town was the centre of the wool trade in the area when up to 2,000 sheep would be bought and sold on a busy trading day! We can admire the wide town square and the views from the hilltop before our traditional lunch at one of the oldest inns in the country, with parts going back over 1,000 years.

We continue our guided tour after lunch down to Woodstock and the magnificent Blenheim Palace, the largest privately owned house in the country and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. This opulent stately home was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh and built between 1704 and 1722 for Sir John Churchill as a reward for defeating the French in the Wars of Spanish Succession. Beautiful landscaped grounds designed by Lancelot Capability Brown surround the Palace. Explore the opulent interior, see the room where Sir Winston Churchill was born and marvel at the great dinning hall and library. A wonderful way to end the day before our return to London.



Important information

  • This tour normally ends by approx. 6.30pm.
  • On the return to London your driver will drop you at Victoria Train Station in the city centre.
  • This is one of the largest transport stations in London, with excellent connections to all parts of London and beyond.
  • If you intend to travel to our central London meeting points by public transport, you can plan your journey in advance on the Transport from London website.

Departure Information

  • 7.20am Great Russell Street, outside British Museum main entrance.
  • 7.30am Outside Cumberland Hotel, Marble Arch.
  • 7.45am Outside Ashburn Hotel, 111 Cromwell Road, Kensington (close to Gloucester Road Tube station), London SW7 4DP.

 



FAQ’s

Will the tour pick-up from my hotel?

Not unless you are staying at a hotel that is a designated pick-up (you will see options for these before you pay).  This is because of Government actions to help prevent pollution, no tour operators have been allowed to make individual hotel pick-ups since 1st April 2017.

Are there toilets on the coaches?

Some coaches have toilets, some do not, but on all tours there are regular comfort stops of no longer than 2 hours apart, plus all places visited have toilets on site.

Will we have time for a full lunch stop whilst on tour?

Unless you book a tour that includes a specific lunch stop then no.  Most tours are targeted at seeing as much as possible in one day and do not have time for a full stop.  There are options to buy food and snacks at all sites visited, but these can be expensive and most people prefer to bring food and drink with them.  Supermarkets, e.g. Tesco Express offer excellent and great value, pre-prepared food that is ideal for this.  Here is a store finder link.

Will the tour return to for example London at the time stated or can it be late?

Most tours return at the expected time, but this is always subject to traffic and it is possible there could be a delay and so it is always wise to allow plenty of spare time if you are planning on booking theatre shows, trains or flights etc. after your tour.

What clothes should I wear?

It is always wise to check the weather forecast before setting out.  It is good to plan in case of rain, with perhaps a shower coat and umbrella.  There will likely be quite a bit of walking on tours and comfy shoes are a must and if any of the tour is on grass e.g. Stonehenge Inner Circle tours then waterproof shoes are sensible.  It is often colder out of London than in London particularly if windy and a jumper or fleece in summer are wise and a warm coat in winter.

If visiting London how much time will it take to see all the main sites, will we have time for more than one out of London tour if we only have a week? How long in advance should I book tours?

It is a common mistake that people think it may take six days to see London and only allow a day for out of London tours.  However there is so much to see out of London that four days to go out of London will be an amazing experience to see maybe all these locations, Dover, Canterbury, Leeds Castle, Hampton Court, Windsor, Winchester, Glastonbury, Stonehenge, Avebury, Bath, Stratford, Oxford and Warwick.

There are excellent day tours of London that see all of the main attractions in one day and then perhaps allow a further two days to see the Making of Harry Potter Warner Bros. Tour and other London attractions not included on the main tours and do not forget to book your show/theatre tickets well in advance too.

These are all very popular tours, most sell out well in advance and it is wise to book your tours, theatre and attractions several months in advance and you will find good planning in advance will optimise your holiday.

Is it better value to tour sites of London and out of London sites on our own, perhaps hiring a car?

No, fixed tours of both London and out of London are much better value than visiting sites individually and you will find going individually entrance costs alone will add up to more than the fixed tours, even before you factor in travel costs.

Do tours pick-up from any of the London airports?

Sorry no tours depart or return from any UK airports.  There are however excellent rapid express trains for example the Heathrow Express.

Can you help me find a discounted best value hotel? Plus theatre/shows and other attractions?

Yes we certainly can and here are some useful links.



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