If you’re spending some time in London, then a must-do is to escape the city for the day so you can see another side of life in the UK. The Cotswolds is packed with picturesque green landscapes, rolling hills and postcard-pretty villages built from the local honey-toned stone. 

One of the simplest and most popular ways to do this is to book onto one of the best Cotswold tours from London – but with lots to pick from, how can you be sure of picking the best option? 

This guide takes you through only the best London to Cotswolds tour options, covering the destinations visited, the length of the trip and exactly what’s included.

If you want to go from London to the Cotswolds for a day trip, then stay right here to find the ideal Cotswolds day trip itinerary. As well as 7 of the best, we also cover a bonus private tour.

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7 of the best Cotswolds tours from London

London full day tour to the Cotswolds

The beautiful village of Bibury is included in many Cotswolds tours from London.
  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Destinations: Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold, Bibury & Burford
  • Departure time: 08.30 (08.15 check-in)
  • Departure point: Mercure Kensington Hotel, near Earl’s Court underground
  • What’s included: Transport, guide, free time to explore
  • What’s not included: Lunch

This full day Cotswolds from London day trip takes in all the key highlights of the Cotswolds. The first stop, Bourton-on-the-Water, is renowned for its stone bridges that cross the shallow River Windrush running through the centre. 

Next you’ll call at Stow-on-the-Wold, one of the biggest Cotswolds settlements. There’s plenty of time here to discover the antiques shops and enjoy a pub lunch at the cosy English inn of your choice. 

In the afternoon, you can admire one of the prettiest villages in the whole of the UK while snapping Arlington Row, a line of old weaver’s cottages that Bibury is famous for. 

The last stop of the day is at Burford, aka the Gateway to the Cotswolds. This is a small place with an attractive historic church and medieval buildings, which you can wander around before the trip back to London, arriving at around 5.30pm. 

Click to book this London full day tour to the Cotswolds

London to Cotswolds full day trip with lunch

The beautiful village of Bourton on the Water is included in many Cotswolds tours from London.
  • Duration: 11 hours
  • Destinations: Burford, Bibury, Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold
  • Departure time: 08.15 (08.00 check-in)
  • Departure point: Victoria Coach Station
  • What’s included: Transport, guide, 2 course lunch

Another option for those seeking a full day Cotswolds day trip from London is this one with a two-course pub lunch included. The tour also takes in Burford, Bibury, Bourton-on-the-Water and Stow-on-the-Wold.

First you’ll stop in Burford, where the high street slopes down towards the River Windrush. After seeing the highlights, you’ll travel to Bibury – your lunch destination for the day.

A two course lunch is served at the Swan Hotel. This ancient, ivy-clad inn is located in the centre of Bibury on the banks of the River Coln, providing a scenic setting for a delicious pub meal.

In the afternoon Bourton-on-the-Water and Stow-on-the-Wold await, and your lively guide will walk and talk you through the best of what these beautiful villages have to offer before travelling from the Cotswolds to London for around 7.15pm.

Click to book this London to Cotswolds full day trip with lunch

London to Cotswolds villages and Oxford day tour

Aerial view of the city of Oxford.
  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Destinations: University of Oxford, Burford & Bibury
  • Departure time: Varies according to date
  • Departure point: Greenline Coach Terminal near Victoria Coach Station
  • What’s included: Transport, guide, free time to explore
  • What’s not included: Lunch

If you want to admire Oxford’s famed dreaming spires as well as the rolling countryside of the Cotswolds, this Oxford and Cotswolds tour from London could be perfect.

Oxford is the morning’s destination, where you can discover the treasures at the Ashmolean Museum, climb a tower for sweeping city views and explore the prestigious university’s range of ancient colleges, including Christ Church and its Great Hall.

The afternoon Cotswolds tour from Oxford then takes in two of the area’s finest spots – the bustling market town of Burford and the postcard-worthy village of Bibury. At the latter you can wander along the row of old weaver’s cottages. 

This day trip returns to London after a full 10 hours of travelling and sightseeing. 

Click to book this London to Cotswolds villages and Oxford day tour

London day trip to Oxford, Stratford and the Cotswolds

Anne Hathaway's house near Stratford upon Avon.
  • Duration: 11 hours
  • Destinations: Stratford-upon-Avon, the Cotswolds & Oxford
  • Departure time: 07.45 (07.35 check-in)
  • Departure point: Stanhope Arms pub opposite Gloucester Road underground 
  • What’s included: Transport, guide, free time to explore
  • What’s not included: Lunch

If you want to see it all in a day, this Cotswolds day tour also takes in Shakespeare’s home town and the city of Oxford. With a maximum of 27 other passengers, you’ll be taken for a tour of some of England’s most famous sights, taking in Stratford, the Cotswolds and Oxford.

The day includes 2 hours in Stratford-upon-Avon to spend as you wish, and your guide will be happy to offer suggestions. After departing Stratford you’ll enjoy a scenic drive through the Cotswolds before heading to Oxford.

In the famed university you can again spend your time as you like, though your guide can suggest a walking tour that includes Christ Church cathedral and the Bridge of Sighs at Hertford College.

Before returning to London at around 6.45pm you’ll have learned about Harry Potter and Alice in Wonderland’s connections with Oxford and may even have enjoyed a drink or meal alongside the local dons in Oxford’s most haunted pub.  

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Day tour to Blenheim Palace, ‘Downton Abbey’ and Cotswolds villages

Blenheim Palace.
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Destinations: Blenheim Palace, Cotswolds & ‘Downton Abbey’ villages
  • Departure time: Varies according to date
  • Departure point: Varies according to date
  • What’s included: Transport, audio headset, Blenheim Palace State Rooms
  • What’s not included: Lunch

Those booking this trip can visit the Cotswolds from London while taking in the ‘Downton Abbey’ village as well as grand Blenheim Palace. The order in which these are visited may vary.

Highlights of the day tour include seeing Sir Winston Churchill’s birthplace at Blenheim Palace. The majestic building is also a fine example of English Baroque style architecture, and you can explore the State Rooms’ impressive collection of art and tapestries during your visit.

The tour also takes in Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds, a pretty place that’s packed with honey-coloured stone cottages and low bridges.  

Bampton-in-the-Bush is not only a glorious Cotswolds village – it is also featured on the famous TV series ‘Downton Abbey’. Here you can discover the pubs, homes, hospital and church used during filming.

Click to book this Day tour to Blenheim Palace, ‘Downton Abbey’ and Cotswolds villages

Day trip to Highclere Castle, the Cotswolds and ‘Downton Abbey’

Highclere Castle.
  • Duration: 11 hours
  • Destinations: Highclere Castle, the Cotswolds & ‘Downton Abbey’ locations
  • Departure time: Varies according to date
  • Departure point: British Museum, Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury
  • What’s included: Luxury transport, small guided group tour, Highclere Castle 
  • What’s not included: Lunch

This Cotswolds tour from London by luxury mini-coach takes you a little off the beaten tourist track, as it includes a visit to Shilton, a village that cannot be reached by larger vehicles. 

In a group of up to 18, you’ll see other sites used for the filming of ‘Downton Abbey’ – as well as Bampton village, the main location. These include the real-life ‘Yew Tree Farm’ and Swinbrook’s Swan Inn.

The attractions of Shilton in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds include a pretty duck pond, an old pump and an ancient stone bridge. 

Your day also includes a tour of magnificent Highclere Castle, where you can admire the palatial interiors and wander among the latest exhibits. 

Click to book this Day trip to Highclere Castle, the Cotswolds and ‘Downton Abbey’

London to the Cotswolds and Blenheim Palace with lunch

The beautiful village of Bibury is included in many Cotswolds tours from London..
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Destinations: Stow-on-the-Wold, Burford, Bibury & Blenheim Palace
  • Departure time: Varies according to date
  • Departure point: British Museum, Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury
  • What’s included: Luxury transport, small guided group tour, 1-course lunch

This Cotswolds day tour from London takes you on a more in-depth discovery of the Cotswolds before heading to Blenheim Palace to see England’s biggest privately-owned home – the birthplace of wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill. 

First you’ll travel along the twisting roads of the breathtaking Windrush Valley before admiring Stow-on-the-Wold’s handsome main square. You then travel to Bibury, a picturesque place with a traditional village green and a tinkling stream. 

After a freshly prepared one-course pub lunch, the luxury mini-coach will transport you to Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire. Here you can marvel at the dining hall, landscaped grounds and library before returning to the capital.

Click to book this London to the Cotswolds and Blenheim Palace with lunch

Private day tour of the Cotswolds and Lacock village

The beautiful village of Burford is included in many Cotswolds tours from London.
  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Destinations: Lacock village, Bourton-on-the-Water, Burford, Bibury
  • Departure time: By arrangement
  • Departure point: By arrangement
  • What’s included: Luxury transport, private tour with expert guide 
  • What’s not included: Lunch, Lacock Abbey entrance fee

Our final pick is for those seeking a special and more local experience. This day trip to Cotswolds from London by car is led by a former city taxi driver in a six-seater Mercedes, and you’ll be transported by luxury Mercedes to see the Cotswolds’ finest sights.

Lacock is a favourite location among film-makers, and highlights include the historic abbey and a clutch of 15th-century buildings. You’ll also visit Bourton-on-the-Water, Burford and Bibury, though as the tour is private it can be personalised to suit your preferences. 

This tour offers the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with this glorious part of the British Isles for a day you’ll never forget. Although it’s more costly, the price can be divided by up to six passengers.

Click to book this private day tour of the Cotswolds and Lacock village

Which of the best Cotswolds tours from London will you book?

As you can see, there are some great Cotswolds tours from London, and you can also take in other areas if you’d like to – including Oxford, Blenheim Palace, Stratford, Highclere Castle and even ‘Downton Abbey’ locations. 

Taking a guided trip takes the stress out of touring the Cotswolds from London, so you can sit back and enjoy the unparalleled scenery and history this gorgeous area has to offer. 

More to read about the Cotswolds