Driving Tours of the Cotswolds
I always thought you had to have a car if you wanted to see the Cotswolds, but recently I was talking with a woman planning a trip without a car and she convinced me that a rental car is not a necessity. Take a train to a Cotswolds station and have a taxi take you to your vacation rental. Stay in a good sized market town, like Stow-on-the-Wold or Chipping Campden, where there are lots of shops, tea rooms, pubs and restaurants that you can walk to. Spend a couple of days exploring on foot, use public transportation for one or two day trips, use a car service for a couple of day trips, maybe take a tour to one of the popular sites like Stratford or Bath. There you have it, a week in the Cotswolds without a car.
Even if you rent a car, you may still want to do a day tour of the Cotswolds with someone who know the area well and can drive you around to see the sights.
Custom Tours in the Cotswolds
Tour the Cotswolds: Highly recommended. Tim Harrison has lived in the Cotswolds near Broadway for most of his life. He offers custom driving tours of the Cotswolds. We met Tim in summer 2009 and did a short tour with him. Read more below.
Drive-U Chauffeuring Services: Highly recommended. We have used Clive from Drive-U to pick us up at Gatwick or Heathrow airport and take us to Bath. He also does day tours in the area.
Cotswold Airport Taxis: CATs has seven drivers with cars or vans (seat up to six). Day tours of the Cotswolds (£100/day).
Review of Tour the Cotswolds, Tim Harrison
This is one of the best pieces of advice you will get about touring the Cotswolds. Hire Tim Harrison of Tour the Cotswolds to introduce you to the area. Even if you have your own car, hire Tim. Don't tell him what you want to see, let him show you. It will be an amazing day.
Tim's Cotswolds roots can be traced back to the 14th century. He has lived there his entire life and knows every village, manor house, church, farm, stable and back road. He will pick you up in a luxurious Lexus touring car and whisk you away to areas of stunning beauty while regaling you with stories about the people who live there. He is a charming companion, courteous, affable and quick to laugh.
We enjoyed our time with him so much we extended our reservation and spent four days with him. We visited gorgeous villages and spectacular countryside, Blenheim, Bath and Oxford, Avebury and the ancient chalk hill drawing horses nearby, tiny 12th century churches and magnificent cathedrals, local artisans and upscale food markets. The list of places we saw and things we did could go on and on but was so professionally organized that it was at a leisurely, comfortable pace. We even took a road trip to the Welsh countryside to see Tintern Abbey.
Tim's tours are the best because of the varied and uniquely wonderful places you will visit, his fun, professional personality with running commentary and the fantastic restaurants he finds. (I had risotto with brie and asparagus in a 16th century pub, sweet potato soup and tagliatelle with bean/tomato at an Oxford boathouse and spinach/tomato/cheese torte in a Welsh manor house while my friends were devouring the lamb and pork dishes!)
I have used many drivers in many countries and can easily say that Tim Harrison is the best by far and recommend him without hesitation.