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The Cotswolds: Day Trips and Tours from Bath, Somerset

The Cotswolds are a beloved part of England known for rolling green pastures, charming towns and woodlands. The homes in the surrounding villages are all made of yellow Cotswold stone, adding to the aesthetic appeal of the ancient area.

Embark on a day trip to the Cotswolds from Bath to learn more about the peaceful community that has existed for over 6000 years. There is plenty to discover in the district of villages that make up this historically important part of the country.

You will find below everything you need to know about the Cotswolds, one of the best destinations for day trips from Bath.

How to get to the Cotswolds from Bath?

From Bath to the Cotswolds by car

The drive from Bath to the Cotswolds to the North takes a little over an hour.

Follow the A367 out of Bath for about 5 minutes before exiting onto the A46 highway towards Gloucestershire. You’ll continue on this route for most of the journey until you reach the Tormarton Interchange, where you will merge onto the A433 expressway.

Once you reach Cirencester, you’ll transfer to the A429 highway where you’ll complete your journey to the Cotswolds.

From Bath to the Cotswolds by train

The train from Bath to the Cotswolds takes about 4 hours and requires several transfers.

For the easiest connection, hop on the Great Western Railway from Bath via the Great Malvern line and ride for three stops or about 20 minutes. Exit at Bristol Temple Meads and switch to the CrossCountry train.

Take the Glasgow Central line via Leeds for two stops or about 40 minutes. Disembark at the Cheltenham Spa Rail Station and switch to the bus for the last 2 hours of the ride.

From Bath to the Cotswolds by bus

If you would rather take the bus from Bath to the Cotswolds, prepare for a 5-hour journey. Board the X31 line out of Bath at Broad Street Station and ride for a little over an hour. Exit at Bus Station (Bay 2) and board the 55 Gold Line. Switch to the 51 bus at Swindon and transfer to the C68 bus, arriving in the Cotswolds after 10 stops.

Guided tour to the Cotswolds from Bath

The best way to simplify your day trip to the Cotswolds from Bath is by guided tour. You will either be picked up at your hotel or from a designated meeting point. You will travel by air-conditioned coach in comfort for the hour-long jaunt.

With a professional guide at your service, you will learn all about the quaint community of villages while saving ample time for exploration upon arrival. You can choose between a group tour or a private excursion with an itinerary to fit your needs.

What is the typical itinerary of a day tour from Bath to the Cotswolds?

A day trip from Bath to the Cotswolds typically begins with either a hotel or meeting point pickup in the morning. From there, you’ll begin the 1-hour drive North to the cluster of charming villages.

Most tours will first stop at Castle Combe Village, a peaceful parish that was once the home of a palace. You’ll then continue on your journey to Stow-on-the-Wold, one of the best shopping areas of the Cotswolds. Here, most tours will stop for lunch and allow ample time to peruse the boutiques filled with priceless antiques.

Next, you’ll head to Bibury, a village known for its breathtaking beauty. You’ll have time to walk along the river and explore the old wool weaver’s houses on Arlington Row.

Most guided tours of the Cotswolds will stop for a brief look at Malmesbury Abbey, where the first king of England was buried. From there you’ll marvel at what’s considered the Venice of England, Bourton-on-the-Water, before heading back to Bath to close out the day.

What kinds of tours are available to go to the Cotswolds?

There are several different options to choose from when selecting a tour from Bath to the Cotswolds. Some offer a direct route to the cluster of villages while others allow for some scenic stops along the way.

Guided tours to the Cotswolds from Bath

A guided day trip from Bath to the Cotswolds is the perfect way to see as much of the villages as possible. On this 8-hour tour, you’ll explore historical landmarks and examine the quaint homes that add aesthetic appeal to the region.

Enjoy a traditional pub lunch and hit charming shops along the way.

Day trip to the Cotswolds plus antique shopping

One of the most exciting parts of the Cotswolds are the old-world antique shops that line the streets of the villages. On this day trip, you’ll dedicate ample time to perusing the boutiques as you tour the cobble-stoned streets. Visit several historic towns and even catch a glimpse of Prince Charles’ very own antique shop.

Day trip to the Cotswolds plus Stonehenge and Avebury from Bath

If you’re hoping to catch several English landmarks in one day, opt for a combination tour of the Cotswolds plus Stonehenge and Avebury.

On this trip, you’ll head first to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of mystical stones before embarking on to Avebury, a similar structure built in the neolithic times. From there, you’ll visit the charming villages of the Cotswolds including the beautiful Castle Combe.

Private tour to the Cotswolds from Bath

A private tour of the Cotswolds from Bath will allow for a more personalized journey. On this day trip, you’ll have extra time to spend at the sites that pique your interest.

You’ll visit some of the most picturesque towns in the region and wander along the river banks filled with shops and pubs. From there, you’ll indulge in a delicious lunch of the local cuisine before visiting Tetbury, the hometown of Prince Charles.

Private excursions will include pickup and drop-off in Bath at your desired location.

How much does a tour to the Cotswolds from Bath cost?

A day trip to the Cotswolds varies in price depending on how many stops you’d like to make and how many hours you’d like to spend in the region.

For a full-day guided tour you can expect to pay about £70 per person.

For an excursion that includes stops at the legendary Stonehenge and Avebury circles, prepare to pay about £160 per person.

An antiquing tour of the Cotswolds will be priced around £245 per person, while a private day trip costs between £480 and £570 for a group of up to eight people.

What will you see and do on a Cotswolds day trip from Bath?

Castle Combe

Castle Combe is considered England’s most beautiful village, as it is filled with fairytale stone cottages, a bubbling brook and is surrounded by lush woodland. Visit the sites of several famous Hollywood movie sets such as “War Horse”, “Stardust” and “Doctor Dolittle.”

Tetbury

Visit the ancient market town of Tetbury, known for being the home of High Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Princes of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

This delightful village is renowned for its local wood and yarn sellers, so make sure to stop by the famous Highgrove Shop to purchase souvenirs.

Stonehenge

This UNESCO World Heritage site remains a fantastical mystery from prehistory. Marvel at the monument made out of 80 sarsen standing stones, each weighing over 25 tons.

Stonehenge has been referenced in folklore, as many believed Merlin assembled the structure with the assistance of giants. Ancient peoples claimed the miracle of healing would take place at this massive landmark.

Avebury

Similar to Stonehenge, the Avebury Stone Circle remains as a mark from the Neolithic period in England. Explore the henge considered the largest in the country with 100 stones forming the larger circle.

When is the best time to visit the Cotswolds?

Autumn is the best time to visit the Cotswolds, as the villages and surrounding woodlands are filled with rich fall colors. The crowds are less saturated than in the summer season and the temperatures are much milder.

Head to the Cotswolds in the morning in order to make the most of your day trip.

Are there any tours to the Cotswolds from other cities in England?

Yes, there are tours departing from other cities in England:

Travel Tips

  • The antique shops of the Cotswolds are some of the best in all of England, so prepare to do some shopping while on your tour and bring some cash on you.
  • Pack a camera to capture the picturesque sights of the quaint villages that have been featured in many major Hollywood films.
  • Make sure to dress for cooler temperatures and comfortable shoes for lots of walking.