If you are looking for great views, stunning architecture, beautiful gardens, historic landscapes and buildings, and some walking and cycling routes linking them together, look no further. Active England has put together a list of our top 5 Cotswolds destinations with views, all of which are included in our bespoke Cotswolds biking and walking tours.
The View over Bath
The famous City of Bath sits nestled in a valley, surrounded by rolling hills. From the top of the Cotswolds escarpment you can stare down over the whole city in all its golden-stone glory. The trails we follow lead downhill right into the centre of the city for a walking tour of Bath and a visit to the Roman Baths, a World Heritage Site. Both a canal and river run through the city and we walk or cycle along the winding canal path, next to classic British canal boats and riverside pubs. For lovers of Jane Austen and for those looking for a spa treat, this is the city for you.
Britain’s only private palace, home to the Dukes of Marlborough for 300 years and the birthplace of our famous Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The grand buildings (with a whole seven acres under its roof!) sit within a 2000-acre estate, landscaped by “Capability” Brown and characteristic of his quintessentially English historic landscapes, with flowing lakes, ‘moving’ hills, water features and imported trees. We cycle and walk into Blenheim, right through the grounds of this World Heritage Site.
The Top of the Tower, Oxford
Oxford is often called the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’ and for good reason. There are many church and collage towers and spires throughout the city, rising above the busy streets to give panoramic view over it all. Our favourite is St Mary’s Church Tower. With a 127- step climb around a winding staircase, it is the perfect height for a birds-eye view of Oxford’s high-street and the historic university section of the city, before we take guests on a walking tour of Oxford.
One of the most picturesque valleys, with the river Windrush running along it and dotted with tiny Cotswolds villages. Home to a Morris dancing team and famous as the location of BBC’s Springwatch due to its meadow banks, beautiful poppy fields, and local wildlife. With stunning walking routes and cycle trails it is the perfect place for a summer day trip.
Broadway Tower is perched atop the Cotswolds escarpment and looks over the picturesque North Cotswold countryside. Built as a folly tower (for no purpose other than to look stunning!) in 1798, its base is 312 meters above sea level and it stands 20 meters tall. It is associated with William Morris, founder of the Arts and Crafts movement, who stayed there in the late 1800s, and there is a fantastic collection of his designs inside the tower. The views over the valleys below are some of the most captivating and popular in the Cotswolds.
Click for more information on our Classic Guided 6 Day Cotswold Walking Tour, or our Classic Guided 6 Day Cotswold Biking Tour, visiting all of these fantastic destinations and more. Or visit www.activeenglandtours.com for shorter weekend and mid-week Cotswold breaks.