Experience The Real England In The Cotswolds | TravelResearchOnline

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Experience The Real England In The Cotswolds

I often find that many travel planners like the sound of the words ‘The Cotswolds’, though many are unaware that the region covers an area of England with Shakespeare’s England (aka. Stratford upon Avon to the north), the Roman and Georgian city of Bath to the south and the university city of Oxford as the front door when travelling from London. By English standards, this is a large area of almost 800 square miles and filled with quintessentially English villages of honey-coloured stone, lively market towns and some of the country’s greatest palaces, castles, country houses, gardens, traditional country pubs and charming tea rooms.

Being close to London Heathrow, it is the perfect place to park before heading into London or taking the 2-hour run visit to Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral or a visit to Downton Abbey on the way to Southampton. To turn your interest into dollars, take a look at 6 conversation-starting itineraries. None of them are set departures, but each one can convert into a customised travel-less, see-more, driver-guided tour for a couple of clients, 4 friends travelling together, a family, or a small group of 6-8. Let’s exchange some emails, and between us create a UK tour that matches your customer’s interests, time frame and budget. See more Cotswolds-based itineraries here.

Great Gardens of the Cotswolds

The prestigious Historic Houses/Christies Garden of the Year Award has been presented annually since 1984 and your garden-loving clients will be overjoyed to know that no fewer than 6 of them are located in, and around, the Cotswolds. This Cotswolds garden tour is a perfect programme prior to a day at the Chelsea (late May) or Hampton Court Flower Show (early July). With lunch stops at English pubs dating back to the 16th century and interesting venues for Afternoon Tea, let’s talk.

Tastes of the Cotswolds

If you’re into foodie tours, your clients will love this 4-night itinerary, as it brings together a fascinating, palette-tingling and tasty collection of edible and drinkable experiences — including a close encounter of the Parade of Puddings. It’s further enriched with visits to privately-owned stately homes and gardens, and ancient coaching inns – some dating back to the 14th century. The beer is freshlybrewed, and it is always served at the correct temperature!

Castles in the Cotswolds

Opening with the Changing of the Guard and a tour of Windsor Castle, your clients will be thrilled by the way we kick off this travel-less, see more 4-nighter. It then heads into the Cotswolds where your clients will experience a rich variety of living history experiences at the Shakespeare Houses in Stratford upon Avon and in several of England’s most ancient and historic castles. It’s not in any tour operator’s brochures and works well as a pre or post cruise extension.

Broughton Castle, Oxfordshire

The Cotswolds Olimpicks

In June 1612, Robert Dover, an English attorney, wit and author staged the first Cotswolds Olimpicks in Chipping Campden which is arguably the jewel in the Cotswold’s crown. Honouring the ancient Games of Greece, then, as now, the sports included singlestick, wrestling, jumping in sacks, dancing and shin kicking. 408 years later this entertaining tradition is on Friday 29th May. The British Olympic Association has recognised the Cotswold Olimpick Games as “the first stirrings of Britain’s Olympic beginnings”.

Strawberries, Lavender and Roses

Sheep-clad hillsides, picture-perfect villages, honey-coloured cottages, real ales in 14th century pubs, quintessential English tea rooms, antique shops, and treasure-filled stately homes and castles. Welcome to the Cotswolds. Add a day at the Hampton Court Flower Show for a late June to mid-July tour when lavender, strawberries and roses are at their peak for colour and fragrance. I recommend we include the Parade of Puddings at the Pudding Club and encourage the Chef to be creative for the Farewell Cotswolds dinner.

Tea Rooms and Treasure Houses

This Cotswolds and London tour is attracting a lot of interest as a growing number of enterprising travel advisors talk to their local tea-room owners about this gently paced idea. There’s probably one near you that you frequent, and I’ll bet they’ve not been offered an idea like this. Using just one Cotswolds hotel as a base for leisurely paced day trips, I can add visits to Father Brown locations and, subject to dates, a Downton Abbey visit.

Paull Tickner, owner of U.K-based Custom GB, is known for his expertise in creating and operating imaginative, value-added tours of Great Britain and Ireland. Visit his website at www.customgb.co.uk or email him at ptickner@customgb.co.uk.

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