Castles and Cathedrals In The Cotswolds | Travel Research Online


Castles and Cathedrals In The Cotswolds

Frequent readers of my Agent’s Perspectives will know of my enthusiasm for creating customised UK tours that “travel less,” so that clients can see a great deal more. With Stratford upon Avon to the north, the Roman/Georgian city of Bath to the south, and access from LHR and London through Oxford to the east; the Cotswolds is home to a number of remarkable castles and cathedrals. This week, I’m taking you on a journey that spans well over 1000 years of turbulent and nation-forming history. When you add Blenheim Palace, the Rothschild’s priceless art collections at Waddesdon Manor, some private gardens, pubs, and tea rooms, there’s a lot to get excited about – and that’s where my knowledge, experience and connections come into play for a customised tour. Enjoy the trip!

Castles at Windsor, Oxford, and Broughton

Beginning with the Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle (a great way to start a customised tour), head for Oxford Castle and Prison where costumed guides will reveal stories of great escapes, betrayal, and even romance. Next up, the exquisite architecture and beautiful gardens at moated, medieval Broughton Castle, the family home to Lord and Lady Saye and Sele; whose ancestors were signatories at the signing of Magna Carta in 1215.

British military parade with marching back

Aerial view of Warwick Castle

More castles at Warwick and Kenilworth

Discover tales of treachery and torture, passion and power, and jaw dropping living history at imposing Warwick, Britain’s ultimate castle. Watch the jousting tournament (summer only), flying displays by the magnificent Birds of Prey, or see the world’s largest trebuchet launching a fireball – an impressive sight to see! Then make the short 15-minute hop to the vast medieval fortress of Kenilworth Castle and take a stroll in the authentically recreated Elizabethan Garden.

And still more castles at Berkeley, Sudeley and Highclere

A jewel in the crown of British history, 12th century Berkeley Castle’s ancestors gave their name to the Berkeley Hundred in Virginia and Berkeley University in California. Less than an hour away, you should add the award-winning Sudeley Castle whose history spans 1000 years and is the final resting place of Queen Katherine Parr. Finishing with a flourish, include Highclere Castle, home to the Carnarvon family since 1679 and, more recently, the location of Downton Abbey.

View of Highclere Castle

Inside view of Tewkesbury Abbey

Celebrating 900 Years

Tewkesbury Abbey is world-renowned for being one of the UK’s greatest examples of medieval architecture. Its striking Norman tower, and long nave, have dominated the Tewkesbury skyline for nearly 900 years. Today, much of the Abbey’ Nave Pillars, Norman Tower and West Front remains unchanged from the early 12th century. The East End of the Abbey contains original medieval windows, a Quire clerestory and number of chapels. Their Choral Evensong at 5pm will bring any day to a memorable close.

Gloucester Cathedral’s Medieval Monks Tour

One of the finest medieval buildings in the country, and the burial place of royalty, discover 1000 years of architectural styles from Norman from Perpendicular to the present day. The Benedictine Monks Tour explains how medieval monks worshipped, worked, and lived. More recently, the cathedral cloisters were transformed into the corridors of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the films of J. K. Rowling’s first two books, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Outside view of Cloucester Cathedral

Outside view of Hereford Cathedral

Poetry in Stone

The great cathedrals of Christ Church Oxford, Gloucester, Hereford, Worcester, and Cardiff take centre stage in this imaginative 9-night England and Wales programme. Also included are the Cotswolds, the Shakespeare Houses, and the ancient black and white villages in the undiscovered county of Herefordshire. We can also add the majestic ruins of Tintern Abbey, a Welsh Male Voice Choir in rehearsal, a few hours in the city of Bath, Salisbury Cathedral, and a visit to Stonehenge.

Discover the Black and White Village Trail

This 40-mile circular trail is characterised by the large number of timbered and half-timbered houses in the area, some dating from medieval times while others from more recent periods. It rolls through some of the prettiest villages and most beautiful landscapes in England, and each one has its own character and community, with tea-rooms, shops, craft workshops, and pubs that are waiting to welcome the visitor. You can extend your time here by adding visits to Goodrich Castle, Hampton Court Castle, or Eastnor Castle.

Outside view of Pembridge Square in a black and white village in England


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 or email him at

  One thought on “Castles and Cathedrals In The Cotswolds

  1. Paull, this is an awesome itinerary!

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