Experience The Oxfordshire Cotswolds
West Oxfordshire is characterised by the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, offering excitement for any visitor. You will find that some of the most beautiful Cotswold villages, such as Minster Lovell and Burford, are in Oxfordshire. Relax with an afternoon tea in a charming, honey-coloured Cotswold village. This 2-day Cotswolds itinerary follows the route of the Stagecoach 233 service linking Woodstock to Witney and Burford. Discover many fascinating places along the way.
Day 1 – Woodstock to Witney
Start your journey in the historic town of Woodstock, home to The Oxfordshire Museum and Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, as well as antique shops, great pubs, and the 13th century Macdonald Bear Hotel. No visit to Woodstock would be complete without a visit to Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.
A few minutes further along the bus route is Long Hanborough train station. The station is on the Great Western Railway (GWR) line linking London Paddington to the Cotswolds, and close by are the Oxford Bus Museum and Morris Motors Museum. The museum tells the story of transport in Oxford, including the production of cars by Morris Motors.
Further along is North Leigh Roman Villa, one of the largest villas from Roman Britain set on the banks of the River Evenlode. It’s a 2.5km walk from the bus stop on the main road, but worth the pretty walk to see a near complete mosaic tile floor dating back to the 3rd century.
Jump back on the bus and the next stop is the old market town of Witney. The town is home to Cogges Manor Farm, where visitors can feed the pygmy goats, play in the adventure park, or learn about the history of the 13th century manor house. For ale lovers, discover Wychwood Brewery; join one of the brewery’s tour experiences to learn how their award-winning Wychwood beers are crafted.
Macdonald Bear Hotel: Spend your evening cosied-up in the centre of Woodstock at the Macdonald Bear Hotel. The 13th century coaching inn combines history and culture with luxurious facilities. The Bear boasts beautiful views of Woodstock, and is a short walk to the gates of Blenheim Palace.
Artist Residence Oxfordshire: Artist Residence Oxfordshire is an idyllic retreat in the heart of the countryside, between Oxford and Witney. This 16th-century inn has six luxurious bedrooms nestled under its cosy thatch. Each bedroom is a calming combination of luxurious linens, bohemian styling, antique furnishings and luxe bathrooms with powerful rainfall showers and some with freestanding bathtubs. Downstairs the Mr Hanbury’s Mason Arms is a welcoming country pub.
Jurys Inn Oxford: If you wanted to stay closer to Oxford city centre, contemporary Jurys Inn Oxford is a great base for adventures in and around Oxford. The hotel also features Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse, Bar and Grill.
Day 2 – Witney to Burford
From Witney, your journey will take you through the picturesque village of Minster Lovell. Explore the riverside ruins of 15th century Minster Lovell Hall. Stop at the charming Old Swan or Minster Mill hotels for a delicious meal or check in for a relaxing overnight stay.
Another 8km from Minster Lovell, leave the bus in Shilton. Nearby is Crocodiles of the World, the UK’s only crocodile zoo, and Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens, where visitors can discover more than 250 species of animal, including rhinos, lemurs and penguins.
Finally, the route stops in Burford, frequently referred to as the ‘gateway to the Cotswolds’. Home to rows of idyllic honey stone cottages, tea shops and boutiques, Burford is a place full of character and Cotswold charm.
Minster Mill: Surrounded by 65 acres of glorious gardens, wildflower meadows and peaceful woodland, Minster Mill is set on the banks of the River Windrush in the picture-perfect Oxfordshire village of Minster Lovell. The 38 luxurious rooms and suites are dressed in sleek, streamlined ‘Skandi’ style with contemporary lighting and fittings, mid-century furniture and individually designed bathrooms. The hotel is a great base to explore the Cotswolds.
Eynsham Hall: Situated amongst 3,000 acres of rolling parkland, Eynsham Hall near Witney is a boutique country house which offers stately charm without the stuffiness. Conveniently located on the edge of Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds, Eynsham Hall makes the perfect base for those who want to stay and explore the gorgeous countryside, as well as being a 15 minute drive from Blenheim Palace. Eynsham Hall offers a range of accommodation options to suite all tastes, budgets and purposes.
StayCotswold: For a self-catered stay, StayCotswold has a fantastic range of cottages, barns and family homes to hire. Their wide portfolio of luxury self-catering properties can cater for couples looking for a romantic bolthole, to larger family or friends groups looking to get together in Oxfordshire. From secluded rural locations, to village and town properties the StayCotswold portfolio has something for everyone.