You know that idea that you always have a better time travelling when you know someone in the destination already? You get the inside track, and generally see and learn things that you wouldn't otherwise have done if you've got a connection with a local. Well, Becky of Secret Cottage Tours is your local friend in the Cotswolds, a resident of some 25 years who opens up her cottage to small groups of visitors and then by means of her 7-seater Mercedes minibus shows them the villages and landscapes of the region she loves so much. She punctuates this with delicious coffee and pastries, a buffet lunch and a cream tea with her own homemade scones, and in general lays on a personal, in-depth Cotswolds tour with a difference. To be honest, it's the sort of thing that would work well in any region of the country, but the Cotswolds area – a place where it's easy to get sucked into the usual tourist honeypots – is especially well suited to this kind of bespoke tour, especially as it's also the sort of place it's hard to see properly without your own transport.
Hello, I’m Becky the tour guide. I’m married and have two teenagers.
I run a day tour of picturesque hidden Cotswold villages that includes an invitation into my private home for tea or coffee with pastries, a buffet lunch, and a traditional Cotswold cream tea served inside Secret Cottage.
Every day throughout the Year. A six hour guided day tour of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire north Cotswold villages, combined with intervals in my private thatched cottage.
I will take you in my minibus to outstanding hidden villages that are inaccessible by public transport. The unspoilt villages that I’ve carefully selected are made up of thatched cottages, clipped lawns and dusty lanes, which perfectly illustrate what life was like in the 16th century. Having lived in the area for twenty five years, my local knowledge is invaluable to visitors and I will enjoy sharing it with you ‘as if you are a local’.
I’m lucky that I’ve travelled extensively throughout the world and know what it’s like to get home, only to discover you’ve missed an amazing secret, all because you weren’t familiar with the area.
What gave me the idea for starting the tour was that every tourist yearns to see inside these cottages and to see how the English conduct their daily lives. . I suddenly thought....“I live in a pretty thatched cottage and I’d love to show people what I experience every day”.
That’s why I created ‘Secret Cottage’ an incredibly special Cotswold tour. You won’t miss anything in this unspoilt part of England because I’m here to be your personal Cotswold Tourist Guide and take you on a unique and memorable day through hidden villages that I know and love.
My cottage is called ‘Secret Cottage’ and is quintessentially perfect for guests to explore and experience how the English live in the Cotswolds. Inside everything is old and quaint, there are three inglenook fireplaces which are open log fires used to heat the cottage, the winding stairs and floors are made from original elm planks and the heavily beamed listed cottage is nearly 500 years old!
During the tour of villages, we periodically return to Secret Cottage for tea or coffee with pastries, a generous buffet lunch and in the afternoon your tour wouldn’t be complete without seeing the home made scones coming out of the Aga. These are essential for the traditional English Cotswold cream tea which is served on the finest Spode bone china.
All of my guests are overwhelmed by the experience of being invited into a private home with many of them describing it as fairyland.
The Cotswolds are visited and appreciated all year round and are one of England’s favourite destinations. Beautiful rolling hills, meadows and unspoilt views combined with ‘chocolate box’ cottages, traditional English gardens and tiny villages.
Each tour is unique because of the different seasons and local events. Depending on the time of year, I decide which route to take for the day, by assessing what the different nationalities would like to see and consistently deliver a bespoke memorable tour that is guaranteed to please everybody with plenty of surprises.
During the tour you’ll see a selection of amazing honey coloured limestone houses and cottages, view landscapes and drive through parkland, see topiary, historic manor houses and stunning ancient churches. National Trust houses, farms, gardens, wells, streams, fords, ponds, barns, dovecotes, animals, wildlife and village greens. You’ll visit picturesque villages that most tourists never get to see – stopping off at some and driving through others. Depending on the time of year, you will be pleasantly surprised at what else we’ll show you too.
But that’s not all...
You’ll discover something that isn’t in your tourist guide. You won’t find it listed in the tourist information centre and it doesn’t appear in books and maps...
With only seven passenger seats in the Mercedes minibus, you’re guaranteed that you’ll be my personal guest and can choose when you’d like to stop and take your pictures.
Already, TripAdvisor has Ranked Secret Cottage #1 of 18 ‘Best Attractions in Moreton-in-Marsh’ and #2 of 139 ‘Best Activities in the Cotswolds’ Our reviews can be seen under the heading ‘Secret Cottage Tour’.
The pickup point is at Moreton-in-Marsh railway station, with many arriving by train from Oxford or London-Paddington in time for the tour which starts at 10.15 and ends at 16.30. The cost is £85 which is inclusive of all food and drink served at Secret Cottage.
All in all you’ll spend six hours being my special guest. I guarantee you a fantastic day out with plenty of surprises. You’ll not go hungry and you’ll remember this day for ever!
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Places to stay nearby
Hidcote Manor Farm
Chipping Campden Gloucestershire GL55 6LP
Lovers of the Cotswolds will want to flock to this Feather Down delight.
Lower Farm Cottages School Lane Blockley Gloucestershire GL56 9DP
The perfect romantic hideaway in the Cotswolds.
The George Townhouse
8 High Street Shipston-on-Stour Warwickshire CV36 4AJ
A contemporary and very welcoming boutique Cotswolds hotel and restaurant.
The Old School
Little Compton Moreton-in-Marsh Gloucestershire GL56 OSL
Cosy Cotswolds B&B with an emphasis on food.
What to expect?
A personal tour of a beautiful region with all you can eat and drink thrown in.
How do I get there?
Becky will pick you up from Moreton-in-Marsh railway station.