Escape to the Country
Lucy & Richard from Cotswolds Guided Tours, run fantastic 6 hour tours of the Cotswolds. We love meeting guests from all around the globe. During our tours as we travel to each location we explain the history & quirky facts.
There are lots of beautiful villages to explore in the Cotswolds, as we travel to each location, or as you are wandering through the villages on our Cotswolds tour. The Cotswolds is 80% countryside, so as we drive to each location you will have fabulous views, we will travel down little country lanes & across narrow farm tracks so you can experience the magic of the region on your Cotswolds guided tour.
Many guests make a Cotswolds day trip, whilst staying in London or Oxford and want to escape to the country. Having watched the popular tv series, they want to not only see the gorgeous villages that are covered on our Cotswolds tours, but enjoy the journey between each location, admiring the countryside throughout the seasons.
Some guests decide to take a Cotswold tour with us before striking out on one of the many footpaths that criss-cross this gorgeous region. We feel its great for our guests to get a true feel of what taking a Cotswolds tour with us will be like. So we wanted to show you some of the amazing crops that are grown throughout the Cotswolds region. Depending on what time of year you visit the fields will change with the seasons.
Let's take you on a Cotswolds tour through the Cotswolds countryside.
Farming in the Cotswolds, is still going strong. In the Cotswolds AONB there are a total of 3,434 farm holdings with an average size of 51.4 ha. However farm holdings do not equate to the number of farm businesses, many farm businesses cover several of these holdings. The main crops grown in the Cotswolds are oilseed rape, spring barley and winter wheat. The area of land set aside for oil seed rape grown by 89% to 12,900 ha since 1990. Oil Seed rape provides a fabulous background across the landscape with bright yellow fields popping with colour against the cool blue skies. Farming is still a major employer in the Cotswolds with just over 5,000 people employed (1,478 farm workers,, 256 farm managers and 3,287 farmers ) Barley fields, rustling as the wind catches them is a fantastic natural sound.. Barley is primarily grown as animal fodder and as a source of malt for alcoholic beverages (beer) & is also used in breads, soups, stews. Wheat also forms the base for three extremely popular alcoholic drinks - whiskey, vodka, & beer, along with being used for flour. If you fancy having a local brewed ale on your Cotswolds Tour, then we have the nearby Donnington Ales group, who own 18 pubs throughout the Cotswolds. On our Famous Cotswolds Tour, you could try a Donnington Ale at our lunch stop in Stow on the Wold, the Queens Head. On the Cotswold Highlights Tour you will see the Mount Inn in Stanton & the Snowshill Arms in Snowshill. If you are a Whiskey fan then how about popping into the Cotswolds Distillery shop in Bourton on the Water. During our Cotswolds Tours you have free time to explore, so you have time to shop or sample the local produce at our fabulous stops.
Fabulous fields bursting with colour, if you spot of field of yellow during your Cotswolds Guided Tour then this will undoubtedly be Oil Seed Rape, also known as Canola, one of the oldest known vegetable oils. One family farm is making its mark throughout the Cotswolds & on the culinary scene with their fabulous Cotswolds Gold. The oil is grown, harvested, pressed & bottled in the Cotswolds Boasting natural health benefits the oil is high in vitamin E, rich in omegas 3, 6 and 9, and low in cholesterol. Whilst you are out exploring on our Cotswolds day trips, if you want something 100% Cotswolds then this would be a great gift to take home.
Cotswolds Lavender is fast becoming a household name, an excellent example of farms diversifying & growing from strenght to strenght. The Cotswolds Lavender Farm is open to the public, with over 40 different varieties of lavender being grown it is an incredible sight (& smell!) We pass by the Cotswolds Lavender fields on our Cotswold Highlights Tour, although we don't visit the farm itself, guests have time to stop & take photos. At Broadway Tower guests can purchase produce from the Lavender farm, creams, room fresheners are a big hit for gifts to take home. During the summer the Lavender farm opens the fields for visitors to enjoy, they also have a cafe serving edible goodies, from Lavender cookies, lavender tea & coffee, lavender cakes & icecream.
The intense blue colour of a field of flax in flower is a remarkable sight and one not so commonly found in Britain today, we sometimes spot these in the Cotswolds, but it is not a common crop. Linseed is thought to be one of the oldest fibre crops in the world. The cloth made from the finest fibres in the stem of linseed (flax) plants is well known to us as linen. Coarser fibres are used to make rope and twine. This is quite a temperamental crop so not favoured by farmers, who need the conditions to be just right to produce a perfect harvest. However we are hopeful that there will be an increase in farmers choosing to grow Linseed, due to the increased popularity in 'Superfoods'. When ground and processed they produce a vegetable oil that is known as linseed oil. This has been used for centuries. It is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, the same nutrient that is found in oily fish. These acids help to contribute to a healthy diet.
Fields of poppies are a rare treat within the Cotswolds. We had had a few occasions whilst out and about on our Cotswold tours where we have spotted these. We are seeing an increase in the UK & in the Cotswolds of poppies being grown (for the medical industry) this is to help combat the high prices being charged to import opium (which comes from the poppies) for use in medication. It is legal to grow poppies in the UK, just illegal to harvest the crop without the proper consent. Between April and June the crop grows rapidly, and the first flowers usually appear in June. The peak of the flowering season is July and August, though some plants continue to flower into September
Lucy & Richard Lambert run fun, friendly & informative 6 hour Cotswolds tours. They live in the Cotswolds & have a passion for the area, its history & wildlife. Their energy & excitement at sharing the regions secrets with you, will ensure you have a wonderful day out exploring. The countryside changes throughout the season, but we hope if you are planning an escape to the country that you choose to spend the day with Cotswolds Guided Tours.