Geoff was our driver. He talked quite a bit en route & between stops but never got out of the bus. Once we arrived at Oxford he gave us all marked maps with a paragraph about each spot mapped then said to be bac on 2 hours. We followed the map & found all the spots, had lunch & had about 10 minutes to spare because we didn’t go into Christ Church (the main hall was closed). We missed the interaction of a tour guide. We then visited several villages in Cotswold. Some commentary along the way then 20-30 minutes to walk around. Then the long drive back to London. It seemed like a very long day. Must be a better way! Van was full & uncomfortable.
Our guide/driver, Andrew, was superb. Courteous, helpful, funny, and knowledgeable. We would have liked to have seen more of and spent more time in the Cotswolds, and seen more of the traditional thatched cottages. We had a problem with one of the other patrons coming back late from a rest stop, which pressed us for time, but still would have liked more time in the villages, even if we came back late; we had to zip through so fast we couldn't even take pictures.
We enjoyed our day seeing the English countryside and Oxford. Our driver Kristo was very friendly and his commentary was very informative and entertaining. The last village of Bampton was a wasted stop we felt. We would of rather had more time to explore the other two very quaint English villages. Expect to be on the bus for most of the day, but we enjoyed seeing the beautiful scenery as we drove along.
The driver was really kind, the tour itself it’s a bit boring due to the much time spent on the bus, Bibury its Just a street and the trout farm si the only thing that’s interesting to see but we didn’t have time. Oxford it’s beautiful but quite everything is closed to visitors.
Here are my points.....
The van itself was not great. The ac wasn't cold enough for one of the hottest day in the UK. And it was manual. Oh God..
The driver/tour guide was nice but he drove a bit too fast at times like he was in a race.
He talked way too much for MY TASTE. Some were unnecessary to be honest.
The villages were okay . Nothing really interesting. The drive there was not worth anything. DON'T do this tour if you get carsick. You will regret it. I'm telling you. One couple saw me all pale and sitting down and asked me if I was okay. The lady gave me ginger pills for my stomach which kind of helped. The driver did warned me but what can I do? I already paid for it.
Oxford was not as great as I thought. There is shopping to do there which I love. It's one of the best things about traveling. For those with IBS or any stomach issue....there is a FREE restroom you can use in the museum's basement/lower floor and at the McDonald's(up the stairs)
But yeah... you spend most of the time in the bus.
Also, I think they need to change the end time or something.... there was a crazy amount of traffic on our way back.
I had a hard time finding the bus. Instructions are not really specific.
Perhaps our expectations were too high, but this all day tour didn't really meet them. There is a LOT of driving involved getting to the Cotswolds, from the Cotswolds to Oxford and then back to London. Candidly, the area of the Cotswolds we saw was nothing special, and our while our driver provided good information on the ride to each location, we were totally on our own once we arrived with no real direction or sense of what we were seeing. Our lunchtime stop barely had enough time to eat much less see any of the sights. And most disappointing, our trip to Oxford was again an entirely "self-guided" tour once we arrived. Given the small size of the group, we expected at least some time with our guide walking through each location.
The Cotswolds were beautiful and ample time was spent. At the village stops.
Oxford was an interesting visit - great history and architecture, beautiful grounds but the city was quite commercialized and crowded. Less time could have been allotted to this stop.
Our guide was excellent - easy going, informative, patient.
Highly recommend this tour.