Visit the land of Jane Austen and George Whitfield, a gentle and pastoral land where the British have come for centuries to rest, to play, and to create. When you experience the serenity of the pleasant landscape and quaint villages on a journey through Oxford and The Cotswolds, you’ll see why Londoners have flocked here for generations, looking for a little peace and quiet.
Oxford is the largest city in this region, known across the globe for its prestigious university. The University of Oxford is the oldest in the English-speaking world, and its many colleges have hosted some of the greatest talents in science, politics, and the arts: Stephen Hawking, Aldous Huxley, John Locke, and Kate Beckinsale, to name a few.
Oxford’s academic buildings are strewn across the city and intersected by lush park spaces. A walk through the streets is a veritable master course in the architectural history of Britian. Examples from the Saxon age all the way through modernity can be studied by visitors. Inspired by its skyline of towers and churches, the poet Matthew Arnold christened Oxford the “city of dreaming spires”. One of the best views of the spires can be glimpsed from the Carfax Tower.
The Cotswolds region is named for the emerald series of undulating Cotswold Hills that roll through England’s southern counties. Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, The Cotswolds include the idyllic hills of Glouchestershire, Worchestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, and Somerset. Attractions range from the medieval village of Tewkesbury, to the renowned farmers market at Stroud.
Though much of Britain’s literary history can be found in the region, perhaps the most famous pilgrimage site that celebrates a creative mind is found at Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. The playwright’s masterpieces are brought to life in the open-air Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Actors perform on a thrust stage that recreates the intimate “one-room” theatrical experience from Shakespeare’s days.
Allow Ker & Downey’s expert consultants and private guides to curate your experience in England’s charming city of Oxford and The Cotswolds region.