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Ian Mowbray-Williams

I’ve visited more than forty countries across America, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Europe, and still have many more on my list to see. Travelling has always been a passion, but it really kick-started with my 20,000km charity bike ride from London in England to Cape Town in South Africa in 2010. The journey was the best experience of my life. I ended it on a high, experiencing the World Cup, and realised I had the bug to keep going. I spent the next year working hard to raise the money I needed to to keep moving across the world. I worked as an English teacher in a rural Chinese town called Langfang before continuing my travel and work through Asia and on to Australia. I wanted to experience different methods of travelling, so during those four and a half years I cycled, rowed, walked, hitch hiked, motor cycled, use public transport and rode horses.

Since returning home to England I’ve started a family with my partner Maja; in 2016 we were blessed with the birth of our son, Eryk. Being a Dad hasn’t dimmed my passion for travel. Living in the beautiful Cotswolds I was inspired to start Undiscovered Cotswolds so I could share the amazing place I live in with other people.

I look forward to welcoming you to the Cotswolds.

My favourite Undiscovered Cotswolds destination

Minster Lovell

I love spending a day relaxing by the Windrush River at Minster Lovell. It’s such a picturesque location, ideal for a picnic, and it has some amazing walking routes. There’s nothing better than going for a quick swim in the river to cool down on a hot summer’s day.

My Most Memorable Undiscovered Cotswolds Experience

It’s hard to choose one special experience in the Cotswolds as I have so many, but a firm favourite of mine is Southdown Farm, which we can go to during our private tours. My partner Maja kept a horse on the farm so we regularly visited and soon became close friends with Michele who owns it. We’ve spent many hours there as a family feeding the animals, milking the goats, chopping wood and offering support in any way we could. Michele’s become like family to us and we consider her Eryk’s unofficial grandmother. I look forward to introducing you to Michele and showing you her beautiful Cotswold farm.

Graham Usher

From a very young age my parents instilled into me the importance of travel. They would always say ‘travel broadens the mind.’ Decades later I found that to be a massive understatement.

I started off travelling most of Europe and parts of the US up until the age of around 21. Then I took a leap into the dark and moved to Hong Kong for five years to work. This gave me the chance to see and experience how different cultures live, work and have fun. From here I spent months travelling around the Far East of Asia and Australia, as well as parts of Northern Africa, Europe and the US. During this time I saw many incredible things and met such wonderful people that travel became even more important to me.

A few years later I became the Head of Activities for Oxford’s top language school. This allowed me to spend time with younger people and help open their minds to all the amazing places and people that we can see and learn from.

During my time at the school I became aware of just how lucky we are to live in an area like Oxfordshire with the Cotswolds on our doorstep. I saw how the students loved visiting this area, and so Ian and I decided to start Undiscovered Cotswolds.

My favourite Undiscovered Cotswolds destination

Swinbrook

On a beautiful sunny day this small area is full of secret gardens and streams and hillsides. It reminds me of ‘the shire’ in the Lord of the Rings movies. It never ceases to amaze me how such a place still exists.

My Most Memorable Undiscovered Cotswolds Experience

For me it has to be enjoying some strawberries and cream with a glass of Prosecco at the ruins of Minster Lovell, while sitting next to the bubbling brook in the sun. This at the back end of the tour is a lovely way to wrap things up before heading onto the farm to meet the animals! We wanted to do it this way around. No one wants Prosecco with a hint of cow-pat.