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“One of the highlights of our UK trip”
Review of Absolute Touring

Absolute Touring
Ranked #14 of 46 Tours in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney
Level Contributor
64 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“One of the highlights of our UK trip”
Reviewed September 1, 2013

My husband and I engaged Absolute Touring of Oxford to take us on 4 conducted tours during our stay in Oxford in July. These tours were; Midsomer Tour, Cotswolds Tour, HIghclere Castle and Bampton Tour, Stratford and Warwick Tour.
I communicated by email with Martin Cowell, the owner of the business, in the months leading up to our trip to UK . I found him to be extremely helpful and most professional in all our dealings. Martin accompanied us on 2 of the tours and Noel, his associate, conducted the other 2. Each morning it was like being with old friends and the end of the day came far too quickly for us! Their local, cultural and historical knowledge was truly fantastic and both had a warm, friendly demeanour and a keen sense of humour. Both of us felt safe and comfortable at all times as they drove us around - I think this is an important factor considering the narrow English laneways! The vehicles they provided were spotlessly clean and excellently maintained.
The tours themselves exceeded our expectations in every way and Martin provided informative paperwork for us on each occasion so that nothing needed to be committed to memory. We saw and did so much on each of them that it's hard to say which one was best. We loved the country lanes, quaint thatched cottages and the people living in them, the old churches and the stories associated with them or their graveyards and the interesting people buried there, the outstanding country views, lessons on alms houses, delightful hamlets - what more can I say! We were simply treated to the best of the English countryside and culture by two of UK's finest gentlemen! In terms of cost, we consider it was well worth every cent we spent and we would do it all again! We know that it would have been absolutely impossible for us to do everything we did even if we had a vehicle - nothing can take the place of local expertise and Martin and Noel have it hands down! The time we spent with them was truly one of the major highlights of our trip to UK. Cheers and many thanks, Martin and Noel!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank margandwally
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
martico, Owner at Absolute Touring, responded to this review, September 2, 2013
Well thank you so much, M & W - really appreciate your taking the time to post this. Our tours are only as successful as our clients make them, and you were great participants. Thank you very much for spending so much of your Oxford stay with us. Martin
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101 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Enjoyable tour”
Reviewed August 18, 2013

We joined John on the midsomer murder tour and had a great time. For me I visited many of the sites that I recognised from the tv series and it was a great way to see the countryside which made it more enjoyable for my husband& daughter. John our guide was a lovely host and pointed out all the important midsomer sites. During the tour he was able to tell us interesting stories about the area and the visit Ewelme was a surprise worth waiting for.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Devo61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
martico, Owner at Absolute Touring, responded to this review, September 2, 2013
Many thanks, Sydney friends. We do try to widen the focus so that there is something for everyone on our Midsomer tour. So glad you enjoyed it - thank you again for choosing us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quezon City, Philippines
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Well worth it!”
Reviewed August 6, 2013

This is quite a late review, but better late than never... My family of 2 adults, 2 teens and 2 grandparents booked private tours with Martin of Absolute Touring last May for 4 separate days, 2 of which are cruise/airport transfers to and from London. Martin was very professional and easy to deal with... responded promptly to our email messages and gave very helpful tips and suggestions. He made sure to include interesting sights to our liking on the way to our destinations.

We also booked an Oxford and Cotswold Villages tour with him. He gave detailed information on the sights and even provided us with outlined printouts. He took very good care of us, remembering all our names right away and making sure to take us to places and restaurants that interest us. Despite our full itineraries, we never felt rushed.

We loved the Cotswold Villages, the beautiful scenery and the quaint villages. Despite the long ride, we never got bored as the view was just fantastic. It's just too bad that it was raining hard that day. Nevertheless, it was still one of the highlights of our trip.

It was also very interesting to learn about the student life in Oxford. We particularly enjoyed touring Christ Church College as we felt like we were in Hogwarts!

We really enjoyed our time with Absolute Touring. Thank you Martin!

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Cindy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
martico, Owner at Absolute Touring, responded to this review, August 8, 2013
Thank you very much Cindy - we never mind waiting for good reviews like this! You and John and your lovely family were a delight to deal with and we are so pleased you had a good time and have happy memories of our days together. It is always good for us to do something a little different, and the stop at Dedham en route to Harwich was particularly enjoyable. So glad John enjoyed his locally-made meat pie! Martin
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Columbia, MO
Level Contributor
53 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“An easy way to see some of England's fascinating relics”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

We took the Stonehenge tour (B) recently. Martin, our guide got us started early to beat the large crowds. He was genuinely concerned about getting us there before the site got inundated with more tourists. I liked the intimate tour size. Martin pointed out neat points of interest along the way, we saw a crop circle (!!!), we also got to view a very unique geological feature. Our particular tour had five plus our driver.

It was wonderful to get to Stonehenge early and leave just as bus-loads of people were entering. Note: in order to get closer to the stones, you must make reservations months before your visit. We didn't do that--this time. Martin was able to accommodate us sort of on short notice, and we were very grateful!

Once we'd seen Stonehenge, we went on to Salisbury Cathedral. The drive to the cathedral was great, we wound along narrow roads through quaint villages. This was the only way my husband and I would have likely seen this part of the country on this little trip. We enjoyed the beautiful views of the rolling countryside as we rode along.

Our next stop was Avebury, which I didn't even know existed! It's a huge henge with a small village in the center. There were hardly any tourists, and this is a location I could have enjoyed hours wandering. Also a neat thing about this site was the fact that you could walk right up to the stones and touch them. Nearby, was the chalk horse. We got to see it from a distance, and he drove us up to a hilltop to witness a sweeping view towards Swindon to the west and Oxford to the east.

Things to know in advance: There is an additional admission to Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral--check in advance to plan accordingly. Martin was excellent at replying to my email questions. Plan to either pack a lunch pay for your lunch at either a pub or the Cathedral (they had good food!). Our particular visit coincided with England's heat wave, so the the AC in the van wasn't quite up to snuff. We'd dressed comfortably and are used to much hotter temps at home, so it wasn't a problem, but might be for some.

This was a great way to visit some amazing sites, we will definitely be passing along recommendations for friends visiting the area!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Leslie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
martico, Owner at Absolute Touring, responded to this review, August 8, 2013
Thank you very much for travelling with us, Leslie - very pleased you enjoyed the day, and the things we aim to do to make a difference. We much appreciate your taking the time to post your review. Martin
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Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Fantastic Tour”
Reviewed July 29, 2013 via mobile

A great way to see the very lovely Cotswolds. Our driver John was so knowledgable and obviously loves the area and the history. He was very conscientious about getting us back in time for a train we needed to catch which was very much appreciated. Overall a great experience.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Samanthamak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
martico, Owner at Absolute Touring, responded to this review, August 8, 2013
Thank you very much for posting your review, Samantha - and for choosing us. So glad you had a good day, and that all the timings worked out. Martin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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