Best Places to Visit in Cotswolds
Visiting the Cotswolds is like stepping into the pages of a storybook. The rolling hills cover nearly 800 square miles and the five counties that make up this picturesque area. In this stunning location about two hours west of London, the little Cotswolds village has truly captured your heart.
Honey-coloured stone buildings line ancient roads, a medieval market square highlights the town centre, and thatched cottages take the glamor factor to a whole new level in one of the most beautiful Cotswold villages. The backdrop for movies and the inspiration for everything from paintings to novels, this beautiful area was named an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1966.
The Cotswolds region is one of the best places to spend a weekend as enjoyable as England. Hike the 102-mile Cotswold Way National Trail that runs from Chipping Campden to the best parts of Bath, or head from village to village to truly enjoy being in the Cots Magic is found in the most beautiful villages of the Wald. Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in Cotswolds and make your trip enjoyable.
10 Best Places to Visit in Cotswolds
Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Cotswolds:
1. Stow on the Wold
Stow-on-the-Wold, the highest village in the Cotswolds, is located 800 meters above Stow Hill. The charm of this small market town more than makes up for what it lacks in size. It also features typical Cotswold stone houses whose sloping roofs push it into the category of the most beautiful Cotswold villages.
In its center is a large market square, a testament to the village’s importance. More than 20,000 sheep were sold in the market that was once set up here. Today, you’ll find a lively farmer’s market in the square from 9am to 1pm on the second Thursday of every month.
St Edward’s Church is a real gem that you must see. Constructed between the 11th and 15th centuries and built (with many additions) over the years, this unique church is known for the yew trees growing on the intricate wooden door of the north porch.
2. Chipping Campden
Chipping Campden is not only one of the most vibrant villages in the Cotswolds, it is also one of the largest. This bodes well for those who don’t want to drive on narrow, narrow streets looking for difficult parking.
An important market town in the heyday of the wool trade, Chipping Campden has a beautiful stone market in the city centre. The streets surrounding this market are quaint shops, great restaurants and the cutest cottages, making this one of the best villages in the Cotswolds. Satisfy your desire to experience a true English afternoon tea with a visit to Badger’s Hall Tea Room or Bantam Tea Room. Both will delight your senses with a delicious sauce.
If you’re looking for action, you’ll find it in this lively Cotswold town, which hosts music and literature festivals throughout the year. The Cotswolds Olympic Games have been held in Chipping Camden every spring since the early 1600s. Here you’ll find people competing in a number of bizarre events: the pentathlon “King of the Hill”, the Village Games, tug-of-war, and kicking. This might be the funniest game you’ve ever played.
3. Burford, Oxfordshire
Burford is known as the South’s “Gateway to the Cotswolds” and lies 32 miles west of Oxford. The main street of this quaint Cotswold village is really high – it sits atop a hill. There are charming antique shops, boutiques and cafes, stunning views of the countryside, and plenty of opportunities to lighten your wallet.
The Torcy Museum, a 16th-century building that once held meetings for merchants, is located in the middle of the mountain. Inside, you’ll find a wealth of information about the town’s historical past. Speaking of the past, the iconic John the Baptist Church testifies to the city’s rich history.
This magnificent building was built in the late 1100s and was completed nearly 400 years later. Inside, you’ll find many spectacular sights, including the 13th-century Ladies’ Church with its ornate stained-glass windows.
4. Broadway, Worcestershire
The beautiful Broadway streets are lined with traditional honey-colored houses. Its chestnut-lined main street, filled with quirky shops, quaint cafes, quaint restaurants, and fascinating art galleries, is its brilliance. If you’re looking for antiques, you’ll find them in abundance on Broadway.
The impressive Broadway Tower is located in Broadway Tower Park, a 50-acre park just outside of downtown. You will find the three-floor museum in this well-situated building with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. On a clear day, you can see 16 counties from the roof deck of this beautiful village in the Cotswolds.
The tower has been used for a variety of purposes, including the home of Sir Thomas Phillips’ printing house, an artist’s retreat, and a farmhouse. The property also has nuclear bunkers left over from the Cold War.
5. Upper and Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire
The upper and lower slaughter houses are connected to the tributaries of the Wind River. Don’t be fooled by their somewhat offensive nicknames, these villages are beautiful. Also, “slaughter” clearly means “muddy ground”, which isn’t bad! Both the upper and lower carnage is brimming with beauty and history, and they’ve been around for a while – they’re all set in the 1086 Doomsday Book.
Upper Slaughter is known as the “Holy Village” which means it lost none of its inhabitants during World War I. Just 4 miles from Stow-on-the-Wold, this charming town sits on a lush hillside that leads to a picturesque stream. A mile away is the Lower Slaughter, which runs alongside a lovely creek surrounded by traditional limestone cottages. It is also home to England’s most romantic street, Copse Hill Road.
Slaughters Manor House is a modern hotel housed in a private 17th-century building. If you want luxury on 5 acres of pristine gardens, you’ll want to stay in this sub-slaughterhouse wonder.
6. Painswick, Gloucestershire
Painswick’s most awe-inspiring sight is the 14th-century St Mary’s Church. Outside there is a wonderful cemetery belonging to a storybook. 17th-century tombs and 99 carefully tended yew trees (legends say the devil won’t let the 100th yew grow) line the ground, providing a photo-worthy backdrop.
Painswick was once a wool town 7 miles south of Gloucester and for good reason was nicknamed the “Queen of the Cotswolds”. The enchanting scenery of this charming town will drive your camera crazy. Typical Cotswold stone houses line the churchyards and winding town streets.
It’s easy to get lost in the extremely narrow lanes, but luckily Painswick is small, so you’ll eventually find your way around. Also, getting lost gives you a reason to explore areas you may have missed.
Sharp-eyed visitors can spy on historic sites throughout the village (like the Donkey Gate on Beasley Street). Another must-see is the Rococo Gardens, an 18th-century venue with beautiful gardens, family trails, and art exhibits. A little out of town, this is a great place to enjoy the views of the expansive countryside.
7. Bibury, Gloucestershire
Bibury is a quiet village on the banks of the Kern River. Thanks to its manicured cottages, manicured gardens and old Arlington Mill, this beautiful place has been dubbed “England’s most beautiful village”. You really can’t take bad pictures in this beautiful town of the Cotswolds.
Bibury’s most famous street is one you can’t miss, and you’ve probably seen it on countless postcards – Arlington Street is lined with charming 14th-century weavers’ huts. This beautiful area is backed by breathtaking hills, making it one of the most photographed spots in the country and one of the best villages in the Cotswolds.
Bibury Trout Farm is a must for anglers. Here you will find the “catch yourself” fishery, the oldest of its kind in the country.
Insider Tip: Arrive in Bibury early in the morning or in the evening to avoid the crowds. Also, spring is the best time to visit – the cottage will be full of colorful blooms.
8. Kingham, Oxfordshire
Beautiful Kingham is located between Stow-on-the-Wold and Chipping Norton in the beautiful Evenlode Valley. Just an hour and a half by train from London Paddington Station, this lovely Cotswold village is a popular weekend destination for peace-seeking big-city folks.
For a small village, Kingham offers a wonderful array of dining options. Kingham Pllow is a great place to enjoy an English meal with a Mediterranean twist. The menu changes daily so you never know what you’re going to get, but it’s guaranteed to be delicious.
Wild Rabbit is one of the best restaurants in the Cotswolds. Their innovative menu features food grown on the owner’s nearby farm, Daylesford, which is a great place to visit. You can find everything from candles to creams to cutting boards at her store. Outside is Bamford Barn, a health spa and cooking school.
Kingham has great food as well as beautiful Cotswold cottages you’ve visited before. If you’re visiting in late August, you can catch The Big Feastival, a music and food festival that features concerts, cooking shows, and other family-friendly events.
9. Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Known as the “Capital of the Cotswolds”, this old town is beautiful and bustling alongside one of the best villages in the Cotswolds. Cirencester, the largest village in the region, is a popular tourist destination. You’ll find a street lined with shops ranging from chain stores to eclectic boutiques, along with lots of great accommodation options.
A medieval masterpiece, the Parish Church of John the Baptist is the most striking of the three Anglican churches in the city. From mid-March to October, visitors can take one of two daily guided tours. Sometimes the towers can also be climbed.
Outside the village are the extensive remains of one of the largest Roman amphitheaters in the UK. It dates back to the second century when Cirencester was known as Corinium. You can learn more about the city’s interesting history by exploring the various exhibits at the Corinheim Museum.
10. Naunton, Gloucestershire
Naunton offers its visitors a peaceful haven in the most beautiful setting. Have a picnic and enjoy the lush greenery. Wander the old streets lined with historic stone houses. Or head to the Black Horse Inn for a typical Sunday roast. This is one of the best things to do in Nanton.
Nanton isn’t bothered by popularity, which means you don’t have to stand out from the crowds that flock to other Cotswold towns, namely Burton on the Water. The absence of tourists gives you more space to enjoy the beauty of this beautiful medieval town and also makes it easier to get to know the locals. It is located along the Windrush River with the best view from the hill overlooking the village. This idyllic setting is guaranteed to soothe your worries!
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Cotswolds. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Cotswolds, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.