Updated: Sep 27, 2020
I have lived in the Cotswolds for many years now and it's still one of my favourite places in England to explore. If you haven't been before it's all about hills, views, gorgeous villages with honey coloured stonework and amazing food options. You won't be disappointed, it's certainly worth a visit.
If you haven't got much time here is my quick-fire selection of great places to visit in the Cotswolds. And no need to panic if you can't do all of these in one go, it's a good excuse to come back for another visit.
Now, whether it’s your first, fourth or twentieth time exploring some of the most picturesque areas in England, there's always something new to see. Even living here, the place frequently surprises me with a new trail, cafe or view I'd never noticed or seen before. A trip to the Cotswolds is always recommended. Here we go, on with our list of best places to visit in the Cotswolds...it's a selection of villages, activities and coffee spots:
1.) Temple Guiting
Perfect as a starting point for walks. From here you can find Temple Guiting woods and walk through the Farmcote Estate with it's immaculately painted gates in only the perfect Farrow and Ball shade. Make sure you stop at the Temple Guiting Pantry when you are done. Excellent food, wine and coffee. The last time I went they also gave me a walking map.
2.) Stow-on-the-Wold Stow on the Wold where the wind blows cold. Well on the hilly bits maybe but in town in a toasty cafe you will be just fine. Plenty of options for food and shopping. My favourite place to eat is the Old Butchers. Excellent food every time I have been and a really nice atmosphere.
3.) Kingham Not far from Stow and you will find the very pretty village of Kingham. It's tiny but beautifully formed. The Wild Rabbit pub is great and nearby you will find Daylesford Organic Farmshop which has a couple of restaurants and shopping opportunites. The offerings are always stunning. You can have lunch outside in a sheltered square and it almost feels like Ibiza (when the sun comes out to play that is!).
4.) Chipping Campden Chipping Campden is so picturesque you will hardly believe it's for real. It's Chipping Campden where you will find the start of the Cotswold Way if you fancy a hike. But before you set off be sure to get a coffee at Huxleys. The breakfasts and coffee are delish.
In the centre of the village you will find the historic and ancient Market Hall created in 1627 to keep the market traders and shoppers dry. It's definitely worth a squiz. Take a walk up the High Street. There are lots of independent shops and handsome buildings. In Summer there is also the annual Olimpick Games at Dover's Hill which is hilarious (Dover's Hill is a National Trust site where you can also have a hike about and look at the views).
5.) Broadway Broadway is a bit of a gem and is one of the best places in the Cotswolds to visit. A handsome High Street, with shopping and plenty of food options including some the best Fish and chips in the land at Russells Fish and Chip Shop, which is certainly a local favourite. A mile or two away from town (depending on how you choose to get there) is Broadway Tower. Walk up the hill from the village or drive up and park at the cafe car park. Great coffee and food here as well as at the Tower Barn Cafe which is also at the top of the hill (follow the signs). Broadway Tower offers fabulous views, picnic spots, e-bikes and walks.
Located on the River Windrush, Bourton-on-the-Water is one of the best places in the Cotswolds to explore. Walk by the river up and down the village and check out the shopping, pubs, restaurants and cool bakery.
There is a real treat to be had if you are visiting on the August bank holiday as you can experience a football game held in the river Windrush, yes in the river, you did read that correctly. Goal posts are actually set up in the water. It's a free event, just support the charities if you can.
7.) Upper and Lower Slaughter The Slaughters (upper and lower) are two little villages located near each other that are two of the most stunning places in the Cotswolds to visit. Villages don't get much prettier than this. In Lower Slaughter, sit by the water for a bit or have a drink at Lower Slaughter Manor if you fancy a bit of luxury. From Lower Slaughter there is also a footpath that leads to Bourton on the Water if you fancy stretching your legs and exploring the Cotswolds further.
Enjoy your trip to the Cotswolds!
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