3 Reasons to Visit the Cotswolds for your Next Holiday

If you’re looking to fly off to a far-flung destination (as soon as such a thing is possible again) that is unlike any other, the quintessentially English towns of the Cotswolds offer a colourful mix of rich, cultural heritage, picture postcard perfect architectural wonders, villages built from the iconic honey coloured local limestone, and vibrant, natural wonders everywhere your eyes land on.

The idyllic scenery is ideal for those who want to escape to quiet English countryside that isn’t short on its entertainment with its selection of restaurants, pubs, sparkling streams, and a wide range of National Trust sites nestled in between the rolling hills. If you want more reasons to visit Cotswolds

1. Peaceful Countryside Experience

London is usually rife with the hustle and bustle of popular cities, but the Cotswolds offers both a rural escape where tourists and locals alike can breathe in the fresh air and take in stunning sights, as well as the excitement and energy of popular towns and small cities like Cirencester, Cheltenham, Burford and more.

If you visit during the winter months, you can enjoy the scenery without running into crowds of tourists.

It’s the best place to unwind and take a stroll around the tranquil streets of the Cotswolds villages, where you can relish honey-coloured, stone cottages with lush village greens and distinctive architecture in the background.

Each village provides a different experience, from the slow and serene pace in Snowshill village to the sophisticated and glamorous vibe of Broadway.

Wherever you choose, you’ll find yourself in a picture-perfect slice of Cotswold life.

2. Cosy Accommodations Abound

In between the lush forest-covered landscape, rolling hills, and quaint villages, there are various rental cottages and pubs that offer a comfortable and charming places to stay for the night.

Of course, there are also luxurious hotels with grand acres of garden space for those who want to elevate their experience.

Either way, you’ll find the ideal place to relax and settle in for the rest of your holiday. Ellenborough Park, for instance, is home to an up-scale hotel set in between Cleeve Hill and Cheltenham.

It’s a perennial favourite as the place has instant access to Cotswold’s highest point and a world-renowned racecourse, making it boutique accommodation that is rich in history.

3. Interesting Historical Sites

In the midst of your country walks are sites of interesting historical sites and landmarks like the Abbey at Tewkesbury, which is the second-largest parish church in the entire country.

There are also unique choices such as the largest Romano-British villa, which is situated in the scenic town of Chedworth.

If you’re looking for a majestic slice of medieval architecture, Sudeley Castle near Cheltenham stands tall for over a whopping one thousand years.

It’s the ideal place to immerse yourself in centuries of British history, where you can also pay respect to the resting place of Catharine Parr and Henry VIII’s sixth and final wife.

Another significant historical landmark is the Blenheim Palace, which is found in Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

It’s one of the most awe-inspiring and grandest houses in England, so much so that it earned a UNESCO World Heritage Site title in 1987.

Conclusion: Visiting the Cotswolds is a Must for Adventurous Travellers

Cotswold’s offers a slice of countryside paradise with its miles of undulating hills, undisturbed footpaths, honey-painted stone villages, and world-renowned heritage sites in between.

It’s a must-visit for history buffs, while tourists or locals who want to take a break from the city can find peace in this quintessential town.

If you’re looking to discover more about the Cotswolds, get in touch with us to see how we can help!

5 Breathtakingly Beautiful Cotswolds Castles

A trip to the English countryside in the Cotswolds will quickly squash any doubts that you might have, as to why the region was officially designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Here, you’ll find rolling hills of lush grassland, winding waterways, and a predominantly rural landscape that will seemingly transport you many hundreds of years into the past.

While you could very well enjoy a visit here by exploring what secrets lie in its famous stone-built villages, if you are a fan of the spectacular, some of the more grandiose attractions to go visit, are the large and historically significant castles that are a common sight throughout the area.

In this article, we’ll list some of the best ones that are worth visiting. In no particular order, these must-see castles include the following:

1. Sudeley Castle

Enjoy both a history lesson and spectacular garden views as you make your way around Sudeley Castle.

Sudeley Castle
Inside the grounds of Sudeley Castle

The castle was once home to many of England’s past royals, and you’ll get to see how they lived their lives in opulence.

The grounds are beautifully landscaped with formal gardens that are fit for a queen.

In fact, Queen Katherine Parr, the last of King Henry VIII’s wives and the only one to survive him, now rests eternally in St. Mary’s Church, an historic landmark that sits in Sudeley Castle grounds.

An aerial photo of Sudeley Castle, showing the extent of the buildings and gardens
The castle and St Mary’s church, with the parterre garden in the foreground

2. Broughton Castle

This moated manor is privately owned by the Fiennes family, but certain rooms inside the castle are open to the public. The manor itself is built atop an artificial island that’s fully surrounded by water. If you take the time to wander the grounds, which we advise that you do, you’ll be greeted by well-decorated rooms and scenic gardens that will surely inspire awe.

Although this manor-house/castle is slightly outside of the Cotswolds AONB it’s worth considering if you are going to be visiting the area.

3. Berkeley Castle

Another castle that is just outside of the AONB, this castle was built in the 12th century to be the home of the Berkeley family and up to this day, it remains under their care.

It’s a family-oriented attraction in that educational tours and history-inspired performances are a common feature to be found.

If you’re looking to do more than just explore medieval hallways and gardens (which you can), Berkeley Castle provides a more engaging experience than other castles on this list.

4. Beverston Castle

Also known as Tetbury Castle, Beverston Castle was constructed to be a stone fortress that stood tall against invaders. Today, however, it is considered a ruin, possessing only a portion of its former glory. The grounds are still worthy of visiting, though. You’ll find stunning medieval architecture and extensive gardens enriched further by the historic significance of the site.

5. Warwick Castle

Historic Warwick castle, in the city of the same name is a scheduled ancient monument and a Grade I listed building.

The castle is over 1100 years old but has been restored to its former glory, having survived many attempts to destroy it over the years.

Also just outside the AONB but if you are planning a visit to Stratford on Avon then it’s worth stopping off here too and you can even stay here overnight.

Conclusion

With picturesque views and strong links to England’s rich history, these castles are definitely an adventure that you shouldn’t miss. If you are interested in learning more about the Cotswolds and what you can experience here, sign up for our newsletter today and we’ll be happy to guide you.

5 Must See Places to Visit in the Cotswolds

Arlington Row, Bibury

The English region known as the Cotswolds is mainly known for its beautiful, rolling hills and rustic scenery.

The Jurassic limestone-rich grasslands—a particularly unique habitat in the UK—contain many stone-built villages and lush gardens that accentuate its peaceful glamour.

Spanning 800 square miles of land, the Cotswolds was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1966 and is currently England’s largest AONB.

The Cotswolds region is definitely a sight to behold and is a prime spot for fans of nature and history.

Should you happen to be visiting the area, make sure to take a try to plan a stop at these five must-see places to visit in the Cotswolds.

1. Lower Slaughter

Don’t let the name fool you, Lower Slaughter is a charming little village bisected by a river and decorated with honey-coloured architecture.

It also houses what might be regarded as Britain’s most romantic street—Copsehill Road (which ironically is quite flat).

When you pass by this district, make sure to pay a visit to the Old Mill for an historical treat and Lower Slaughter Manor’s Gardens for the best view in the whole town.

Entrance to the Slaughters Manor House
The Slaughters Manor House, Lower Slaughter

2. Kingham

Voted in 2006 as “England’s Favourite Village,” this beautiful, unspoiled village features rows of limestone and thatch cottages and a large open green.

When you get to Kingham, make sure to stop by the Wild Rabbit pub to relax with a pint by the open fire and enjoy the music.

The Kingham Plough, Kingham
The Kingham Plough, not the Wild Rabbit

If you happen to be around at the end of August, you might be able to catch the Big Feastival at Alex James’ Cotswolds farm. Celebrate the August Bank Holiday with some food, drinks, and music, and enjoy the company of locals and tourists alike.

3. Blockley

Once the centre of silk production in the 18th and 19th centuries, Blockley’s mills have long since been converted into lodgings.

The gorgeous golden stone cottages make it look like the village was plucked from a fairy tale and deposited in the majestic scenery of Blockley’s sweeping plains.

The Blockley Café and The Great Western Arms are definite go-to spots for food, drink, and comfort.

4. Bibury

Once called the “most beautiful village in England” by famed designer William Morris, the iconic hamlet of Bibury is well-known for its traditional stone houses.

Dotted with famously photographed chocolate box houses, it is also the home of the River Coln.

Arlington Row, Bibury
Arlington Row as seen from across the River Coln

Take a walk through history by walking along Arlington Row—a row of 14th-century weaver’s cottages—and visiting the Bibury Trout Farm—one of Britain’s oldest trout farms.

5. Castle Combe

Castle Combe’s picturesque facade has been featured in several movies like War Horse and Doctor Dolittle.

This Cotswold village is filled with limestone cottages and stone-tiled roofs, all perfectly framed by the lush green of the trees surrounding it.

Look for the iconic Town Bridge when you arrive here, and relish the view of this grandiose village.

Conclusion

These are only a few of the many little villages contained within the vast AONB called the Cotswolds.

There is more to see, and even more to do in this region, so plan your trips wisely and take in as much of the grandeur this region can offer.

If you are interested in visiting the Cotswolds, then get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

3 Reasons You Should Visit the Cotswolds Today

Known as the home of England’s finest scenic landscapes and natural experiences, the Cotswolds has established itself as the perfect destination for anyone seeking inspiration and adventure. 

The Cotswolds is a countryside escape consisting of 113 towns and villages all within easy reach of all the UK’s major airports.

Cotswold stone cottages in Stanton
Classic Cotswolds cottages in the village of Stanton

It may be easy to see how beautiful the Cotswolds are based on images and descriptions of the area’s rolling green pastures and time-travelling villages alone, but what makes the area worth visiting in the first place?

Here are just a few reasons you should consider visiting

If you’ve been meaning to go for a relaxing holiday in a natural paradise, that isn’t too far from home (depending on where you live, of course), here are three reasons you should consider visiting the Cotswolds above all else: 

There are dozens of charming and picture-worthy villages in the area

Taking a trip to the Cotswolds and visiting its villages is akin to taking a time machine and getting stuck in the olden days of England when jousting and jesters were still popular forms of entertainment. Actually, if you visit the Cotsowlds Olimpicks you can still see a bit of jousting.

As soon as you enter the area, the Cotswolds instantly greets you with dozens of cottages that were built with the characteristic local limestone and outfitted with colourful flower boxes, and sometimes tricky-to-pronounce place names (we’re looking at you Guiting Power).

Guiting Guest House in Guiting Power

If you’re looking to take a trip back in time and enjoy some of the most aesthetically-delightful examples of old-English living and architecture, then a visit to the Cotswold’s villages is a must-include in your itinerary.

The rich history of the region itself makes it perfect for any history nut

Speaking of old English history, the Cotswolds has also established itself as a premier tourist destination thanks to the fact that its origins extend as far back as five millenniums ago.

With an expansive 5,000-year history that covers the Neolithic and medieval periods, it’s no secret that the Cotswolds is the perfect destination for any type of history buff.

For instance, heading over to the Avebury Stone Circle (like a slightly less famous version of Stone Henge) will throw you back to 2850 to 2200 B.C., long before Christianity came to England and was subsequently adopted.

Aside from pre-Christian monuments, visitors can also appreciate the Cotswolds’ rich history by visiting the 15th-century Sudeley Castle, which sits on the outskirts of Winchcombe.

Aerial photo of Sudeley Castle, near Winchcombe
Sudeley Castle, with the village of Winchombe visible in the background. Aerial picture provided by https://grantadronesolutions.co.uk

On the other hand, visiting history nuts can also visit the Hailes Abbey ruins and observe the remnants of what the Earl of Cornwall founded in 1246.

You Can Get Around by Bike

Despite its large(ish) total area, the Cotswolds lends itself to exploration by bike, especially for the keener cyclists.

Thanks to the fact that many key spots in the Cotswolds are within close proximity to others, guests can explore the region itself by mountain biking to see the countryside in full splendid detail.

For instance, the place is outfitted with dozens of extremely-popular mountain biking and cycling routes, such as the Winchcombe Circular route and Burford Circular Ride, all of which guarantee to provide priceless experiences! 

Final words

With its splendid landscapes, rich historical origins, and beautiful villages, it’s no secret that the Cotswolds are a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore one of the best English regions.

Aside from the key points mentioned on this list, however, there are several more reasons to visit the Cotswolds once you arrive in the area itself, all of which can be best enjoyed with a tour.

If you are interested in learning more about the Cotswolds, then get in touch with us today.

Our Guide to a Perfect Trip to the Cotswolds

A view along the river Eye in Lower Slaughter, in winter

The Cotswolds are arguably Britain’s worst kept secret.

Quintessentially British and England at its best. An extended holiday or even just a short break will leave you mesmerised and wanting more, making you plan for the next trip back the moment you return home.

Houses in Chipping Campden
The Cotswolds market town of Chipping Campden

The Cotswolds runs through five counties – Warwickshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Wiltshire, and Oxfordshire – and covers a vast area of almost 800 square miles.

Many travellers would take delight in exploring different areas in Cotswolds, each with its unique identity and defining features—the golden stone, and the rolling hills or  “wolds” that give the region its name.

Marvel and explore quintessentially ‘English’ villages, made up of cottages built from honey-coloured stone, walk through marvellous landscapes along historic trails, visit some of the country’s amazing castles, palaces, and country-styled houses, or simply relax in its lake-land area with its own inland beach.

The present-day Cotswolds, as with other fairy-tale regions of Europe, is the product of economic success that ultimately waned. The rise and then subsequent collapse of the woollen industry.

Broadway road in Winchcombe
An eclectic mix of houses along Broadway road in Winchcombe

The once-wealthy towns fell into a distressing time warp. Today, the Cotswolds has become an enchanting part of the world and visitors can have a fascinating time enjoying a harmonious mix of nature and man.

Planning Your Trip to Cotswolds – Getting There

The Cotswolds is an array of tiny and time-passed villages and bustling towns, nestled in the English countryside and is about two hours by car (in good traffic) west and slightly north of London.

Most of the places are near each other, with Bath about an hour and a half to the south, Stratford-upon-Avon just about half an hour to the north, and Oxford an hour to the east.

You can also travel to the Cotswolds from around the UK without a car.

Trains are available departing from Paddington Station and getting off at Moreton-in-Marsh.

However, once you’ve arrived, getting around the area without a car can be a bit tricky. Despite the fact that public transport is available, buses have limited schedules, although they are the best and the only way to get from one village to another.

If you can, rental cars are also available and would give you more convenience getting around, but expect traffic congestion during the warmer, peak-season months.

Houses alongside the river Eye in Lower Slaughter
Cottages in the idyllic and ever popular Lower Slaughter

For those travelling in a short period, be wary of tour operators offering stops in too many places in a single day.

A full-day tour with promises of trips along Warwick Castle, the Cotswolds, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Oxford means shorter stops and seeing the majority of the Cotswolds villages from a bus window.

Things to Do in the Cotswolds

Visit the best towns in Cotswolds

Check out movie sets in Lacock

For those film buffs out there, you might want to include this gorgeous village of Lacock in your itinerary.

It is famous for being the set location of classic movies and TV series, ranging from BBC’s Pride and Prejudice to Downton Abbey, Fantastic Beasts, and of course, Harry Potter.

Lacock boasts a romantic, old English feels and stunning Georgian villages—the reason that Hollywood prefers this place. Check out two of the village’s loveliest places—the wonderful Bowood House and Lacock Abbey.

Visit England’s prettiest village—Castle Combe

Lacock is not the only village in Cotswolds famous for being on Hollywood’s list of favourite movie sets.

Castle Combe is an absolute gem. Movies like Warhorse, Doctor Doolittle, and Stardust were all shot here.

With its marvellous stone houses and bridges lining meandering streets, this is probably the quaintest place in all of the Cotswolds. Which is saying something given the ample competition for this title.

There are just so many things you can do in the region, and it would be no surprise if you keep coming back for more.

If you want to learn more about the culture and rich history of the Cotswolds, get in touch with us today!