A Sunday Feast at the Hollybush, Witney

Described by The Telegraph as the ‘pretty Cotswolds town that tourists haven’t discovered’, historic Witney is famous to many as the traditional centre of Oxfordshire’s wool industry.

Houses in Witney
Some houses, in Witney

We’ll side-step the fact that strictly speaking Witney isn’t actually in the Cotswolds AONB but just on the eastern edge (we only mention this, because if we don’t someone else will but if you really want to get into neither are lots of other places), and focus instead on our reasons for visiting.

The Hollybush, Corn Street, Witney
The Hollybush, Corn Street, Witney
The dining houses at the Hollybush, Witney
The view from our dining house

On a sunny Sunday in September we made good on a long-standing promise to visit the Hollybush; an independently run pub right in the heart of this bucolic market town.

In the invite we were teased with the chance to check out their ‘private dining houses’ in order to sample some 1 AA Rosette-awarded food.

Intrigued, we took the family, and so it came to pass that Five went to the Hollybush.

It’s at this point that we should maybe mention that the last time we did something similar, was just before lock down was announced in March.

This time around it was just before the 10pm curfew was introduced for hospitality venues. These events are entirely coincidental and we are in no way harbingers of doom. Honestly.

That’s what Sundays are for

Warmly greeted by Alex and his team we were lead through the pub, treading the flagstones into the garden and into one of four wooden dining houses.

Planned by the team long before lockdown, the enforced closure provided the opportunity to do something positive with the time out, so the Hollybush team set about converting the decked beer garden into something radically different.

Dining houses at the Hollybush, Witney
Take your pick

Swing tunes playing through the speakers created an ambience of calm in the courtyard on a day when summer returned, framed against a clear, September sky.

Boar burger from the Hollybush Witney
You won’t get ‘boared’ of this burger…

The dining houses, or ‘pods’ as we came to call them, can comfortably sit up to 10 people (although with the current rule of 6 that is a bit more limited) and the unexpected bonus for anyone with a family member who regularly forgets how to behave in public is the element of privacy. Even with the doors wide open there’s a home-from-home feel that confers just the right balance of being ‘out-out’ with the comfort required to create the perfect relaxed atmosphere.

A feast on a plate

The menu provided some challenging choices – do you go for the special or the Sunday roast? We shared a few nibbles, deciding to save ourselves for the main event and we were glad that we did. This is food to be savoured.

Sunday roast at the Hollybush Witney
Sunday roast, of course

The team at the Hollybush pride themselves on using high quality, locally sourced ingredients – it’s a commonly heard refrain, but the proof really is in the pudding (and every other course) here. Melt in the mouth Cotswolds lamb with seasonal veg and delicious cauliflower cheese was an absolute highlight, as was the Wild Boar Burger from the specials menu. Layered flavours combine perfectly in every dish, nothing over seasoned or underdone. This is food prepared and served by people who care.

Catering for even the most teenage of appetites

For most of us, nibbles followed by a main meant we had little room for dessert. A great shame considering the temptations on the menu.

We ignored the plaintive cries of the sticky toffee pudding in favour of teas and coffees. Luckily we’d brought a hungry teenager along for the ride who settled on the Chocolate Marquis, a dish as beautiful as it was tasty, that arrived with the addition of a couple of extra spoons ‘just in case we found room to share’.

Chocolate marquis from the Hollybush Witney
Oh hello, maybe we do have room for dessert…

Throughout our meal the Hollybush staff were impressively present without ever being invasive. No mean feat given the layout. And the relaxed atmosphere was such that we had to remind ourselves that we weren’t actually in a much nicer version of our own garden.

We were genuinely impressed with our visit, and we’ll happily return. It’s more than just the impressive nature of the food and the surroundings – the sense you get that the team love what they do makes it all the more special.

We can’t wait to see how things work out at the Hollybush – they deserve great things to come their way.

If this hasn’t done enough to whet your appetite then we don’t know what will but if you do want to find out more about the Hollybush, check out their website.

Tetbury Music Festival

The Tetbury Music Festival is an annual series of concerts, held in the Cotswolds market town of Tetbury.

The festival was started in 2003 and has been running on the first weekend in October ever since, although sadly due to the Coronavirus the 2020 festival has been cancelled.

Gumstool Hill in Tetbury
This way to the festival…

Please check their website, for up to date information on that, which should be available from the 1st June 2020.

Royal connections

HRH Prince Charles is the patron of the festival – his Highgrove Estate is just to the south west of the town.

The majority of the concerts are held in the local parish church, St Mary’s.

St Mary's church in Tetbury
The impressive and imposing St Mary’s church in Tetbury

In addition to the church, festival events also now take place at the Tetbury Goods Shed arts centre.

Converted from a former Great Western Railway centre building in 2016 and opened in 2017, the Goods Shed is a regional centre of arts excellence.


Established in 2003 by Graham Kean and Elise Smith OBE, the festival was inspired by and aimed to add to the already splendid selection provided by

  • the Bath International Festival in May
  • the Cheltenham International Festival of Music in July
  • MozartFest in late September

and become nationally recognised for its own contribution to the musical calendar.

The Snooty Fox in Tetbury
The Snooty Fox are one of the supporters of the festival

Since its foundation the festival has welcomed many renowned classical musicians to Tetbury, to perform over the years and has been growing in stature year on year.

The festival itself is a charity and made possible by the help of local volunteers and sponsors, as well as the revenue that they generate by selling tickets to the events.

The festival is not to be confused with TetFest, which is another local annual event and music festival.

For more about other parts of the Cotswolds, check out the rest of our website.

Post-lockdown treats await at The Porch House

Update: August 2020

The great news is that the Porch House is now open again after lockdown. Read on for what we thought after our visit on Friday the 13th in March…

We all seem to be drawing up lists of the things we’re going to do when we finally emerge from lock down, bleary-eyed and blinking.

Top three for most people seem to be centred around seeing friends and family, getting their roots done, and getting away for a break.

The Porch House in Stow on the Wold
Oldest pub in the county?

Whilst The Porch House probably can’t help much with your roots, they can definitely sort out the other two.

We were lucky enough to visit just before lock down began, on a brisk Friday night when it felt like Spring would never arrive.

Arriving early, we took the opportunity to have a drink in the newly refurbished bar.

When we say, ‘newly refurbished’, we actually mean restored to the perfect level of Olde Worldiness, where dried flowers hang from sand-blasted beams, and a maelstrom of textures combine with the common goal of ‘comfort’.

Porch House bar
New Olde stock

Sat in the window, watching the world go by, the gentle hum of chatter harmonises with background music that is never intrusive, occasionally serving up old favourites that successfully evoke fond memories.

When we’re first seated in the restaurant it’s not busy – that’s not altogether surprising, not only is it Friday the 13th, we’re also predicting the commencement of lock down, and navigating what that might mean.

By the time we leave, however, it’s buzzing and it’s clear that the changes made are already popular. At this stage, social distancing is something we’re still mulling over, not yet has it become normality.

We sit by the unlit fireplace, it’s warm enough without, and one imagines how cosy it will be when roaring. The décor is unforced, bordering on eclectic but never straying into cluttered. The chairs, vitally, are comfortable and remain so throughout the meal.

The menu is an accessible blend of choices, peppered with seasonal produce. We choose a wide array, sharing and tasting each other’s to ensure that the only regret we have is the limit of our appetites.

Brocolli and Stilton soup at the Porch House
Mmmmm soup

We treat ourselves to some salt and sage pork crackling and pear chutney, labelled as ‘Morsels’ on the menu, it’s a delicious kick-off dish.

From there we delve into three courses, all worth savouring, ranging from a broccoli and Stilton soup, through to a warm treacle tart with raspberry and milk ice-cream that we agree to share because, frankly, we’re stuffed. It’s all delicious.

A burger from the Porch House
That sure is a tasty burger

The service is friendly and understated, which aligns perfectly with the rest of the experience. The Porch House is the kind of place that you can take the entire family and know that they’ll all find something they like.

Dress up or down, even turn up with two months of root regrowth, and no one’s going to judge you. Take our advice and book a room – enjoy the local beer and kick back. You definitely deserve it.

If you’re interested in us featuring your Cotswolds business then get in touch with us to request a copy of our media pack and find out more about what we do.

Cotswolds attractions that will take you back in time

When you hear ‘the Cotswolds,’ you might immediately think of traditional villages and picturesque landscapes.

Known for its manor houses and historical buildings, the Cotswolds area definitely has more up its sleeve than just the rolling views and English castles.

But no one would blame you if you wanted to visit just for those reasons alone.

However, if you’re looking to add more variety to your trip to the Cotswolds, then we have a few suggestions. Aside from the landscapes and villages, this area has other attractions that will appeal to history buffs looking for more than the usual on their holiday.

1. The Roman Baths

Located in Britain’s only hot spring, this is a religious hot spa located in the historic city of Bath. The stone pillars and structures will take you 2,000 years into the past.

Costumed characters wander the halls—walk around enough and you will meet stonemasons, a slave girl, and a typical Roman lady.

The bathing complex still flows with natural water to this day, where tourists can take a dip and take in the ambience.

A Roman museum gives more insights into this period in the country’s history. Paying £16-23 for the entrance fee is practically a steal for the history and culture you will experience. The baths are open every day, except for 25 and 26 December.

2. Antiques shopping in Cirencester

This is definitely the antiques capital of the Cotswolds (although Stow on the Wold and Tetbury might like to have a chat about that claim).

Corn Hall in Cirencester houses over 80 dealers of antique jewellery, ceramics, glassware, furniture, and more.

The weekly Antiques and Collectors Market has been going for over 40 years now and is a good source of Art Deco and vintage pieces from the 1950s and 60s. Entrance is free, and there is ample room for parking.

Looking towards Cirencester market square and the church
Cirencester, the capital of the Cotswolds

If you are looking for stand-alone shops, there are also stores like Hart Gold and Silversmiths, Winchcombe Antiques Centre, and the Malt House Emporium.

These are all long-standing shops in Cirencester, with helpful staff and a reputation for being sources of incredible finds.

3. Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway

If you fancy a 25-mile round trip between Toddington and Cheltenham Racecourse, you can take a ride on this heritage railway.

The steam railway is perfect for casual sightseeing. You can take in the scenery that the Cotswolds has to offer like Stanway House and the views of the Malvern Hills from the comfort of a train carriage.

The railway is entirely operated by volunteers, who want to preserve this aspect of life in England.

The train is also among the most accessible railways available; there are provisions for the differently-abled, people travelling with bikes, and those who have animal companions.

4. Britain’s Oldest Inn

The country’s oldest pub*, The Porch House, is in Stow-on-the-Wold.

Though the pub has undergone many changes throughout its existence, its oldest parts are said to date back to the year 947.

The Porch House, Stow on the Wold. Is this the oldest inn in the UK?
Oldest pub in the world…

The Porch House serves traditional English fare and frequently receives glowing reviews from its customers.

If you’re feeling like spending the night, The Porch House also has 13 charmingly decorated, traditional guest rooms starting at £99 per night.

Just because the pub is old, don’t assume that means it’s outdated. It recently underwent an extensive refurbishment. Read more about that and their menu in our review.

*There are several other pubs and establishments in the UK that also lay claim to this title. Without the invention of time travel, it’s very difficult to verify which one can truly wear the crown.


Whether it is your first time in the Cotswolds or you’ve been here before, there is always something exciting to visit. Take a trip through history by visiting any of these attractions or browse our other articles to discover new places.

We are your one-stop-site for landmarks and things to do in this region.

If you would like more information on the places we’ve mentioned above or other attractions in the Cotswolds, get in touch with us today to find out more.

A few must visit restaurants in the Cotswolds

No matter where you’re from in the world, food enthusiasts will find the Cotswolds a gourmet’s haven as nearly every street is lined up with delectable spots—from farm shop cafes to upmarket restaurants, to rustic country pubs and hole-in-the-wall local secrets.

This makes the rural countryside of England a capital for gastronomic adventures, especially since most hotspots thrive on colourfully varied local produce of the region.

The Cotswold’s aromatic palette is inspired by a fusion of different cultures.

Still, local staples indulge in favourites like a local lamb, Gloucestershire Old Spot pork, Gloucester cheese, fish, and a seasonal mix of fruits and vegetables.

The local cuisine loves to play around with fresh flavours—from sour and savoury to sweet, all presented with flair.

With so much to choose from, the (by no means exhaustive) list below is intended to just give you a flavour of what’s on offer as you taste your way around the Cotswolds:

1. The Wild Rabbit, Kingham

If you want to take a gentle trip back in time, The Wild Rabbit offers a rich slice of Cotswold’s history with its 18-century cottage establishment.

Think of it as an olde-world pub where guests can lodge after a heavy meal, which doesn’t fail to satisfy your taste buds with its menu of grilled meat and quality produce.

The Wild Rabbit is a well-mannered eatery and lodge, in the same village as Alex James (formerly of Blur) presents his annual Big Feastival.

Kingham village green
Kingham village green. This is not where they hold the Big Feastival

Lady Carole Bamford’s Daylesford farm shop, also nearby is the perfect accompanying enterprise, delivering organic fruits and vegetables to ensure each dish is made with a fresh touch.

Address: The Wild Rabbit, Church Street, Kingham, Chipping Norton OX7 6YA

Telephone: +44 1608 658389

Website: thewildrabbit.co.uk

2. Ox Barn at Thyme, Southrop Manor Estate

The Michelin Guide featured Ox Barn offers a mouth-watering world where fresh vegetables and fruits are picked from Chef Charlie Hibbert’s family garden.

Each dish is made with a touch of luxury, rustic charm, and sustainability, from the radicchio to garnish the roast pork or the fresh, wild garlic to give the chicken terrine a spicy kick.

The environment is a beautiful reinvention of a Cotswolds stone barn, which was once home to oxen, and is the inspiration behind its name.

A poured-concrete flooring adds a contemporary edge to the vintage look of the wooden beams, while leather chairs and an open fire ensure guests are eating in style and comfort with every hearty bite.

Address: Ox Barn at Thyme, Gloucestershire GL7 3PW

Telephone: +44 1367 850174

Website: https://www.thyme.co.uk/dining/ox-barn

3. Koj, Cheltenham

If you’re craving an exotic fusion of Asian and British cuisine, Koj is the best place to go for taking experimental bites.

British-Japanese chef Andrew Kojima aims to introduce Asian flavours like strong umami from sesame mayo and shiitake and marry British classics like curry, deep-fried crisps.

From ox-heart burger buns, miso roast cod, donburi, spicy pork mince, and curry noodles, this is the food joint to indulge in a meld of diverse flavours the Cotswolds has to offer.

Address: Koj, 3 Regent Street, Cheltenham GL50 1HE

Telephone: +44 1242 580455

Website: kojcheltenham.co.uk


As you can see from the list above, the Cotswolds boasts a melting pot of flavours, where every street offers different versions of local favourites.

Staples will take your taste buds in a culinary adventure, so if you’re craving for a taste of gastronomic delights, the Cotswolds is sure to fill you up.

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

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 in Winchcombe, near Cheltenham has stood tall for over a 500 years in its current incarnation and may have been the location of a much older castle prior to that..

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 Blenheim Palace, which is found in Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

The baroque magnificence of Blenheim Palace

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.


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 façade has been featured in several films 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.


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!