8 of the Cotswolds finest, England

In En-Route, Gloucestershire, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, UK Travel, Wiltshire, Worcestershire by JanisLeave a Comment

And there are so many more to discover

Ahhh the Cotswolds, so quintessentially English, flowing streams ambling by the golden-stoned cottages, little churches perched on a hill, the village square for locals to have a chatter and the traditional log burning fires in the cosy inns. This is not a dream, this truly is the Cotswolds.

The well on Malthouse Lane, Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire, England, UK

So, with this beautiful region spanning across six English counties how do you choose which village or market town to visit?

To be perfectly honest, if you just jumped in your car and toured around from one village to another, across the tranquil countryside, you wouldn’t be disappointed.

As a taster of the Cotswolds, Gary and I decided to take a mini road trip around a couple of the perhaps lesser-known spots and also to a few of the ones that attract the higher number of visitors.

We touched on three of the six counties that the Cotswolds cover, which was Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. The other three are Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Somerset.




Castle Combe, Wiltshire

We chose Castle Combe for a couple of reasons, firstly for the quaint photos we had seen of it and secondly as we are motor racing fans, couldn’t believe this tiny village has a racing circuit (and it did).

Beside the river, Castle Combe, Wiltshire, England, UK

Castle Combe really is a beautiful place, village life revolves around only a few roads here, one being ‘The Street’ which winds by immaculately kept homes to the meandering Bybrook river below.

Classic England, Castle Combe, Wiltshire, England, UK

As you wander through you’d be forgiven if you were tempted by the local pub which sits opposite the 14th Century Market Cross.

The Street, Castle Combe, Wiltshire, England, UK

This little village has been used numerous times for filming, a few of which are War Horse, Stardust and the English period drama Downton Abbey.

The centre of the village, Castle Combe, Wiltshire, England, UK

Parking

If you’re driving, park in the car park at the top of the village, and stroll down. Parking is very limited along the narrow roads.




Bibury, Gloucestershire

Bibury is a charming little village, with a lovely river running along the roadside, and branches off every so often into streams.

On the banks of the river, Bibury, Gloucestershire, England, UK

While the whole village is picturesque, the main draw in Bibury is the very attractive Cotswold stone cottages along Arlington Row. These were built in 1830 as wool stores, then in the 17th-century converted to weaver’s cottages.

Across the field to Arlington Row, Bibury, Gloucestershire, England, UK

If you don’t mind the admiring public, you can apply to the National Trust to become a tenant.

Looking down Arlington Row, Bibury, Gloucestershire, England, UK

This is most certainly picture postcard territory; however, it also attracts a significant number of tourists. You may recognise it from scenes in Bridget Jones’s Diary.

Number 5 - Arlington Row, Bibury, Gloucestershire, England, UK
A pretty little cottage, Bibury, Gloucestershire, England, UK

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Did you know?

In 1966, the Cotswolds were designated to be an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ (AONB).




Bourton-on-the-water, Gloucestershire

If you are visiting the Cotswolds, then you would recognise the name of Bourton-on-the-water. This large village just shouts charm, even the River Windrush that ambles through the centre has a pleasant name.

The Kingsbridge Inn, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, England, UK

Bourton-on-the-water has a lovely village green by the river, where families young and old gather to enjoy a picnic or just feed the ducks. On hot summer days, you can even cool off by taking a paddle in the water.

The war memorial across the river, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, England, UK

In and around the village you’ll find, a motor museum, a model village, some quaint tearooms and of course a couple of welcoming inns.

The Motor Museum, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, England, UK

I would just like to add that Bourton-on-the-water is one of the most visited places in the Cotswolds.

The river Windrush, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, England, UK

Timing

If possible I would advise visiting some of the popular villages early or later in the day.




Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire

What Lower Slaughter lacks in not having a beautiful sounding name, makes up for it ten-fold in its incredibly enchanting surroundings.

On the river Eye, Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire, England, UK

The River Eye weaves its way through the little village with beautifully kept sandstone cottages, alongside. There’s a stone footbridge joining the two sides; however, I think the ford looked more fun.

The river Eye, Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire, England, UK

Considering Lower Slaughter is only 1.7 miles (2.7km) from Bourton-on-the-Water there were very few visitors. I think as the roads are relatively narrow it may keep the coaches away.

Cottages, Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire, England, UK

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Northleach, Gloucestershire

Northleach is classed as a market town and has heritage back to AD 780. I really enjoyed strolling around here, it may not be instantly as picturesque as some of the other villages or towns, however, I felt a warmth to the place.

Peter House, Northleach, Gloucestershire, England, UK

Locals were going about their everyday lives not concerned with tourists. It was very easy to park up, so we jumped out and took a wander around the quiet lanes and squares.

The Butcher's, Northleach, Gloucestershire, England, UK

What amazed me about Northleach was the incredible size of the church, for what would have been a relatively small market town.

A quiet cottage, Northleach, Gloucestershire, England, UK
Northleach Church, Northleach, Gloucestershire, England, UK




Snowshill, Gloucestershire

Now, Snowshill village is tiny, there’s a manor house here that is open to the public; however, the quaintness of the village is not to be missed.

Across the churchyard, Snowshill, Gloucestershire, England, UK

We enjoyed a pub lunch, in the Snowshill Arms, then had a little stroll around after. The population of Snowshill is under 200.

Towards the country pub

Tempted to?

Discover the beautiful Cotswolds for yourself & tour the picturesque English countryside. Perhaps you’ll cover all six counties. You can do it all on a road trip, SIXT car hire cover all budgets and allow you to pick up and drop off at different destinations.




Broadway, Worcestershire

Here is where pop into Worcestershire, just into the southeast corner of the county. You instantly see the attraction of Broadway as it truly has some wonderful examples of the honey-coloured Cotswold stone, throughout its main street

Village shops, Broadway, Worcestershire, England, UK

Take a stroll through the High St and enjoy the bustling cafes, galleries and little boutiques hidden behind the golden facades.

The High Street, Broadway, Worcestershire, England, UK

Although Broadway is a village, it has the feel more of a town and has lots to offer, if you use it as a base to tour the area.

The red bus runs through the village, Broadway, Worcestershire, England, UK




Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire

Back in Gloucestershire is Chipping Campden a small market town full of history.

Picture perfect, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, England, UK

Chipping Campden was a prosperous wool trading centre during the Middle Ages and in the early 20th-century played an important role in the Arts and Crafts Movement.

Strolling along the High Street, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, England, UK
The village church, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, England, UK

As you stroll through the main street, there are lots of examples of the Cotswold charm. Including a Market Hall built in 1627 which your eye is immediately drawn to.

The war memorial, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, England, UK
Market hall, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, England, UK




These are just a few of the towns and villages we chose to stop at over the couple of days we toured the Cotswolds, there are so many more to find and enjoy.

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Inspired to visit the Cotswolds?

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8 of the Cotswolds finest, England

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About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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