The Cotswold hills form a territory of rural villages, blond stone mansions, and hiking trails. This vast protected area is an invitation to cycle or even walk along the Cotswold Way, a superb path that stretches over 160 km from Chipping Camden to Bath. It is easily accessible at different points, which makes it possible to walk small parts or to make loops.
The remarkable localities are numerous: Broadway, Chipping Camden, the crown jewel of the region, and Winchcombe, considered as the hiking capital in the northwest, Cirencester and Painswick in the south-west, Chipping Norton, Moreton-in-Marsh and Stow-on-the-Wold in the northeast, Burford, Northleach and Bibury in the southeast. It’s up to you to find the most suitable base, according to your desires, cultural visits, or outdoor activities.
The romantic region of the Cotswold, famous for its rolling landscapes, mansions, and small inns, is also renowned for its waters. Thus Cheltenham, the main town in the region, is famous for its thermal baths. Further south is the Roman spa town of Bath, with its complex dating from the year 43, backed by a contemporary spa.
Oxford, less than 100 km northwest of London, is the seat of England’s oldest university. Many buildings are dedicated to studies and research, including Christ Church, its Romanesque cathedral, the Bodleian Library, and its famous reading room, Radcliffe Camera. Continuing north, you can discover Stratford-on-Avon, the town of Shakespeare, his birthplace, and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
15 km to the northeast, you have to stop off at the impressive medieval Castle of Warwick to contemplate its gardens and its towers. 10 km west of Stratford is Ragley Hall, a splendid manor house in its green setting.
Places to visit in Cotswold
The Cotswold is also the privileged chic countryside of wealthy Londoners who want to escape the fury of the capital and find a peaceful and relaxed lifestyle here. Thus, there are lots of places to visit in this tiny wonder.
Bourton-on-the-water, which, as its name suggests, is crossed by a stream, gives it a romantic aspect. Strolling through the heart of this old village along the small stream was really pleasant, and the village is more prominent than average. If you are desperate for an activity for children, that there is a small car museum. You can have a great time with the kids.
Nicknamed the “Capital of the Cotswold”, Cirencester is one of the largest towns in the region and is a place steeped in history. You can visit the magnificent Gothic church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, the ruins of the old ancient theater, and the Corinium museum, named after the city under the Roman Empire, which brings together many vestiges dating from Antiquity. You can take your time to stroll along the picturesque alleys, have tea in one of the city’s cozy tea rooms, and enjoy the warm atmosphere in this preserved Cotswold village.
This pretty, typical Cotswold town is worth a detour for St Edward’s Church, where the two trees framing the entrance seem set in stone. Some even say that they would have inspired J.R.R. Tolkien, the Gates of Moria in The Lord of the Rings. You can also visit the cricket museum and learn a little more about this trendy sport in the United Kingdom and in the Commonwealth countries.
Immerse yourself in over a millennium of history at Warwick Castle. Built-in 914, then fortified by William the Conqueror in 1068, this Gothic-style Castle is one of the best-preserved medieval castles in the UK. Located on the banks of the Avon, you can visit the towers, ramparts, dungeons, Victorian apartments, mill, and engine room during your visit. The castle regularly organizes shows and historical attractions that immerse visitors in a medieval atmosphere worthy of the novels of Chrétien de Troyes. Find out before you visit what events will take place on your Cotswolds holiday. The castle is open all year except December 25 and is 15 minutes from Stratford-upon-Avon and 40 minutes from Oxford.
It is in the North of the Cotswolds, near Stratford-upon-Avon, that you will find one of the most beautiful gardens in England: The Hidcote Manor Gardens. Created by American horticulturist Major Lawrence Johnston, this lush garden is one of the finest examples of gardens inspired by the Arts & Crafts movement. It is divided into chambers of greenery, each with a different theme. You will thus discover the garden with pillars, the white garden, the open-air theater, or the red border during your visit.
Cotswold Falconry Center
The Cotswold Falconry Center is located in the town of Moreton-in-Marsh, near Bourton-on-the-Hill. Dedicated to birds of prey, this sanctuary will allow you to discover the traditional art of falconry and learn a little more about vultures, falcons, eagles, owls, and many other species. The center also organizes special days and evenings, such as evenings dedicated to owls or days of initiation to the art of falconry. The center is open to the public from February to November.
Where to Stay in Cotswold 🏨
Since it’s close location to London and is a tourist hot spot, Cotswold has many hotels. You can either be a family with kids or an adventurer with a backpack. The location has vast, diverse kinds of hotels suitable for everyone. These are the best places to stay in the Cotswold if you plan to visit.
Luxurious Hotels in Cotswolds 💰💰💰
If the vacation is not only a timeline to visit and explore new places but also a chance to unwind, rejuvenate and pamper yourself, these are the most luxurious hotels where to stay in Cotswolds.
Established in a vast area, Ellenborough Park is unlike any hotel you’ve stayed in before. Built as a 51-room castle mansion, you’ll feel like you’ve gone to the Middle Ages, not the Cotswolds. Located at the city’s highest point, the hotel has a restaurant dating back to the 15th century. One of the aspects of the hotel that will attract you is the spa center. The spa center has different options, such as steam rooms, sauna, outdoor swimming pool, and massage rooms, and is the perfect place to relax and enjoy your holiday. Located right next to Cheltenham Racecourse, the hotel is one of the best place to stay in the Cotswolds.
If you fancy staying in a stunning mansion, then stop off at the Slaughters Country Inn in Slaughter village. This sublime honey-colored stone house perfectly combines old charm and the most luxurious decor. It is definitely the best place to stay in Cotswolds. The summer months of this 5-star hotel are more enjoyable. You can enjoy the hot summer months, taste local meals, and sip exotic cocktails at the terrace restaurant, which has a magnificent view overlooking the River Eye.
Abbots Grange Manor House is also in service as one of the oldest buildings in the region. Family-owned hotels have lush green gardens and an unrestricted town view. The best thing about the hotel is that it is only for adults. If you want to get away from the crowds and noise and enjoy the tranquility, Abbots Grange Manor House Hotel is one of the best places to stay in Cotswolds. After waking up to a new and fresh day, you can enjoy an English breakfast prepared with locally sourced ingredients.
Budget-Friendly Places to Stay in Cotswolds 💰
Suppose you are looking for a budget-friendly hotel rather than a charming place; you can have plenty of choices in the Cotswolds. If you think budget-friendly places lack of services, you’ll be wrong. There are many places to stay in the Cotswolds.
Situated between Oxford and Cheltenham, The Highway Inn is ideally located for those wishing to explore the surrounding area on foot. The days you spend in the hotel, which serves in the building built in the 1400s, will take you to the region’s past. You can taste local brewers’ beers in the hotel’s lush garden. The Highway Inn is amongst the best places to stay in Cotswolds to explore the local fabric of the area and learn how to spend an ordinary Coltswold day.
Cirencester is one of the best areas to stay in Cotswolds. With The Fleece at Cirencester located in the city center, you can visit many important tourist spots in the region on foot. The Stableyard Restaurant, located within the hotel, offers essential selections from British cuisine. Suppose you’re visiting the region on summer days; you can also have great English snacks with locally brewed beers in the rooftop Lounge Bar. If you are a family with kids visiting Cirencester, you can easily reach Cotswold Water Park or Bourton-on-the-Water and have a fun day with the kids.
You can visit magnificent yet candescent castles in the Cotswolds or stay in some of them. But there aren’t many coaching houses to stay in. Located in Milcombe, you can take advantage of the terrific location of the Horse & Groom Inn. Serving in the 16th-century coaching house, Horse & Groom Inn is a great place where to stay in the Cotswolds. You can visit the local farm shop Wykham Park Farm or the golf club lake with a couple of drive.
Witney is another great village to visit in the Cotswolds. If you want a holiday where you will pamper yourself and return home renewed, Oxford Witney Hotel is one of the places in the Cotswolds where to stay. Although it is a budget-friendly hotel, the hotel has a full spa center on site. Visitors can benefit from the spa center free of charge, which includes services such as a hot tub, steam room, sauna, indoor swimming pool, and fitness room. The on-site restaurant offers a selection of unique British dishes. There is also an exceptional wine selection at the hotel, where meals made with natural ingredients from local producers are available.
Cheap Places to Stay in Cotswolds 💰
You might want to stay in a decent place rather than a luxurious establishment. Making a tight budget for accommodation and spending more to explore the region is relatively common among backpackers and adventurous-spirited people. There are also many great places to stay in Cotswolds
The New Inn 🔗
Boasting a medieval garden, The New Inn is the ideal place to discover the famous local English brewers. The red ale pub within the hotel has extraordinary selections from local producers. The hotel’s award-winning pub, Real Ale Bar, is an indispensable place for beer lovers. Thanks to the hotel’s central location, it is possible to reach many places on foot. Gloucester Cathedral for those who want to explore the area’s local history, or East Gate Shopping Center for those who want to shop is within walking distance. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on accommodation but still want to spend your holiday in a fun way, The New Inn is one of the best places to stay in Cotswolds.
ibis Gloucester is the best place to stay in Cotswolds to stay away from the city center and relax in silence. Located within walking distance of Gloucester center, the hotel offers relatively inexpensive yet spacious and well-lit rooms. You can relax in the hotel’s large beds and prepare yourself for the new day. You can taste different flavors in the hotel’s restaurant and try the breakfast options of British culture. Although the hotel is located a bit outside the city center, Glocester Cathedral or The Kings Walk Shopping Center is within walking distance of the hotel.
Located between the Cotswolds and Cirencester, the Stratton House Hotel & Spa is the right choice for those who want to stay close to the tourist attractions but away from the noise and crowds. Although the hotel is among the cheap hotels in the region, its services are quite diverse. You can enjoy the hot tub in the open air at the hotel’s spa center. Providing service in the building built in the 17th century, the hotel has one of the most famous restaurants in the region. Open all day, The Garden Restaurant offers essential dishes from classic British cuisine. If you want to visit both the Cotswolds and Cirencester but stay in a quiet place, Stratton House Hotel & Spa is one of the best places where to stay in Cotswolds.