Quintessential English villages, and endless rolling hills: if you’ve not already planned a trip to the Cotswolds, then it’s time to start! Just a couple of hours from London and filled with history, here are the very best reasons to visit the Cotswolds!
#1 All the quaint villages
If you give yourself just one reason to visit the Cotswolds, make it all of the quaint and chocolate box villages to see! After all, nowhere else in the country can quite boast the abundance of pretty hamlets and small settlements that are to be found should you opt to visit the Cotswolds.
Among some of the best places to visit in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty include Bibury (home to the 14th-century Almshouses, Arlington Row), and Burford (this ancient market town is often referred to as the gateway to the Cotswolds). Further North still, Stow-on-the-World offers excellent antiquing opportunities, while the Slaughters are some of the prettiest villages to be found anywhere in the UK.
#2 The Cotswolds are great if you’re a foodie
For those who are looking for quintessential food experiences, there’s no shortage of places to eat out in the area of outstanding natural beauty. From fine dining to quaint tea rooms, there’s something for everyone to enjoy, as well as for every budget!
Some of our top picks for a foodie weekend away include the Porch House of Stow on the Wold (this pub is often alleged to be the oldest inn in England) and The Daffodil of Cheltenham. This jazz-era-esque grill is set against the backdrop of an art-deco cinema and the drinks assortment to be found once inside is as lavish as the surroundings.
#3 As well as if you love the outdoors…
Whether you’re a painter looking for your next inspiration location or you want to go hiking, the rolling hills of the Cotswolds offer the chance to get up close and personal with nature. For those seeking out a bit of a challenge, the Cotswold Way National Trail, often referred to as the ‘Cotswold Way’ is a 100 mile long unbroken trail between Bath and Chipping Campden.
#4 There are plenty of Cotswolds movie locations to be scouted out
Whether you’re a fan of Downton Abbey or simply love Bridget Jones, there’s something for every movie buff to see when it comes to the Cotswolds. For those who love period dramas, a visit to Stanway House is a must. Used to film movie and television adaptations of Emma, Wolf Hall, and Vanity Fair, Stanway House and Fountain can be visited in the summer months for a fee.
Elsewhere in the Cotswolds, the impossibly picturesque village of Snowshill was covered in fake snow to star as the settlement where Bridge Jones’ parents reside in Bridget Jones’ Diary. If TV soaps are more your thing, then Blockley (close to Moreton-in-Marsh) has been used to shoot scenes for Father Brown.
#5 Literary locations can be found in abundance
And if you’re more interested in books than movies, then there are plenty of literary connections when it comes to the Cotswolds. Some of the top literary locations to be found in the area include Slad (featured in Laurie Lee’s ‘Cider with Rosie’) and Moreton-in-Marsh (said to have inspired JRR Tolkien to have created Bree in Lord of the Rings).
#6 The Cotswolds is home to plenty of history
Fancy seeing the former inn where Charles II used to take his mistress? Ever wanted to see medieval castles, fairytale fortifications, and centuries-old abbeys on your trip to England? Well, a visit to the Cotswolds guarantees all this and more.
Some of the best historical sites in the area include the Roman Villa at Chedworth (situated in Gloucestershire, these are the remains of one of the largest Roman villas in Britain), as well as Sudeley Castle (this impossibly large estate is stunning and can be visited by the public for a fee).
#7 The Cotswolds is a huge area to explore!
As the largest area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales, there’s no shortage of walking trails and pictures perfect villages dotted all around the Cotswolds. And at the end of the day, when you’re tired and weary from a day of exploration, you can always cosy up in one of the many village pubs and inns that the area has to offer. After all, what could be more quintessentially British than that!
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