What is it about the Cotswolds? Sitting pretty in south central England with that first-date charm, leaving its visitors in a rosy-cheek fluster, overcome by the pure countryside-ness of it all. A place where brown stone turrets and venetian bridges seep through seas of fluffy green foliage and soft violet wisteria, where the flick of camera lenses and quaint clatter of china tea cups mix with the songs of treetop birds and distant steam trains… And if things couldn’t get any sweeter, the Cotswolds are a pic & mix of stand-out towns. Convinced? Perfect, it’s time to head to this Area of Outstanding Beauty and pick your favourite from our shortlist of Cotswolds top towns!
Where emerald ivy sprawls and slips from thatched rooftops and yellow roses line the side-streets, Chipping Campden is a modern day love letter to England of the past, romanticised and nostalgic in all the best ways. Whether you’re scouring the countryside for your future country manor house, complete with wisteria-adorned driveway, or tucking into the perfect Victoria sponge, strolling the hideaway passages of Hidcote Manor, or a gazing out across glorious Broadway Tower; Chipping Camden is the quintessential English getaway.
From churches that look like they’ve been plucked straight from a Tolkien novel (give the town’s beautiful St. Edward’s Church a Google search, and you’ll get the idea) to sophisticated art galleries, Stow-on-the-Wold is perfect for those looking to enjoy the finer things in life. And the sweeter things, it seems, as Stow-on-the-Wold is home to gloriously vintage Cotswold Sweet Company. Bask in the peace of a quaint English bookshop and let Stow-on-the-Wold slow down the pace of modern life.
Often called ‘the capital of the Cotswolds‘, Circencester is great for any city-slickers after a cheeky countryside break. Filled with golden stone houses and lush green spaces, it’s home to some of the Cotswold’s best shopping oppertunities over at the Market Place; a traditional high street tipped by one Parish Church of St John Baptist, a breathtaking gothic church open to the public. For the history buffs, don’t leave without a trip to the Corinium Museum; a treasure trove of Roman relics and interactive displays.
From the capital of the Cotswolds, to its Little Venice, Bourton-on-the-Water is so affectionately nicknamed due to its picturesque patchwork of canals and tiny stone banks, perfect for picnics. And what visit to Bourton-on-the-Water would be complete without a visit to Birdland? Where birds in all shapes and sizes, from slip-and-sliding penguins to statuesque flamingos, hop around one beautiful country park for all to enjoy. Then continue the fun over at the Dragonfly Maze, an attraction that adults everywhere are unashamed to admit they enjoyed without the kids.