If you are in England and want to visit quintessentially English market towns and villages rich in culture, history and natural beauty, The Cotswolds is definitely the place to go! My mum and I managed to visit 7 places in 2 days – the towns and villages are quite small and we wanted to see as much as we could in the little time we had! We had only ever visited The Cotwolds once, to stay in Tetbury for a night. It is a town known for its independent shops (one a favourite of Kate Middleton), boutiques and the Highgrove shop – I love the connection it has to the Royal Family. So we couldn’t wait to go back and explore more of The Cotswolds – Road trip!
Stow on the Wold
We started here, one of the highest towns in the Cotswolds, at nearly 800ft high, and was greeted with blue skies! There was a market in the large town square selling fudge, drinks and jams – all the usual English things you’d expect!
Next we headed to the village of Bourton-on-the-Water, voted one of the prettiest in the Cotswolds. We planned to spend most of our time here as there seemed to be the most places of interest, and booked a night at the Old Manse Hotel. It’s located in the most perfect spot – right next to the River Windrush that flows through the village. It’s the most tranquil river, as the water is clear and so shallow, complete with little bridges throughout – everything feels much more scaled down in size!
Obsessed with this cute shop window – it makes me feel so ready for Autumn/Winter!
One of the main attractions here is the Model Village, the only grade II listed model village in the country. It is a one-ninth scale replica of the village and was all built in Cotswold stone – seriously life-like!
Upper and Lower Slaughter
The Slaughers was probably the smallest and quietest but most peaceful and pretty place we stopped at whilst driving through the Cotswolds. Similarly to Bourton-on-the-Water, there’s a small river (Eye) that runs through with a little bridge, plus a nineteenth century flour mill. These villages have remained unchanged for more than a century!
Probably one of my favourite towns that we visited because it takes you back to another time – the oldest house there was built in 1380! The ancient, honey-coloured limestone buildings are just gorgeous and I love how each building is unique in its style of architecture. The last photo was taken inside the Market Hall built in 1627 which is now Grade 1 listed.
Winchcombe is an ancient Anglo Saxon town known for its charm and style and it definitely has a timeless feel to it. We didn’t realise how close we were to Sudeley Castle until we got there, so we walked through the gates up to the opening of the Castle however you have to pay to see anything. We gave it a miss but it is rated as one of the top attractions for things to do in the Cotswolds – Next time!
I was most excited to visit Bibury and the infamous Arlington Row – a picturesque row of cottages built in 1380 originally as a monastic wool store – can you imagine living here!? I felt slightly bad for the fact there are always tourists!
The last town we visited before leaving the Cotswolds was Burford, an old town with a long, sloping high street. The houses, cottages and shops have hardly changed since the Tudor times which you can see from the angled lines in the first photo!
Parking nearly everywhere in the Cotwolds was free – it was the best thing ever! If you want to wander, go back in time and take in the surroundings of countryside and towns to admire the history and culture – the Cotswolds is the place to visit!