Over the last couple of months, I have been trying to visit all the most beautiful villages in the Cotswold but alas I have not managed to visit ALL of them. But the ones I have managed to visit so far have truly captured my heart and I want to share with you some of the most beautiful villages in the Cotswold which I highly recommend visiting regardless of the time of year. Over the last few months, travelling internationally has been cancelled so I am focusing more on local trips and I am taking you along with me.
For as long as I can remember, my mother has always called me itchy feet because I am barely home and as a frequent traveller, I pride myself in being able to explore far-flung destinations sometimes forgetting the beauty right under my own doorstep. One of my goals this year had been to explore more local destinations and as much as I had wanted to, I have not managed to explore as many places as I would have liked but thankful for the ones I have been able to explore and excited to explore more places. This is why I am excited to share the most beautiful villages in the Cotswold.
The Most beautiful Villages in the Cotswold
The first I visited one of the Cotswold villages was a few years after I moved to Oxford and I had been wanting to explore more ever since. Seven years on and I am still trying to find to explore the most beautiful villages in the Cotswold but not even made much of a dent. But I am no quitter and I love travelling, exploring new places and in recent years I decided to combine international travels and local trips to maximise my travel experience.
Whilst the list below of the most beautiful villages around the Cotswold is not exhaustive, I thought I share those that I have managed to visit and would highly recommend as a starter for those looking for ideas as to where to begin. Living outside of Oxford I have many options as to which Cotswold village I should start with but the easiest is Bourton-on-water and I recommend it as the first village to explore, admire the ‘mini-Venice’ and check out the cute little bridges.
The village of Bourton-on-water is known as the Venice of the Cotswolds thanks to its many elegant low bridges. The village straddles the River Windrush and is a mare 4-miles from Stow-on-the-wold. During my visit during the late summer, I loved the traditional stone houses and the model village (the 1930 replica of the village) was the highlight of my trip. The village is one of the most popular villages and every summer it’s flooded with tourists from all over.
Burford is a medieval town which lies on River Windrush and is considered the southern gateway into the Cotswold. The town is famous for its high street which sweeps gently down to the River Windrush. During our visit, we absolutely loved the three-arched bridge as well as the church which is very impressive. Burford is the closet Cotswold village to me and we found it easier to visit over the weekend for a spot of afternoon tea.
The market town is often referred to as the capital of the Cotswolds because it lies at the heart of this beautifully and quintessentially English region. In the town centre is St. John Baptist which dominates the town and it can not be missed during your visit. I was fortunate to find parking right in the heart of the town often it’s not that easy. The high street is lined with coffee shops, banks and offices. During my visit, I made a point to explore the church’s gardens which I highly recommend as its beautiful.
Castle Combe is my absolute favourite Cotswold village, it is a quintessentially English village often thought to be the prettiest village in England. If you have ever watched Steven Speilberg’s warhorse, you will notice that parts of it were filmed in this cute village. The village of Castle Combe is located in the county of Wiltshire, this village is often used as the backdrop for many period dramas. Every single year, the village is flooded with tourists from all over the world, if you are lucky you can park near the main monument but there is adequate parking at the entrance of the village and its quite a walk to the centre.
Stow on the Wold
This market town sits atop an 800-foot hill making it the highest Cotswold town and once upon a time was popular during the wool era due to its location. The town is home to a cricket museum, is popular for antique shopping, farmer’s market and St. Edwards church. Most of my visits to the town has always been driving through to pit stops as they have some good restaurants.
Located in Gloucestershire in North Cotswolds, Chipping Campden is a small but one of the most beautiful villages in the Cotswold. It is most famous for having one of the oldest altar tapestries and largest brasses in England. The medieval town was once famous across Europe for wool making it one of the richest towns. Of late, the town is most famous for its unusually attractive high street – no every village or town can boast about having an attractive, long and broad high-street.
Known as the most beautiful village in the Cotswold, Bibury is a small village in Gloucestershire situated not far from Burford and Cirencester. Almost everyone who visits this village goes to see the Arlington Row which is basically honey-coloured stone cottages all lined up in one row. The village of Bibury is also famous for being the location where Bridget Jones was filmed.
Even though Arlington Row is part of the National Trust, one of the houses is actually rented out privately so I recommend people show some respect as they take there many pictures of the area. I have been a number of times, there isn’t much parking near Arlington Row and most park on the roadside. There is a beautiful hotel nearby where you can stay for a few days or enjoy a spot of afternoon tea.
The Cotswolds is one of the most beautiful regions in England, I am fortunate to live so near most of the quintessentially English villages. The beauty of this area is unparalleled and definitely somewhere to venture to especially if you are not to travel abroad. Have you ever visited the Cotswolds?