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Things to do in Cotswolds

Things to do in  Cotswolds

Welcome to Cotswolds

An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cotswolds’ mix of chocolate-box villages, green and sheep-dotted hills, and thatched-roof cottages epitomizes quaint English countryside for many. Within day-trip distance of hubs such as Oxford, Bristol, and London, the well-heeled region’s postcard-come-to-life good looks attract upwards of 38 million visitors per year. While the region is sizable, spanning some 800 square miles (2,072 square kilometers), visiting the villages of Burford, Bibury, Bourton-on-the-Water, and Stow-on-the-Wold are among the universally agreed-upon top things to do in the Cotswolds.

Top 1 attractions in Cotswolds

Broadway Tower

Standing on the Cotswolds escarpment, Broadway Tower was conceived by 18th-century landscape artist Capability Brown and completed in 1798. Notable for its stone turrets and rounded-arch windows, this Gothic folly boasts historical exhibitions and a rooftop with views across 16 counties.More

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All about Cotswolds

When to visit

There’s no bad time to visit the Cotswolds. This lush, rural region is lovely year-round due to its mild climate, honey-stone villages, rolling fields, and busy calendar, which includes events like the Three Counties Show in June and Christmas markets in December. The summer (June through August) delivers maximum sunshine with temperatures around 70°F (21°C), but you’ll still get rainy days. Spring and fall see frequent sunny days but much cooler and wetter weather. Christmas has special appeal, with the chance of snow.

Getting around

Renting a car is the best way to enjoy the Cotswolds in your own time, but parking can be limited and pricey. Buses and trains are also good options, especially if you’re based in one spot and plan on taking daily walks or outings. Most rail stations are located around the perimeter of the Cotswolds’ (except for the station at Moreton-in-Marsh) but link up with buses that travel to nearby villages. If time is short, consider booking one or two guided minibus tours to see the region’s highlights.

Traveler tips

Just south of Winchcombe, you’ll find the Belas Knap Long Barrow, a Neolithic burial mound that is one of the Cotswolds’ off-the-beaten-track treasures. The remains of 31 ancient people were unearthed here. History buffs will love exploring the mound and peeping into its doorways and false entrance—possibly a gateway designed for the spirits of the dead. Be ready for a steep but scenic hike from the parking area to the site, which is accessible during daylight hours only.

People Also Ask

What is famous about the Cotswolds?

The Cotswolds is famous for its picturesque English countryside and storybook villages, characterized by winding country lanes, patchwork farmlands, and quaint cottages built from honey-colored stone. Designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the rural region is also renowned for its many celebrity residents and traditional pubs.

Where is the prettiest place in the Cotswolds?

The villages of Burford, Bourton-on-the-Water, Castle Combe, and Bibury are some of the prettiest in the Cotswolds, with their traditional country pubs, honey-colored stone cottages, and backdrop of verdant hills. Other popular photo stops include the Malvern Hills, Broadway, and the Cotswold Lavender farm.

How many days do you need in the Cotswolds?

Visiting the Cotswolds is a popular day trip from London, but to fully experience the area, try to stay a night or two. Check into a boutique bed-and-breakfast, enjoy lunch at a traditional gastropub, take a walk along the Cotswolds Way, and hop among villages including Burford, Bourton-on-the-Water, and Bibury.

Can you get around the Cotswolds without a car?

Yes, it is possible to visit the Cotswolds by public transport. Regular buses run to most villages in the Cotswolds, and trains link cities such as Cheltenham, Chippenham, and Stratford-on-Avon with London. However, it’s much more convenient to visit by car, especially if you plan to visit multiple villages.

Is Stonehenge in the Cotswolds?

No, the prehistoric stone circle of Stonehenge is located on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, around 58 miles (93 kilometers) south of the Cotswolds. It’s about a 1.5-hour drive from the Cotswolds to Stonehenge, making it possible to visit both attractions on a day trip from London or Bath.

Where can I base myself in the Cotswolds?

Popular places to stay in the Cotswolds include the villages of Bourton-on-the-Water, Burford, and Castle Combe, all of which have accommodation options and are in the heart of the Cotswolds. Without a car, Moreton-in-Marsh is a strategic choice, with train links to London and buses to the surrounding villages.


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