A trip to the Cotswolds is like taking a walk through the pages of a classic children’s book. This scenic region spans roughly 800 square miles and is comprised of five counties. Rolling hills cover much of the landscape here.
This gorgeous location is roughly two hours west of London and features a number of little villages in the Cotswolds. It is the villages in this region that really win your heart.
The beautiful towns in the Cotswolds are characterized by honey-colored stone structures that line ancient alleyways, medieval market squares that highlight town centers, and thatched cottages that take the level of allure to a whole new level in those places
Best Places to Visit in the Cotswolds
Make the most of your time in the Cotswolds by consulting our ranking of the region’s most charming towns and hamlets before you go. Here are the following top 10 lists:
1. The Village of Castle Combe in Wiltshire
Castle Combe is widely regarded as one of the most picturesque villages in the Cotswolds and as one of the top tourist destinations in the region.
It has been said on numerous occasions that Castle Combe is “the prettiest town in England.” When you get there, you’ll realize why it was given this honor, as well as why we ranked it first on our list of the greatest villages in the Cotswolds.
It is difficult to find a more genuine setting than this quaint village, which is dotted with honey-colored homes that have slate roofs and features a market square that dates back to the 14th century.
2. The Village of Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire
Another prominent town in the region is Bourton-on-the-Water. This enchanting community in the Cotswolds is sometimes referred to as the “Venice of the Cotswolds” because of the glittering River Windrush, which winds its way through the middle of the town.
This river and the town that surrounds it are just as gorgeous as they appear on a postcard due to the numerous picturesque bridges that span it.
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There is not even the slightest trace of modern architecture to be found, which is a wonderful treat for tourists who are looking for an authentic experience. You can take part in activities such as having high tea at a riverbank café, trying to find your way out of the Dragonfly Maze, shopping in a boutique store, or going to the Cotswold Motoring Museum and Toy Collection.
3. The Town of Painswick, Gloucestershire
The most impressive landmark in Painswick is St. Mary’s Church, which dates back to the 14th century. A churchyard that is so beautiful that it should be in a book can be found outside.
Tombs dating back to the 17th century and 99 neatly maintained yew trees dominate the grounds, giving a photo-worthy backdrop. According to mythology, the devil won’t allow the 100th tree to grow, so there are only 99.
4. Bibury, Gloucestershire
Bibury is a peaceful community that may be found nestled along the banks of the River Coln. This charming location has been referred to as “the most beautiful village in England” due to the fact that it is home to quaint houses that have been painstakingly maintained, stunning gardens, and the historic Arlington Mill.
This charming little town in the Cotswolds is the kind of place that makes even the worst photographs look good.
5. Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
Stow-on-the-Wold is located on top of Stow Hill, making it the most elevated of all the Cotswold villages. This modest market town more than makes up for its lack of size with its abundance of charm.
It also has the classic Cotswold stone cottages with sloping roofs, which places it in the category of the nicest villages in the Cotswolds.
6. Chipping Campden, Gloucester
Chipping Campden is not only one of the most active and bustling villages in the Cotswolds, but it is also one of the largest.
This bodes well for those of you who don’t want to risk driving a car down tiny, narrow streets in the hope of finding a parking spot because it looks like there will be more of them.
7. The Town of Burford in Oxfordshire
Burford is situated 20 miles to the west of Oxford and is known as the “gateway to the Cotswolds” from the south. This picturesque village in the Cotswolds has a high street that is quite literally elevated, as it sits on a hill.
It is lined with quaint antique shops, boutique stores, and cafes, and it provides breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside in addition to a wealth of options to fill your wallet with more cash.
8. Broadway, in the County of Worcester
Traditional honey-colored homes dot the landscape of Broadway, which is known for its beauty. The chestnut tree-lined high street is its crowning achievement; it is lined with quaint boutiques, adorable cafés, charming restaurants, and intriguing art galleries.
If you’re looking for antiques, Broadway is the place to go because there are plenty of shops selling them there.
9. Upper and Lower Slaughter, Gloucester
The River Eye, which is a tributary of the River Windrush, flows through both Upper and Lower Slaughter, connecting the two.
These towns may have names that are a little off-putting, but don’t let that fool you; they are quite stunning. In addition to that, the word “slaughter” really means “muddy place,” which isn’t such a negative thing!
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Upper Slaughter is referred to as a “sainted village,” which means that it did not suffer any population loss as a result of World War I. This charming village is located on a green, grassy slope that descends to a gorgeous stream and is only four miles away from Stow-on-the-Wold.
10. The Town of Kingham in Oxfordshire
The picturesque Evenlode Valley is home to the lovely town of Kingham, which can be found in close proximity to both Stow-on-the-Wold and Chipping Norton.
This picturesque village in the Cotswolds is a favorite weekend getaway for city dwellers who are eager to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Paddington Station in London is only an hour and a half away by rail.
Kingham, which is only a little hamlet, has a wide variety of excellent dining alternatives, which is surprising given its size. The Kingham Plough is a fantastic restaurant that serves traditional British cuisine with a touch of Mediterranean flavor.
The Cotswolds region is one of the most charming places in all of England and is widely considered to be among the top destinations for a weekend getaway.
Hike the 102-mile Cotswold Way National Trail, a pathway that stretches from Chipping Camden to the top attractions in Bath, or drive from village to village to properly appreciate the charm that can be found in the most picturesque communities in the Cotswolds. Both options are available.