Ten Picture-Perfect Villages to visit in the Cotswolds
…and a collection of stones, three gardens, two playgrounds and one tower.
The Cotswolds is one of the UK’s official ‘Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ and visitors and tourists come from all over the World to visit the picturesque villages, the stunning countryside and to see the beautiful views that we surround ourselves with all over this wonderful region.
Stanton is widely recognised as one of the most beautiful and unspoilt villages in the Cotswolds. Picture-perfect, nearly all its houses and buildings are made of locally quarried natural stone and with a history going back over a thousand years it truly is quintessentially Cotswolds.
Standing 1024 feet above sea level, Broadway Tower is an iconic little castle, the highest in the Cotswolds, in fact. It is the perfect place to start your walking excursion, take in some history, or even enjoy a delicious breakfast in the restaurant next door.
Chipping Campden is quite simply one of the finest towns in the Cotswolds – well-preserved and full of history, but also full of life and bustle.
Chipping Campden Playground
The recreation ground in Chipping Campden is a mere 3-minute walk from the centre of the High Street. It is a wonderful playground that you simply must go visit if you are in the area with children. The grounds are perfect for a family.
Batsford Arboretum is an intimate and romantic place to visit, with interest all year round from the first snowdrops of spring, right through to the outstanding autumn colour in October and November.
A famous Cotswold beauty spot, and popular throughout the year, Broadway is dominated by a wide main street lined with independent shops, restaurants, hotels and plenty of antique shops. It’s one of the most wonderful towns, in the Cotswolds and anywhere.
Set amongst beautiful Cotswolds hills and old trees, the playground in Broadway is made of sections with equipment appropriate for various age groups – there’s something for every single age there, something even for adults. There are designated picnic areas, tables and even nice rest rooms, so there’s every opportunity to spend several hours on a nice day out with your kids.
The Venice of the Cotswolds
Step into the Cotswold countryside in and around Bourton-on-the-Water. Walk along the river and take in this pretty village, known far and wide for its rich architecture and tranquil village scenes, and is often referred to as ‘The Venice of the Cotswolds’.
Stanway Fountain and Gardens
A beautiful example of a Jacobean manor house, Stanway House and Fountain, the tallest gravity fountain in the world, brings together history, architecture and nature in beautiful harmony. From a 14th century Tithe Barn to an 18th century water garden–home to the magnificent Stanway Fountain, Stanway is an experience that will take your breath away.
The Slaughters (it’s not what it sounds like)
Walk in your wellies through the charming villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter, both unbelievably pretty and everywhere you look is a snapshot for the perfect Cotswold postcard.
The Rollright Stones
An ancient relic, The Rollright Stones consist of three major elements: The King’s Men stone circle, the Whispering Knights, and the King Stone. Take a step into the mystery and the wonder that is The Rollright Stones.
All lavender, all the time. Home to the finest English lavender, Cotswold Lavender is rows on rows of beautiful purple lavender. Visitors can purchase a variety of lavender products including bath and shower, skincare, oils, and other well-being items.
The Queen of the Cotswolds
Painswick is an incredibly beautiful little town, also known as ‘The Queen of the Cotswolds’. It is one of the best-preserved settlements in the Cotswolds, a historic wool town built from mellow honey-coloured stone quarried from nearby Painswick Beacon. Painswick is one of the most picture-perfect villages in the Cotswolds.
Renowned for its antique shops and diverse shopping offer, including a regular market, Chipping Norton retains a robust living, working market town atmosphere. There is good choice of places to eat and top-quality entertainment at the wonderful Theatre, famous for its pantomime and visiting world class performers.
Burford’s famous High Street sweeps downhill towards the River Windrush. It has a three-arched medieval bridge, impressive church and both sides of the High Street is flanked by an unbroken line of ancient houses and shops.
Brimming with independent shops, cafés and galleries and home to one of the best Farmers’ Markets in the country, there are plenty of things to do in Stroud, often referred to as Bohemian Cotswolds.
The most beautiful village in England
Bibury is such a charming Cotswold village, once described by William Morris (1834-96) as “the most beautiful village in England”, a statement that arguably still stands. And the cottages of Arlington Row are among the most photographed and beautiful cottages in the country.