As UK staycations become more of the norm since the pandemic (find out where we visited in Cornwall last year), the Cotswolds seems to be high on people’s lists – and it’s easy to see why! My husband and I visited last summer for four days, which coincided with his 30th birthday, with our dog in tow, and it’s a place I would highly recommend to visit.
It was the first time I’d even been to this part of the country, and it definitely won’t be my last. There are country pubs dotted all over the place, cute little tea rooms and walks that feel like they go on forever, in a good way!
Situated in the central-west part of England, the area is easily accessible from all corners of the UK and the scenic drives make the time go by in a flash. We drove in via Oxford and the drive was beautiful and really made me admire how beautiful the English countryside can be – I would suggest taking a car if you can, but there are bus options available too.
The great thing about the Cotswolds too, is that the area is so big and there are so many quaint little villages to visit – so much so that we didn’t even get to half the ones we had planned – but there really is something for everyone. Whether you’re into walking, sightseeing, relaxing or eating, the Cotswolds is definitely an area you should look to book this year.
There are so many places to go, that even if you don’t visit any of the below, I’m sure you’d stumble across such beautiful little villages in the beautiful Cotswolds.
I’ll start with the one we spent most time in as our hotel was there, Stow-On-The-Wold. If I’m honest, I didn’t know much about the village until we got there, and only booked it as it looked the most central, meaning we could visit more places over the days we were there.
Stow exceeded all my expectations! There was an abundance of coffee shops, pubs and chic wine bars, and I would happily stay there again. We stayed at The Stag hotel, which was a B&B and where we also had dinner on my husband’s 30th birthday, and the food was amazing. They were also dog friendly, which is a massive plus for me, and had such beautiful décor – a mixture of being modern yet cosy.
If you’ve ever wanted to visit the famous Daylesford Farm, this can be found about a 5 minute drive away too!
About 10 minutes from Stow was Bourton-On-The-Water, which actually came as a recommendation from my Dad! It was a really cute quaint village, with families having picnics by the water’s edge, pubs bustling in the summer sun and all different types of restaurants. One thing I would say is to book somewhere before you go to eat. We were very lucky that The Rose Tree had space outside for us, but we had tried a few places before then with no luck!
As a slightly bigger town, Burford definitely had more of a bustle about it. This was a place we stumbled upon on our way home one day, but I would go back to try some of the delis selling local produce, or try one of the quaint little pubs that were dotted around.
We drove to Chipping Norton for afternoon tea on our last day in the Cotswolds, and it was lovely! Again, slightly bigger than some of the other places, and with a lot of dog friendly shops too, I would definitely suggest going there for a scone and jam and cream at
Probably one of the biggest cities in the Cotswolds, but one that is definitely worth a visit is Cirencester. For some reason I had in my head that this was nowhere near the Cotswolds, but it is in fact, and definitely one to add to your list.
There is a high street of shops, but also around every corner are cute cafes, ice cream shops and beer gardens so you can really take your time mooching around.
I hope this guide has given you some food for thought when it comes to visiting the Cotswolds this year in all it’s beauty!