Cotswold Towns and Villages Gloucestershire Top Rated Destinations

Bourton On The Water

Bourton on the Water is famously referred to as the “Venice of the Cotswold.” The village received its nickname mainly because of the fact that the River Windrush flows into and then out of the town and the small Cotswold stone bridges that span the river Windrush. Bourton on the Water is typically voted as one of the prettiest villages in England for good reason. In addition to the beauty of the River Windrush, the architectural style in the area is unique unto itself and the local surrounding area. The Cotswold houses and cottages can be dated back to the Elizabethan Times which were over 400-years ago.  The roofs on these houses are usually very steep and dormer style windows are always present. To add to its appeal, just about all the buildings have been built in a yellow Cotswold stone.
The unique architecture and the River Windrush are not the only things that Bourton on the Water has going for it. There are plenty of tourist attractions in Bourton On the Water that can help keep any visitor busy when they are not walking the river or visiting a local boutique. Birdland, which is a zoo for birds, is located in Bourton. It is known for its extensive collection of penguins. Some of the penguins are from as far away as the South Atlantic. Model Village is another attraction that must be visited when in Bourton. This is a 1/9 scale model that depicts what the city looked like in 1937. Interestingly enough, the Model Village was built using authentic materials. Additional attractions that may be of interest for visitors is the motor car museum, the perfume factory, Dragon Fly maze and the model railway exhibition.

The series of low bridges that cross the River Windrush, in conjunction with the stone banks, unique architecture and interesting attractions, make Bourton on the Water one of a kind. These reasons are why it is one of the most visited spots in the Cotswold.

Bourton On The Water has plenty of accommodation available from luxury Cotswold hotels, Bed and breakfasts, Guest Houses, Country Pubs and Inns and just out of the area you can find caravan and camp sites.

Bourton On The water is ideal for a family day out or a base for you to stay whilst you can explore all of the surrounding villages of the Cotswolds with Lower Slaughter and Upper Slaughter being nearby.

Bourton On The Water

Visit Bourton On The Water Official Website 

Cotswold Towns and Villages Oxfordshire Top Rated Destinations

Burford Tourist Information

Burford Tourist Information

Burford is a small community of around 1,000 residents that is known as one of England’s prettiest small towns in Oxfordshire. The merchants of the town were granted a charter over 900-years ago that allowed them to hold their own markets. To this date, the business owners in Burford continue the traditions that were started years ago regarding the supply of essential services and goods to the area. However, in addition to the stable and unique economy, there are some other things about Burford that make it attractive to tourists and residents alike. Chief among these attributes are the beautiful churches, the Cotswold architecture, beautiful landscape and the one of a kind shops.

The Burford area is surrounded by vast fields and hills that are perfect for cycling, walking or even horseback riding. In the center of the town there is a main street that has buildings on it that appear to be original to the time they were built hundreds of years ago. The houses, cottages and storefronts give you a glimpse back in time to see what things were like hundreds of years ago. There are also many smaller side streets that provide a look into the past. The buildings that line these streets were constructed between the 17th and 18th centuries and still maintain their original features.

St. John the Baptist Church is one of the oldest buildings in the town of Burford. It was constructed around 1175 and has stood the test of time. The original structure remains in place for all visitors to marvel at overflows with abundant beauty. In addition to the church, the Tosley Museum is also a building steeped in history. The building, where traders once paid their tolls, is currently a structure that is filled up with Burfords past. It contains many pieces of history that were once relevant to the town.

Burford Accommodation

Burford has plenty of accommodation available to suit all budgets from Luxury Hotels, Inns and Bed & Breakfast accommodation there is a fantastic choice for the visitor, even though there are many places to stay in the town they do fill up very quickly as this is such a popular town to stay so it is advised to book in advance.

Recently Burford was voted 6th best destination to life in the world! By Forbes magazine, this really shows what an amazing place Burford is and why it should be on everyones must see list whilst visiting the Cotswolds.

Numerous celebrities live in and around Burford these include Kate Moss, Kate Winslett, Ruby Wax and many more.

Burford is centrally located near other historic towns and sights. However, the history that can be found in this area may be enough o make you want to stay for a while.


Burford Oxfordshire

Visit the official Burford Website 

Forbes Article

Cotswold Towns and Villages Stratford Upon Avon Top Rated Destinations Warwickshire

Stratford Upon Avon

Stratford Upon Avon, which is a gateway to the Cotswolds, is considered one of the most historic and significant towns in all of England. This little town, which has a population of 25,000, is located on the banks of the River Avon and is known to attract millions of tourists each year. In its glory days, the town was well known for its part in the wool trade of the area. Since it was so close to the Cotswolds it was an ideal location for people to meet regarding the slaughter of sheep and dealing of fleeces.

The most well known person to ever live in Stratford Upon Avon is William Shakespeare. The different houses where William Shakespeare was born, grew up in and died are all well preserved and able to be toured by visitors. The tours will give you a glimpse into exactly how Shakespeare lived and what he saw each and every day to inspire his writings. In addition, the tours have been made very affordable to the casual tourist as the houses are all owned by the William Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Another piece of unique history that is present at Stratford Upon Avon is the American Fountain Clock. This gothic looking clock tower was donated to the area by a man named George Childs. Childs was from Philadelphia in the United States and was known for being a good natured philanthropist as well as a publisher. The eagles and lions that are carved into the tower are clear examples of the style of architecture that was popular during this period. In addition, above each clock is a sculpture of a fairy that was inspired by Shakespeare’s play title “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

The Guild Chapel, which is highly historical and significant, is present at modern day Stratford Upon Avon. The chapel was first built in 1269 by a group of wealthy citizens who thought there was a need for a chapel. It is one of the oldest buildings in town and contains remains of one of the oldest paintings in all of England. There is a picture that depicts “Judgment Day” located right inside the chapel. The picture shows the souls of some people going to heaven and the souls of some people descending towards Hell.

Outside of the historical elements, there are some modern attractions that make this area even more unique. For starters, there is the Butterfly Farm that allows visitors to walk through a rainfall environment that is full of exotic butterflies as well as waterfalls and tropical plant life. The Butterfly Farm is also home to the world’s largest spider. This spider, along with other creatures, is behind protective glass for your ease of viewing.

Stratford Upon Avon in Warwickshire offers a unique blend of one of a kind history and modern day conveniences and attractions. The location of the community makes it an ideal place to stop and spend some while passing through on your way to other sites. However, the area also offers enough history and attractions to keep a tourist entertained for days on end.

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Stratford Upon Avon

William Shakespeare Wiki   Stratford Upon Avon Official Website

Cotswold Towns and Villages

Stow On The Wold

Stow-on-the-Wold Tourist Guide

If you enjoy shopping, you may wish to include Stow-on-the-Wold in Gloucestershire County as part of your tour of the beautiful Cotswold region of England.  Stow-on-the-Wold is a small but well known market town with a long history in both commerce and war and is between Bourton On The Water and Moreton In Marsh.  Previously known as Stow St. Edward and Edwardstow, it traces its roots back to the Iron Age when it functioned as a fort due to its tactical position on a 700 foot hill.  The name, seemingly unusual at first glance, simply means “Holy Place on the Hill.”  Seven roads intersect at Stow-on-the-Wold.  In 1107 Henry I set up the first weekly market event at Stow-on-the-Wold.

In the 14th and 15th centuries, Edward III and Edward IV both set up annual fairs in the town centre of Stow-in-the-Wold.  These were intended to promote Stow-on-the-Wold as a major thoroughfare and were quite successful.  Many wares were traded but the wool trade is what Stow-on-the-Wold is most famous for.  At one fair in the 19th century, 20,000 sheep were reported to have been traded or sold.  So many livestock needed to be driven through Stow-on-the-Wold that you can still see tiny alleyways throughout the town called “chures” which were used for this purpose.

After the wool trade, horses became the principle commodity.  There is still a very highly attended horse fair each May and October just outside Stow-in-the-Wold.  If you visit during these months you can enjoy the horse fair, but be warned, the traffic in this tiny town can be gridlocked for hours!  Stow-in-the-Wold used to be sleepy in the winter months, but it has become an ever more popular destination for tourists and in recent years has become busy regardless of the season.

Stow-in-the-Wold’s town centre offers many goods to visitors; tourists can buy antiques, art and hand crafts in the prominent marketplace.  Marked off at either end by an olden cross and the historical stocks, the marketplace is a picturesque but bustling square steeped in historical tradition.  Quaint tea shops give tourists a pleasant place to relax in the middle of the day and enjoy traditional afternoon tea before pressing on to enjoy some more of Stow-in-the-Wold’s historical sites.

Considering how peaceful this lovely town is now, it may be hard to imagine it as the site of tremendous bloodshed.  Nonetheless, the famous last battle of the English Civil war was fought in Stow-on-the-Wold in 1646.  The Royalists led by Sir Jacob Astley were defeated there by Colonel Morgan, marking the end of the war.  You can visit St. Edwards, the church in the town where hundreds of Royalist prisoners were held.  The church was damaged in the fighting and now has a monument to Sir Hastings Keyte and others who perished in the Battle of Stow-on-the-Wold.


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Visit the Official Stow On The Wold Tourist Website

Taxis Services in Stow On The Wold

T A TAXIS – Stow On The Wold – 07720 572420

T A Taxis based in Stow On The Wold, we are available for local journeys, airport transfers, train station transfers, hotel & luggage transfers.

T A Taxi Website

Cotswold Towns and Villages Top Rated Destinations

Chipping Campden Tourist Information

Chipping Campden Tourist Information

Chipping Campden, which is located in the Cotswolds, is considered one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in all of England. Because of its central location in the Cotswolds, it is ideal for visitors on a sightseeing vacation. Not only can you enjoy all that Chipping Campden has to offer but you can also enjoy the history and amenities of other nearby villages and towns. Many of the Cotswolds most famous attractions, like Stratford-Upon-Avon and Warwick are less than an hour away.
There are many attractions nestled right in Chipping Campden that make it an attractive vacation spot for tourists including the nearby Hidcote Gardens. The buildings and architecture in the area are reminiscent of times past mixed in with some modern day look and feel. The Silk Factory is an attraction that focuses on the history of the area and times past. It is full of older artifacts that are relevant to the area. There are still products produced in the Silk Mill to this day. They are world renowned for their quality and attention to detail.

The Woolstaplers Hall was built in the 1340’s and still stands today. It is considered one of the oldest buildings in Chipping Campden and a must see for any visitor. For several hundreds of years the building was used for a wool exchange. Traders from all over the country would rust the Woolstaplers Hall to buy Cotswolds fleeces that they would ship all over the world.

The Market Hall is another structure that is still standing in Chipping Campden after hundreds of years. It was built in the 17th century as a way to provide some shelter to the traders who would be selling their goods in the streets. Incredibly enough, the Market Hall is still in use today and is as effective as ever with providing shelter to traders and merchants.



Cotswold Towns and Villages

Broadway The Cotswolds

Broadway Tourist Information Guide

The town of Broadway in the Cotswolds is a prime destination in the Cotswold Hills, a role that hearkens back to the town’s historical roots as a key staging post on journeys between Worcester and London.  While only three of these historical inns remain, the town once boasted thirty-three.  It is home now to numerous bed and breakfast establishments, many with deep historical roots of their own.

Broadway’s High Street is lined with wide grassy lawns and red chestnut trees and features a stunning array of architectural styles which showcase different periods of the town’s history.  Called the “Jewel of the Cotswolds” and the “Show Village of England,” Broadway features architecture in the Tudor, Georgian, Victorian and Stuart styles.  Some of the buildings are so old that they date back to the time of the Romans.

Along with serving as a staging post for travelers, Broadway has served other parts in history.  Its idyllic and serene beauty caused the famed Broadway Group of Artists to settle there in the late 19th century.  Francis Millet, Edwin Abbey, Henry James, John Singer Sargent and Fred Barnard are among the many famous personages to have made Broadway their home at that time.  They stayed in the Abbots Grange, a beautiful 14th century honey-coloured monastic manor house that now serves as a bed and breakfast for tourists!

Francis Millet, one of the artists in the Broadway Group died on the Titanic.  His memorial forms the gate into the upper graveyard at St. Eadburgha’s Church.

For tourists interested in seeing some great art, Broadway’s art galleries may provide some diverting leisure.  Picton House, the John Noot Galleries and Russell House are several well known galleries in Broadway which feature fine art by some of the artists who inhabited the town.  The Gordon Russell museum features the work of the famous Arts and Crafts movement designer in the original workhouse in which he crafted his designs into being.

One of the most famous sites near Broadway is the distinctive, impossible-to-miss profile of the Broadway Tower up on top of Cotswold Ridge.  This folly is the second highest point in the Cotswolds at 312m and offers a stunning view of thirteen of the surrounding counties.  The tower was commissioned by Lady Coventry in 1799 and built to resemble a castle.  Since then it has served as a home for Sir Thomas Phillips’ printing press and also for Arts and Crafts movement artisan William Morris.

If your interests tend toward the outdoors you can visit a number of gorgeously cultivated and romantic English gardens within a short drive of Broadway.  Hidcote Manor, Bourton House, Snowshill Manor and many other properties feature sculpted hedges, cultivated woodlands, lakes and rainbows of flower beds in which you can stroll for hours.

Where can you stay while visiting Broadway in the Cotswolds?  There are a dozen fine bed and breakfast establishments throughout the town offering modern accommodations in historical lodgings.  A whole range of architectural styles and time periods are represented and there is surely something for everyone.


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Cotswold Towns and Villages

Bibury Tourist Information

Bibury Tourist Information

Of all the charming villages in England’s beautiful Cotswold Hills, one of the most delightful by far is Bibury. Bibury is located in Gloucestershire County only a brief drive away from the market town of Circencester. Artist William Morris felt that Bibury was “the most beautiful village in the Cotswolds,” and many tourists have come to agree with him!

As with many of the villages in the Cotswolds, Bibury seems frozen in time. It is as if time has stood still, preserving Bibury as it existed centuries ago, offering an escape from the hubbub of modern life. Here you can relax in a tranquil and inviting atmosphere and immerse yourself in the rich artistry and history of England. The cottages in Bibury are built from Cotswold stone; most famously, the cottages of Arlington Row beside the Coln River are legendary for their steepled roofs and their historical use by weavers. The cloth produced in Arlington Row was sent across town to the Arlington Mill for degreasing. The Arlington Mill is now closed to the public, but you can still view the building from the outside. On visiting Arlington Row, Henry Ford was so enamoured with the steepled cottages that he tried to have them shipped to his native Michigan. Nonetheless they remain in Bibury as they have since the 14th century.
What else can you do in Bibury? Aside from appreciating the natural and manmade beauty around you, you can visit the Bibury Trout Farm and the Church of St. Mary. First opened in 1902, the Bibury Trout Farm is one of the oldest trout farms in England. At the farm’s gift shops you can purchase high grade fresh and smoked trout as well as fresh and frozen seafood and other local produce including fresh baked bread and milk, eggs and cheeses.

The Church of St. Mary in the town centre was built by Saxons and is home to some intriguing historical replicas. A stained glass window on the north Chancel wall acquired some renown when the Royal Mail featured it on a Christmas stamp in 1992.

Where can you stay while visiting Bibury? There are a number of options ranging from quaint cottages and cozy bed and breakfast houses to larger hotels. All of these lodgings are built in the same characteristic styles and materials as the rest of the cottages in Bibury and many of them are just as old, if not older, than the rest of the buildings in the village. We recommend the Cotteswold House bed and breakfast, the Bibury Holiday Cottages, Lupin Cottage, Mill Cottage, the Swan Hotel or the 18 bedroom Bibury Court House. These buildings all have rich histories behind them; the Bibury Court House on the edge of town is nestled in six acres of gorgeous grounds, while the Mill Cottage with its mullioned windows and stone tile roof has stood for a thousand years!
When you stay in the beautiful village of Bibury, you can enjoy the comforts of modern technology and the atmosphere of medieval history at the same time!


Top 10 Cotswold Luxury Hotels

Top 10 Luxury Hotels in The Cotswolds

Luxury Cotswold Hotels

Top 10 Cotswold luxury hotels, The Cotswolds region in England is arguably one of the most beautiful rural areas in the world.  If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and take in the delights of the countryside, then you will love England’s Cotswolds.  The Cotswolds have been featured in numerous films and television shows, and can make a visitor feel like he or she has left the modern world behind and entered a pictorial, storybook setting from England’s distant past.  Once you’ve visited the Cotswolds, you’ll probably want to return again and again.

Most of the accommodations below are located in Gloucestershire County, near the towns of Cirencester and Cheltenham, which are two of the larger towns in the area.  Cheltenham is England’s best preserved Regency town, and rose to fame in historical times as a spa town.  Cirencester is a beautiful market town located on the banks of the River Churn, a tributary of the Thames.  It is the largest town in the Cotswold District.  Its history dates clear back to Roman times, and there are architectural monuments and museums to showcase every period of history since.  So no matter what period in history interests you, you will find plenty to explore, and more than you can possibly see in any short vacation.

The countryside around these Cotswolds towns is equally engaging, offering vistas graced by rolling hillsides, mysterious forests, and beautiful manor houses.  Much of the Cotswolds is protected land, preserved against change so that the natural beauty of the region can flourish.  Many of the Cotswold manor houses that dot the English countryside offer lodgings featuring delightfully modern furnishings and amenities.  We’ll introduce you to some of the finest manor hotels in the region, as well as a couple of lodgings you can stay in downtown while visiting the town of Cheltenham.

Below we list our choice of:

Top Ten Luxury Cotswold Hotels

1.Barnsley House Hotel


Barnsley House Hotel is a beautiful, historic lodging located in the village of Barnsley, just northeast of Cirencester.  This luxury Cotswold hotel brings together old-style charm and stylish contemporary décor and amenities into one unified whole.  If you enjoy modern comforts but still want to surround yourself with the scenic beauty of the Cotswolds, this is a perfect choice for your lodgings.

Perhaps the most picturesque aspect of the house is the grounds.  The gardens feature knot gardens, statues by Simon Verity, orchards and vegetable gardens, and are open to guests staying the night or eating at the restaurant while passing through the area.  Because the gardens are so delightful and picturesque and the setting is so intimate, the Barnsley House is often used as a venue for wedding ceremonies and celebrations.  Make sure that you make your reservations well in advance; this is one of the most famous places to stay in the Cotswolds, and space can fill up quickly!

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2.  Lower Slaughter Manor Hotel


Lower Slaughter Manor is a privately owned luxury hotel in the village of Lower Slaughter in the central Cotswolds.  The manor house was erected in the 17th century, and features a spacious interior, a broad, beautiful lawn, and lovely gardens with many quiet, private corners where you can relax and take in the beauty of the Cotswolds.  The manor is also equipped with many amenities include tennis courts and rooms set aside for business meetings.

Like many other lodgings in the area, Lower Slaughter Manor features luxury modern décor and furniture inside a historical exterior.  If you stay at Lower Slaughter Manor, you will be located near several of the most exciting market towns in the Cotswolds:  Chipping Campden, Moreton-in-Marsh, and Stow-on-the-Wold.   If luxury is something you appreciate and love to indulge in, you will feel right at home in this elegant and well appointed manor house.  You may even be so comfortable that you don’t want to leave the hotel to explore the surrounding area!  But if you can bring yourself to leave the beautiful grounds, you will find plenty of local attractions to entertain and delight you.

More information about  Lower Slaughter Manor

3.  Cowley Manor Hotel


Cowley Manor is among the most stately and striking lodgings in the Cotswolds, located in the small village of Cowley near Cheltenham and Cirencester.  The manor is large and opulent, proudly overlooking gorgeous green lawns and several beautiful blue lakes surrounded by lovely trees.  You’ll discover 55 acres of meadows and woods to explore while you are visiting, so lovers of the outdoors will want to put Cowley Manor high on their list of lodgings to check into.

Cowley Manor itself is a historic building, but it has only been open to the public as a luxury hotel since 2002.  It is the main feature of Cowley village, but nearby you will also find a local parish church called St. Mary, which was constructed in the 12th century.  The hotel itself features beautifully appointed rooms, a delicious restaurant, a bar and sitting room, a private dining room and sitting room, a billiard room, a village shop and more.

 4.  Ellenborough Park Hotel


If you’re looking to stay in a romantic, atmospheric, and historical lodging while you’re visiting Cheltenham, Ellenborough Park is a perfect choice.  This elegant manor house stands on the original Cheltenham Racecourse estate, and has undergone restoration so that it can function as a comfortable, luxury hotel.  There are 62 bedrooms and suites in the hotel, each individually designed, and many pleasant amenities including an oak-paneled dining room, a heated outdoor swimming pool, and a beautiful Indian themed spa.  Rooms include traditional, classic, luxury, and tower rooms and four different suites named in honor of famous racehorses.

The exterior of Ellenborough Park is arguably among the most beautiful and ancient facades you’ll find in the Cotswolds, and as with other lodgings in the Cotswolds, Ellenborough Park offers lovely gardens where you can relax and enjoy the weather and the fresh air.  There is a lot to see and do in Cheltenham, but you may have a hard time tearing yourself away from this gorgeous hotel!

5.  Calcot Manor Hotel


If you’re looking for a luxury hotel in the Cotswolds that perfectly blends together new and old, Calcot Manor may be the ideal choice.  The manor was constructed in the 14th century, and includes 35 rooms, each designed individually with unique features.  Two restaurants are located on site, the Gumstool Inn and the Conservatory Restaurant.  Spa lovers can relax and get pampered at the Calcot Spa, and those who enjoy swimming will be thrilled with the contemporary design of Calcot Manor’s indoor swimming pool with its beautiful and unique lighting scheme.

Each room in Calcot Manor has its own unique design with contemporary décor and modern furnishings and wall art.  No two rooms look alike, but each of them is equally artistic.  Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, you’ll love the Calcot Manor, and you’ll probably have a tough time choosing which of the artfully designed rooms to stay in!  The hotel is located near Tetbury in Gloucestershire.

Calcot Manor Hotel

 6.  Cotswold House Hotel & Spa


Cotswold House Hotel is a luxury hotel and spa you’ll find in the village of Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire.  Cotswold House & Spa offers modern rooms and amenities in a historic setting, allowing you to relax in full comfort while still immersing yourself in the ambiance of the region.  Standard Rooms, Deluxe King Rooms, Cottage Rooms, and Junior Suites are all available to choose from, along with two Luxury Suites.  There are also special  Hot Tub Suites and Cottage Rooms.  Two restaurants are ready to serve your every need, The Cotswold Grill and The Dining Room at Cotswold House.

Cotswold House is as famous for its gardens as it is for its rooms, restaurants, and spa.  You’ll find secluded hedges, comfortable seating areas, shady corners, and intriguing pathways which lead you through a blend of traditional English gardening and contemporary landscape design.  The gardens are the perfect place to admire the lovely exterior of the Cotswold House Hotel & Spa.

Cotswold House Hotel

7.  Thirty Two Cheltenham


While the Cotswolds are renowned for their countryside hotels, there are also wonderful places you can stay which are in town.  One such establishment is Thirty Two Hotel in Cheltenham.  The exterior doesn’t look like much—but once you step inside, you’re in for a treat.  Contemporary, creative décor, all the amenities you could ever need, and a great location all combine to make Thirty Two Hotel one of the most luxurious and unique accommodations in the Cotswolds.  If you’re still in the mood for more of an escape from the bustle of town, you can stay in one of the property’s two cottages.

Cheltenham is one of the larger spa towns in Gloucestershire, so you will find plenty there to see and do.  Cheltenham features some of the best Regency architecture in England, and is considered the most complete example of Regency period construction in the entire country.  Fans of the Arts and Crafts Movement will find much of historical interest.  And of course, if you love spas, this is the place to be.  Thirty Two Cheltenham allows you convenient, immediate access to town without sacrificing privacy and comfort.

8.  The Montpellier Chapter Hotel


If you’d like to stay in downtown Cheltenham, another great option is The Montpellier Chapter.  This luxury hotel is distinctly modern, both outside and in.  The style of the exterior combines contemporary and Regency influences for a look which is at once modern and stylish.  Inside, you’ll find a welcoming and well stocked bar, warm, cozy fireplaces, a delightful library, and a comfortable garden room.  Because it has its own grounds, it offers its guests a little more privacy and space than would be possible in an apartment setting.

There are several different types of rooms available, including Regular, Superior, Deluxe, Feature, and Penthouse, all of which are designed in bold, contemporary styles.  The Montpellier Chapel has some lovely outdoor sitting and eating areas, despite its location downtown, so you can enjoy some seclusion while you take in the fresh air.  And then when you’re ready you can head out your door to explore one of England’s most famous and historic towns.

 9.  Cotswolds 88 Hotel


Cotswolds 88 is a Painswick hotel with a historic exterior and a surprising modern interior.  Those who enjoy quirky, trendy designs and bold, bright colors and contrasts will love the artistic interiors of the Cotswolds 88 Hotel.  Boldly patterned furniture and wallpaper adorn every room of Cotswolds 88, making it a fun and charming place to stay while you’re visiting the area.

Cotswolds 88 is as well known for its dining as it is for its rooms, where you can enjoy delicious fine dining served in style.  Even if you don’t plan on staying at the hotel, you should at least make time to stop in for a bite before you head out of Painswick.  For those with a sense of humor and an appreciation of modern art, the hotel’s eclectic interior will amuse and inspire.

10.  The Wheatsheaf Inn


The Wheatsheaf Inn, located in Northleach, Glouchestershire, was originally a coaching inn located at a key staging area in the Cotswolds.  In historic times, horses were kept in the stables below, while inside the inn, travelers met and entertained each other, and were, according to the Wheatsheaf Inn’s website, apparently very badly behaved indeed.

Wheatsheaf Inn is no longer the site of such debauchery, but those who enjoy imagining historic coaching inns will have no problem populating the rooms and dining areas with personages from England’s past.  Today, the Wheatsheaf is very comfortable, but retains its classic style and décor, making it one of the most authentic lodgings in the region.  With only 14 rooms, it offers a more intimate setting than most.  And while it is entirely cozy and comfortable, it lacks the updated décor and contemporary styles which are found in so many historic Cotswold inns.  If you want to experience a trip back in time while still enjoying total comfort, then the Wheatsheaf is the inn for you.

Cotswold Blog

Celebrities Living in the Cotswolds

Many famous people have lived in the Cotswolds over the centuries, and a number of celebrities still live there today. There are many appeals to the Cotswolds: the market towns are lovely and have a charming, historical atmosphere; the rolling hillsides, rivers and forests are some of the most beautiful land in the United Kingdom; and there is a feeling that you are connected to the past when you are in the region. It is expensive to live in the Cotswolds, which is why many of the people who can afford to do so are among the rich and famous. Here are a few of the Cotswolds’ glamorous residents.

Lily Allen

Lily Allen, daughter of Keith Allen and film producer Alison Owen, is a famous actress and pop star in Britain. She released her first studio album in 2006, followed by another in 2009. In 2010, she purchased a home in the Cotswolds in the village of Overtown, which is just several miles from Painswick.

Hugh Grant

Hugh Grant is one of the most popular actors in Britain and is known around the world for his roles in films such as Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually, and Knotting Hill. Hugh Grant purchased a home in the Cotswolds in 2003. The manor was purchased for £2m and is a large estate constructed of distinctive yellow Cotswolds stone. It was the home of the Tyndale family from 1561 to 1768, and is listed as a Grade II Manor House. The house has very nice grounds with a lovely green lawn.

Alex James

Alex James is a musician who became famous as the bass player for Blur. He used to live in London, but currently resides in Chipping Norton at Church Heath Farm. On 200 acres of land he lives and raises sheep and cows and makes cheese. The farmhouse where he lives may have been constructed in the 18th century, later expanded and improved on with Victorian features. Six hundred yards of the property borders the river Evenlode, and there is also a woodland area and some walled gardens, as well as an orchard. The home itself measures 3,832 square feet, and there is an additional cottage with 1,765 square feet.

Kate Moss

Kate Moss is probably one of the most recognizable models in the world. She was born in London and discovered by the founder of a model agency when she was just 14, launching her on a career of international success. In 1992, she became famous as the face of Calvin Klein. In 2007, she launched her own clothing line, and another collection in 2010. Moss has a 10 bedroom house located in Little Farringdon, which is located close to Lechlade in Oxfordshire.

J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter book series, does not reside in the Cotswolds currently, but she was born there in the village of Chipping Sodbury, which is in Gloucestershire. Currently she resides in Edinburgh, Scotland. Some of the filming for the adaptations of her books was also conducted in Oxford.

J.K Rowling has just had a BBC adaptation of her first grown up novel The Casual Vacancy, this is set in the Cotswolds and has been filmed in Northleach and other Cotswold Towns.

Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart is as famous on the screen as he is on the traditional stage. Stewart dropped out of high school at age 15 so he could work and save up money to go to drama school later. In 1966, he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company. His face is also immediately associated with his popular television role in Star Trek: The Next Generation, where he played Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Stewart still appears on stage and in movies, and received the honor of Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire in 2010. Stewart has a home in Little Tew near Enstone near Chipping Norton.

Kate Winslet

Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet, best known for her role in Titanic, lives in the village of Church Westcote, which is located next to Stow-on-the-Wold. Winslet and her husband Sam Mendes purchased their property in Church Westcote for £2.75m back in 2002. The eight-bedroom historic manor house is built of yellow stone from the Cotswolds.

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen

Fashion designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and his wife and two children used to live in London, but they relocated in 2007 to a 17th century manor house at Siddington near Cirencester. The house is known as the Roberts House and is listed as a Grade II manor. It belonged historically to John Roberts, a famous Quaker who died in 1683. During the 20th century, the house underwent some restoration efforts.

Daniel Chadwick

Daniel Chadwick is a famous artist who was trained in engineering and employed by Zaha Hadid Architects from 1987 to 1991. His work has been exhibited in the UK and around the world. He owns an impressive manor in the Cotswolds known as Lypiatt Park, located in Bisley near Stroud in Gloucestershire. The Tudor home originally belonged to his father, who purchased it in 1959 and restored it over half a century. When he died in April of 2003 at age 88, it was inherited by his son Daniel.

Chadwick’s home looks a bit like a castle and may date back as far in history as 1220 AD. One of the first owners of the home was Dick Whittington, an early Lord Mayor of London. Other famous historical figures have also used the house. It belonged at one point to Sir John Throckmorton. Later, it was a meeting place for Robert Catesby and others in the Gunpowder Plot, who worked there to establish their plans for blowing up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. Currently the estate with its 10 acres of gardens is closed to the public, but Chadwick has announced he may make part of the gardens accessible and put on a permanent sculpture display for visitors.

Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst is an English artist, collector, and entrepreneur, and is the most well-known member of the Young British Artists. He is currently the wealthiest living artist in Britain, valued at around £215m. He is best known for The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, which consisted of a preserved tiger shark (which he had caught and killed) in a vitrine of formaldehyde. Hirst has an imposing Victorian Gothic house called Toddington Manor. The manor has 300 rooms and cost the artist £3m. The manor was constructed in 1820 in the same style as the Houses of Parliament, and was commissioned by the first Lord Sudeley, Charles Hanbury. The Hanbury family was forced to give up the house owing to poverty in 1894, and during WWII, it housed soldiers. Later, it became a school for foreign students in Britain. The house was empty for two decades before Hirst purchased and restored it.

Elizabeth Hurley

Elizabeth Hurley is a cosmetics model who has long been associated with Estee Lauder. She is also an actress who has starred in films such as Austin Powers, and from 2011-2012, she starred in the television series Gossip Girl. Her 72-acre Cotswold farm and 3-storey farm house are located in the village of Ampney Knowle near the town of Barnsley, which is 4 miles from Cirencester.

Jeremy Clarkson

Jeremy Clarkson is a broadcaster and writer in Britain who writes columns in The Sun and The Sunday Times, but is best known for his appearances on the motoring program Top Gear on the BBC. Clarkson lives between Chadlington and Chipping Norton.

Alan Coxon

Alan Coxon is a celebrity chef who has presented on various stations, including the Carlton Food Network, BBC Two and ITV. Coxon currently resides in the town of Evesham.

Joanna Trollope

Joanna Trollope is a well-known British author of dramas and romances who lives in the Cotswolds. She has had several of her novels adapted for the small screen, the best known being The Rector’s Wife. She has written more than two dozen novels to date and has been inducted into the Order of the British Empire. Trollope was born in the Cotswolds, and grew up in the Midlands and Surrey. Even though she didn’t actually grow up in the Cotswolds, she always felt they were where she belonged.

Speaking on the Cotswolds, Trollope said, “It gave me – still gives me – not just a sense of rootedness, but a capacity to value landscape and weather and the rich life of smallish communities. But it’s more than just beautiful—it is ancient and interesting and varied and uncompromising … So – off you go, and, as they say on some footpath signs round here, kill nothing but time, take away nothing but memories. And I can promise you that you’ll treasure those.” Many of Trollope’s novels are set in the Cotswolds, where she resides again today.

While you are visiting the Cotswolds, you may very well drive past one of these houses and maybe even see one of these famous celebrities going about their lives in town. Regardless, you will certainly appreciate the beauty of the Cotswolds and understand why so many celebrities call the Cotswolds home. And as Joanna Trollope says, you will treasure the memories forever.

Cotswold Blog

Famous People With Cotswold Connections

Blenheim Palace

While many tourists are attracted to the rolling green hillsides and charming historical market towns of the Cotswolds, they are not the only ones who have discovered the beauty of rural England.  Tourists also flock to the Cotswolds because of the region’s numerous connections to famous people, living and dead.  The Cotswolds have been home to many celebrities in film and television, and also plenty of historical figures including writers, artists, equestrians, and English royalty.  To learn more about the celebrities who have called the Cotswolds home, please see our article on Cotswolds celebrities.

Read on to discover more about the famous historical figures who have resided in the Cotswolds and left their mark on history.  Some of these residents and visitors were drawn to the Cotswolds because of their natural beauty, while others were intrigued by the history of the region (even while becoming a part of that history themselves).  Still others were brought to Oxford and Oxford University by their studies or work, and many of these famous personages had the fortune to work with one another while living in the Cotswolds.  The list below is hardly extensive; in connection to Oxford alone you will find dozens and dozens more names of famous historical personages associated with the Cotswolds.  Be sure to ask about them while you are visiting!

King Alfred the Great (849-899 AD)

King Alfred the Great is one of the earliest historical figures to call the Cotswolds home.  Born in Oxfordshire (then known as Berkshire), he repelled a number of Viking incursions to become King of England.  He also reorganized the military, reformed the legal system, and promoted education.

Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Jane Austen is one of the best-known and -loved English writers, and was a resident of the Regency city of Bath from 1801 to 1806.  Even before moving to Bath, she paid the city extended visits.  Modern-day visitors to Bath will be able to easily see the influence that the city had in her writings.  Two of her novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were set largely in Bath.  Strolling through the streets of Bath, visitors will easily be able to imagine life in Jane Austen’s time.  While you are in the area, you also might want to stop by Jane Austen’s House museum, which is located in Chawton in Hampshire.  Hampshire is not in the Cotswolds, but it is a neighboring county.  Austen inhabited the 17th century house during the last eight years of her lifetime.

J. M. Barrie (1860 to 1937)

Another famous Cotswolds writer was J. M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan.  Barrie stayed at the famous Stanway House and played cricket on a local team he founded along with other literary friends, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H. G. Wells.

Winston Churchill (1874 to 1965)

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and hero of World War II, is considered to be one of the greatest leaders in all of English history, and in all of the world.  Churchill was the grandson of the Duke of Marlborough and was brought up in Oxfordshire at Blenheim Palace, a beautiful destination that tourists can still visit today.  The dukedom went to Churchill’s cousin and not to him, along with the house, but Churchill was very fond of Blenheim, and proposed to his wife Clementine there.

Tourists in the Cotswolds may also visit Churchill’s burial site and that of his wife in the nearby village of Bladon.  While touring the place, you can see the room where Churchill as born, and also learn more about his life’s work through photos, letters, and paintings.

T. S. Eliot (1888 to 1965)

Author and publisher T. S. Eliot is probably best known as the author of the poem The Wasteland.  While he was born in America, he moved to the United Kingdom at age 25 and became a British subject at age 39.  He often visited a friend in Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds named Emily Hale.

Gustav Holst (1874 – 1934)

Gustav Holst, composer of The Planets, was born in Cheltenham and was a friend of Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughn Williams.  Tourists in Cheltenham can still visit Gustav Holst birthplace today to learn more about this famous composer’s life and work.

Edward Elgar (1857 – 1934)

Another famous composer from the Cotswolds was Edward Elgar.  Elgar was born in Lower Broadheath near Worcester.  Elgar’s best known work is probably Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1.

F. L. Griggs (1876 – 1938)

F. L. Griggs is a famous etcher and illustrator who did work in the English Romantic style.  He lived at Dover’s House in Campden High Street and was a member of the Guild of Handicrafts.  While living in Chipping Campden, he did architectural work on war memorials and signs and was a member of the National Trust, the Council for the Preservation of Rural England, and also the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.  In 1929 he founded the Campden Trust.

William Morris (1834 – 1896)

Perhaps one of the best known and most influential people to ever live in the Cotswolds, William Morris is a famous artist from the Arts and Crafts period.  Indeed, he is considered widely to be the founder of the movement, and resided for a time in Broadway Tower where he owned a printing press.  You may also visit his home, Kelmscott Manor, while you are visiting the Cotswolds.  While in Oxford, William Morris founded the Nuffield College.  William Morris’s contributions to the fields of textile art, fantasy literature, and poetry had a huge influence on the artistic world during his lifetime and after.

Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744)

Few poets are as famous as Alexander Pope, who also happened to be a landscaping artist.  You can see his work at Cirencester Park as well as Prior Park near Bath.  While staying in a tower at Stanton Harcourt Manor, he penned the story “A Lightning Romance at Stanton Harcourt” and finished translating the Iliad.  The Viscount renamed the tower Pope’s Tower in his honor.

Beatrix Potter (1866 – 1943)

Beatrix Potter is one of the world’s best-loved children’s authors.  She is best known for her Peter Rabbit stories, but she also authored a children’s story called the Tailor of Gloucestershire, inspired by her many visits to Gloucester.

William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)

William Shakespeare, author of numerous sonnets and plays, is perhaps the best known playwright on the planet.  William Shakespeare grew up in the village of Stratford-upon-Avon.  Visiting Stratford-upon-Avon, you can visit Shakespeare’s childhood home as well as the home where Ann Hathaway lived before she married him.

C.S. Lewis (1898 – 1963)

C.S. Lewis, one of the best known essayists, theologians, and novelists of the 20th century, was born in Belfast, Ireland, and spent much of his time in the Cotswolds.  He held an academic position at Oxford University and was an active participant in a literary group of famous authors in Oxford known as the Inklings.

 J. R. R. Tolkien (1892 – 1973)

J. R. R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, was a close friend of C.S. Lewis’s, and also a member of the Inklings.  Tolkien, like Lewis, held a position at Oxford University as a faculty member.  Seven blue memorial plaques are scattered throughout England, commemorating places Tolkien visited.  One is located in Oxford, another in Bournemouth, one in Leeds, and four in the town of Birmingham.

Tolkien is also well connected to the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire, Herefordshire, and Gloucestershire.  It was C. S. Lewis who first introduced him to the Malvern Hills.  The landscape became a major inspiration for Tolkien.  According to George Sayer, Head of English at Malvern College, Tolkien would talk animatedly of his writing as they walked together in the Malvern Hills, comparing parts of the scenery to areas in Middle Earth, the setting of his famous novels.

Charles Williams (1886 – 1945)

Charles Williams, yet another member of the Inklings circle, resided in London prior to World War II, at which point Oxford University Press, his employer, relocated to Oxford.  Williams was sad to leave London but glad to be able to spend more time with his other literary friends.  The group spent a great deal of time at The Eagle and Child pub in Oxford, also known as “The Bird and Baby.”  Williams is buried in St. Cross Churchyard in Oxford.

Gertrude Bell (1868 – 1926)

This famous Englishwoman was a writer, traveler, archaeologist, and spy.  She spent a great deal of time meeting with tribal leaders in the Middle East and was among the most powerful women of her time in England.  Bell received her education at Oxford University—yet another famous person connected to that college in the Cotswolds.

T.E. Lawrence (1888 – 1935) 

T.E. Lawrence is scarcely a footnote in most history textbooks, but his campaign in Arabia during World War I is among the most fascinating stories of the 20th century, and was dramatized in the film Lawrence of Arabia starring Peter O’Toole.  Proceeding the war, Lawrence lived and studied in Oxford where he attended Jesus College.  He graduated with First Class Honours and did some work in archaeology prior to the outbreak of World War I.  Following the war, he returned to Oxford where he penned The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, his autobiographical account of his campaign in Arabia.

John Locke (1632 – 1704)

John Locke, one of the most famous philosophers in history, is known as the Father of Classical Liberalism.  He was considered one of the greatest thinkers of the Enlightenment.  Locke attended Christ Church in Oxford, yet another famous Cotswolds connection.

 John Betjeman (1906 – 1984)

John Betjeman was a famous British poet of the 20th century.  He received numerous awards for his compositions, and spent time at Sezincote House in the village Bourton-on-the-Hill in the 1920s.  During that time, he was a student attending Oxford University Magdelan College.  Sezincote is a well known landmark in the Cotswolds, one of the more unusual manor houses in the region with a unique Indian style of architecture melded with traditional British styles.  Betjeman also lived in Wantage in Oxfordshire for some years, where he wrote a number of poems evocative of the beauty of his surroundings.  If you visit Wantage, you can drop by the Betjeman Memorial Park and see a statue of Betjeman and read several of his poems.

While you are visiting the Cotswolds, be sure to visit Oxford as well as Chipping Campden, Wantage, the Malvern Hills, and the other exciting destinations mentioned in the short biographies above.  No matter what your historical interests are, you are sure to find plenty to explore and discover while you are visiting one of the most beautiful and historically significant regions in England or in the entire world.