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.

View Accommodation In Stratford-Upon-Avon

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.


View Accommodation In Stow On The Wold

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.


View Accommodation in Broadway

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!


Cotswold Towns and Villages Gloucestershire


Snowshill is the name of a small village that sits atop a hill above Broadway, Laverton, and Buckland.  The village is quiet, secluded, and not particularly well known in its own right it is more well known for the Snowshill Lavender Fields.  The name of the village derives from its location.  If there is any snow, it tends to fall on the hilltop first, and therefore on the village of Snowshill.  Snowshill is best known for being the home of the Snowshill manor house which is cared for by the National Trust.  It’s a very good example of a 15th-16th century manor house and has some lovely grounds as well as a delicious restaurant and a pleasant little teashop.

While Snowshill manor is the main thing to see in the village, you may recognize some of its familiar and scenic streets, which were used in the filming of Bridget Jones’s Diary.  The surrounding countryside also offers many breathtaking and beautiful vistas of the Cotswolds.  The vantage point of the hillside makes it easy to see the green landscape for miles in every direction.  There are many beautiful trees which cover the hillsides in this area as well, and in the fall time they are particularly lovely as they change colors.  The Snowshill Arms Pub is another well-known location in town where you can drop in and get a nice cool drink.

While you’re visiting the Snowshill manor house, you can look for accommodations in the village.  This is a nice, off-the-beaten-path location where you can enjoy escaping from the crowds if you’re visiting during the tourist season.  Since Snowshill is less busy than some of the surrounding locations, it may give you a better idea of what life is really like in the English countryside throughout the year.

You also might choose to stay in one of the nearby towns since they both will put you within easy reach of the attractions at Snowshill.  Broadway is quite well known, particularly for the nearby Broadway Tower, which is a folly on top of a hill and the second highest point in the Cotswolds.  The Broadway Tower is an architectural gem which is quite different from the Snowshill manor, and which will provide you with additional insights into England’s past.

Broadway, being a larger market town, has more accommodations than you might find in Snowshill alone, so you may find more options there if the hotels and bed and breakfast establishments in Snowshill are booked up.  There are also many more restaurants and shops in town which you can enjoy during your visit, as well as additional draws like the Church of St. Eadburgha, a historic building which has stood since the 12th century and continues to serve as a working church today.

Snowshill, Broadway, and the surrounding area should be a stop on any trip to the Cotswolds.  While the Snowshill manor house and the Broadway Tower are the main attractions, the towns themselves can offer much to entertain you and you’ll remember them fondly for years to come.

Snowshill Wikipedia

Cotswold Towns and Villages Gloucestershire

Guiting Power

Guiting Power nestles snugly in the slopes of a valley formed by a tributary of the River Windrush.  Originally the site of an Anglo-Saxon town called Gyting Broc, it is now a beautifully preserved medieval style Cotswold town.

Despite being very tiny, Guiting Power has a Post Office, village hall, two public houses and more amenities.  Just outside of town are a couple of Saxon excavations in progress of a barrow and a church.  A lovely Norman church with a Victorian transept is situated on the edge of town called St. Michael and All Angels.

Guiting Power is considered one of the finest examples of Cotswold architecture.  The buildings in Guiting Power of constructed of local stone and the beautiful St. Michael church has an impressive Norman south doorway.  The beauty of the town motivated producers to use it in the filming of the movie The Wyvern Mystery.

Nearby attractions include the Cotswold Farm Park, Winchombe, Sudeley Castle, Broadway, Stow-on-the-Wold and Bourton-on-Water.

Even though it is small, Guiting Power has several inns and cottages in which you can stay as well as the gorgeous Temple Guiting Manor.  Since accommodations are limited you may want to make your reservations in advance!

Guiting Power Gloucestershire

Cotswold Towns and Villages Gloucestershire


Ilmington is a tiny village of less than a thousand people, situated just underneath the Ilmington Downs, which are the highest point in Warwickshire.  From the top of the Downs, there is an incredible view of the surrounding green countryside.

Ilmington is known for its typically English architecture with honey coloured thatched cottages built of local Cotswolds limestone.  The quiet atmosphere of this little village has helped it to retain its olden day quality of carefree simplicity and to preserve the beauty of its architecture.  Lovely gardens and a restored Manor House are both open to the public to stroll through and explore.  There is a wonderful Norman church called St. Mary which you can reach only on foot by walking up a tranquil pathway.  The church was built in the 12th century.  A number of additions were made in the subsequent centuries and a restoration project in the 19th century and several repairs in the 20th century have kept the church in prime condition.

The Ilmington Morris Men dance troupe can be seen performing in Ilmington and other nearby towns on Wednesday evenings all throughout the summer months.  The dances they perform are part of a three hundred year old tradition.

Ilmington’s picturesque village centre has a general store and a post office and two inns called The Red Lion and The Howard Arms.  Since accommodations are limited you probably should make your reservations early.