Gloucestershire Tourist Attractions

Snowshill Lavender Fields

Snowshill Lavender Fields One intriguing and beautiful destination in the Cotswolds is the Snowshill Lavender Fields.  You’ll find the farm nearby Snowshill village, located on a hilltop which overlooks the larger market town of Broadway.  The farm includes row upon row of lavender plants—fifty three acres in all.  There are thirty-five different types of lavender planted in the field.  The farm is most attractive in the summertime prior to the harvest (which begins in July and runs through August).  During this time the rows are in bloom, presenting visitors with a bright, beautiful, and boldly colourful sight.

 While you’re visiting the Snowshill farm, you can stroll through the fields at your leisure and enjoy the beautiful sights and scents.  The scent of the lavender is very lovely and atmospheric.  At the farm you can also learn about the harvesting of the plant and the distillation process for making essential oils, as well as the uses of those oils.  Lavender essential oil not only smell wonderful, but also is used in aromatherapy as a relaxation aid which can relieve stress, anxiety, and tension headaches.  Lavender is also great for your hair, which is why it’s included in many shampoos.  You can make a hair rinse using lavender which you can buy at the shop.

At the store, you’ll be able to find pretty much any and every product you can imagine infused with lavender.  In bath products you’ll find lavender hand cleanser, soap, foaming bath soak, body scrub, body wash, bath salts, cleansing face wash, and more.  You’ll also find health products like lavender slumber gel, muscle rub, and massage oil.  House products include drawer liners, room fragrance, linen spray, incense, and candles.  And of course you can buy dried lavender in bulk or a bottle of lavender essential oil.

While you’re visiting the Snowshill Lavender Fields, make sure to stop by the Tea Room where you can try out lavender infused treats like lavender scones or shortbread!  If you come during lunch time you can also have a hot meal of soup and sandwiches.  Recipes for some of these treats are included online so you can make them yourself at home later using cooking lavender which you purchase at the shop.  It’s a great way to take a little piece of the Cotswolds home with you and relieve your memories, as is purchasing any product from the shop.  Smells associate strongly with our memories, so anytime you smell one of the lavender products you purchased at the farm, you’ll be taken right back to your memories of visiting the Cotswolds.

Where should you stay while you’re visiting the farm?  You can find accommodations at the delightful little town of Snowshill, which offers a lovely view of the surrounding countryside, or you might choose instead to stay in Broadway, which is a larger town that includes more attractions than Snowshill itself.  Don’t forget to stop by the Snowshill Manor and the Broadway Tower while you’re in the area.  While the lavender fields can easily take up an afternoon, there are many other things to see and do while you’re in this part of Gloucestershire.

snowshill lavender

Gloucestershire Historic Cotswold Places Tourist Attractions

Chedworth Roman Villa

If you enjoy history then a visit to Chedworth Roman Villa will have you amazed and intrigued as you experience life in Roman times at Chedworth Roman Villa. The villa is one of the largest Roman Villas in the country and would have been home to some of the richest people alive during the 4th Century.

Planning a trip to the Cotswolds for you and your family will find you with plenty to do and see and Chedworth Roman Villa is a must visit attraction for all the family. Children love some of the holiday activities including costumed guides and live archaeology. There are also living history events taking places throughout the year.

There is lots to see on your visit to Chedworth Roman Villa which is between Northleach and Cirencester, the bath house is an intriguing place to see how the Romans had both hot and cold baths. A hot bath with under floor heating and a cold plunge bath. There is a water shrine where once stood an alter to offer up sacrifices to the goddess of spring, people still throw money into the pool at the water shrine as they did 1600 years ago.

You may be surprised that the Romans had flushing toilets back in the 4th Century. The latrines in the villa were wooden benches with holes cut out of them placed over the top of the sewers and a stone water channel carried fresh flowing water through them. There is the museum to visit on site which tells a history of the original excavation in Victorian times in 1864 of the Chedworth Roman Villa site. The original site was discovered by a Victorian gamekeeper beneath one of the fields.

New mosaic flooring was uncovered as late as 2011 and you can walk along a suspended walk way to get a closer look at all the mosaic flooring tiles. The first Roman villa at Chedworth was occupied in the 2nd Century and was extended until it was as big and grand as it is now. The site of Chedworth Roman Villa has 2km of Roman walls surrounding the Villa.

There are lots of unforgettable experiences at Chedworth Roman Villa as guides and volunteers bring everyday Roman life alive once again. If you are taking the whole family to visit then before your trip you are able to download a Roman explorer’s map of the site to follow on your visit. Discover how the Romans made and dyed textiles for their robes with live demonstrations of spinning and dyeing cloth.

There is a visitor cafe on site if you are hungry where home-made cakes are a speciality. A nice refreshing drink and a bite to eat before embarking on more of the Roman life adventure. There is also an onsite book shop where you can learn lots more about life as a Roman in Britain. There is also glorious woodland to stroll through on your visit to Chedworth Roman Villa or to have your own picnic as you take in all the realities of life in Roman Britain.

Chedworth Roman Villa is now owned and run by the National Trust for everyone to enjoy for generations to come. This is well worth a visit if you are planning a Cotswold holiday or thinking of a place to visit on a day trip, definitely child friendly in fact a great day out for all the family with lots of fun learning along the way.

Chedworth Roman Villas

Gloucestershire Historic Cotswold Places

Gloucester Cathedral

There are loads of places to visit in the South West of England, so if you are visiting this part of the world then you are likely to be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing where to visit whilst you are there. However once place that demands a visit is Gloucester Cathedral which offers so much to the people that are choosing to visit.

Gloucester Cathedral is infamous for its links with religion and many people that visit are overwhelmed at just how strong the religious presence is when they arrive. However that doesn’t mean you should only visit Gloucester Cathedral because of its links with God, because actually it offers a magnificent day out and something for everyone.

There is a busy events schedule attached to Gloucester Cathedral which means that whatever time of year you choose to visit there will be something to suit you and your family. Many of the events are based around religion however everyone is welcome. Whether you want to visit morning prayer or you want to be present when one of the religious speakers are visiting to give a lecture you will be made to feel more than welcome and are sure to have an enlightening time.

It is well worth keeping an eye on the events that are up and coming because they often have unique lectures, concerts and events which are well worth checking out if you are in the area.

Even if you just want to visit the Gloucester Cathedral at a time when there isn’t an event you will still have a great time. The history and culture contained in this building is amazing and well worth a visit. From historical buildings and sculptures to breathtaking stained glass window displays there is something for everyone to see when they visit Gloucester Cathedral.

The great thing about Gloucester Cathedral is the fact that it is open to everyone and everyone who visits is made to feel welcome. From the friendly staff to the welcoming coffee shop you know from the moment that you step foot in the building that you are welcome and aren’t made to feel like you need to rush your visit or that they are simply wanting to make money out of you.

The people behind the scenes at Gloucester Cathedral recognise that many people want to learn about the history surrounding this fantastic building and how it came to be so famous. At their Education and Outreach sections they hold seminar days for school children regularly. For older students and adults who want to learn about the history around Gloucester Cathedral there are regular educational seminars so if this is something that interests you then it is worth keeping an eye out for events happening at the cathedral to see what suits you.

Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucestershire Historic Cotswold Places

Hailes Abbey

We are lucky to have lots of history and culture from yester-year throughout the whole of the UK. There are several areas which are packed full of different historical stories and memorials from different areas, so whatever area of history you have an interest in you will be able to find something to suit you. It is important to visit as many of these as possible in order to learn about our heritage and get an idea just how grand some of these buildings were.

If you are interested in history that dates back thousands of years then Hailes Abbey should be on your list of must visit places. Originally built by Richard of Cornwall back in 1246 it was designed as a Cistercian Abbey and used as one for many years. Although it never housed large numbers of monks the design was exquisite and it was laid out elaborately especially considering the age of the design. It was dissolved in December 1539 and late taken over by pilgrims who financed it due to the fact they wanted to visit its renowned relic, ‘the Holy Blood of Hailes’ – allegedly a phial of Christ’s blood.

Although it is now just ruins it is well worth a visit as it is an experience that you won’t get in many other places. The place has been designed now to be the perfect tourist attraction with guides around the abbey buildings so you can read about what everything was when Hailes Abbey was at its greatest.

You can also pay a visit to the Hailes Abbey Museum which has a whole host of stonework, sculptures and other historic relics that are well worth checking out. If you have time then the adjacent parish turn has a number of medieval wall paints which are also worth viewing.

Visiting the area is also easy by car with free parking for visitors. There is also an extensive picnic area which welcomes children of all ages so it is the perfect place to enjoy a spot of lunch with the rest of the family – you can even take your dog with you if it is kept on a lead.

Hailes Abbey

Gloucestershire Historic Cotswold Places

Sudeley Castle

One of the first things you will notice about Sudeley Castle is the massive selection of gardens which surround the castle and the grounds. These gardens are all designed uniquely so you have 9 separate gardens to visit and admire something to look forward to before you even step foot inside Sudeley Castle itself.

Once you step inside the castle you’ll be met with a whole host of historical rooms dating right back to the 15th century. You can take a tour of the west wing which was originally the kitchen area although ended as the banqueting hall for Sudeley Castle’s visitors. There are exhibitions throughout this part of the castle daily so you can get an idea of the history behind this part of the building.

Although Sudeley Castle is still family owned they recognise that people are curious and fascinated about seeing what a real castle is like. They offer several guided tours a week inside the apartments within the castles living areas. You’ll need to book this in advance if you want to take part in one.

On top of the castle itself you have the chance to visit St Mary’s Church and the adventure playground whilst you are there. You can even pay a visit to their rare breeds of Pheasantry on the grounds if you want too.

Sudeley Castle is perfect for guests of all ages, so if you are looking for somewhere to take the whole family then it is the perfect place for you. They recognise that it is hard to find somewhere to take the whole family so try to offer events and facilities to suit everyone.

Not only is Sudeley Castle the perfect place for a day out but you can also hire it out for private events. A whole host of events have been arranged here in the past so if you are looking for somewhere magnificent to host your special event then Sudeley Castle could be the place for you. It is also well known as a wedding venue so if you are getting married and want somewhere beautiful to get married then it is worth checking out the wedding options at this magnificent castle.

Sudeley Castle

Gloucestershire Historic Cotswold Places

Stanway House

While visiting Gloucestershire in the Cotswolds, you’ll want to take some time to stop by some of the region’s beautiful manor house.  One such manor house is the Jacobean Stanway House, well known for its lovely grounds and famous Stanway Fountain.  The fountain rises more than 300 feet and is the tallest fountain in all of Britain.  It’s also the second tallest fountain in all of Europe and the tallest gravity fountain in the world.  The only fountain taller in Europe is the famous 400 foot fountain in Lake Geneva, which is driven by a turbine.  While the fountain is probably the feature that accords the manor house its special fame above and beyond that of other houses in the area, it is just one of many reasons to consider adding the manor to your itinerary.

The house itself has an elegant façade constructed of the golden stone which is characteristic of Cotswolds architecture.  Most of the furniture in the house is original and has been there since it was originally constructed.  Part of the draw of the house for visitors is that unlike some other manor houses in the region, it doesn’t feel like a museum.  It feels very much like a lived-in house, which means it is easy to imagine the lives of the people who did inhabit the house, including the Earls of Wemyss.

The gardens surrounding the Stanway House and Fountain are considered to be world class.  The Stanway Watergarden was created in the 1720s, most likely by gardener Charles Bridgeman.  Bridgeman is credited with creating the English gardening style that followed the previously popular Franco-Dutch style.  The most famous feature is the Canal, which is a manmade waterfall situated on a terrace 25 feet above the house and another called the Cascade which comes from the water that flows out of the Pyramid Pond.  There is also a lovely pond called the Tithe Barn Pond, wide green lawns, and delightful groves of trees providing shade.

The grounds also are home to the Stanway Watermill, which has been restored fully and operates now producing wholemeal and sifted flour.  The flour is all grown locally on the estate itself.  You’ll find the Mill on the grounds near the house and can take a tour of both the house and the mill with a combined ticket (which also gives you access to the gardens).  Since the mill is actively producing wholemeal and flour, you can see the process at work and learn something about agriculture and see how the estate made food and income in centuries past.

Stanway House is located near the village of Stanway, which is a perfect place to find accommodations.  You can also choose to stay in Stanton, which is one mile north of Stanway.  In Stanway, you’ll also find St. Peter’s Church, the Stanway War Memorial, and many historic buildings and streets which can draw you into the beauty of the Cotswolds.  You’ll discover charming bed and breakfast establishments there where you can relax and enjoy modern amenities in an old-fashioned atmosphere.

Stanway House

Stanway House Fountain

Gloucestershire Historic Cotswold Places Tourist Attractions

Broadway Tower

The Cotswolds in England are well known for the many architectural follies that adorn the green, rolling hills, one of the most famous of which is known as the Broadway Tower near Broadway. The Broadway Tower is located on Broadway Hill right next to the village by the same name in the county of Worcestershire. It is the second highest point in the region following Cleeve Hill, which is located in Gloucestershire. Broadway Hill peaks at more than 1000 feet above sea level. The tower stands an additional 55 feet and makes quite a dramatic shape against the skyline.

The tower looks like a medieval castle, albeit a very vertical one. It was designed by James Wyatt in 1794 as a gift to Lady Coventry, and constructed five years later in 1799. Lady Coventry’s house was located in Worcester, 22 miles away. She wondered whether a beacon positioned on Broadway Hill would be visible from her home; the Broadway Tower was built to test the theory. Years later, the tower was used by Sir Thomas Phillips, who had a printing press there, and by the artists William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, who retreated there in the late 19th century. It also served as an observation post during two important wars in the 20th century.

Nobody lives in Broadway Tower today, but it is open to the public and is among the most well-known tourist destinations in the Cotswolds. The building itself is a beautiful piece of architecture. The suddenness of its shape against the skyline makes for a surrealistic sight; it stands in contrast to the flatness of its surroundings (even though it is placed on a hill, there are not many trees around it, and the hills still give an impression of the horizontal, so the verticality of the tower is somewhat striking). The country park immediately surrounding the tower consists of lovely green land which blooms with flowers during the spring. You may see some deer grazing around the fields while you’re touring the surroundings. There are many opportunities to take beautiful photographs of the imposing building and the idyllic loveliness of the park land around it.

The tower also hosts exhibitions and a gift shop. While you’re climbing to the top of the tower, you can pause and look at artworks by William Morris and learn more about the historic Arts and Crafts movement and how the Tower was involved with the artists who fronted that movement. There’s another exhibit where you can learn about how the tower was used during World War II and the Cold War by the Royal Observer Corps.

While you’re visiting the Broadway Tower, you can stay at a historic bed and breakfast at the nearby town of Broadway. This town boasts some lovely medieval architecture, and is also the site of the Gordon Russell Museum, Heritage Railway, and many beautiful homes and gardens. It is one of the best-known towns in the Cotswolds and is a destination in its own right.

Broadway Tower

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.