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Best Places to Visit in The Cotswolds & Prettiest Villages in Cotswolds!

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Situated across six English counties, The Cotswolds are dubbed an area of outstanding natural beauty. Boasting stunning countryside views, cosy pubs and unique tourist attractions, a Cotswolds road trip should sit atop everyone’s English bucket list.

If you’re not convinced, this post shares a full run-down on the very best places to visit in The Cotswolds. We’ll delve deeper into unmissable things to do, Instagram spots and exactly which Cotswolds villages NEED to be on your Cotswolds itinerary!

5 Best Places to Visit in The Cotswolds

Best places to visit in the cotswolds,
Keep reading for the best places to visit in the Cotswolds,

This guide takes you on a tour of 5 must-visit places in the Cotswolds, promising an unforgettable journey through England’s heartland.

We also hope that by giving you the top 5 places, you will easily be able to visit all of these places to visit in the Cotswolds in 1 or 2 days without getting overwhelmed by a huge list of Cotswolds attractions.

This post is a guest post written by Lauren from Pack and Paint, an artist who loves to travel and has a passion for encouraging solo female travel. Be sure to check out her blog too!

1. Bibury 

Best places to visit in the cotswolds, Bibury village
Best places to visit in the Cotswolds – Bibury village

As one of the prettiest Cotswolds villages, it should be no surprise that Bibury is also one of the most visited. Some of the top things to do in Bibury include checking out Bibury trout farm, taking a stroll along the River Coln and exploring nearby Chedworth Roman Villa.

With its central location, this is the perfect base for exploring other must-see spots in the local area

The crowning jewel of Bibury is Arlington Row. Situated in the heart of the village, this row of residential homes boasts a unique history. These ancient cottages were originally constructed in the 14th century to house a wool store. Many years later, they became weavers’ homes.

Nowadays, some lucky individuals get to call Arlington Row their home. 

If you also want to experience life on this pretty Cotswolds street, you’re in luck! Number 9 Arlington Row is a holiday cottage which allows travellers to experience quintessential life in the English countryside. 

This picture-perfect street is a place you simply can’t miss during your Cotswolds adventure. Famous for its timeless English charm and idyllic location, Arlington Row was once described by William Morris as the most beautiful village in the country, I’m sure many would agree! 

2. Castle Combe 

Best places to visit in the cotswolds, Castle Combe
Best places to visit in the Cotswolds – Castle Combe

Another one of the best places to visit in The Cotswolds is Castle Combe. Although there aren’t many attractions, Castle Combe is one of the most photogenic villages in the region. With its quaint stone cottages, this beautiful village is a haven for those seeking peace and tranquillity.

Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, the village offers a serene escape away from the crowds of nearby cities such as Bath, Bristol and London

Discover the charm of the stunning Cotswolds, including the picturesque village of Castle Combe, on this private tour with a delightful cream tea – Book Now!

Similarly to Bibury and many other Cotswolds towns, Castle Combe has its own picturesque street! Water Lane is one of the most photographed spots in the area and it’s not hard to see why. Located directly next to the River Bybrook, the calming waves of water only add to the relaxing vibes of the area. It’s a lovely spot to enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors. 

In terms of accommodation options, one of the most stunning hotels in The Cotswolds is located in Castle Combe. Despite being on the pricier side, The Manor House Hotel is worth every penny!

Steeped in history and dating back to the 14th century, this five-star luxury hotel blends unique charm with contemporary comforts. As you step through its doors, you’ll be immersed in a world of timeless beauty!

3. Bourton on the Water

Best places to visit in the cotswolds, Bourton on the Water
Best places to visit in the Cotswolds – Bourton on the Water

Next up, there are quite a few attractions in Bouton on the Water making it one of the best Cotswolds villages to explore! For example, you can opt to visit the Cotswolds Motoring Museum, the model village, Birdland Park and Gardens or the Dragonfly Maze.

These are all great activities if you happen to be road-tripping through The Cotswolds with kids. 

Once you’re done checking out the local attractions, Bourton on the Water is the perfect place to relax with a picnic. Especially on a sunny day! With the River Windrush running through the village, it’s one of the most relaxing places to visit in The Cotswolds!

If you’d prefer to dine out, book a table at The Rose Tree Restaurant (one of the most popular places to eat in town).

4. Broadway 

Best places to visit in the cotswolds, Broadway
Best places to visit in the Cotswolds – Broadway

Home to some of the best views in The Cotswolds, Broadway is another place worth adding to your Cotswolds itinerary. One of the top things to do in Broadway is explore Broadway Tower.

In fact, the tower is one of the top attractions in the area! Offering breathtaking countryside views of rolling hills, the tower’s location is the second-highest point in The Cotswolds. 

In addition to stunning views, Broadway Tower is a historical landmark. Back in the day, it was used as a holiday let for the likes of William Morris and other prominent artists during the Arts and Crafts movement. The red deer that roam the grounds of the tower also makes it one of the best places to visit in The Cotswolds. 

With its link to artists and designers, Broadway is a must-see location for creatives. Furthermore, there are a number of crafty activities on offer in the village. For example, you can make your own soap at the Little Soap Company or head to Honeybourne Pottery Studio to craft your own ceramics!

If galleries are more your thing, make a stop at the Gordon Russel Design Museum.

In addition to lovely views, historical towers and creative activities, Broadway is home to perhaps the most photogenic homes in The Cotswolds. Trust me when I say that I’ve never seen such a quaint English village! 

5. Burford 

Best places to visit in the cotswolds, Burford
Best places to visit in the Cotswolds – Burford

With many things to do in Burford, this popular Cotswolds town is worth adding to your bucket list. In fact, Burford is one of the best places to visit in The Cotswolds if you’re looking to shop, eat or enjoy a drink at a cosy English pub.

Simply put, it’s the perfect spot for a lazy Sunday. 

It’s also a great place for animal lovers. In Burford, you can check out Crocodiles of the World to visit some of the more endangered species. If you find Crocs too scary, head to Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens instead. Here you’ll find an array of animals, including tropical birds, giraffes and many more! 

Known as the gateway to The Cotswolds, there are also many places worth exploring near Burford. For example, you should strongly consider Chipping Norton, Oxford and Stow on the Wold (to see that famous Instagram door).


Ultimately, there are lots more beautiful places to visit in The Cotswolds. However, these are the best spots you seriously can’t miss! I hope this guide helps you plan your perfect Cotswolds itinerary! 

Whether you’re an art lover, history enthusiast, wildlife explorer, or simply seeking to unwind amidst nature, the Cotswolds have something to enchant everyone. So, why wait? Start planning your own adventure to this ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty‘.

Happy travels, and may you create unforgettable memories amidst the limestone houses and rolling hills of the stunning Cotswolds.

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