Best Things To Do In The Cotswolds
One of the most asked questions for people who visit the Cotswolds is about the best things to do in the Cotswolds.
The Cotswold is a beautiful place with a breathtaking view of rolling hills and grasslands.
From its rolling hills to the English country homes built with clear yellow limestone, vintage-looking cottages and medieval villages, the Cotswold is awe-inspiring.
It is one of the best places for a UK break. A tour of this place can be the most exciting and soulful moment of your life.
As there are so many stunning areas to visit, we have noted down some of the must-try things you should do while visiting Cotswold.
1. Visit the lovely English villages.
The Cotswold is well known for its amazing English villages. It is normal to find contrasting villages here but all are beautiful and unique in their way. Some of the villages we would like to suggest visiting are:
- Castle comb: It is one of the prettiest villages in England. There haven’t been any new homes built since 1600 AD. The people living here mostly live in the ancient built homes. In 1961, it was recognized as the most delightful village in England. It also features wooded mountains and hills, as well as vintage-looking cottages. Visiting this place, you will be astonished seeing how gracefully the people living here have taken care of this place. It is as beautiful as it used to be hundreds of years ago.
- Bourton-on-the-Water: If you want to visit a place where you can get both town and village vibe in the UK, Bourton-on-the-Water is the place to go. It is famous for its low bridges and traditional English houses, also known as stone houses. Here you can also visit some eye-catching museums where you will get to see vintage cars and different ages of toys. You will also get to meet different birds like parrots, owls and penguins. Apart from these, it also has some modern-town touch to it. You can spend time in trendy cafes having hot tea and flavoursome freshly baked pastries.
- Bibury: Its eye-catching honey glazed cottages shining in the morning is one of the most beautiful sights in Bibury. Arlington Row is where most tourists visit because of its breathtaking architecture. In Bibury, you get to appreciate the traditional rural villages, tea houses and many other notable architectures.
- Blockley: Blockley is a pleasant-looking village in You can have a walk from Blockley to Batsford and experience beautiful golden stone houses, silk and wool mills, and vintage cottages. You can also visit the Batsford Arboretum which is a 52-acre botanical garden. Here you will see the largest private tree and plant collections in the country.
You can read up on 15 of the prettiest Cotswold villages here.
2. Visit a Garden in Cotswolds
Cotswolds has some amazing garden which refreshes your soul and body. Some of the top picks are –
- Westonbirt Arboretum: Westonbirt Arboretum is one of the most beautiful tree gardens in the UK. It consists of trees from all over the world. This garden has more than 600 acres of trees.
- Painswick Rocco garden: Painswick Rocco garden is an English garden in the hidden valley of the north Cotswolds built in the 1740s. Here you can enjoy the garden with flowers, vegetables and also café and seasonal functions.
3. Visit churches
It doesn’t matter if you are a religious fanatic or not, the Cotswold has some amazing ancient churches that is sure to catch your attention.
These are the best picks:
- Hailes Abbey: It was founded in 1246 and was once used as a pilgrimage site. The medieval English wall paintings in this local church parish will catch your eyes as soon as you enter the church.
- Northleach Church: The wealthy wool merchants from the town made donations to keep this church as elegant as it was before. The font in the south aisle carved in the 14th century stone pulpit is one of the few pre-reformation pulpits left. You can also see the stained glass windows, which are also amazing.
4. Local shops
If you like to visit local shops to get food and items that exhibit the traditional culture of Cotswolds, then you should surely visit the following-
- Upton smoker shops, Upton downs farm: In this local shop of Cotswolds, you can enjoy not only appetizing smoked trout, goose, partridge but also fresh crayfish, local veg, or cheese with classic French wines.
- Cutter Brooks: In this store, you can find dresses and jewellers, ornaments from independent brands that are of great quality. It is a lifestyle store set by its owner Amanda Brooks. It was inspired by her husband’s Oxfordshire hometown.
- Broadway Deli: Broadway is all about food and serving its customers the food they want and crave. Here you can make your sandwiches, get homemade jams, fresh fruits and vegetables. They also have local beer and wines and many more items. It is a must-visit place for people who enjoy local food.
5. Wildlife Park
If you are an adventure lover, the Cotswold also offers a lot of that. The wildlife parks are an example. Here, you can get glimpses of the beautiful animals living in the Cotswold.
- Cotswolds Wildlife Park: This Park is home to a series of animals at the risk of extinction. You can visit this place with your family and get to meet the happy penguins, friendly giraffes, and Asiatic lions.
- Cotswolds Falconry Centre: Here you get to see eagles, hawks, falcons, kestrels, owls, and many other types of birds. In 1988, Geoff and Naomi Dalton, a couple with immense love for and interest in birds opened this wildlife park. You can have a picnic with the birds too as they have a large picnic spot there.
- Bibury Trout Farm: It is one of Britain’s oldest trout farms and is still going strong. You can enjoy delicious fish items here and other local foods. Besides, during summer, you can fish at the Bibury Trout Farm.
The Cotswold is home to some beautiful castles. A must visit would be –
- Berkeley Castle: It is a great place to visit with family, friends and groups. Berkeley Castle gives the vibe of the medieval era. Outside the castle, you can discover gardens and monuments of the 12th And on the inside, you can observe the treasures of the Berkeley family.
- Sudeley Castle: This is a Grade I listed castle majestically located in the beautiful medieval market town of Winchcombe in the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, England. Nestled within the Cotswold hills, this castle is a perfect spot to enjoy your leisure time in the Cotswolds.
You can also visit some great museums in Cotswolds. A must visit would be –
- Shakespeare’s Birthplace: A museum about one of the greatest writers of all time. It is the place where Shakespeare was born and raised. In the past, this house was a familial house used by his family members. Now, Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust takes care of it and is still like it was. Here you will be entertained and learn a lot from his workshops, writings, and readings.
8. Grand cities and Towns
The Cotswold isn’t only home to castles, museums, and beautiful villages, it also has some nice cities. A must visit would be:
- Bath: With its beautiful golden-coloured buildings in the town, Bath is the symbol of the wealthy people drawn to the healing properties in Georgian times. Bath has quiet city roads with an improving retail sector; a great place for explorers.
- Cheltenham: If you are looking for a town with unique history with a lot of styles and grandeur, Cheltenham is the place. Cheltenham is the most complete Regency Town. Cheltenham prides herself as the Centre of the Cotswolds. Shopping in Cheltenham is one of the must-do if you go to Cheltenham. Cheltenham is recognized as one of the best shopping destinations in Cotswold. John Lewis Cheltenham is a masterpiece on Cheltenham High Street.
You can read up on the best place to live in the Cotswold here.
9. Party and Festivals
The Cotswold is also known for its unique festivals. Here are some you should not miss out on –
- Cheltenham Literature Festival: It is a learning festival where you can share and exchange knowledge with like minds. Cheltenham literature festival is celebrated over ten days. Talented authors, writers, publishers also get featured to share their knowledge on travel, life, language, art, and more. If you are a literature buff, you will surely enjoy the festival.
- The Big Festival: The Big Festival is an unforgettable experience. The action-packed festival is a mix of music, food, and activities. From UK’s chart-topping artists to the Michelin star chefs and a plethora of family activities, it is a really fun festival. Supper clubs, delicious pop-ups, and street food are some of the dishes on display. You can also hone your cookery skills in the cookery school.
- Cheltenham Festivals: The Cheltenham Horse Racing Festival is by far the most popular. There are other festivals in Cheltenham that take place annually. I have an article that explained in detail all the Festivals in Cheltenham.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the Cotswold is a beautiful place to visit. There are tons of activities to do and have a lovely time in the Cotswold. We’ve only mentioned a few here. You can read up on more Cotswold excitement here.