Full of pretty towns and villages, the Cotswolds is, of course, known for its characterful honey-colored houses, winding rivers and tea rooms, and people often travel here for the history and wonderful walking trails. Picking where to stay and which villages to explore can be tricky as there are so many beautiful places, so use this list to help inform your travel plans and make your holiday to the Cotswolds that much more relaxing. 

From William Morris’ favorite Cotswold village to the sinisterly-named ‘Slaughter’, there are lots of lovely and intriguing choices in this list. Peruse these suggestions to uncover some of the best places to go in the region and you can visit the Cotswolds with holiday peace of mind. 

Discover some of the prettiest places to visit in the Cotswolds below.

Table of Contents

Bourton-on-the-Water

Bourton-on-the-Water

A particularly beautiful village, nicknamed the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ due to its low bridges which criss-cross the River Windrush that runs through the centre of it. Stone houses adorn the streets and plenty of green foliage adds to the pretty appearance. Drop by the boutiques and independent shops that include a perfumery, pottery and clothes shops, or simply enjoy a picnic at a bench along the riverfront. 

Places to visit

Birdland Park – they have everything from flamingos to owls to penguins. 

Cotswold Motoring Museum – the famed motoring museum filled with vintage cars from throughout the ages.  

Bibury

Bibury

Once described by William Morris as ‘the most beautiful village in the Cotswolds’, this traditional Cotswolds village is set across the River Coln and overflowing with history and quaint country atmosphere. It’s just 7.5 miles from Cirencester (another pretty Cotswold location) and there are plenty of beautiful walks in the surrounding landscape.   

Places to visit

The late 14th-century Arlington Row – one of England’s most iconic and photographed places.

Chedworth Roman Villa – one of the largest surviving Roman villas in Britain. 

Stow-on-the-Wold

stow-on-the-wold

At 800 feet, it’s the highest of the Cotswold towns, why not visit this beautiful location and look down on the world? The views of the surrounding countryside are always lovely and will make you feel like you’ve escaped into a storybook. Discover more classic Cotswold cottages made from honey-colored stone and sit inside a warm and cozy country pub. 


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Places to visit

Stow Farmer’s Market – head to their market in the square to pick up fresh produce and other delights, held every second Thursday of each month. 

St Edwards Church – if you love pretty things, take a look at the lovely tree-framed doorway to this magnificent ancient church.

Lower and Upper Slaughter

Lower and Upper Slaughter

Not nearly as dark as it sounds, the village of Lower Slaughter is actually so-named for the ‘slough’ or ‘slothre’ (Old English for muddy or wet place) on which it was originally built. This quaint village also has a wide peaceful river flowing through, the River Eyre, and streets lined with characterful cottages built throughout the 16th and 17th century. A 19th-century steam water mill presents an iconic landmark in this pretty village and its twin village of Upper Slaughter is equally lovely. 

Places to visit

The Old Mill Museum and tea shop – visit this old water mill to discover the history then sit and relax by the river. 

Lower to Upper Slaughter Walk – including part of Warden’s Way, you can follow the river to Upper Slaughter before continuing on a circular route back through meadows and country lanes to Lower Slaughter. 

Chipping Campden

Chipping Campden

One of the busiest and most vibrant places to visit on this list, this ‘Jewel of the Cotswolds’ is full of olde-worlde architecture and heritage and lovely gardens, woodlands and poppy fields in the surrounding area – not to mention an annual open gardens weekend. Their busy events calendar also includes the Literature Festival, International Music Festival and their renowned Olympic Games! No that’s not a misspelling, the Olympic Games has been going for over 400 years and draws visitors and contestants from all over the UK so it’s a fun time to visit this pretty Cotswold town. 

Places to visit

Dover’s Hill – walk up to the top for breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Here you’ll find the remains of a Roman vineyard, spot wildlife, and find yourself walking on the original site of the English Olympic Games.  

Court Barn Museum – get involved in a workshop, watch a demonstration or see the arts and crafts on display.  

Final Thoughts

The Cotswolds is full of beautiful towns and villages, so make your way there and begin exploring! Discover the wonderful birds at the Birdlife Park in Bourton-on-the-Water or enjoy an art workshop at Court Barn Museum in Chipping Campden before finding a tea shop where you can relax with a coffee and cake.

Whatever you get up to while on holiday in the Cotswolds, ensure you find the perfect cottage to stay in by browsing through the pretty Cotswold cottages offered by Holidays in the Cotswolds.


READ MORE ABOUT THE UK

Best UK hotels
Road-tripping around Wales
Road-tripping around Scotland

BEFORE YOU GO TO THE UK

☑ Book your flight: If your flight isn’t booked yet – check out the flights on Skyscanner or via Google Flights. My top saving tip is flexibility. If you’re flexible, you should be able to find a cheaper flight.

☑ Protect your cute face: Oh, you may want to protect your cute face with a travel medical insurance. I would suggest SafetyWing as they offer the best rates, especially for long-term travelers. Otherwise, you can also take a look at World Nomads.

☑ Pack the essentials: You can consult this list when it’s time to pack your bag! Do not leave without a universal charger, a power bank and your passport!

☑  Do you need a visa? If you aren’t sure if you need a visa, it would be a smart idea to take a quick look before you go. You can use iVisa – it’s super useful and easy to use.

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