The Cotswolds is an area of outstanding beauty covering nearly 800 square miles in south-central England. Two defining features of the area are rolling hills and golden stone buildings, making for a beautiful place to explore. The Cotswolds also boast quintessential English villages and towns, traditional pubs, marvelous High Streets, quaint tearooms, scenic walking trails, and numerous historic sites. Exploring the Cotswolds is like stepping back in time, and it’s really worth adding a trip to this region to your England itinerary. Here are the best five towns and villages in the Cotswolds England.
Broadway features one of the longest High Street’s in all of England, with many tearooms, shops, hotels, and homes situated along it. The village has numerous walking trails running through it, including a trail to one of the top attractions in the village, the Broadway Tower. The top of the tower is considered the highest point in the Cotswolds and sits over 1,000 feet above sea level. On a clear day, sixteen counties can be seen from the top, and the view is certainly worth a photograph or two.
Considered the southern gateway to the Cotswolds, Burford is one of the most picturesque towns in the region and is 20 miles west of Oxford. The High Street slopes downward toward River Windrush, offering glimpses of open countryside. Pubs, cafes, cottages, and shops can be found along the main street. There are also numerous walking trails in the local area to take in the beautiful countryside.
As a lovely market town, Chipping Campden owes its elegance to the wool trade. The town’s High Street is lined with honey-colored stone buildings and is home to cafes, pubs, and stores. One of the most prominent structures in the town is the 400-year-old Market Hall, which is now owned by the National Trust. On top of that, the Cotswold Way, a 102-mile walking trail that starts right in Chipping Campden, is where many hikers can be seen striding throughout the town’s entirety.
Another old market town, Painswick was known for cloth trade and once was home to 25 mills powered by steam. The town’s buildings were built with a white and light gray stone, unlike the majority of the Cotswolds’ honey-colored buildings. You can even transport yourself back to the sophistication and elegance of the early 1700s by visiting Painswick Rococo Garden, which is England’s only surviving complete rococo garden.
Known as the walking capital of the Cotswolds, Winchcombe is the perfect base to experience the walking culture in this part of England. The town is lovely to walk around, with black and white half-timbered buildings, restaurants, pubs, shops, and tea rooms, in addition to beautiful stone cottages. Some of the most picturesque cottages sit on Vineyard Street and look like something from a movie set. Winchcombe is also home to the only private castle in England that has a queen buried within the grounds, Sudeley Castle & Gardens, and has over 1,000 years of royal history.
About the author: Kaylene is a freelance writer and travel blogger at Cheers to traveling. She’s an American living in the UK and has a love for hiking, playing tennis, reading, and good food and drinks. You can follow along with her travelson Facebook.