Is there anything better than a holiday to the Cotswolds? A beautiful region in the south of England, there's something for everyone in the Cotswolds. Whether you're looking for a romantic getaway, a family-friendly vacation, or simply an escape to the countryside for a breath of fresh air, there's a Cotswolds village for you.
Not sure where to start? We've put together the perfect list for you. Quaint, picturesque, and sure to make your holiday one to remember, here are our picks for the best villages in the Cotswolds.
The Best Villages in the Cotswolds
If you've been to Castle Combe, you know that there's a very good reason so many films and television shows have been filmed here, and why it's often cited as the most photographed village in England. It really is that beautiful! This fairy-tale village features perfectly-preserved medieval architecture and a long history tied to the wool trade, making it a haven for history buffs.
Found on the River Windrush, the village of Naunton is an unbelievable gem that's definitely worth a visit. Not as prominent on the typical tourist trail of the Cotswolds, this means that you can find a lot of peace and quiet in this lovely little village. Take advantage of the space to explore some of the trails in the area, and then warm up in a cosy pub for a traditional English meal.
Often called the "Capital of the Cotswolds", this beautiful village offers lots of bang for your buck. With fantastic shopping that includes many indoor and outdoor markets, plus a lengthy Roman history you can explore at the Corinium Museum, you can happily spend a weekend exploring Cirencester. Finding a hotel in Cirencester also makes for a great base to explore the rest of the Cotswolds.
If you're in the mood for antique shopping, Burford is your Cotswolds village of choice. With a variety of antique shops found along its High Street - which is comprised of a beautiful array of 17th and 18th century buildings - Burford is the perfect spot for spending a day poking around the shops looking for treasures. With a medieval bridge found over the River Windrush, it also makes for a gorgeous photo stop.
Its name rings true... Bourton-on-the-Water is indeed found on the water, with the River Windrush flowing directly through the centre of the village. In fact, it's sometimes referred to as the "Venice of the Cotswolds"! With plenty to see and do, including a variety of museums, gardens, and even a model village that the kids will love, Bourton-on-the-Water definitely deserves its spot on the list of the best villages in the Cotswolds.
If you've researched the Cotswolds on Instagram, you've surely seen a few photographs of Bibury... it is home to one of the most photographed streets in England! Arlington Row is a picture-postcard stop that's sure to inspire you to take a few photographs of your own. While the street is definitely one of the draws for a holiday in Bibury, the village offers a lot more to see and do, including a water meadow known as Rack Isle, home to many species of birds and plants.
With black-and-white thatched cottages alongside the traditional limestone architecture that defines the Cotswolds, Mickleton offers many beautiful views as well as fantastic walks and hikes nearby. For some quirky fun, head to the Three Ways House Hotel on a Friday night, where the "Pudding Club" puts on a dessert-themed night of entertainment every week.
Visiting Lower Slaughter is like stepping back in time. With the lovely River Eye flowing through the village, complete with a mill turning in the water, Lower Slaughter is a fantastic way to spend a few lazy days wandering through the village and relaxing in some of its quaint pubs. Make sure to visit the Old Mill itself to learn even more about the village and its history.
With some of the prettiest cottages and gardens in the Cotswolds, Kingham makes for an excellent addition to your Cotswolds holiday. Spend your time in Kingham exploring the village for the best photo stops - including the historic St. Andrew's Church - and then make your way to one of the village's traditional pubs. While it's fairly easy to reach Kingham by train, hiring a car in the Cotswolds is also a terrific way to have the freedom to explore the entire area.
Sometimes dubbed the "Queen of the Cotswolds", Painswick is a wonderful spot to base yourself if you are interested in the many walking trails in the vicinity. With beautiful gardens and a charming assortment of pubs, cafés, and shops, it's easy to spend a day wandering through the village and soaking up all of its delightful allure. It's also easy to walk to some of the nearby villages (Slad is walkable) to take in even more of the Cotswolds' beauty.
What are you waiting for? Book your holiday to the Cotswolds today!