Cotswolds Road Trip: The Ultimate 3-Day Itinerary

Are you looking for an adventure that combines stunning natural scenery, charming historical villages, and a sense of exploration? Then look no further than a road trip in the Cotswolds!

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Rolling gracefully across five counties in the heart of England, the Cotswolds was declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1966. It is a region renowned for its idyllic landscapes, picturesque countryside, and charming villages. The latter is a delightful tangle of cobbled lanes littered with honey-colored stone cottages with thatched roofs, cute antique shops, and welcoming pubs. The picturesque scene is completed by peaceful rivers running through, spanned by tiny stone bridges.

In this post, we’ll take you on a journey through some of the most scenic and memorable spots in the Cotswolds, sharing tips and recommendations for an unforgettable road trip experience. From historic castles to cozy pubs, there’s something for everyone in this quintessentially English destination. 

So buckle up and get ready to hit the road!

A Short History of Bibury’s Wool Trade

In the Middle Ages, the Cotswolds was a thriving place for the wool industry thanks to the high-quality wool of the “Cotswolds Lions”. So much so that there was a 12th-century saying according which, “In Europe the best wool is English, and in England, the best wool is Cotswold”.

The blooming medieval wool trade brought wealth to the Cotswolds, leaving behind a proliferation of exquisite buildings and churches, the latter known as “wool churches”. Almost every town and village in the Cotswolds has such a church, characterized by its tall Gothic tower, stained glass windows, and intricately carved interior.

But sheep defined not only the region’s way of life for nearly 2,000 years but even its name. 

According to one popular theory, the name “Cotswolds” is a combination of two very old English words. “Cots” is an Anglo-Saxon word for sheep enclosure, while “wolds” are the gentle hills and countryside. Hence Cotswolds is a “sheep enclosure in rolling hillsides”. It makes sense, right? 

When to Visit The Cotswolds

With the British weather being notoriously unpredictable, you might well wonder when is the best time to visit the Cotswolds. But the truth is that this area of outstanding natural beauty can be equally scenic under snow and sunshine, or – more likely- grey and gloomy under dark skies.

The busy summer months, generally warm and long, with daylight lingering until 9 pm, are perfect for walks and hikes across rolling hills. On the other hand, winter days, occasionally crisp and bright, are often cold, gloomy, and all too short. But when a dusting of snow sprinkles the Cotswolds and the villages’ streets are lined with festive decorations, the area is turned into a winter wonderland that’s second to none. The Christmas Markets, found in almost every village, are packed with huts selling handmade gifts, scrumptious treats, and plenty of booze, while Sudeley Castle’s “Spectacle of Light” event is another highlight of the season.

Autumn, with its rust-colored leaves, and spring, with lavender species lining the hills in shades of purple, have also their unique charm and beauty. Especially the shoulder months of May and September are probably the ideal months to embark on a road trip, as they throw up weather every bit as good as, if not better than, the months of high summer.

However, no matter when you visit the Cotswolds, chances are that you will encounter at least one rainy day. So just remember that “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes”.

Getting To The Cotswolds & around 

Located midway between major cities such as London (LHR, GTW, STN, LTN airports), Bristol (BRS), and Birmingham (BHX), the Cotswolds can be easily reached in just a couple of hours either by car or by public transport. However, getting around the Cotswolds is trickier than getting there. Some villages can’t be easily accessed by bus or train, while others require multiple connections. 

Therefore, when it comes to touring the Cotswolds, a car is undoubtedly the best option.

Whilst some of the most picturesque villages require navigating narrow country lanes, larger destinations are easily accessible from the motorways. Just keep in mind that you will be driving on the left side of the road, and watch out for the speed limit. And in case you pick up a rental car, make sure you return it at your starting point, rather than paying for the extraordinary drop charge.

| Parking: In most villages, there are car parks provided by the Cotswolds District Council, whilst there is also free roadside parking available. Regarding on-street parking, double yellow lines mean “no parking”, while a single yellow line means that parking is restricted at certain times.

Not sure about a road trip? Then read here how you can visit the Cotswolds by public transport.

Cotswolds Itinerary Overview & Map

Depending on where you are starting from, there are two gateways to the Cotswolds: Oxford to the northwest, and Lacock (or Bath) to the south. And this itinerary reflects driving a round trip from London, from where both cities are hardly 2 hours away.

Even though you can easily spend a whole week traveling at a slow pace, three full days should be enough time. With a total distance of about 280km, driving the total route from Oxford to Bath would take up to six hours. It doesn’t seem pretty rushed and it hits all of our favorite places in the Cotswolds!

DAY 1Oxford > Blenheim Palace > Minster Lovell > Burford > Kingham > Moreton-in-Marsh > Chipping Campden (90km, 2h)
DAY 2Broadway > Snowshill > Stanton > Winchcombe > Naunton > Stow-on-the-Wold > The Slaughters > Bourton-on-the-Water (67km, 1h 35min)
DAY 3Bibury > Cirencester > Painswick > Tetbury > Castle Combe > Lacock (118km, 2h 20min)

Remember, however, that there is no right way to travel the Cotswolds. You can start your road trip from anywhere and spend as much or as little time in each village as you like.

Now, ready to get a snapshot of rural England and fall in love with its impossibly quaint villages?

DAY 1 – From Oxford to Chipping Campden

Head out of London in the early morning and make your way to Oxfordshire. The university town of Oxford, just before entering the Cotswolds AONB, makes for a great first stop. Pop into some colleges for a small fee, and make sure not to miss the famous attractions, such as the Bridge of Sights, the iconic Radcliffe Camera, and the Bodleian Library.

Close to Oxford Airport, the baroque masterpiece of Blenheim Palace is the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and England’s answer to Versailles. It is especially worth a visit during December, when it goes all out for Christmas, with its traditional Christmas event and the Illuminated Light Trail. 

And since you have now officially made it to the Cotswolds, let the village hopping begin!

Stop #1: Minster Lovell

The village is home to the ruins of Minster Lovell Hall, built in the 1430s and owned by the Lovell Family. The manor house with the medieval dovecote is tucked behind the ancient St Kenelm’s Church, standing romantically beside the River Windrush. Besides its ornamented vaulted ceiling and the southwest tower, the manor is also known for the ghost who wails in the night. 

Unless of course, you don’t believe the ghost stories…

The Haunted Mansion 

According to one legend, Francis Lovell, who had joined the losing side in the Wars of Roses, fled back to his estate and hid in a vault, giving a faithful servant the only key. The servant died shortly after and Francis’s skeleton was found by workmen in 1708, surrounded by moldy books and the skeleton of his little dog at his feet. 

In another story, Minster Lovell Hall is the location of the Legend of the Mistletoe Bough. As people tell the tale, the bride of William Lovell (Francis’s grandfather), playing a game of hide-and-seek on her wedding night, hides in a chest in the attic. Unable to escape, she is not found until many years later as a skeleton in a wedding dress. But it is William the one who moans and wails at night, wandering the halls searching for his bride!

Where to Eat:
The White Hart
The Horse & Radish

Stop #2: Burford

The main draws of the “Gateway to the Cotswolds” are the picturesque Church Lane Street, with the vintage street signs, and High Street, with its antique shops and charming old houses. The latter is literally high as it’s perched upon a hill, halfway down which stands the “Toll House”, once the meeting point of wool merchants, that now houses the “Tolsey Museum”. 

Standing as a testament to the town’s wealthy wool trade, the Church of St John the Baptist towers over the center of Burford. Highlights of the church include the magnificent stained-glass windows, the spire that – being added later – started to move, and the weathered old gravestones that dot the churchyard. 

Where to Eat:
The Carpenters Arms
The Angel at Burford
The Royal Oak

Stop #3: Kingham

Set in the Evenlode Valley, Kingham is an unspoiled village with wide-open greens bordered by elegant thatched stone cottages. For a tiny hamlet, it is an unexpected foodie hotspot, with two award-winning gastropubs to choose from.

There is the Michelin-starred Wild Rabbit, with its food grown on the owner’s nearby farm, Daylesford, worth a visit on its own, and the more traditional-style Kingham Plough, with a menu that changes daily. 

Where to Eat:
The Wild Rabbit
The Kingham Plough

Stop #4: Moreton-in-Marsh

While a leisurely walk around the town of Moreton-in-Marsh can be enjoyable, the primary attractions are situated outside of the town limits.

Batsford Arboretum is a botanical garden renowned for its collection of trees and shrubs from around the world, many of which are rare or endangered. One of the highlights is the collection of Japanese maples, which are particularly stunning in the autumn.

Close by, the Cotswold Falconry Centre is home to a wide variety of birds of prey, including owls, falcons, hawks, and eagles. Visitors can watch daily flying displays while experienced falconers handle the birds and provide educational commentary about their behavior and natural habitats.

Alternative Route: The Rollright Stones & Cotswolds Distillery

The Rollright Stones are a complex of enigmatic megalithic monuments, built at different periods in late prehistory over the course of 2,000 years. The group consists of three main elements: the King’s Men – a circle of about seventy stones, the Whispering Knights’ burial chamber, and King Stone – a solitary weathered monolith. They owe their names to a legend, according to which a conquering king and his army were turned into stone by a witch, sometimes identified as the famous prophetess Mother Shipton. 

They may not be as grand and well-preserved as Stonehenge, but they possess their unique atmosphere and are well worth a visit!

| Bonus Stop – The Cotswolds Distillery Visitor Centre: The first full-scale distillery in the Cotswolds crafts a range of single malt whiskies, gins, and liqueurs, committed to local sourcing and traditional techniques. Join a guided tour of the distillery to see the process in action and get to sample their award-winning spirits (45min, 20£). 

Stop #5: Chipping Campden EN

“Chipping” comes from the word ‘cheapen’ which is the medieval word for ‘market’. So, as its name implies, Chipping Camden is a small market town that features an impressive Market Hall, built to provide shelter from the elements for market traders. 

Walk down the elegant High Street and Church Street and admire the historically listed Almshouses, the wool Church of St James, and the Court Barn Museum that celebrates the work of local artists and craftspeople. 

Then look for the marker stone that signifies the start point of the long-distance Cotswolds Way and walk to the top of Dover’s Hill. This is where Cotswold’s very own Olimpick Games– expect tug of war and shin-kicking – take place on the Friday after Spring Bank Holiday, since the early 1600s.

— Where to Stay in Chipping Campden —

Once you arrive in Campden, you will have completed a 90km drive from Oxford, so you may want to consider calling it a night and taking a well-deserved rest. 

Woolmarket House: Parts of the building date back over 300 years and the property has a rich history of serving the local community and welcoming visitors having formally been a Lyons Tea Room, grocer, and antique shop. Today, each of the six rooms is full of period charm, featuring designer fabrics, treasured antiques, large comfy beds, and gorgeous-scented eco-friendly products to pamper yourself with. 

Campden Mews: Campden Mews embodies the quintessential charm of the Cotswolds, offering two double rooms furnished with super kingsize beds and en-suite bathrooms. Modern amenities are seamlessly integrated into the historic design of the space, providing guests with a first-class experience. 

Vine Cottage: Tucked away behind the High Street in a quiet but perfect location, the cottage is accessed by way of a courtyard where there is a private parking space. It features exposed wooden beams, exposed brickwork on the chimney breast, and other period features that add character and charm to the space. The cottage offers two bedrooms, a cozy living room, a well-equipped kitchen, and a pretty courtyard garden.

DAY 2 – From Chipping Campden to Bourton-on-the-Water 

Wakey wakey, rise and shine! Today, make the most out of your road trip by getting off the beaten path and exploring lesser-known places in between. You may only cover about 65km but you can get to visit as many as eight villages!

Stop #6: Broadway

Broadway is home to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway which runs a mixture of steam and heritage diesel engines. Running between Broadway and Cheltenham Racecourse, it offers a round trip of 45km through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Cotswolds. 

Yes, totally unnecessary if you are on a road trip, but still … it’s a steam train!

Just outside the village, on the 312m-tall Beacon Hill, stands the iconic Broadway Tower. Initially built in 1798 solely for the pleasure of the wife of the 6th Earl of Coventry, the tower has later been used as a printing press, artists’ retreat, farmhouse, and even as the site of a nuclear bunker. 

Climb up the tower and see its ornate rooms before making your way up to the rooftop to enjoy the breathtaking views. If you don’t want to go inside the tower you can still admire it from the grounds or take the 1.5km circular walk around the park and spot the red deer that live there. You can also opt for a 45min guided tour to the underground Royal Observer Corps bunker, built 50m from the tower in the late 1950s.  

Where to Eat:
The Broadbean
Broadway Deli

Stop #7: Snowshill

Snowshill is a sleepy hamlet with a hodgepodge of ancient cottages that cluster around a small green, with St Barnabas Church perched at its center. And as its name implies, if there is any snow in the Cotswolds, you will find it here first! 

Heading out of the village, there is the Snowshill Manor and Garden, a 16th-century country house packed with quirky collectibles and surrounded by gorgeous gardens. The manor was purchased by Charles Paget Wade, an architect, artist, poet, and collector, who used his skills to transform the place, before donating it to the National Trust in 1951. The eccentric owner used the manor to store his fabulous collection of some 20,000 artifacts, while he lived in the small cottage next door. He even transformed the muddy farmland into a series of themed outdoor rooms to go with the rooms inside, including a whole model village. Make sure you don’t miss out!

If it happens to visit the Cotswolds during summer, head to Lavender Farm, just 1km south of Snowshill. With over 40 different varieties of lavender, some 140 miles of rows, and over 500,000 plants in total, you will feel like having been transported to Provence. And if you are lucky enough to visit during a harvest day, you may even be able to go into the distillery!

Stop #8 – Stanton

Stanton is a tiny stunner of a village, nestling sleepily beneath the slopes of Shenbarrow Hill. Its narrow streets are framed by impossibly attractive thatched cottages, crafted out of gold-tinged Cotswolds stone. It has even been called “architecturally, the most distinguished of the smaller villages in the North Cotswolds”. The buildings most likely to catch your eye are the Sheppey Corner cottage, the Jacobean Stanton Court, and the imposing Church of St Michael & All Angels, possibly standing on the site of a Saxon church. 

Undoubtedly, you’ll see walkers passing through Stanton, heading along the Cotswolds Way. So, if you want to get a taste of it, follow this wonderful walking trail that connects the village with Snowshill.

Where to Eat:
Mount Inn Pub

Stop #9: Winchcombe

Surrounded by tranquil countryside and distinguished by its black-and-white half-timbered cottages, Winchcombe offers a wealth of activities to enjoy.

First, marvel at the towering St Peter’s Church, a medieval wool church with a gilded weathercock, and an impressive array of grotesques. Then, stroll around the romantic Sudeley Castle, located on the outskirts of town.The castle is the last resting place of Tudor Queen, Katherine Parr, the last and surviving wife of King Henry VIII. You can enjoy entry to the castle’s 10 stunning gardens and discover exhibitions featuring Tudor customs and Katherine’s books and letters. 

And if you are a keen rambler, take a strenuous 3.5km hike up the hills to Belas Knap, a Neolithic long barrow, or head for the Cleeve Hill Common to see spectacular views. Additionally, Winchcombe was once a key meeting point of five long-distance ancient trails that remain accessible to this day! 

Where to Eat:
Honey Bea’s Café
Wesley House

Stop #10 – Naunton

Naunton is set in a lovely spot on the floor of a valley, with River Windrush running through it. It is relatively untouched by tourism, and its only attractions are a charming church dedicated to St. Andrew featuring intricate gargoyles and a sundial, as well as a medieval dovecote

For striking views over Naunton, take a short walk up one of the lanes leading up the hill that overlooks the village.

Stop #11:  Stow-on-the-Wold

Perched on top of Stow Hill, which was originally the site of an Iron Age fort, stands the quaint Stow-on-the-Wold. 

The historic heart of the village is its Market Square, with the high-walled alleyways, the usual Market Cross, and the 15th-century crooked house. Regular markets have been hosted here since 1107, with over 20,000 sheep changing hands in its wool trade heyday. Nowadays, a vibrant farmers’ market takes place every second Thursday of the month. 

What you should not miss is the north entrance of St Edward’s Church, one of Stow’s most photographed spots. Its thick wooden door, stubbed by nails and surrounded by gnarled yew trees, is said to have inspired JJR Tolkien’s Doors of Durin. So, get your camera ready!

Where to Eat:
New England Coffee House
Cotswolds Baguettes
The Old Bakery Tea Room
The Hive
Lucy’s Tearoom

Stop #12:  The Slaughters ♥ 

Next stop, the “Slaughters”, comprised of Upper and Lower Slaughter. Though the name sounds sinister, it actually comes from the word “slothre”, an old English word meaning “muddy place”. It probably came about due to the River Eye, which flows through Upper and Lower Slaughter.

When in Lower Slaughter take a walk along Copse Hill Road and check out St. Mary’s Church, and the Lower Slaughter Manor, which was once a convent for nuns from the order of Syon. The main attraction, however, is the Old Mill, now home to a museum, where, you will be guided through the history of breadmaking and learn how a corn mill works. 

Then, carry on past the Old Mill and pick up the 1.5km path to Upper Slaughter, along River Eye, and across open fields.

Head up to the market square, known simply as “The Square”, and wander around the golden stone houses, originally built as almshouses. Look out for the Parish Church of St. Peter, a majestic building that dates back to the 12th century, and the Old School House, right next to the church. Lords of the Manor Hotel and Upper Slaughter Manor, both showcasing stunning Victorian architecture, are also worth a visit. 

Stop #13:  Bourton-on-the-Water ♥ 

With River Windrush running through the village, gorgeous low bridges, and golden stone cottages, Bourton-on-the-Water is self-proclaimed “Venice of the Cotswolds”. 

Check out Cotswolds Motoring Museum’s collection of vintage cars and toys and head to The Model Village, a replica of the buildings that existed in Bourton-on-the-Water in the 1930s. For a fun activity, head over to the Dragonfly Maze, a traditional yew hedge maze with about half a mile of pathways.

And if you enjoy long walks and would rather explore the nearby villages on foot, then follow this 11km loop trail. The walk takes in the nearby villages of Lower Slaughter and Upper Slaughter, passing fields, rolling hills, and the river Eye along the way.  

Where to Eat:
The Den
Bakery on the Water
The Mousetrap Inn
Hawkstone Brewery

— Where to Stay in Bourton-on-the-Water —

You may have driven a mere 67 kilometers from Chipping Campden to Bourton-on-the-Water, but if you´ve followed our recommended itinerary you will have visited nine villages! Therefore, you may want to spend the night in Bourton-on-the-Water. 

Here, you’ll find a diverse range of accommodation options along with excellent dining choices, including some great restaurants and bakeries, to refuel before continuing your journey the next morning.

Halford House: Halford House is a delightful Georgian Guest House in the village’s center, a stone’s throw from the beautiful River Windrush. Guests can relax in any of the five uniquely-designed bedrooms, lounge in front of a cozy log fire, or even bask in the sun in the private garden. 

Coombe House: Coombe House is nestled behind a stunning, well-maintained garden and is a leisurely walk of hardly more than a few minutes from the village. Guests can enjoy free parking and a scrumptious breakfast during their stay.

Sunny Nest B&B: Only a 10-minute walk from the center of Bourton-on-the-Water, Sunny Nest offers a selection of comfortable rooms that include two double rooms, two rooms with king-size beds, and one twin/family room. Guests can indulge in a sumptuous breakfast made using the freshest local ingredients, served in the airy dining room overlooking the garden or outside in the garden itself.

DAY 3 – From Bourton-On-The-Water to Lacock

Today’s itinerary includes visits to the big players of the trip – Bibury and Castle Combe, as well as stops at some charming lesser-known towns that will add to the overall experience. 

The journey reaches its end in the picturesque village of Lacock, offering you the flexibility to either extend your stay and spend the night or continue your adventure by traveling directly to Bath or returning home.

Stop #14: Bibury ♥ 

There’s no denying that Bibury shines the brightest when it comes to trips to the Cotswolds. 

Nestled on the banks of the River Coln, it appears to have emerged straight out of a beautifully preserved painting. Its idyllic bridges and remarkably well-preserved 14th-century farmhouses have garnered it the title of the most renowned village in the English countryside. So renowned, in fact, that it graces the pages of British passports and has served as the backdrop for iconic Hollywood movies, including “Stardust” and “Bridget Jones’s Diary.”

As a quintessential Cotswolds village, Bibury’s wealth and prosperity were built on the wool trade, and its attractions bear witness to this rich history. A stroll through Bibury takes you on a journey back in time to the 17th century, as you explore Arlington Row, the old weavers’ quarter, Arlington Mill, where the wool was sent for degreasing, and Rack Isle, where the wool was hung out to dry. 

Where to Eat:
The Twig
The Catherine Wheel

Read more: The Ultimate Travel Guide to Bibury

Stop #15: Cirencester

Cirencester is often referred to as the “Capital of the Cotswolds” due to its location in the center of the Cotswold Hills. The town has a rich history, dating back to Roman times when it was known as Corinium Dobunnorum and was the second-largest town in Roman Britain.

It has a bustling Market Place overlooked by the superb Gothic Church of St John the Baptist, where you will find the Boleyn Cup, made for Anne Boleyn in 1535. West of the market, the tiny Black Jack Street is packed with pubs, cafés, and cute little boutiques. And at the end of the road, the Corinium Museum with its large collection of Roman mosaics is a treasure trove of history. 

The nearby Cirencester Park with the Tudor-Jacobean mansion makes for a perfect leisurely walk.

Where to Eat:
Malt & Anchor
The Falcon Inn

Stop #16: Painswick ♥ 

Often referred to as the “Queen of the Cotswolds,” this historic village is known for its stunning architecture, quaint streets, and beautiful gardens.

Perched on a hill overlooking the town, St. Mary’s Church is the highlight of any visit to Painswick. Dating back to the 14th century, the church is known for its impressive spire, the beautiful stained glass windows, and the 99 ancient yew trees found in the churchyard. Legend has it that if the 100th tree is ever planted, it will die. However, you can always attempt to count the trees yourself!

Another must-see attraction in Painswick is the Rococo Garden, which is located just outside the village. This beautifully landscaped garden was designed in the 18th century and features a variety of exotic plants, winding paths, and ornate follies.

Painswick is also home to a number of historic buildings and landmarks, such as the Court House, a 16th-century building that was once used as a courthouse, and the Painswick Beacon, a hilltop monument with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Stop #17: Tetbury

Discover the charm of Tetbury by taking a stroll down Long Street and browsing through its famous antique shops. Marvel at the gothic church with its impressive spire, dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin and St. Mary Magdalene, and explore the historic Market House

Don’t miss the opportunity to wander through the unique Chipping Steps, home to weavers’ cottages and once a bustling site for “mop fairs” where laborers would offer themselves for hire.

Less than 2km south of Tetbury, there is the Highgrove House,King Charles´s and Camilla’s country house. The King purchased the house in the 1980s and creatively transformed its gardens, which are now open to the public for tours on selected days between April and October. He also opened up the Highgrove Shop on Long Street back in Tetbury that sells souvenirs whose proceeds are donated to charity. 

As you make your way down to Castle Combe, there is one last place to visit, provided you have pre-booked your ticket. Westonbirt, the National Arboretum, is home to 2,500 different species from the far corners of the globe and five national tree collections. 

Where to Eat:
Wild Carrot at Chavenage
The Trouble House

Stop #18: Castle Combe ♥ 

Castle Combe may not have a castle standing anymore, but nevertheless, visiting it is like stepping back in time. 

Tucked away in a drop-dead gorgeous valley, this tiny village with its quintessential English charm is an instant heart-stealer. Its single main road, aptly named “The Street”, is lined with crooked cottages and ancient pubs, and brimming with life and character. There, locals often set up tables outside their cottages, selling homemade goods, fresh eggs, and plants, all run on an honor system.

If you only do one thing, be sure to take a stroll all the way down The Street to the southern tip of the village. This is where the wraparound woodland, honey-hued weavers’ cottages, and packhorse bridge over a little brook converge, creating the perfect photo opp that captures the essence of the village.

Where to Eat:
The Old Stables
The Little Picnic Shop
The Salutation Inn

Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Castle Combe in the Cotswolds

Stop #19: Lacock

Even though Lacock is not part of the Cotswolds, since it is located about 6km outside the area, you cannot come so far and miss it! 

With its picturesque streets and historic cottages looking much like they did 200 years ago, Lacock is today a firm favorite for film and TV producers. The village’s most famous appearances include “Downtown Abbey”, the BBC’s “Pride and Prejudice” and “Cranford”, as well as three of the Harry Potter films. 

Speaking of Harry Potter, Lacock Abbey is perhaps the most iconic of all filming locations, with its cloisters having served as the corridors in Hogwarts. The Abbey is a former nunnery, and the Old Tithe Barn, just a minute’s stroll from the Abbey, was used by the nuns to store grain. It later became a country house, notable as the site of Henry Fox Talbot’s early experiments in photography, whose museum is now housed on the ground floor. 

For a scenic walk, follow the path along the riverside by Lacock Abbey, and before leaving the village pop in the Church of St Cyriac, and pause at the curious vintage pharmacy display of the old shop at 2 High Street. 

Where to Eat:
King Johns Hunting Lodge
Sign of the Angel
Coco Chemistry

What & Were to Eat in the Cotswolds

Don’t let the bucolic countryside and Cotswolds’ reputation for being a sleepy part of the country fool you. Small independent breweries, family-owned boutique vineyards, top-notch eateries, and a few regional specialty dishes have earned the area a well-deserved reputation as a foodie destination.

For a unique experience, visit Cotswolds Distillery, which produces award-winning Dry Gin and Single Malt Whisky, or opt for a vineyard tour and wine tasting at Woodchester Valley or Little Oak Vineyard. There are also outstanding craft breweries, such as the Cotswolds Brewing Company, while for something stronger, choose a pint of local ale in a traditional country pub.

You will also find excellent local cheeses, such as Single Gloucester, which has been awarded Protected Designation of Origin status, Double Gloucester, and Stinking Bishop. Other local favorites include Tewkesbury mustard, made there since the 17th century, Bibury Trout, Gloucester Old Spot pork, and Gloucestershire Squab Pie, containing mutton and apples.

↠ The Farmers’ Markets

That is where much of the excellent local produce ends up. Farmers’ markets take place all over the Cotswolds and whilst you might find prices slightly higher than in a supermarket, the quality is beyond compare. 

One of the biggest and most well-known is at Stroud, with almost 60 stalls set up every Saturday (9 a.m. – 2 p.m.) offering organic, free-range, and locally produced food. But there are more vibrant farmers’ markets, held each Saturday of the month: at Woodstock every 1st Saturday, at Cirencester every 2nd and 4th, at Winchcombe every 3rd, and at Bourton-on-the-Water every 4th Saturday in the month. The market at the beautiful Stow-on-the-Wold is held every second and last Thursday from April to September and every second Thursday in the month from October to March. 

So, graze your way around one of the region’s outstanding farmers’ markets and make up a picnic to enjoy it surrounded by the beautiful rural landscapes of the Cotswolds!

A road trip in the Cotswolds offers a unique opportunity to experience the charm and beauty of rural England.  Take the time to appreciate the stunning scenery, relax and unwind, and don’t rush through your road trip. 

After all, this is a place to wander and explore, so don’t be afraid to take a wrong turn or get lost. Some of the most beautiful and charming villages are off the beaten path, so embrace the adventure and let your curiosity guide you!


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