The Cotswolds is about two hours by car from London and it is a fabulous place to recharge on your days off. You can cycle through the beautiful countryside, walk along the 165 kilometres of the The Cotswolds Way or just drive leisurely stopping to visit whatever appeals to you. There are plenty of accommodations to stay at from luxury manor houses to fabulous log cabins with plenty of fabulous pubs, restaurants and cafes to eat at, and many beautiful villages to explore. Many of the villages rely on tourism so they offer many exciting events, festivals, and sites for people to visit. Here are five of the most beautiful villages you can visit.
Bourton on the Water
Bourton on the Water is often called the “Little Venice of the Cotswolds. If you are looking for a place to walk through nature be sure to visit Lodge Park and Sherborne Estate and Birdland. Be sure to take a tour of The Cotswold Perfumery and learn about the fascinating process of making perfume and view some of the plants that are used. If you are into vintage vehicles a trip to the Cotswold Motoring Museum is a must. While the Cotswolds may not be home to any major sports teams, it is a place full of heart and culture.
Stow on the Wold
Stow on the Wold sits atop an 800-foot hill where many of the major roads in the Cotwolds converge. This small market town is known for being a fabulous place to pick up art and antiques and it attracts many treasure hunters. It is also known for its large market square, which was once a large sheep market. Be sure to visit St Edward’s church and its stunning stained glass windows in the centre of town.
During the medieval times Chipping Camden was an important wool town and it was famous for hundreds of years. Take a stroll down High Street to view the ancient limestone buildings and Market Hall. No trip to Chipping Campden without strolling through the St. James Church. The area boasts a lot of local artists and craftsman so be sure to stroll the shops and pick up some of their wares. There is an annual musical festival held every May with many fantastic concerts for music lovers.
Cirencester is a market town that has some fabulous attractions for visitors to the area. Be sure to visit Church of St. John the Baptist, view the Cup of Ann Boleyn and see the magnificent view from the top. If you are interested in ancient history you can visit the Cirencester Amphitheatre, Chedworth Roman Villa and the Corinium Museum to view some of the Roman artifacts that have been found in the area. There are street markets to explore every Monday and Friday so be sure to take a day off work and explore this fantastic village, perfect for a UK family break.
Chipping Norton is situated 74km west of London and it is often called “the gateway to the Cotswolds. There are 9 annual festivals throughout the year that celebrate the local traditions and showcase the highlights of the village. Be sure to visit Blenheim Palace a baroque masterpiece with lots of things for the family to experience including a hedge maze. There are plenty of great pubs and restaurants to relax in after a fabulous day of exploring this unique place.
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