Where to stay when you’re visiting the Cotswolds

Discover some of the beautiful and fascinating towns and villages to visit in the Cotswolds.

A view over the Cotswolds hills in England, UK

Advertisement feature

The Cotswolds is one of the most popular tourist destinations in England, visited by around 38 million people each year. The rolling countryside, chocolate-box villages and fascinating attractions like Blenheim Palace and Sudeley Castle make it the ideal location for a walking or cycling holiday.

And Classic Cottages’ holiday cottages in the Cotswolds are the perfect base for your visit. They offer a luxurious home-from-home experience and a relaxing place to unwind at the end of a day exploring this beautiful area.

There are so many places to stay in the Cotswolds that you might struggle to choose. So here are a few of my favourite Cotswolds towns and villages to help  narrow down your options.

Where is the Cotswolds?

The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, generally just known as the Cotswolds, covers around 800 square miles in central and south-west England. 

It mainly lies within the counties of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, but also covers parts of Somerset, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire. This central location means that the Cotswolds is easily reached from the Midlands, London and the South East, South West England and much of Wales.

The area is known for its beautiful countryside, dotted with market towns and pretty  villages. There are also a few larger cities which make good centres for a touring holiday in the Cotswolds.

Where to stay in the Cotswolds

With hundreds of towns and villages, you’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice when you’re picking where to stay in the Cotswolds. 

Here are just a few of my favourite Cotswolds places to visit:

The Radcliffe Camera building in Oxford, England

Oxford

The ‘dreaming spires’ of Oxford have been attracting scholars, authors and tourists for nearly 1000 years and today it is a busy city with plenty to see and do. 

It’s a blend of old and new, with both historic and modern buildings. You can tour the University buildings, including the famous Bodleian Library and Radcliffe Camera, visit fascinating museums or spend the day shopping in the city’s many antique shops.

And of course, there are many wonderful places to eat and drink during your visit to Oxford.

Boats on the River Avon at Stratford, England

Stratford upon Avon

This historic market town lies right on the edge of the Cotswolds, but I really couldn’t leave it out of my selection. It’s one of the most visited destinations in England, with around three million people visiting every year. 

Stratford is inexorably linked with William Shakespeare, and many people visit to see the house where he was born. You can also watch his works being performed at one of Stratford’s theatres or pay your respects at his grave in Holy Trinity Church.

But there’s much more to Stratford-upon-Avon than William Shakespeare. You can explore this vibrant town on a guided walk, horse-drawn carriage tour or open top bus. You can also stroll around the riverside and canal basin or take a boat trip down the River Avon. And there are plenty of cafes, pubs and restaurants to enjoy a reviving meal after a long day exploring.

Pitville Pump Room in Cheltenham, the Cotswolds

Cheltenham

Cheltenham is a wonderful example of a Regency town and you’ll find plenty to explore here. 

King George III visited the town in 1788 and his visit turned Cheltenham into a very fashionable place to live. The town expanded rapidly through the construction of stunning Neoclassical Regency buildings. 

Cheltenham has many stunning parks. These include the Imperial Gardens, which hosts an art exhibition every summer, and Pitville Park. This is home to the Pitville Pump Room Museum, where you can taste the local spa waters. The town is also known for its International Festival of Music, with events taking place throughout the town in July. 

A row of cottages in Stow-on-the-Wold, Cotswolds, England

Stow-on-the-Wold

Stow-on-the-Wold is a very typical Cotswolds market town. It is built around a large town square, with a market cross at one end and a pair of stocks at the other. 

This bustling town is well known for its independent shops and antique stores which make it a popular destination for tourists. There are lovely tea rooms where you can enjoy a traditional cream tea, and coaching inns such as the Royalist Hotel which claims to be the oldest pub in England. 

You can also visit the Toy and Collector’s Museum, which houses one of the UK’s finest collections of antique toys.

A typical Cotswolds cottage in the village of Broadway

Broadway

Broadway lies around 10 miles north-west of Stow-on-the-Wold, and is often called the most beautiful village in England.

Its name derives from the long road that runs through the village, which is one of England’s longest High Streets. The street is lined by beautiful Tudor, Stuart and Georgian buildings built from the local honey-toned Cotswold stone. The village also has antique stores to explore and tea rooms serving delicious home-made food.

Broadway Tower in the Cotswolds, England

While you’re visiting Broadway, you may also like to pay a visit to the Broadway Tower. This iconic Gothic folly was designed by Capability Brown at the end of the 18th century. Its location on top of an escarpment provides breathtaking views over the Cotswolds landscape and on a clear day you can see fourteen different counties from the Tower.

A bridge over the River Windrush in Bourton-on-the-Water, Cotswolds, England.

Bourton on the Water

This picture-perfect Cotswold village derives its name from its location on the River Windrush. The river flows directly through the centre of the village, spanned by six footbridges.

Bourton is a very popular village for tourists and it can get a little crowded during the summer months. But there are plenty of quiet side roads to explore, filled with cottages built from the local Cotswold stone, many of which are 300 or even 400 years old. You can also enjoy a cream tea or meal in one of the village’s tea rooms, pubs and restaurants. 

Woodstock

Woodstock lies in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds and is home to Blenheim Palace, the stately home and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town’s name comes from the Anglo-Saxon for ‘Clearing in the woods’ due to its original location within a Royal Forest. 

Woodstock is best known for the Blenheim Palace Estate which is within walking distance of the town. The palace has stunning art collections and interior, and is set within 2100 acres of Capability Brown-designed parkland

Many of Woodstock’s buildings were built in the 1800s and the town is also home to the Oxfordshire Museum.

Holiday Cottages in the Cotswolds

If you’re planning a holiday in the Cotswolds, you’ll find a wide range of accommodation from luxurious hotels and historic coaching inns to dog friendly holiday cottages in the Cotswolds

For real home-from-home comfort, I don’t think you can beat a self-catering cottage for your Cotswolds holiday. You can relax in complete privacy, with no risk of being interrupted by housekeeping, and there’s nothing like kicking off your shoes and relaxing in a gorgeous cosy cottage at the end of a long day exploring the local area.

Here are three gorgeous cottages in the Cotswolds, all of which have stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Stonewell Cottage

Stonewell Cottage is a cosy single-storey cottage near Stow-on-the-Wold. It sleeps four and is dog-friendly which makes it ideal for a family getaway. It’s also a perfect retreat for a romantic break for two, with a king-sized four poster bed and welcoming wood burner.

Little Maunditts Cottage

Little Maunditts Cottage near Malmesbury is a larger cottage which will sleep up to six people. It has a village shop, church and local pub within walking distance, so you’ll get a real taste of village life on your Cotswolds holiday. The pretty south-facing garden is ideal for dining outdoors or just relaxing in the swing chair. And like all Classic Cottages properties, you’ll find that the cottage has everything you need for a relaxing self-catering break.

Park Farm Cottage

The farm house at Park Farm Cottage is ideal for getting together with a larger group of family or friends. It has four large bedrooms, a large kitchen with separate dining room and a cosy sitting room for relaxing in. Outside, you can enjoy three acres of gardens which are perfect for letting children or dogs burn off some energy.

Have you ever visited the Cotswolds? Which is your favourite Cotswolds town or village?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.