Cotswolds Road Trip: Route + Best Places to Visit!

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The Cotswolds is unquestionably one of the lovely locations in England. Each time I discuss to individuals who aren’t from the UK they usually inform me they visited London however didn’t get to see wherever else. They’re lacking out!

With its flower-covered cottages, babbling brooks and comfortable pubs, the Cotswolds is “quintessential” England and undoubtedly price trying out. Better of all it’s solely a 2 hour drive from London, so when you’re visiting from abroad you’ll be able to simply tag this on to your London itinerary. And when you stay within the UK and also you haven’t been, undoubtedly put it in your to-do listing.

Cottages in Castle Combe in the Cotswolds

You probably have the time I’d suggest visiting Bath first when you haven’t already. From there you’ll be able to drive to the Cotswolds visiting varied villages alongside the best way. This route encompasses a number of the prettiest ones, plus two of the world’s greatest sights – Sezincote Home and Cotswolds Wildlife Park.

A part of the expertise is definitely simply driving round. The surroundings is breathtaking so even simply being within the automotive and looking the window is a pleasure. I did this precise Cotswolds highway journey when my good friend came around from the U.S. and we had a tremendous time.

This route takes 2 days and I’d counsel stopping 1 night time within the Cotswolds. You can do all of it in a day however it could be a mad rush and the entire level of the Cotswolds is to decelerate and revel in a pleasant B&B expertise.

Cotswolds Highway Journey Route

Right here’s a Cotswolds highway journey map of the route I created on Google Maps:

It covers the very best locations to go to within the Cotswolds together with:

  • Fort Combe
  • Bibury
  • Bourton on the Water
  • Stow on the Wold
  • Seizencote Home
  • Cotswolds Wildlife Park and Gardens

The place is the Cotswolds?

Pretty cottage covered in flowers in the Cotswolds England

The Cotswolds is situated in south-central England and covers an space of round 787 sq. miles (2,038 km2). It encompasses a number of totally different counties, together with Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire, and Warwickshire.

The buildings within the cities and villages are produced from Cotswold stone, which is characterised by its golden shade. The stone is a sort of oolitic limestone that’s plentiful within the space and primarily quarried within the Cotswold Hills.

You might discover that the Cotswolds usually has “AONB” on the top – these 4 letters imply ‘Space of Excellent Pure Magnificence’. The area obtained this designation in 1966.

Finest Locations to Go to on Your Cotswolds Highway Journey

Now that I’ve given you slightly intro, let’s check out the very best locations to go to in your Cotswolds highway journey:

Fort Combe

Prettiest village in England - Castle Combe

Usually named ‘the prettiest village in England’, Fort Combe is likely one of the first villages you’ll come throughout when you’re driving from Bathtub. The village lies 5 miles northwest of Chippenham and it’s the most effective spots for taking images within the Cotswolds.

The village has been used as a backdrop for quite a few movies, together with The Wolf Man, Stardust and Stephen Spielberg’s Struggle Horse.

When you’ve parked (the automotive park known as West St), wander via the village to the bridge and snap some images. Throughout the city there’s a church known as St Andrew’s Church which dates again to the thirteenth century, plus a pub, a espresso store and a luxurious manor lodge with golf course.

A few of the residents depart water and snacks exterior their properties for vacationers to buy – they only ask that you just depart the cash inside their letterbox.

Snacks and water outside Ellen's Cottage, Castle Combe

Factors of curiosity in Fort Combe:

  • The Large Sequoia
  • Bridge at Water Lane
  • The Manor Home
  • St. Andrew’s Church
  • The Fort Inn
  • The White Hart
  • The Previous Stables Espresso Store


Arlington Row in Bibury, The Cotswolds

From Fort Combe, the drive to Bibury takes round 50 minutes. That is one other small village usually cited as one of the picturesque villages in England. Undoubtedly make this a high in your Cotswolds itinerary.

The principle focus is Arlington Row, which is likely one of the most photographed streets within the Cotswolds. The constructing dates again to the 1380 and was as soon as a monastic wool retailer, however was transformed right into a row of weaver’s cottages within the seventeenth century.

Via the middle of the city flows the River Coln, with the primary avenue on one aspect and a boggy water meadow known as Rack Isle on the opposite.

The Swan Hotel in Bibury the Cotswolds

Highlights of the city embody:

  • St. Mary’s Church, which options a ravishing stained glass window
  • Bibury Trout Farm
  • Arlington Row
  • The Swan Lodge, which is roofed with inexperienced foliage

Bourton on the Water

Bridge in Bourton on the Water Cotswolds

A 20 minute drive from Bibury you’ll discover Bourton on the Water, which is dwelling to some attention-grabbing sights together with the Cotswold Motoring Museum, Birdland and The Mannequin Village.  Generally known as ‘the Venice of the Cotswolds’, Bourton on the Water is thought for its tranquil river and 5 low bridges, much like these in Venice.

For those who get pleasure from strolling then you definitely’ll discover loads of footpaths right here, since lots of them begin, finish or move via Bourton on the Water. The city itself can get relatively crowded in peak season and after we visited we discovered it to be the busiest place village we got here throughout.

Cotswold Motoring Museum

Prime issues to do in Bourton on the Water:

  • Cotswold Motoring Museum – homes a set of classic vehicles and toys
  • Cotswold Brewing Firm – A household owned and operated brewery, brewing fashionable craft keg beers. Company can take a tour of the brewery and pattern the beers on faucet
  • Birdland Park and Gardens – dwelling to unique birds together with King penguins, flamingos, macaws and emus
  • The Mannequin Village – a 1/ninth scale duplicate of Bourton on the Water

Stow on the Wold

Stow on the Wold the Cotswolds

When you’ve visited Bourton on the Water, make the quick journey to neighbouring Stow on the Wold. This market city is the best city within the Cotswolds, standing 800 feet-high on Stow Hill, at a junction of seven main roads. Strolling via the city you’ll uncover a number of vintage outlets, artwork galleries, present outlets, tea rooms and pubs.

Stow on the Wold used to host a number of the nation’s largest sheep gala’s, with as much as 20,000 sheep up on the market in any sooner or later.There are now not any sheep gala’s held right here however there’s a farmer’s market that takes place in the primary sq. on the 2nd Thursday of every month.

Notable issues to see in Stow on the Wold embody:

  • The Previous Shares Inn (oldest inn in England)
  • St Edwards church
  • Market Cross
  • Historic Village Shares
  • Cricket Museum

Sezincote Home

Sezincote House - Indian palace in the Cotswolds

Sezincote House is an Indian palace set within the Cotswold Hills a few 15 minute drive north from Stow on the Wold. Designed by Samuel Pepys Cockerell and inbuilt 1805, the home was made utilizing stone from a close-by quarry and is a wonderful instance of Neo-Mughal structure.

In case you’re questioning how an Indian palace got here to exist in the course of the English countryside; a person known as Colonel John Cockerell purchased Sezincote property in 1795 on his return from Bengal the place he had labored for the East India Firm.

Sezincote House - Indian palace in the Cotswolds England

After his dying his youngest brother Sir Charles Cockerell inherited the property and requested his different brother to design a home in an Indian fashion. Samuel had by no means been to India however he studied Mughal structure via drawings and engravings.

The home is spectacular and is about amongst a panorama of grottoes, temples, waterfalls and canals. The outside of the constructing is orange in shade, with a inexperienced onion formed dome on high. The gardens listed below are lovely and there are two elephants that body the view of the home.

Sezincote House in the Cotswolds

Right now the property is family-run and the property hosts six weddings per yr. Guests pays to enter the gardens or purchase a ticket to hitch a tour of the home.

Cotswolds Wildlife Park and Gardens

Rhinos grazing on the lawn at Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens

I’m not a fan of many zoos and I a lot choose wildlife parks the place the animals can roam round with much more area. Cotswolds Wildlife Park and Gardens is about in over 160 acres of parklands and is split into 4 areas, which every have their very own staff of keepers to care for the animals.

It’s not fairly a safari park since you park your automotive earlier than getting into nevertheless it undoubtedly doesn’t really feel like a zoo both. The enclosures are nicely landscaped and really spacious. It’s a ravishing park and it feels such as you’re on a strolling safari as a result of lack of obtrusive fencing.

Gardens at Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens

Throughout the park you’ll have the possibility to view all kinds of mammals, together with Asiatic lions, meerkats, camels, wolverines, sifakas, lemurs and zebras. You’ll get to see eye-to-eye with a giraffe on the Giraffe Walkway and see rhinos grazing on the Manor Home lawns.

The park can be dwelling to 93 species of birds, together with black storks, penguins and ostriches. The reptile assortment consists of inexperienced anacondas, lizards, frogs and invertebrates.

Cotswold Wildlife Park Penguins

Grownup tickets price £17.50 on the door or £16 on-line. Kids’s tickets (age 3-16) price £12 on the door and £11 on-line. Kids beneath the age of two enter free of charge.

Getting Across the Cotswolds

Pretty house in the Cotswolds

To do that Cotswolds itinerary you ideally want a car. Sure you’ll be able to take the prepare to a number of the main cities however you’ll discover it extra sophisticated to get to a number of the smaller villages.

Renting a automotive – The best method to get across the Cotswolds. For those who’re coming from London and also you don’t have your individual automotive, you’ll be able to lease a automotive within the metropolis or from one of many airports. Or you can lease a automotive from Bathtub and begin your journey there. Take a look at or Kayak for costs.

Renting a campervan – One other nice method to see the UK is by renting a campervan. Lodges within the UK will be costly (particularly in the summertime months) so by renting a camper it can save you in your lodging prices. Strive Goboony VW campervans if you wish to rent a traditional campervan at an reasonably priced charge.

By public transportation – For those who don’t need to lease a automotive or you’ll be able to’t drive then you can take a prepare to one of many predominant cities. When you’re in The Cotswolds you’d must get round with a mixture of taxis, trains and native buses. A Woman in London wrote a very good information to getting around The Cotswolds without a car.

The place to Keep within the Cotswolds

The Court House Manor – We stayed at The Court docket Home Manor in Painswick, which dates again to the fifteenth century and functioned as a courtroom home till 1931. The truth is King Charles 1 as soon as stayed there previous to the Siege of Gloucester in 1643. It’s slightly out of the best way from the highway journey route I’ve simply listed nevertheless it’s a extremely beautiful and manor with superb views. The rooms are luxurious and the free sizzling breakfast was a great way to start out the day. I booked it final minute on Lodge Tonight and was undoubtedly pleased with my selection.

Your FAQs Concerning the Cotswolds, Answered

River in Bourton on the Water, the Cotswolds England

What’s the prettiest city within the Cotswolds?

Fort Combe is commonly known as the prettiest village in England. On my highway journey via the Cotswolds I discovered Fort Combe and Bibury to be the 2 prettiest villages within the area.

What’s the predominant city within the Cotswolds?

There’s no predominant city per se. The Cotswolds has many cities and villages. The biggest one is the market city of Cirencester, which is typically nicknamed the ‘The Capital of the Cotswolds’.

Why is the Cotswolds known as the Cotswolds?

The title Cotswolds means “sheep enclosure in rolling hillsides”. It’s primarily based on two very previous English phrases. ‘Wolds’ are light hills whereas ‘Cots’ are sheep enclosures. So the title is principally an outline of the panorama within the space.

What are the Cotswolds identified for?

The Cotswolds is acknowledged for being an space of excellent pure magnificence. The world is thought for its stone homes, fairly villages and exquisite surroundings.

Who lives within the Cotswolds?

Being such a ravishing place, the Cotswolds attracts quite a lot of celebrities, a few of whom have purchased properties there. Celebrities who reportedly personal properties within the Cotswolds embody Kate Winslet, Liz Hurley, David and Victoria Beckham, Jeremy Clarkson, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Jamie Dornan and Kate Moss.

Which counties are within the Cotswolds?

There are 5 counties that fall inside the Cotswolds AONB, together with Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire.

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