Visiting the Cotswolds Villages is like stepping back in time. The towns are straight out of a fairytale with thatched roofs, quaint shops, and country pubs. It’s no wonder the area is so popular with tourists from all over the world.
5 Best Cotswolds Villages to Visit
The Cotswolds covers six counties: Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire, and Warwickshire, and with so much land to cover, you might be wondering which ones to visit.
We believe that we’ve found the 5 best Cotswolds villages and are excited to share them with you!
Bourton on the Water
Bourton on the Water is a village located in the county of Gloucestershire, England, and is known for its picturesque scenery & quaint shops.
The village is situated on the River Windrush, and is often referred to as the “Venice of the Cotswolds.”
You will find lovely little walking bridges across the river and 5 of these stone bridges date between 1654 and 1911.
The village is home to several attractions, including the Bourton on the Water Model Village (a miniature replica of the village), The Cotswold Motor Museum, and The Birdland Park & Gardens.
Even if you only spend your time walking around Bourton on the Water, you will find plenty to see.
Make sure that you visit the oldest building in the village, St Lawrence’s Church, which was built in the 14th century.
Also located in Gloucestershire, Stow-on-the-Wold is a village that is situated on top of an 800-foot hill and is known for its picturesque views.
It has a long history dating back to the Roman era, and it was an important market town during the medieval period.
There are a number of interesting historical sites to visit in Stow-on-the-Wold, including the Market Cross, which was built in 1610.
Be sure to also visit the 12th century St. Edwards Church where you will find the magical yew tree framed doorway also known as ‘the Hobbit door.’
The second largest Cotswolds Village and home to Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and the Duchess of Cornwall is Tetbury.
The town’s main attractions include the Market House, St. Mary’s Church, and the Royal Gardens at Highgrove.
The Market House in Tetbury was built in 1655 and is the only remaining original market house in the Cotswolds.
The Chantry Bagpipe Museum is located in the Market House and houses a collection of over 200 bagpipes from around the world.
St. Mary’s Church is the main parish church in Tetbury and dates back to the 12th century.
Highgrove is the private residence of TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. When the Prince moved to the estate, he transformed the gardens into an oasis.
The Royal Gardens at Highgrove are open to the public on select dates between April and October each year and are definitely worth a visit if you will be traveling during this time.
Cirencester is a Cotswolds Village located on the River Churn, a tributary of the River Thames that was once one of the largest Roman forts in England.
While there you can see some of the Roman ruins in The Corninium museum.
Along with having been the largest Roman occupation in Britain, Cirencester also has one of the largest market squares in the country.
The market square is the center of the village and has been used as such since 1256. Market days are Mondays & Fridays.
Also located in the market square is the Medieval parish church of St John the Baptist, often referred to as the Cathedral of the Cotswolds.
Take time to stroll the Wool Market. You will find it lined with local shops, restaurants, and pubs.
What I consider to be the most beautiful of all the Cotswolds villages is Castle Combe.
Located in Wiltshire, England, the village is home to a 12th-century castle, which was once the seat of the powerful Earl of Arundel.
Today, the castle is in ruins, but it is still a popular tourist attraction.
One of the best ways to experience Castle Combe is on foot. Stroll the streets and you will find cafes, tea rooms, and pubs.
Venture to the 13th-century St. Andrews church where you will find one of the longest working faceless clocks in the UK.
Castle Combe is certainly the most instagramable Cotswold Village!
There are several picturesque cottages that date back to the 17th century and a river that runs through town.
You will find no less than a dozen spots to take the perfect photo to document your time in the Cotswolds.
If you want to experience a taste of Old England, a visit to the Cotswolds is a must. With charming villages and rolling hills, it’s easy to see why this area is so popular. I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon than wandering through the picturesque towns in the Cotswolds.
Have you been to any of these Cotswold Villages? What was your favorite part?