The highest of all the Cotswold towns, Stow-on-the-Wold is a popular destination year-round, thanks to the abundance of things to see and do on the doorstep.
1. The Market Square
The epicentre of the town, The Market Square, is a must visit for anyone staying in or close to Stow-on-the-Wold. The focus of town life for many centuries, it is lined with independent shops, antique centres, cafes and inns, and makes for a great starting point to explore the town.
2. St Edward Medieval Church
Just off the square you will find St Edward’s, a medieval church which is one of the 98 Grade I listed buildings in the Cotswolds. The door to St Edward’s is a great photo opportunity. Framed by 2 ancient yew trees, it looks like an enchanted door into some kind of magical fairylike world. It is said to have inspired R.R. Tolkien’s book – Doors of Durin. Whilst we can’t find any evidence to prove this local myth, we can most definitely advise a visit to see the wonderful north porch for yourself.
3. Old Porch House
From the square you can head down Digbeth Street to the Old Porch House, England’s oldest Inn, which has fed and hosted hungry and thirsty travellers for over a thousand years. You cannot fail to be charmed by its quintessentially English décor and its cosy, welcoming atmosphere.
4. Stow Town Coffee
Coffee lovers will want to call in to the artisan micro-roastery, Stow Town Coffee. One of the smallest commercial coffee roasteries in the UK, they’ve been roasting beans in Stow since 2010. Here you can pick up your very own whole or freshly ground beans to enjoy using your own coffee machine or, choose your favourite barista selection for a great takeaway of their signature house blend.
5. Cotswold Company’s Flagship Store
If you find yourself lusting after the interior styles of the local eateries, or indeed many of our luxurious holiday cottages, then make sure you find the time to stop off at the Cotswold Company’s flagship store next to the main traffic lights in Stow. The company prides itself on manufacturing well-made pieces for the home that are built to last. From their comfy beds and sink-in sofas to their cosy cushions and snuggly throws, each of their artisan makers are masters of their crafts. So why not call in and treat yourself to a little bit of Cotswold style to take back home.
6. Fosse Gallery
Whilst there are many galleries and antiques shops across the Cotswolds, many visitors flock to the Fosse Gallery located at the top of Market Square. Established in 1980 it is considered one of the most important art galleries in the UK with its displays of contemporary British art. Carefully selected and staged exhibitions featuring both emerging and established artists are curated by gallery owner Sharon Wheaton throughout the year.
7. Cotswold Farm Park
Families visiting Stow-on-the-Wold should most definitely make the ten minute drive over to the Cotswold Farm Park. Run by Countryfile’s Adam Henson the farm was originally set-up by Adam’s father and to this day continues to specialise in raising over 50 rare breed farm animals. Family members of all ages will be entertained with the farm demonstrations, feeding time, adventure playgrounds and walking trails. Whilst you’re welcome to pack a picnic for your day on the farm there’s also the option to buy takeaway food across the site for you to enjoy in many outdoor seating areas. There’s also an onsite restaurant, the Ox Shed Cafe where you can relax and enjoy a steaming mug of tea or coffee alongside a lunch time treat using the finest, locally sourced ingredients.
8. Daylesford Organic
A favourite haunt of the StayCotswold team is Daylesford Organic, just a short ten minute drive from Stow-on-the-Wold. Sprawling across 2,300 acres this is your chance to experience a true farm to fork philosophy in action. You may choose to spend your time wisely learning a new skill on a Daylesford cookery course, a nose-to-tail butchery experience or trying your hand at foraging. But then again you may just prefer to unwind with a treatment at the Bamford Haybarn Spa. For us, no trip is complete without enjoying a delicious meal at the Trough Cafe which serves the most delicious wood fired pizzas alongside a selection of mains cooked on their Argentinian Asado grill. But don’t miss sipping a botanical cocktail featuring Daylesford vodka and gin or a glass of Daylesford sparkling Prosecco.
9. Scenic Walking Routes
Most of the Cotswolds is a walker’s paradise and the surrounding countryside of Stow is no exception. The beautiful six mile walk to Bourton-on-the-Water takes in the nearby villages of Icomb and Wick Rissington along with the Salmonsbury Meadows nature reserve and can take around 2-3 hours to complete. Bigger walking challenges can be found on the Gloucestershire Way, North Cotswold Diamond Way and Macmillan Way, all of which can easily be reached from Stow. Slightly less challenging and achievable in under an hour is the easy walk to the nearby village of Maugersbury.
10. Batsford Arboretum and Sezincote House and Gardens
No trip to the Cotswolds is complete without visiting one of the many houses and gardens open to the public. A short drive from Stow and you will find the Batsford Arboretum and the Indian-inspired Sezincote House and Gardens. Batsford arboretum is a 56 acre garden that is interesting at all times of the year thanks to their trees and shrubs from around the world. Enjoy snowdrops and daffodils in Spring, the wildflower meadows in high summer and spectacular Japanese Maples in the Autumn. Nearby Sezincote is a unique, family run estate covering 3,500 actors of beautiful countryside. The 200 year old Mogul Indian palace is at the heart of a romantic landscape featuring grottoes, waterfalls and canals and we highly recommend you book onto a house tour.
We have many holiday homes in and around Stow on the Wold from cosy one-bedroom apartments to typical Cotswold cottages and bigger barn conversions. You can see them all here.