The beautiful, historic wool town of Painswick has magnificent views across the Severn Valley to the Welsh Mountains. Known as The Queen of the Cotswolds, Painswick is nestled between Cheltenham and Stroud and is packed with well preserved, quintessential Cotswold Stone buildings which provide stunning self catering Painswick accommodation.
At the centre of the village stands St Mary’s Church, dating back to the 11th century which is famous for it’s 99 Yew trees – although at last count there are now actually 106. The trees are sculpted into walk-through archways making the churchyard a popular walking spot.Read More
The area is popular with walkers who are spoilt for choice with walks due to the position of the village which is halfway along the Cotswold National Trail. However, if you prefer to explore on two wheels then again Painswick delivers as the Cotswolds & Severn Vale 7-day cycle tour routes go directly through the village. Not far from the village you will also find the Painswick Beacon which forms part of a 2 mile looping trail taking in a forest. If that’s too strenuous you can always park the car just south of the beacon and enjoy the short climb to the top of the hill to take in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Read on to find out more of the best things to do in Painswick.
The streets of Painswick are most certainly worth exploring as they are packed with historic homes. On Bisley Street you will find two properties still with their original ‘donkey doors’, so named as they were wide enough to allow a donkey carrying wool baskets to pass through. Whilst wandering through the village streets you will find a sprinkling of local shops and art galleries. One of the best galleries is Red Dot on Saint Mary Street, known for its collection of art, photography and craft along with its themed exhibitions. Also, not to be missed is The Loovre, named after it’s location in the old public conveniences in the heart of Painswick and set up by local artist Rupert Aker.
History lovers will want to spend some time wandering around the UK’s only complete surviving rococo garden – Painswick Rococo Garden. Designed in the 1740s as a pleasure garden for the then owner of Painswick House. Today it is famous for its carpet of snowdrops in early Spring but you can visit at any time of the year and you won’t be disappointed. Explore the magical follies dotted around the gardens before stopping off to entertain the little ones at the rustic wooden play area and unusual maze. You can complete your visit with a rest and refuel in the café followed by a little spending spree at the gift and plant shops.
When it’s time for a bite to eat you can’t go wrong in Painswick. The Painswick serves afternoon tea, Sunday lunch and dinner under the watchful eye of Head Chef Jamie McCallum who trained under Gary Rhodes. Here you can tuck into an assortment of dining options from small plates and nibbles to a more robust beef wellington or Sunday roast. Overlooking St Mary’s church is the delightful St Michael’s Bistro where husband and wife Marin and Catalina provide a friendly welcome to all. From informal lunches to a truly satisfying evening menu this locally run restaurant is a Painswick favourite.
So, from shops, galleries and restaurants to gardens, walking routes and historical buildings, Painswick certainly lives up to it’s nickname as The Queen of the Cotswolds.
Would you like to stay in Painswick? Browse our Painswick holiday cottages and homes above, or to widen your search and take a look at our Cotswold holiday accommodation collections.