Nestled in the heart of England, The Cotswold Way stretches through rolling hills, incredible landscapes, and quaint villages. If you’re planning a visit, knowing what places to stay in the Cotswolds can transform your experience, with a luxury Cotswold Cottage offering a cosy retreat after a day spent exploring the beauty of this well trodden path.

This route passes through many beautiful towns and villages in England, each with its own character and history. If you are looking to walk a section of The Cotswold Way, here we suggest just a few places you could choose as your base when looking for where to stay in the Cotswolds along the route.

Cotswold Way signpost up close

Chipping Campden: Northern Charm

Chipping Campden, with its honey-coloured limestone buildings and bustling High Street, marks the northern start of The Cotswold Way. This town is not just a starting line but a destination in itself.  Staying here means you’re perfectly positioned to take in the Northernmost tip, whilst enjoying everything the town has to offer.

Broadway and Stanton: Quintessential Cotswolds

As you venture south, Broadway and then Stanton offer serene stopovers. Broadway, often referred to as the “Jewel of the Cotswolds,” has an additional walk to offer – a circular route taking in the spectacular views from Broadway Tower.

Broadway Tower aerial view

Winchcombe: A Walker’s Haven

Further along the trail, Winchcombe emerges as a walker’s haven, with its welcoming local pubs, tea rooms and coffee shops proving perfect places to refuel. Known for Sudeley Castle and its proximity to ancient Neolithic sites, Winchcombe is a fantastic base for exploring one or two sections of The Cotswold Way, offering both history and hospitality in equal measure.

Bourton-on-the-Water: A Picturesque Retreat

A little further East of the Cotswold way, but most certainly a village to consider when looking for where to stay in the Cotswolds, is Bourton-on-the-Water. Known as the Venice of the Cotswolds, this charming village offers a peaceful break with its picturesque bridges and traditional Cotswold architecture. A wonderful base when taking in walks between the Cleeve Hill and Cheltenham stretch, Bourton is an ideal spot to rest and explore unique local attractions like the model village and the Cotswold Motor Museum.

Painswick: The Heart of The Cotswolds

Painswick, often referred to as the “Queen of the Cotswolds,” represents the halfway point on the trail and is renowned for its Rococo Garden and striking churchyard yews. Set on a hill overlooking one of the Five Valleys between Stroud and Gloucester, when looking for where to stay in the Cotswolds, Painswick provides a peaceful retreat for those looking to recharge before continuing their journey.

View across a Cotswold village from the Cotswold Way

Bath: The Grand Finale

The trail concludes in the magnificent city of Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its Roman-built baths and Georgian architecture. And if you are looking to complete the entire Cotswold Way and end your journey with a stay in Bath, be sure to pre-book a thermae Bath spa experience to ease those aching legs.

Wherever you choose to stay in the Cotswolds, The Cotswold Way promises an unforgettable journey through one of England’s most beloved landscapes. And with over 100 miles to cover it is the perfect excuse to return to the Cotswolds time and again.

Map and signpost of The Cotswold Way

Where to Stay in The Cotswolds

From large luxurious holiday cottages to quaint small holiday homes – there’s something for everyone to create a memorable visit to The Cotswolds. If you’re feeling inspired, discover where to stay in Cotswolds and take a look at a small selection of our Cotswold holiday cottages below.