As you can imagine, we LOVE the Cotswolds, so we’ve pulled together some of our favourite reasons to visit The Cotswolds

Our 10 reasons why we think you should visit…

Explore the picture postcard villages

The Cotswolds are famous for some of the most picturesque villages that you will find! Such as Burford, Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold and Bibury, one of the most photographed villages in the country.

These villages offer traditional, charming and quaint characteristics (such as the beautifully built Cotswold stone properties), with fantastic places to eat and drink plus an abundance of rural walks and activities. Many of the picture postcard villages have fabulous circular walks that take you from the village centre, along beautiful rural lanes and return you back in time for refreshments in one of the delightful village pubs. A particular favourite of the StayCotswold team is the Burford circular that takes in the River Windrush – just remember to book a table for some hearty pub food back at the Angel for your return.

With so many fantastic locations to choose from, we believe the Cotswolds is one of the best places to holiday in the UK today!

A picture postcard village in the Cotswolds, one of the many reasons to visit The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds is the gateway to iconic cities

Whilst visiting the Cotswolds we highly recommend spending some time in one of the iconic cities that we are fortunate enough to have on our doorstep.  Bath makes for a fantastic day out with a walking tour of the city and a visit to the Roman baths highly recommended. Nearby Bristol straddles the River Avon and its former city-centre port is now a cultural hub where you can visit Brunel’s SS Great Britain, spot amazing underwater creatures at the aquarium and set off on a self-guided Banksy walking tour.

Historical Oxford to the east of the Cotswolds, is renowned for its prestigious university, parks and open green spaces.  The Bodleian library is one of the oldest and biggest libraries in Britain, so well worth a visit. But no visit to Oxford is complete without hopping on board a boat for a punt along the river. And last, but by no means least, the Regency town of Cheltenham makes for a fabulous day out, with its famous racecourse and a range of shops, cafes and restaurants.

These cities are easily accessible by car or train from many rural Cotswold locations, offering you a great excuse for a day trip whilst you’re on your Cotswold holiday.

Iconic Cotswold cities

It’s a real foodie’s paradise

With an array of independent delis and farm shops selling delicious food and drink all produced locally, you’re sure to find some delicious produce to use during a self-catering holiday. From Daylesford Organic near Moreton-in-Marsh to the infamous Diddly Squat Farm Shop near Chipping Norton, plus everything in-between, guests of StayCotswolds are spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping local.

But for the days when whipping up a home cooked meal seems a little too much, there are plenty of fantastic tearooms, restaurants and gastropubs in many of the villages, where you can relax with an afternoon tea or indulge in superb dishes for an evening meal. Many of the local pubs pride themselves on serving seasonal and locally sourced produce – supporting the many farmers across the area. Check out our top Sunday roast recommendations for Moreton-in-Marsh. Equally, the tearooms in the Cotswolds are some of the finest – with incredible handmade delicacies perfect for even the sweetest tooth.

Take a look at our list of handpicked recommendations!

Delicious food cooked in the Cotswolds

There is plenty for families to do

With a huge array of activities on offer, there’s plenty for families and groups to do, some of our favourite things to do in the Cotswolds include:

Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park

Cotswold Farm ParkThey’ve come a very long way since 1971, when the gates of the Cotswold Farm Park opened to the public for the first time, to help protect some of our rare breeds of farm animal. They’re now home to over 50 breeds and are open for 10 months of the year. They are passionate about all that they do and are dedicated to delivering the best of British farming, through a sustainable and authentic approach.

Cotswold Wildlife Park

Situated next-door to the StayCotswold office, the park was opened in 1970 to

Cotswold Wildlife Parkgive new life to a much loved house and park. Over forty years later, they are delighted to welcome you to what is now one of the UK’s largest zoological collections and most exciting gardens. Millions of visitors in that time have discovered the beauty and diversity of the natural world. Relying solely on visitors to the park for funding, there’s a thriving educational programme, numerous endangered species breeding programmes and several vital conservation projects in the wild.

Cotswold Water Park

Cotswold Water Park

Is an area of 40 square miles, with more than 150 lakes set across the countryside of Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and West Oxfordshire. It is home to the UK’s largest inland beach and provides a wealth of activities! Within the park there is a diverse range of businesses offering accommodation, leisure activities and food and drink. The Cotswold Water Park Trust is a charity which does much more than look after the tourism potential of the area – including estate management, biodiversity protection, conservation and wildlife protection.

The Cotswold Way

There is simply nowhere like the Cotswold Way – although we are a little bias. Following the western edge of the Cotswold Hills, 102 mile Cotswold Way offers varied walking through beautiful villages and past historical sites – perfect for a day of rambling or just a leisurely Sunday stroll. Extending from Chipping Campden to the Roman city of Bath, the routes is also great for dogs too!

These stunning National Trails take you through some of the very best landscapes in the UK. and at over 100 miles long you will definitely need more than one visit to the Cotswolds to enjoy the entire route. For many guests the towns and villages along the Cotswold Way will be places you may well want to stay for several days or weeks at a time… and our holiday cottages can offer you luxury accommodation right next to these trails, making it one of the best reasons to visit the Cotswolds.

The Cotswold Way, one of the many reasons to visit The Cotswolds

It is steeped in history

The 800 square mile area that is the Cotswolds is packed with history at every turn and one of the main reasons to visit the Cotswolds. Why not visit Sudeley Castle which was once home to Queen Catherine Parr, the last and surviving wife of Henry VIII? Or pop in to Blenheim Palace, the seat of the Duke of Malborough and the only non-royal, non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of Palace.

Take a look at the Avebury Ring, one of the greatest marvels of prehistoric Britain. Built and much altered during the Neolithic period, roughly between 2850 BC and 2200 BC, the henge survives as a huge circular bank and ditch. Within the henge is the largest stone circle in Britain – originally of about 100 stones – which in turn encloses two smaller stone circles. Another wonderful site on a Cotswold walking route is the Rollright stones, a complex Neolithic and Bronze Age monument near the village of Long Compton, on the borders of Oxfordshire and Warwickshire.

Or perhaps marvel at the beautiful mosaics at Chedworth Roman Villa, one of the grandest Roman villas in Britain.

Historical Cotswolds

The views are truly stunning!

Famous for incredible countryside views, rolling hills and the ‘honey-coloured’ Cotswold architecture. These views can be enjoyed from many vantage points including some of our favourites:

  • Broadway Tower from which you can see 16 counties on a clear day.
  • Dover’s Hill which is a 230 metre high natural amphitheatre near Chipping Camden.
  • Cleve Hill which is the highest point in the Cotswolds, with sweeping views across Cheltenham and Gloucestershire.
  • The Malvern Hills, popular with dog owners and hikers, which offer spectacular views across the Cotswolds.
  • Crickley Hill with breath-taking views and picnic spots for a peaceful day out.


Stunning view in the Cotswolds of a church surrounded by the trees

The Cotswold events calendar

Packed full of varied, high profile events, including The Cotswold Show in July each year, The Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford (check out our Royal International Air Tattoo Accommodation), The Big Feastival (check out our Big Feastival accommodation) a perfect family friendly festival for music lovers, and Cheltenham Jazz Festival, the UK’s leading jazz festival and part of the annual Cheltenham festival season.

There are also smaller events such as village fetes and car shows in the summer, year round farmers markets that turn into festive Christmas markets come late November and December, and cheese rolling at Cooper’s Hill, usually taking place in May each year.

Images of various Cotswold events

Fantastic shopping

Can be enjoyed in the many villages and towns, with high streets boasting independent shops and boutiques, selling unique and high-quality goods. Visitors to the Cotswolds are often amazed by the incredible array of independent shops, run by local makers who proudly display their handmade and locally sourced wares. If you’re fed up with the ‘same old shops’, the eclectic mix available in the Cotswolds are waiting to be explored!

The Cotswolds is also renowned for the largest concentration of art and antique shops outside of London. There’s a plethora of antique shops in Stow-on-the-Wold, Moreton-in-Marsh, Burford, Broadway, Tewkesbury and Winchcombe, where visitors can take home a vintage find to remind them of their fabulous Cotswold holiday. You’ll also find many local art galleries hosting regular exhibitions and featured artists from the Cotswolds – another fantastic opportunity to bring home a slice of the Cotswolds.

Take a look at the Cotswold Tourism website for a list of shops.

Shopping in the Cotswolds

There are some beautiful properties

From exquisite manor houses to cute chocolate box cottages, the Cotswolds is famous for the most stunning properties. Luckily for guests of StayCotswolds, many of the quintessential cottages and rural homes are available to be booked for your stay with us! From cute romantic hideaways, log cabins and shepherd’s hits to picturesque large houses perfect for multi-generational family get-togethers, the StayCotswold portfolio has something for everyone, no matter how small or large your party size.

Take a look at the property search section of our website for more details.

Stunning Cotswold properties


Have we inspired you to come and visit the Cotswolds? Call us on 01993 259444 or email