Visiting the Cotswold’s is like stepping back in time. The villages are just so picture-book pretty that it is hard to believe you are looking at actual homes, and not a film set. Beautiful mellow stone walls, sleepy riverside villages, castles, stately mansions and historic market towns abound and you could spend weeks exploring them all. This is quintessential England, and you have to see it at least once!
Cotswold Weekend Breaks Away
A weekend in the Cotswold’s is an excellent add-on to your London or UK holiday. There are hundreds of quaint old hotels and B & B’s just waiting for you to visit and the lovely Cotswold villages are just the most refreshing antidote to a frenetic week in London. You can be in the Cotswold’s in just over an hour from London, (provided you are not travelling at peak times) so it is a very accessible weekend location. The villages are at their prettiest in summer, but they can also be very crowded, so it is probably best to try and plan to visit slightly out of season – I have been there in May and September and on both occasions we had an amazing weekend.
Where to Stay:
My advice is to first decide which part of the Cotswold’s you want to visit and which places of interest are your priorities, and then choose a village nearby. Luckily, most of the main places you will want to visit are fairly close together and you can easily visit several villages in one day. There are plenty of places to stay, but be sure to book ahead in Summer as it is a very popular area for both local and international visitors.
What to see:
Some of the prettiest villages that you should try to include in your Cotswold weekend tour would be Stow on the Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water, Tetbury, Chipping Campden and lovely Bibury. Also visit Stratford-on-Avon to see where Shakespeare lived!
Stately Homes and Gardens:
Batsford Arboretum, Westonbirt Arboretum, Hidcote and Bourton House.
Blenheim Palace, Berkeley Castle, Sudeley Castle and Warwick Castle
Chedworth Roman Villa and the Corinium Museum
These are just a very small example of all the delights that await you on a Cotswold weekend break. There is much, much more than what I could feasibly include in this article, from falconry displays, trout fishing, steam railways, hiking and cycling, to art and pottery lessons and more. It is a great place to visit with children and there are many tailor made activities to keep younger visitors happy. To explore the region I recommend either hiring a UK car on arrival; or picking up a motorhome rental in the UK, and including the Cotswold’s in a longer tour of the UK.