Places of Interest

Cotswold County

Entered on the gentle slopes of the Cotswold Hills, this beautiful area is famous for the tranquillity of its villages, many scarcely altered since they grew up on the prosperity of the medieval wool trade. The greater part of the Cotswolds lies in Gloucestershire, but it also reaches into Worcestershire and Oxfordshire.

In an area once given over almost entirely to sheep farming, many of the fine churches and manor houses owe their existence to the generosity of wealthy 14th and 15th Century yeoman farmers and wool merchants. The dignified villages gain much of their charm from the use of the warm, honey coloured limestone with was locally quarried and used for cottages, mansions and churches.

  • Places of Interest
  • Cotswold Villages to Visit
  • Cotswold City’s and Towns to Visit

Tab 1

Hidcote Manor Garden
Hidcote Manor Garden is a garden in Britain, located at the village of Hidcote Bartrim, near Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire. It is one of the best-known and most influential Arts and Crafts gardens in Britain, with its linked “rooms” of hedges, rare trees, shrubs and herbaceous borders. Created by Lawrence Johnston, it is owned by the National Trust and is open to the public.
Batsford Park Arboretum and Falconry
Batsford Arboretum is a 55-acre arboretum and botanical garden near Batsford in Gloucestershire, about 1½ miles north-west of Moreton-in-Marsh. It is owned and run by the Batsford Foundation, a registered charity, and is open to the public daily throughout most of the year. The arboretum sits on the Cotswold scarp and contains around 2,900 trees, with a large collection of Japanese maples, magnolias and pines.
Snowshill Manor
Snowshill Manor was the property of Winchcombe Abbey from 821 until 1539 when the Abbey was confiscated by King Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Between 1539 and 1919 it had a number of tenants and owners until it was purchased by Charles Paget Wade, an architect, artist-craftsman, collector, poet and heir to the family fortune. He restored the property, living in the small cottage in the garden and using the manor house as a home for his collection of objects. He gave the property and the contents of this collection to the National Trust in 1951.

Sudeley Castle

Sudeley Castle & Gardens is a castle located in the Cotswolds near Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, England. The present structure was built in the 15th century and may have been on the site of a 12th-century castle. The castle has a notable garden, which is designed and maintained to a very high standard. The chapel, St. Mary’s Sudeley, is the burial place of Queen Catherine Parr (1512–1548), the sixth wife of King Henry VIII, and contains her marble tomb. Unusual for a castle chapel, St Mary’s of Sudeley is part of the local parish of the Church of England.
Broadway Tower
Broadway Tower is a folly located on Broadway Hill, near the village of Broadway, in the English county of Worcestershire, at the second highest point of the Cotswolds after Cleeve Hill. Broadway Tower’s base is 1,024 feet (312 metres) above sea level. The tower itself stands 65 feet (20 metres) high.
Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle is a medieval castle developed from an original built by William the Conqueror in 1068. Warwick is the county town of Warwickshire, England, situated on a bend of the River Avon. The original wooden motte-and-bailey castle was rebuilt in stone in the 12th century. During the Hundred Years War, the facade opposite the town was refortified, resulting in one of the most recognisable examples of 14th century military architecture.
Shakespeare’s – Stratford-upon-Avon
Stratford has Anglo-Saxon origins, and developed as a market town during the medieval period. The original charters of the town were granted in 1196, making Stratford over 800 years old. The name is a combination of the Old English strǣt, meaning “street”, and ford, indicating a site at which a road forded a river.
The town is a popular tourist destination owing to its status as birthplace of the playwright and poet William Shakespeare, often regarded as the world’s greatest playwright of all time, receiving about 4.9 million visitors a year from all over the world.
Cheltenham Festival
The Cheltenham Festival is a meeting in the National Hunt racing calendar in the United Kingdom, with race prize money second only to the Grand National. It is an event where many of the best British- and Irish-trained horses race to an extent which is relatively rare during the rest of the season.
Cotswold Farm Park
Adam Henson (born 1966) is an English farmer and television presenter. Henson’s father started the Cotswold Farm Park which Adam now runs, which attracts over 70,000 visitors per annum. Adam and Duncan Andrews took on the lease of Bemborough Farm from his father, and the pair now jointly run the 650 hectare estate, growing wheat, spring barley and oilseed rape, alongside a flock of 350 commercial ewes.
Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace is a monumental country house situated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire. It is the principal residence of the dukes of Marlborough, and the only non-royal non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of palace. The palace, one of England’s largest houses, was built between 1705 and circa 1722.
Cotswold Way
The Cotswold Way is a 102-mile (164 km) long-distance footpath, running along the Cotswold Edge escarpment of the Cotswold Hills in England. It was officially inaugurated as a National Trail on 24 May 2007 and several new rights of way have been created.
Blossom Trail
The Trail is a 40 mile AA sign posted route of natural beauty at its best. Explore and enjoy the open countryside and beautiful villages that the area has to offer.
The delights of the Vale of Evesham are sure to whet your appetite: sample delicious home cooked food at one of the many pubs, restaurants and cafes along the scenic route.
Dovers Hill & Cotswold Olympick Games
The Cotswold Olimpick Games is an annual public celebration of games and sports now held on the Friday after Spring Bank Holiday at Dovers Hill, near Chipping Campden, in the Cotswolds. The Games probably began in 1612, and have continued on and off to the present day. They were started by a local lawyer, Robert Dover, with the approval of King James. Dover’s motivation in organising the Games may have been his belief that physical exercise was necessary for the defence of the realm, but he may also have been attempting to bring rich and poor together; the Games were attended by all classes of society, including royalty on one occasion.

Tab 2

Stow-on-the-Wold
Stow-on-the-Wold is a small market town and civil parish in Gloucestershire. It is situated on top of an 800 ft (244 m) hill, at the convergence of a number of major roads through the Cotswolds, including the Fosse Way (A429). The town was founded as a planned market place by Norman lords to take advantage of trade on the converging roads. Fairs have been held by royal charter since 1330 and an annual horse fair is still held on the edge of the town.
Chipping Campden
Chipping Campden is a small market town in the Cotswold district of Gloucestershire. It is notable for its elegant terraced High Street, dating from the 14th century to the 17th century. (“Chipping” is from Old English cēping, “a market, a market-place”; the same element is found in other towns such as Chipping Norton, Chipping Sodbury and Chipping (now High) Wycombe).
Broadway
Broadway is a large village and civil parish in the Worcestershire part of the Cotswolds. Often referred to as the “Jewel of the Cotswolds”, Broadway village lies beneath Fish Hill on the western Cotswold escarpment. The “broad way” is the wide grass-fringed main street, centred on The Green, which is lined with red chestnut trees and honey-coloured Cotswold limestone buildings, many dating from the 16th century.
Bourton-on-the-Water
Bourton-on-the-Water is a village and civil parish in Gloucestershire, that lies on a wide flat vale within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The village has a population of 3,297 inhabitants (2009 est), making it a rather large village as its population actually exceeds those of nearby Stow-on-the-Wold and Burford, both of which are considered small market towns.
Upper & Lower Slaughter
Upper Slaughter is a village in the English county of Gloucestershire located in the Cotswold district located 4 miles (6.4 km) south west of the town of Stow-on-the-Wold. Nearby places include Lower Slaughter, Bourton-on-the-Water and Daylesford.
Lower Slaughter is a village in the English county of Gloucestershire, located in the Cotswold district, 4 miles (6.4 km) south west of the town of Stow-on-the-Wold.
The village is built on both banks of the River Eye, which also flows through Upper Slaughter. At the west end of the village there is a 19th-century water mill with an undershot waterwheel and a chimney for additional steam power. There is a ford where the river widens in the village and several small stone footbridges join the two sides of the community. While the mill is built of red brick most of the 16th and 17th century homes in the village use Cotswold sandstone and are adorned with mullioned windows and often with other embellishments such as projecting gables.
Stanton
Stanton is a small village in Tewkesbury Borough, Gloucestershire. It is located on the edge of the Cotswold Hills, around three miles southwest of Broadway, in the neighbouring county of Worcestershire. Although Stanton is officially in Gloucestershire, it is often erroneously attributed to Worcestershire, as Broadway is the postal town. It is near Stanway, Gloucestershire, location of Stanway House. The Cotswold Way runs through the village.
The village is almost completely constructed out of Cotswold stone, with a high street, and a pub (The Mount), at the end. Pevsner calls it ‘architecturally, the most distinguished of the smaller villages in the North Cotswolds’. Historic buildings include: St. Michael’s Church (Late Norman), Stanton Court (Jacobean) and The Manor (or “Warren House”) (built 1577).
Blockley
Blockley is a village and civil parish in the Cotswold district of Gloucestershire, about 3 miles (4.8 km) northwest of Moreton-in-Marsh. Until 1931 Blockley was an exclave of Worcestershire.
Bourton-on-the-Hill
Bourton-on-the-Hill is a village and civil parish in the Cotswold district of Gloucestershire, and about 2 miles (3 km) west of Moreton-in-Marsh. In 2010 it had an estimated population of 288. The village overlooks the surrounding hills of the Cotswolds and lies on the Heart of England Way, which heads southwards to Bourton-on-the-Water and northwards to Cannock Chase. The village is also connected by a footpath to the Cotswold Way, via Blockley and Chipping Campden.
Upper & Lower Swell
Swell is located in the Cotswold district immediately west of the town of Stow-on-the-Wold. The main settlements are Upper Swell (grid reference SP176268) and Lower Swell (SP173254) both of which are on B-class roads radiating from the town. The Heart of England Way long distance footpath passes through both.
Bledington
Bledington is a village and civil parish in the Cotswold district of Gloucestershire, about four miles south-east of Stow-on-the-Wold and six miles south-west of Chipping Norton. The 2001 census recorded a parish population of 503.
Bibury
Bibury is a village and civil parish in Gloucestershire, England. It is situated on the River Coln, about 6.5 miles (10.5 km) northeast of Cirencester. A picture of Bibury is seen on the inside cover of all United Kingdom passports, making it the most depicted village in the world.
Winchcombe
Winchcombe is a Cotswold town in the local authority district of Tewkesbury, in Gloucestershire. Its population according to the 2011 census was 4,538.
Naunton
Naunton is a village in Gloucestershire. It is situated in the Cotswolds, an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB); approximately 6 miles west of Stow-on-the-Wold and 12 miles east of Cheltenham. It stands on the river Windrush.
Snowshill & Snowshill Lavender
Snowshill is a small Cotswolds village in Gloucestershire, located near Broadway, Worcestershire.
Snowshill is also the home to Snowshill Lavender, a farm with 35 acres (142,000 m²) of lavender fields, which also sells lavender products, plants and local crafts.
Burford
Burford is a small town on the River Windrush in the Cotswold hills in west Oxfordshire, about 18 miles (29 km) west of Oxford, 22 miles (35 km) southeast of Cheltenham and only about 2 miles (3 km) from the Gloucestershire boundary. The toponym derives from the Old English words burh meaning fortified town or hilltown and ford, the crossing of a river.
Stanway
Stanway is a small crossroads village in the English county of Gloucestershire, about 1 mile south of Stanton: both villages are on the Cotswold Way. It is part of the Tewkesbury Borough Council area. The village is dominated by Stanway House, a Jacobean manor house, owned by the Earl of Wemyss and March. St Peter’s Church was rebuilt in the 12th century, the tower added in the 13th century and the whole building thoroughly restored in 1896. The Tithe Barn was built in the 14th century for Tewkesbury Abbey.
Bretford
Bretford is a small hamlet in Warwickshire. It is part of the parish of Brandon and Bretford. Bretford lies at a junction between the A428 road (Coventry-Rugby) and the old Fosse Way. The name of the village comes from the old ford crossing point over the River Avon which runs just south of the village. The original Roman line of the Fosse Way was diverted to the west in the Middle Ages to its present crossing point.
Moreton-in-Marsh
Moreton-in-Marsh is a town and civil parish in northeastern Gloucestershire. The town is at the crossroads of the Fosse Way Roman road (now the A429) and the A44. The parish and environs are relatively flat and low-lying compared with the surrounding Cotswold Hills.
Broadwell
Broadwell is a village and civil parish about 2 miles (3 km) south-west of Carterton in West Oxfordshire.
Guiting Power 
Guiting Power is situated on the slopes above a small valley (formed by a tributary of the River Windrush). There was a late Anglo-Saxon settlement on this site, when it was called Gyting Broc. The village is near Cheltenham.
Painswick

Painswick is a town and civil parish in Gloucestershire. Originally the town grew on the wool trade, but it is now best known for its parish church’s yew trees and the local Rococo Garden. The town is mainly constructed of locally quarried Cotswold stone. Many of the buildings feature south-facing attic rooms once used as weavers’workshops

Geographically Painswick is situated on a hill in the Stroud district, overlooking one of the Five Valleys. Its narrow streets and traditional architecture make it the epitome of the English village. There is a golf course near Painswick Beacon.

Tab 3

Cirencester
Cirencester  is a market town in east Gloucestershire, 93 miles (150 km) west northwest of London. Cirencester lies on the River Churn, a tributary of the River Thames, and is the largest town in the Cotswold District. It is the home of the Royal Agricultural University, the oldest agricultural college in the English-speaking world founded in 1840. The town’s Corinium Museum is well known for its extensive Roman collection. The Roman name for the town was Corinium, which is thought to have been associated with the ancient British tribe of the Dobunni, having the same root word as the River Churn. The earliest known reference to the town was by Ptolemy in AD 150.
Cheltenham
Cheltenham also known as Cheltenham Spa, is a large spa town and borough in Gloucestershire, located on the edge of the Cotswolds. It is the home of the flagship race of British steeplechase horse racing, the Gold Cup, the main event of the Cheltenham Festival held every March. The town hosts several festivals of culture often featuring nationally and internationally famous contributors and attendees, including Greenbelt, Cheltenham Literature Festival, Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Cheltenham Science Festival, Cheltenham Music Festival and Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival.
Warwick
Warwick is the county town of Warwickshire. The town lies upon the River Avon, 11 miles (18 km) south of Coventry and just west of Leamington Spa and Whitnash with which it is conjoined. At the 2011 United Kingdom census, it had a population of 30,114, a considerable increase from 23,350 a decade earlier.

There has been human activity at Warwick as early as the Neolithic, and constant habitation since the 6th century. A Saxon burh was created at Warwick in the 9th century and Warwick Castle was established on the site in 1068 as part of the Norman conquest of England. Warwick School claims to be the oldest boys’ school in the country. The earldom of Warwick was created in 1088 and the earls controlled the town in the medieval period. During this time Warwick was given town walls; Eastgate and Westgate survive. The castle developed into a stone fortress and then a country house and is today a popular tourist attraction.

The Great Fire of Warwick in 1694 destroyed much of the medieval town and as a result most of the buildings post-date this period. Though Warwick did not become industrialised in the 19th century, it has experienced growth since 1801 when the population was 5,592. Racing Club Warwick F.C., founded in 1919, are based in the town.

Royal Leamington Spa
Royal Leamington Spa, commonly known as Leamington Spa or Leamington colloquially, is a spa town in central Warwickshire. Formerly known as Leamington Priors, its expansion began following the popularisation of the medicinal qualities of its water by Dr Kerr in 1784, and by Dr Lambe around 1797. During the 19th century, the town experienced one of the most rapid expansions in England. It is named after the River Leam which flows through the town.
Gloucester
Gloucester is a city, district and county town of Gloucestershire in the South West region of England. Gloucester lies close to the Welsh border, and on the River Severn, approximately 32 miles (51 km) north-east of Bristol, and 45 miles (72 km) south-southwest of Birmingham.
A cathedral city, capital of its county which was built on a flat spot of land, Gloucester is situated on the River Severn and the Bristol and Birmingham Railway.
Gloucester was founded in AD 97 by the Romans under Emperor Nerva as Colonia Glevum Nervensis, and was granted its first charter in 1155 by King Henry II. Economically, the city is dominated by the service industries, and has a strong financial and business sector, being home to the bank Cheltenham & Gloucester and historically was prominent in the aerospace industry.
Banbury

Banbury is a market town and civil parish on the River Cherwell in the Cherwell District of Oxfordshire. It is 64 miles (103 km) northwest of London, 38 miles (61 km) southeast of Birmingham, 27 miles (43 km) south of Coventry and 21 miles (34 km) north northwest of the county town of Oxford.

Banbury is a significant commercial and retail centre for the surrounding area, which is predominantly rural. Banbury’s main industries are car components, electrical goods, plastics, food processing, and printing. Banbury is home to the world’s largest coffee-processing facility (Mondelēz International), built in 1964. The town is famed for Banbury cakes – similar to Eccles cakes but oval in shape. Since July 2000 Banbury has hosted a unique gathering of traditional mock animals, from around the UK, at the annual Banbury Hobby Horse Festival.
Stroud
Stroud is a market town and civil parish in the county of Gloucestershire. It is the main town in Stroud District.
Situated below the western escarpment of the Cotswold Hills at the meeting point of the Five Valleys, the town is noted for its steep streets, independent spirit and cafe culture.[2]The Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty surrounds the town, and the Cotswold Way path passes by it to the west.
Although not formally part of the town, the parishes of Rodborough and Cainscross lie adjacent to Stroud and are often considered part of it.