14 picture-perfect Cotswold destinations

Ranging from tourist hot spots and bustling market towns to hidden havens, SoGlos selects 14 picture-perfect destinations in the Cotswolds.

An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cotswolds is packed with picturesque places and stunning scenery that’s waiting to delight visitors from within the county borders and far beyond.

Whether you want to soak up panoramic country views, stroll along cobbled streets, or relax by the river, SoGlos has chosen 14 of the Cotswolds’ most beautiful destinations.

1. Lower Slaughter

A photo posted by chiara (@ciccibumm) on

A postcard-perfect village nestled on the banks of the River Eye, Lower Slaughter epitomises country charm, with its unspoilt streets offering a quiet alternative to its neighbour, bustling Bourton-on-the-Water.

Visitors can take tea at riverside café The Old Mill, relax by the water, and wander to the equally-picturesque Upper Slaughter, soaking up the sights along the way.

2. Stanton

A photo posted by iLightBox (@ilightbox) on

A hidden haven situated close to Broadway, Stanton remains one of the Cotswolds’ best kept secrets, boasting beautiful buildings, quiet streets, and countryside walks, with hilltop pub The Mount Inn offering panoramic views.

Meanwhile just down the road is Stanway House and Fountain, a stunning Jacobean manor house with beautiful gardens that’s open in spring and summer.

3. Bibury

Famous for its photogenic Arlington Row and hailed by William Morris as ‘the most beautiful village in England’, Bibury attracts heaps of happy tourists craving a quintessential Cotswold experience.

Located on the River Coln, attractions include The William Morris tearoom, and Bibury Trout Farm, while the river banks are perfect for picnics and gentle wandering.

4. Bourton-on-the-Water

A photo posted by Kirsty Hinds (@kirsty_hinds) on

Arguably the most famous destination in the region, Bourton-on-the-Water, also known as the ‘Little Venice’ of the Cotswolds, draws in hordes of visitors year round, with its charming centre immortalised in photographs, pictures, and postcards.

From traditional tearooms and family attractions, to pretty picnic spots on the banks of the River Windrush and peaceful walks, the village offers the perfect Cotswold outing.

5. Broadway

A photo posted by @hope_and_wander on

Shopping, dining, and sightseeing are all on offer at beautiful Broadway, nicknamed the ‘jewel of the Cotswolds’ and a firm favourite tourist attraction, with plenty to see and do.

The impressive Broadway Tower is well worth the climb, while the characterful cottages, period buildings, and vibrant village green only enhance its appeal.

6. Chipping Campden

A quiet market town nestled in the countryside and steeped in history, Chipping Campden’s striking buildings and 17th century market hall make for a beautiful and unique high street.

Aside from its ancient architecture, the destination is ideal for walking, with the start/finish of the Cotswold Way located at the town’s war memorial.

7. Snowshill

A photo posted by Alison Smith (@ali5on_smith) on

A chocolate box village used as a filming location in Bridget Jones's Diary, Snowshill offers a scenic setting for countryside jaunts.

Don’t miss stopping at stunning National Trust property and garden, Snowshill Manor and make sure to call in at Cotswold Lavender, which is open during the summer months when it offer visitors the chance to wander among the beautifully scented purple-hued fields.

8. Guiting Power

A photo posted by Keith (@exmoorboy) on

It may be small, but the quiet village of Guiting Power boasts panoramic countryside views, access to numerous walking routes, and honey-coloured Cotswold stone buildings.

Meanwhile visitors can relax with tea and cake at The Old Post Office tea room, or enjoy a drink and delicious meal at charming country pub The Hollow Bottom.

9. Painswick

Also referred to as ‘Queen of the Cotswolds’, historic Painswick boasts pretty streets lined with beautiful buildings, while St Mary’s Church with its famous 99 yew trees lies in the centre.

Stroll along the pretty pathways, soak up the countryside views, or visit the cosy pub The Falcon Inn, while nearby attraction Painswick Rococo Garden is sure to complete any visit.

10. Stow-on-the-Wold

A photo posted by Rachel Paz (@rach_paz14) on

A small market town brimming with quaint cafés and tea rooms, independent shops, and ancient buildings, Stow-on-the-Wold offers a destination to soak up the sights and some history.

Must-sees for visitors include its famous market square which features original stocks, the oldest inn in England, and the pretty St Edward’s Church.

11. Chedworth

A photo posted by Olly Purvis (@ollygp) on

Nestled in the heart of the Cotswolds, Chedworth is best known for its historic Roman Villa, which aside from being one of the largest in Britain, boasts an unrivalled setting within glorious scenery.

Aside from the ancient attraction, visitors can enjoy a gentle walk through the pretty streets and the surrounding countryside.

12. Castle Combe

Located just beyond the Gloucestershire border, the incredibly pretty Castle Combe is well worth the journey, offering endless photo opportunities, from its honey-coloured buildings and 14th-century market cross, to flowing river and quiet churches.

Meanwhile, eagle-eyed film fans can enjoy the chance to spot locations from productions such as Stardust and Doctor DoLittle.

13. Naunton

A photo posted by Anita (@anitaintheuk) on

An unspoilt village located close to busier attractions such as Bourton-on-the-Water and Stow-on-the-Wold, Naunton is a peaceful haven, ideal for quiet wanderings, or a relaxing drink in the local pub.

And adding to the village’s country charm is the flowing River Windrush and a historic Dovecote.

14. Burford

A photo posted by Jolan (@jolanchen) on

Considered the southern gateway to the Cotswolds, Burford is a bustling and beautiful old town, with unique shops and inviting eateries sure to keep visitors busy.

The sloping high street offers brilliant views and period buildings, leading down to the River Windrush with a plethora of pretty points to see on the way.

By Kathryn Godfrey

© SoGlos
Monday 11 November 2019

More hot lists you might like...

Discover where to shop for Christmas trees across Gloucestershire this festive season.

18 places to buy your Christmas tree in Gloucestershire

SoGlos has picked 18 tree-mendous places to buy (or rent) a real Christmas tree in Gloucestershire, this December 2020.

Discover some of the most romantic places to pop the question in Gloucestershire.

20 of the most romantic places to propose in Gloucestershire

Whether you want to whisper it into their ear or shout it from the rooftops, be inspired by 20 of Gloucestershire’s most...

Discover 7 of the best ways to achieve your fitness goals, with the help of Gloucestershire personal trainer Prime Motion.

7 of the simplest ways to achieve your fitness goals

From taking part in online classes to de-stressing, Gloucestershire-based personal trainer Prime Motion gives SoGlos readers...

Gloucestershire-based Naylor Powell estate agency shares 7 services every modern estate agent should offer.

7 modern services your estate agents should be offering

In a rapidly changing property market, get the best possible service from your estate agent with this checklist of 7 modern...

Looking for a new bike riding route? Here’s some great places to cycle in Gloucestershire.

11 places to get on your bike in Gloucestershire

Lockdown-friendly and free, with plenty of fresh air, SoGlos has rounded up of 11 of the best places to get on your bike in...

Unmissable highlights