Saturday 17 August 2019

11 hidden Cotswold gems

Romantic gardens, historical havens, and quintessential tearooms are a handful of hidden Cotswold gems, just waiting to be discovered.

Renowned for its chocolate-box villages and rolling countryside, the Cotswolds exude quintessential rural beauty and are brimming with popular attractions, remaining one of the country’s most popular destinations.

Aside from the tourist hot spots, the Area of Outstanding Beauty is home to plenty of lesser-known attractions, from glorious gardens to historical stately homes lying right on your doorstep.


1. Chedworth Roman Villa

A post shared by Marc Allum (@marcjallum) on


Offering a slice of local history and stunning hillside scenery, Chedworth Roman Villa lies in a pretty Cotswold valley, providing a great destination for pretty walks, picnics with a view, and some discovering fun.

Visitors can browse fascinating artefacts in the museum, see echoes of the past at the Nymphaeum water shrine, join guided tours, or just relax and soak up the beautiful sights.


2. The Garden at Miserden

A post shared by SoGlos (@soglos) on


A picture-perfect beauty spot in the heart of the Cotswolds, The Garden at Miserden boasts panoramic countryside views, blankets of colour from spring through to autumn, and lovely features including a centuries-old mulberry tree and an impressive topiary yew walk.

Designed in the 17th century and set on a glorious 850-acre estate, the hidden gem retains a wonderful sense of peace and tranquillity, and has been hailed as ‘one of the top 10 most romantic gardens in the world.’


3. Hailes Abbey


Set in the midst of rolling countryside, the ruins of Hailes Abbey near Winchcombe are sure to delight naturalists and history buffs, who can appreciate the serene Cotswold setting and enjoy a glimpse into 13th-century monastic life.

Whether you want to enjoy an audio tour, explore the museum, wander around the striking ruins and imagine how the medieval monks lived, or settle down and enjoy a picnic, the attraction offers something for everyone.


4. Dr Jenner's House


The house of the doctor whose vaccination work changed the world and saved countless lives, Dr Jenner’s House, Museum and Garden allows visitors to see Jenner’s studio, discover his wider interests such as fossil hunting and ballooning, and see the Temple of Vaccinia.

What’s more, there’s the chance to head outside and take a stroll through the gardens which surround the characterful grade II-listed 18th century building, the Chantry, making for an insightful and enjoyable visit.


5. Bourton House Garden

A post shared by Muñeca (@munecadeleongarza) on


An award-winning three-acre garden located at Bourton-on-the-Hill, Bourton House Garden is set against a beautiful 18th-century manor house, featuring imaginative topiary, water features, and an abundance of plants.

Visitors also have the chance to embark on a walk in the garden’s seven-acre field which visits groups of specimen trees, and enjoy delicious homemade sweet treats too.


6. Lodge Park

A post shared by Lodge Park NT (@lodgeparknt) on


A peaceful Cotswold estate just outside of Cheltenham, Lodge Park is part of the Sherborne Estate, offering an area rich in diverse wildlife with stunning landscapes and rolling parkland.

England’s only surviving 17th-century grandstand, the historic gem promises a memorable visit within a unique and natural setting.


7. Sezincote House and Garden

A post shared by Fabrice Bana (@agentofstyle) on


A completely unique Cotswold attraction, 200-year-old Mogul Indian palace Sezincote is home to waterfalls, grottoes, canals and temples which conjure images of the magnificent Taj Mahal.

From the spring-fed pools and curving orangery, to the small pavilion and water garden, the destination is a gem just waiting to be discovered.


8. The Old Mill at Lower Slaughter


For quaint Cotswold charm within a picture-perfect village, The Old Mill at Lower Slaughter can’t be beaten, with an award-winning gift and craft shop, handmade organic ice-cream parlour, and riverside tearoom which offers beautiful views.

Visitors can relax on the alfresco terrace and soak up the country views, listen to jazz music as they browse for unique gifts, or step back in time in the Old Mill, whilst taking the opportunity to explore the chocolate-box village too.


9. Kelmscott Manor


The Cotswold retreat that inspired poet William Morris, Kelmscott Manor offers an unspoilt attraction with a serene setting, with visitors able to expect the same beauty and seclusion that influenced William’s ideas on conservation.

Venture inside the house to see an impressive collection of Morris’ possessions and works, while the glorious gardens promise a treat for the eyes, and the tearoom offers a space to relax and enjoy some delicious refreshments.


10. Chavenage House

A post shared by Chavenage House (@chavenageh) on


Situated near Tetbury, Chavenage House is a beautiful Cotswold house that has been used for the filming of hit television show, Poldark, offering features that have barely been changed for 400 years, set within pretty, peaceful gardens.

Boasting period features and a wealth of history including the chance to see the tapestry-lined rooms that Oliver Cromwell and his second-in-command, General Ireton, stayed in during the Civil War, the Elizabethan stately home is a historical haven in the Cotswolds.


11. Cirencester Park

A post shared by Doug (@deerwood) on


A wonderful open space located on The Bathurst Estate, Cirencester Park welcomes walkers, picnickers, and dogs in certain areas, with a picturesque avenue leading through the surrounding greenery.

Offering a gateway between the town of Cirencester and the surrounding countryside, the natural attraction covers 3,000 acres, with its grand entrance and polo ground, the oldest in the UK, showcasing its unique qualities.


By Kathryn Godfrey

© SoGlos
Tuesday 07 August 2018

More hot lists you might like...

SoGlos rounds up 9 of the best places to grab a pint of real ale in and around Gloucester.

9 of the best real ale pubs in Gloucester

Lovers of real ale can discover their new favourite pint in our latest SoGlos hot list, rounding up the best places in Gloucester...

SoGlos has rounded up 16 attractions all within an hour of Gloucestershire for fantastic family days out.

16 amazing attractions within an hour's drive of Gloucestershire

Take your family on a day out to remember, without travelling too far from home as SoGlos rounds up 16 of the best days out...

There are so many fantastic team building opportunities in Gloucestershire.

9 amazing team building experiences in Gloucestershire

Gone are the days of ‘blue sky thinking’ while locked in a drab conference suite! It’s time to have some fun with your workmates...

Make the journey part of the fun, with six amazing days out you can have on the bus.

6 Gloucestershire adventures you can have on the bus

Explore Gloucestershire as a passenger, and as you’ve never seen it before, with these amazing day out itineraries, all within...

Keep the kids happy during the summer holidays, without spending a penny.

50 free things to do in the summer holidays in Gloucestershire

Don’t miss SoGlos’s 50 FREE ideas for keeping the kids entertained in and around Gloucestershire this summer holidays....

Unmissable highlights