13 most Instagrammable places in Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds

Packed with inspiration for your Instagram feed, SoGlos rounds up Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds' most picture-perfect places for snapping selfies, shooting landmarks and capturing the county's gorgeous landscapes.

By Annabel Lammas  |  Published
From famous filming locations to areas of outstanding natural beauty, discover 13 of the most Instagrammable places in Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds.
In partnership with Painswick Rococo Garden  |  rococogarden.org.uk
Painswick Rococo Garden

Once a pleasure garden for gentlefolk, Painswick Rococo Garden is the UK’s only surviving example of an 18th century rococo garden, nestled in a hidden Cotswold valley. It’s now one of Gloucestershire’s best-loved cultural attractions, with a fascinating history, family activities and creative planting to experience all year round.

With everything from picture-perfect Cotswold villages to breathtaking natural beauty, Gloucestershire is absolutely gorgeous — and there’s nothing we love more than sharing snaps of our beautiful home county.

SoGlos shares 13 of the most Instagrammable places in Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds, for elevating your Instagram feed in 2024.

Painswick Rococo Garden

As the only complete surviving rococo garden in the country, Painswick Rococo Garden offers a unique experience for history-lovers, horticulture fans and anyone hoping to capture some gorgeous photos.

With carpets of snowdrops in the winter, swathes of daffodils in the spring, fragrant heritage roses in the summer and brightly-coloured Japanese maples in the autumn — not to mention quirky follies to explore all year round — there are plenty of photo opportunities whenever you visit.

Symonds Yat Rock viewpoint

Follow one of the waymarked walking routes to Symonds Yat Rock, to immerse yourself in the luscious woodlands of the Forest of Dean; cross the iconic Biblins Bridge, stopping for a selfie on the way; and prepare to be blown away by the view from the top, where you can look down on the meandering River Wye far below.

During spring and summer, the forest is awash with verdant greens, but for a real treat, head out during autumn, when the leaves are ablaze with reds, oranges, yellows and golds.

Arlington Row in Bibury

With William Morris calling it ‘the most beautiful village in England’, Bibury is one of the Cotswolds’ most recognisable — and Instagrammable — locations.

The 17th century weavers’ cottages at Arlington Row are the star attraction, with their signature honey-coloured Cotswold stone walls and the River Coln flowing nearby. Wildlife photographers can try to capture the resident dragonflies, kingfishers and water voles on Rack Isle while in Bibury, too.

Gloucester Cathedral

From its world-famous cloisters to one of the biggest stained-glass windows in the world, there are so many spectacular things to see and snap at Gloucester Cathedral.

Follow in the footsteps of Harry, Ron and Hermione to get a selfie at one of the Harry Potter filming locations; stare up towards the heavens to see the spectacular ceiling above the Quire; or take a trip to the top of the Tower for unbeatable views across Gloucestershire.

Pittville Pump Room in Cheltenham

The picturesque Pittville Pump Room, complete with its green copper dome, is a beautiful example of Regency architecture — and one of Cheltenham’s most famous sights. 

Standing within the grounds of Pittville Park with its ornamental lake, manicured lawn and ancient trees, Instagrammers will love capturing the Grade I listed building from all angles — as well as enjoying a picnic in the park, or a drink in the Heritage Cafe Orangery next door to the Pump Room.

Purton Ships' Graveyard

Quirky enough to be called one of the UK’s most unusual museums in 2022, Purton Ships' Graveyard near Berkeley is an utterly unique sight to see.

Forming the largest ship graveyard in mainland Britain, take a leisurely walk along the banks of the River Severn to explore the remains of 86 beached boats, with some dating back as far as the 1900s, taking some fantastic pictures along the way.

Westonbirt Arboretum

From blushing pink magnolias to blazing red acers — not to mention some of the rarest trees on the planet — Westonbirt, The National Arboretum offers nature lovers a picture-perfect background for their Instagram photos.

With 2,500 botanical species, five national tree collections and a 13-metre-high STIHL Treetop Walkway to admire the canopy, there’s plenty to capture throughout the seasons — with autumn being one of the most popular times to visit Westonbirt and spring one of its best-kept secrets.

Gloucester Docks

Gloucester’s historic docks are both fascinating and picturesque, with Victorian warehouses, beautiful barges and the unique Mariners Chapel all providing fantastic photo opportunities.

The docks really come alive at the biennial Gloucester Tall Ships Festival too, with the sky-grazing masts of the historic tall ships transforming the skyline of the city — and plenty of entertainment to enjoy, from sea shanty performances to meet-and-greets with pirates.

Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean

Puzzlewood is a unique woodland nestled in the Forest of Dean, characterised by its twisted trees and unique rock formations called scowles. The woodland takes on an incredible array of colours throughout the year, with lush green mosses, swathes of bluebells in spring and earthy brown mushrooms in autumn.

It’s another one of Gloucestershire’s famous filming locations, with Star Wars fans able to see where parts of The Force Awakens was filmed; fairy-spotters can hunt for doorways in the trees; while wildlife-lovers can look out for badgers, foxes, rabbits, deer and even bats.

St Edward's Church in Stow-on-the-Wold

Literature lovers won’t want to miss snapping a selfie in front of the doors that inspired J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings — with the north door of St Edward's Church in Stow-on-the-Wold said to be the inspiration for the Doors of Durin.

The famous wooden doorway is framed by two ancient yew trees and has been named one of the UK’s most influential doors alongside Downing Street and the Bank of England, so even if the Tolkien reference is lost on you, it’s still well worth a visit.


Known as the Venice of the Cotswolds for the way the River Windrush gently flows through the town, Bourton-on-the-Water is an Instagram hotspot — and for good reason!

Strike a pose on one of its many pretty bridges; take some snaps of yourself towering over the Model Village; and, if you're visiting in December, don't miss the chance to capture the town's giant, illuminated Christmas tree in river, with fairy lights twinkling on the water.

The Cotswolds' flower fields

The Cotswolds boasts not one, but three spectacular flower fields that burst into bloom each summer — providing perfect photo opportunities for visitors. Cotswold Farm Park in Guiting Power has a rainbow of wildflowers which start blooming from July each year, while its hugely popular sunflower field usually opens in August.

Just across the Gloucestershire border, Cotswold Lavender near Broadway could easily be mistaken for the fields of Provence, with luscious lavender as far as the eye can see; while the colourful Confetti Flower Field in Wick is one of the prettiest sights of the summer when its fields of delphinium and wildflowers are in full bloom.

Castle Combe bridge

A strong contender for the UK's most beautiful bridge, you'll often spot people posing for a photo on Castle Combe's crossing before meandering off to explore the Wiltshire town, on the southern tip of the Cotswolds 

The Grade II listed structure is a stunning setting for Instagram pics with a whimsical feel, passing over the Bybrook River into a village straight from a fairy-tale; with inspirational photo opportunities along Water Lane, too.

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