A Weekend in the Cotswolds
Recently we decided to have a little getaway trip and spend a long weekend in the Cotswolds. Well-known for its green rolling hills, picturesque towns and stone houses, the Cotswolds spans over six English counties and is the largest area of outstanding natural beauty. It is definitely a place you could spend ages exploring. However, if you only have a weekend you can still take in some of the beautiful areas with our top places below.
We based ourselves in a lovely air bnb in Chippenham as it was a good distance from all the places we wanted to visit. There are plenty of beautiful air bnbs and hotels around the Cotswolds to choose from. The easiest way to travel around the Cotswolds is by car, especially if you have a shorter time that you want to fit lots of different things into.
Named ‘The prettiest Village in England’ Castle Combe is a must-visit for anyone going to the Cotswolds. Spend some time walking around the charming market square. Admire the market cross monument in the centre and discover St Andrew’s church opposite. Then wander through the stoney streets of the village and take in the surroundings of the beautiful limestone houses which the Cotswolds is famous for.
Walk down the hill from the main square until you get to the bridge. With the beautiful riverside cottages and woodland backdrop it’s the perfect place to get some amazing photos.
Off from the main square, down one of the streets you’ll also find the manor house. It a 14th century hotel and golf club where you can dine in a michelin star restaurant and stay overnight. Within the village there are also two pubs you can stop at for food and drink called The White Hart and The Castle Inn.
Another beautiful Cotswolds village is Bourton on the water, known as the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds.’ With the crystal clear River Windrush flowing through it, arched bridges and many shops and restaurants there’s plenty to see and do.
Stroll across the bridge and find a bench along the river to sit on and have a coffee, or visit one of the many tea rooms. There are plenty of activities for everyone to do; The Cotswolds Motor Museum, Birdland, The Model Museum and the Dragonfly maze. We would highly recommend trying the maze out!
Sudeley Castle and Gardens
We took a 25 minute car journey from Bourton on the water to Sudeley Castle. Steeped in history this Tudor castle has been home to many English Monarchs with Queen Katherine Parr (wife of Henry the VIII) buried in the church next to the castle.
The castle has been damaged and restored over it’s history up to this day. With it’s beautifully kept gardens and stunning views of the cotswolds hills, it’s like being in a fairytale and it quickly became our favourite place we visited on our trip to the Cotswolds.
Belas Knap Long Barrow
An optional extra, we also decided to squeeze in Belas Knap Long Barrow. It is a 10 minute drive up the road from Sudeley Castle. Belas Knap is a Neolithic long Barrow with restored chamber tombs, it doesn’t take long to walk around and if you’re into history it’s a great little addition to your trip. Note that there is limited parking on the side of the road and there’s a bit of an uphill climb to get there.
The Cotswolds Way Walk
If you love walks like we do then the Cotswolds is definitely for you as there are plenty to choose from. We decided to spend a day of our weekend in the Cotswolds walking part of the Cotswolds Way. The whole walk is 102 miles from Chipping Campden to Bath, and as much as we love walking that was a bit too much for us! There are plenty of shorter trails to choose from with some giving you views all the way to Wales. We chose one of the circular walks found on the National trail website.
Before we left the Cotswolds we had one last stop at the village of Avebury which is home to the largest Neolithic stone circle in the world (think of stonehenge but much bigger!) and the great part is you can get as close as you like to the stones. We didn’t need long to wander around but there is also a lovely looking National Trust Manor house and gardens you can explore whilst you are there as well.