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Bucket list trip:

Last updated: 20 June, 2023
Expert travel writer: Annabelle Thorpe

Where to go and what to see in the Cotswolds – a 5-day itinerary from destination expert and travel writer Annabelle Thorpe.

Editor note – Annabelle has not included specific recommendations of where to stay each day unless it’s necessary. Instead, see the ‘Where to stay’ section in our Cotswolds destination guide.

Day 1

2

Begin by touring two of the Cotswolds’ prettiest villages. Start early with Bourton-on-the Water, before the crowds arrive and then head north to Broadway, stopping en route for lunch at the Snowshill Arms. Afterwards, drive out to the Broadway Tower, a former folly that offers sweeping views over sixteen counties.

6 prettiest villages in the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds, United Kingdom (UK)

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Bucket List Experience
View down one side of the high street in Chipping Campden

Picturesque high streets, historic market squares, cosy pubs and traditional tea shops – the villages that dot the Cotswolds are some of England’s prettiest.

Best for ages 18+

Walk to the Broadway Tower

Broadway, Worcestershire, United Kingdom (UK)

Exterior of a tower on a hill on a sunny day.

Take a lovely 1-hour countryside walk to this 18th-century folly, sitting on the highest point in the Cotswolds with views over 16 counties.

Best for ages 8+

Duration: 2+ hours

Day 2

4

Spend the morning at Blenheim Palace, one of the largest stately homes in the country, before exploring the pretty village of Burford. Head north for lunch and foodie treats at Daylesford Organic, before heading on to the Cotswold Distillery Centre to taste and buy locally produced gin.

6 prettiest villages in the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds, United Kingdom (UK)

|
Bucket List Experience
View down one side of the high street in Chipping Campden

Picturesque high streets, historic market squares, cosy pubs and traditional tea shops – the villages that dot the Cotswolds are some of England’s prettiest.

Best for ages 18+

Blenheim Palace

Woodstock, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom (UK)

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Bucket List Experience
The palace from above with a lake on the side

One of Britain’s greatest country houses, and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim boasts 300 years of history in a spectacular setting.

Adult price: £32

Best for ages 13+

Daylesford Organic

Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom (UK)

Entrance to the Daylesford Organic food emporium. A bright, spacious interior with vegetables and plants stacked to be sold.

One of the most sustainable, organic farms in the UK, Daylesford has an award-winning farm shop, café, wellness spa and cookery school – the ultimate hub for foodies.

Best for ages 13+

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Cotswolds Distillery

Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire, United Kingdom (UK)

Exterior of a traditional building on a sunny day.

The first full scale distillery in the Cotswolds, crafting a range of spirits including the award-winning Cotswolds Dry Gin and Single Malt whisky.

Best for ages 18+

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Day 3

2

Head to the far west of the region to visit Castle Combe, England’s most complete medieval village. Stop for lunch at The Stables café before the short drive to Highgrove, the home of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, famous for its beautiful organic garden (tours must be pre-booked).

Medieval village of Castle Combe

Castle Combe, Wiltshire, United Kingdom (UK)

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Bucket List Experience
A row of quintessentially medieval houses with an old bridge in the foreground.

One of England’s prettiest villages, Castle Combe is a perfectly-preserved slice of medieval life, with a pub that has been open for more than 500 years.

Best for ages 18+

Highgrove Gardens

Tetbury, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom (UK)

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Bucket List Experience
Exterior of the front of the house covered in shrubbery

A beautiful, organic and sustainable garden, Highgrove is also the private home of King Charles III.

Adult price: £29.50

Best for ages 18+

Day 4

3

Discover the artier side of Chipping Campden, at the studio of kitchenwear designer Robert Welsh and the Court Barn Museum. Drive to Stow-on-the-Wold for lunch at the Porch House, England’s oldest pub, followed by a visit to 15th-century Sudeley Castle.

Court Barn Museum

Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom (UK)

Information boards on the wall of the Court Barn museum

A charming small museum in Chipping Campden, shining a light on local craftspeople and artists working in the area from the 1900s to the present day.

Adult price: £5

Best for ages 18+

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The Porch House

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom (UK)

The Porch House

Claiming to be England’s oldest inn, this stylish gastropub has been welcoming guests for over a thousand years, with a cosy, firelit dining room and boutique-chic bedrooms.

Best for ages 18+

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Sudeley Castle

Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom (UK)

The exterior of a well-kept castle on a sunny day.

A history-rich, Grade I listed castle dating back to 1443, visited by King Henry VII. The big draw here, though, is the ten themed gardens covering 15 acres, including a reconstructed Elizabethan parterre garden.

Best for ages 13+

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Day 5

3

Take a bike ride along the Cotswold Line – the 8-mile stretch between Moreton in Marsh and Kingham is particularly lovely. Hop the train back, before lunch at the Black Bear in Moreton, followed by a visit to the Cotswold Cheese Shop. From there, drive to Hidcote Manor Garden.

Cycle the Cotswolds Line

The Cotswolds, United Kingdom (UK)

A man cycling down a pathway surrounded by fields.

Traffic-light, peaceful 75-mile cycling trail through some of England’s prettiest countryside and charming Cotswolds villages.

Duration: Up to 2 days

Cotswold Cheese Company

Burford, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom (UK)

Exterior of a traditional cheese shop along the high street.

Heaven for cheese lovers, the CCC stocks over 120 types of cheese, with a strong focus on local producers. They also have shops in Moreton-in Marsh and Stow-on-the-World.

Best for ages 13+

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Hidcote Manor Garden

Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom (UK)

A beautiful garden overgrown with shrubs in front of Hidcote Manor House

This National Trust property is one of the best known and most influential Arts & Crafts gardens in Britain, with its linked ‘rooms’ of hedges, rare trees, shrubs and herbaceous border.

Adult price: £10

Best for ages 18+

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