I would recommend that anyone living in London experience a weekend in the Cotswolds. The Cotswolds is located in South Central England and is about a 2 hour drive from London. It consists of many little villages and towns and was one of the places that I really wanted to visit in England. Everyone who I had spoken to leading up to the trip told me that it was a beautiful place. It definitely didn’t disappoint.
Like most of our trips, we booked this trip only a few weeks out. We were lucky that it was off-peak season because we managed to find a lovely place in Bourton-on-the-Water. Bourton-on-the-Water is known for River Windrush which runs through the town. There are multiple stone bridges and grass areas bordering each side of the river. A shopkeeper mentioned that the grass is filled with people having picnics during the Summer time. It was the biggest village that we visited and seemed to be the most popular with several tourist buses pulling up in the main street.
After walking around Bourton-on-the-Water, we headed to Dover’s Hill which was meant to have a lovely look-out point. There are walks that you can do around this area but given we were in the Cotswolds for only a weekend, we ended up driving to the centre of Chipping Campden. It is a market town was one of my favourite villages that we visited. They had an array of cute shops on the high street
A street in Chipping Campden
The Market Hall in Chipping Campden which was built in 1627
We then headed to Broadway Tower which looks like it is out of postcard when you arrive. You can go into the tower but you can just enjoy the landscape from ground level. There’s a cute cafe nearby as well which you can go to.
Our next stop was Stow-on-the Wold. This was another one of my favourite villages that we visited. Mostly because of the scones that we ate and the chocolate shop that we visited. I’ll write about the scones in “The Food” section but the chocolate shop that we visited was called The Cotswold Chocolate Company. We found some of their chocolate in the cafe that we ate at in Chipping Camden and decided to visit their actual shop in Stow-on-the-Wold. It has been around for around 5 years and the shop has their little factory out the back. The owners were absolutely lovely and we couldn’t resist buying a couple of treats. We bought a small dark chocolate block with salted caramel pieces and candied orange covered in dark chocolate.
While we were in Stow-on-the-Wold we were recommended to go to Lower Slaughter. We ended up driving to Lower Slaughter on the same day but by the time we got there the sun had set and we couldn’t see anything! We made a point to drive out there first thing in the morning. It was one of the quieter villages that we visited but lovely all the same.
After Lower Slaughter we headed to Gloucester. The main sight that I wanted to visit was the Gloucester Cathedral which has become famous for being in several of the Harry Potter films.
On our first night we arrived at around 10pm and given Bourton-on-the-Water is a small village, our options were limited. We had two choices and ended up eating at Aroma Indian Restaurant and Takeaway. We shared two curries which were both delicious. It’s a family run business and after talking to the owner we found out that they originally lived in London but moved to the Cotswolds. We were too hungry at the time so we forgot to take pictures but if you’re in Bourton-on-the-Water I would highly recommend that restaurant.
The next place that was a stand-out was The Old Bakery Tea Rooms. We stumbled upon this place while we were in Stow-on-the-Wold. If I’m being honest, it was the number of trip advisor stickers on their door that caught our attention. We were so glad that we did though! Andrew and I each had two scones and a pot of tea. The scones were some of the best scones that I’ve had – light and fluffy with a crusty outside. The scones were huge and were like a meal in itself! If you’re not hungry I would recommended sharing a serving. We had these scones at around 4pm and weren’t hungry when dinner rolled around.
Nom nom nom…
The last place that I wanted to mention was The Green Coffee Machine. If you are in Cheltenham and looking for a place to stop off that is near the train station then this place would be a good option. I loved the slightly rustic interior of the place. They had a good selection of paninis to choose from and we had some soup as well.
THE TRAVEL TIPS
- The Cotswolds is big so we would recommended picking a place to stay and planning your trip around the town/village so that you can see a lot in a weekend.
- We heard from some locals that there are some great Michelin star restaurants in the area. If this is up your street, book early so that you won’t be disappointed.
- Hire a car. You won’t be able to explore properly if you don’t have one.
- Book your accommodation early if you’re travelling during the Summer.
- You can knock off more villages than you think in one day. We visited around 6 places in a day and didn’t fill rushed at all.
- Get the scones and thank me later!
We managed to visit quite a few places during our weekend trip but we need to go back and do a little more exploring. Have you been to the Cotwolds?