When I picture England in my mind I see rolling hills, castles and medieval looking villages with houses covered in yellow limestone and thatched roofs. Whilst sadly this is not the case everywhere this fairytale image can be found in one particular area of England and that is the picturesque region of the Cotswolds. I have spent around six months in the UK in total and the Cotswold area is by far my favourite, it is absolutely stunning and looks exactly like I always dreamt England would look.
Here is a short guide to everything you need to know about exploring this dreamy destination.
HOW TO GET TO THE COTSWOLDS
The Cotswolds can be found in South-Central England, roughly two hours north of London. It is shared across five regions of the country including Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. Whilst you could catch a train up from London (Moreton in Marsh would be the train station I recommend) it would be difficult to see the surrounding areas without your own form of transport. I recommend hiring a car but if you’re a keen and confident cyclist this could also be an option.
THE BEST VILLAGES TO VISIT IN THE COTSWOLDS
STOW ON THE WOLD
Stow-on-the-Wold is the largest town in this list and so I recommend it as the first stop. It was here that the last skirmish of the English Civil War took place in 1646. This is a great place to stop and have some lunch, we ate at the ‘Porch House Pub,’ which apparently is the oldest Inn in all of England. I recommend the Burger with the thrice cooked chips. Delish!
Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter are two of the prettiest villages in all of the Cotswolds. Be sure to park your car, wander down the alleyways and admire St Peters, a historic Norman Church which dates back to the 12th century.
The tiny village of Lower Slaughter is so picturesque and my favourite section of the whole Cotswolds. Be sure to wander along by the River Eye and admire the idyllic cottages and bridges that surround. Make your way past the Victorian Corn Mill with the working Water Wheel where you’ll find a tiny store selling organic, home-made ice-cream. I recommend the caramel shortcake or double chocolate flavours. Yum!
The tiniest village of them all is Bibury which Fox News apparently once called ‘one of the worlds most picturesque villages.’ Arlington Row, the main attraction of Bibury, is often referred to as the most photographed and beautiful cottages in all of England. The tiny cottages, which sit beside the River Coln, are entirely made from local stone. It is picturesque!
All four of these villages are within a forty minute drive from each other so could easily be explored in a day. I fell absolutely in love with the Cotswolds and can’t wait to return and explore even more of this magical region.