Here are my 10 TOP things what to do in the Cotswolds. As I have been living here for quite a while and travel all around I decided to help other travellers with picking some must-see places! Here they are!
It’s been my 3rd year, living here in the Cotswolds and through my discovering of this beautiful area, I am bringing you 10 must have places to see and visit.
The Cotswolds – famous area for its typically English landscape of green rolling hills, stone walls, woodland and charming little towns and villages.
The Cotswolds – a region in central-southwest England, along a range of hills that rise from the meadows of the upper Thames to an escarpment above the Severn Valley and Evesham Vale.
Highly attractive places with buildings made of sandy yellow Cotswolds Stone are perfect spots for photographers. Some of the most picturesque villages that you will find! Such as Burford, Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold and Bibury, one of the most photographed villages in the country.
These 2 spots are my favourite by so far as it’s just about 10 mins drive from me and I have always came here for walks and delicous food.
These delightful woods you can find and discover by yourself in Whichford by several entrances and so let yourself drift by its peaceful beauty.
This beautiful woodland full of broadleaved and conifer trees, hundreds of trails and various wildflowers will give you pleasure any time of a year but specially in spring when it all blooms in its glory of bluebells.
You might join the Macmillan Way footpath which runs through the woods and then extend it to Long Compton Woods to the village of Long Compton. And if you continue south you will soon come to the fascinating Rollright Stones.
This trip you shouldn’t underestimate and charge yourself before in the delicious Straw Kitchen! You won’t regret and have the best of handmade, home grown and seasonal gourmet menu cooked with love of a local stuff.
And don’t forget to have a peak at the Whichford Pottery by the corner!
Woodstock is a fine Georgian town located in the Oxfordshire Cotswold and has a distinct Royal heritage, containing many attractive period buildings: the 18th century Town Hall; the Church of St Mary Magdalene with its Norman doorway, early English windows and a musical clock, which plays tunes hourly.
And I am sure you would enjoy this little and very beautiful city as I always do, little peaceful streets with hidden shops and Cafes will bring you joy.
There are few shops which sell bed linen and clothes from Indian fabric and embroidered pillows as well: One Village and Louisa Maybury.
If you are a Cafe hunter like me, try Hampers or any other along the road!
And the most exciting attraction is for sure Blenheim Palace! A masterpiece of Baroque architecture, Blenheim Palace provides an awe-inspiring experience for visitors. Home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough and his family and the birth place of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting a long and diverse history.
Magnificent palace set in beautiful landscaped grounds. If you do not wish to, or do not have time to visit the palace you can enjoy a walk in the grounds and wonderful views of the palace by entering the grounds via a free public pathway.
And there is always something going on and here is a link to have a look!
This delicious Cafe you should combine with a trip to Woodstock as it is on its way, and it is a must have!
I have spent here my fortune because nobody can resist all that delicious pastry, colourful salads and rich smoothies! So if you are passing by, make sure to stop and refresh your journey!
Quince and Clover at Great Tew is a relaxed Cotswold café delivering thoughtful seasonal menus for breakfast, brunch, lunch and not forgetting our fabulous in house produced ice cream. We have a beautiful shop counter packed with breakfast pastries, always homemade, artisan cakes, cookies, sausage rolls and fabulous seasonal salads. We combine seasonal fruit and vegetables often locally sourced with high welfare meats, responsibly sourced seafood, free range eggs and amazing sourdough breads into a few our café classics plus our own favourite things to eat.
Quince & Clover at Great Tew
Open six days a week 08:30 – 16:00 (closed on Tuesdays)
First time I went through Morton in Marsh was to the Batsford Arboretum, which is just so beautiful and amazing, I went there in autumn and it was all so colourful, but I wish to come here again in spring to see everything in bloom.
Beside the arboretum you might as well enjoy the garden centre and a gift shop full of lovely products!
And whilst we are at the garden centre – I love Fosseway Garden Centre in Morton in Marsh, which includes Cafe, butchers, clothes and anything you would actually need.
If you are more an active person and would like to try riding or you already are riding – there is a riding school just out of Morton. I actually go riding right here to the Cotswolds Riding at the Upper Woodhills Farm and love it. So give them a call and book your lesson as well! I can only recommend!
Still want to know more what to do in the Cotswolds?
Here are other 5 top spots I really like and enjoy!
Oxford by itself offers so much and every day coming here you’ll find yourself spending a whole day discovering something new!
I will write a separate post about it but for now here is a little list.
Here are my top places I have tried and visited:
Botanical Gardens: are just so beautiful specially in spring and summer, all in bloom. Founded in 1621 makes it the oldest garden in the UK – home to over 5,000 different types of plant from around the world. 7 display glasshouses contain tropical rainforests, the world’s largest water lilies, carnivorous plants, desert cacti, and alpine flora.
Try some delicious Lebanese kitchen in Comptoir Libanais Oxford right next to the Westgate shopping centre where you can spend some money after! Or some South Asia cuisine of Banana Tree.
If you are more up to some activities why not to borrow a boat and go punting on the the River Thames, play mini golf in Junkyard Golf Club, ride a bike through the city, wander through the parks, or see a movie, go to a club or maybe play some boardgames in Thirsty Meeples.
From historical attractions to art galleries, activities, parks and delicious restaurants there are plenty of choices and you fall in love with Oxford the minute you come in.
Walking through the park of Broughton Castle is such a pleasure but coming to the castle itself and its beautiful gardens is even better!
Next time the castle is opened again i should definitely try the Tea Room and a Gift shop as well. Apparently it will be open again in April 2023.
And my best memories from this amazing place was when we could join an open air cinema right at the yard of the castle, bought some popcorn, blankets and cuddle on the ground!
Broughton Castle is a moated and fortified manor house near Banbury in North Oxfordshire. Set in parkland and built of the rich local Hornton ironstone, it was selected by Simon Jenkins as one of only twenty to be awarded five stars in his book England’s Thousand Best Houses.
The core of the house was built in 1306 and the gatehouse in the early fifteenth century, but most of what you see today dates from the 1550’s. It was a centre of opposition to Charles I and was besieged and damaged after the Battle of Edgehill in 1642.
Broughton Castle is the family home of the 21st Lord and Lady Saye & Sele, whose family name is Fiennes. The ownership of the Castle has remained in the same family since 1447.
To bring you a little bit of everything I decided to include this peaceful place as well – Tysoe Windmill. A little walk to the windmill sitting on a 180m high Windmill hill with beautiful view will be a perfect spot for a little walk and picnic.
Built in the early 18th century. The structure is a 12 sided, barrel shaped stone tower with batter. The conical cap is covered in aluminium with finial and tail projection for winding gear, two stones, and the windmill still contains all its machinery. The mill operated until 1915 when it was struck by lightening.
Bourton on the Water
Located in the Cotswolds, within the heart of England, Bourton on the Water is famous for its honey-coloured stone architecture and idyllic village scenes.
Known as the Venice of the Cotswolds, this one village offers a wealth of attractions and shops, restaurants, cafes and tea rooms. Or simply the space for you to enjoy some pleasurable time engrossed by the movement of the sparkling waters of the River Windrush, spanned by its 5 arched bridges.
Bourton on the Water
And once you make a trip to this beautiful village you should as well see the Birdland Park and its gardens! Established in 1957, this home of many kinds of birdlife, became one of the first bird encounters in the UK!
In this area there might be a few more places, you would be interested in, like:
Greystone Nature Reserve
The Model Village
Cotswolds Motoring and Toy Museum
Don’t forget to grab some fish and chips in the famous Chip Shed
And for all the sporty people is here Chloe and her Pilates!
Chloe offers one-to-one classes, wild swimming + meditation, reformer classes in Bamford Spa or mat classes in Enstone! So book one and get fit with Chloe!
Being lucky and come to Cornbury Park Estate for a morning Pilates and spend it inhaling a fresh air and feel a morning sunshine right on a deck by the lake, how does it sound?
Guests will enjoy a dynamic mat-based Pilates class and meditation session inside, followed by an invigorating wild swimming in the fresh water lake before warming up in the sauna cabin. Each guest will go home with a goodie bag filled with samples and treats from leading wellbeing and health brands.