things to do in the cotswolds

Last Updated on: 31st January 2024, 11:30 am

In this article, I’ll be your guide to discovering the perfect UK adventure in the picturesque Cotswolds region. From exploring charming villages to hiking scenic trails and indulging in local delicacies, there’s no shortage of things to do in the Cotswolds. Whether you’re seeking natural beauty or historical sites, you’ll certainly find it here. Join me in exploring the best places to see in the Cotswolds, and let’s make unforgettable memories together!

If you’re searching for your next travel destination, the Cotswolds is a must-see. This scenic region boasts traditional English countryside scenery and an abundance of picturesque villages to explore. Join me in discovering the wonders of the Cotswolds. Let’s dive in and explore the top things to do in the Cotswolds!

Explore the Charming Village of Bourton-on-the-Water

During my visit to the Cotswolds, one of my favourite destinations was the charming village of Bourton-on-the-Water. This idyllic village is often referred to as the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ due to the serene River Windrush flowing through its centre. The low bridges over the river create a picture-perfect scene and draw many visitors to this delightful spot.

If you’re looking for things to do in Bourton-on-the-Water, take a stroll along the river Windrush and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. There are plenty of opportunities to relax in one of the many cafes and tea rooms, or to indulge in some window-shopping at the array of boutiques and gift shops in the village.

If you’re interested in history, the Cotswold Motoring Museum is a must-visit attraction in Bourton-on-the-Water. This museum features a remarkable collection of vintage cars and motorcycles, along with exhibits showcasing the evolution of motoring over the last century.

Another popular attraction in the village is the Bourton Model Railway Exhibition. This miniature world showcases an intricately detailed model of the village, complete with moving trains and tiny figures of people and animals.


Historical Information Table

Historical Fact Date
First Mention of Bourton-on-the-Water in Recorded History 764 AD
Construction of Old Mill at Bourton-on-the-Water 1086 AD
Bourton-on-the-Water Press Established 1862
Opening of the Cotswold Motoring Museum 1978

“Bourton-on-the-Water is a stunning destination that encapsulates the beauty and charm of the Cotswolds region. The village’s tranquil river, quaint stone cottages, and lovely attractions make it a delightful spot for visitors of all ages.” – Anonymous

Discover the Historic Sudeley Castle and Gardens

As I continue to explore the beauty of the Cotswolds, I stumbled upon the fascinating Sudeley Castle and Gardens. The castle is rich in history, and its stunning gardens are to die for. This well-preserved castle, with its ancient ruins and beautiful artwork, offers an exceptional visit that is perfect for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Inside the castle, you can discover more about its history and its inhabitants over the centuries. I was particularly fascinated by the impressive collection of antique furniture, paintings, and sculptures that are housed in the castle. Walking through the castle’s halls filled with displays of the prominent Seymour family was an incredible experience.

But it’s not just the castle’s historic interior that you’ll find enthralling. The gardens, which have won multiple awards, are an absolute delight to walk through. You’ll come across some of the most rare and stunning plants in the world, including the white rose of York City, which you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Taking a stroll through the gardens will enchant you as you discover the castle’s formal gardens, the knot garden, and even a playground for the kids.

Of course, no visit to Sudeley Castle would be complete without visiting the Queen’s Garden. Famous for its history and beauty, this garden is the final resting place of Katherine Parr, Henry VIII’s sixth wife.

If you’re looking for things to do at Sudeley Castle, I’d definitely recommend guided tours. The knowledgeable guides offer fascinating insights into the castle’s history and the stories of its former occupants and are sure to make the experience unforgettable. If you’re interested in music, make sure to check out Sudeley Castle’s concerts, which take advantage of the castle’s exceptional acoustics.

Sudeley Castle and Gardens

All in all, Sudeley Castle and its gardens are an enriching and memorable experience that I highly recommend anyone visiting the Cotswolds should undertake. You’ll leave with a rich appreciation of history, architecture, and natural beauty that this region has to offer.

Enjoy the Natural Beauty of the Cotswold Way

If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, the Cotswold Way is a must-see attraction. Spanning over 100 miles, this walking trail is the perfect way to discover the stunning landscapes of the Cotswolds. The trail offers a diverse range of natural beauty, from rolling hills and meadows to ancient woodlands and sleepy villages.

Walking the Cotswold Way is an excellent way to explore the area’s rich history and culture. The trail passes by many historic landmarks, such as the Neolithic fort, Belas Knap, and the Uffington White Horse. You’ll have the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of ancient Britons and discover the stories and myths that have shaped this incredible region.

The Cotswold Way is suitable for all levels of fitness, from beginners to experienced hikers. Along the way, you’ll find plenty of accommodation options, including hotels, guest houses, and campsites. Many local businesses offer drop-off and pick-up services, so you can customize your hiking experience according to your preferences.

hiking in the Cotswolds

Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking views and picturesque landscapes. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or keen photographer, the Cotswold Way is an unforgettable experience that is not to be missed.

Visit the Enchanting Village of Castle Combe

Welcome to one of the most picturesque villages in England, Castle Combe. Take a step back in time and lose yourself in its charm and tranquility. This medieval village is home to charming stone cottages, quaint shops, and peaceful gardens.

Start your stroll through the village at the Market Cross and take in the stunning views of the Wiltshire countryside. As you make your way through the village, admire the historic architecture, including St. Andrew’s Church, which dates back to the 13th century.

Castle Combe

Things to Do in Castle Combe

If you’re looking for things to do in Castle Combe, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some of my top recommendations:

Activity Description
Visit St. Andrew’s Church Take a tour of this beautiful church and admire its stunning architecture and peaceful cemetery.
Castle Combe Circuit Race car enthusiasts will love the opportunity to drive on the famous circuit or watch a race.
Castle Combe Trail Take in the natural beauty of the area with a bike or walking tour along the Castle Combe Trail.
Enjoy some tea and cake No visit to Castle Combe is complete without indulging in a traditional cream tea at one of the village’s many tea rooms.

Whether you’re looking to relax and take in the scenery or explore the village’s rich history and culture, Castle Combe is the perfect destination to add to your Cotswolds itinerary.

Experience the Beauty of the Lavender Fields at Snowshill

If you’re in the mood for a sensory adventure, head over to Snowshill to experience the breathtaking lavender fields. The delightful sight of the various shades of purple with the soothing fragrance of lavender makes the visit an unforgettable experience.

The picturesque landscape of the Cotswolds, combined with the vibrant lavender fields, offers an idyllic spot for nature lovers and photographers alike. A stroll through the endless rows of lavender can be a perfect escape from city life. The moment you step into the fields, you will be transported to a quaint and peaceful haven, leaving all your troubles behind.

If you’re a photographer, don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning views of the fields. Snap some photos of the purple landscape, and who knows, your next Instagram post could be a hit! Trust me; you won’t be able to resist the temptation to take photos.

The lavender fields are located near Broadway, where you can spend an entire day exploring other local attractions that offer a beautiful view of the countryside. Make sure to include the Snowshill Lavender Farm on your bucket list of things to do in the Cotswolds.

Explore the Historic Town of Stratford-upon-Avon

If you’re a fan of Shakespeare, a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon is a must. As the birthplace of the playwright, this charming town is steeped in literary history that’s waiting to be explored. Take a walk through the narrow streets and admire the picturesque architecture or wander along the river Avon and take in the scenic views.

There are plenty of things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon that will transport you back in time. The Shakespeare’s Birthplace museum is a great place to start, offering an insight into the life and works of the famous playwright.

If you’re looking for a cultural experience, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre is a must-visit. Catch a performance of one of Shakespeare’s plays or take a backstage tour for a behind-the-scenes look at the theatre.

For a more laid-back activity, a boat tour along the river Avon is a great option. Take in the sites and sounds of the town from a different perspective and learn about the town’s history from a knowledgeable guide.

Don’t miss: A visit to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, the picturesque home of Shakespeare’s wife. This charming thatched-roof cottage is located just outside Stratford-upon-Avon and offers a glimpse into daily life during Shakespeare’s time.

“The town is filled with literary history and charm that will transport you back in time.”

Indulge in Local Delicacies at the Cotswold Food Market

If there’s one thing the Cotswolds is renowned for, it’s the delicious, locally-sourced food. And there’s no better place to sample it all than the Cotswold Food Market. From savory cheeses to indulgent chocolates and freshly baked traditional pies, this market offers the best of the region’s produce.

Be sure to try some of the local delicacies, such as the Double Gloucester cheese and the famous Cotswold lamb. And for those with a sweet tooth, the honey from the region’s bees is not to be missed. You can also find a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, all grown locally and picked at the peak of their flavor.

The Best Local Delicacies to Try at the Cotswold Food Market:

Delicacy Description
Double Gloucester Cheese A tangy, full-flavored cheese made from the rich milk of Gloucester cows, and often infused with herbs or spices.
Cotswold Lamb Tender meat with a deliciously rich flavor, thanks to the lush pastures of the Cotswolds where the sheep graze.
Honey Made from the nectar of local flowers, Cotswold honey is naturally sweet and floral, with a delicate flavor that varies depending on the season.
Traditional Pies Hearty pies filled with succulent meat and vegetables, often made according to family recipes that have been passed down through generations.

“The Cotswold Food Market not only offers an incredible range of locally sourced produce, but also provides a true sense of community, with passionate vendors who take pride in the quality of their goods.”

Make sure to take home some jams and preserves made with locally sourced ingredients, perfect for spreading on bread or adding to a cheeseboard. Whether you’re looking for a quick snack or a full meal, the Cotswold Food Market is a food lover’s paradise.


As a journalist and passionate traveller, I highly recommend a visit to the Cotswolds. From the charming village of Bourton-on-the-Water to the historic Sudeley Castle and Gardens, the natural beauty of the Cotswold Way, and the delicious local delicacies at the Cotswold Food Market, there’s so much to discover and enjoy.

Exploring the enchanting village of Castle Combe and experiencing the beauty of the lavender fields at Snowshill are also not to be missed. And, of course, no visit to the Cotswolds would be complete without a trip to the birthplace of William Shakespeare in the historic town of Stratford-upon-Avon.

Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, foodie, or simply seeking a peaceful getaway, the Cotswolds have something for everyone. So, pack your bags, hit the road, and immerse yourself in the charm and beauty of this picturesque region.


What are some of the best things to see and do in the Cotswolds?

The Cotswolds offer a range of attractions and activities to suit every taste. From exploring charming villages like Bourton-on-the-Water and Castle Combe to visiting historic landmarks like Sudeley Castle and Stratford-upon-Avon, there is something for everyone in this picturesque region of the UK.

What can I do in Bourton-on-the-Water?

In Bourton-on-the-Water, you can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the river Windrush, visit the model village to see a miniature replica of the village itself, or explore the Cotswold Motoring Museum to discover an impressive collection of vintage cars and motorcycles.

Why should I visit Sudeley Castle and Gardens?

Sudeley Castle and Gardens offer a fascinating glimpse into history. You can explore the castle’s impressive architecture, the beautiful gardens, and the ancient ruins. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Queen’s Garden, where Katherine Parr, the last wife of Henry VIII, is buried.

What is the Cotswold Way?

The Cotswold Way is a scenic walking trail that spans over 100 miles. It takes you through rolling hills, charming villages, and stunning countryside, providing breathtaking views along the way. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just enjoy a leisurely stroll, the Cotswold Way offers a memorable outdoor experience.

What can I do in Castle Combe?

Castle Combe is known for its enchanting beauty. You can take a leisurely walk through the village, admire the charming stone cottages and medieval architecture, visit the historic St. Andrew’s Church, or treat yourself to a traditional cream tea at a local tea room.

Where can I find lavender fields in the Cotswolds?

Snowshill, located near Broadway, is home to beautiful lavender fields. Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors and delightful fragrance of the lavender, take a leisurely stroll, and capture some stunning photos in this idyllic setting.

What should I do in Stratford-upon-Avon?

In Stratford-upon-Avon, you can visit the Shakespeare’s Birthplace museum to learn about the life of William Shakespeare, watch a play at the renowned Royal Shakespeare Theatre, or take a boat tour along the river Avon to enjoy the scenic views of this historic town.

Where can I indulge in local delicacies in the Cotswolds?

The Cotswold Food Market is a great place to sample local delicacies. You can try delicious cheeses, taste artisanal chocolates, and savor traditional pies. Don’t forget to pick up some locally sourced jams and preserves to take home as a tasty souvenir.