Places to Visit in The Cotswolds – Things to See & Do

A guide to the Cotswolds and all the fun things to see and do while in the area. The Cotswolds is an area in the South West of England, including the Cotswold Hills. The hills rise from the meadows of the upper Thames to an escarpment known as the Cotswold Edge.

The @aboutglos guide includes information about the many villages, events, and tourist attractions in the area. They classify the area as an “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,” making the hills are a great place for walkers. This includes the Cotswold way walk, which navigates you the length of the Cotswold hills. There are also many companies offering to show you around all the premier sites in the area.

Visitor Information

  • Restaurants – Places for food lovers in the AONB to enjoy dining out with locally sourced food.
  • Tetbury – A pleasant place to visit which hosts the annual woolpack races.

About The Cotswolds

The official area of the Cotswold AONB is a big 787 square mile’s. The Cotswolds AONB, which is the largest in England and Wales, It stretches from the border regions of South Warwickshire and Worcestershire, through West Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire and takes in parts of Wiltshire, and Bath and North East Somerset in the South. Gloucestershire County Council handles 63% of the AONB. “Cotswold Further Info”

Things to see & do in the Cotswolds

There are lots of places to visit and things to see or do in the area. Options include many outdoor activities, such as walking or visiting historical sights. The Cotswolds is a great place for photography, with beautiful countryside and picturesque villages.

Hike on The Cotswold Way

The Cotswold Way is a 102-mile footpath, running along the Cotswold Edge escarpment of the Cotswold Hills. It is a popular route for multi-day or week-long hikes through the area, or sections of it for day-long walks. The Cotswold Way became a National Trail on 24 May 2007.

Walk From Edge To Haresfield

The route of the Cotswold Way runs from Bath to Chipping Campden or in reverse, depending where you wish to end. Villages and towns on the route include Wotton-under-Edge, Dursley, Stroud, Painswick, Cranham, Leckhampton, Cheltenham, Winchcombe, Stanway and Broadway. Highlights of the walk include Sudeley Castle, Cleeve Hill, Hailes Abbey, and the iconic Broadway Tower.

Have Fun at Cotswold Wildlife Park

The Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens exhibit mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates from all around the world. The gardens and grounds are part of the Bradwell Grove estate.

The manor house at Bradwell Grove dates from 1804. They planted many of the mature trees in the park in the 19th century. In 1970 the owner, John Heyworth, opened the gardens to the public with 230 animals from 40 species exhibited.

See the fountain at Stanway House

Visit Stanway House and Fountain, a Jacobean Manor House and the world’s tallest gravity-fed fountain. Family home of the Earl of Wemyss with water gardens and 14th-century tithe barn. Restored working watermill next door to the main house. On the Cotswold Way. Tues and Thurs afternoons in June, July and August. Groups, however, can visit by appointment any time of year.

Mooch around Bourton-on-the-Water

Bourton on the Water

Bourton-on-the-Water is a village in the Cotswolds on the beautiful River Windrush. People know the village for its low bridges and traditional stone houses, making it very picturesque. The village has many attractions and also has great places to dine out.

Visit The Roman Town of Cirencester

Cirencester is a market town in east Gloucestershire, England, 93 miles west-northwest of London. People affectionately know it as “The Capital of The Cotswolds”. Cirencester lies on the River Churn, a tributary of the River Thames. It also is the largest town in the Cotswold District. The town dates back to before Roman times and celebrates its past in the local museum.

There are many things for visitors to Cirencester to see and do while visiting the area. The Corinium Museum‘s major collection consists of important finds from the Roman town of Corinium. It’s a fantastic museum to visit especially if you have an interesting in Roman History.

Visit Painswick

Yew Trees in Painswick

Painswick is a beautiful place to visit in the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire.Painswick is one of England’s oldest Wool Towns, thus money from the wool industry enabled lots of nice buildings to be built in the town. It is one of many nice places to visit on the famous Cotswold Way Walk.

Attend Local Events

There are many events in the local area that take place periodically, from traditional to modern.

  • Festival of Polo – An annual celebration of the world’s oldest sport.
  • Vintage Rally – Lechlade hosts the yearly vintage rally and country show.

Have Fun at Cotswold Archery

Cotswold Archery has a dedicated archery range, they are at Batsford Arboretum and Garden centre. The archery range is suitable for all ages (Over 8 years old) and abilities to enjoy this ancient sport. This is all under the guidance of fully qualified archery coaches and also experienced archers. Cotswold archery range can open seven days a week, however, this is by arrangement only.

COTSWOLD ARCHERY Gloucestershire

Archery is the sport or skill of using a bow to propel arrows. Historically, they used archery for hunting and combat before the age of modern firearms. Nowadays, it is mainly a competitive sport and recreational activity enjoyed by archers. There are many options for bows for people to choose from to use here, these including the longbow. More info…

Visit Woodchester Mansion

Woodchester Mansion is an unfinished Gothic revival mansion in Woodchester Park, near Nympsfield. It is on the site of an earlier house known as Spring Park. Woodchester Mansion is a Grade I listed building, built on the site of a former house called Spring Park. They recorded land in the village of Woodchester in the Domesday Book; they completed the Domesday book in 1086. In the middle ages, the manor had many owners, including William Leigh who built the house.

Woodchester Mansion & Park

They constructed the building in the Victorian Gothic style; the property is unique because it is unfinished. This means visitors can actually see how parts of the property and other of this period were constructed. Ideal for those with an interest in architecture. Self-guided tours are available most weekends, these cost £8.50 and must be booked in advance. Woodchester Mansion is nestled in a wooded valley with parkland, lakes and pastures, they call this Woodchester Park. The park is a National Trust property and free to explore the beautiful countryside here.

Peruse the Antique Shops & Bookshops in Cirencester

There are lots of pleasant shops in Cirencester to visit, including some antique and bookshops.

In the town centre is Cirencester Antiques Centre. They describe the centre as an Aladdin’s cave by visitors. There is room after room of packed with a vast range of Antiques, Collectables and also Gifts. The centre calls a historic 16th-century timber-framed building home, which is in the centre of town. The centre is home to over 80 antique dealers, including some that trade in antique jewellery. This included sellers of ceramics, arts, watches, kitchenalia, coins and vintage clothes.

On Black Jack Street in the town centre is Octavia’s Bookshop, an independent bookstore. As well as selling books, they also host a variety of events including book signings. This is a great place to peruse and buy something to read for you or as a gift.

Visit The Great British Food Festival

The Great British Food Festival serves up a tasty menu of exhibitors as it comes to The Cotswolds. There are also activities for all ages. The festival typically features an artisan market, food challenges, and also an interactive bake stage. Festival-goers can browse everything from cheeses, sauces and fresh fruit juices to barbecue and international specialities.

Food festival cakes
Food festival cakes

The day includes live chef demos, artisan talks and tasting of delicious food. They also perform live music throughout the event. Also, the kids’ corner offers an array of activities and entertainment for children.

Foodies can enjoy this event with special offer tickets. The Westonbirt House event includes chef demos and artisan talks and live music. Visitors also head home with a recipe booklet. More info…

Visit Westonbirt House

Westonbirt House is a country house in The Cotswold and is about 3 miles southwest of Tetbury. It belonged to the Holford family from 1665 until 1926. They constructed the house of high quality ashlar masonry on a grand scale.

The exterior is in an Elizabethan style, with a symmetrical main building and asymmetric wings. However, one of them contains a conservatory. The interiors are in a sumptuous classical style.

Kiftsgate Court Gardens

In the picturesque Cotswold Hills in Gloucestershire, you can visit Kiftsgate Court Gardens, a beautiful place to visit. This garden is a living canvas that has been lovingly nurtured and cultivated for generations. Kiftsgate Court Gardens’ history dates back to the early 20th century. This is when three generations of women gardeners contributed to its creation. It all began with Heather Muir, who designed the original garden in the 1920s. They later expanded her vision upon expanding the stunning landscape here today.

Kiftsgate Court Gardens

The design of Kiftsgate Court Gardens beautifully blends formal and informal elements. When visiting, you can see elegant terraces adorned with vibrant roses, winding pathways, and secluded corners. One of the most iconic features of Kiftsgate Court Gardens is the famous Kiftsgate Rose. This is a white-flowered climbing rose that cascades over a pergola. Kiftsgate Court Gardens is home to an astonishing array of plant species, including unusual specimens that have been carefully collected over the years. The gardens have a variety including exotic trees and delicate alpine plants. The highlights of the garden is the Water Garden, a picturesque pond surrounded by lush foliage and accented with beautiful water lilies.

Kiftsgate Court Gardens Pond

The garden is open to visitors from spring to autumn, and each season brings its own unique charm. You can find out more on their website.