5 Best Places to Visit in the Cotswolds

1. Broadway Tower and Park

In terms of classic Cotswold architecture, one of the most breath-taking and iconic examples is Broadway Tower, a magnificent 18th century construction that sits atop a stunning escarpment just south of Evesham. Not only is the tower itself a wonder to behold, considering its unique amalgamation of architectural styles, but the 50-acre estate in which it sits is also incredibly beautiful. In addition to the tower, there is also the Morris and Brown Café on the estate, which provides weary walkers with excellent coffee and delicious scones. Lastly it is worth mentioning that part of the estate is a large deer park, making for particularly captivating photos with deer in the foreground and the tower in the back. This scenic place makes the cut as one of the best places to visit in the Cotswolds.

Best time to go

All year round the Tower provides fantastic vistas and great experiences, but the autumn is particularly beautiful considering the changing colours of the leaves and the gentle chill which provides the café with a more comforting feel.

2. Bourton on the Water

No compilation of the best places to visit in the Cotswold would be complete without this quintessential Cotswold village. Bourton on the Water is remarkable for a variety of reasons. However, it is its collections of small bridges and waterways, channelling the river Windrush through the village that give it its unique charm and earn it the moniker “The Venice of the Cotswolds”. In addition to strolling along its picturesque streets, there are plenty of things to do and see in the village, most of which revolve around food and drink. If you only go once, The Croft is where to have your breakfast, but the Bakery on the Water is where to pick up pastries to fuel you as you discover this delightful region.

Best time to go

As one of the most popular villages for tourists, summer can be a little overwhelming. Early springtime is probably a better option as the footfall is lighter, but the spring sunshine still makes the waters glisten and the daffodils that line the river are an uplifting sight for any visitor.

3. Ebrington/The Ebrington Arms

Like many of the towns and villages within the Cotswolds, Ebrington is full of character. From its charming thatched cottages, to its stoic church St.Eadburgha, Ebrington is a wonderful place to explore. At the epicentre of this idyllic village is its main attraction, The Ebrington Arms. This extraordinary pub is known far and wide for its sublime menu and thirst-quenching beers. It has even won the enviable accolade of The Time’s number 1 village pub. Not only can you sample the pub’s amazing food and atmosphere, but if you are prudent in booking, you may also be able to stay in one of their rooms, giving yourself the chance to enjoy their fabulous home-cooked breakfasts.

Best time to go

Although fantastic throughout the year, winter would be the best time. Cosy up next to the fire after a long walk and ordering some quality pub food and drink proper ale, knowing that there is a comfy bed just upstairs for you, sounds like the ideal situation. This makes for it to be one of the best places to visit in the Cotswolds.

4. Castlecombe

Walking around Castlecombe you would be forgiven if you thought that you had magically travelled back in time. The village is one of the most well-preserved of the Cotswold villages, encapsulating what many might imagine when they think about a traditional English village. Its lovely old limestone houses and verdant streets make for terrific photos. In fact, its aesthetics are so well recognised that Hollywood have used the village for the setting of multiple movies, including War Horse and the original Doctor Dolittle. No visit is complete without popping into The Castle Inn or White Hart to wet the whistle. Or if you are feeling flush, dining out at its Michelin-starred restaurant The Bybrook.

Best time to go

As a popular tourist spot, Castlecombe is very busy come spring and summer. However, if you can put up with the crowds, there are very few places like Castlecombe in the brilliant sunshine making it one of the best places to visit in the Cotswolds.

5. Barnsley House, Cirencester

Nestled in the heart of Barnsley village, Barnsley House is an immaculate and visually irresistible 17th-century manor house, which is now an up-market hotel. Barnsley House is perfect for a long weekend stay as it is equidistant to both town and countryside, being close to Cirencester but also properly situated in a rural area. The grand period exterior of the building is nicely contrasted by the modern but still harmonious interior, which provides all the latest creature comforts, including a spa. Most attractive of all though is the hotel’s garden, a deeply calming environment to enjoy one’s morning cup of tea in.

Best time to go

Assuming you can get a room, late spring would be perfect, considering that the Cotswold walks from the hotel are beautiful at this time and the garden should be in early to full bloom and thus amazing to walk around.

About Tim Price

Tim Price is an accredited freelance journalist based in Oxford. His main topics of focus are travel, lifestyle and current events. His background encompasses working for magazines, news services and private clients. He especially enjoys writing about New Zealand as a half Kiwi, half English hybrid.