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One week in Cotswolds and surrounding area

Would love to know fellow travelers advice on specific villages in the Cotswolds, England. We plan to stay a week in the Cotswolds this September (we will hire a car), rent a self steering cottage and take day trips from a single location (well have a small child with us). Any favorite villages? Also, favorite walks and local sights? Thanks in advance.

Posted by
703 posts

we just left the Cotswolds this morning, after spending 3 nights in Broadway ,driving around the area. It was a good base for us. Chipping Campden, looked like it would be good as well. We liked Bourton on the Water, it was very nice to look at, but I imagine it could get very overrun by tourists in the day time. ( it was OK when we were there, but we were told that, the general area, is not that busy yet)
We also drove through numerous other towns in the area, but most are very small and getting meals for dinner etc perhaps could be more difficult. not sure what you mean by "self steering"?
the roads in the area are very narrow and quite busy, so be prepared to expect cars/trucks/buses trying to pass you in very narrow and tight spots.( they also drive quite fast) Also parking can be a problem. we would have liked to stop in lower and upper slaughter, but could not find a parking space ( only a few available)
we only walked around a few towns. there were lots of walks but the towns themselves are some miles apart ( further apart than we imagined) Also we were expecting to see more thatched roof houses.
we had a nice time.

hope this helps.

Posted by
33124 posts

The Cotswolds is a fairly large area, with parts of the area in several counties.

The answer in the previous post is referring to my favourite part, in Gloucestershire, where I spent my childhood where much of my family still live.

But there are no canals in that area. Assuming that when you say you will rent a self steering cottage you mean that you will be on a narrowboat, you will want to be looking around Stratford upon Avon which has navigation on both the Stratford Canal from Stratford towards Coventry, and on the Avon (special river licence required) all the way towards Evesham and Tewkesbury; or looking around the south Cotswolds on the Kennet and Avon Canal.

Posted by
16894 posts

Sounds like Jay is planning on a "self-catering" cottage, with kitchen available, for his family's one-week stay. Try VRBO or or the Tourist Office provides some different links.

Posted by
8 posts

friends, you'll have to forgive me! "Auto-correct" on my mobile phone got the best of me! I did, in fact, mean "self-catering"--something like a cottage or apartment walking distance to a village. thank you for the many insightful comments here. However, a boat does sound quite nice, indeed. Thanks again.

Posted by
78 posts

We have booked a cottage at Park Farm Holiday Cottages near Stow-on-the-Wold for this August/September. Although we have not yet stayed there, it looks like a lovely place for families and the owners have been most helpful.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks, Bonnie, this looks like a lovely place.

Posted by
228 posts

This last May was our 2nd time in the Cotswolds. We have some advice to give you about how your choices will affect your stay, as there was such a big difference in how much we enjoyed/didn't quite like our two trips.
First: Stay in Broadway as close to the town center as possible. it really makes such a difference in staying in a village where you can walk or drive a minute to the stores/restaurants. Broadway was truely a beautiful village with all the amenities of a town smaller places won't have.
Second: here's a link to the place we stayed, it was perfect!
It was inexpensive, three bedrooms, quiet backyard with a stream.
Third: towns we loved #1 Chipping Campden #2
4th: places we love visiting #1: Hidcote gardens #2: Chastleton house
And finally, since you are in the area, absolutely take one day and go to Warwick Castle. ALL of you will LOVE it! Don't be turned off by the cheesy marketing they have on their website... it is a fantastic castle to explore for adults and kids alike!

Posted by
206 posts

We have just left the area and enjoyed staying in Stratford upon Avon because it was convenient for the theatre but on the way out today's stopped in a few towns and fell in love with bourton on the water. It was absolutely gorgeous. Can't wait to return.