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What great off the beaten track adventures are there in the Cotswolds?

I will be leaving for ten days in England and Wales this weekend. Where are some great out of the way villages etc. in the Cotswolds?
I have been to the Cotswolds many times and stay in Chipping Campden but do not know of any areas outside the typical touristy towns. Thanks for any help you can offer.

Posted by
5819 posts

While I haven't visited the Cotswolds, I have done walking holidays in the UK using Contours Walking Holiday services. One tour that would be on my list if I were to tour the Cotswolds would be the Cotsworld Way:

The Cotswold Way runs along the western edge of the Cotswold Hills
from the beautiful old ‘wool' town of Chipping Campden to the historic
city of Bath. Between the two it follows a meandering course along the
western rim of the escarpment where the land drops suddenly to reveal
distant views, through beech woodland, along the banks of
mill-streams, across upland sheep pastures and dips into sheltered
valleys concealing picturesque villages built from mellow,
honey-coloured stone.

Along the way it explores one glorious village after another - each
with some memorable feature like the grotesque gargoyles of
Winchcombe's church; the neat rose-covered cottages at Stanton;
Stanway's thatched cricket pavilion and enormous tithe barn; the
elegant Pittville Pump Room at Cheltenham or Painswick's churchyard,
with its topiary yews and unusual tea caddy and table tombs.

The Cotswold Way is also a walk through England's history passing
numerous prehistoric barrows and hillforts, Roman villas, Civil War
battle sites, castles and abbeys as well as the grand manor houses and
magnificent churches built when England's wealth was founded on
Cotswold wool.

Posted by
30271 posts

Cleeve Hill
Guiting Power
Cold Aston
Leckhampton Hill with the Devil's Chimney
Great Tew
Long Compton

are all places that I like very much and which are off the main path.

Painswick Garden.

Northleach Music Museum


Walk pub to pub on the Windrush

Is that the sort of thing you are hoping for?

Posted by
6113 posts

Nigel. They asked for out if the way places and you suggest Burford, one of the busiest villages in the Cotswolds?!

As this is now peak holiday season, there won't be anywhere quiet in the Cotswolds.

Minster Lovell is chocolate box cute and The Old Swan is a good place for lunch followed by a walk along the river and to visit the atmospheric Minster Lovell Hall ruins and dovecote.

Cirencester, although a town not a village, is pretty and not as overrun with tourists as say Chipping Camden and Bourton.

Batsford Arboretum is a good place to go on a hot day and find some shade.

Charlbury is also pleasant.

There are some short walks around some of the villages at

Posted by
30271 posts

Nice criticism, Jennifer

Yes Burford sees a few people.

Not many who take the bus from Moreton in Marsh though - most get no further than Bourton on the Water.

And it has one of my favourite churches, and one of my favourite bridges.

Would you rather I said Bibury?

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you so much for some great ideas. I had read about the Secret Garden Tour and it sounds right up my alley.
Keep those great ideas coming?
Any great pubs you would recommend for traditional British fare? Each year I see more and more pubs becoming gastropubs.
So love traditional pies etc.

Posted by
3696 posts

I always find interesting and quiet little places by simply getting in the car and driving and following any side road. However, if you want the cutest villages with some nice pubs or markets there is probably a chance that others will find it too... especially in the summer:)

Greater Tew is a fun stop with some beautiful thatches, a pub and a view of the little town if you drive up a few of the side roads. Traveling off season usually gives one the feeling that you have found some hidden gems, but in summer... not too many.

Posted by
993 posts

When my friend and I did the Cotswold Way in 2014, we actually spent an extra day in Painswick. Not a very lot of tourists but a few other walkers. Don't forget to count the Yews. Google it and see what you think.

Posted by
16 posts

We just got back from nine days in England and we found a fantastic Lavender Farm in the Cotswold town of Snowshill.

Rick has about half a page on it in his England guidebook but the website has great information. It was a marvelous find for us. Just a few pounds to go through the fields. Lots of sheep, lovely shoppe to purchase products made from the lavender produced there, as well as a cafe that serves tea and pastries made in part with the lavender. I had a slice of lemon lavender cake that was heavenly.