Planning a vacation to the Cotswolds? The Cotswolds are a range of rolling green hills that stretch across five of England’s finest counties (Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire). Dotted with cozy villages, thatched honey-colored stone cottages, and winding country lanes—the Cotswolds represent quintessential England at its best. An abundance of delights await visitors looking for an authentic English experience, from historic manor houses and charming hamlets to fantastic restaurants and woodland landscapes. Customize every element of your trip with expert advice from our handpicked Tourlane Travel Experts.
If you’re after babbling brooks and sandstone cottages, Bibury is the embodiment of the idyllic charm that has made the Cotswolds famous. Everywhere you turn, you’ll be met by charming scenes that look as if they’re straight out of a painting. It doesn’t get more perfect than this! Arlington Row, a group of 16th-century slate-roofed cottages sitting just inches from the banks of the River Coln, is perhaps the most iconic and most-photographed location in the Cotwolds—it’s even featured on the inside cover of UK passports.
Cirencester, the self-proclaimed capital of the Cotswolds, has a rich Roman heritage. Once known as Corinium Dobunnorum, it was the largest settlement after London with a forum, a basilica—and even an amphitheater that could seat 8,000 people. Today, this bustling market town is a splendid townscape of Cotswold stone and inviting narrow streets full of independent shops and seriously good restaurants. This local gem offers visitors a traditional Cotswolds experience without the overwhelming tourist crowds. Visit the Corinium Museum for a fascinating glimpse into Circencester’s Roman heritage, stand beneath the buttressed towers and crowned pinnacles of the Church of St. John the Baptist, or wander the immaculate lawns of the Abbey Grounds.
Even in the Cotswolds, where pretty villages abound, Broadway stands out from the crowd. Sometimes referred to as the “Jewel of the Cotswolds”, this town nestled at the foot of the Worcestershire hills is ideal for anyone with a love for stunning landscapes, rich history, and outstanding cuisine. As you stroll down the High Street lined with chestnut trees, you’ll wander past historic buildings, picturesque cottages, unique shops, and restaurants. Make sure to visit the Broadway Tower, perched atop the Cotswolds escarpment and surrounded by a 50-acre parkland, for unparalleled views of the surrounding counties. For a change of pace, head to the Gordon Russell Design Museum, which celebrates the life and work of the world-renowned furniture designer Sir Gordan Russell and his company.
Located a few miles from the Cotswolds market town of Tetbury, the Westonbirt Arboretum is one of the world’s most beautiful tree gardens. Established in 1829 and spread across 600 acres, this historic Cotswolds attraction is truly remarkable. The arboretum boasts around 15,000 rare species of trees and unlike other arboretums, Westonbirt was carefully designed aesthetically rather than in botanical order. You’ll be amazed by leafy vistas, stately avenues, and magical woodlands. Take the Treetop Walkway for a relaxing stroll among the treetops and a unique bird’s eye view of the landscapes!
Whether you’re visiting for a day at the races or enjoying an exclusive guided tour of its spectacular grounds and stables, Cheltenham Racecourse always delivers a great day out. Cheltenham hosts some of the best jumping action in the world and a wide range of events, including concerts, comedy nights, and other live entertainment. Less
The Cotwolds has earned a well-deserved reputation as a food lover’s paradise with talented chefs, quality eateries, and locally-sourced produce. From farmers’ markets and hardy pubs to sweet-filled tearooms and Michelin stars, you’ll be blown away by the incredible selection!