The Cotswolds spill over from Gloucestershire into Oxfordshire, covering 800 square miles. They are designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The honey-coloured limestone, which makes up most of the building material, contributes to the beauty of the villages. The wool trade brought much industry and money to the area. We have listed some of the interesting towns and villages to visit. Further information on the areas and towns can be found in our Gloucestershire Tour and Oxfordshire Tour.
Go Back: [Top of Page] [Articles
Aldsworth: 18th and 19th century buildings
Ampneys: Ampney Crucis is the largest of the Ampney villages. It has a village green, and old millhouse, and an ancient church; Ampney St Peter is a one street village with a prehistoric ring nearby; Ampney St Mary has a cottage garden open for the National Gardens Scheme some years, and a church with medieval wall paintings.
Asthall: in the Windrush valley. The village has a 17th century manor house, former home of Nancy Mitford.
Badminton: an estate village with almshouses, the parish church is part of the mansion house and contains sculptures. There are thatched cottages in the village.
Barringtons: Little Barrington has a 14th century/Norman church; Great Barrrington is an estate village with a Palladian house.
Baunton: only one street; St Mary Magdalene church has 14th century wall painting
Bibury: The village is often called the most beautiful of the Cotswolds villages; it sits beside the Coln river. The church has remains from Saxon times. Arlington Row are former weavers’ houses owned by the National Trust. For further photos and details see our article Bibury
Bledington: a large village on busy road; St Leonard’s church in the town.
Blockeley: a former silk industry town; mills remain as homes
Bourton-on-the-Hill: St Lawrence church with 900-year-old features; fine barn at end of the hill is part of Bourton House.
Bourton-on-the-Water: scenic Windrush river runs through town centre, overrun with tourist shops (go off-season); domed St Lawrence church
Bredon Hill villages: thatched houses, cottage gardens, church with high spire are part of the attractions of the small villages around the hill. They include the Comberton villages, Conderton and Kemerton
Broad Campden: old Quaker meeting house, tiny attractive village at the bottom of a hill with woods surrounding it; Quaker meeting house
Broadway: interesting shops in an attractive town(see Worcester tour); very busy so go early; 14th century manor, Abbot’s Grange, Lygon Arms. Broadway Country Park’s folly, the Tower is nearby.
Broadwell: large village with attractive green; church
Burford: stone houses line a steep main street; museum; church
Chaddington: a large town; the church is home to gargoyles
Chalford: a valley village with steep wooded hillsides looking down on it
Chedworth: 18th century cottages; church of St Andrew has Norman foundations; Chedworth Roman villa is nearby
Cheltenham: Former spa town with lots of trees; music festivals; regency architecture on beautiful promenade; Arts and Crafts collection in museum.
Chipping Camden: attractive market town with large wool church—one of the Cotswolds best, almshouses; museum.
Chipping Norton: busy market town, the highest town in Oxfordshire; parish church of St Mary has hexagonal porch (church altered and enlarged since the 15th century); old pubs and almshouses; museum of local history
Cirencester: large market town; Corinium Museum; parish church of interest; Weaver’s Hall, almshouses, former abbey grounds.
Clapton on Hill: tiny church (6 steps by 8 steps) in a hamlet
Cold Ashton: church rebuilt in Tudor times; pulpit has stone canopy; attractive manor house (not open to public)
Cold Aston: tiny green with one of largest and oldest sycamore trees in England; 17th century inn
Coln St Dennis, Coln St Aldwyns and Coln Rogers: valley villages, Norman church, church with Saxon nave, chestnut tree at the last Coln
Crickdale: small town with local museum
Daglingworth: church with Saxon sundial
Duntisbournes: in unspoiled and quiet area of farms; Duntisbourne Rouse, Duntisbourne Abbots are attractive tiny villages with a river ford in Rouse; Abbots has a church sitting on large lawn with unusual lych-gate.
Dursley: sits on the 100-mile Cotswold Way; 15th century church; market place
Elkstone: old church surrounded by trees
Evenlode: large village with large green; St Paul’s church; stone cottages
Fairford: St Mary’s church has only complete set of medieval stained glass windows (28) in all of Britain; half timbered inn; antique stores; 18th century High Street
Farmington: village church; 1874 pumphouse.
Filkins-Broughton Poggs: woolen mill in old barn—shop sells beautiful woolen goods; workshops of various kinds by the mill
Langford: unusual church in that there is a pink tower in the middle of two halves
Lechlade: 1228 bridge; church of St Lawrence with brasses; tollhouse
Minchinhampton: on the Cotswold plateau, surrounded by commons; 18th century centre of woollen cloth industry; houses of grey stone with original windows and tile roofs; Queen Anne postoffice, market square; Gatcombe Park nearby is home of Princess Anne
Minster Lovell: see our detailed article on the village
Moreton-in-Marsh: large market town; church with stone tower; Market Hall; curfew tower
Nailsworth: large town in industrialized area; antique shopping; annual arts festival; walks in surrounding hills
Northleach: church of St Peter and St Paul is outstanding wool church; memorial brasses; 16th and 17th century wool houses and inns on High Street; museum
Oddington: old stone church of St Nicholas amid large trees with gravestones toppling over; paintings of Day of Judgment on church walls; no electricity in the church; quiet and serene
Painswick: called the “Queen of the Cotswolds” because of its architecture; antiques, crafts; Victorian street fair in July; yew trees in churchyard
Prestbury: dubious reputation of most haunted of Cotswold villages; timbered inn; almost a suburb of Cheltenham.
Randwick: many prehistoric barrows and earthworks in the area; old church on the hill
Rissingtons: Great Rissington has two village greens and a church, rectory, and farm clustered together; Little Rissington church of St Peter; Wyck Rissington has church with stone roof
Shilton: attractive hillside village with a ford, pub, and church
Shipston on Stour: large market town with a good tearoom (Meg Rivers Bakery)
Shipton under Wychwood: village green; church, old inn
Stow on the Wold: pricey antique shops; good whole food store and tearoom
Stroud: at the meeting place of five rivers and streams; former mill and textile town; an artist, craftspeople, and alternative medicine area; Friday markets
Slaughters: Lower Slaughter has attractive walk along the river with an old mill; Upper Slaughter has a square with stone cottages.
Lower and Upper Swell: separated by one mile from each other. Ancient sacred well is at Lower Swell; the remains of Neolithic man were found here. Two churches survive from Norman times: Upper Swell’s is now the south aisle and organ chamber of the 19th century church; 17th century pub, 1800s village school, Manor Farmhouse (a hotel) is 16th century.
Snowshill: tiny hill village; home of fascinating collections at Snowshill manor house
Stanton: unspoiled; lovely houses in long main street; medieval cross, St Michael’s church
Stanway: manor house village, church, tithe barn
Tetbury: market town; nearby is Highgrove, Prince of Wales home; Gothic style church with spire and medieval glass; heritage centre; Police Bygones Museum, old town hall; Woolsack Races held yearly.
Todenham: church with high steeple
Uley: was famous for blue broadcloth, many houses built from neolithic fort stones
Whichford: old church with gravestones lining the walkway
Winchcombe: St Peter’s church with gargoyles, old inns, Tudor buildings; Belas Knap long barrow nearby
Wotton under Edge: on a hill under limestone escarpment in South Cotswolds; local Heritage Centre for ancestor search; church; 17th century almshouses and chapel