15 Best Things To Do In Cotswolds, England

15 Best Things To Do In Cotswolds, England

By will

The Cotswolds in England is a stunning area for exploring and enjoying nature.
With rolling hills, quaint villages, and plenty of activities to do, it’s the perfect destination for a weekend getaway.
From exploring the ancient Roman city of Bath to taking a stroll along the River Avon, there are plenty of ways to make the most of your visit.
Here are 15 of the best things to do in the Cotswolds that you won’t want to miss.

Visit the Roman City of Bath

Ruins of the baths at the Roman city of Viroconium.
Photo by Row17

Visiting the Roman City of Bath is a must-do when exploring the Cotswolds – you won’t regret it!

This historic city is full of charm and beauty, with its Georgian architecture and its Roman baths.

Steeped in history, the city has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is filled with things to explore.

From the ancient Roman baths, to the Royal Crescent, to the many museums and galleries, the city will leave you in awe.

You can also take a stroll in the beautiful botanical gardens or take a boat ride on the River Avon.

The city is truly a sight to behold, with its ancient buildings and cobbled streets.

No trip to the Cotswolds is complete without a visit to the Roman City of Bath.

Enjoy an Afternoon at Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace
Photo by Philip Halling

Exploring Blenheim Palace is an unforgettable experience – you won’t regret it!

This magnificent palace was originally commissioned in 1706 by the English Parliament as a gift to the first Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill, to honor his military successes. Its imposing architecture and lavish grounds combine to make it a captivating place. The baroque palace was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The grounds of Blenheim Palace are just as impressive as the palace itself. The landscaped parkland and formal gardens offer a beautiful setting for a leisurely afternoon stroll.

The lake, with its own small island, is a perfect spot for a romantic picnic. There are also plenty of activities to keep the kids entertained, including the adventure playground and the butterfly house.

Inside the palace, visitors can take guided tours of the State Apartments and view the collection of paintings, furniture, and tapestries. With so much to see and do, a visit to Blenheim Palace is a must for anyone visiting the Cotswolds.

Explore the Gothic Architecture of Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral
Photo by Ian Capper

Step back in time and marvel at the awe-inspiring Gothic architecture of Gloucester Cathedral – one of England’s most impressive cathedrals.

Lying on the banks of the River Severn, this ancient cathedral dates back all the way to the 12th century. It is the burial place of Edward II, the only King of England to have been buried outside of Westminster Abbey.

The cathedral is a stunning example of Gothic architecture. Little has been changed since the 15th century, and its striking features include a magnificent fan vaulted ceiling, beautiful stained glass windows, and one of the oldest surviving clocks in the world.

Notable figures such as the explorer, John Cabot, and the poet, Edward Taylor, have been buried in the cathedral.

Visitors can take a guided tour of the Cathedral and admire its impressive grandeur.

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Wander Through the Streets of Oxford

Discover the charm of the historic city of Oxford as you wander through its streets and explore its many attractions. This city is a must-see for any visitor to the Cotswolds as it’s a vibrant hub of culture, history, and beauty.

From the iconic Radcliffe Camera to the picturesque Oxford Canal, there are plenty of sights to take in. Be sure to take a stroll along the streets of this medieval city and admire its impressive architecture.

Make sure to visit some of the local pubs and restaurants, where you can sample some of the region’s traditional fare. Stop by the University of Oxford and explore its many colleges to get a glimpse of the academic life of the city.

With its abundance of attractions, Oxford guarantees a unique and unforgettable experience.

Take in the Scenic Views of the Cotswold Hills

Take in the breathtaking views of the Cotswold Hills with a stroll through the countryside. You’ll be enthralled by the rolling hills, lush meadows, and stunning vistas that make up the idyllic landscape of the Cotswolds.

There are plenty of great trails and paths that wind through the area, so you can take your time and enjoy the sights. Whether you’re hiking, biking, or simply walking, you’ll be able to experience the beauty of the Cotswolds from up close.

Plus, the area is also home to some quaint villages and towns, so you can take some time to explore the local culture as well.

The Cotswold Hills are the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and take in the grandeur of nature.

Visit the Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens

Once you’ve had your fill of the stunning views of the Cotswold Hills, make sure to take some time to visit the Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens.

This incredible attraction offers a great variety of species of animals from all over the world, from meerkats to lemurs and from lions to giraffes. It’s a great way to see many of the world’s most interesting creatures in one place.

The park also has a variety of gardens that you can explore, from the exotic plant collections to the more traditional English gardens. There’s something for everyone here, so you’ll be sure to find something to enjoy.

The park also has a great selection of food and drinks, and you can even take a picnic to enjoy while you explore the grounds. Make sure to also check out the park’s various events, such as talks and educational activities, which are sure to make your visit even more interesting.

Spot Rare Species at the Cotswold Farm Park

Explore the Cotswold Farm Park to spot rare species and get up close with a variety of animals.

Home to the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, the Cotswold Farm Park is a great place to see some of the world’s rarest breeds of farm animals.

Rare breeds of cows, sheep, pigs, horses, goats, and poultry can all be seen around the park.

In addition, visitors can also meet some of the park’s more exotic residents, such as llamas, alpacas, and wallabies.

Children will love getting up close and personal with the animals, whether it be feeding them treats or taking part in animal handling sessions.

The park also has a selection of activities, including tractor rides, nature trails, and a daily farm show.

Here, visitors can learn about the importance of rare breeds and their role in maintaining biodiversity.

After the show, visitors can explore the park’s museum and get a glimpse of some of the historical tools and artifacts used on the farm.

Enjoy a Relaxing Afternoon at Sudeley Castle

Immerse yourself in the rich history of Sudeley Castle and take in its stunning grounds for a truly tranquil afternoon.

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Built in the 15th century, Sudeley Castle is the only surviving private castle in England that has a queen buried in its grounds. It’s a historic home to the Hanbury family who’ve lived there for over 400 years.

As you explore the castle, you’ll find a variety of artifacts and artworks, including a collection of tapestries dating back to the 17th century.

The stunning grounds are also worth exploring, with gardens, a lake, and even a vineyard. Take a peaceful walk along the pathways, admire the vibrant flowers, and even take a boat out on the lake.

During the summer months, you can also enjoy outdoor activities such as falconry displays and story-telling events.

With its rich history and beautiful scenery, Sudeley Castle is an ideal destination for a relaxing afternoon.

Take a Trip Back in Time at Berkeley Castle

Take a trip back to medieval times at Berkeley Castle, one of the oldest surviving castles in England.

Founded in 1153, the castle has been home to the Berkeley family for over 850 years.

The fortified walls and towers, as well as the great hall, chapel, and other buildings, are full of history and charm.

Stroll through the castle’s grounds and gardens and explore the many rooms, each with its own story.

From royal visits to tales of past battles, Berkeley Castle offers a unique chance to take a step back in time and experience the exciting history of the Cotswolds.

The castle is open to the public, so visitors can take the opportunity to explore and learn about this ancient structure and the people who lived there.

From guided tours to educational activities and special events, Berkeley Castle is a must-see for anyone looking to experience the best of the Cotswolds.

Sample Delicious Ales at the Cotswold Brewing Company

Indulge in the finest ales at the Cotswold Brewing Company, where craftsmanship and passion have been combined for over two decades to create the perfect pint.

From their award-winning lagers to their unique seasonal ales, the Cotswold Brewing Company is a must-visit destination for beer connoisseurs.

The brewery is located in the heart of the Cotswolds, and offers tastings, tours, and a gift shop.

The brewery offers several different types of tours, from the full brewery tour to the cask ale tasting experience.

The full brewery tour will take visitors through the entire brewing process, from start to finish.

You’ll get to learn all about the brewery’s history, ingredients, and techniques.

The cask ale tasting experience allows visitors to sample an array of different ales, each with its own unique flavor and aroma.

The knowledgeable and friendly staff will guide you through the tasting process and provide helpful tips on how to get the most out of each beer.

So what are you waiting for?

Head to the Cotswold Brewing Company and sample some of the best ales in England!

Visit the Market Town of Chipping Norton

Nestled in the Cotswolds, Chipping Norton is a charming market town where you can explore the delightful shops and unique attractions.

This bustling town is home to the oldest shop in Britain, the George Summerfield and Son, which has been trading since 1750.

Discover the old-world charm of Chipping Norton with a visit to the weekly market or explore the many independent shops and galleries.

Don’t miss the twice weekly farmers market, where you can buy fresh local produce, plants, and crafts.

With its cobbled streets, medieval architecture, and independent spirit, Chipping Norton is a great place to visit.

Take a stroll around the picturesque town and visit the local pubs, cafes, and restaurants.

From the traditional tea rooms to the modern-day bistros, Chipping Norton has something for everyone.

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Enjoy a leisurely lunch in the sun or have a meal in one of the town’s historic buildings.

With its interesting history, vibrant atmosphere, and unique attractions, Chipping Norton is an essential stop on your Cotswolds itinerary.

Take a Stroll Along the River Avon

After visiting Chipping Norton, take a stroll along the River Avon and experience the beauty of the Cotswolds.

The River Avon is known for its peaceful meandering path which winds through the picturesque landscape of the Cotswolds.

The river is lined with willow trees and wildflowers.

There are plenty of spots to stop and admire the stunning scenery, and take in the fresh air.

The river provides a great opportunity to go bird watching, and you may even spot a kingfisher or two.

You can hire a kayak or canoe and explore the river, or you can simply take a leisurely walk alongside it.

The River Avon is an ideal spot to relax and enjoy the tranquility of the countryside.

Spend a Day at Cotswold Water Park

Take a break from the peaceful river and spend a day exploring the Cotswold Water Park.

With over 40 lakes spread across the area, the park provides a unique opportunity to experience the stunning beauty of the Cotswolds.

Here, visitors can explore the banks of the lakes and rivers, take a hike around the area, or rent a boat and enjoy the tranquility of a leisurely cruise.

The park is a great place to enjoy a picnic with family and friends, or take part in some of the many activities available.

From bike rides to golf courses, and kayaking to camping, the Cotswold Water Park is the perfect place to relax and have a good time.

With plenty of activities to choose from, there’s something to suit everyone’s taste.

So take a break and spend a day at the Cotswold Water Park – you won’t be disappointed!

Enjoy a Relaxing Walk Along the Cotswold Way

Strolling along the Cotswold Way offers a peaceful and calming way to experience the beauty of the Cotswolds. The Cotswold Way is a 101-mile National Trail that winds through the picturesque Cotswold Hills in England, taking in the very best of the region’s rolling hills, tranquil villages, and spectacular views.

The trail is well-marked and easy to follow, making it perfect for relaxed walks. Along the way, you’ll come across many charming villages, all with their own unique character, as well as a few historic sites and monuments.

The trail offers a variety of routes, from easy strolls to more challenging hikes, so there’s something for everyone. On a pleasant day, you can take your time and enjoy the sights and sounds of the area. You can also take a break and explore the many local pubs and tea rooms for a bite to eat and a refreshing cup of tea.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll, a challenging hike, or a place to rest and recharge, the Cotswold Way is a perfect choice for exploring the English countryside.

Explore the Quaint Villages of the Cotswolds

Immerse yourself in the quaint villages of the Cotswolds and get lost in the beauty of these timeless towns.

From picturesque villages nestled in rolling hills to bustling market towns, the Cotswolds is full of charming places to explore.

Visit the iconic Lower Slaughter and Bourton-on-the-Water to see the quintessential English village, with its quaint cottages, old-fashioned shops, and duck-filled rivers.

Or take a walk around the historic city of Bath, with its Georgian architecture and beautiful gardens.

Stroll through the cobbled streets of Stow-on-the-Wold and discover its medieval buildings, street markets, and independent shops.

Sample local delicacies in Chipping Norton’s traditional pubs, or explore the historic sites of Witney and Burford.

Whatever you choose to do, the Cotswolds is full of delightful villages that’ll enchant and captivate.

Conclusion

Wrapping up my Cotswolds adventure, I can confidently say this region is a must-visit destination.

From the historical sights of Bath and Gloucester, to the scenic views of the Cotswold Hills, I’ve had the opportunity to experience some of the best of what England has to offer.

I enjoyed a day at Cotswold Water Park, a morning stroll along the River Avon, and a peaceful walk along the Cotswold Way.

Whether you’re looking for a quiet getaway or a full day of activities, the Cotswolds is sure to have something for you.

I can’t wait to plan my next Cotswolds vacation and explore more of the area’s beauty.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.