The Cotswolds: 5 Must See Villages

Ever wondered where those cute instagram villages are? Well they’re in The Cotswolds and you can visit the best 5 in one single day.

You know the Americans have that impressive that British people are posh, drink tea and eat cake all day? Yeah, I know why they’ve got it and where they’ve got it from, The Cotswolds.

Below is the 5 best villages I visited in the Cotswolds and would recommend you visit them too. There are more, but these are the ones I enjoyed most and offered the most in regards to that quaint, characteristic British village I was looking for.

Less than a 3 hour drive from London, around an hour from both Bath and Bristol. This is one of the best day trips you can take to visit the Cotswolds and their beauty.

The Cotswolds.

The quintessential British village – cute, quaint and with lots of character.

I’ve never really considering coming to the Cotswolds and, to be really honest, didn’t even know where they were. But I’ll tell you one thing, they’re bloody beautiful.

Covering a rather large area, 787 square miles to be exact, between Bristol and Oxford the Cotwolds are a recognised area of outstanding natural beauty. And it’s easy to see why. The lush green rolling hills, beautiful farm land, quaint small villages with streams flowing through them. It really is a beautiful part of the UK and I strongly urge that you plan a visit to the Cotswolds.

With that said, here are the 5 villages I visited and would recommend them to you.

If beautiful architecture, cute streets, good pastries and some decent ice-cream is high on your list, then these places are for you.

If not, we’re probably never going to be good friends anyway.

Each village has a different character. With some much smaller than others. Some a little more touristy. But all packing that beautiful cotswold punch. This list is in no particular order, but my favourite by far was Castle Coombe.

Castle Coombe

You really have to come here to admire and appreciate its true beauty. Probably one of the smaller out of the bunch, but by far my absolute favourite. Each house different in design, each boasting their own little and unique features.

Throughout the Cotswolds the same stone is used and it’s what gives these places their character. That and their wonky windows, small doors, thatched roofs and perfectly tendered too gardens.

Here is where my made up award, The Cutest thing in the Cotswolds, is born and won. This lady had her baked cakes for sale in her doorway. Complete with honesty box, charity donation and small paper bag. Hows that for British!


By far the busiest in terms of tourism, but probably most fun! Burton-on-the-Water is often to referred to as the ‘Little Venice’ of the Cotswolds, and it’s easy to see why. With a small, but beautiful river running right through the heart of the village.

Being the busiest in regards to tourism there is a lot to do here and you could easily spend a day here. The motor museum, lots of quaint small craft shops, many ice creams to try, the bird park and the hilarious, and fascinating model village!

The model village was hilarious, and surprisingly fun. A 1:9 exact replicate of the village, I’d recommend coming here first so you can get your bearings when you’re out there in the big wide world for yourself.


From the largest and busiest to the smallest and prettiest. Bibury is quite possibly the smallest out of the lot, alongside Castle Coombe. But it’s home to one of the most photographed streets in the Cotswolds. The charming, Arlington Row.

With a busy river filled with brown trout, ducks and ducklings this charming little village was definitely one of the highlights of the cotswolds. I can’t imagine what this place looks like in spring or early autumn, the colours from the flowers and trees must be a sight to see.


Known as the Queen of the Cotswolds, Painswick is a little different in character but still boasting that beautiful Cotswolds charm.

Up until recently Painswick was home to the post office in the UK, dating back to 1428. Easy to spot the oldest building in the village as it’s the only one not made out of the famous Cotswold stone.

St Marys church stands tall and impressive in the centre of the village. Surrounded by 99 yew trees all beautiful kept and cut. Legend has it the 100th tree never would grow.


My first introduction to the Cotswold. Which is fairly apt as this is quite often known as the gateway to the Cotswolds.

One of the prettiest high streets you’ll ever visit. With each building unique in its own right. Whether that be a wonky window, large door, or tiny door, each building has its own character and features.


Have you visited the Cotswolds? I’d love to hear about any hidden gems or your favourites in the comments below. I’m already planning my next trip back to the Cotswolds!


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2 Replies to “The Cotswolds: 5 Must See Villages”

  1. Having grown up in the Cotswolds, there are a few places I treasure. The village of Coates with its disused canal and tumbledown roundhouse, the old market town of Tetbury, not as pretty as it was but a nice visit, you may even see Prince Charles as he lives close by.
    The arboretum in Westonbirt is lovely and Woochester mansion is a place to visit, just to hear the ghostly tales.
    Cirencester with its links to the Romans’ is worth a look and the park there is glorious on a sunny day xx

    1. I’ll get these added to the list and be sure to visit them next time we’re going! It’s a beautiful part of the world and can imagine you’ve some wonderful memories of growing up here. Great to hear from you, T, hope all is good your side x

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