The Cotswolds are renowned for many things. The rolling, emerald-green countryside, the fresh, tasty local produce and of course, the villages. While our variety of tours takes in many lovely villages in the Cotswolds, here are some of our own personal favourites in no particular order (and very much our own opinion!).
Bourton-on-the-Water is known locally as the Venice of the Cotswolds. Sitting on River Windrush, this idyllic little village is regularly voted the prettiest village in England, and it is a firm favourite in the office. The Windrush is crisscrossed with delightful bridges, dating from 1654 and by the riverside is Bakery on the Water, one of the best bakeries we have ever been to. There is even a perfect scale model of the village, with a perfect scale model of the village in it! You can visit Bourton-on-the-Water on our Cotswold Round and Cotswold Trail and Cotswold in Comfort trips.
Chipping Campden is your proper Olde Worlde England. It has the classic honey-coloured buildings, and unlike almost every other place in the UK, it has the most beautiful high street. Perhaps not the top of everyone's list its a pleasant traditional village and if you are there on a Friday at the end of May/start of June, you can witness their very own Olyimpick Games where you can win medals in shin-kicking. You can take in Chipping Campden on the Cotswold Way, Cotswolds to Bath In Style and the Cotswold Trail (including the In Comfort tour).
Rural English traditions in action! Painswick is the 'Queen of the Cotswolds.' A classic Cotswolds wool town, filled with houses built from locally quarried stone. The televised version of J.K. Rowlings 'A Casual Vacancy' was filmed here and captures much of the old world charm. Its narrow streets and location, on top of a hill, overlooking one of the five valleys, makes it an excellent place to spend some time. If you are there in September, you can take part in Feast Sunday, where feasting, drinking and disorderly conduct (good-natured) is encouraged. You can also get stuck into some Dog Pie (not made of real dog!). Painswick can only be found on the Cotswold Way
Bibury, is actually renowned as "The Most Beautiful Village in England" by William Morris. It epitomises the quintessential Cotswolds cottage architecture, with Arlington Row being the pinnacle. This picturesque spot graces numerous travel publications and websites, and has even adorned the inside cover of UK passports. Additionally, don't miss the opportunity to indulge in a delightful lunch at The Swan Hotel in the heart of Bibury. The hotel's charming facade, enveloped by a lush canopy of leaves, gives it a cosy, woolly green jumper-like appearance! You can visit Bibury in our Cotswolds to Bath In Style and our Southern Cotswolds: Oxford to Bath tours.
Rather than the glitz and glamour of its more famous namesake, Broadway is a centre for arts and antiques. You can easily lose a day, absorbed in the browsing of its many galleries and antique shops and we would encourage you to do just that. A honey-coloured main street, draped in Wysteria makes for a delightful centre to one of the most charming of all the Cotswold villages. Overlooking the town is the dramatic Broadway Tower, a must-visit on your stay in the Cotswolds. Broadway is found on all our Cotswold tours except the Southern Cotswold: Oxford to Bath tour.
Castle Combe is the epitome of charm in the Cotswolds. With its idyllic setting and picture-perfect cottages, quaint tea rooms and plenty of vibrant flowers and fauna skirting the church, hidden lanes and riverside. Interestingly the village was used in famous films such as Steven Spielberg's Warhorse, and it's not hard to see why, it really does sometimes feel like you're having a delightful stroll back in time! You can only visit Castle Combe on Southern Cotswolds: Oxford to Bath tour currently.