Places to Stay in the Cotswolds
With oh-so quintessentially English villages, honey-coloured stone cottages, lazy rivers, cosy country pubs, antique shops, cafes and tearooms, the Cotswolds are simply perfect for a short break in the country.
A very hard choice and the subject of some ‘discussion’ in the Historic UK office, but the following emerged as our top 5 favourite places to stay in the Cotswolds…
First on our list is Moreton-in-Marsh, as this ‘Gateway to the Cotswolds’ is on the main railway line from London Paddington and therefore the starting point for many a visit to the Cotswolds. A lovely market town of honey-coloured buildings, Moreton offers quirky independent shops, cafes, inns and hotels. Every Tuesday the town hosts a very popular and lively market, said to be the largest open-air street market in the Cotswolds.
For accommodation, try the White Hart Royal where King Charles I took shelter during the English Civil War. This 17th century coaching inn oozes history and character and is situated right on the High Street. The individually styled rooms range from singles to four poster rooms and start at around £105 per night.
Next on our list are the picture-perfect Slaughters. The River Eye meanders lazily through the centre of Lower Slaughter and alongside the gardens of Washbourne Court, an ideal place for a cream tea on a warm summer’s day. Or feed the ducks and then wander along the river down to the Mill for an ice-cream. A lovely walk through the meadows brings you to tranquil Upper Slaughter. Interestingly, Upper Slaughter is one of the few Doubley Thankful Villages, having lost no men in either World War One or Two.
Offering contemporary bedrooms and relaxed informal dining, Washbourne Court in Lower Slaughter has rooms starting at around £100 per night. Or try Lower Slaughter Manor, a Relais & Chateaux Hotel with rooms from around £175. With 4 AA Red Stars, The Lords of the Manor at Upper Slaughter is one of the top 200 hotels in the country. Rooms here start from around £199 per night.
Bourton-on-the-Water, ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’
Our third choice is Bourton-on-the-Water, just a mile or so from Lower Slaughter and one of the most photographed villages in the Cotswolds. Known as the ‘Little Venice of the Cotswolds’ the river flows through the centre of the village and is criss-crossed by a number of bridges. A busier place than the Slaughters, Bourton boasts several inns, cafes, shops, pubs and hotels, a Model Village, the Cotswold Motor Museum and Birdland.
In Bourton on the Water try the 17th century Dial House Hotel. With its peaceful walled garden and private spa, it is the perfect place to unwind. Or if you prefer self catering, for holiday cottages in the Cotswolds try Cottages4you.
The Old Stocks Hotel, Stow-on-the-Wold
Number four on our list is Stow-on-the-Wold. Indulge yourself with some retail therapy in this beautiful honey-stone small town. Artisan shops, cafes and inns surround the market square and you will even find the stocks on the village green. Leading off the main square are lots of narrow streets and alleyways, all well worth exploring. This historic town is also home to the (reputedly) oldest inn in England, the Royalist, which dates back to 947AD.
Try The Old Stocks Hotel which (as the name suggests) overlooks the stocks on the green. Your well behaved, four legged friend is welcome here too. Rooms from around £90 per night.
Last but not least on our list is Burford. The main street of this small medieval Cotswold town stretches downhill to the bridge over the River Windrush and is lined on both sides by honey-coloured stone cottages, shops, hotels and cafes. Tucked away down a narrow side street you will find the magnificent church of St John the Baptist, built around 1175.
The Lamb Inn, Sheep Street is a lovely old English inn dating back to the 15th century. As well as a 2-rosette award winning restaurant, this historic hotel offers stone flagged floors, antiques, log fires in winter and a stunning courtyard and walled garden for dining alfresco in the summer. Double or twin rooms from around £120 per night.
The Lamb Inn, Burford
Disclaimer: The properties listed above are only suggestions from Historic UK, and Historic UK takes no responsibility for any facilities and descriptions that may have changed since the writing of this article.