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5 Places to Explore in the English Cotswolds

22nd February 2024 Print

When international travellers consider spending some time in England, their instinct will typically be to focus on the country’s diverse array of cities or seek out the stunning landscapes of coastal regions like Cornwall and Devon.

But those that want to escape the stresses of daily life will do well to consider a trip to the Cotswolds, a sort of ‘Middle England’ region that boasts glorious countryside and no shortage of things to see and do.

Here are five destinations within the Cotswolds region to explore.


Although more urbanised than some of the other Cotswolds towns and villages, you’ll still only be a stone’s throw away from the countryside.

In the distance, you’ll see Cleeve Hill, one of the highest points south of the Midlands that offers an excellent vantage point for the Prestbury Park racecourse – home to the famous Cheltenham Festival.

Taking place each March, the Cheltenham Festival betting markets are a frenzy of activity – with the likes of Galopin Des Champs, Fastorslow and Shishkin well backed for the meeting’s showpiece race, the Gold Cup. Unsurprisingly, the current favourite to win is Galopin Des Champs with odds of 5/6.

This year is set to be an exciting competition for those keeping an eye on the Cheltenham race results, so getting your hands on some tickets may be a great way to spend some of your time in the Cotswolds.


Quintessential pictures and postcards of the Cotswolds often use Stow-on-the-Wold as their inspiration. And with good reason: this is the English countryside incarnate, with stunning green spaces matched by a village made up of charming properties constructed by the area’s famous Cotswold stone.

There are nods to the past with St Edward’s Church and Chastleton House, a grand 17th-century estate that reminds us of how life once was for the privileged few.



Perched at the top of a steep hill, Stow-on-the-Wold is also the ideal destination for hikers and those who simply cannot leave their running shoes at home while on holiday.

Chipping Norton

A diverse array of stars, including the Beckhams, Jeremy Clarkson and award-winning actor Ben Kingsley, have permanent or holiday homes in Chipping Norton.

Mind you, you’ll be too busy soaking up the atmosphere of this stunning village to notice any celebrities lurking nearby.

Clarkson’s Diddly Squat Farm has become a tourist destination in its own right, while the outdoor lido is a perfect place to soak up some rays – if the English weather doesn’t let you down, of course.

With miles upon miles of hikes starting at or passing through Chipping Norton, this is the ideal place for the active and the more relaxed alike.


If you just can’t leave city life behind, you’ll be glad to know that the Cotswolds region does have a city of its own nearby.

Gloucester manages to blend the hustle and bustle of city life with a more relaxed feel, with extensive waterways offering a peaceful starting point for your own aquatic adventure. The Quays, a dockside hub of shopping and eateries, is situated nearby.



The Gloucester Cathedral plays host to the tomb of King Edward II, while the Gothic architecture is sure to wow lovers of grand old buildings.

And if you seek a doorway to a bygone age, Gloucester offers a raft of museums and learning experiences – from aviation and the world wars to the birth of the city’s unique waterways.

With so much to see and do, the Cotswolds really is a true English gem.