Discover the Cotswolds

Food and Drink, Activity, The Great British Outdoors

Posted by Kate A on 19th December 2022

In this part of our Great British Outdoors series, we’re dreaming of the beautiful Cotswolds. Blanketed in verdant rolling countryside with a sprinkling of chocolate-box villages nestled within its folds, there are few places as charming as this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Sweeping across six counties, this English rural idyll is a place where you can spend relaxed days wandering from one picture-postcard village to the next, discovering historical houses brimming with treasures, atmospheric country pubs warmed by glowing open fires, and an abundance of award-winning attractions for all ages.

Holidays in the Cotswolds provide the perfect setting for embracing the great outdoors. Don your walking boots or hop on your bike and make the most of the long-distance trails which wind their way through leafy woodland, nature reserves and open parkland, or enjoy exhilarating water sports on one of the region’s glistening lakes or rivers. Whether you’re looking for a tranquil escape in a peaceful honey-hued village or you like your getaways filled with adventure, you simply couldn’t choose a better destination for a staycation. Make memories to last a lifetime in one of our holiday cottages in the Cotswolds.

Where to stay

Stay in the Cotswolds


Wander the rolling hills

Not only does the Cotswolds have plenty to see, but it’s also bursting at the seams with things to do. You might find yourself visiting childhood icon Brum in his Motoring Museum home one day, and admiring the opulent rooms of Churchill’s birthplace, Blenheim Palace, the next.

When it comes to family-based activities, children will be delighted when they meet some new furry friends at one of the many wildlife parks, step back in time at one of the fascinating local museums and historic houses, or enjoy thrilling activities at outdoor adventure centres.

Those who love being on the water can take to one of the 170 interconnecting lakes at the Cotswold Water Park, where water skiing, windsurfing, sailing, paddleboarding and kayaking are available. Or, if you prefer to keep your feet on dry land, you could sit among the flowers of a National Trust garden or wander beneath the swaying boughs of Batsford or Westonbirt Arboretums.  

The Cotswolds is crisscrossed with a wide variety of walking trails, which take in some of the most breathtaking beauty spots and heritage sites in this unspoilt land. The Cotswold Way National Trail is a rambler’s favourite which meanders across the countryside from the golden town of Chipping Campden to the Regency city of Bath, past the iconic silhouette of Broadway Tower, the haunting ruins of Sudeley Castle and the scented fields of Cotswold Lavender.

Best walks in the Cotswolds

Food and drink

Cream teas, country pubs and Cotswolds gin

Awash with gastropubs, fine dining restaurants, deli-bistros and Michelin-starred establishments, the Cotswolds has long been a foodie’s paradise. Spectacular seasonal menus feature locally sourced meat and sustainably caught fish, complemented by ingredients from the surrounding countryside to create the tastiest dishes.

Wherever you are in the Cotswolds, you’re never far from a tearoom. Crumbly fruit scones served with lashings of strawberry jam and smothered in copious amounts of clotted cream are a favourite afternoon delight in these parts, fitting in perfectly with the leisurely pace of a Cotswolds holiday. Check out our top English cream teas in the Cotswolds.

It's not just the food that’s a huge draw here either; the Cotswolds is home to an array of breweries, vineyards and gin distilleries, all ready to quench your thirst. Many offer tours and tastings, along with the opportunity to purchase your favourite tipple to take home with you.

Why not combine a refreshing pint of local ale with a hearty homecooked meal at one of the Cotswolds’ vast assortment of cosy country pubs? After a long walk, there’s no better place to take the weight off your feet with your four-pawed pal curled up beside you. Peppered amongst the rolling fields, windy lanes and charming villages, you’ll find the kind of traditional inns that you can only dream of stumbling across, with roaring log fires, low wooden beams and friendly locals for company.

Best pubs in the Cotswolds

Food and drink in the Cotswolds

Where to stay

Chocolate-box cottages and fun-filled farmhouses

Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and enjoy a well-deserved break in one of our self-catering holiday cottages in the Cotswolds.

If you’re dreaming of a peaceful break in the countryside, we have a great selection of Cotswold cottages where you can wake to the soothing sounds of nature, open your curtains to watch the sun rise above the undulating hills, and enjoy scenic walks straight from the front door. You could even stay in one of our log cabins or on one of our working farms for the ultimate rural retreat.

Or perhaps you’re looking for a quintessential chocolate-box cottage set in the heart of one of the Cotswolds’ glorious golden villages. Choose from chic hideaways in Bourton-on-the-Water, Broadway and Stow-on-the-Wold, or rustic residences in Bibury, Burford, and Chipping Norton.

And if you’re visiting with your dog, your family or a large group, you can choose from our dog-friendly, family-friendly and group accommodation across the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty too. 

All Cotswolds cottages

Accommodation in the Cotswolds

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.