Things to do in and around Stow-on-the-Wold

Days out, Activity, Destinations

Posted by Ed Roberts on 29th June 2023

Things to do in and around Stow-on-the-Wold

Take a trip to the Cotswolds and you will discover that there are lots of things to do, especially in and around Stow-on-the-Wold. A beautiful market town in the heart of the Cotswolds overlooking the course of the ancient Roman highway, Fosse Way, from its elevated hilltop position, Stow-on-the-Wold is a busy holiday destination, popular with families and visitors from abroad seeking an authentic taste of rural British life.

Centred around a market square, which is still active with a weekly showcase for local businesses to sell their bespoke wares, Stow-on-the-Wold gained stature during the previous centuries as a centre for the wool trade. 

Planning a trip to Stow-on-the-Wold to discover the Cotswolds? You can read about a whole range of places to go to and things to see in the Cotswolds in our handy blogs about the region. Take a look at our guide on things to do in the wider Gloucestershire area for even more inspiration. Plan your stay and click on the button below to see our impressive selection of holiday lets in Stow-on-the-Wold.

Stow-on-the-Wold cottages


Stow-on-the-Wold is most famous for Tolkien's Door - it is also the highest town in the Cotswolds standing at 800 feet. Historians will know the town for its once prominent reputation as a giant in the wool industry. Stow-on-the-Wold is also home to oldest inn in England, dating back to 987AD, The Porch House.

A wold is the local word for hill, and stow means holy place. So if you put them together Stow-on-the-Wold translates into 'holy place on a hill'.

The Cotswolds aren't particularly near to the coast. The nearest beach by road is Severn Beach, which is close to Bristol. It is 61 miles away.

Best for shoppers Stow-on-the-Wold farmers’ market

Best for shoppers

Stow-on-the-Wold farmers’ market

Looking for something to do in Stow-on-the-Wold that involves shopping? Well, you are bound to find something interesting to buy at Stow-on-the-Wold’s bi-monthly market.* Occurring on the second and last Thursday of the month in Market Square, you can choose something unique and local from a host of food and drink merchants, and craft makers. It’s very popular with visitors and locals alike, and one of the best things to do in Stow-on-the-Wold if your visit coincides.

Good to know

  • Address: Market Square, Stow-on-the-Wold, GL54 1BL
  • Market day: *Second and last Thursdays April–Sept / Second Thursdays only Oct–March
  • Stay nearby: The Coach House | sleeps 4 + 1 dog

Best for families Cotswold Farm Park

Best for families

Cotswold Farm Park

A great family day out near Stow-on-the-Wold is Adam Henson’s superb Cotswold Farm Park (5 miles away). Famous for his regular appearances on BBC’s Countryfile, Adam offers you the chance to meet 50-plus rare breeds of British farm animals on this huge site. It’s a great place for children to enjoy animal encounters close up, and to feed lambs in the spring and see how cows are milked. There are heaps of activities for visitors of all ages to be involved with. We think it’s one of the very best family things to do in Stow-on-the-Wold. Stay in one of our comfortable Cotswolds cottages and enjoy a fantastic family day out. 

Good to know

  • Address: Cotswold Farm Park, Guiting Power, Cheltenham, GL54 5FL | Distance from Stow-on-the-Wold: 5 miles
  • Opening times and prices: Experience prices vary, so visit the website for more information
  • Stay nearby:Sheepcote | sleeps 6

Cotswolds family holidays

Best for artists  Fosse Gallery

Best for artists 

Fosse Gallery

If you love a dash of art and culture on holiday, then pop into Stow-on-the-Wold’s Fosse Gallery. Showcasing British contemporary artists, this gallery has been a beacon for homegrown talent for over 40 years. Both new and established names have their works exhibited and for sale at the gallery, and it's well worth your while if you love nothing better than a quiet, cool, space to while away some time in.

Good to know

  • Address: The Manor House, The Square, Stow-on-the-Wold, GL54 1AF
  • Opening times: 10.30 am–5 pm (closed on Sundays)
  • Stay nearby:Crumble Cottage | sleeps 3 + 2 dogs

Best for shoppers   Daylesford Organic

Best for shoppers

Daylesford Organic

If you are looking for a day of retail therapy with a twist, then Daylesford Organic could be for you. With hampers for sale and spa treatments to book, there are many ways to pamper yourself/or get pampered here. With everything from organic groceries and food products to homeware and kitchen accessories, there’s no telling where you’ll find an interesting purchase. You could also book a cookery lesson at Daylesford Organic or treat yourself to a flower arranging course. There are so many things to do at this Stow-on-the-Wold visitor attraction.

Good to know

  • Address: Daylesford Organic, Daylesford, Moreton-in-Marsh, GL56 0YG
  • Opening times: 8 am–8 pm daily (Sunday opening - 9 am)
  • Stay nearby: Leys Cottage | sleeps 4 guests + 1 dog

Best for hikers and walkers Various Cotswolds walks

Best for hikers and walkers

Various Cotswolds walks

There are a few long-distance walking trails near Stow-on-the-Wold that you can pick up. A long walk is often the best way to get a rich feel for the local countryside. You can choose from the Gloucestershire Way, the Diamond Way, and Macmillan Way to name a handful. So pack your books, backpack, iPhone, maps and flask, and head off into the wilds.

Good to know

  • Gloucestershire Way | 100 miles | Trailheads: Tewkesbury and Tutshill | Distance from Stow-on-the-Wold – 20 miles
  • The Diamond Way (circular) | 66 miles | Trailhead: Moreton-in-Marsh | Distance from Stow-on-the-Wold – 4.5 miles
  • Macmillan Way | 86 miles | Trailheads: Banbury to Bath | Distance from Stow-on-the-Wold – 1.5 miles
  • Stay nearby:Stow-on-the-Wold Cottage | sleeps 4 + 1 dog

Best dog-friendly attraction  Batsford Arboretum

Best dog-friendly attraction 

Batsford Arboretum

Batsford Arboretum is about 5.5 miles from Stow-on-the-Wold. It is one of the best dog-friendly things to do near Stow-on-the-Wold. It’s loved for its 56 acres of interesting and broad collection of rare and exotic trees. It’s a great place all year round to appreciate the colours of autumn or the dazzling colour of new flowers in spring and summer. There is a wonderful garden centre and a cafe at the arboretum. Most importantly, if you’re a dog owner, Batsford Arboretum welcomes pets on leads.

Good to know

  • Address: Batsford Arboretum, Batsford, Moreton-in-Marsh, GL56 9AT | Distance from Stow-on-the-Wold: 5.5 miles
  • Opening times and tickets: Prices and times are varied. Visit the website for more information
  • Stay nearby: Kissing Tree Cottage | sleeps 4 + 1 dog

Best free activity The Tolkien Door

Best free activity

The Tolkien Door

This is the best place in Stow-on-the-Wold for literary fans; the Tolkien Door is a real architectural wonder. Although JRR Tolkien is better associated with Oxford, fans of his Lord of the Rings novels flock to St Edward’s Church in Stow-on-the-Wold. This is because the north porch’s doorway is reminiscent of the Doors of Durin from the Fellowship of the Ring in the Mines of Moria scene. Built 300 years ago, it has two yews incorporated into its design. It’s a wonderful sight to behold and great for photo opportunities.

Good to know

  • Address: St Edward’s Church, The Square, Stow-on-the-Wold, GL54 1AF
  • Opening times: As you can see the door from the church's exterior, it’s available to see all the time.
  • Stay nearby: Sycamore Cottage | sleeps 4 guests

Best pub for ales and wines The Old Stocks | ££

Best pub for ales and wines

The Old Stocks | ££

One of the best things to do in Stow-on-the-Wold is to go on a gentle tour of the town’s pubs. There are many good pubs such as The Bell at Stow, The Porch House, the Kings Arms, the Queens’ Head, and The Old Stocks. Our pick of the litter is The Old Stocks because it doubles as a good place for an invigorating coffee; it also specialises in craft ales, and you are guaranteed a hearty meal comprised of local produce.

Good to know

  • Address: The Old Stocks, The Square, Stow-on-the-Wold, GL54 1AF 
  • Opening times: 12 noon–11 pm
  • Stay nearby: The Old House | sleeps 2 + 1 dog

Best place to eat in town Alexiou’s | ££

Best place to eat in town

Alexiou’s | ££

Greek food done correctly is a dream come true at this exemplar of cuisine tucked away at the heart of Stow-on-the-Wold. Most reasonably priced for quality dishes from all over Greece, accompanied by some British and Mediterranean choices, Alexiou’s is the place to be after a long day of touring the Cotswolds.

Good to know

Best for fish and chips Greedy’s | £

Best for fish and chips

Greedy’s | £

No British holiday is complete without an amble down to the local chippy to see if it measures up to your local one. In Stow-on-the-Wold we’d recommend Greedy’s. Come early evening on a Friday and Saturday, everybody seems to have the same idea; they all wade down to this fine chippy for some battered fish and a portion of fried potatoes diced vertically. Greedy’s is the best-rated chippy in town, but will they stand shoulder-to-shoulder with your regular? There’s only one way to find out.

Good to know

  • Address: Greedy’s, 11 Park Street, Stow-on-the-Wold, GL54 1AQ
  • Opening times: 12 noon–2 pm | 4.30 pm–9 pm daily
  • Stay nearby: Button End | sleeps 2 + 1 dog


Check out our handy map to find each of the locations mentioned in this guide.

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Stay at one of our self-catering holiday cottages in Stow-on-the-Wold

Treat yourself and your loved ones to a stay at one of our self-catering holiday cottages in Stow-on-the-Wold. We hope we have inspired your next break to the Cotswolds and Gloucestershire. Browse our collection of holiday properties today by clicking on the button below.

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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.