Short Breaks in The Cotswolds

“Quintessentially English” is a term commonly used to describe The Cotswolds area in England. The Cotswolds is the largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and covers almost 800 square miles over parts of the counties of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, and Worcestershire. The landscape is famed for is rolling green hills, stone walls, and enchanting small towns and villages with their buildings of honey-coloured Cotswold stone. It’s all very quaint and English and is a very popular destination for visitors. And guess what that means? It’s going to be very difficult to choose one of the many great short breaks in the Cotswolds.



Perhaps start your decision-making with the type of break you most enjoy.

Do you want to discover grand buildings, stately homes, and gardens, relax and explore the cities, villages, and towns, learn about the history, or use your own power to experience the glorious countryside?

There are short breaks catering for all manner of activities, too. And with the many beautiful places the Cotswolds offer, choosing the right short break in the Cotswolds will not be easy.

My first experience of The Cotswolds was not that pleasant, as I had an uncomfortable ride in the 120-mile international Tour of The Cotswolds cycle race. The weather was wet and cold and starting from Gloucester the race went up and down, left, and right along twisting, narrow roads. I didn’t get to see much of the Cotswolds' famed beauty as I struggled in the race, but I do remember Bibury being pretty as we flashed through. Little did I know that about 10 years later The Cotswolds were to be my home for almost 16 years and my first cycle ride from our new home was out through Bibury!


Lakeside View of Blenheim Palace © essentially-england.comLakeside View of Blenheim Palace © essentially-england.com


Here are some of my favourite Cotswolds places.

Bibury

Arlington Row, Trout Farm, & watching the trout swimming in the River Coln whilst eating ice cream.

Castle Combe

Often called the prettiest village in England.

Lacock

A pretty National Trust village that is popular for filming period dramas. Lacock Abbey.

Stanton

Lovely village with thatched cottages.

Upper & Lower Slaughter

Two lovely villages and close rivals to Castle Combe.

Bourton-on-the-Water

Busy town with lots of attractions  and often referred to as the Venice of The Cotswolds.

Broadway

Lovely town with a heritage railway and climb to Broadway Tower for great views.

Burford

Historic town beside the River Windrush. Lots of gorgeous little artisan shops!

Chipping Campden

Lively Cotswold town with lots of nice “Cotswoldy” buildings.

Stow-on-the-Wold

Busy market town with plenty of independent shops. Must see St Edwards Church and its "Tolkien-like" door.

Stratford-upon-Avon

Birthplace of William Shakespeare with many old, half-timbered buildings and a peaceful riverside walk.


Short Breaks in The Cotswolds


I've listed some of my favourite Cotswold places, and I haven't even started to list all the great sites. Take a look a some of these fantastic short breaks in The Cotswolds. You're spoilt for choice!


Charming Cotswolds

5 Days / 4 Nights


Travel

Coach travel to Chipping Norton hotel & back from various pick-up points.

Visit

  • Moreton-in-the-Marsh & Stow-on-the-Wold.
  • Travel on the Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway from Cheltenham to Broadway.
  • Visit Cirencester & Bourton-on-the-Water.


Highgrove & The Cotswolds

4 Days / 3 Nights


Travel

Coach travel to Gloucester hotel & back from various pick-up points from London.

Visit

  • Rodmarton Manor house & gardens.
  • Hidcote Manor Gardens & Kiftsgate Court.
  • Discover Highgrove gardens, country home of His Majesty The King.
  • 17th century Misarden Park & Westonbirt National Arboretum.


Stratford-upon-Avon & Warwick Castle
5 Days / 4 Nights


Travel

Coach travel to Warwickshire hotel & back from various pick-up points.

Visit

  • Wonderful Warwick & historic Warwick Castle.
  • Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of William Shakespeare.
  • Traditional Cotswolds towns of Broadway, Stow-on-the-Wold, & Moreton-in-Marsh.







Charming Houses of The Cotswolds
5 Days / 4 Nights


Travel

Make your own way to/from your Gloucestershire hotel.

Visit

  • Themed evening lecture.
  • Guided tours of Rodmarton Manor & Chavenage House.
  • Afternoon tea at Chavenage House.
  • Sudeley Castle & Stanway House.
  • Enjoy a train ride on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway.
  • Broadway & Sezincote House.


Christmas in Bristol, Bath and The Cotswolds
5 Days / 4 Nights


Travel

Make your own way to/from your Bristol hotel.

Visit

  • 4-star hotel with 3-course dinners & entertainment.
  • Boat tour of Bristol harbour.
  • Clifton Bridge visitors centre for great views of the suspension bridge & Avon gorge.
  • Explore the Cotswolds towns of Painswick & Stroud.
  • Guided tour of Bath.


Historic Bath, Royal Cotswolds, and Somerset
5 Days / 4 Nights


Travel

Coach travel to Bath hotel & back from various pick-up points.

Visit

  • Guided morning tour of Bath, with afternoon at leisure.
  • Explore Sudeley Castle and find the tomb of Katharine Parr, King Henry III's last wife..
  • Visit Tetbury, the home town of King Charles III & Queen Camilla.
  • Day in Somerset includes, Cheddar, Wells, & Glastonbury.







Oxford & Cream of The Cotswolds

4 Days / 3 Nights


Travel

Return coach travel to Warwickshire Hotel from various pick-up points.

Visit

  • Discover the wonderful buildings, parks, and riverside of the university city of Oxford.
  • Cotswolds tour including the two delightful towns of Bourton-on-the-Water & Stow-on-the-Wold.


Classic Cotswolds Villages

3 Days / 2 Nights


Travel

Return coach travel to Warwickshire Hotel from various pick-up points.

Visit

  • Learn about the life of William Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon.
  • Admire the architecture & parkland in Leamington Spa.
  • Bourton-on-the-Water & Stow-on-the-Wold.


Heart of England

6 Days / 5 Nights


Travel

Start & finish in London. Hotels in London, Stratford, & Bath.

Visit

  • Guided walking tour of Oxford, & visit Chipping Camden.
  • Stratford-upon-Avon & Cotswold tour.
  • Lacock & Bath.
  • Longleat House & Avebury.







A Cotswold Scene - The Ford at Shilton © essentially-england.comA Cotswold Scene - The Ford at Shilton © essentially-england.com





Activity Breaks in The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds Way

12 Days / 11 Nights


Travel

Make your own way to Chipping Campden & from Bath.

Visit

  • Chipping Campden to Broadway (10km/6 miles).
  • Broadway to Winchcombe (19km/12 miles).
  • Winchcombe to Charlton Kings (18km/11 miles).
  • Charlton to Birdlip (18km/11 miles).
  • Birdlip to Painswick (12km/7,5 miles).
  • Painswick to Stroud (15km/9 miles).
  • Stroud to Wotton-under-Edge (23km/14 miles).
  • Wotton to Old Sodbury (21km/12 miles).
  • Old Sodbury to Cold Ashton (15km/9 miles).
  • Cold Ashton to Bath (15km/9 miles).


Best of The Cotswolds Cycling

7 Days / 6Nights


Travel

Make your own way to Broadway hotel & from Bourton-on-the-Water.

Visit

  • Bike hire & luggage transfers included.
  • Circular route to Winchcombe & back via historic Studley Castle, Hailes Abbey, & Stanton (47km/29 miles).
  • Circular route to Chipping Campden via Broadway Tower & Snowshill Manor (29km/18 miles).
  • Broadway to Bourton-on-the-Water, the Venice of the Cotswolds (40km/25 miles).
  • Circular route via Burford (44km/27 miles).
  • Circular route to Stow-on-the-Wold (44km/27 miles).


The Best of the Cotswolds

9 Days / 8 Nights


Travel

Make your own way to & from Moreton-in-the-Marsh.

Visit

  • Luggage transfers.
  • Moreton-in-the-Marsh to Stow-on-the-Wold (7km/4 miles).
  • Stow-on-the-Wold to Bourton-on-the-Water (7km/4 miles).
  • Bourton-on-the-Water circular walk exploring the Venice of the Cotswolds (16km/10 miles).
  • Bourton-on-the-Water to Winchcomb (13km/8 miles).
  • Winchcombe to Broadway (15km/9 miles).
  • Broadway to Chipping Campden (10km/6 miles).
  • Chipping Campden to Moreton-in-the-Marsh (13km/8 miles).







Travelling on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway © essentially-england.comTravelling on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway © essentially-england.com










There are some brilliant tours around and hopefully my examples have stimulated your plans for a wonderful visit to The Cotswolds. For even more short breaks in The Cotswolds click here.


Happy travels...






For more holiday or day out ideas return from our short breaks in The Cotswolds page to the England Holidays page.