I’ve dreamt of visiting The Cotswolds from the very moment I set foot in England: I knew I would adore the area and I certainly was proven right.
The Cotswolds are England and Wales’ largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which stretches across 6 counties: Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, south Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Wiltshire and Bath & northeast Somerset.
I imagined this area as one full of charme, romantic and straight out of a period novel: my imagination came indeed pretty close. It was a short visit but this is a place I plan to discover in more depth, so we will go back.
I thought to share our itinerary in case you find it useful.
We left London at around 9.30 and arrived at the Daylesford farm just in time for lunch. Daylesford is a gorgeous farm that produces many organic products: it’s located in the midst of the rolling countryside and perfect to replenish before venturing out.
After lunch we headed to Stow on The Wold, a delightful market town, once famous for its annual fair where as many as 20.000 sheep would be sold. Here you can find many antique shops, lovely cafes and art galleries.
After a quick stroll we headed to Bourton on The Water: also known as the Venice of the Cotswolds, this little charming village stretches along the banks of the River Windrush. The river has a rather eccentric tradition; in fact, every August Bank Holiday Monday for the last 100 years, the local football team plays a match in the river! I love this village although it was very crowded which took away some of the charm if I’m being honest.
Thanks to Harvey, who woke us up at 5.50 am, we had the unique chance to explore Bibury whilst the village was still sleeping with its streets deserted. The dew glittering on the grass, the subtle mist typical of the first autumnal mornings and the dramatic sky made me fall in love with this village: It is just so picturesque!
William Morrison once described Bibury as “the most beautiful village in England” and he was certainly right.
Unmissable is Arlingotn Row: a row of exquisite cottages dating back to 1380 which were once used as a monastic wool store. People live in these cottages so please remember to respect locals when visiting.
P.S. you might want to know that one of these stunning cottages can be rented, click here for the link.
After a couple of hours we drove to Cirencester, also referred to as the capital of the Cotswolds. Every Monday and Friday the town hosts a market and, since 1999, it has its own farmers market. I personally enjoyed the small villages but Cirencester is great for food and shopping.
Lastly we visited Lower Slaughter which I highly recommend!
There is a little stream that runs through the village and which can be crossed by two lovely small bridges. There is also a converted mill which now sells craft type products and boasts a little cafe as well. Together with Bibury, this was my favorite village of the ones we visited so far.
Well, that was it…for now!