Three Days Exploring The Charming Villages of Cotswolds, England

When I lived in London, I always loved taking day-trips and visiting new places. Not only do you get to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, but there’s something special about the British countryside. Maybe it was the picturesque green rolling hills, thatched-roof farmhouses and limestone villages that caught my attention but my love for England forever remains.

One of my favourite adventures was a 3-day trip down to the Cotswolds, a historic and charming countryside I definitely recommend visiting.

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Here is our 3-day itinerary across The Cotswolds, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and as with many of my travel guides, I provide a Google Map itinerary. It’s always worth doing further research as there are a few places we’ve missed that were put on the map.

Day 1:

We stayed in a cute little AirBnb cottage in a tiny town known as Malmesbury. It was once part of the church counting house and is inside the grounds, giving you a unique and private view of England’s oldest abbey dating back to the 12th century. Using this as our base, we explored the surrounding Cotswolds easily, although as much as I loved our unique cottage, I would probably have preferred to stay somewhere more central like Stow-on-the-wold.

Malmesbury Abbey
Abbey behind our cottage

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Day 2:

Bibury was easily one of the most beautiful villages we visited. It oozed a certain charm and made you feel like you stepped back into time. Take the time to walk around and don’t miss Arlington Row where you’ll witness a series of stone cottages which date back to 1086.

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As we walked around breathing in that fresh countryside air, I couldn’t help but notice how much I loved the history of this village. Britain does an excellent job at conserving their artefacts and heritage, ensuring that generations to come will hopefully get the same privilege as we do.

On one of the days, we visited Bourton on the water, a picturesque village with small rivers and footbridges set against limestone cottages. There’s a popular 22-km walk called Warden’s Way which begins here but we opted to keep going by visiting the idyllic villages of Lower and Upper Slaughter. One of my favourite locations here included the walk up to the Old Mill, where lies a craft room, tea room and museum.

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As you go further North, you should stop over in Stow-on-the-wold for infamous British cream tea. We couldn’t say no to jam, tea and scones from Huffkins Cafe. If you’d like to save on costs, grab a fresh sandwich from Cotswold Baguettes (soooo tasty).

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Next up on our adventure was Broadway. During Springtime, the rapeseed fields come alive, and you’ll see bright yellow Canola but as we travelled in early December, we didn’t get quite as lucky with the weather. Broadway is famous for Broadway Tower, where a tiny castle lives surrounded by green valleys as far as the eye can see making this the perfect place for ‘sunset’.

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Day 3: 

Lastly, but certainly, not least is Castle Combe. Castle Combe is a quintessential English village often named as the “prettiest village in England.” Here you’ll find a Market Cross and St Andrew’s Church which dates back from the 13th century.

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If the wonderful villages of the Cotswolds aren’t already enough, did you know it’s also a major foodie destination brimming with gastropubs and Michelin star restaurants? Here are a few recommended pubs and places to eat:

I could have easily stayed a few more days, relaxing and staying in cosy cottages but other cities beckon for my attention. Nonetheless Cotswolds, I’m under your spell for years to come and hope to return one day.

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