The Cotswolds

Things to do in The Cotswolds

You could never run out of things to do in the Cotswolds! The Cotswold hills cover a vast area of natural beauty, historic sites, and family-friendly attractions, that makes it so perfect for a memorable visit or holiday. The Cotswolds is the UK’s second largest protected landscape and its ancient beech woodlands, thatched cottages, honey-coloured dry stone walls and centuries-old buildings will leave you feeling like you have travelled back in time.

Walk through the towns and explore the beautiful cottages and local arts and crafts. The wool trade, which made the Cotswolds very wealthy centuries ago, contributed to the building of many churches which are now known as ‘wool churches’. St James’ Church in Chipping Camden is a fine example of the wealth contributed towards building such beautiful churches. There are also century-old skills still being practiced that contributes to restoring and building more dry stone walls; the skill of dry-stone walling is still being practiced and taught since 5,500 years ago and also thatching. William Morris, the Victorian poet, designer, craftsman, socialist and founding father of the Arts and Crafts movement, chose Kelmscott Manor as his inspirational Cotswold retreat and the country house and gardens are open to the public to explore from April to October each year.

Not to miss are the Rollright Stones Monuments, an ancient site which legend tells a story of a failed king who was turned into a solitary stone, while his guards were turned into standing stones and arranged into a giant circle, the Stroud Farmers Market on Saturdays in the market town of Stroud, the magnificent Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting a long and diverse history and also where Sir Winton Churchill was born, and visiting the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’, Bourton-on-the-Water located next to the River Windrush.

TV & Film Locations

There are many filming locations around the Cotswolds that have been used in mega movies such as Harry Potter, Sherlock, and Bridget Jones Diaries. But the most popular show that brings many visitors to Oxfordshire villages Bampton, Cogges, Swinbrook, and Shilton is Downton Abbey. The charming village of Bampton was used to film the village of ‘Downton’ and is, therefore, one of the most popular places to visit for Downton Abbey fans along with Cogges Manor Farm, used in the TV drama as the Yew Tree Farm.

Tours

There are many things to do in the Cotswolds, with the area covering towns such as Woodstock, Witney, Burford, Bampton, Minster Lovell, and Moreton-in-Marsh. The best way to explore the area will be to book a guided tour; cycling, walking or driving! The local guides can guide you through the villages and introduce you to some of the best local hidden gems you would not have heard about. Whilst Summer is the busiest and the most popular time to visit, Autumn and Winter are known to amaze visitors with blazing Autumn colours and beautiful frosty views in Winter.

Maps & Guidebooks

Looking to venture out and explore the Cotswolds yourself? We have a range of maps and guidebooks available including the popular 40 Town and Country Walks that is sure to take you on an enticing walk.

Read on to find out more about what you can see and do to experience the Cotswolds that will leave you wanting to visit again!

 

 

Where is The Cotswolds?

How to get to The Cotswolds

  • 66: Oxford to Swindon

    The Stagecoach bus route 66 runs from Oxford to Swindon via Faringdon, Bessels Leigh, Fyfield, Southmoor and Buckland.

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  • 7: Oxford to Blenheim Palace and Woodstock via Oxford Parkway

    The 7 service connects Oxford to Blenheim Palace and Woodstock via Summertown, Oxford Parkway and Kidlington. Buses depart every 30 minutes.

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  • S1: Oxford to Witney and Carterton

    The S1 service connects Oxford-Botley-Eynsham-Witney-Curbridge and Carterton. Buses depart up to every 15 minutes.

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  • S2: Oxford to Witney and Carterton

    The S2 connects Oxford and Carterton, via Summertown, Eynsham and Witney. Buses depart every 30 minutes.

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  • S3: Oxford to Chipping Norton via Blenheim Palace

    The S3 service links Oxford to Chipping Norton, via Summertown, Yarnton, Begbroke, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Old Woodstock, Over Kiddington and Enstone. Buses depart every 20 minutes.

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Things to do in The Cotswolds

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Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre – Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard III

Blenheim Palace
July 8 - September 7

Monday 8th July – Saturday 7th September 2019 Europe’s first ever pop-up Shakespearean Theatre. Following its highly acclaimed inaugural season in York this year, Europe’s first-ever pop up Shakespearean theatre arrives at Blenheim Palace for summer 2019. Four of William Shakespeare’s most popular plays - Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard III and Romeo & Juliet will transport audiences to the thrilling, intimate atmosphere of an Elizabethan playhouse, with plenty of breath-taking, spine-tingling and heart-stopping moments. The 13-sided scaffolding theatre…

Art Exhibition – Lynsey James

Owen Mumford Gallery
July 8 - August 3

Owen Mumford Gallery The Theatre 8th July-3rd August 2019 Lynsey’s work, mostly seascapes in oil on board and water based paint on paper and canvas, has evolved through observation and her love of coastal areas often inspired by the ever-changing palette of colours, unique atmosphere and dramatic beauty of the coastline. “I am eternally intrigued by the irresistible attraction that we feel to be at the sea's edge. My paintings are a celebration of the ever-changing beauty of the point…

The Mechanical Circus

Banbury Museum
July 16 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every day that begins at 8:00 am, repeating until September 8, 2019

Sat 25th May 2019 - Sat 7th September 2019 10:00 am - 5:00 pm £5 adult, £4 concession, £3 children (under fives free). Family ticket £14. Roll up! Roll up! The Mechanical Circus is coming to town! Go back in time with Banbury Museum and remember those idyllic childhood days of magic and curiosity, where the marvels of the fairground and circus brought imaginations to life. Mechanical Circus is a wonderfully nostalgic journey through the good old days of pre-electric entertainment. With…

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