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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Oxfordshire Remembers 1914-18: Part II

Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum
November 21, 2017 @ 10:00 am - December 2, 2018 @ 5:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 10:00am on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, repeating until December 2, 2018

An event every week that begins at 2:00pm on Sunday, repeating until December 2, 2018

Running throughout 2018 is The Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum’s contribution to the commemoration of the Centenary of WW1. During the latter half of the First World War, men and women of all classes and social backgrounds from across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire contributed in a myriad of ways to the war effort. This second of two exhibitions, covering the years 1917-19, tells some of their personal stories, through fascinating artefacts, images and films. The exhibitions covers everything from Oxfordshire’s VC winners,…

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The Family in Disorder: Truth or Dare, Cinthia Marcelle

Modern Art Oxford
March 10 - May 27

For the first major UK solo exhibition by Brazilian artist Cinthia Marcelle (b. 1974, Belo Horizonte, lives and works in São Paulo), Modern Art Oxford has commissioned a new site-specific installation, The Family in Disorder (2018). It is accompanied by the premiere of Truth or Dare (2018), a video animation of photographs taken by the artist during a recent residency in South Africa. Together, these works provide an introduction to one of Brazil’s most significant contemporary artists. This new commission…

Bell Street Hornton 1920

Making it Work: The Everyday History of a Banburyshire Village

April 25 @ 10:00 am - June 9 @ 5:00 pm

Discover more about the changing way of life in the villages of North Oxfordshire from Victorian times to recent times. This foyer exhibition looks at Hornton as a prime example of a North Oxfordshire rural community that, through many generations, thrived on wide-ranging ingenuity and self-sufficiency. Hornton was in many ways typical of the villages of this area, whilst also being distinctive for its remote setting (when horse, cart and foot were the only transport) and its stone quarries, where…

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