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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August 2019

August 23 - August 25
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An event every day that begins at 2:00 am, repeating until August 25, 2019

The Big Feastival

Alex James’ farm, Kingham
The Cotswolds, Oxfordshire United Kingdom

The ultimate family festival for food and music lovers The Big Feastival has become one of the UK's most popular family festivals for food and music lovers, held each summer on the farm of legendary Blur bassist Alex James. Combining family fun, food and music, the weekend includes an incredible spread of culinary delights, including sessions from Michelin star chefs, as well as street food caterers covering a huge variety of cuisines. Beyond the food, the music isn't half band…

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August 23 @ 10:00 am - August 26 @ 5:00 pm

Henley Country Craft Show

Stonor Park, Stonor
Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire RG9 6HF United Kingdom
£8 – £10

Join us at Henley Country Craft Show this August Bank Holiday in the gorgeous grounds of Stonor Park Manor House. Bask in the sunshine as you explore marquees and outdoor markets filled with handmade jewellery, homewares, clothing and more – all lovingly created by specialist Craftspeople. Enjoy a wide selection of artisan food and drink providers, and relax in the striking landscape to live music. A truly special day out for you and your family!

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

August 24
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An event every day that begins at 2:00 am, repeating until September 7, 2019

Blenheim Palace, Blenheim Palace
Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1UL United Kingdom
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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…

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