A Guide to the Cotswolds


 I've finally got round to writing my Cotswolds travel guide after what feels like FOREVER. 

Myself and Josh visited this beautiful part of the country back in July after my cousins wedding in Herefordshire (another gorgeous part of the UK). I've never been to the Cotswolds before and if its going to be anytime, its going to be this year when we visit lots of beautiful parts of the country including this place. 

We spent 2 days in the Cotswolds and stayed in a town called Chipping Norton which is a lovely Market town located near Soho Farm House which lots of us will know from Instagram! If I'm honest we needed more time here which is why we've booked to go back in October for my birthday, though  I think we did do very well as we visited so many places in those two days. 


The Hotel:

The hotel we stayed at was called Cotswolds Hotel and Spa which was a gorgeous hotel located about a mile away from Chipping Norton town. The hotel has 114 bedrooms and suites along with 2 &4 bedroom self-catered apartments which is perfect if you are going with a big group. The hotel also had a golf course on site for those of you who want to play. The weekend we stayed was the Euro 2020 finals so you can imagine Josh really wanted to watch the game. We actually managed to have a seat in the hotel bar which was massive and had a few TVs to watch the game on. The hotel also had a restaurant on site which we didn't eat at whilst we was there. Our room was the perfect size with a lovely sized bathroom and to top that off a balcony we could sit out on in the evenings over looking the golf course. Whilst the majority of the rooms do have balconies they aren't guaranteed so I paid a bit extra to make sure we had one. As we didn't have much time, we didn't use the Spa but if you did want an afternoon of relaxation the spa costs an extra £20 to use if you wanted to. 


Bourton-on-the-Water:

This beautiful village was probably my favourite place we visited. It was true Cotswolds style with cobbled streets and the famous Cotswolds brick everywhere you looked. The village had cute gift shops, the Cotswold Distillery, cafes, restaurants and my favourite the Cotswolds Candle Shop so there is plenty of places to have a look around when you are there. The village is famous for the river that flows through and its beautiful arched bridges. Its perfect if you want to take the dogs as it has some lovely walking trails. Whilst we was in the village we visited the Model Village which is a scale replica of the actual village. When you walk round the Model Village you notice all the different shops, restaurants and attractions that you have walked past in the actual village. The entry was £4.50 per adult so a cheap day out which doesn't break the bank. If that doesn't interest you there are so many more attractions including Cotswolds Motoring and Toy Museum, Bird LandDragonfly Maze and so much more. We did decide to come back to Bourton-on-the-Water one evening for dinner and we ate at a beautiful Italian restaurant called L'anatra. The restaurant was reasonably priced with a lovely modern atmosphere. As always I went for the lasagne which was fantastic and too much that I couldn't finish it! I would defiantly recommend if you are looking for something that suits everyone. 


One of the places I really wanted to visit was Blenheim Palace. It has the most beautiful grounds you can walk around and some amazing tours of the state rooms. Tickets are priced at around £29.50 so as we got to the palace late afternoon we didn't actually go into the main part. Instead we walked around the public area which you can access for free at the back through a green door. The public park is massive so if you don't have time to go around the main part and get your moneys worth then this is a perfect alternative. I used this useful website to find the route to enter through the green gate. We parked in the quaint town of Woodstock and walked down. Parking was completely free in the town too! When we do have more time I 100% want to visit the palace itself. If you have some time I would recommend exploring Woodstock itself. 

On our way home we visited the charming Cotswolds village of Bibury which is just a short drive from Cirencester. William Morris once called the village 'The Most Beautiful Village in England'. There isn't too much in Bibury but we did go on a wonderful walk along the Arlington Row which is owed by The National Trust and is one of the most photographed spots- I certainly took my fair share of photos! It has a beautiful row of cottages which were built in the 17th Century now lived in by National Trust tenants. You have a few attractions in the Village with the most popular being Bibury Trout Farm where you can learn about trout and even catch one for your dinner! The Trout Farm also has a farm shop where you can pick up fresh ingredients for a picnic which you can have at the Trout Farm or along the greenery along the village. There is a cute Post Office and Village Shop you can pick up some essentials and a few gifts to take home. If you're looking for a bit of luxury then The Swan Hotel is located right in the heart of the village. With a 4* rating and a delicious menu to choose from then its the perfect treat. 


Last but not least the town we stayed in, Chipping Norton. I would say this is more of a market town than a village but its equally pretty and quaint. There are a number of pubs, restaurants, coffee shops and shops to choose from. It has all the amenities you need in one place if you want the essentials. The first night we had a delicious Indian meal at Cafe Le Raj. The service was excellent, prices were very reasonable (nothing different to the prices where we normally go) and the food was delicious. Typically me ordered way too much and struggled to finish it! There are lots of attraction in Chipping Norton including a museum of local history and society, a Theatre with Live Music, dance and comedy and of the famous Soho Farmhouse which is very popular on Instagram. 

I wish we had a few more days to explore this beautiful part of the country. Luckily we are visiting next month as part of my birthday. 

Have you visited the Cotswolds before? Have you got any recommendations? 

Lots of love Chlo💛

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1 comment

  1. The Cotswolds is such a lovely part of the UK and I'm glad you go to see and visit so many amazing sites and venues! Looks like you had such a wonderful time, hope you have a good time for your birthday too!!
    Charlotte / Charlotte's Picks

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