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There are few more beautiful places in Britain than the Cotswolds. It is dotted with sleepy villages and bustling market towns. You’ll find wonderful antiques shops, old-fashioned pubs, stone cottages smothered in roses, 13th-century churches and pretty tea shops filled with old ladies eating homemade scones and drinking Earl Grey tea.

Cheat Sheet

  • Sleep…in Soho Farmhouse, the coolest option in the region
  • Experience… the suites at family friendly Calcot Manor
  • Splurge…on a spa treatment at the majestic Whatley Manor
  • Eat…at the Cotswolds’ Le Champignon Sauvage, a Michelin two-star
  • Drink…al fresco at the outdoor Horse & Groom Inn, in Wiltshire
  • Explore…the more than 3,000 miles of hiking trails
  • See…the area’s wonderful private homes, manors and gardens
  • Shop…Prince Charles’s first foray into retail: Highgrove
  • Know…that as an Indagare member you can contact our Bookings Team for customized recommendations and itineraries

Newly Added:

The Wheatsheaf, The Wild Rabbit, Made by Bob, Soushi, Café 53, Potting Shed Pub, The Tavern, Vintage & Paint, Amy Perry Antiques, Lorfords, Anne Fowler, Anna Lizzio, Upton Smokery Shop, Cotswolds Sweet Company

Lay of the Land

Centered on the gentle slopes of the Cotswold Hills in the southwest central part of the country (referred to as Middle England), the Cotswolds makes up part of various English counties—central Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire to the north, Oxfordshire to the east (thus closest to London), Wiltshire and Somerset to the south. To get from the northeastern-most district to the southwestern-most (Bath) takes approximately two hours and the drive from central London to most of the regions of the Cotswolds takes about one-and-a-half hours.

While there are no official boundaries, it is characterized by the local honey-colored limestone that was hand quarried during medieval times and used for everything from humble weavers’ cottages to mansions and churches. Cotswolds architecture owes much of its existence to the wealthy farmers and prosperous wool merchants of the time. Indeed, the wool industry was a force here until the start of the Industrial Revolution in the early 1800s (two mills are still in operation today).

Getting Around

The best way to enjoy the Cotswolds is to buy a map, rent a car and start driving. It can take up to two hours from London —faster if you don’t drive on a Friday night—and the M4 and M40 provide easy access. Once there you’re close to everything, and you could pootle about for a least a week exploring everything the area has to offer, basing yourself in one hotel or a few.

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Beyond… Cotswolds

Consider combining your trip with one of these destinations.

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