Towns and Villages in the Cotswolds
The Cotswolds is a small area of about 800 square miles. You can drive across from Burford to Cheltenham in an hour, or drive north to south from Chipping Campden to Bath in 90 minutes. It may be small, but this area is packed with things to do and see.
You can "do" the Cotswolds in a couple of days. Spend two nights in Stow-on-the-Wold, explore a few of the nearby villages, drive up to Chipping Campden and Broadway. But there is much more to the Cotswolds. This section tells you about the main market towns (small towns that were historically a market center) and things to do and see in the surrounding villages. We divide the Cotswolds into North and South, using the A40 highway that goes from Oxford to Cheltenham as the dividing line, then focus on the market towns for each section.
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Towns and Villages of the North Cotswolds
When visiting a Cotswolds Town lists some of the basics of the Cotswolds towns and villages.
Broadway is a perfect golden Cotswolds village with a long, wide high street lined with beautifully restored old houses. Read more
Burford is not a typical golden Cotswold village, but instead is a collection of mixed styles of historic buildings on a hillside sloping down to the River Windrush. Read more
Chipping Campden is the perfect golden Cotswold town set in a beautiful valley. If you can visit only one town, this is the one. Read more
Chipping Norton, on the north-eastern edge of the Cotswolds, is not a tour bus destination and feels more like a "real town". Read more
Stow-on-the-Wold is the center of the Cotswolds and one of the most "visited" towns. It is historic and beautiful and sometimes a bit crowded. Read more
Winchcombe is not a typical golden Cotswolds town. The main street is lined with an eclectic mix of historic building styles and a beautiful church with grotesques looking down at you from the roof. Read more
Towns and Villages of the South Cotswolds
Cirencester, the "capital of the Cotswolds", has its roots in Ancient Rome (you can find some remains in this area). It is larger than the other market towns and is busy with locals and tourists. Read more
Lechlade is a very non-Cotswolds town at the south-eastern edge of the Cotswolds where the Rivers Coln and Leach join the River Thames. Read more
Minchinhampton is a delightful Cotswold-stone town sitting high up on the edge of the Minchinhampton Commons. Read more
Nailsworth is not your typical Cotswold market town and is frequently overlooked by tourists, but is a charming town in a wonderful area. Read more
Stroud and the Five Valleys was an industrial center in the 18th and 19th centuries. Stroud has retained some of that industrial "grittiness" and is more of a town for locals than visitors, but this area is exceptional and should not be missed. Read more
Tetbury, in the southern most part of the Cotswolds, is known for its antique stores and the Royals who live nearby. It is a very upscale, and beautiful, Cotswold town. Read more
Wotton-under-Edge in the south-western corner of the Cotswolds, is too far away from the center of the Cotswolds to be a tourist destination, so it has retained a "real town" feel. Read more
Bath is an easy day trip from the Cotswolds or spend a few nights there before or after your Cotswolds trip. Read more
Highgrove House and the Duchy Home Farm are near Tetbury in the south Cotswolds. You can buy their produce at the Veg Shed. They have a Highgrove shop in Tetbury. Read more
The Cotswold Food Store and Cafe is near Stow-on-the-Wold in the north Cotswolds. Good food shop with a cafe for lunch and afternoon tea. Read more
Locations of supermarkets for when you want to do a big shop in the Cotswolds. Read more