Things to do in the Cotswolds

There are so many things to do in the Cotswolds, including things to do in the Cotswolds for Adults, as well as things to do in the Cotswolds for Children… It is a wonderful area to visit!

The Cotswolds offers beautiful countryside, small villages, large towns and a city. You can truly do something different each day.  If you want to see picturesque villages, thatched cottages, stately homes or castles – we’ve got them. Should you want to eat cream teas in quaint tearooms, or feast on award-winning food – the choice is endless. Why not soak up the atmosphere and enjoy a pint in a traditional English pub – there are plenty to choose from!

Below we have put together some suggestions based on what our previous guests have enjoyed! If you are visiting with children, we have a separate blog especially for you, please check it out.

Walking in the Cotswolds 🚶‍♂️

Cotswold Way footpath wooden signpost

First on our list of Things to do in the Cotswolds is walking. Make the most of the countryside and go walking in the Cotswolds! There are many footpaths to choose from taking you through some stunning scenery. We especially like ones that go via a pub or tearoom for essential re-fuelling en route!

Local walks include the famous National Trail called The Cotswold Way.  102 miles following the Cotswold hills from Chipping Campden in the North to Bath in the south. There is a circular Cotswold Way walk so you can return to Chipping Campden at the end of your walk!

The Monarch’s Way and Heart of England Way both run through, or close to, Chipping Campden.

You may want to head off on your own and do your own thing but there are a number of local companies who can put together walking packages for you.

You can join the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens who will share information about the landscape you pass through. These walks are of varying distance and difficulty, so do check ahead of time. To join a guided walk around Campden, meet at the Market Hall at 2.30pm on Tuesdays and 10am on Thursdays. We recommend checking details on the website.

Cycling in the Cotswolds

Cycling is one of our amazing things to do in the Cotswolds. The area is very popular with cyclists and there are many byways and bridlepaths for keen off-road cyclists to follow. Be prepared for hills and valleys and the rewarding views!

Considering hiring some bikes and exploring? Then try Tower Barn near Broadway Tower  who now offer electric bike hire either by the hour or the day – see below for details. Bainton Bikes also have bikes available in Moreton-in-Marsh.

Local Towns and Villages

A row of shops in Stow-on-the-Wold

Once you have explored the delights of Chipping Campden you may want to look further afield. That’s why we’ve included visiting the local towns and villages in our list of things to do in the Cotswolds.

We can recommend visiting the local village of Blockley (setting of BBC TV series Father Brown). It has a lovely cafe and shop, 2 pubs and a church, furthermore it is close enough to walk to if you fancy walking 3 miles each way.

Other Cotswold towns include Moreton-in-Marsh and Stow-on-the-Wold which have many independent shops, pubs and eateries. Woodstock is home to the beautiful Blenheim Palace with gardens and grounds to explore.

Other towns to note are Burford, Broadway and Stroud, (the area is known as the 5 valleys for good reason – the landscape is captivating). The City of Oxford is on the outskirts of the Cotswolds and is famous for it’s University and architecture.

Bourton-on-the-Water is a pretty town with a river running through it – great for paddling on hot days! It also has Birdland and a Model Village  – the only grade 2 listed model village in the country! We do give a word of warning though – the town is exceptionally busy in summer – so either go later in the day or be prepared for crowds and queues! This is also true for nearby Upper and Lower Slaughter – picturesque villages built on the banks of the River Eye but also very popular with tourists.

Although not technically in the Cotswolds, Stratford-upon-Avon is a 20 minute drive away. It is well worth a visit to see Shakespeare’s birthplace, Mary Arden’s farm, Anne Hathaway’s Farm and of course, the RSC theatre. You can take a boat on the River Avon that lies alongside the theatre, visit the Uk’s largest tropical butterfly farm or just enjoy the shopping! It also has a great selection of pubs and restaurants (The Garrick Inn dates back to the early 1400’s) 👌

Cotswold Houses & Gardens

Cotswold Lavender fields

Visiting the wonderful houses and gardens in the area should definitely be on your to-do list of things to do in the Cotswolds.

Hidcote Manor Gardens lies 2.5 miles from our glamping site. This Arts & Crafts inspired garden has secret gardens, narrow pathways and magnificent vistas. It now belongs to The National Trust. Enjoy a cream tea in the cafe and stock up on plants to take home.

Kiftsgate Court Gardens, Hidcote (2.5 miles). Close to Hidcote Manor Gardens and  created by three generations of women gardeners. The views are wonderful, and the feel of the gardens are more organic and therefore less structured than those of Hidcote. Opening times are restricted to afternoons Apr – Sept excluding Thursdays and Fridays. It is worth checking before you visit. There is a great tea room and plants for sale.

Batsford Arboretum, Moreton-in-Marsh  (4.7 miles). 56 acres of gardens with trees and shrubs from around the world. Beautiful in all seasons with a great cafe, gift shop and garden centre. Dog friendly 🐕

Sezincote House, Gardens and Estate, Moreton-in-Marsh (4.7 miles). Open part-time May – September. Take a tour around the Indian inspired house with its minarets, copper dome, orangery and more. The gardens are evocative of Moghul paradise gardens and host pavilions and statues and include a water garden.

Bourton House, Bourton-on-the-Hill (5.1 miles). An award-winning three acre garden surrounding a fine 18th century Manor House, open April – October. The Garden is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday; 10am to 5pm, excluding Easter and Bank Holidays. Please check before visiting.

Cotswold Lavender, Snowshill, Broadway (5 miles). Field upon field of lavender – 140 miles of rows of 40 different varieties of lavender. Open June – August.

Highgrove Gardens, Tetbury (43 miles). The family residence of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. Open selected dates between April and October.

Chastleton House and Garden, Moreton-in-Marsh (9.2 miles). A Jacobean country house built between 1607 and 1612. No shop or tea-room but picnics welcome.

Cotswolds Breweries

There are plenty of things to do in the Cotswolds for the beer, gin or whisky enthusiast. Plan a visit to one of the local breweries including the Cotswold Brew Co, Bourton-on-the-Water (11 miles) which is one of the oldest lager microbreweries in the UK.

Cotswold Distillery Visitor Centre and Cafe, Shipston-on-Stour (9.6 miles) is on the edge of the Cotswolds. They produce Cotswolds Dry Gin and Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky. Why not book a tour of the distillery, take a masterclass and blend your own gin.

Other breweries in the area include Hook Norton Brewery, who run tours every day of the week. Also North Cotswold Brewery, Stretton-on-Fosse and Cheltenham Brewhouse and Kitchen Microbrewery and pub.

Things to do in the Cotswolds: something a bit different

We wanted to include some different things to do in the Cotswolds in our list, so here are a couple of alternatives:

Cotswold Mosaics, Mickleton – get creative and make your own piece of art to hang up at home. Small group workshops available.

Outdoor swimming is possible at a few locations, including Sandford Lido in Cheltenham, Cotswold Waterpark and beach, South Cerney and Chipplylido, Chipping Norton. Wild swimming is possible further afield at Minster Lovell.

Further Information:

Walks: – guided and self guided walks – bespoke walking packages – treasure trail maps and trail pack (for driving and walking)

Bike Hire:

Houses & Gardens:

Local Breweries:

Something Different:

Outdoor Swimming:

We hope you enjoyed our rundown of our top things to do in the Cotswolds. Be sure to check out our guide to things to do in the Cotswolds for children.