Covering almost 800sqmi (2,072sqkm), the scenic Cotswolds are brimming with things to do and see. Picturesque villages, grand palaces, ancient castles, beautiful gardens… This perfect slice of English countryside has got it all. Wondering where to start? From the Cotswolds Distillery to Warwick Castle, here are 25 of the best attractions in the area.
Standing tall in the most glorious of settings, Broadway Tower looks out across the breathtaking Cotswold scenery. Visitors can explore this unique folly tower before hiking along the Cotswold Way or just sitting back with a cup of tea, taking in the view.
In the heart of the city of Bath, you’ll find the historic Roman Baths. Built in approximately 70CE as a grand place for bathing and socialising, they are now regarded as one of the most important and best preserved sites of Roman remains in the world. You can walk among the ruins and even take a sip of the spa water (which was believed to have healing powers by the Romans) in the Pump Room.
Folklore says that an Iron-Age monarch and his courtiers were turned to stone by a witch, resulting in the Rollright Stones. The truth about how this ancient stone circle came to be, just outside the village of Great Rollright, is still unknown, but it’s a fascinating example of a mysterious prehistoric monument.
The entire Cotswold area is belted by hills, providing some top-shelf walking routes, and many of them use Cleeve Hill as a focal point. It’s the highest peak in Gloucestershire, and the Cleeve area covers about 1,000 acres (400ha), crisscrossed with public footpaths. When you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with one of the best views in England.
Birdwatching is fine if you know what you’re doing, but for a more up-close-and-personal experience, Cotswold Falconry Centre is a better bet. The centre is home to dozens of species, including eagles, vultures, hawks, falcons, owls and more. As well as getting a close look, you can watch the birds in flight during daily shows with the falconers.
Additional reporting by Callum Davies