11 Reasons Everyone Should Visit The Cotswolds At Least Once

Cotswold Scenery
Cotswold Scenery | © Robyn Cox/Flickr
Sarah Dawson

Stretching across the beautiful counties of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire, The Cotswolds is rural England at its most idyllic. Dreamy villages, unspoilt countryside and a charm all of its own, visit once and you’ll never want to leave. Still not convinced? Here’s 11 reasons why you need to make that trip today…

The countryside will take your breath away

Rolling hills, wild meadows, ancient woodland and gentle, meandering streams; The Cotswolds is home to the English countryside of your dreams! Everywhere you turn you’ll be knocked sideways by the picturesque landscape that greets you. There is really nothing quite like it.

View from Dover’s Hill

There’s so much to do

From medieval castles and magnificent abbeys, to crocodile zoos and husky sledging (yes, really!) there’s so much to see and do here. Whether you’re looking for something to keep the kids busy during the school holidays, or just keen to explore what The Cotswolds has to offer, you definitely won’t run of ideas. In fact, it might be worth extending that trip by another week, just to try and fit it all in…

Sudeley Castle

Literary-fans will be in heaven

It’s no surprise that the beauty of The Cotswolds has inspired so many writers and poets over the years. Everyone from Laurie Lee and J. R. R. Tolkien to Beatrix Potter and J. M. Barrie have taken inspiration from the towns, villages and countryside they encountered during their time in this unique place.

Slad village

The food is glorious

The Cotswolds has a very well-deserved reputation as a foodie paradise, thanks to the incredible produce on offer. Local specialities like Gloucester Old Spot pork, Tewkesbury mustard, Stinking Bishop cheese, Hobbs House bread and Bibury trout, as well as some of the finest locally-grown veg imaginable, can be found on the menu in restaurants and pubs across the area. The locally-brewed beers and ales, as well as Cotswolds Gin, don’t disappoint either!

It has the prettiest villages in the world

With their distinctive honey-coloured stone cottages, traditional local pubs, charming village greens and bucolic settings, the pretty villages scattered across The Cotswolds offer a slice of idyllic rural life. Each one has its own character – from the elegance of Bourton-on-the-Water to the tranquillity of The Slaughters – but all have the same inimitable Cotswold magic. *Googles ‘Cottages to buy in the Cotswolds’ immediately*

Castle Combe

And the towns and cities are beautiful too

It’s not all on a small-scale here though, The Cotswolds is also fringed by some of the most beautiful cities and towns in England. Famous for its natural hot springs and stunning Georgian architecture, the grand city of Bath so beautiful it’s even been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For culture, head to Cheltenham – home to the renowned Jazz Festival, Literary festival and the glamorous Gold Cup horse racing event.

Royal Crescent, Bath

The pubs are perfection

Traditional pubs – you know, the ones with a roaring open fire, friendly pub dog, real ale, idyllic beer garden – are at the heart of the rural Cotswolds. Stop in for a pint after a long walk, or settle down for the evening with a hearty meal and an overnight stay to really experience the joys of a good, old-fashioned English pub. You won’t find any better than right here.

In front of the fire

There’s plenty to raise your heart rate

At first glance you might not associate the tranquil beauty of The Cotswolds with high-octane adrenaline sports, but you’d be wrong. The area is a mountain biking hotspot, and home to The 417 Project – the biggest privately owned mountain bike facility in the country, just outside of Cheltenham. If two-wheels aren’t your thing, check out The Cotswold Water Park, for wild swimming, water-skiing and wakeboarding.

Mountain Biking on Cleeve Hill

It’s paradise for walkers

There’s no better way to discover the real Cotswolds than on foot. The Cotswold Way National Trail runs for 102 miles through this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, covering all aspects of the famous landscapes. Starting at Chipping Campden leading all the way to Bath, passing historic sites, ancient meadows, picture-perfect villages and beautiful woodland, just pick and choose where you decided to start and finish.

Walking in The Cotswolds

The locals might look familiar

If celeb-spotting is your thing, you might just be in luck here! By far the most famous Cotswolds’ residents are The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, who live at Highgrove, just outside of the beautiful market town of Tetbury. But the area is also where famous faces including Kate Moss, Kate Winslet, Damien Hirst and Alex James (the Blur bassist turned award-winning cheese maker) call home.

The gardens are incredible

Whether you’re into the stately order of a grand country house garden, or prefer the romantic beauty of a Victorian walled garden, The Cotswolds has a wealth of outdoor spots to fall in love with. Cerney House Gardens, close to Cirencester, feels like the pages of The Secret Garden have come to life, while Hidcote Manor Garden is an Arts and Crafts gem.

Hidcote Manor Gardens
culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.


Keen to explore the world?

Our passionately curated premium small-group trips are an invitation to connect with like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences.