Thatch cottages, green hills, stone buildings and farms evoke visions of quintessential England. And often, it’s the towns and villages found in the stunning Cotswolds that evoke those thoughts and inspire travellers to visit England. If you’re not sure where you should go, then this quick list of the 5 prettiest towns and villages in the Cotswolds should help you make a start on exploring this part of England…

1. Bourton-on-the-Water

Cherry blossoms at Bourton-on-the-Water

Often nicknamed “Venice of the Cotswolds”, Bourton-on-the-Water is the perfect introduction to the Cotswolds. Built around a winding, lazy river, this little village offers lots of cafes and independent shops to investigate. If you’re keen on doing more than just drinking tea, eating scones and shopping though, then there’s also a Model Village and Cotswold Motoring Museum here, which are both worth seeing.

2. Stow-on-the-Wold

Stow-on-the-Wold

One of the larger towns found in the Cotswolds, Stow-on-the-Wold is a picture perfect place to explore. There’s an abundance of independent shops here, most beginning with ‘The Cotswold’ such as The Cotswold Frock Shop and The Cotswold Company. There’s often quite a few festivals and events happening here throughout the Summer months too!

3. Chipping Campden

Chipping Campden

There are lots of walking trails throughout the Cotswolds, but the most popular: The Cotswold Way starts right here in Chipping Campden. This is a very small market town, but it has a delightful selection of restaurants to eat at. Plus, lots of the homes and shops here make for perfect Instagram photos – especially if you can also capture an old fashioned car in front of them as well! It’s almost like taking a walk back into history, which is the perfect way to spend any trip in the UK.

4. Castle Combe

Castle Combe

Often home to lots of period dramas and other filming locations, Castle Combe really is the epitome of the Cotswolds and beautiful English countryside. There are ample walking trails around here, traditional English pubs and row upon row of picture perfect cottages!

5. Lacock

Lacock Abbey

Lacock is also home to lots of filming locations, with Harry Potter being its most famous partnership. There’s Lacock Abbey, some of which was used as Hogwarts in some of the Harry Potter movies, as well as the whole village which has been used in things like Downton Abbey and The White Princess. You didn’t hear it from me, but it’s also rumoured that Lacock Abbey could play its part within the Fantastic Beasts saga too! And to be fair, once you stroll around the Abbey and village, it’s easy to see why they would be used so much in filming!

So this is just 5 beautiful towns and villages in the Cotswolds, but there’s loads more to see! Why not embark on a “treasure hunt” in the Cotswolds or get involved with some excellent walking trails?

Over to you now – where else should travellers head to in the Cotswolds? And which of these towns and villages are first on your list? Let me know in the comments…

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The Prettiest Towns & Villages in the Cotswolds

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