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Top 7 Best Places To Staycation In The Cotswolds

So you’ve decided that your next staycation will be in the Cotswolds, but the problem is where in the Cotswolds should you stay. There is such a wide selection of beautiful and exciting places that it can be hard to choose which is the best place to stay. From chocolate box villages and great shopping towns to historic places of interest and old-fashioned market towns, here’s our low down on the top 7 best places to staycation in the Cotswolds.

1. Woodstock

Best For: History Lovers

View of Blenheim Palace from the lake
Image Credit: BargotiPhotography via iStock

The beautiful Georgian town of Woodstock is well-known for being the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. But what many don’t know is that this town also has a rich historical and royal heritage.

Take a trip to the world-famous Blenheim Palace and discover the elegantly decorated State Rooms, get a glimpse into life in the maid’s quarters, and explore the glorious landscaped gardens. 

If you’re looking for more history, embark on a leisurely stroll along the town’s streets and gaze at the historical buildings. Or visit the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum and The Oxfordshire Museum to learn more about the Cotswolds’ past. And if that wasn’t enough, there are plenty of shops, cafes, and restaurants for you to enjoy whilst on your staycation in the Cotswolds.

2. Chipping Norton

Best For: Romantic Getaways

a thatched cotswolds cottage in chipping norton
Image Credit: Liz Cashman via Unsplash

Chipping Norton, or ‘Chippy’ as it is known to the locals, is a fantastic place to staycation in the Cotswolds. Situated on the edge of Oxford in the Cotswolds Hills, Chipping Norton is well-placed for couples looking to explore everything the Cotswolds has to offer.

Although famous for its wool and tweed production, Chipping Norton also provides a wide selection of tearooms, pubs, restaurants, and cafes. You’ll also find that performing arts take centre stage, especially at Christmas Time when The Chipping Norton Theatre hosts one of the best pantos in the UK. It’s at this theatre that couples can also enjoy a romantic evening of stand-up comedy. 

Whilst on staycation, be sure to wander the 2,000 acres of gardens at Blenheim Palace. Catch the Japanese Flowering Cherries at Batsford Arboretum. And take part in a tour and tasting at the amazing Cotswolds Distillery. You’ve even got a wealth of walks, cycle trails, and hikes you can embark on right from your doorstep. 

3. Chipping Campden

Best For: Outdoor Lovers

Cotswold sheep near Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire with Church in background at sunrise.
Image Credit: David Knibbs via iStock

Chipping Campden is arguably one of the most beautiful towns in the Cotswolds and epitomes a ‘chocolate box’ village. Almost every single house and building is made up of the signature Cotswolds’ honey-colour stone. However, it’s not just its picture-perfect beauty this quaint town has to offer, it is also the ideal location for outdoor lovers looking for somewhere to explore.

Don your walking boots and explore part of the 100-mile Cotswolds Way. This route offers stunning landscapes, breathtaking views, plenty of historical monuments, and an abundance of wildlife. There are also plenty of other Costwolds walking trails that start in the town.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head to a quaint cafe serving a delicious afternoon tea. Alternatively, choose from a wealth of restaurants or cosy pubs serving a range of local delicacies. And if that’s not enough, be sure to take a walk around Hidcote Manor Gardens, the ‘wool’ Church of St James, and spend a few pennies at the monthly Saturday market.

4. Burford

Best For: Afternoon Tea Lovers

Rhinos in front of a manor house at the Cotswolds Wildlife Park
Image Credit: Ray Harrington via Unsplash

Burford’s High Street is one of the most famous and most photographed places in the Cotswolds. This picture-postcard Cotswold village is set on a hill sweeping downwards towards the River Windrush, which flows gently under a medieval bridge at the bottom of the town. 

The High Street is lined with a selection of cafes, tearooms, delis, and pubs, all encased in striking 17th and 18th-century architecture. With so many places to eat in the Cotswolds, it provides endless opportunities for you and your loved ones to indulge in afternoon tea. Even if that’s not quite your thing, there are plenty of places to dine for lunch or dinner as well. 

Once you’ve had your fill of tea and cakes, Burford has a lot more to offer. Discover a myriad of fascinating artefacts at St John the Baptist Church, be on the watch for Reavley Chemist – said to be England’s oldest pharmacy, and admire the stunning black and white timbered Tolsey buildings. And don’t forget to take a wander through some of Burford’s art galleries.

5. Moreton-in-Marsh

Best For: Exploring a centuries-old open-air market

St Davids church Moreton-in-Marsh  Cotswold market town UK drone , aerial
Image Credit: Steve Bateman via iStock

Moreton-in-Marsh is a true Cotswolds Market town and offers a great entry point to the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The main road through the High Street is also the main road through the Cotswolds and is lined with impressive 17th and 18th-century buildings and architecture. So even if you’re just driving through, it’s worth making a little pit stop to this staycation destination in the Cotswolds. 

One of the most historic buildings within Moreton-in-Marsh is The White Hart Royal, which once served as a manor house where King Charles The First sheltered during the Civil War. This building is now a hotel and is worth a visit just for its connection to the royal family. 

Moreton-in-Marsh has great transport links with buses and trains for other major UK towns making it the ideal place to staycation in the Cotswolds, no matter where you live. Besides being a fantastic travel hub, this thriving market town also has a plethora of great shops, cafes, pubs, and restaurants. 

The largest open-air street market is hosted here every Tuesday and is an extremely popular weekly event that draws people from far and wide looking for a bargain. Other attractions worth a visit include Batsford Arboretum, Cotswolds Falconry, and Bourton House Gardens. 

6. Gloucester

Best For: Retail Therapy

Gloucester Cathedral
Image Credit: Elizabeth Jamieson via Unsplash

If you’re looking for a place to staycation in the Cotswolds, then Gloucester may just be the place for you. One of the major draws of this ancient city is its exceptional array of shops. Those looking for unique and independent boutiques head to the Westgate Quarter, an enclave steeped in history. Alternatively, should you want the more well-known high street brands head towards Eastgate and King’s Walk. 

Beyond its shopping splendours, Gloucester also offers a wide range of attractions for the whole family. Be sure to check out the incredible architecture at Gloucester Cathedral, immerse yourself in maritime history on the Gloucester Docks, and watch a thrilling game of rugby at the Kingsholm Grounds. 

Once you’ve explored some of Gloucester’s attractions, find a place to eat and send your tastebuds on an adventure around the world. There are so many dining experiences to be had that this Cotswold destination caters to even the fussiest of eaters. Choose from traditional pubs serving Sunday roasts, quaint cafes offering freshly brewed coffee and homemade treats, or fine dining restaurants for a romantic date night with your other half.

7. Stroud

Best For: Food Lovers

Aerial view of Stroud
Image Credit: Sam Williams via Unsplash

Stroud is one of the best places to staycation in the Cotswolds and it exudes a relaxed bohemian vibe. Its exceptional array of cafes are proud of offering only the best locally sourced produce and are great places to sample local delicacies. 

But that’s not all this bustling market town has to offer. Here, you can explore the renowned Stroud Farmers’ Market where you can find a selection of artisan goodies from honey and preserves to the finest and freshest meats and vegetables. Not to mention its selection of cheeses and baked goods. 

After sampling some local food, walked it off with a slow meander through Coaley Peak, Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons. All these paths offers panoramic vistas across the Cotswolds. Other attractions in Stroud include Woodchester Park, Woodchester Valley Vineyard, and the Museum in the Park.

Looking for another location for your staycation in the Cotswolds? Take a look at our Cotswolds cottages below or chat with a member of our team today on 01993 222200 or email us on stay@shortletspace.co.uk

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