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Hotels and Inns Cotswolds Finest Hotels

what to see & do

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Read on for inspiration on sightseeing and activities in the Cotswolds, from cycling and walking to historic houses and shopping. Don`t forget that each individual hotel entry includes a suggested walk.

Cotswolds Gardens

Cotswolds Gardens
Always at the cutting hedge

Dog Friendly Cotswolds

Dog Friendly Cotswolds
Great places to be with your dog

Shopping in the Cotswolds

Shopping in the Cotswolds
Discover independent retailers

Surprising Cotswolds

Surprising Cotswolds
Get Stoned

Attractions

Historic houses and major attractions
You gotta roll with it!

A LITTLE HISTORY

First of all there's the name: 'Cotswolds'. It's likely that it's a combination of two very old English words. Wolds – gentle hills. 'Cots' – sheep enclosures. So 'Cotswolds' probably just means an area of gentle hills with plenty of sheep around. There's another theory that the name is based on Cod's – Wold (Cod being a certain Saxon landowner).

So take your pick – actually the subject is a good conversation starter in the pub.


THE COTSWOLD YEAR

Sniff that rose, kick that shin and back that horse... here's our guide to the best of the Cotswolds 'Season'.

Snowdrop enthusiasts come out of hibernation in February for spectacular shows in places such as Colesbourne Park and Painswick Rococo, plus displays in hundreds of other locations.


cotswolds gardens

Unique attractions include Britain's only Rococo Garden and the National Arboretum with dozens of other beautiful gardens to see or visit, from the grand historic to the humble NGS cottage garden.

cotswolds flora

Beech tree - The ‘Cotswold’ tree. Visit in Autumn and you’ll be bowled over by the intense copper colour at almost every turn. Shady in summer, beautiful year-round.


dog friendly cotswolds

The Cotswolds have moved on a little from the days when a Barbour coat or Hunter wellies were issued as standard, but this is still a place where horses and dogs are loved and fussed over. Here's our pick of great places to be with your dog, some longer walks and a few pubs where lunch is also a case of bone appétit.

dog friendly pubs

Top 9 Places to visit with your dog – our pick of canine friendly attractions. Not all of them are 100% open to free range dogs but these are great places to go, even on a lead.


shopping in the cotswolds

One of the great pleasures of the Cotswolds is to discover independent retailers spread over dozens of market towns and villages. All very refreshing after bland city high streets. Here are just a few of our favourites. You're bound to find your own as you explore the Cotswold hills.


surprising cotswolds

Another Quiet day in the Cotswolds

Most visitors rightly want to see a Cotswold garden, have afternoon tea and maybe browse in an antique shop, but if you prefer to go a little off piste, here are some slightly different themes to explore.

  • Extreme Sports
  • Get Stoned
  • Roman Cotswolds
  • The Five Valleys

historic houses and major attractions

The Cotswolds has a charming collection of historic houses, a castle or two and soemgreat stories. You can see where Poldark was filmed, where Anne Boleyn walked or simply enjoy a beautiful Cotswold Manor House and garden in a romantic setting.

Other attractions range from farm or wildlife parks to some quirky museums and galleries. Slightly further afield, but within easy reach, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwick or Bath make for a great dayout.


Must see towns and villages

There are maybe 200 towns and villages tucked away in the Cotswold hills - after all the area is100 miles (160km) north to south. The advise has to be not to crash around trying to see them all… slow down to a Cotswold pace of life and choose a few from our insider’s guide. We’ve included a few of the lesser known places, too.


CycLing in the CoTswolds

No mountains here, just glorious rolling hills (well, cycle up, roll down). With a mild climate, gentle hillsides and that fact that the right pub or tea room seems to pop up at at precisely the right moment, the Cotswolds are great for cyclists and most levels.