Whether you are a rugged rambler, a foodie, or a cute village junky, our guide on where to stay in the Cotswolds will help you narrow down the perfect spot.

It’s difficult not to be torn between multiple personalities when looking for places to stay in the Cotswolds.

This is an area as diverse as it is beautiful. Do visions of a sleepy honeypot hamlet with a deserted movie-set feel lure you to the area, or are you beguiled by the imposing stone splendour of majestic historic centres? Are you a foodie seeking a hip hotel for a weekend of creative indulgence, or do you see yourself with a glass of red and a good book in a comfy chair beside an open fire?

Of course, beyond the wisteria-draped majesty and thatched roofs, gracious country roads lead to areas of immense natural beauty. Hiking trails wind down country lanes, cross stone bridges over babbling brooks, collect rolling farmland dotted with sheep and end at rustic country pubs.

We’ve explored the area a lot over the years. There are few paths we haven’t walked, pubs we haven’t frequented and villages we haven’t photographed. Our guide on the best places to stay in the Cotswolds helps you decide where to stay based on the type of experience you want to have.

However, if the experience is the hotel, we’ve got a few suggestions for weekend indulgences as well.

Where to stay in the Cotswolds

WHERE TO STAY IN THE COTSWOLDS


BOURTON & THE CENTRAL COTSWOLDS

For village hunters

BATH & CASTLE COMBE

For shoppers

BROADWAY & THE ESCARPMENT

For hikers and artists

KINGHAM & SOUTHROP

For foodies

OXFORD & BLENHEIM

For would-be aristocrats

DESTINATION STAYS

For indulgers


1 / BOURTON & CENTRAL COTSWOLDS

Best place to stay in the Cotswolds for exploring charming villages

The defining image of the Cotswolds is honey coloured cottages with steep pitched roofs, gathered to form idyllic villages lost in time. Set amongst wooded areas or curving around babbling brooks, the villages around Bourton and the central Cotswolds are some of the most photogenic spots in the UK.

While there is no shortage of cute villages in all areas of the Cotswolds, the Bourton region gets our pick for the most atmospheric ones conveniently located in a central hub. Our selection of hotels are not only oozing with rustic country charisma, but they also plant you within spitting distance of the iconic weaver cottages of Bibury, the river-lined charm of Bourton-on-the-Water and the quaint beauty of Upper and Lower Slaughter.

NORTHLEACH
WHEATSHEAF INN

Warm friendly country style in a charming village

BOURTON
THE OLD NEW INN

Perfect central location in charming Bourton

UPPER SLAUGHTER
LORDS OF THE MANNOR

Elegant manor house in idyllic village

DON’T MISS / Hike the beautiful and easy country path between Upper and Lower Slaughter. All the details are in our article on the best walks in the Cotswolds.


2 / BATH & CASTLE COMBE

Best place to stay in the Cotswolds for independent shopping and immaculate villages

With Cotswold stone used to grandiose effect and cutting a niche between refined elegance and confident independence, Bath is one of our favourite cities in the UK. It’s loaded with Roman history, great architecture, a thriving coffee scene and a selection of restaurants at each end of the scale. 

Just outside Bath, Castle Combe is nestled between forested hills and a meandering river. It’s regularly regarded as one of the most picturesque villages in the country and a great spot to base yourself for a weekend in the Cotswolds.

BATH
ROYAL CRESCENT

Lush English style in traditional Georgian architecture

DIDMARTON
THE KINGS ARMS

Cosy country pub in stunning countryside

CASTLE COMBE
MANOR HOUSE

Luxurious stay with award-wining dining

DON’T MISS / Have lunch at the Castle Inn in Castle Combe then drive up to the village of Lacock to visit the quirky country abbey.


3 / BROADWAY & THE ESCARPMENT

Best place to stay in the Cotswolds for quirky galleries, great walks and big views

In the northwest of the Cotswolds, an escarpment cuts a natural divide between the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Severn Valley. Here, the most dramatic sections of the Cotswolds Way provide some of the best hiking opportunities in the area. If you’re looking to spend more time in the outdoors, surrounded by excellent views, this is one the of the best places to stay in the Cotswolds.

In addition to getting some mud on your walking boots, slip into your elegant footwear to visit two charming towns. Chipping Campden and Broadway is where you’ll find artists in their galleries and the well-heeled in their antique shops.

GUITING POWER
GUEST HOUSE

Warm friendly country style in a charming village

BROADWAY
THE FISH HOTEL

Modern Cotswolds styling in a buzzing country village

BROADWAY
BUCKLAND MANOR

Lush picturesque setting with individually designed rooms.

DON’T MISS / Enjoy a well-earned pint at the Mount Inn in Stanton after a hike skirting the edge of the escarpment. It’s one of the best days out in the Cotswolds.


4 / KINGHAM, DAYLESFORD & SOUTHROP 

Best place to stay in the Cotswolds for sampling top notch food and drink

Over the last 20 years, the food scene has well and truly made its mark on the Cotswolds. Gone are the days of drab pub lunches and soggy sandwiches. Now, innovative creations appear on pub menus and quality local produce is available in hipster farm shops and local market stalls.

The best place to stay in the Cotswolds for a foodie weekend is in or around Kingham. The nearby Daylesford Organic has a decent brunch, cooking courses and a shop stocked with local produce. A little further north, the Hook Norton Brewery has been churning out ales for centuries, while the Cotswolds Distillery brings a touch of modern sheen to gin and whiskey production.

KINGHAM
THE KINGHAM PLOUGH

Fresh, clean stylings and excellent pub food

KINGHAM
THE WILD RABBIT

Chic country Cotswolds style and Michelin dinning

SOUTHROP
THYME

Historic manor farm with a passion for food

DON’T MISS / For an all-in food experience, try the Cookery School at Thyme in Southrop where you’ll start in the garden picking your own herbs and finish in the dining room feasting on your own creations. 


5 / OXFORD & BLENHEIM

Best place to stay in the Cotswolds for grand palaces and stunning architecture

To experience the imposing architecture built on the early wealth and power of the wool industry, head to the eastern edge of the Cotswolds. Few places conjure up more majesty and glory than Oxford. Meander the quads of the colleges and stroll wonky laneways providing intermittent views of Oxford’s dreaming spires. Explore what is possibly the finest library in the world.

A few miles away visit Blenheim Palace, the seat of the Marlboroughs and one-time home of Winston Churchill. It’s one of the finest stately homes in the country with rooms teeming with aristocrat history, surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens.

GREW TEW
FALKLAND ARMS

Rustic charming pub in a tiny Cotswolds village

OXFORD
OLD PARSONAGE

Chic country house with luxury and character

OXFORD
THE GALAXIE

Personal touches in a leafy Oxford suburb

DON’T MISS / Close to Blenheim, enjoy a pint in the Falkland Arms in Great Tew, one of the most atmospheric pubs in the Cotswolds. 


6 / DESTINATION STAYS

Best places to stay in the Cotswolds when it’s all about the hotel

If you’re thinking of a weekend where you’ll spend more time in the hotel than outside it, there are some great places to stay in the Cotswolds to enjoy a luxurious getaway. Spend lazy weekends unwinding in a stunning indoor pool; surrender to the care of a qualified massage therapist, or simply relax, feet up, in front of a roaring open fire.

There is no shortage of top-quality hotels in the Cotswolds to indulge for a weekend. But here are some suggestions from us where the accommodation is the destination.

COWLEY
COWLEY MANOR HOTEL

Luxury manor house with flamboyant details

BROADWAY
THE LYGON ARMS

Period features good enough for royal clientele

OXFORD
CALCOT HOTEL & SPA

Spa hotel with traditional Cotswolds details

DON’T MISS / Close to Blenheim, enjoy a pint in the Falkland Arms in Great Tew, one of the most atmospheric pubs in the Cotswolds. 


HOW TO GET AROUND

The Cotswolds is a rural area of England and while buses and trains do connect some of the villages and towns they are not that regular and many don’t run on weekends.  The easiest, and by far the most convenient way to get around is to drive. This way, you can collect tiny villages on the way to stately homes and not miss anything in between.

AUTO EUROPE


The best portal we’ve found for booking hire cars is Auto Europe. They have access to cars from all the major companies which are compared on a grid format that clearly displays the prices for different car sizes across each provider. 

Check car rental prices based on your home location 


WHERE NEXT?

First, if you found this useful, please follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with our travels.

If you are inspired to visit the Cotswolds, all our writing about the area is on our Britain page.

Here are some other great ideas for this beautiful part of the country:

THINGS TO DO IN THE COTSWOLDS
BEST WALKS IN THE COTSWOLDS
OXFORD DAY TRIP

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