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Find out how to Spend 2 Days Driving within the Cotswolds

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View of woodland and fields with a sunset sky above - driving in the cotswolds itinerary

Dreaming of a countryside escape in England? This relaxed two- or three-day itinerary for driving within the Cotswolds will present you one of the best of the world.

A few years in the past, I headed off to the Cotswolds Space of Excellent Pure Magnificence (AONB) for an in a single day countryside getaway.

Two days of driving via the idyllic countryside, stopping off for forest walks, pub lunches, and cute villages. It was lush – watch the video to see extra.

Then, lockdown struck and I by no means bothered to write down up the weblog publish! I’m now correcting that mistake with a fast and simple 6-stop Cotswolds driving route that may be accomplished over a weekend, or as a part of a brief break.

On my journey, I needed to see as a lot as attainable in two days, with out feeling rushed or spending an excessive amount of time driving. If that’s what you’re after too, hopefully you’ll discover it right here.

For this publish, I’ve teamed up with Traditional Cottages, who’ve an unbelievable vary of vacation cottages within the Cotswolds, in addition to the remainder of the UK. I stayed at one among their properties on my journey to St Agnes final summer time and it was an absolute dream – in all probability one of the best place I stayed that yr!

So, get that Insta-worthy lodging booked, pack your mountain climbing boots, and hit the street for a stunning few days exploring the Cotswolds by automotive…

This publish was delivered to you in collaboration with Traditional Cottages, however as at all times all phrases and opinions are my very own. The 2-day driving journey within the Cotswolds that I’ve based mostly my itinerary on was paid for by me.

Driving within the Cotswolds Itinerary Map

Click on right here to open with Google Maps

Cotswolds Itinerary Route Stops

The next Cotswolds driving itinerary spreads properly throughout two or three days. I did three stops per day, which was manageable, however I’d suggest three days with two stops per day so that you’ve longer to benefit from every village – and calm down a bit in between.

Alternatively, you might base your self in a single place for just a few days and take journeys out to discover. Bourton-on-the-Water makes a pleasant central location, and from there you might do stops one and two as a day journey, adopted by stops 4 to 6 the subsequent day.

Nevertheless you do it, these are my high spots for a calming Cotswolds street journey…

1. Bibury

row of beige stone cottages in a line in front of a path next to grass and trees - cotswolds driving itinerary
Arlington Row

Kick off your driving tour with some of the iconic spots within the Cotswolds. Bibury is a ridiculously fairly village close to Cirencester which makes the proper introduction to the world.

Shut your eyes and picture an old style English village. That’s what Bibury appears to be like like.

William Morris known as it “probably the most stunning village in England” – and he might be proper.

On the coronary heart of the village, Arlington Row is likely one of the most visited and most photographed areas within the space. It’s a picturesque row of Seventeenth-century weaver’s cottages, constructed from honey-coloured stone with steep gray slate roofs.

It was used as a backdrop for the 2007 film Stardust (although not for Bridget Jones, as some blogs will inform you – that was filmed in Snowshill).

Be warned – Arlington Row can get fairly busy. Vacationers flip up by the bus-load to {photograph} that fairly strip of homes. Arrive early within the day (earlier than 10am) or late afternoon to keep away from the push!

High issues to do in Bibury

  • Snap a selfie exterior Arlington Row
  • Take a stroll alongside the River Coln
  • Admire the historic Arlington Mill

2. Slad

a wooden gate next to a hedge with a view of a green valley and woodlands behind
Trying in direction of The Vatch, Slad Valley

Most Cotswolds itineraries appear to stay to the japanese half of the AONB, which is the place a number of the better-known villages and points of interest are located. However it’s additionally price heading a bit to the west, too. And after busy Bibury, the tranquil, often-overlooked village of Slad is the proper tonic.

This tiny village sits on the sting of the picturesque Slad Valley, not removed from Stroud, and is surrounded by woodlands and nature reserves.

Slad was the house of the author and poet Laurie Lee, creator of Cider with Rosie. The Laurie Lee Wildlife Means is a 5-mile strolling route dotted with ten posts, every one containing one among Lee’s poems. It’s an effective way to find his work – and the route itself is a beautiful woodland stroll with beautiful views of the valley.

High Issues to do in Slad

  • Stroll the Laurie Lee Wildlife Means
  • Go to Laurie Lee Wooden (particularly throughout bluebell season)
  • Have a drink on the 300-year-old Woolpack Inn

3. Bourton-on-the-Water

a wide river with green trees on either side and a path on the right next to some beige stone cottages

Subsequent cease – the picturesque village of Bourton-on-the-Water. Nicknamed the “Venice of the Cotswolds”, that is one other of the prettiest villages within the space, seated on the scenic River Windrush.

It’s a bigger village than a number of the others, and fairly touristy, so that you’ll discover tons to do. And prenty of nice pubs and eateries to get pleasure from, too. This makes the village a superb base for exploring the Cotswolds.

High Tip: For those who’re doing this Cotswolds driving itinerary over three days, I like to recommend arriving in Bourton-on-the-Water early in your second day to keep away from the crowds.

High Issues to do in Bourton-on-the-Water

  • Go to the mannequin village, a one-ninth stone scale mannequin of the city
  • Stroll alongside the River Windrush
  • Go to the Cotswold Motoring Museum
  • Take a brewery tour on the Cotswold Brewing Firm 
  • Extra issues to do in Bourton-on-the-Water

4. The Slaughters

a shallow flat river with a row of beige stone cottages behind and several trees and a sunset sky behind - driving in the cotswolds england
Decrease Slaughter

Get two villages for the worth of 1 with Higher and Decrease Slaughter, two tremendous scenic spots located a mile aside alongside the River Eye.

The odd title really comes from an previous English time period which means “moist land” or “muddy”. Since each villages are so shut collectively, you’ll be able to depart your automotive in a single and stroll between the 2.

Once you see the heat, gold-beige stone cottages mirrored within the calm waters of the river, you’ll quickly determine that these are two of the prettiest villages within the Cotswolds.

High Issues to do in Higher and Decrease Slaughter

  • Stroll the 1-mile path alongside the river from Higher to Decrease Slaughter or vice-versa.
  • Go to Decrease Slaughter Museum – housed in a Nineteenth-century flour mill with a working waterwheel
  • Go for a meal on the Lords of the Manor Lodge – a surprising Seventeenth-century manor home.
  • Extra issues to do in The Slaughters

5. Broadway Tower

a path between two bare trees with a stone tower behind with an empty blue sky - cotswolds driving itinerary

Head in direction of the northern border of the Cotswolds to achieve Broadway Tower. That’s proper – the primary cease on our driving itinerary that’s NOT a village!

Broadway Tower was inbuilt 1799 as a Gothic-style folly (a constructing that had no actual function).

It stands on Broadway Hill, 1,024 toes above sea stage. So climbing to the highest of the 65ft tower affords some spectacular views of the encompassing countryside.

The tower sits on a 200-acre property of parkland, so you can too comply with a number of strolling routes to take in the gorgeous countryside. Hold a watch out for the resident deer and different wildlife.

High Tip: Followers of the film Bridget Jones may need to detour to Snowshill on the way in which. The scenic village was used as a filming location for Bridget’s father or mother’s countryside residence.

6. Stow-on-the-Wold

Wooden door on a stone church wall between two trees with thick trunks and lots of green leaves

The ultimate cease on our Cotswolds driving route is Stow-on-the-Wold. That is yet one more of the prettiest and hottest villages within the Cotswolds, and it additionally makes base for exploring.

This fairytale-esque village is known for the historic Yew Door in St. Edward’s Church: a big picket door flanked by two huge yew bushes, thought to have impressed JRR Tolkein to create the Doorways of Durin in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

High Issues to do in Stow-on-the-Wold

  • Go to the Yew Tree Door
  • Discover the unbiased boutiques, artwork galleries, and vintage retailers round Market Sq.
  • Stroll via the countryside to the close by village of Maugersbury
  • Extra issues to do in Stow-on-the-Wold

The place to Keep within the Cotswolds

sunset over a small village with beige buildings and a wide flat river
Decrease Slaughter makes base for exploring the Cotswolds

Bourton-on-the-Water, Higher Slaughter, and Stow-on-the-Wold are all superb central areas for finishing this Cotswolds itinerary. All three villages have a number of resorts and inns if you wish to keep close by.

For those who plan to spend just a few days driving within the Cotswolds, but in addition stress-free within the countryside, a self-catering cottage may be extra appropriate. Traditional Cottages have some superb properties throughout the UK, so have a browse and also you’re certain to search out your dream cottage. Listed here are just a few of my favourites…

Stonewell Cottage, Stow on the Wold

Sleeps 4 + cot

Stonewell Cottage is a single-storey stone cottage with a captivating historical past. Its thick picket beams and uncovered stone partitions are teamed with a lightweight and ethereal trendy decor to create the final word countryside escape. And the skin patio space is right for al fresco eating or stress-free on sunny days.

Park Farm Cottage, close to Malmesbury

Sleeps 8 + 2 cots

cottage built from beige stone and a grey roof with a fgreen lawn in front

Get pleasure from uninterrupted countryside views from a phenomenal farmhouse at Park Farm Cottage, a indifferent stone cottage nestled on the southern fringes of the Cotswolds. Highlights embody the characteristic hearth, big flagstone kitchen, and the unique options all through. Exterior, there’s a big enclosed backyard with a patio, an orchard, and two paddocks, totalling some three acres.

Little Maunditts Cottage, Sherston

Sleeps 6 + 2 cots

a lounge with white walls and floors and a cream leather sofa with large patio doors open and a patio outside on a sunny day

Nestled in a quiet lane in charming Sherston, Little Maunditts Cottage provides you the perfect of Cotswold village life. The cosy cottage boasts a beautiful backyard, with huge bi-fold doorways to let the summer time breeze indoors on good days. However there’s additionally underfloor heating so as to add a comfy contact on cooler days and nights – so it’s superb in case you’re visiting throughout winter.

Suggestions for Driving in The Cotswolds

a stone bridge with a narrow road over a shallow calm river and a row of beige stone cottages behind and a green woodland behind that - tips for driving in the cotswolds

Small Vehicles. When you have a selection, attempt to go for a smaller automotive. The Cotswolds’ slim lanes and restricted avenue parking imply huge vehicles usually battle to suit.

Obtain your maps! Sign is usually patchy throughout The Cotswolds, so it’s a good suggestion to obtain an offline model of Google Maps to your telephone (or no matter equal you utilize). In case your sign drops out, you received’t lose your instructions. Phew!

Travelling with Canine. The Cotswolds are a dream vacation spot for folks travelling with canines. Attempt to restrict your driving time in between stops, although, as your four-legged pal may get stressed on longer drives. Fortunately, Traditional Cottages have loads of dog-friendly vacation cottages with sizzling tubs within the Cotswolds – so that you and your furry finest pal can unwind on the finish of the day.

Flood warnings. When it rains in The Cotswolds, a number of the roads can get big puddles. Yellow hazard warnings have been left at spots the place minor flooding is frequent, so in case you see one, simply decelerate and be prepared. For those who do drive into a giant puddle, keep in mind your driving classes: don’t brake or velocity up. And make sure to take a look at your brakes afterwards earlier than carrying on.

Take the scenic route. Satnavs will normally ship you alongside probably the most direct route, which frequently means important roads. Fundamental roads in The Cotswolds are nonetheless fairly scenic, however the smaller backroads are sometimes a lot prettier. If time is in your facet, check out the map and plot a route alongside a number of the winding nation lanes for a beautiful scenic drive.

Broadway Tower

Driving within the Cotswolds: Last Ideas

The fantastic thing about a relaxed itinerary like this one is that you may tailor it to suit round you.

If you need an extended vacation, choose a pleasant vacation cottage to base your self for an extended weekend or every week. You may spend two days of your keep taking mini street journeys across the stops I’ve talked about – in addition to spending some days stress-free in your cottage backyard or taking walks across the space you’re staying in.

You can additionally do that as a three-day street journey, staying in Bourton-on-the-Water one night time and at Stow-on-the-Wold or one other village on the second.

The truth is, you might in all probability even do that Cotswolds driving itinerary in at some point. Though I wouldn’t suggest it as you’d should rush, and a few of these villages invite a number of lingering!

No matter you rise up to – driving within the Cotswolds is a phenomenal expertise that seems like getting proper to the center of the quintessential English countryside. Get pleasure from.

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