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Discovering the 6 Prettiest English Villages in the Cotswolds in 2024

Discovering the 6 Prettiest English Villages in the Cotswolds in 2024

The Cotswolds, a region in the heart of England, is famed for its picturesque villages and rolling countryside. In the summer of 2024, visitors can journey through some of the area’s most beautiful and less-traveled villages. 

This guide offers a glimpse into the Cotswolds’ quaint charm and hidden wonders, perfect for those seeking a serene and culturally rich experience. 

Bibury – A Quintessential Cotswold Village

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Voyagerix

Bibury, often described as the most beautiful village in England, is a must-visit. The iconic Arlington Row, a set of ancient cottages, epitomizes the traditional Cotswold stone architecture. The village’s tranquil setting along the River Coln adds to its allure.

Insider’s Tip

Visit early in the morning to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and capture stunning photographs without the crowds.

Best Time to Visit

Early summer for pleasant weather and fewer crowds.

Website

Visit Bibury

English Treat

Enjoy afternoon tea at The Swan Hotel, overlooking the River Coln. 

Castle Combe – Stepping Back in Time 

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Alexey Fedorenko

In the southern Cotswolds, Castle Combe is like a storybook scene. Its unspoiled beauty, historic charm, medieval buildings, and picturesque market square make it a favorite for film and TV productions.

Insider’s Tip

Don’t miss the Castle Combe Circuit, a hub for motorsport enthusiasts, hosting events throughout the summer.

Best Time to Visit

Late spring to early summer.

Website

Castle Combe Village

English Treat

Try traditional scones at The Old Rectory Tea Room. 

Chipping Campden – Market Town Splendor 

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Stephen Bridger

Chipping Campden, known for its elegant High Street and market hall, is a testament to the town’s prosperous wool trading history. The town also serves as a starting point for the Cotswold Way, a long-distance walking trail.

Insider’s Tip

Explore the local artisan shops for unique crafts and visit during the Chipping Campden Music Festival for a cultural treat.

Best Time to Visit

During the Chipping Campden Music Festival in May.

Website

Visit Chipping Campden

English Treat

Sample local ales at one of the historic inns. 

Stow-on-the-Wold – A Hilltop Market Town 

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Alena Veasey

Stow-on-the-Wold, perched on a hill, offers panoramic views of the Cotswolds. It’s famous for its large market square and historic inns and a hub for exploring the local countryside.

Insider’s Tip

Visit the St. Edward’s Church, known for its ancient door flanked by yew trees, which inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s descriptions in “The Lord of the Rings.”

Best Time to Visit

Early summer for the best weather.

Website

Discover Stow

English Treat

Indulge in a classic cream tea at Lucy’s Tearoom. 

Painswick – The Queen of the Cotswolds 

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Andrew Roland

Painswick, often called the “Queen of the Cotswolds,” is renowned for its well-preserved stone houses and Rococo Garden. The garden, a unique 18th-century landscape garden, is gorgeous in the summer.

Insider’s Tip

Time your visit with the Painswick Art Couture Festival, a vibrant celebration of art and creativity in the village streets.

Best Time to Visit

Summer, especially during the Painswick Art Couture Festival.

Website

Painswick

English Treat

Enjoy a leisurely lunch at The Painswick. 

Lower Slaughter – A Tranquil Escape 

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Roserunn

Lower Slaughter, set along the little Eye stream, is characterized by its unspoiled charm and peaceful ambiance. The old mill and the quaint bridges make it an idyllic relaxing spot.

Insider’s Tip

Enjoy a leisurely walk along the stream to the neighboring village of Upper Slaughter, another gem in the Cotswolds.

Best Time to Visit

Summer for idyllic walks along the stream.

Website

Lower Slaughter

English Treat

Visit The Slaughters Manor House for an elegant afternoon tea. 

The Bottom Line 

The Cotswolds is a region where time seems to stand still, and each village tells its own unique story. In the summer months, these villages offer a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty and history of rural England. 

Whether for the architecture, the scenic landscapes, or the cultural festivals, a tour of the Cotswolds’ most beautiful villages is a journey through the heart of English countryside charm. Don’t forget to try a very British afternoon tea, a perfect complement to your Cotswold adventure.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / 365 Focus Photography.

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