Discover the charms of the Cotswolds as you pass through some of the pretty villages made so distinctive by the famous honey-coloured local stone. Synonymous with cosy thatched cottages, gently rolling hills, and beautiful rural settings, it’s easy to see why this is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Begin with a stop in Broadway for a stroll along its pretty tree-lined High Street with its assortment of quaint shops and traditional pubs. Continue on to Bourton-on-the-Water, known as the Venice of the Cotswolds, with the meandering River Windrush running through the heart of the village. After lunch at leisure, stop in nearby Stow-on-the-Wold. This market town stands beside the Roman Fosse Way at its junction with six other roads, and a settlement has existed here since the Iron Age. Alternatively, head northwards to visit Hidcote Manor Gardens, which consists of a series of outdoor ‘rooms’, each separated by walls and hedges framing stunning displays of perennial herbaceous plants and rare shrubs. Created by the horticulturist Major Lawrence Johnston, it is considered one of England’s great gardens.
Explore the Cotswolds' most charming villages
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