The Cotswolds - England's most picturesque villages – Road.Travel

The Cotswolds - England's most picturesque villages

Road Trip Route. Feel like a character in the film "Exchange Holiday"., Visit the most photographed village in England., Visit the only Rococo outdoor garden in the country..

The Cotswolds is a beautiful hillside region stretching north-east for around 80 kilometres from the famous town of Bath. The land is poor for farming, but ideal for herding sheep. In the Middle Ages there was a flourishing trade in sheep's wool and the profits were used to build churches, public buildings and dwellings. The region is also famous for its limestone mining, which has a unique soft yellow colour. Closer to the southern border of the Cotswolds, the stone takes on a grey hue. Many of the buildings in the region are built from these stones, which is why the Cotswolds looks so picturesque and different from other pastoral English landscapes. Most of the villages here were built in the 12th century, and they survive to this day. Photographer and blogger Katya Jackson shares the most picturesque views of the Cotswolds with ZIMA readers and what there is to do there.

History and Culture, Uninhabited Nature. From: London

Katya Jackson. Travel Expert.

Travel Itinerary and Road Trip Route

Day 1: 6 fabulous Cotswolds villages

The best way to get to the Cotswolds is by car. But if you don't have your own transport, you can also use public transport. You can get to the North and Central Cotswolds by train every hour from London Paddington Station. The terminal station is Kingham, the train passes through Oxford (1 hour 25 minutes) and Moreton-in-Marsh (1 hour 35 minutes). To get to the South Cotswolds, you need to take the train to Kemble, which goes via Swindon and also departs from Paddington.


There are also local buses between the main towns and villages. You should note that small villages may only get buses once a week. For more information on transport in the Cotswolds, visit

Lower Slaughter Museum

Lower Slaughter takes its name from the Anglo-Saxon word slough, which means 'dirty place'. It may once have been, but now it's a pretty and clean village, divided in two by a picturesque stream. It takes about 10 minutes upstream to reach the main attraction, the Old Mill. The Old Mill is a whole museum that tells the history of bread making and shows the principles of the corn mill.

Upper Slaughter

Just a two minute drive from Lower Slaughter is the village of Upper Slaughter. It has far fewer tourists and the whole village is surrounded by a road that you can walk in about 20 minutes. There is also a cottage there, which is almost a replica of Kate Winslet's character's cottage in the movie "Exchange Holiday". There are three main attractions in Upper Slaughter: St. Peter's Church, the main Upper Slaughter Manor (you can only get inside with a tour in the summer months) and the luxurious Lords of the Manor Inn.

Chipping Campden

Coming to Chipping Campden, you can see what a real medieval town looked like, thriving on the wool trade. The main street consists mainly of Tudor and Jacobean houses. These now house small shops, pubs and cafes. The main attraction is the 17th-century open-air market pavilion, which is situated exactly in the middle of the town.


The main street of Broadway village consists of successive shops, pubs and tearooms. It's all very pretty, but the real tale begins at the end of the street - where the houses appear. You won't find so many pretty little houses in any other village in the Cotswolds.

Broadway Tower

Just one mile from Broadway, 312 meters above sea level, is the Broadway Tower. On a clear day, its roof overlooks an area covering a 100 kilometre radius. The tower is open daily from 10.00 to 17.00. Entrance to the tower is free, but you need to buy a ticket to look inside and up to the observation deck.


Painswick is another old town that grew up on the wool trade. At its very centre is the church, which might seem to be the main attraction. But it is not the church building that is as remarkable as the cemetery around it. Its grounds are planted with 99 yew trees trimmed in the shape of bulbs.

Painswick Rococo Garden

The Rococo Garden on the church grounds, the only Rococo-style outdoor garden in England, which encouraged the fashion for unusual geometric shapes and sinuous lines, deserves special attention. The garden contains small buildings from those times, which today are more of a decorative nature. The garden is open daily from 10 January to 31 October from 10.30 am to 5 pm.


The village of Bybury consists of just a couple of streets, one of which is considered the most photographed in the whole country! And the reason is simple - Arlington Row can be seen on the inside cover of a British passport. In 1380, buildings began to be built on this site to store wool, and in the 17th century they began to be converted into residential cottages for weavers. In addition to this famous lane, it is worth visiting the trout farm and staying there for dinner.


This route can be done in a day, especially if you're in one of the nearby towns or villages. Or stretch out the fun over a weekend to wander through each village and reach the legendary spot of Castle Combe.