The Cotswolds is a unique and stunning part of England, comprising stone-built villages, fairytale-like cottages, historical towns and stately homes and gardens. Covering almost 800 square miles, it would be impossible to visit all areas of the Cotswolds in just 48 hours. So, we’ve put together this short itinerary on how to spend 48 hours in the Cotswolds to ensure you get to see some of the most charming towns and villages.
Begin your trip in the lovely town of Cirencester, the largest town in the Cotswolds. There are various sights to see around Cirencester town, including the Roman Town Wall, the Amphitheatre and the museum, so a relaxing stroll through the town centre is an easy way to see them. As a well-known thriving market town, you’ll definitely pass some stalls whilst out strolling. The Cirencester Charter Market, one of the oldest charter markets in the country, takes place on Mondays and Fridays.
Bourton on the Water
Next up, head to Bourton on the Water, just less than 30 minutes away by car. Bourton on the Water is regularly voted as one of the prettiest villages in England, and rightly so! This quaint village in the heart of the Cotswolds is also known as ‘Venice of England’ because of the River Windrush that runs through the centre of the village and attractive little stone bridges. Although a small village, Bourton on the Water offers plenty of sights and activities to fill your afternoon. Simply relaxing by the river makes a pleasant afternoon, but there’s also the Birdland Park and Gardens, the Cotswold Brewing Company and walking tours too.
Just a little over 10 minutes from Bourton on the Water, you can reach another little market town, Stow-on-the-Wold, perhaps the better known towns. If you head here by the evening, you’re sure to want a bite to eat. There’s a great variety of dining options in Stow-on-the-Wold, from fine dining restaurants to traditional Cotswold pubs and inns. In fact, here, you can find England’s oldest inn, The Porch House, a charmingly-restored grade II-listed pub with cosy guest rooms where you can spend the night.
The village of Naunton also lies on the River Windrush, among the rolling Cotswold hills. Naunton is a historic little village as it’s thought that there has been settlement here for at least 2000 years, although, there has always been a small population. For a little bit of sports, visit Nauton Downs Golf Club, an 18-hole, par 71 course surrounded by stunning scenery.
Winchcombe is to the northwest of Nauton, about 20 minutes away. Unlike other towns and villages of the Cotswolds, Winchcombe has a share of new developments too, which has helped the population increase over the years. There are some excellent landmarks to see in Winchcombe, like the 15th century stately home, Sudeley Castle, St Peter’s Church in the town centre and St Kenelm’s Well.
Finally, as a health and holiday spa town, Cheltenham makes an ideal location to end your trip. Although primarily famous for Cheltenham Festival, the 4-day horse racing festival held at Cheltenham Racecourse, there’s so much more to the town. Cheltenham also hosts several other festivals, including the Cheltenham Literature Festival, Jazz Festival, Music Festival and Cricket Festival. Many of these festivals have been postponed this year but should hopefully resume by 2021.
If you’re planning on arranging a trip to the beautiful Cotswolds, we hope this itinerary is of use!
You can book your dream trip to the Cotswolds to visit the tranquil towns and villages through Best of Scotland Holidays. Spend two nights in areas of the Cotswolds with our Mystical England package. Contact us today to find out more or to plan your alternative itinerary.