Bretforton: The Cotswolds’ Best Kept Secret (2023)

Amidst Cotswold hills, Bretforton’s charm enchants all, peaceful village life


Tucked away in the heart of the Cotswolds, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is Bretforton, a picturesque emblem of quintessential English allure. Bretforton is the type of place you visit for a few days and you end up living there for years.

Here you’ll find thatched-roof cottages, beautiful countryside, a theatre in a barn, a church, England’s oldest pub, an annual asparagus auction, and the last remaining village band in Worcestershire.

If you ever Google places to visit in the Cotswolds, chances are Bourton-on-the-Water, Broadway, Burford, Castle Combe, Cheltenham, Chipping Campden, Cirencester, and Stow-on-the-Wold will crop up.

While these are great places to visit and on the beaten tourist trail, Bretforton promises a memorable experience for every visitor for its local history, scenic countryside, and remarkable buildings, activities and strong community spirit.

If you do pay a visit to Bretforton, then a must-see is the 13th century St. Leonard’s Church which was built around 1295 with the tower added some years later as were the south aisle and porch. There is a resident organist, a band of bell ringers and seating for 140 people.

Next on your list to see is the National Trust-owned Fleece Inn, a traditional English pub that dates back to the 15th century. This is a remarkable pub with a fireplace, garden, apple orchard, real ales, ciders, food, accommodation, and a welcoming atmosphere. Watch the pub’s landlord talking about the tradition of cider making in this video on YouTube.

The pub even hosts the British Asparagus Festival Day in May and an annual Apple and Ale festival in October. There is a 300-year-old pewter collection on display and painted witch circles to prevent witches from entering down the chimneys.

Elsewhere in this delightful village is a cricket club (plays every Sunday in the summer months), shops, walking and cycle routes through the picturesque countryside or over to Evesham. Other nearby villages include Ebrington, Snowshill, and Stanton.

The village has appeared in TV dramas, cooking shows and movies and when the unique theatre which is housed in a barn opened, the opening performance was by Dame Peggy Ashcroft, an Academy Award winner (for A Passage to India).

The private residence of Bretforton Manor dates back to the 12th century and the 30,000 square meter estate includes a barn, cider house, stables, an indoor swimming pool and stunning gardens. It’s also on the market.

Getting To Bretforton

To get to Bretforton from Heathrow Airport, you have several transportation options.

By Car
You can rent a car and drive to Bretforton, which is approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes away. Take the M4 motorway west to the M5, and then continue south to Junction 6 (Worcester North). From there, take the A44 towards Evesham, and then follow the signs to Bretforton.

By Train
Take the Heathrow Express train to London Paddington station, transfer to a train bound for Evesham and then get a taxi. The journey is estimated to take 2-3 hours. For taxi information, see our handy guide here and it’s best to book in advance.

By Bus
There are no direct buses from Heathrow, but you can take a bus from Heathrow Airport to Cheltenham, and then take another bus to Evesham which is four miles away from Bretforton. Then take a taxi or another bus.

Private Transfer
You can also arrange for a private taxi from Heathrow Airport and it may be more convenient and comfortable than taking public transportation especially if you are carrying large suitcases.

More Information

There is an excellent village website at giving more information about this fascinating and ‘secret’ location.

Bretforton Accommodation

There are many stunning places to stay in the village and these can be found on the community shop’s website.

Enchantment Awaits
Enchantment Awaits

The Cotswolds region is home to many charming villages and towns, churches, historic landmarks, outdoor activities, in a beautiful part of England. After visiting the region many times, we created the Travel Cotswolds website dedicated to helping others plan their own trips to the Cotswolds.

If you’re looking for other places to visit, click on Cotswolds Villages A-FVillages G-O, and Villages P-Z.


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