Discover Unique Hidden Gems in the Cotswolds (2023)

hidden gems

Get swept away by the charm and magic of the Cotswolds, the iconic region known for its stunning countryside, quaint villages, and array of intriguing attractions.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, food lover, or just looking for some rest and relaxation, there’s 800 square miles of rolling countryside with plenty of unique and hidden gems to explore in the Cotswolds.

With over 600 miles of public bridleways and footpaths, the Cotswolds is perfect for country walks. Discover picturesque villages, traditional English pubs and beautiful gardens along your journey. Spend a day exploring small towns like Bourton-on-the-Water or Chipping Camden

Here we provide a taster of cool places to stay, and enchanting villages.

Cool Places to Stay

The Cotswolds offer picturesque towns, traditional pubs, and honey-stone cottages that are an absolute delight to explore.

With so much demand, booking early is key to avoid disappointment and maybe even bagging a discounted rate. Fortunately, you’ll find an impressive range of places to stay, from boutique hotels serving farm-to-fork cuisine to historic estates.

The Painswick Boutique Hotel in Chipping Campden is a must-visit for its spacious and relaxing rooms, excellent bar, and coffee and drinks. For a four-star luxury experience, The Lygon Arms in Bourton-on-the-Water boasts an indoor pool and an excellent wine bar.

Unique Places to Stay

Experience the Cotswolds’ rolling hills, meadows, and charming villages by staying in a luxury hotel. These hotels offer the perfect combination of comfort and elegance, boasting freestanding tubs, patterned headboards, and stunning wildflower gardens.

Barnsley House, situated in a stone manor dating back to 1697, features 18 unique rooms with ivy-covered walls and a glorious garden.

Painswick, said to the prettiest wool town in the Cotswolds, offers stunning countryside retreats surrounded by friendly sheep and an expansive paddock.

Perhaps the most unique accommodation is a luxury holiday lodge on a reindeer farm near Cirencester.

The Nicest Places

The Cotswolds’ honey-colored stone architecture and medieval squares are steeped in history. Burford, is a top attraction with its delightful high street lined with 17th and 18th century houses.

Hidden Gem, The Oxford Brush Company, Burford
The Oxford Brush Company, Burford (Photo: Travel Cotswolds)

It’s in Burford where you’ll find an amazing hidden gem. The Oxford Brush Company is the most extraordinary shop selling every brush you think you’ll ever need to own and maybe others just in case. For example, a peach brush.

There’s a cafe in Burford high street with seating outside alongside a red post box. Go inside and order English scones with clotted cream and jelly (jam), pies, pasties, baked goods, candy and more delights.

The Lamb in Snowshill, a family-run restaurant, offers classic pub dishes cooked over wood fire, ranging from fish and chips to seafood and steak.

Villages with Rivers

Stow-on-the-Wold awaits you with its picturesque stone buildings along the wide high street. Naunton offers cobblestoned lanes with ancient medieval homes for a perfect stroll without the tourist crowds.

Due to its popularity Bibury hardly fits in the unique gem category but it is the most breathtaking of all Cotswold villages with a collection of perfectly preserved cottages. Take a walk along the scenic Arlington Row lined with pretty cottages.

Kemble is a hidden gem because it is the closest village to the start of the River Thames.

Of course, there’s the famous Bourton-on-the-Water with a series of small bridges over a beautiful shallow river and where it is common to see people of all ages sat on the riverbank dangling their feet in the waters.

Other villages with rivers include Lower Slaughter, Upper Slaughter, and Lechlade.

Adults-Only Hidden Gems

Experience the sophisticated charm of Cotswolds’ hidden gems for adults-only.

Dine in award-winning luxury at The Wild Rabbit in Kingham or unwind in opulence at the Slaughters Manor House in Lower Slaughter.

For a touch of adventure, explore the art of gin and whiskey at the Cotswold Distillery in Stourton or connect with wildlife at the Falconry School in Moreton-in-Marsh.

Visitors can spend hours exploring the winding country lanes, browsing the local shops and markets, or simply relaxing in one of the many cozy pubs or tearooms.

With unique and authentic options to cater to every taste, these hidden gems promise an unforgettable and exclusive visit to Cotswolds.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or an outdoor adventure, the Cotswolds is the perfect destination for anyone seeking a taste of rural England.

Cotswolds Taxis

If you are traveling to the Cotswolds without a car, please take a look at this guide we posted recently about the taxi services in the region.

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 TravelCotswolds website dedicated to helping others plan their own trips to the Cotswolds.

Quick guides: Compton Abdale: A Village With Great Walks To ExploreDaglingworth: A Peaceful Village With Traditional CharmBagendon: A Quaint Village in the Cotswolds, and Avening: Stunning Views Across Rolling Hills


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