Exploring the Most Beautiful Villages in the Cotswolds

Nestled in the heart of England, the Cotswolds and its villages offer a picturesque landscape that seems straight out of a storybook. With its charming villages, rolling hills, and quintessential English beauty, it’s no wonder the area is a magnet for travelers seeking an authentic and serene experience.

Introduction to the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), spans across multiple counties, primarily Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. Its unique limestone villages, historic market towns, and bucolic landscapes have made it a beloved destination for tourists worldwide.

From the scenic beauty of Bourton-on-the-Water to the historical significance of Chipping Campden, the Cotswolds boasts an array of villages, each with its distinct character and appeal.

Top Attractions in the Cotswolds

Here, we’ll take a stroll through some of the most breathtaking villages in the Cotswolds, each with its unique charm and appeal.


Situated on the River Windrush, Bourton-on-the-Water is often referred to as the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds.’ The village’s low bridges, picturesque stone houses, and vibrant atmosphere make it a must-visit destination. Visitors can explore the fascinating model village and the charming Birdland, home to various exotic bird species.


The iconic high street in Broadway, lined with golden-hued buildings, is a sight to behold. The village offers an array of unique shopping experiences and delightful eateries, making it a hub for tourists seeking leisure and cultural exploration.

Chipping Campden

This historical market town is known for its stunning architecture and cultural significance. Visitors can explore the historic wool church and experience the town’s vibrant arts and music scene.


Stow-on-the-Wold’s market square and antique shops exude a traditional charm. The town’s picturesque setting and local culture offer a unique experience to visitors.


Bibury’s Arlington Row, a line of ancient cottages by the River Coln, presents a timeless and photogenic scene. Its stunning scenery and quaint atmosphere make it a perfect spot for relaxation and appreciation of natural beauty.

Castle Combe

Often acclaimed as England’s prettiest village, Castle Combe’s architectural beauty and historical attractions draw in visitors. Its charm lies in the unspoiled setting and ethereal ambiance.


This vibrant market town offers an array of markets, historical landmarks, and various events throughout the year. The lively atmosphere and local traditions make it a bustling destination.

Lower Slaughter

The tranquil beauty of Lower Slaughter is unparalleled. Visitors can indulge in serene riverside walks and soak in the peaceful ambiance that the village offers.

Upper Slaughter

With its historical mill and unspoiled setting, Upper Slaughter is an idyllic escape. Its charm lies in the unadulterated beauty and quiet ambiance


Known for its stunning Rococo Garden, Painswick offers a unique landscape and historical appeal. The village’s beauty and natural surroundings make it an excellent stop for nature enthusiasts.

The Cotswolds is a treasure trove of natural beauty and historical significance. These charming villages encapsulate the essence of English heritage and tranquility. Visitors are invited to explore these picturesque locations and immerse themselves in the allure of the Cotswolds.

Lower Slaughter

Lower Slaughter in the Cotswolds, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England, is known for its picturesque villages and rolling hills. One such village that draws visitors from all over the world is Lower Slaughter. Nestled in the heart of the Cotswolds, Lower Slaughter is a charming village that is steeped in history and boasts of an idyllic countryside setting. Here’s why you should consider adding Lower Slaughter to your Cotswolds itinerary.

History of Lower Slaughter:

Lower Slaughter’s history dates back to the medieval period. The village is named after the Slaughter family, who owned the land in the 12th century. In the 16th century, the village was home to a thriving wool industry, and the River Eye that flows through the village powered several water mills. The mills have since been converted into homes, and the river now provides a scenic backdrop to the village’s quaint cottages and shops.

Lower Slaughter Attractions:

  1. The Old Mill Museum: The Old Mill is a 19th-century water mill that has been converted into a museum. The museum gives visitors a glimpse into the village’s rich history and the importance of water mills in the Cotswold’s industrial past.
  2. Walks and Trails: Lower Slaughter is surrounded by beautiful countryside, and there are several walks and trails that take visitors through the surrounding villages and fields. The Slaughters Country Inn offers maps and guides to the local walks and is a great starting point for exploring the area.
  3. The River Eye: The River Eye is the lifeblood of Lower Slaughter, and its tranquil waters are a great place to relax and unwind. Visitors can sit by the riverbank and enjoy a picnic, or take a walk along the river and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
  4. Cotswold Motoring Museum: Located just a short drive from Lower Slaughter, the Cotswold Motoring Museum is a must-visit attraction for car enthusiasts. The museum houses a collection of classic cars, motorcycles, and bicycles, and gives visitors a fascinating insight into the history of motoring.

Why Visit Lower Slaughter:

Lower Slaughter is a quintessential Cotswold village that offers visitors a glimpse into England’s rural past. The village’s picturesque setting and rich history make it a popular destination for tourists, but it is also a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the countryside. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or just looking for a relaxing day out, Lower Slaughter is a must-visit destination in the Cotswolds.

In conclusion, Lower Slaughter is a gem of a village in the Cotswolds, and a great place to visit if you’re looking for a taste of English countryside life. With its charming cottages, scenic river, and fascinating history, Lower Slaughter offers visitors a unique and unforgettable experience.

There are many reasons why having a Cotswold tour with Secret Cottage Cotswold Tours followed by a cream tea in their secret thatched cottage is the perfect way to experience the beauty and charm of the Cotswolds. Firstly, the tour is led by knowledgeable and passionate local guides who will take you to hidden gems and picturesque villages off the beaten track. Secondly, the small group size ensures a personal and intimate experience. Finally, the cream tea in their secret thatched cottage is a quintessential Cotswold experience, complete with homemade scones, clotted cream and jam, and a cozy atmosphere. It’s a perfect way to relax and unwind after a day of exploring the Cotswolds.

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  • star rating  My daughter, Diana and I took the Secret Cottage tour last summer while visiting England.We both feel it is the very best experience we had while visiting the beautiful country.... read more

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    star rating  Everything and more!! - We went on this tour the end of July 2019. I just realized that we didn't leave this review recently, when I was making my book for the trip, (sorry!),... read more

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    star rating  Secret cottage tour was lovely! - Becky was prompt, friendly and knowledgeable about the regions history and residents. She was an accommodating tour guide in the roomy Mercedes van for 7 adults. Plenty of room... read more

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  • star rating  Perfect Day in Every Way - Perfect day trip from London! We took the train from Paddington Station and were met by Becky and her daughter. What a wonderful way to see the Cotswolds as if... read more

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    star rating  A Must Do!!!! - We were transported back in time while being chauffeured in a lovely, roomy Mercedes! Our tour included an excellent lunch in a local homegrown pub along with all the breathtaking... read more

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    star rating  Perfect Day trip from London!  - This tour was the perfect way to experience the Cotswolds region. You get the benefit of a small group and seeing villages not accessible to the big tours - plus... read more

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