The best drives in the Cotswolds
Posted on December 18, 2018 by Paula
From the golden avenues to the patchwork fields, driving through the Cotswolds is a dream. Widely considered to be amongst the most beautiful of regions in the UK, it is the perfect place to explore on a driving holiday and with so much on offer, discovering the charming towns and quaint villages will allow you to fall in love with the British countryside. On a
last minute UK break, explore new regions with each and every journey, following one of these fantastic drives listed below!
“My favourite drive in the Cotswolds is either the climb up to Broadway Tower from
Broadway, or just meandering through any number of the stunning villages”, shares Sarah from Classic Travelling, a service which offers motoring holidays and driving tours for classic, vintage and sports cars of all ages. “I like driving in the region as it’s so quintessentially English, with the honey-coloured stone houses that enhance the rolling landscapes. There is also so much to see and visit in the region, coupled with a wealth of great places to eat, drink and stay.”
Milou from the informative travel blog
Explorista agrees: “In the summer between Broadway Tower and the village of Snowshill through the Cotswolds Lavender fields. Looks and smells amazing”. Additionally, Sara from Yescapa (which connects holidaymakers with campervan owners across Europe) would suggest continuing the journey from Broadway along to Stratford-Upon-Avon, through the villages of Willersey and Aston Subedge: “Out of all the villages in the Cotswolds, the prettiest drive by far is to take the B4632 road and to head all the way out to Stratford-upon-Avon. The stunning colours of the flowers are breathtaking, lush green fields full of sheep add to the scenic feel along with its unique Georgian architecture. As distances between villages are no longer than 30 mins, a couple of pits stops are necessary in order to really make the most of its beauty.”
Broadway is a beautiful town, and the undulating hills make a perfect backdrop for a drive. The historic town has a number of highlights to explore, including Broadway Tower which provides breathtaking views of the panoramic countryside. There is a number of fantastic restaurants, from Hunters of Broadway, a delicious tearoom, The Potting Shed at Dormy House, with a selection of classic British dishes on the menu and The Jockey Bar at The Broadway Hotel which is a great place for a bite to eat.
"My favourite drive in the Cotswolds takes me along the cutest little villages. My favourite ones are Castle Combe, Snowshill, Bourton-on-the-Water and Bibury”, Milou shares. “The thing I love most about the region is the thing that frightens me most too, with the small windy roads. However, I also love how they take me through a landscape that looks like time never caught up to. It’s really the exact dream tourists have of England come to life."
Bourton-on-the-Water is a favourite location for Tom, the owner of Go Cotswolds, a family run tour company that specialises in small-group minibus day tours of the region. Tom spends his days visiting a selection of towns, villages and viewpoints on his guide: “The dry-stone wall lined back roads are narrow and peaceful - you very rarely see any other traffic and there's seemingly a picturesque view or beautiful honey coloured Cotswolds stone village around every corner.
“I'm passionate about the area and people coming to visit and seeing what we have to offer. It's a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (the 2nd largest conservation area in England behind the Lake District) and there's so much to see and do from the natural beauty of the rolling hills to the man-made beauty of the historic towns and villages. This coupled with fantastic walks, food, gardens, pubs, galleries, independent shops etc make it a great place to visit.”
Bourton-on-the-water is regularly voted as one of the prettiest towns in the Cotswolds, with the golden stone and shimmering water providing a tranquil escape. The bubbling River Windrush runs through the middle of the village, with a series of stone bridges running over, adding to Bourton-on-the-Water’s charm. A drive here wouldn’t be complete without visiting one of the village’s many attractions, from
Birdland to The Model Village, or stopping for a picnic beside the river.
Follow the B4068 from Bourton-on-the-Water along to Stow-on-the-Wold to experience another of the Cotswolds’ market towns. This road will take you through the Slaughters, which are a favourite of Sarah’s, before reaching one of the most well-known towns in the Cotswolds, Stow-on-the-Wold.
“The Cotswolds are best visited on a road trip, so you can take all the time you need to visit each village and making it a unique experience as you’ll be able to wake up next to a field full of sheep!”, believes Emmylou from Yescapa, a platform which allows travellers to rent campervans and motorhomes from private owners all around Europe. One of the most popular routes out of Chipping Campden is the A44. This road takes you through the avenues of trees to Moreton-in-Marsh, another popular market town. “Driving around the Cotswolds remains an experience out of the ordinary. Time seems to stand still bringing a rare sense of serenity. The roads, although old, have been resurfaced and are now a lot more pleasant, giving you enough space to navigate.”
Chipping Campden is a fabulous location to visit whilst driving through the Cotswolds due to its accessibility. There is a plethora of roads for you to take once in the town, allowing you to cater your road trip to your personal taste. Situated in the north of the Cotswolds, Chipping Campden is well-loved for its old Cotswold stone buildings, charming pubs and bluebell fields that cover the countryside during the spring. Explore the quaint shops on the picturesque high street or visit the Court Barn Museum to discover the history of the arts and crafts movement in the area.
The best drives in the Cotswolds
The Cotswolds is a wonderful place to drive and has a great range of routes for you to take. “If you really want to soak up the most of what the Cotswolds has to offer, make sure you take it slowly! There are lots of quaint towns and villages that are quintessentially British, so stopping at these for a quick bite to eat or a drink is a good option”, shares Jessica from the blog, By Jessica.
Whether you’re looking to be charmed by the village of Bourton-on-the-Water or enjoy a spot to eat at Broadway, it is a location not-to-be-missed when looking for your next UK break destination. Below is a recap of some of the best drives that you can look forward to enjoying on your next visit:
- The B4632 from Broadway to Stratford-Upon-Avon
- The B4068 from Bourton-on-the-Water to Stow-on-the-Wold
- The A44 from Chipping Campden to Moreton-in-Marsh