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A Pictures of England Guide to

The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds in the heart of England is an area of outstanding beauty and famous picturesque villages made from the golden local stone. It is an area rich in history and one of the most popular regions of England to explore. From Stratford upon Avon in the North, to the beautiful Roman city of Bath in the South, the Cotswold journey takes you through magical little villages and places that have remained untouched and immaculately preserved throughout the ages. PicturesOfEngland.com explores each town, village and the surrounding countryside to try and give you an over-all picture of just how beautiful and enchanting this region of England is.

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You will also find a map of the cotswolds, plus facts and figures below like distance between some of the major cotswolds towns and villages. Please send in any photographs and information for others to benefit from. Many thanks - PicturesOfEngland.com

List of Cotswold Towns, Villages and Cities

Bourton-on-the-Water   A village often called 'The Venice of the Cotswold. See the model village and stone bridges.
Burford   A wonderful historic small Cotswold town in the oxfordshire Cotswolds, with fine buildings and a beautiful church and medieval bridge.
Bath   One of the worlds most beautiful Georgian cities with Roman remains to explore. On the southern edge of the Cotswolds and a must visit.
Bibury   William Morris, the 19th-century artist and poet thought Bibury to be the most beautiful village in England.
Broadway   Broadway richly deserves the prestige of being the "show village of England".
Castle Combe   This village in the southern most part of the Cotswolds was awarded the title of 'Most Picturesque Village' by British Heritage Magazine's 2001 Traveller's Choice Awards
Cheltenham   Gracious georgian houses dominate throughout this large and popular cosmopolitan town.
Chipping Campden   Immediately appealing, this is certainly one of the most picturesque small towns in the northern reaches of the Cotswolds.
Chipping Norton   Coming Soon
Cirencester   In Roman times, Cirencester (known then as Corinium) was the second largest Roman city in the whole of Britannia. Second only to Londinium (London)
Dursley   Dursley is an ancient place, set in lush greenery to the edge of the Cotswolds in the midst of the beautiful Vale of Berkley, close to the River Severn.
Fairford   Fairford was granted a market charter in the year 1135 but it is believed that village has its origins way back in the Bronze Age
Lacock   Gatherings of graceful medieval houses line the streets of Lacock - a Cotswold village that is entirely owned by the National Trust and exhudes with all the atmosphere of a gracious by-gone age.
Lechlade   This pleasant little market town, set beside the upper reaches of the Thames, is dominated by the elegant spire of the beautiful parish church of St.Lawrence
Malmesbury   The town stakes its claim to be the oldest borough in England on the fact that it was granted a charter in the year 924 by King Edward.
Minchinhampton   Uniquely, Minchinhampton is reached only by a narrow winding road that climbs upwards and travels across remote and windswept common land, it is perhaps the least accessible of all Cotswold towns and villages
Morton-in-Marsh   The delightful market town of Moreton has welcomed visitors for many centuries. In it's prominent position on the Fosse Way it was an important staging post for travellers requiring to rest and change horses.
Nailsworth   Nailsworth is a handsome town that has a history stretching back to beyond Roman times. The town played an important role in the great day's of the woollen industry and wool was largely responsible for the growth and development of Nailsworth
Northleach   This elegant cotswold town is dominated by the great church of St.Peter and St.Paul, a building of the 15th-century that owes its splendour to the wealth garnered from the woollen industry in medieval times.
Painswick   The streets of Painswick are narrow and crammed with fine examples of glowing honey coloured stone buildings
Stratford-upon-Avon   Just north of the Cotswolds, Stratford upon Avon is a very popular place amongst tourists, many of whom come to see the home of the great William Shakespeare.
Stroud   A steep old town on the western edge of the Cotswolds hills.
Stow-on-the-Wold   'Where the wind blows cold' One of the busiest and most delightful of the Cotswold towns. Very picturesque with a gorgeous church and pretty buildings. A great place to browse the many antique shops on offer.
Tewkesbury   Not strictly a Cotswold town, Tewkesbury is not far away and well worth a visit as it's an historic market town blessed by an enormous and beautiful Abbey and many historic buildings and ancient alleyways.
Tetbury   A wonderful Cotswold town with connections to the Prince and the late Princess of Wales who lived just outside the town at Highgrove.
The Slaughters   Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter Two wonderful small Cotswold villages close to Bourton on the Water
Winchcombe   Experience the quintessentially English town of Winchcome. A beautiful and ancient Cotswold town.
Witney   in Oxfordshire
Wotton under Edge   A beautiful historic Cotswold town with a slower pace than most, and some stunning surrounding countryside with spectacular views.
Woodstock   Woodstock will be forever inextricably linked with the great Palace of Blenheim..
   


Distances from London:

  • London to Bath = 116 miles(186 kilometres), taking approximately 2 hours 15 mins depending on traffic
  • London to Oxford = 56 miles (90 kilometres), taking approx 1 hour 15 mins
  • London to Stratford-upon-Avon = 102 miles (164 kilometres), taking approx 2 hours.

Other distances

Bath to Stratford upon Avon = 89 miles (143 kilometres), taking approx 1 hour 50 mins