Below are a collection of some of The Cotswolds' most popular villages.
Naturally there are many more worth visiting, each with their own history and most surrounded by stunning countryside. We have tried to give you a simple introduction to each village along with, where relevant, our local holiday cottages and of course the all important village pub.
The enchanting hamlet of Ablington is one mile northwest of Bibury and located on the River Coln. It has a fine Manor House built in the 16th Century by a wealthy Cirencester wool merchant, Jon Coxwell. Ablington was once the home of J. Arthur Gibbs; the renowned author of 'A Cotswold Village', a classic book about his observations and pursuit of Cotswold country life in the closing years of the 19th Century. Nearby is Ablington House, a beautiful 17th Century building complete with gateposts surmounted by lions which once graced the Houses of Parliament.
Pubs: The Village Pub at Barnsley
Located 3 miles North of Cirencester.
This small pleasant village is situated in a quiet wooded valley set a little way back from a pleasant brook. There is some indication of its importance during the Iron Age as being a massive, well fortified capital of the Dobunni, the Belgic Tribe that once flourished here.
Pubs: We're still testing!
Located 1.5 miles NW of Moreton-in-Marsh.
A small estate-village at the gates of Batsford Arboretum Park, the large 19th Century neo-Tudor mansion built 1888-1892. The magnificent house was designed by Sir Earnest George and supervised by the young architect Guy Dawber. The house is best viewed from the Batsford Arboretum and its 50 acres of wonderful woodland with scenic walks. There are connections in the village with the Mitford family, (the Lords Redesdale), the forebears of the famous Mitford sisters who spent their early years here.
Located 4 miles East of Stroud.
A large village full of beautifully proportioned yet higgledy-piggledy cottages and houses! Situated in the fold of the hills at the head of the Toadsmoor Valley, and well north of the Golden Valley. The clothiers of the nearby valleys brought their wealth with them and spent it on fine houses like Over Court with its charming gazebo overlooking the churchyard. The church has a fine spire and a unique 13th Century 'Poor Souls' "light". This light is England's only outdoor example and was used to hold candles for the saying of masses for those who could not afford candles of their own.
Pubs: The Bear
Located 2 miles from Blenheim Palace and Woodstock.
The village is named after the river Evenlode which was originally the Bladene. Its history goes back to a Roman settlement in the Third Century and it is recorded in the Doomsday Book in 1086 under the name of Blade. The early history of Bladon is chiefly concerned with the quarrying of limestone stone which was used in many of the great buildings of Oxford. The village is also noted for its contribution to the local trade of glove making - for centuries man and women have cut and sewn gloves, by hand, in their houses for the famous Woodstock glove industry. Bladon is now famous for the grave of Sir Winston Churchill in the graveyard of the Parish Church of St. Martin.
Pubs: The Feathers, The Bear both in Woodstock
Located Worcestershire 1.5 miles south-west of Broadway off the B4632
This beautiful secluded village nestles beneath the Cotswolds escarpment at the foot of Burhill. It is thought to have the oldest rectory in England, with an impressive timbered hall that dates from the fifteenth century. John Wesley preached in the church of St. Michael, the east window of which contains some splendid 15th Century glass, judged by some to be the nicest in the Cotswolds, and reputed to have come from Hailes Abbey at the Dissolution. William Morris attended church services here when he came to Buckland in the 19th Century and was so impressed by the glass that he personally paid for its re-leading.
Pubs: The Lamb
Located in Gloucestershire 1.5 miles north-east of Stow-on-the-Wold.
Broadwell is a pleasant village spread around a wide green and sheltering beneath a hillside rising up towards Stow-on-the-Wold. The green is overlooked by the hospitable Fox Inn and there is a small ford at its lower end. Beyond the green is a handsome Georgian manor house and there are several 17th Century farmhouses nearby.
Pubs: The Fox.
Located in Oxfordshire 4 miles South East of Stow-on-the-Wold.
The village of Bledington is in the broad valley of the River Evenload and is centred on a wide rough green complete with a small stream and noisy ducks! The 15th Century church is located on the southern edge of the green with a row of pleasant cottages overlooking the churchyard. There are fine roofs over the chancel and nave, a nice old doorway and original door, and above all a wonderful series of Perpendicular windows, several of which contain magnificent stained glass - believed to be the work of John Puddle, the Westminster craftsman who also produced the glass for Warwick's Beauchamp Chapel.
Bledington lies on the Oxfordshire Way, taking this route you can walk westwards up on the Wolds via Wyck Beacon and down to Bourton-on-the-Water, or south-eastwards down the valley to Bruern Abbey and onto Shipton-under-Wychwood.
Pubs: The Kings Head
Located in Gloucestershire 4.5 miles north west of Cirencester.
At this tiny hamlet the Dun Brook flows through a clear and shallow ford that almost laps the doorsteps of the farm and cottages. The hamlet of Duntisbourne Leer once belonged to the Abbey of Lire in Normandy, France until 1416, when it was given to Cirencester Abbey.
Located 1 mile South of Chipping Campden
Broad Campden is tucked away in a small valley, with woods never far away - a beautiful and exquisite little village with the majority of the old houses and cottages having thatched roofs. This village has to be one of the best in the Cotswolds. The village also has a small victorian chapel and an 18th Century Quaker meeting house with many of the original furnishings intact. Charles Ashbee converted a derelect Norman chapel into a house for himself soon after his arrival in the area in 1905. The Bakers Arms inn resides just to the edge of the village.
Pubs: Bakers Arms
Eastleach Martin and Turville
Located in Gloucestershire 4 miles north of Lechlade.
The villages of Eastleach Martin and Eastleach Turville are situated on opposite banks of the River Leach connected by an old stone 'clapper' footbridge known as Keble's Bridge. Here
are two parish churches looking at each other across the clear waters of the little river. Today Turville is by far the larger settlement but Martin has the larger church.
Pubs: The Wheatsheaf
Located 5.5 miles East of Chipping Norton.
This is an idyllic model village established with extensive parkland overlooking the Worton Valley, which was in part the work of the landscape gardener, John Loudon. There are many evergreen trees and picturesque thatched cottages, an excellent small inn (Falkland Arms) and stocks on the village green. Nothing remains of the fine manor house lived in by Lucius Cary, Viscount Falkland, who was killed in the Civil War at the battle of Newbury in 1643. It was replaced by an odd 19th-century mansion built by the descendants of Mattew Boulton, partner of James Watt (inventor of the steam engine) in Birmingham's famous Soho Foundry.
Pubs: The Falkland Arms
Located 8 miles south of Burford
Lechlade is a small market town on the southern borders of the Cotswolds where the Rivers Coln and Leach join the Thames, and Inglesham, just above Lechlade, marks the head of its navigation. The town is busy with the comings and goings of pleasure boats. There are two fine bridges, the 18th Century Ha'penny Bridge with its little square toll house overlooking the boatyard at the southern end the town, and St John's Bridge, dating from as early as 1228, in meadows well to the south-east. In summer many boats moor on the river banks between the two bridges and there is a busy Riverside Parking and Leisure Area just upstream from Ha'Penny Bridge, and reached from the A361to its south. Tourists can hire boats from the Riverside Boatyard. There are several places to eat including pubs.
Pubs: New Inn , plus the excellent Swan in Southrop
Located in Gloucestershire 3 miles west of Burford.
The village of Little Barrington was the home of the Strong family who were master masons and suppliers of limestone for some of the finest houses in the Cotswolds. Thomas Strong under the direction of Christopher Wren laid the foundation stone to St. Paul's Cathedral in London. The stone for the village came from a large depression nearby where a small stream wells up. The village cottages form a large oval around the rim of the depression broken only by the road running through it.
Pubs: The Fox
Located 2.5 miles North of Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire.
Attractively sited village on a hill slope looking out eastwards over the broad Evenload Valley with a pleasant inn called the Coach and Horses. The church is of Norman origins with a 13th Century tower and a 14th Century south transept. This houses the very grand 17th Century monument to Sir William Leigh complete with his wife and children, and a monument to a 14th Century night and his lady, for whom this transept was probably built. The North transept , added after the demolition of nearby Sezincote church, is sealed off and houses the tomb of Sir Charles Cockerell, the builder of Sezincote.
Pubs: Coach and Horses (just outside village)
Located 4 miles NW of Chipping Norton and 4 miles NE of Moreton-in-Marsh.
This attractive Cotswold stone village stretches out along the A3400 between Stratford-upon-Avon and Chipping Norton to the very foot of the long hill (occupied by the Rollright Stones) that climbs up over the Cotswold edge, across the county boundary from Warwickshire into Oxfordshire. The village has a cheerful inn, many trim houses and cottages, and an Anglo-Saxon church (the core of which is 13th-century), St. Peter and St. Paul, whose handsome perpendicular tower looks westward over a large bumpy field which was probably the site of the original ancient village. The church's lovely south porch is approached by a yew-lined path leading from a delightful 17th-century cottage on 'stilts' with lynch gate.
The village in bygone days was notorious for witchcraft. Local belief in the power of witches continued until well into the 20th-century. In 1875, a Long Compton man slew one old woman with his sickle because he was convinced that she had caused the debilitating pains and cramps in his legs. Tradition says that in the 6th-century St Augustine visited the church and raised a man from the grave.
Pubs: Red Lion
Located 3 miles North of Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire.
The village of Mickleton lies in a fine setting immediately beneath the Cotswold edge overlooked by Meon Hill. It has several attractive stone houses and cottages in addition to those of thatch and half-timber. The little Victorian Memorial Fountain close by the Three Ways Hotel (home of the Pudding Club) is an interesting feature by William Burges, the architect of Cardiff Castle and Castle Coch, two excellent examples of the High Victorian Gothic. Medford House (in picture below) is a handsome 'Cotswold-Queen Ann' style building and the church has a fine 14th Century tower and spire, and a most unusual 17th-century two-storeyed porch. Inside will be found a 12th Century crucifix or rood over the north aisle chapel alter. A nice circular walk leads up the hill from the church to Kiftsgate, Hidcote Manor Garden, and then up onto Ilmington Downs, before going down again through Hidcote Boyce to return to Mickleton. The is also a pleasant walk leading southwards, over the hill to Chipping Campden, passing close to the southern entrance to Campden Railway Tunnel.
Pubs: Kings Arms
Located 2.5 miles West of Witney.
A beautiful stone and thatch village well worth visiting that is set in the Windrush valley. There is a fine cruciform 15th Century Church (St. Kenelm's) and derelict manor house of the Lovell family in a wonderful setting next to the River Windrush. The church is one of seven dedicated to Saint Kenelm - England's first saint.
Pubs: Old Swan
Located 5 miles West of Stow-on-the-Wold
A delightful elongated village spread out along the floor of the deep Windrush Valley. The church has a handsome perpendicular tower with pinnacles and gargoyles and the interior has a beautiful carved early 15th-century stone pulpit and font. Enjoy the little bridge over the River Windrush near the Old Rectory, before walking down the village to the welcoming Blackhorse Inn, passing on the way a charming 17th Century dovecote overlooking the stream. You can walk north-west from here up the Windrush Valley to Guiting Power, or south-east to Harford Bridge and then down the valley to Bourton-on-the-Water.
Pubs: The Blackhouse Inn
Located 4 miles North of Cirencester
A pleasant village set in the Churn Valley with hospitable Inn, Bathurst Arms in a streamside garden and looking across the busy A435 to the little saddleback tower of the Norman church of All Saints which was beautifully restored and refurnished in the early 20th-century. The churchyard has many fine tombstones and the grass is kept tidy by a flock of local sheep!
Pubs: Bathurst Arms
Shipton under Wychwood
Located in Oxfordshire 4 miles NE of Burford, Oxfordshire.
Once the near neighbour of Bruern Abbey, and once the centre of the Wychwood Forest, Shipton-under-Wychwood is built about a large village green in the Evenlode Valley. At the lower end of the green is St Mary's Church, begun at the end of the 12th century. It has a fine octagonal spire growing out of its spire, whilst within the church there is a 14th century effigy of a decapitated woman and a Tudor monument of a family group at prayer.
The apparently uniquely named Shaven Crown Hotel, a handsome building close to the green, can trace its history back to 1384 and was run at one time by the monks of Bruern Abbey. Bruen was a Cistercian abbey founded in the reign of King Stephen and dissolved in 1539 - nothing now remains.
On the village green is a memorial of 1878 erected to 17 parishoners who died in a ship the Cospatrick which caught fire off Tristan da Cunha in 1874 on its way to New Zealand. Of the 477 passengers aiming to start a new life, only three survived.
Pictures below - Shipton Court (typical Cotswold mansion) and St Mary's Church.
Pubs: The Red Horse, The Lamb
The Villages of Quinton (Lower and Upper)
Located 6 miles from Chipping Campden and Stratford-upon-Avon
The pretty Cotswold hamlet of Upper Quinton and village of Lower Quinton are situated in beautiful countryside on the edge of the Cotswolds. They boast a large green, no through traffic and is overlooked by Meon Hill - a local site steeped in witchcraft and folklore. Its sister village, Lower Quinton (15 minutes walk), offers a range of amenities including an excellent pub College Arms (serving food) and a selection of shops. It also has an impressive church steeple which is a landmark for miles around. Stratford upon Avon is only a short drive away and offers good shopping, historic buildings and three world famous theatres.
The Local Pub: The College Arms
Located in Gloucestershire 1 mile north west of Stow-on-the-Wold
This small quaint village overlooks the valley through which the little River Dikler runs. This is crossed by a small 18th Century bridge above which is a moss-covered weir retaining an extensive mill pool for the 19th Century mill. The village is grouped around the manor house and church. There are an unusually high number of prehistoric barrows in the area.
Located 1 mile north east of Broadway.
The village of Willersey straddles the Broadway to Stratford-upon-Avon minor road B4632 and will hold the attention of all who love old houses. Its Manor House was home to the Roper family, William Roper becoming son-in-law to Sir Thomas More. The church of St. Peter is famous for its peal of six bells, cast in 1712 by Abraham Rudall and an incription on the tenor bell reads 'ring for peace merrily' to celebrate the signing of the Peace of Utrecht. Willersey is on the walk known as the Donnington Way a short section of which leads to Saintbury, a tiny hillside village with church of great interest and several wonderful stone cottages.
Pubs: The Bell
Located in Gloucestershire 1.5 miles north-east of Bourton-on-the-Water.
There are three Rissington villages about a mile apart on the eastern side of the Dikler and Windrush valleys. Wyck Rissington is the more northerly and is an unspoilt little village with a wide rough green complete with Victorian drinking fountain. There are several attractive houses and cottages, the most pleasing of which is a substantial farmhouse fronting onto a well stocked duck pond. The church of St Lawrence has a squat 13th Century tower and a chancel of the same period with two unusual lancet windows at its east end. The famous composer, Gustav Holst, was organist here in 1892 at the early age of seventeen.
Our local cottages: Windrush House both in Bourton on the Water
Located in Gloucestershire 4 miles west of Burford
This delightful village is sited above the Windrush meadows and has a small triangular green around which are several pleasant houses and cottages. The village is named after the River Windrush which is the largest of the Cotswold rivers and clings to a steep slope above the valley where the river runs. The church of St Peter commands the highest ground and its impressive south doorway is Norman featuring a double row of fantastic, beak-headed demons with strange staring eyes - warning the worshipper that he who hesitates in crossing the portal is lost! In the church yard there are magnificent 'bale-tombs'.
Pubs: The Fox at Great Barrington
Find a cottage
You have not added any properties to your shortlist yet
You can do this by clicking on 'Add to Shortlist' next to any property
Please call us if you require assistance with your cottage selection or choice. Alternatively please click the help button and contact us and we'll do our best to assit you!
All our Cotswolds Cottages offer short breaks, however please note that there are restrictions at certain times of the year, particularly in School Holidays. Please contact us for full details as price and availability will vary from the website.
Long Term Lets
Manor Cottages offer a selection of cottages available for an extended rental period. If you are interested to view or discuss any of the properties listed below, please contact us.