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Full of rustic charm, honey-hued stone cottages and idyllic countryside, the Cotswolds are a popular destination for many. But what are the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds?

Whether you’re enjoying a relaxing Cotswold getaway or simply passing through, a trip to one of these beautiful locations is sure to provide a quintessentially English experience.

Keep reading to discover the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds…

1. Castle Combe

Castle Combe village centre

Home to an array of honey-hued Cotswold stone cottages, Castle Combe is one of the most beautiful villages in the Cotswolds. This charming village sits within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in North West Wiltshire and is home to St Andrew’s Church which dates from the 13th century.

Enjoy a morning stroll along the quaint village bridge, visit the Market Cross or enjoy afternoon tea at The Manor House Hotel. Don’t forget to take an iconic snap from Water Lane, one of the most photographed spots in the Cotswolds.

Castle Combe has featured in many films including The Wolf Man, Stardust and War Horse. You’ll also find the Castle Combe Circuit, nestled on the edge of the village, where you can experience the thrill of a supercar driving experience.

Take a look at our range of holiday cottages in Castle Combe and enjoy the very best of the Cotswolds.

2. Bourton-on-the-Water

Bourton-on-the-Water village and pub

Known as the Venice of the Cotswolds, Bourton-on-the-Water has regularly been voted one of the prettiest villages in England. Boasting a series of elegant low bridges across the River Windrush, Bourton-on-the-Water is one of the most popular tourist spots in the Cotswolds.

Walk along the River Windrush as it meanders through the beautiful English countryside or spend an afternoon exploring the eclectic mix of independent shops or enjoying a refreshing drink in a rustic country-inspired pub.

If you can tear yourself away from this attractive village, then a trip to Birdland Park and Gardens, home to a wide variety of exotic birds, is well worth the visit. Or why not marvel at the intricate detail of the buildings at the Model Village or spend an afternoon exploring the Cotswold Motoring Museum.

Find the perfect place to stay in one of these Bourton-on-the-Water cottages

3. Bibury

Row of cottages in Bibury in the Cotswolds

Once described as “the most beautiful village in England” by William Morris, Bibury is a picturesque village home to a row of tenanted 17th-century weavers’ cottages. This typically Cotswold village is full of quintessential English charm and is located just a few miles away from the capital of the Cotswolds, Cirencester, where you can grab a bite to eat in one of these charming cafes in Cirencester.

Once you have spent time admiring the honey stone cottages of Arlington Row, head out for a scenic stroll along the River Coln or enjoy an afternoon cosied up in a welcoming, country pub. However you decide to spend your time in Bibury, you’re bound to fall in love with this picture-perfect village.

Discover the beauty of Bibury for yourself in one of these Bibury holiday cottages

4. Broadway

Broadway Tower and blue skies

Often referred to as the “Jewel of the Cotswolds”, Broadway is a beautiful and historic Cotswold village. Its picturesque tree-lined high street is home to an eclectic mix of period houses and honey-coloured, Cotswold stone cottages.

Some of Broadway’s most popular attractions include Broadway Tower, Broadway Museum & Art Gallery and the Children’s Activity Park. Spend an afternoon exploring the many independent shops and antique stores or head to St Eadburgha’s Church, tucked away on Snowshill Road.

Discover our range of Broadway holiday cottages and enjoy a relaxing break in the Cotswolds.

5. Burford

Cottages in Burford, one of the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds

Technically a town rather than a village, Burford is known for its thatched-roof cottages, impressive church and three-arched medieval bridge. Visit England’s oldest pharmacy which opened in 1734, explore one of the quaint alleyways or visit the popular Tolsey Museum.

With spectacular views of the Windrush Valley from the top of the hill, Burford is just 19 miles west of Oxford. The Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens and Crocodiles of the World Zoo are also just a few miles from Burford and well worth the visit.

Stay in one of these Burford cottages and immerse yourself in both the beauty and history of Burford.

6. Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter

Cottage over the river in Lower Slaughter

Straddling the banks of the River Wye, the twin villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter have remained unchanged for more than a century, with no building work taking place since 1906.

Lower Slaughter is home to the idyllic Church of St Mary, an Old Mill and a charming pub. As you head upstream along the River Eye, you’ll find Upper Slaughter, a less touristy location, but still boasting the quintessential English charm of the surrounding Cotswold villages.

Discover the delights of the Cotswolds for yourself and check out our range of Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter accommodation.

7. Blockley

Honey coloured cottage in Blockley in the Cotswolds.

An unspoilt village in the heart of the Cotswolds, Blockley was a main centre of the silk industry in the 18th and 19th centuries. The village also featured regularly in the television series, Father Brown, where its vicarage was used as Father Brown’s residence.

Lined with golden stone cottages and old silk mills, Blockley is one of the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds. Admire the architecture of the parish church of St Peter and St Paul or take a stroll through Mill Dene Garden, a delightful English country garden.

If you’re seeking an idyllic country break, take a look at these Blockley holiday cottages.

8. Stanton

Stanton village in the Cotswolds

Scenic Stanton is everything you expect of a Cotswold’s village, boasting honey-hued limestone buildings surrounded by unspoilt countryside. The village is located along The Cotswold Way, creating the perfect base for a casual stroll or a more serious ramble.

Stanton is home to several historic churches and Stanton Court, a Grade II listed Jacobean Manor House built in the early 17th Century. After a day exploring the area, be sure to enjoy a hearty meal or refreshing drink at The Mount Inn Pub, offering panoramic views of the Malvern Hills.

Take a look at our accommodation in Stanton and enjoy a picturesque escape to the Cotswolds.

Looking for more things to do whilst visiting one of the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds? Check out these 77 things to do in the Cotswolds. Alternatively, take a look at our full range of holiday cottages in the Cotswolds.

Image Credits: Ian Capper, (CC BY-SA 2.0), Philip Halling (CC BY-SA 2.0).