• Cotswolds farmland, England


The Cotswold Hills, a 25-by-90-mile chunk of Gloucestershire, are dotted with enchanting villages. As with many fairy-tale regions of Europe, the present-day beauty of the Cotswolds is the result of an economic disaster: The woolen industry collapsed. Once-wealthy Cotswold towns fell into a depressed time warp; the homes of impoverished nobility became gracefully dilapidated. Today, visitors enjoy a harmonious blend of man and nature — the most pristine of English countrysides decorated with time-passed villages, rich wool churches, tell-me-a-story stone fences, and "kissing gates" you wouldn't want to experience alone.

At a Glance

Chipping Campden and Nearby

▲▲ Chipping Campden Picturesque market town with finest High Street in England, accented by a 17th-century Market Hall, wool-tycoon manors, and a characteristic Gothic church.

▲▲ Stanway House Grand, aristocratic home of the Earl of Wemyss, with the tallest fountain in Britain and a 14th-century tithe barn.

Stanton Classic Cotswold village with flower-filled exteriors and 15th-century church.

Hidcote Manor Garden Fragrant garden organized into color-themed "outdoor rooms" that set a trend in 20th-century garden design.

Broad Campden, Blockley, and Bourton-on-the-Hill Trio of villages with sweeping views and quaint homes, far from the madding crowds.

Stow-on-the-Wold and Nearby

▲▲ Stow-on-the-Wold Convenient Cotswold home base with charming shops and pubs clustered around town square, plus popular day hikes.

Lower and Upper Slaughter Inaptly named historic villages — home to a picturesque waterwheel and peaceful churches.

Bourton-on-the-Water The "Venice of the Cotswolds," touristy yet undeniably striking, with petite canals and impressive Cotswold Motoring Museum.

Cotswold Farm Park Kid-friendly park with endangered breeds of native British animals, farm demonstrations, and sheep shows.

Bibury Extremely touristy village of antique weavers' cottages, best for outdoor activities like fishing and picnicking.

Cirencester Ancient 2,000-year-old city noteworthy for its crafts center and museum, showcasing artifacts from Roman and Saxon times.

Moreton-in-Marsh and Nearby

Moreton-in-Marsh Relatively flat and functional home base with the best transportation links in the Cotswolds and a bustling Tuesday market.

Chastleton House Lofty Jacobean-era home with a rich family history.