A 4 Day Itinerary for the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds is thought to be one of the most charming places in Europe. With it being only a couple of hours away from where I live, I’m a little ashamed that I haven’t visited sooner. If you’re not familiar with the Cotswolds, it’s a hilly, green area full of traditional, picturesque English houses. My boyfriend and I have just returned from spending 4 days in the beautiful place.

Overlooking Castle Combe in the Cotswolds

Day 1

We decided to base ourselves in Castle Combe which is known as the prettiest village in England. We were certainly charmed by the 14th century village, it seemed to have popped straight out of a romantic English novel. We stayed a few minutes away from the centre in an adorable cottage which reminded me of the one from the film, ‘The Holiday’.

Our cottage in the Cotswolds

We spent the first day wandering around Castle Combe, taking in all the beauty. There isn’t a large amount to do here, it’s actually a tiny village but it’s simply lovely to walk around. We planned to eat in a pub but when asked if they had any vegetarian dishes, they informed me that there was jacket potato or soup. We decided to buy ingredients to make our own dinner instead and spent the evening sitting by the log fire in our dreamy cottage.

Day 2

Because of the rain, we decided to save our most anticipated villages and towns for the next day, when the weather looked more promising. Instead we visited Corsham, which was only a 20 minute drive from Castle Combe. It wasn’t my favourite destination in the Cotswolds but there is no denying that there were some beautiful buildings there and I fell in love with this lion’s eyes.

A lion statue in the middle of the street

Next we debated whether it was worth visiting a town another 15 minutes away and in the end we decided to go for it. Bradford on Avon ended up being our favourite place we visited (apart from Castle Combe). It was full of charm, cute cafes and traditional buildings. I loved the view from the main bridge, which conveniently happened to be next to where we parked our car.

View overlooking Bradford on Avon

We stumbled upon the ‘Secret Garden Coffee Shop’ and I couldn’t resist having a hot chocolate in the adorably decorated coffee shop. We had the upstairs to ourselves and sat by the fire whilst surrounded by little butterflies covering the walls and ceiling.

I loved that the owner had made a guide for visiting Bradford on Avon. He stuck in photos and wrote about places to visit in the town. It was a lovely touch and we then visited most places on the guide. We saw the Saxon Church, gold post box among other things. We walked through quaint streets and entered quirky, unique shops. Something I loved about the Cotswolds is that I never saw any high-street brands once. All shops were independent and selling local goods.

We had lunch in an impressive Victorian tea room called ‘The Bridge Tea Rooms’. It serves homemade food from locally sourced organic products and has been voted the UK’s top tea place twice. It started as an antique shop before being converted to a tea room in the Victorian Era. it then became a house before later being converted back into a tea room. Long may it remain a tea room! The food was absolutely delicious. I had stuffed mushrooms with garlic bread, salad and chips whilst Mike had a sausage baguette.

Day 3

We woke up to see the sunrise over Castle Combe.

A red post box with the sunrise behind

Before long we were on our way to Bibury (a 50 minute drive) to see the Arlington Row cottages which are the most photographed place in England. They’ve even featured on the inside sleeve of the UK passport. I felt like I was walking straight into Hobbiton. The advantage of visiting in the winter is that there were a huge difference in the number of tourists. In the summer it looks covered in a sea of crowds whereas we were able to experience it at a quieter time. We didn’t spend long in Bibury as we weren’t interested in seeing the trout farm but the village was worth visiting just to see the cottages.

A row of cottages in Bibury

Next, we headed to Bourton-on-the-Water (20 minutes from Bibury). This is probably the most touristic town in the Cotswolds and known as the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ due to the water running through it. We visited the Model Village which is a replica of Bourton-on-the-Water. The attention to detail was impressive.

Me in a model village of Bourton on the Water

We sauntered through the village, entering little shops along the way. Mike was particularly interested in visiting the Motor Museum where we saw Brum!

Day 4

Our final day in the Cotswolds started with a short hike around Castle Combe. We walked through squishy mud, icy roads and saw sheep, donkeys and ducks along the way. We ended by walking through the village and up to the Manor House, a 5 star luxury hotel. There’s a gate where pedestrians can enter through. Walk up the steps to the right of the Manor House to get a beautiful view of the architecture.

The Manor House in Castle Combe

It’s worth taking a walk through the gardens surrounding the Manor House too. In the village we stumbled upon a coffee shop which we hadn’t noticed before. Apparently they are not allowed to put up many signs so as not to ruin the beauty of the street. Before heading home, we wanted one more visit to Bradford on Avon where we had lunch at an Italian called ‘Ravello’. I had a mouth-watering truffle oil risotto.

Image of cottages with text
Image with text in Castle Combe


  1. kaytherunaway
    February 17, 2018 / 11:22 am

    This looks so, so lovely. Can’t find a better word. I’m adding it to my list of places I want to explore!

    • February 17, 2018 / 2:41 pm

      It was indeed, I’d love to return in the spring and summer too.

  2. February 17, 2018 / 11:23 am

    OMG how cute does the Cotswolds look! Next time we are home I will definitely book a few days here! would you recommend staying in the village itself or in a hotel further away?

    • February 17, 2018 / 2:42 pm

      I really loved staying in Castle Combe because we could walk down to and around the village whenever we felt like it. However, if you have a car too it would be cheaper staying further away from the main villages.

  3. Joanna Davis
    February 17, 2018 / 11:30 am

    I love the Cotswolds! I have only been to Bibury and fell in love with how adorable the village looks like. I’d like to go again and discover other villages too, especially after seeing your photos.

    • February 17, 2018 / 2:43 pm

      Bibury reminded me of Hobbiton, it was lovely. Yes I’d definitely recommend Castle Combe.

  4. Amy Poulton - Page Traveller
    February 17, 2018 / 11:36 am

    BRUM!!!! Omg. I’m also not that far from the Cotwolds and have never been! After reading this, I will definitely have to go!

    • February 17, 2018 / 2:44 pm

      I’d definitely recommend it. I can’t believe I didn’t go sooner. I’d love to visit at different times of year too.

  5. February 17, 2018 / 1:10 pm

    SO PRETTY! I might actually be heading to England for a few days in May and was wanting to get out of London if I make it happen, so perfect timing. The Cotswolds look to charming and pretty! Stashing this as inspiration if I make the trip happen!

    • February 17, 2018 / 2:45 pm

      So happy you’re using it for inspiration 🙂 it’s definitely possible as a day trip from London as it’s only a couple of hours away.

  6. February 17, 2018 / 1:13 pm

    Ah Ive seen a few posts about this place and every time I think I need to go there! Its so close to where I am in Cardiff that I have absolutely no excuse!! Maybe I’ll take my mum for a girly weekend some time!

    • February 17, 2018 / 2:45 pm

      It would be the perfect place for a girly mother-daughter trip. I hope you enjoy it 🙂

  7. February 17, 2018 / 1:56 pm

    I’m actually moving really close to the Cotswolds soon so really loved reading this post! Castle Combe looks so charming, hoping I can visit soon. I love small English villages and towns – they just feel so cozy.

    • February 17, 2018 / 2:47 pm

      Oh lucky! I don’t live too far away but I’d love to be closer. I love walking through small English villages too, though I’ve never been to any as lovely as the Cotswolds before.

  8. February 17, 2018 / 2:37 pm

    OMG Brum really exists! 🙂 I loved to watch it when I was a kid, this post brings back my childhood memories. Besides Brum, Cotswolds looks fantastic!

    • February 17, 2018 / 2:48 pm

      He even had a Valentine’s card made for him by locals! It was so cute.

  9. February 17, 2018 / 2:49 pm

    You took me away from California to this beautiful English village through your words and pictures. I loved reading about the cozy Secret Garden Coffee Shop and how its owner had made a guide for visiting Bradford on Avon.

  10. February 17, 2018 / 3:18 pm

    Oh my goodness, I would LOVE to visit the Cotswolds! I think that little bit of rain and grey just adds to their cozy charm. Sounds like a great place to spend a few days.

  11. February 17, 2018 / 3:38 pm

    The Cotswolds look amazing! I think I might be visiting there next month and I’m so excited!

  12. February 17, 2018 / 4:14 pm

    I would love to visit the Cotswolds, thanks for sharing.

  13. February 18, 2018 / 1:32 am

    As soon as I saw your first photos and description of the Cotswolds, I thought to myself it reminded my of The Holiday. Then sure enough you said the movie was filmed here! That is one of my favorite movies. The Cotswolds looks so charming!!!! I would love to visit here for a few days.

  14. February 18, 2018 / 8:22 am

    Oh this is perfect! We’re headed to the Cotswolds in March! I didn’t know there was a Model Village!!! I will have to see this!! #blogpostsaturday

  15. Vivienne
    March 31, 2018 / 1:03 pm

    Looks a wonderful place to visit

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