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Blog > Top 5 Cotswold Villages

The Cotswolds is a region famed for its picture postcard villages and gentle rolling countryside. Around almost every turn you will find examples of impossibly quaint villages made from the local limestone, the signature feature of the region that can vary in hue from honey coloured to a mellow shade of grey. Choosing a shortlist of the top five villages is no easy task but in no particular order here is our personal selection.


With records dating back over 1000 years to the Domesday Book, the village seems to have changed little over the centuries.

John Wesley, leader of the Methodist movement, was a frequent visitor to the village due to his close friendship with the family of the local rector the Rev. Lionel Kirkham.

The local pub The Mount lies at the highest point of the village and offers great views back over the village rooftops.

Lower Slaughter

This immaculate village got its rather grisly name from an Old English word meaning for muddy place or wetland.

A small stream runs under bridges through the centre of the village with picture postcard unspoilt Cotswold stone cottages and manor houses either side.

An old mill (last commercially used in 1958) can be found at the western end of the village now turned into a museum and gift shop.

A couple of luxury hotels are located in the village including The Slaughters Manor and The Slaughters Country Inn.


Bibury is the quintessential Cotswold village once described by William Morris as 'The most beautiful village in England'. Idyllic Cotswold stone buildings are strung out along the banks of the River Coln.

Arlington Row, owned by the National Trust, has become one of the most iconic and photographed streets in the country - it even appears on British passports.

Originally built in the 14th century as a monastic wool store, it was converted in the 17th century into a row of weavers' cottages.

At one end of the village you will find a trout farm (open to the public) fed by the waters of the River Coln.


The charmingly named Snowshill lies on the edge of the Cotswold escarpment with hills rising steeply on three sides. As you approach the village great views are afforded back over the Severn Vale.

In the centre of the village lies Snowshill Manor, owned by the National Trust. This imposing Cotswold Manor House houses the eccentric collection of its former owner Sir Charles Wade, including toys, musical instruments, antique clocks, prams, bicycles even a full set of Samurai armour.

The house is surrounded by a beautiful Arts & Crafts garden featuring hidden courtyards and shady spots, ideal for quiet reflection and admiring the wonderful unspoit views of the surrounding countryside.

Snowshill also featured as a film location for Bridget Jones Diary. Filming took place in the centre of the village including the village green and a local house featured as the home of Bridget's parents.

Castle Combe

Castle Combe has often been described as the prettiest town in England. 

At the very southern edge of the Cotswolds AONB, this magical village was once a busy weaving town at the heart of the region's wool trade: you can still see weavers' cottages where the local red and white cloth was produced.

Like many places in the Cotswolds, Castle Combe's prosperity was based on sheep and wool. The village was important enough at one time to be granted the privilege of holding a fair where wool and sheep were traded.

In St Andrew's Church, don't miss the Norman monument to a knight; Sir Walter de Dunstanville, Baron of Castle Combe, who died in 1270, His crossed legs indicate that he went on two crusades.

In the window above the tomb you can see the arms of the Scrope family who held the Manor of Combe for over 400 years.

Date: 09/09/2020 | Author: Justin Taylor

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