Holiday Cottages in Cotswolds

An outstanding area of natural beauty often referred to as the ‘Heart of England’ the Cotswolds is a charming fusion of country villages, green rolling countryside, colourful gardens and magnificent historic castles. Visiting the Cotswolds often makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you explore this classic English beauty

Our UK destination experts recognised the Cotswolds as being the perfect spot for a holiday home – from grand manor houses to pretty English cottages, you’ll find yourself placed within close proximity to local restaurants, villages and plenty of walking/hiking trails. 

Our collection of holiday cottages in Cotswolds are family-friendly too, meaning you could easily make the Cotswolds your next family holiday destination. 


Why visit?

  • If you’re an outdoor explorer, then the Cotswolds is your kind of place. With cycling, walking and hiking trails around every corner (and that’s just some of it!) you’ll be in your element!
  • The pretty villages of the Cotswolds give you a feel of quintessential England that is often lost elsewhere – classic tea rooms, beautiful architecture and cosy pubs await!

Read the Cotswolds Travel Guide

Why stay with us?

Style and character are everything at Oliver’s Travels, and our collection of handpicked holiday cottages in Cotswolds have this in spades.

We have destination experts who know the ins and outs of all our regions, picking villas that aren’t only unique, but also in the best locations. What's more, our villas are 100% family-friendly, and have the ‘wow’ factor.

Our helpful concierge team are on-hand to make your stay extra special. Whether you want a fully-stocked fridge, a local in-house chef to cook your meals, housekeeping or any other extra service – consider them your holiday genie, who will happily grant your wishes.

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Holiday Cottages in Cotswolds: Our Top Picks

Why visit

With its rolling hills, dry-stone architecture, picturesque villages, and bustling market towns, the Cotswolds is famed as a rural idyll and quintessential English countryside. Built on the back of a prosperous wool industry, agriculture remains central to many of the region’s communities – resulting in the preservation of vast tracts of farmland and a way of life that has been lost in much of the rest of the country.

Old Cotswold Stone Houses

Experience a thriving rural heartland

Our collection of luxury Cotswolds cottages allows for excellent access to the entire region. Whether you want to explore the spectacular stone cottages of Bourton-on-the-Water, enjoy a family cycle through empty country lanes, or head to historic Bath to visit the ancient Roman baths, our holiday cottages in the Cotswolds put you within easy reach of many popular attractions. 

Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the relatively flat, gently undulating landscape lends itself to exploration on foot, bicycle, or horseback. It also makes it an ideal destination for those who want to bring the family pet along to one dog friendly cottages.

Food and drink

The Cotswolds has played an important role in the renaissance of great British pub grub. The area is home to some of the finest inns and alehouses in the country, many of which now serve a delightfully modern take on traditional British fare. Working with incredible local ingredients – often straight from the farm – these gastropubs ensure the discerning foodie is certainly well catered for.

If you want more information, check the Cotswolds Travel Guide and discover the best things to do in the area in our blog.

What Oliver loves

Walk part of the spectacular Cotswolds Way: a National Trail consisting of more than 100 miles of picturesque rural rambling. Don’t worry though – you don’t have to tackle it all at once!

Best time to go

  • Holiday season in the Cotswolds runs from June through to the end of August. While things will be a little bit busier during this time, the area never feels overcrowded. 
  • The average high for the summer months varies between 19°C and 22°C. July is the driest month but there’s still likely to be the odd shower during this period.
  • Our advice is to make the most of the summer weather if you’re heading to the Cotswolds for outdoor activities but to consider the shoulder seasons if you’re hoping to visit major attractions.
  • In spring there’s a greater chance of rain, but the crowds are more manageable, and the region is in full bloom. The Cotswolds is the ideal location for a last-minute break too, so you can take advantage of a spell of good weather with a spontaneous trip.

Top tips

  • Fun fact: The Cotswolds’ network of iconic dry-stone walls is thought to span a greater distance than the Great Wall of China.
  • Celeb-spotting: Many UK celebs call the Cotswolds home, so keep your eyes peeled and you may spot Jeremy Clarkson, Kate Moss, JK Rowling, or Elizabeth Hurley.
  • Cultural highlights: The Cotswolds is festival-mad and there’s plenty to keep you busy in the summer. The Lechlade Festival and Cotswold Beer Festival are two of our favourites.

Family friendly

The Cotswolds have unparalleled natural beauty and a whole host of outdoor activities. This makes it ideally suited to those families who love to embrace their wilder side and get stuck in with some serious adventures. Whether it’s trekking, off-road mountain biking, archery, or getting up close and personal with the local (and not so local) wildlife, the Cotswolds is one enormous playground for nature-lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Outdoor adventures for the entire family

That’s not to say that you have to do it all yourself. Our holiday cottages in the Cotswolds put you within easy reach of many kid-friendly attractions that offer something a little different to your traditional family holiday fare.

Top of the list is the Cotswold Water Park. Consisting of more than 150 lakes spread over an area of 40 square miles, this water park hosts it all. From wakeboarding to sailing, kayaking to windsurfing, you can zip up your wetsuit, slip on a lifejacket and get involved in some adrenaline-fuelled activities. 

The Cotswold Wildlife Park is also a major draw for many of the families that visit the area. Home to more than 260 different animals, you’ll get to see rhinos sharing the Manor House grounds with giraffes and all kinds of mischievous monkeys.

Also, we have cottages in the Cotswolds with hot tubs, which we’re sure the kids will love jumping into when they arrive back home!

Little girl feeding sheep in on the farm

Why it’s perfect for families

  • Good for babies: Keep it local and make sure you don’t have to travel too far with your newborn by opting for a holiday in the Cotswolds. What better way to introduce your child to the wonders of the holiday season than with a blissful visit to one of the UK’s most beautiful rural regions. Check out our holiday homes for toddlers.  

Top tips

  • For downhill racers – check out the Flyup 417 Bike Park for the region’s best single tracks and dirt jumps.
  • Get your history fix at Warwick Castle – while this majestic medieval castle is a great day out for the kids all-year-round, they also operate excellent children’s activity programmes and shows during half term.

Best beaches in the Cotswolds

When you think of the Cotswolds, beaches aren’t the first thing that spring to mind. However, if you fancy a day relaxing on golden sands, the region is within easy reach of some of the Southwest’s finest. 

Generally, visitors have two options when it comes to heading to the beach from their holiday homes in the Cotswolds. Either head into Wales and enjoy the Gower Peninsula or look a little further south to North Somerset and the popular holiday seaside resorts of Weston-super-Mare and Clevedon.

In both cases, you’re looking at a drive of somewhere between 1 and 1½ hours, so it’s more of a day-trip than a quick dip! Summer traffic may also cause congestion on the roads, so it’s worth setting off early to make the most of your day. 

If you’re not bothered about submerging yourself in saltwater, it’s worth considering a trip to the UK’s largest inland beach. Located within the Cotswold Water Park, the beach is built around a man-made lake that’s famous for its crystal-clear waters. There’s plenty to keep you busy here, including water zorbing and boat hire, so it’s an excellent alternative to a trip to the coast. 

Oliver’s Hidden Gem

Uphill Sands is a beautiful stretch of sandy coastline near the village of Uphill. A fantastic alternative to the busier Weston-super-Mare beach, this is a favourite amongst those who enjoy a little more space.

Uphill Sands, Cotswolds

Weston-super-Mare, Cotswolds

An iconic British seaside town, Weston-super-Mare is all about the traditional beach holiday feel. Think fish and chips, donkey rides, and a stroll down the pier and you’re on the right track.

Barry Island beach, Cotswolds

Fans of the hit TV show, Gavin and Stacey, will enjoy making a pilgrimage to the Welsh beach resort of Barry Island. 

Clevedon Pier, Cotswolds

Famous for its elegant Victorian pier, the seaside town of Clevedon is all about the promenade. This pretty stretch of coastline has its fair share of swimming spots, too.

Things to do

One of the biggest attractions of the Cotswolds is that it has something for everyone. Movie fanatics can spend days visiting the many iconic filming locations spread across the region. Chavenage House has recently been used as Poldark’s Trenwith House, while Gloucester Cathedral made regular appearances in the Harry Potter series. Downton Abbey has also put several Cotswold villages on the map, with filming taking place at Bampton, Swinbrook, and Cogges

With so many spectacular natural resources in the area, it’s no wonder that there’s also a diverse array of outdoor activities to enjoy. We’d recommend renting bikes to explore the small country lanes spread across the region or trying your hand at horse riding. Alternatively, get yourself a map or head to a local tourist information centre to pick up a hiking guide.  

Best activities in the Cotswolds

  • Rent a bike – There's no better way to see somewhere like the Cotswolds than by bike. Leave the car behind and embrace two wheels as you weave your way down country lanes and experience the region’s outstanding natural beauty first-hand.
  • Enjoy a culinary tour – In recent years, the Cotswolds has emerged as a hotbed of culinary innovation and craft cooking. Whether you’re looking to sample locally distilled gin, pick up some Cotswold cheeses, or eat a meal cooked using ingredients sourced directly from the kitchen’s own gardens, you’re in the right place.
  • Tour Blenheim Palace – Birthplace of Winston Churchill and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Blenheim Palace is a striking example of the English Baroque architectural style. Its size, splendour and history mean it attracts visitors from all over the world. 
  • See the Roman baths at Bath – Bath is one of the UK’s most architecturally striking cities and home to remarkably well-preserved Roman baths which are thought to date back to 70 AD. The city’s also a great place to head for a day of shopping or to catch a rugby match.
  • Explore idyllic Kingston – Once named the country’s ‘favourite village,’ Kingston is a picture-perfect example of the Cotswold countryside. Combining beautifully manicured village greens, dry-stone walls, and limestone cottages… it’s a must-see.

Oliver's Hidden Gem

Life in the great outdoors can make you very hungry. Fortunately, the Cotswolds is home to some of the UK’s finest restaurants. If you’re feeling peckish, we’d recommend The Five Alls in Lechlade. It’s not the fanciest restaurant in the area but the food, service, and surroundings are out of this world.  

The Five Alls in Lechlade

Towns and villages

Though the Cotswolds spans five counties, the entire area remains accessible and easy to visit. While the majority of our properties are centred around the region’s capital, Cirencester, we also have a number of luxury Costwold rentals close to the popular towns of Bourton-on-the-Water and Bibury.

The small hamlets, villages, and towns of the Cotswolds are one of the region’s biggest attractions and many of the more popular areas can attract large crowds in the summer. However, none of their charm is diminished by the cold weather and many would argue that they’re at their finest during the spring, so it may be worth considering a visit during these times.

While Cirencester is the largest market town in the Cotswolds, visitors can also easily visit the larger cities of Bath and Gloucester for some shopping. Slightly further afield is the uber-cool and beautifully green city of Bristol, where you can discover one of the most eclectic and important music scenes in the country, as well as a wide range of local and independent shops, cafes, and restaurants.

Oliver’s Hidden Gem

Though many tourists may skip a visit to Burford, they’re missing out on one of the most interesting towns in the region. As beautiful as many of the other towns frequented by tourists are, Burford boasts an excellent local antiques industry, making it the perfect place to pick up some holiday mementoes.

Bibury, Cotswolds

Described by William Morris as ‘the most beautiful village in England,’ Bibury is where you’ll find Arlington Row – often heralded as home to the most picturesque cottages in the country. Bibury Trout Farm is also a popular local attraction and visitors can even attempt to catch their own trout in the small fishery.

Lechlade, Cotswolds

Within reach of many of our Cotswolds cottages, Lechlade boasts a vibrant community and several excellent, traditional pubs and restaurants. The town sits alongside the River Thames and it remains a popular stop for narrow and leisure boats. In the summer months, River Thames trips can be organised aboard the Inglesham.

Bourton on the Water, Cotswolds

The gentle waters of the River Windrush have earned Bourton-on-the-Water the nickname ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’, and it’s easy to see why so many visitors flock here in the summer months. On top of the picturesque surroundings, you can also enjoy Birdland – a fantastic zoo dedicated to birds of all types, shapes, and sizes – and the Cotswold Motoring Museum.

Castle Combe, Cotswolds

Go back in time and discover the fairy-tale charm of Castle Combe. The most recent building in the village was completed in the 1600s and, since then, time has seemed to stand still. It boasts great pubs, lovely tea houses and peaceful country lanes, but if you want to try something a little different, why not book yourself in for a few laps at Castle Combe Circuit

Cirencester, Cotswolds

Often fondly referred to as ‘the capital of the Cotswolds,’ was one of the most important market towns in Roman Britain. Though it has now diminished in influence, it retains a great deal of charm and its farmers’ markets are certainly worth a visit.

Kingham, Cotswolds

Fancy a day walking around one of the Cotswolds’ most iconic villages? How about following it up with lunch at Alyn Williams’ Michelin-starred restaurant, the White Rabbit? Then it’s time to work off all that fantastic food and take a Cotswold Electric Bike tour through the gorgeous Windrush and Evenlode Valleys.

Getting there and around

Flights 

The two main airports for international visitors travelling to the Cotswolds are Birmingham Airport (BHX) and London Heathrow (LHR). From Birmingham, it’s approximately a 1½ hour drive to the heart of the Cotswolds and our luxury cottages. Travelling by train from Birmingham can take up to 3 hours. Alternatively, London Heathrow is approximately a 1½ hour drive from the region.


Car rental

Due to the rural nature of the region, car rental is a popular choice amongst holidaymakers. Renting a car at the airport not only makes the trip into the Cotswolds much easier, it also allows you to move around the region with total freedom. While public transport can be used to move from village to village, local bus services are generally infrequent. 


Trains

While train services connect all major towns and cities within the region, the railway network in the Cotswolds is not the easiest or quickest means of transportation. This is particularly true of services out of the two main airports used by international visitors. For this reason, car rental is a far more popular option. For domestic visitors, Swindon, Oxford, Cheltenham, and Gloucester are all busy stations within close proximity of our holiday homes in the Cotswolds.


Buses

Buses are generally reliable in the Cotswold region, though they’re also likely to run infrequently and finish their service relatively early. This means that they’re a good option if you’re not looking to travel too far afield or if you’ll only be making the occasional trip.  


Taxis

While numerous taxi services operate throughout the area, it’s often a good idea to book your ride in advance. It can also be difficult to find taxis later in the evening, so we would recommend that you arrange your post-dinner taxi the morning of your reservation.


Bicycles

If you’re looking to stay within a relatively small area of the Cotswolds, bicycles can be an excellent means of getting around and seeing the local area. This is particularly true of our luxury Cotswolds rentals near the Cotswold Water Park, where there are a large number of cycle paths and plenty of green space to explore.

Top tips

  • Driving in the Cotswolds often involves navigating narrow country lanes. Caution should be taken when approaching blind corners and drivers should try and keep track of possible pass points. 

  • Agriculture remains an integral part of everyday Cotswolds life. Consequently, it’s not uncommon to see livestock or wild animals on the roads. In such a situation, drivers should reduce their speed and wait if necessary. 
  • During the peak summer months, the roads to the coast can become congested. If you’d like to head to the beach, it’s recommended that you do so early in the morning. Traffic updates are available on local radio stations.

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