The Cotwolds are a range of hills northeast of Bath home to numerous small, quintessentially English villages. Towns with charming names like Chipping Campden, Stow-on-the-Wold, Moreton-on-Marsh and Bourton-on-the-Water dot the map, enticing tourists from around the world (and especially Japan, apparently) to take in its cozy streets, precious thatch roof cottages and abundance of sheep. Had we had more time in the area (and we certainly wanted it), we would’ve put on our hiking shoes and tried to tackle more of the Cotswold Way, a 102-mile route that makes its way through the countryside — be it on public or private lands. At the very least, you’ll see small signs for it as you drive amongst the various villages.
The busiest village in the Cotswolds is Bourton-on-the -Water and we’re not surprised. The duck-filled creek traversed by foot bridges is lined with shops, tea rooms and a motor museum (my husband appreciated that one). We wish we would’ve spent more time here, sitting on a bench and enjoying the bucolic atmosphere. Make sure to get there early, however, as it tends to fill up later in the day as bus groups filter in.
Though not in the Cotwalds, the town of Bourton-on-the-Water is similar in its appeal and was one of our favorite stops. It’s located south of the Cotswalds and east of Bath near our hotel in Box. We loved walking up its hilly alley ways and out into the surrounding countryside.