The 10 Best Cotswold Holidays for 2024

Chessboard fields stretch across gently rolling hills, tall church towers punctuate villages of honey-colored stone, and flower meadows decorate smoothly winding valleys. Stretching from Chipping Campden in the north to the outskirts of Bath in the south, the Cotswolds cover some 500 square miles of near-perfect rural England. The rural landscape reflects centuries of interplay between man and nature: ancient sheep-grazed meadows, deftly managed forest of beech and oak, 4,000(ish) miles of expertly crafted dry stone walls. In many ways, visitors can be forgiven for thinking they have returned here to a very gentler, gentler era.

This is of course an ideal area for families, with plenty of campsites, glamping sites, imaginative hotels and safe activities to choose from. There’s also plenty of outdoor action for all ages, as vigorous or relaxed as you like. The Cotswolds offers immensely rewarding cycling on quiet roads and lanes that offer a mix of easy undulations and stimulating, invigorating contours. Walks abound, with some 3,000 miles of public footpaths, some with undemanding walks, others with bracing steeps and immensely pleasant panoramas (you’ll experience all the variations on the long-distance Cotswold Way route).

Once home to William Morris and other members of the Arts and Crafts movement, the Cotswolds also still has an artsy heartbeat. You can explore this remarkably rich heritage in its galleries, gardens and architecture, and tune into this enduring sense of creativity by mastering new skills: there’s a world-class range of workshops and classes to enjoy, from photography to cooking and floristry.

View of Kelmscott Manor and its front garden

Kelmscott Manor was the summer home of William Morris – Geoff Pugh for The Telegraph

Whether you’re looking for inspiration for fresh air getaways, family trips, aesthetic adventures or stimulating masterclasses, here’s our pick of the best experiences to enjoy in the Cotswolds.

Walk the Cotswold Way

A strong contender as the country’s most idyllic long-distance route, the Cotswold Way can be walked in sections or completed in its entirety in five to 10 days. The 160 kilometer long hiking trail passes through honeystone villages, forests and meadows and winds along steep hills with spectacular views. The Cotswold Walking Co organizes walking holidays to suit your fitness and time constraints, arranging routes, luggage transfers and accommodation (they are well versed in attractive guest houses). The eight-day trek over the entire trail is strenuous without relentless slogging: the shortest distance per day is nine miles, the longest 15.

How to do that: The Cotswold Walking Co ( offers an eight-day trip from £1,015 per person (based on two people sharing a room).

Go glamping on a farm


Notgrove’s alpacas like to be cuddled

Between beautiful Northleach and beautiful Bourton-on-the-Water lies the Arcadian retreat of Notgrove. It is a working farm and holiday paradise with cottages, pods and spacious safari tents with three bedrooms, a woodburning stove and a flush toilet, making them ideal for families. The view is attractively rural, with sweeping views over rolling fields. The set-up is engaging: there are farm walks to enjoy and safe cycle routes to follow (with bikes on site to use), and the animals here – alpacas, goats and donkeys – are charming and seem only too happy to be cuddled .

How to do that: Notgrove Holidays (07760 33744, offers safari tents for six people from £300 for two nights.

Improve your camera skills

Walk through stunningly beautiful parts of the central and northern Cotswolds as you learn how to take captivating photos. Cotswold Photography Tours tailor-make tours for individuals or small groups, with prior skills ranging from beginner enthusiasm to advanced expertise. Tours can be arranged by car, but the most spectacular are on foot. Walks can be of any duration, although three to seven hours per day is recommended, giving you time to explore the beautiful scenery, improve your camera techniques and complete a circular route.

How to do that: Cotswold Photography Tours ( offers walking tours from £115 per person or £75 pp for groups of up to five. In the northern Cotswolds, stay at the handsome Seagrave Arms (01386 840192, with double rooms from £120 per night.

Eat, sleep and stretch during a yoga retreat

The open plan living area of ​​Brock CottageThe open plan living area of ​​Brock Cottage

Brock Cottage offers a spacious temporary home to practice yoga

Replenish body, mind and soul in a serene rural oasis near Chipping Norton. With years of experience in organizing health holidays, Jiva Healing has devised a holistic wellness package, Creative Cooking, Conscious Eating and Yoga, which takes place during selected weekends at Brock Cottage near the Foxholes nature reserve. ‘Cottage’ is a misnomer, however, as Brock is a seven-bedroom house complete with yoga studio. Here guests can enjoy yoga and meditation sessions, forest walks, massages and cooking demonstrations twice a day. The food is plant-based and guests receive recipes at the end of the break.

How to do that: Jiva Healing ( offers two-night retreats in the Cotswold from £420 per person, based on two people sharing a room.

Live in a tree house

You’d be hard-pressed to find luxury family accommodations more enchanting and adventurous than the three beautifully designed treehouses at the innovative Fish Hotel near Broadway. These super elegant large wooden pods on stilts are located in a small forest and are accessible via rope bridges. They offer a range of delights, from outdoor wooden baths on large wraparound decks with beautiful views, to stylish interiors with paneled walls and underfloor heating. There is an open space with a double bed for the parents and a separate children’s room with bunk beds.

How to do that: The Fish (01386 858000, offers treehouses for two adults and two children from £595 per night.

Participate in a culinary masterclass

The interior of the Wild Rabbit, a bar and an armchair next to an unlit fireplaceThe interior of the Wild Rabbit, a bar and an armchair next to an unlit fireplace

The Wild Rabbit in Daylesford hosts supper clubs exploring the best local produce: Martin Morrell

Top local ingredients combined with creative rivalry between the region’s renowned chefs (five with Michelin stars) give the gastronomic brilliance of the Cotswolds. You can enjoy gastronomic excellence with confidence by taking part in a cooking workshop at Daylesford, the famously stylish shopping paradise of organic produce, recherché delis and chic homewares near Stow-on-the-Wold. Learn to create sensational dishes with a wow-factor look in a Seasonal Dinner Party class or discover the art of fire pit cooking, bread baking and more. Classes include demonstrations, hands-on cooking, recipes and lunch.

How to do that: Daylesford (01608 731620, offers full-day courses for £210 per person. Stay with sister company, the epicurean Wild Rabbit (01608 692866, with a double room from £225 per night.

Create a beautiful bouquet

Bloomery, based in the village of Broadway, creates fantastic floral designs showcasing natural British garden flowers. This inspiring business was founded in 2019 by former fashion buyer Allyson Martin, who now also runs floral workshops from the company’s studio. Here you can master the art of wreath-making or design elegant, hand-tied bouquets, review the basics of floristry and learn about color contrasts and scents as you do. Workshops take place in the morning or afternoon, leaving time to explore this particularly glorious part of the Cotswolds.

How to do that: Bloomery (07905 272644, offers bouquet workshops for £83 per person. Stay at the chic Broadway Hotel (01386 852401,, with double rooms from £180 per night.

Go on a voyage of discovery by bike

Cycle the back roads of the northern Cotswolds and admire some of the region’s most beautiful landscapes and villages, including Ebrington, Chipping Campden and Snowshill. Cycle the Cotswolds has devised trips that can be car-free, arrive and depart by train and bring your own bike or rent one – hybrid (racing mountain bikes) or electric bikes delivered to your B&B. The four-night self-guided classic Cotswold holiday starts in Moreton-in-Marsh (complete with a central station) and offers options for gentler routes or more dizzying endeavors. Accommodation is in comfortable inns or guest houses.

How to do that: Cycle the Cotswolds (07468 412201, offers four-night trips from £545 per person (based on two sharing a room). Bike hire costs £120 (£165 for an electric bike).

Enjoy an Arts and Crafts tour

View of the Broadway TowerView of the Broadway Tower

Broadway Tower was the brainchild of Capability Brown – Russell J Gordon/iStockphoto

Discovering the legacy of the Arts and Crafts movement in the Cotswolds is like a treasure hunt: a journey with countless delights along the way. Hidden Cotswold Tours organize bespoke guided days out in an SUV; trips include an arts and crafts day out visiting (depending on your preference) Chipping Campden, still a center for crafts; Broadway Tower, once the eccentric holiday home of William Morris; Rodmarton Manor, built by Ernest Barnsley; and (a must) Morris’ Kelmscott Manor with its beautiful collections. The company’s other tour themes range from historic houses to picturesque villages.

How to do that: Hidden Cotswold Tours (07712 306690, offers day trips from £495 for up to six people. For an Arts and Crafts holiday in Kelmscott, stay at the charming Plow Inn (01367 253543, with a double room from £155 per night.

Visit spectacular gardens

Thanks to the historical wealth and lush nature of the Cotswolds, some of the country’s most beautiful gardens are spread across the region. Find an attractive concentration in the north and stay in a first-class garden hotel. The eight breathtaking acres of Lords of the Manor include a flower meadow, a walled garden and even a beautiful marsh. From this oasis, explore the gardens of Hidcote and Kiftsgate near Chipping Campden (with a dramatic contrast of hill designs), Snowshill with terraces, ponds and a model village, and the beautifully planted Bourton House Garden.

Hidcote Manor Gardens in GloucestershireHidcote Manor Gardens in Gloucestershire

Hidcote Manor Gardens in Gloucestershire – Robert Wyatt/Alamy

How to do that: Lords of the Manor (01451 820243, offers double rooms from £180 per night; summer garden tours with cream tea (£25 per person) take place on the last Tuesday of the month.

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