With more than its fair share of picturesque villages, quaint cobbled streets and beautiful countryside, the Cotswolds is one of the most romantic destinations in the whole of England. So, we’ve put together a list of things to see and do with your beloved to make your Cotswolds luxury cottage holiday extra special.
When you’re ready to book the perfect place to stay, choose from our handpicked collection of Cotswolds Luxury Cottages.
Set out over 56 acres, there’s every chance you’ll find a quiet corner to be alone at Batsford Arboretum.
It’s a wonderful place for a hand-in-hand stroll and at any time of the year there is something beautiful to see. Walk amongst the carpet of snowdrops in the late winter, or the swathe of daffodils in spring.
Stand-out blooms include those of the Japanese cherry trees that flower in March and April and the handkerchief tree that flowers in May, both are simply stunning.
In the summertime, the spotlight falls on wildflowers, while autumn is a spectacular show of orange and reds courtesy of the Japanese Maples.
Daylesford Farm Shop is surrounded by lush pastures where animals and chickens roam freely and the market garden produces seasonal vegetables and fruits.
Everything here is organic and it’s a fantastic place to stock up on ingredients to whip up a delicious dinner for two back at your cottage, or for a picnic of artisan breads, award-winning hams and cheeses.
However, it’s much more than a farm shop. There’s also a Cookery School, perfect for honing your culinary skills, that offers a range of courses that all emphasise real food cooked simply.
Or if it’s pure pampering that you’re seeking, The Bamford Wellness Spa, located next to the farm shop, is made for an indulgent afternoon filled with spa treatments and unwinding in the pool.
Calling all gin and whisky-lovers. The Cotswolds Distillery has been producing natural spirits since 2014 and, as you’ve probably guessed, specialises in creating single malt whiskies and gins, as well as liqueurs. Amongst them are the award-winning Cotswolds Dry Gin and the Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky.
Pop along to pick up a bottle of your favourite tipple to savour back at your cottage. Or, book one of the tours that offer an insight into how traditional methods and equipment are used in the distilling process.
There are tasting experiences too, while the choice of masterclasses includes learning how to blend your own gin or whisky and how to mix the perfect cocktail.
A visit to the Cotswolds, especially for the first time, wouldn’t be complete without a tour of some of the chocolate box villages the area is known for.
There are plenty to choose from and The Slaughters are a good place to start. Begin in Lower Slaughter with its pretty old water mill turned museum where you can buy an ice-cream to enjoy on a riverside walk through the fields to Upper Slaughter.
Meanwhile, Bourton-on the-Water, often referred to as the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ because of its pretty bridges that span the shallow river, is great for seeking out a special gift and lunch in one of the cafes.
For something less touristy, try Snowshill with its village green and church. It was the location of the family home in the film Bridget Jones’s Diary and is also the site of the National Trust’s Snowshill Manor.
Highgrove is the home of Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, who open up their stunning gardens for guided tours between April and October.
Cultivated over forty years and managed organically, the gardens are a haven for nature and a delight for humans. Highlights include the Cottage Garden, the Wildflower Meadow and the Sundial Garden.
You must pre-book a tour in order to visit and there are several to choose from, including Spring Walks and Cyclamen Strolls. However, the Champagne Tea Tour is extra special and includes a tour with an experienced guide who will show you around some of the prince’s favourite parts of the garden, followed by afternoon tea in Highgrove’s elegant Orchard Tea Room.
If you and your beloved are partial to a cold beer, then a trip to the Cotswold Brew Co is in order.
The brewery opened in 2005 with a mission to raise the profile of British lager by developing a high quality version that was full of flavour. The result was the classic ‘Premium Lager’ that now sits alongside several other beers in the brewery’s range.
Book a guided Brewery Tour and Tasting session for a good look around the brewhouse and to learn about the six-week long brewing process that includes a 4-week ‘lagering’ stage.
The tour also includes a generous sampling of beers and if you discover a favourite, you can buy a few bottles to sup back at your cottage.
The lavender fields at the Cotswolds Lavender farm are a sight to behold when they are in full bloom.
You’ll need to time your visit carefully though as the lavender usually starts to flower around mid-June, but it is harvested in full bloom around the end of July. The English weather can impact the growing season, but generally, the best time to visit is early to mid-July.
Cotswold Lavender is set on a family farm, overlooking Broadway and the Vale of Evesham. It’s a beautiful place to visit and you can take your own food to eat in the picnic area as you admire the views.
If you happen to visit on a harvesting day, you’ll also be able to smell the intoxicatingly intense scent coming from the distillery as the blooms are transformed into oil.
The ancient woodlands of the Forest of Dean are located to the west of the Cotswolds and provide a stunning place to explore.
Once a royal hunting ground, the forest is now a haven for wildlife and attracts nature-lovers, walkers and cyclists looking for a woodland adventure amongst the hundreds of miles of pathways and beauty spots that include ponds and lakes.
Follow the Sculpture Trail that winds between oak and pine trees and showcases sculptures inspired by the forest that are made from natural materials found in the forest.
Or, head to one of the most breathtaking spots, New Fancy, which is a fantastic panoramic viewing point with vistas over the treetops.
Bath is one of the most atmospheric and romantic cities in the UK and great for a day out when you’re staying in the Cotswolds.
Hire a punt or a rowing boat for a leisurely trip along the River Avon, before rewarding yourself with a delicious pub lunch, a picnic in Royal Victoria Park, or an indulgent Afternoon Tea at The Royal Crescent Hotel.
After you’re suitably full up, head to Bath Abbey for a Tower Tour that takes you behind the scenes of this historic landmark and offers incredible views of the city and surrounding countryside.
Why not end your day with a twilight visit to the Thermae Bath Spa? Pampering experiences designed for two are available and the views of the skyline from the rooftop are amazing.