The Prettiest Towns to Visit
As an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty it should come as no surprise that the Cotswolds is one of the prettiest places in the UK. With honey-coloured stone high streets, quaint tea rooms and breath-taking countryside all around, here are some of our favourite towns and villages to explore with your hound in tow.
A true picture-postcard village, Broadway is a wonderful place to stroll around with your furry friend. Filled with dozens of quaint shops, delicious eateries and stunning period houses and stone cottages, your canine won’t be short of exciting new sights, sounds and smells! A great place for history and arts buffs; King Charles I, Oliver Cromwell, author J.M. Barrie and artist William Morris all have connections to the village. Make sure you pay a visit to Broadway Tower which welcomes all doggie visitors! If you’re staying to the east of Broadway, enjoy a fabulous walk to the village with your pet on footpaths via the Farncombe Estate.
The pretty town of Burford should most definitely be at the top of your must-visit list with your pet! Located on the River Windrush, this historic 16th century market town is filled with shops, eateries and topsy-turvy cottages straight out of a fairy tale. Often heralded as the ‘Gateway to the Cotswolds’, Burford is surrounded by vast fields and hills that are ideal for lots of outdoor excursions with your four-legged friend. You may even rub shoulders – or noses in your pet’s case – with famous locals including Kate Moss, Liz Hurley and Ruby Wax.
For a taste of olde Cotswold England, pay a visit to the charming town of Chipping Campden. Due to its central location in the north of the Cotswolds, Chipping Campden also makes the pawfect base for a touring getaway with your pet. Stop in one of the traditional tea rooms along the high street for a cup of tea and a very warm welcome – Campden Coffee Company and the award-winning Badgers Hall are both dog-friendly! Having been the centre of the Arts and Crafts movement since the early 20th century, Campden annually hosts its own literature and music festivals during the spring months. If you and your furry friend really want to stretch your legs though, embark on a hike up Dover’s Hill just to the north west of the town.
Perhaps one of the best-known Cotswold towns, Stow-on-the-Wold is steeped in history and lies on the famous Roman Fosse Way. Sitting at the top of an 800-foot hill, Stow is renowned for its impressive market square that has been the focus of life in the town for many centuries – and lots of interesting things to sniff too! As well as being a great stop for antique-hunters, the Stow Horse Fair is held twice a year in May and October just on the outskirts of the town. Much to our four-legged friend’s delight, the best way to explore Stow is by foot as there’s something new to see around every corner. Once you’ve walked off your legs, and Fido’s, stop for a tea at the New England Coffee House or some delicious pub food at The Talbot – both are dog-friendly!
Upper Slaughter & Lower Slaughter
In stark contrast to their somewhat ominous name – which actually means ‘miry place’ – Upper and Lower Slaughter are widely considered the two prettiest villages in the Cotswolds. Located on the banks of the River Eye, both are far from muddy places – much we suppose to our furry friend’s dismay – and epitomise Cotswold charm. Thankfully neither are your typical tourist traps with the only attraction being The Old Mill which was recorded in the Doomsday Book. Stop in the riverside café for some delicious food and river views with your pet. We recommend visiting The Slaughters on a fine day – there is a lovely short walk, just under one mile, from Lower Slaughter to Upper Slaughter alongside the river that your pooch will love.
Heralded as the hidden ‘jewel in the Cotswolds crown’ – and we won’t argue with that – Winchcombe is a wonderful place to visit with your hound in tow. The name means ‘valley with a bend’, and as you wander around the high street filled with shops and pretty tea rooms you’ll notice how it bends gracefully. A walker’s paradise for canines, Winchcombe has an abundance of lovely footpaths and trails, and all with interesting things to see along the way. The town even hosts an annual walking festival in May! If you’re a seasoned trekker, we recommend hiking up Cleeve Hill for spectacular views of Gloucestershire.
The picturesque market town of Woodstock makes a great stop on any Cotswold tour with your pet and a welcome respite from the nearby bustling town and city of Chipping Norton and Oxford respectively. Filled with attractive period buildings, museums and an ancient market place, Woodstock has much to offer in the way of times gone by. Home to the famous Blenheim Palace and its tail-wag inducing gardens, furry friends will love roaming the 2,000 acres of land and history buffs will enjoy treading the ground that Sir Winston Churchill once did.