14 Prettiest Villages in the Cotswolds to Live or Visit
12th May 2021

14 Prettiest Villages in the Cotswolds to Live or Visit

Where are the prettiest Cotswold villages?

If you are searching for one of the prettiest Cotswold villages, this is the article for you.

The Cotswolds is home to some stunning villages and rural locations.

This is certainly one of the main reasons the region has seen an increase in popularity in recent years.

With various destinations around the UK becoming increasingly expensive, the choice to live in one of these Cotswold villages could offer buyers a cost-effective alternative.

It is no secret that buyers are increasingly looking for rural locations across the UK.

The recent lockdowns have caused huge shifts in the way people view both properties as well as the area in which they live.

As more and more buyers look to the ‘countryside’ Cotswold villages are gaining more recognition!

Rural locations across the Cotswolds offer more space while still permitting easy commutes when required.

If you are thinking of living in one of the many pretty Cotswold villages, you are in for a treat!

Cotswold villages offer outstanding schools, distinctive wildlife and magnificent countryside.

These combine to make the region the ideal spot for a wide variety of buyers.

With so many great areas to choose from, it is hard to know where to start.

Regardless of your needs, living in one of the prettiest Cotswold villages is sure to appeal.

These are our 14 picks for the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds.



Situated in north Oxfordshire, twenty miles west of Oxford, Burford is considered the southern gateway to the Cotswolds.

This beautiful town is typical of the area with a steep sloping high street and far-reaching views.

There are some wonderful little side streets to explore hiding old pubs, tea rooms and antique shops are aplenty.

The 15th-century parish church of St. John Baptist is magnificent remnants of bye-gone riches based on the local wool trade.

At the bottom of the slope is the river Windrush, a picturesque spot lined with the customary weeping willows.

Much of the area appears to have changed little since the Tudor era making Burford an appealing place to wander and spend time as well as being an enviable location in which to reside.


Cirencester lies on the River Churn, a tributary of the River Thames, and is the largest town in the Cotswolds.

Being the largest town in the area has its advantages. A service centre for the thousands who live in surrounding villages, Cirencester has great amenities and lots of attractions nearby.

Notably, Cirencester Park is a superb example of a forest style garden and is well worth a visit.

You may be interested in local history.

The Corinium Museum has a large collection of objects found in and around the locality. The museum includes material from as early as the Neolithic and all the way up to Victorian times.

You could be visiting the town on the hunt for a new home in which case, expect to pay on average £437,252 for a property, a fair price considering the quality of life you can enjoy.

It does not get much better than waking up every morning on the fringes of the Cotswolds.

For those who seek a peaceful area together with a practical location, Cirencester has it all.

Castle Combe


Castle Combe

Not far from the town of Chippenham, Castle Combe is a small village with a population of just 350 people.

Castle Combe has been called “the prettiest village in England” by more than one travel guide over the years and small wonder.

This wonderfully little-known place is easy on the eye. Full of the honey-coloured Cotswold stone cottages we all come to expect in this area of the UK.

Babbling brooks and small arched bridges offer locals a tranquil location to call home. However, in the height of summer plenty of tourists arrive eager to soak up its calm atmosphere.

More than a few TV and movie crews have filmed in the town.  The TV series Poirot, Steven Spielberg’s production of War Horse and the 1967 version of Doctor Dolittle were all shot here.

Nearby there are many sites of historical interest such as Avebury, Stonehenge and the Wiltshire White Horses.

The village is also a sanctuary to wildlife as it is a conservation area and enjoys the beauty of nature at its very best.

Chipping Campden

Named as the “jewel in the crown of the Cotswolds” Chipping Campden is a small but perfectly formed town.

A gilded masterpiece of limestone and craftsmanship. Once one of the most important of the medieval wool towns in both the region and famous throughout Europe.

This legacy of fame and prosperity is everything that gives the town its character.

Well connected, London is just over 2 hours by train and posh Cheltenham is only 40 minutes southeast by car with a whole raft of villages to explore in between.

The towns property portfolio shows just 13 homes for sale.

Prices start at £395,000 and rise to £1,950,000. Living here was never going to be cheap!

Offering a great number of very old pubs, restaurants, and hotels, two popular primary schools and an Ofsted-rated “Outstanding” comprehensive, it is little wonder cash-rich people are selling up and moving out of our large cities to places such as Chipping Campden.


A charming and unique village, Blockley is home to a unique collection of buildings reflecting its past glory of mills and silk production and is quite different in character to other north Cotswolds villages.

Although Blockley has a recorded population of around 2000, not all reside here permanently as a high number of properties in the area are classed holiday rentals or second homes.

The picturesque and quintessentially Cotswold village of Blockley is certainly up there among visitors’ favourites.

The comedy series Father Brown was filmed in the local church of Church of St Peter & St Paul, it has become somewhat of a tourist attraction as a result.

For a town of its size there is a surprisingly wide choice of eateries nearby from coffee shops and tea rooms to fine dining establishments.

Walking the local countryside is popular and it is full of walking routes which incorporate woodland, lakes, hills and most importantly many traditional public houses with roaring fires for those chiller days!

A community spirit prevails and there are all manner of clubs and societies to join making it easy to spend time with like-minded individuals.


Stow-on-the-Wold is a delightful market town (population circa. 2000) and perhaps one of the best known of the small Cotswolds towns.

It’s a treasure trove of chic cafés, trendy food shops, quaint houses, and all surrounded by rolling hills.

To many people Stow-on-the-Wold is the town that epitomises the Cotswolds.

A town with a long history stretching as far back as the Iron Age. Plenty of artifacts from this era have been unearthed across the area.

The quaint market square still has its stocks, along with a Market Cross, erected to remind stallholders and traders of old to deal honestly.

Follow the Stow Town Trail through honey-coloured streets as you take in all this lovely town has to offer.

Connections are pretty good. Nicely located just off the north/south Fosse Way and near to the A40/M40 to London and the A44 Oxford to Worcester east/west trunk road makes travel by car simple.

By train you can get to London, Oxford Worcester, and Hereford.

All in all, Stow-on-the-Wold is a magical place that is fun to visit and something to aspire to as somewhere to reside.



Having changed little for the past 300 years, the sleepy little village of Stanton is picture perfect.

Huddled at the foot of Shenbarrow Hill, Stanton’s long high street is sided with homes typical of the area built in the local honey coloured limestone (quarried from the hill). Neat well-manicured gardens are the order of the day.

The fact that there is very little commercialisation is one of the best attractions about Stanton. Quiet, safe, and unspoilt, it is a place where time has stood still.

A famous pitstop for many hikers, the village pub Circa 17th Century, The Mount, is the hub of the village.

Sitting in a unique position The Mount provides the most spectacular panoramic views across the Vale of Evesham towards the Malvern Hills and on a clear day even the Black Welsh mountains beyond.

With a total population of under 200 people, the local housing market is extremely quiet and as the village is so idyllic, rarely do homes come onto the market.

The one and only home currently for sale is a huge beautifully designed one-off build at a cost of £1,700,000.


Similar to most of the Cotswold’s towns and villages, Tetbury boasts 1300 years of recorded history.

Known as the southern gateway to the Cotswolds, Tetbury has Royal connections, being home to Highgrove, owned by the Prince of Wales.

The Highgrove shop is a popular tourist attraction selling all manner of expensive quality products from clothing and beauty to jewellery and books.

Once an important wool manufacturer Tetbury involvement with the trade is still evident today. The splendid Grade1 listed pillared Market House built in 1655 in the centre of the town is still in operation and is where the local market is held each week.

Being a tourist destination, visitors are particularly well provided for.

There is a great choice of tea shops, bistros, cafes, pubs, and restaurants and plenty of nearby attractions to keep everyone happy.

Local travel is somewhat limited by rail with the closest train station being 7 miles away. By road, Bristol is 40 minutes, the M4 and the M5 both 15 minutes.

However, it does not matter too much as the quality of life here more than compensates for its lack of connections.



Painswick came into its own during the historic boom in the wool trade.

It is now it referred to as the “Queen of the Cotswolds” for its heritage architecture and unique landscapes.

Although the town for synonymous producing wood, the village (as it was then) appeared as a ‘dairy-farm’ in the Domesday Book.

Today, standing in an elevated position on a hill in the Stroud district, overlooking one of the Five Valleys, between Stroud and Gloucester, it is a striking looking town.

Painswick is not only a popular visitor location it is also home to around 3000 people.

Buyers beware as property here most certainly is not cheap, with the average “des res” costing around £552,000,

Amenities include the local post office which occupies a listed building built in 1478, making it the oldest known building in Great Britain to also contain a post office.

The close-knit residents are kept busy with all kinds of peculiar festivals such as the annual Feast Sunday.

Descending from 1870, feasting, drinking and disorderly conduct was expected. Today things are a little more controlled but none the less great fun for all the family.

Painswick is hard to beat, a rural idyll amid a romantic landscape just made for raising a family or for a peaceful retirement (if you can afford the hefty property prices)!

Upper Slaughter

A worthy addition to our prettiest Cotswold villages, both upper and lower Slaughter find themselves on our list.

When you think of a quintessential English village, you may have Upper Slaughter in mind!

This charming village sits on a pretty hillside setting, slightly above a stream that connects locals to Lower Slaughter.

This historic village is bursting with character.

In fact, Upper Slaughter is famed for its Manor House.

The building dates back to the 15th century and is a focal point in the area.

Locals also have access to the medieval almshouses as well as the historic St Peter’s Church.

If you are considering living in one of these charming Cotswold villages, Upper Slaughter is sure to appeal.

Lower Slaughter

Lower Slaughter

Lower Slaughter had to find a place on our list of prettiest Cotswold villages.

Much like neighbouring Upper Slaughter, we can’t sing its praises enough!

Sitting just 1 mile away from Bourton-on-the-Water, Lower Slaughter offers buyers a far more quaint location.

The popular Bourton offers visitors and locals a host of popular shops, tea rooms, and year-round visitors.

Meanwhile, Lower Slaughter offers its residents a far more scenic and quaint home.

With very few shops aimed at tourists, living in this village provides a far more charming allure.

Whilst certainly not catered towards tourists, this village has a truly rustic charm that creates an excellent homely feel.

Sitting on the river Eyre, locals can enjoy a pleasant stroll through this beautiful region all year round.

Living in Lower Slaughter is a truly charming experience!



The next addition to our list of the prettiest Cotswold villages is Bibury.

Bibury is a delightful, characteristically Cotswold village.

Located just a short drive from Cirencester which is often considered the ‘capital’ of the Cotswolds.

Living in Bibury ensures you are living in one of the prettiest Cotswold villages, in fact one of the prettiest villages in the UK!

William Morris describes Bibury as “the most beautiful village in England”.

Bibury appeal is not just limited to the UK.

Fox News has said that Bibury is one of the most picturesque villages across the globe!

There are a number of things to see and do in the village.

Amongst the top attractions in Bibury is Arlington Row, a row of weavers cottages built of local stone next to the River Coln.

This is one of the most popular spots in the village.

These stunning properties are frequently referred to as the most photographed and picturesque homes in the UK!

Other attractions include Bibury Trout Farm and the historic Saxon Church, the Church of St Mary.

The north Chancel wall of the church displays a stunning stained glass window.

This was featured in the 1992 Christmas stamp set issued by the Royal Mail!

The aforementioned River Coln flows through Bibury sandwiched between the main village street and the Rack Isle watermeadow.

Coupled with the backdrop of the beautiful Arlington Row as a backdrop, it is certainly one of the most scenic spots in the Cotswolds.



Kingham is another worthy addition to our list of the prettiest Cotswold villages.

This stunning village is the perfect location for lovers of traditional Cotswold houses and for those who are seeking a lovely garden space.

Boasting the typical Cotswold stone cottages, Kingham is certainly one of the prettiest Cotswolds villages.

It is sure to appeal to those seeking a quaint village home.

Living in this village ensures a host of local amenities and attractions.

The local Kingham village shop ensures you have easy access to all of the essentials and is a good spot for a spot of easy shopping.

Locals are also treated to the historic St Andrew’s Church and a number if lively pubs to enjoy.

Living in Kingham also ensures you are very well connected.

The village is easily accessible by train from London!

All these factors ensure that Kingham is an excellent place to live.

It is clear to see that Kingham is a worthwhile addition to our list of prettiest Cotswold villages.


Our final addition to the prettiest Cotswolds villages is Bourton-on-the-Water.

Befitting its name, Bourton-on-the-Water is situated on the banks of a charming stream.

This village is home to a host of charming footbridges and green spaces that perfectly accompany the banks of the River Windrush.

These features ensure that Bourton-on-the-Water is one of the most quaint Cotswold villages.

The village is also home to a number of small but fascinating museums.

These museums house everything from vintage cars to replica model villages.

One of the most popular in the village is the Cotswold Motoring Museum.

This is certainly an excellent spot for a fun day out!

If you are interested in motor vehicles, be sure to visit this spot which pays homage to a range of classic 20th-century cars.

With its range of unique museums and charming riverside setting, Bourton-on-the-Water is certainly of the more unique Cotswold villages. It is not only a great location to live but also to visit, so be sure to check out the village if you make the move to the Cotswolds.

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Ready to Live in One of the Prettiest Cotswold villages?

Have you decided to move to one of these Cotswolds villages?

You have certainly made an excellent decision!

The region is home a range of excellent villages perfect for families, young professionals and retirees alike.

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To find out more about how we could get your dream move to the Cotswolds or any other location underway do not hesitate to call us on the number listed above.

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