The small towns in England are sometimes the best. Bibury and the cotswolds are some of the most fascinating things you can see in the whole country!
Where is Bibury in England
Bibury is located Northwest of London (and West from Oxford). It is in the lovely countryside of Oxfordshire.
How to Get to Bibury from London
How to Get to Bibury By Car
Car is definitely the best way to get to Bibury. To get to this cute small village in England, use the M4 and take the exit to Cirencester. Once you’re in Cirencester, take the exit for Bibury itself. You can park on “The Street” or nearby the Bibury Trout farm, but if you’re visiting in high season, make sure to go early, as the spaces are limited. It is about a 2-hour drive from London and less than an hour from Oxford.
How to Get to Bibury By Train
The closes train station to Bibury is actually pretty far – 14 miles out. It’s called Kemble and it’s closer to Cirencester. You can, however, take a taxi from there to Bibury (about 20-30 GBP).
Your other option is to take a train from London to Cirencester and then take a bus 855 (about a 20-minute ride) to the small English village of Bibury. The bus service is not very often, so please check the bus schedule to plan your visit better.
Via a Guided Tour
Of course, you can always book a guided tour of the cotswolds from London. This one is a great choice and includes Bibury as well!
Looking for a city escape that’s a bit further away? Check out these 10 best destinations for romantic couple breaks in Scotland!
Things To Do in Bibury
1. Arlington Row in Bibury
Well, this is what Bibury is famous for! The cute stone cottages at Arlington row are over 600 years old – they were built in 1380. At first, they were focused on wool, but in the 17th century weaving was the main trade. The cloth was then sent to the Arlington Mill for degreasing.
In more recent times, this row has become one of the most photographed location in the cotswolds. It has even been featured in movies like Stardust and Bridget Jones’s Diary, so now you have a reason to rewatch them 🙂 No wonder, as it is truly one of the best villages in England!
2. Church of St. Mary
The cobblestone church with arched doorways has a spectacular stained glass window which was even featured on a Christmas stamp by the Royal Mail of England. Very close to the church you will find a school that was built in the 1850s, which still operates today!
3. Arlington Mill in Bibury
Even though the mill is currently closed, you can still enjoy it from the outside. The actual museum has been moved to Barnsley house, while the Mill is now a private residence.
4. Bibury Trout Farm
Тhe Bibury Trout Farm is an extremely important one – only about 1/3rd of the fish are sold (both in Britain and exported). Can you guess what happens to the other 2/3rds? Well, it’s being used to restock lakes, rivers and reservoirs! This is honestly pretty fascinating and such a great practice, as they are keeping the trout population up.
The farm is one of the oldest in the country, being over 100 years old. Nowadays you can enjoy not just the farm, but also the gift shop and fresh fish counter. Organized children’s parties have been popular there lately, especially with the option to “catch your own fish” 🙂
5. The Bakehouse
When it comes to small villages in England, the Bakehouse is such a signature cute cottage that I felt it needed a separate point! It was so pretty on the outside, and if you want, you can even stay there for a week. Most tourists don’t really go in that part of Bibury, it was super empty and I loved it!
6. The Swan Hotel in Bibury
The Swan Hotel in Bibury is one of the fanciest hotels in the cotswolds! You can get a room or a cottage according to your needs. You can also stop by for a coffee and enjoy the view of the river Coln. It’s a very gorgeous building and it’s right next to the Trout farm, so don’t miss this lovely place to stay in the cotswolds. You can book your visit right here.
7. THIS Cute Sign
Now, we all know that if the English have one thing, it’s a sense of humor! 🙂 Put this way, I’d never cross that tiny door 🙂
10 Best Cotswold Villages to Visit
We can’t miss Bibury in the top 10 and it should absolutely be on your list if you’re visiting the cotswolds 🙂
Source: Charmaine McInnis, Flickr
Unlike most of the small beautiful villages in England, Broadway isn’t on a tiny street (hence its name). In Broadway, you will see the cute stone cottages on a larger street, which makes this cotswolds place even more stunning at sunrise and sunset. When you visit, don’t miss the Broadway Tower, it’s a very pretty sight!
3. Lower Slaughter
Source: Martin ‘H’ 3,000,000 views, Flickr
What’s prettier than a large street right in front of the honey colored houses of the cotswolds? Well, definitely a river! Enjoy a walk around Lower Slaughter right at the River Eye <3 The name itself suggests that there is an “Upper” Slaughter, and you’re right! It’s less touristy, but also a bit less spectacular, which is why I did not include it in the best cotswold villages to visit in England.
Source: Steve Smith, Flickr
This is actually not such a small village in England! With its inhabitants amounting to over 3,200 people, this is one of the most populated villages in the cotswolds. As this pretty little village is by a river again, you will find lots of cute and incredibly photogenic footbriges.
Source: Sarah Brooke, Flickr
Blockley used to be an important center for silk production. With its iconic tower and cute cottages, it’s a very lovely village to visit in the cotswolds!
6. Chipping Campden
Source: Supersnappz1, Flickr
Chipping Campden is one of the best places to stay for a longer vacation. It is located right at the heart of the North Cotswolds, so you can easily take short day trips and explore the surroundings.
Source: Adam Swaine, Flickr
If you want to see snow in the cotswolds, the first place you’ll find it is Snowshill! It’s above the other villages, so it does feel a bit more chilly, but the views you’re in for are just mesmerizing.
Source: Martin Sutton, Flickr
Stanton is absolutely idyllic on a sunny summer day! It’s not as spectacular during the winter – you do need to see it in all its glory, when the sun enhances the honey color of the stone cottages and everything is green around.
9. Bradford On Avon
Source: cobbfarr, Flickr
Bradford On Avon is another quaint English village that is not too small – you will find pubs, hotels and even a few attractions. The nearby hills are all covered with cotswolds-style pretty stone houses <3
10. Castle Combe
Castle Combe is another small village in England that has been photographed almost as many times as Bibury! It is so picturesque that you can’t miss it. It’s just a few-minute ride from the city of Bath, so you can absolutely combine both of them for a weekend escape from London.
Best Places to Visit in the Cotswolds
Cotswold Lavender Farm
The smell of lavender, endless purple fields, far away from the city noise… Now, this is MY kind of place! The best time to visit the lavender farm is between June and August when the lavender is blooming. Enjoy this very instagrammable place in to see in the cotswolds and then grab a coffee and a snack at the farm cafe.
If you find yourself in the pretty English village of Cirencester, make sure to visit the Corinium Museum! This museum will take you to a journey through time – it displays artifacts from the Roman city of Corinium, but it also has displays of objects that are 40,000 years old! Explore the history and development of the cotswolds and curious facts about it. Find out more at the webpage of the Corinium Museum.
Chedworth Roman Villa
Want to know more about England’s Roman past? After the Corinium Museum, the Chedworth Roman Villa should be on your list of best places to visit in the cotswolds. They have some impressive mosaics, as well as a very unlikely thing from Roman times – a flushing toilet! Visit Chedworth Roman Villa ‘s website to see what else you can expect.
Adam Hensons Farm
If you regularly watch the BBC, you surely know who Adam Henson is. For those of you that don’t – he is probably the most popular farmer in the country! Besides their schedule of special events, the farm offers so many children-friendly activities, that you can probably spend a whole week without the little ones getting bored. The farm safari, adventure barn and even the maze are all lovely things to do in this place located in the quaint English village of Guiting Power.
The Cotswold Wildlife Park
The Cotswold Wildlife Park is not the typical animal attraction. Even though they offer animal encounters, they are only limited to one person per animal per day! You can “meet” a giant tortoise, a giraffe or even feed the cute bats. In addition, you can be a “keeper for a day” and spend 7 hours to help feed, clean and care for the animals. The park has spectacular gardens and it also has webcams – for example, you can spy on the penguins here.
Open-air Swimming Pool in Cirencester
If you’re visiting the cotswolds with kids, they’ll definitely be in for a treat in the 28-metre pool with a slide (don’t worry, there is a separate pool for younger children 🙂 ). You can even visit aqua aerobics twice a week during the summer months. Find the swimming pool at 3 Dyer Street, Cirencester.
The Cotswold Water Park in Cirencester
Another fun place to visit in the Cotswolds is the Water Park in Cirencester. They have SO MANY activities – from archery and wilderness skills to rally driving and cycling. One day will definitely not be enough to try everything, but an exceptionally fun weekend is guaranteed. See the full list the website of The Cotswold Water Park.
Birdland at Bourton-on-the-Water
Birdland has one of the most fun attractions in the cotswolds for the little scientists and explorers – the Jurassic Trail! You’ll find a lot of other activities and this will surely become a beloved place for your whole family.
“Far Peak Climbing” near Northleach
Now here’s something to do in the cotswolds for both kids and adults! This climbing center near Northleach is a great place – it has both indoor and outdoor climbing, as well as special tracks for children. You can also book an outdoor full day or half day trip for just £35 for adults 🙂 Find out more at their website.
If you’re looking for even more things to do in the area, check out my post on top things to do in Oxford and Oxfordshire!
Best Places to Stay in the Cotswolds
There are a great many choices of hotels, cottages and even glamping pods in the cotswoods. Here are some of the top rated places to stay I’d recommend:
- Best romantic place to stay in the cotsowlds: New Inn at Coln (Coln Saint Aldwyn), rated 8.5 on Booking.com, starting price per night: £95
- Best rated place to stay in the cotswolds: The Keepers Arms (Quenington), rated 9.4 on Booking.com, starting price per night: £90
- Best luxury place to stay in the cotsowlds: Barnsley House Hotel (Cirencester), rated 9.4 on Booking.com, starting price per night: £340
- Best hotel with a hot tub: The Manor House Hotel (Moreton in Marsh), rated 8.6 on Booking.com, starting price per night: £360
- Best fun place to stay in the cotswolds: Campion Glamping Pod (Cheltenham), starting price per night: £77
- Best budget place to stay in the cotswolds: The Greedy Goose (Little Compton), rated 9.1 on Booking.com, starting price per night: £45