Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds

If you head west from London on the M4, you’ll reach the city of Bath in about 190 kilometers: meaning, you’ve reached the gateway to the Cotswolds.  The Cotswolds is a large, rural area in south-central England filled with rolling hills, castles, medieval churches, & charming thatched towns right out of “Pride & Prejudice.”  It’s officially known as one of England’s “Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”  And because charm is the Cotswolds’ middle name, in this post, we’re searching for the best bed & breakfasts in the Cotswolds!  

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds, Girl Who Travels the World

Welcome to the Cotswolds!

The Cotswolds area is so large, it covers six counties, including Gloucestershire & Oxfordshire.  You’ll find beautiful countryside, verdant green hills, cute country pubs, & of course, darling bed & breakfasts.  In the Cotswolds, B&B’s are where you want to be, chatting with delightful owners on graceful porches, enjoying the good life.  

Best Bed and Breakfasts in the Cotswolds

You won’t be staying at a Marriott in the Cotswolds. Charming cottages are the “thing.”

Important to Note About Travel in the Cotswolds: There’s very little public transport in this area.  Meaning, the best way to visit the Cotswolds is by renting a car.  This gives you freedom & flexibility to meander through the countryside at your own pace.

Cotswolds Map

We’re taking a tour of the Cotswolds below ~ in search of the cutest towns, & the best bed & breakfasts in the Cotswolds!  From Bath in the far south, we’ll head north towards Cirencester, “The Capital of the Cotswolds.”  Then, we’ll wind our way up towards the sumptuous Hidcote Manor Garden in Chipping Campden.  


Chipping Campden



Bourton on Water


Stow on the Wold

Overview of the Cotswolds

This section gives you an overview, so you can best determine where to stay, as we search for the best bed & breakfasts in the Cotswolds.  We’ll dig in a bit & see what makes each town tick!  

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds

Bath: Population 84,000.  If you like spas, Roman baths, & Jane Austen ~ then Bath is for you.  It’s more sophisticated than many of the smaller villages in the Cotswolds, so if you want more of a “city” experience, then give Bath a try.  For a cozy Victorian B&B under $100, try: Milton House.  

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds, Bath, Riverside Walk

If Roman baths & stately elegance appeal, with a side of Jane Austen ~ stay in Bath.

Cirencester: Population 19,000.  Cirencester lies in the center of the Cotswolds, & is known as the “Capital of the Cotswolds.”  It’s a major shopping town ~ so if that’s your thing, then Cirencester is where you want to be.  To be within walking distance of shops & Cirencester’s museum, try: The Fleece at Cirencester.  

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds, Cirencester Church

If medieval churches and shopping are your thing: try Cirencester.

Burford: Population 1,340.  If you want to get away from crowds, head to Burford!  As you can tell by its population of just over 1,000 people ~ you’ll definitely be off-the-beaten-path here.  Also, if you love antique shopping, Burford is where you want to go.  For elegant country cottages & plush rooms, try: The Lamb Inn.

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds, Burford High Street

If you want a quaint, charming little town ~ head to Burford. Shown here is Burford’s High Street.

Cheltenham: Population 115,000.  Cheltenham is one of the larger towns in the Cotswolds, so if you want more of a “buzz,” then it’s a good choice.  Cheltenham is also known as a health & holiday spa town, since mineral springs were discovered there in 1716.  So if spa time & pampering is what you’re after, choose Cheltenham.  For stately elegance & world-class, friendly owners, try: Ravenhurst Bed & Breakfast.  

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds, Cheltenham

For a healthy spa getaway, head to Cheltenham.

Bourton-on-the-Water: Population 3,296.  Bourton-on-the-Water is known as the “Venice of the Cotswolds,” as it features several picturesque, arched bridges over the River Windrush, which runs through town.  Bourton is also known for its elegant High Street, Cotswold Motor Museum (perfect for car lovers), as well as Birdland Park & Gardens.  So if you like birds, cars, & elegance, then Bourton is for you.  For a serene setting & excellent breakfast, try: The Red House East.  

Stow-on-the-Wold: Population 2,000.  Stow-on-the-Wold is a small, market town sitting atop an 800-ft hill, where a number of roads converge ~ making it a popular little town.  It’s also one of the most scenic Cotswolds towns, oozing charm & color.  If you want easy access to several other towns & to soak in the atmosphere of a quaint village: go to Stow.  For quaint, well-appointed cottages with charming hosts, try: Cross Keys Cottage Bed & Breakfast.  

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds, Stow on the Wold

One of the most darling towns in all of the Cotswolds is Stow-on-the-Wold.

Chipping Campden: Population 2,206.  Finally, we’ve made it all the way north, near the top of the Cotswolds to Chipping Campden ~ home of the famous Hidcote Manor Garden (a MUST!!).  Aside from lovely gardens, Chipping Campden is known for its elegant High Street, & is the northern-most town on the “Cotswold Way.”  For a delightful country experience with fresh, local jams for breakfast, try: Taplins Bed & Breakfast

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds, Chipping Campden

Staying in Chipping Campden is a great base to explore Hidcote Manor Garden, the “Cotswolds Way,” or simply shop on the High Street.

Best Bed & Breakfasts in the Cotswolds

I hope you’ve enjoyed this overview of the best bed & breakfasts in the Cotswolds!  What is the best way to visit the Cotswolds?  With very little public transport available, you really want to rent a car here ~ to make the most of your Cotswold visit.  Rent a car either in Bath or Chipping Campden, then work your way up or down.  And careful ~ they drive on the left side of the road!  It takes some getting used to, but makes it a proper adventure!  

Have you been to the Cotswolds?  Did you walk along the “Cotswold Way?”  What was your favorite city or village?  Mine is Stow-on-the-Wold.  Let me know below!