The Best Things To Do In the Cotswolds

The Best Things To Do In the Cotswolds
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by Ben Buxton,

First Published: 27 Oct, 2022

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Not Your Usual ‘Best Things To Do In The Cotswolds’ List

This is not your usual ‘Best Things To Do In The Cotswolds’ List. Yes, it does show off a number of the best things to do in the Cotswolds, but this list is based on the most popular experiences for Fairfax & Favor customers specifically. So if you are a Fairfax & Favor customer and you have a specific Cotswolds adventure or secret spot that you strongly believe should be included… drop us a picture!

So here is a list of impeccable and marvellous things to do in the Cotswolds, all chosen based on our Fairfax & Favor customer adventures.

1. Visit the Fairfax & Favor Store in Stow-on-the-Wold

This is a no-brainer (we are of course biased but still, you’re on our website so hopefully so are you!).

A visit to our Stow-on-the-Wold store will give you the chance to admire our own personal St Edward’s Church inspired trees; to try on the latest and most limited edition Fairfax & Favor items; to meet and interact with our marvellous front of house team - and to get advice about caring for your Fairfax & Favor products so that they can last you a lifetime.

Perfect for a solo day trip or a celebratory private booking (we host birthdays and other celebrations and pets are always welcome) our Fairfax & Favor team can’t wait to spoil you.

Laura Ambridge

Photo by Laura Ambridge

2. St Edward’s Church

Whilst not officially confirmed (like, at all), it is very clear to anyone with eyes that the door of St Edward’s Church in Stow-on-the-Wold was either an inspiration for Tolkien’s ‘Durin’s Door’ or is a glitch in the fantasy-reality matrix. This, of course, is because of the two ancient and awe-inspiring yews growing on either side of the north doorway.

And the church itself is also beautiful, a medieval-built Grade-1 listed building with dramatic stained glass windows, intricate carvings on the walls, and peaceful grounds to wander around, and all an easy walk from the village square.

So for fans of fairytales and real history alike, the door to St Edward’s Church is a wonderful spot for a picture and perhaps a secret password, but do be sure to also enter the church itself for a little quiet reflection.

Top Tips: The Church sometimes has specific opening times in winter, so be sure to check in advance. Of course the outside of the door is available at any time.

Accessibility: There is disabled access to the church itself, but no parking is available next to the church. The nearest car park is either the Town Square during off-peak times, or the car park in Tesco’s a ten minute walk away.

Fairfax & Favor Match: Tetbury, Alexander Trainers

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Photo by Victoria Ruddock, India India, and Liza Mander

3. Cotswold Lavender Fields

Speaking of pictures… we can’t help but notice that an impressive number of our customers have made the effort to dress up and pose dramatically in the Cotswold’s Lavender Fields, and we can’t blame them.

Hill Barn Farm first planted lavender in 1999, having no real idea of whether the soil was right or if the winters would be too harsh, but now they have over 70 acres of purple joy bursting from the ground each year, and they have even set aside a 20-acre stretch for visitors to wander through.

So bring your Blue Boxes and your babies, this is the Instagram backdrop you have been waiting for. And before you leave, be sure to visit the Lavender Cabin and buy a scented momento of your day.

Top Tips: Pack a picnic. And for a bonus, remember that lavender is not the only gorgeous flower worth admiring and posing next to, so do visit the Wildlfower Fields and the Beechwood Trail.

Accessibility: The lavender field is, of course, grassy. Their website confirms that people do bring wheelchairs and pushchairs onto it, but that there is a sloping ground to take into consideration. There is a disabled access toilet.

Fairfax & Favor Match: Tetbury, Monaco Wedge in tan

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Photo by Becky Reynolds, Rebecca Farrer, and Melly Oh (who was not getting her Alexander trainers dirty no matter what!).

4. Diddly Squat Farm Shop & the Daylesford Organic Farm Shop

We are a big fan of farm shops, and these two hit very different sweet spots, so we thought we’d let you decide which sounds the most “you”.

What to love about Diddly Squat:

  1. A) The quirky branding (“Cow Juice” and “Bee Juice” is just the beginning… we won’t even touch on some of the candle names)
  2. B) The self proclaimed “no nonsense” energy. This is a small barn on a working farm, and it isn’t trying to pretend to be anything else.
  3. C) Everything sold at Diddly Squat comes from either their own farm or their immediate neighbours in the Cotswolds, so you know exactly where your food has come from, what has gone into it, and how each person, land and animal has been treated during the process.
  4. D) The burgers! There’s nothing like an overconfident “literally the best burgers in the world” claim to make us doubt, but these burgers really are pretty amazing. And don’t miss the truffle fries.
  5. E) Eating in a field. Like we said, this is a no nonsense place, which is what we love about it.
  6. F) Obviously the tiny (very tiny) chance that you might bump into Jeremy Clarkson himself. Even if you don’t, it’s fun to get a photo by the Diddly Squat sign and get that second hand fame feeling!

What to love about Daylesford Organic Farm Shop

  1. A) As the personality opposite of Diddly Squat, Daylesford Organic has a sumptuous but-how-can-you-not-love-it energy and is absolutely immense.
  2. B) There is just… so much happening! You can buy furniture, wine, food, flowers, wellness items, and even clothes. You can get gardening advice, or have a million cups of superior coffee, or go to the spa.
  3. C) You won’t run out of options for dining either, with the Trough Café (a Michelin Star dining room and courtyard), the Old Spot Restaurant (great for wood-fired pizzas) and the legbar (for your coffee, snacks and cocktails).
  4. D) The outdoor spaces are incredibly peaceful, and the courtyards are hard to beat if you feel like a glass of wine with a view.
  5. E) Sustainability! Shopping local = less travel and therefore less travel carbon emissions.

Do you have a favourite? We’d love to know. Be sure to tag us in your photos at either of these Farm Shops so we can see them in action.

Top Tips: Prepare for long queues at Diddly Squat, especially in the summer. Also prepare for mud. As for Daylesford… make sure you aren’t in a rush!

Accessibility: Daylesford is mostly wheelchair friendly, but powerised wheelchairs may have an issue on the entrance slope. Diddly Squat is also accessible by wheelchair but the car park can get quite muddy.

Fairfax & Favor Match: Henleys, Explorers, Alexandra Trainers.

Photo by Cassie Foord, and India India

5. Castle Combe

“The prettiest village in England.”

Well… it’s a bold claim, and one that is made by quite a large number of places, but when you google “the prettiest village in England”, Castle Combe actually does come up in the top ten of almost every list, and is often in the lead spot. So perhaps this adorable little village, which sits in north west Wiltshire, has a better right than most to claim the title.

Besides, what is most important is that Castle Combe seems to be a favourite with our Fairfax & Favor customers, which makes it number one in our eyes.

Another thing we love about Castle Combe is that there is almost nothing to do. Unlike most beautiful locations in England, this village doesn’t seem to have attempted to capitalise on its looks at all.

So we suggest you simply wander through Castle Combe from the Market Cross down to By Brooke river, and if the weather is good you may be able to purchase homemade cakes, sweets, or bunches of flowers from adorable little “honesty boxes” or directly from the local houses.

Top Tips: Start at the church, which you can admire but also in order to buy walking tour pamphlets and other touristy stuff. Also check out the back of the churchyard where the pathway leads to a meadow, and onwards to the Manor House.

Accessibility: Not really. There is nowhere to really park in town, except up the hill or illegally on the side of the road.

Fairfax & Favor Match: Henleys, Explorers, Alexandra Trainers.

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Photo by Helen Gibbs, and Charlotte Moule

6. Broadway Tower

If you’ve read any of our other “Best Things to Do” lists (Stamford and Helmsley), you’ll have seen a number of castles, churches, and other English Heritage gems. So we couldn’t possibly leave out this eccentric folly, and not only because we love anything related to 18th century landscape designer Capability Brown.

We also adore the 200-acre parkland waiting to be explored, complete with a resident herd of red deer, and that you can rent e-bikes to explore the parkland and surrounding Cotswolds. And let’s not forget the fascinating Cold War Nuclear Bunker you can tour with a guide.*

Most of all, we have included Boroadway Tower because of the fabulous fact that from the top of Broadway Tower (which is 65 feet high) you can see up to 16 counties on a good day! It has been called an unbeatable view of the Cotswolds, but don’t take our word for it. Head on over and let us know if you agree.

Top Tips: It is definitely worth buying timed tickets in advance online as they include complimentary parking! The Bunker is only open on the weekends. Sometimes the area closes for filming so check online or call in before you go. Keep an eye out for “William” – the resident stag who is named after William Morris.

Accessibility: Most of this experience involves either outdoor walks or stairs, but their website does have a number you can call to ask about accessibility options.

Fairfax & Favor Match: Boudicas & Finsbury cross-body bag, or Tan Regina.

*as long as you can climb down ladders and are above 10-years old

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