Things to Do in the Cotswolds this Autumn
In terms of the best things to do in the Cotswolds, your options are superbly simple. The highlights of this 780 square mile Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty boil down to gorgeous countryside, bewitching villages, dreamy architecture and exquisite food. Which makes these enchanting hills the perfect place for an Autumn break.
Hike to Gloucestershire's Highest Point
The Cotswolds are famous for their rolling hills. So one of the most satisfying of the many things to do in the Cotswolds this Autumn, is to climb a hill with spectacular views. Cleeve Hill delivers that in spades. It’s the highest point in Gloucestershire and - at 330 metres - the highest of the Cotswolds’ hills.
A good spot to start explorations is the Cleeve Golf Club. Set part way up Cleeve Hill, the course is criss-crossed by a network of trails which lead to spectacular viewpoints. Walks include a family-friendly circular hike of 3.7km, heritage themed walks of 4.3km and a 9.6km Cleeve Hill Common Ring. Take in views of the Malvern Hills and, on a clear day, Wales, before heading back to the clubhouse for coffee and cake.
Get Bewitched by Broadway Tower
Any shortlist of memorable things to do in the Cotswolds should include a trip to Broadway Tower. Built in the late-1700s, this photogenic folly stretches up for three elegant stories - a central tower framed by three curved and crenelated turrets.
Despite the fortified feel, it was built purely for decoration. Local landowner Barbara, Countess of Coventry wondered if a structure on Broadway Hill could be seen from her home some 20 miles away. A team including Capability Brown and James Wyatt took on the challenge.
The Countess chose her spot well. At 312m Broadway Hill is the second highest hill in the Cotswolds and if skies are clear you can famously see 16 counties and two countries from here. Views sweep from Wales to Birmingham and Oxford.
You can walk to the tower from the village of Broadway - a 2-3 hour, 7km hilly hike. Or drive to Broadway Tower & Park. This 200-acre estate features cafes, shopping and e-bike hire, as well as a cracking 1.2km circular walk. You can also go into the tower itself to discover gorgeously Georgian interiors before heading out to the tower-top viewing platform to drink in those spectacular views, crowning visiting Broadway Tower as one of the best things to do in the Cotswolds.
Fall in Love with Pretty Villages
While the Cotswolds are renowned for hills, they’re also rightly famous for their impossibly pretty villages. Which means one of the most unmissable things to do in the Cotswolds this autumn is to explore a few.
Built out of mellow, honey-coloured stone, the villages are a delightful blend of quaint cottages, history-rich pubs, verdant gardens and charming greens and streams.
A drive pretty much anywhere in the Cotswolds reveals countless places to stop and take photos, but the following villages are some of our favourites:
Bibury Delight in the pretty River Coln, a historic trout farm and one of the most photographed streets in the Cotswolds - picture-perfect Arlington Row
Bourton on the Water Dubbed the Venice of the Cotswolds, at Bourton a string of diminutive bridges arch across the River Windrush, framed by trees and historic cottages
Painswick Technically a town not a village, Painswick makes our list thanks to exquisite buildings, steep, narrow streets and elegant St. Mary’s Church - framed by 99 neatly-trimmed yew trees
Broadway Medieval Broadway charms with its wide main street (hence the name), golden houses and array of quaint cafes
Burford With a pretty High Street descending towards the River Windrush, a medieval bridge and wealth of shops, restaurants and pubs, Burford is a top spot to explore
Discover Cheltenham’s Exquisite Architecture
Of course the Cotswolds aren’t just about villages and hills. High on the list of best things to do in the Cotswolds is discovering delightful architecture. And here Cheltenham shines. Cheltenham can claim to be the most complete Regency town in the UK, thanks to the wealth of buildings constructed in the early-1800s.
Head into Cheltenham to take in the shops of Montpellier, the Regency living room in the Holst Victorian House, and Pittville Park. Opening in 1825, this large ornamental park is home to the gorgeous Pittville Pump Room, which brings the era of glamours balls right back to life.
Another property built as part of the Pittville Estate, is Cotswold Grange. Constructed out of the characteristic Cotswold stone in around 1855, the hotel is set close to Pittville Park - making it the perfect base for architectural explorations.
Delight Your Inner Foodie
The Cotswolds aren’t just easy on the eye. For many, some of the best things to do in the Cotswolds are to enjoy superb cuisine. At Cotswold Grange we know how to spot and appreciate fabulous food. The following are some of our favourites - which are all within easy reach of the hotel:
Restaurant Journey Beloved by Michelin inspectors, this restaurant specialises in pleasing, playful tasting menus
The Nook on Five Superb modern British dishes, a roof-top restaurant and spectacular views
Domaine 16 The ultimate eatery for fans of everything cheesy - Domaine takes cheese and wine pairings to the next level
KIBOU Japanese Kitchen & Bar Canteen-style dining with classic Japanese cocktails and sake
Enjoy a Luxurious Break at Cotswold Grange
And - because the Cotswolds are such a magical place, one of the very best things to do in the Cotswolds this Autumn is to relax, recharge and delight in your surroundings. And for that you need a truly fabulous place to stay.
Which is where centrally-located Cotswold Grange comes in. Built in the 1800s, you’ll find our beautifully boutique townhouse hotel on a tranquil, tree-lined avenue. It’s just a short walk from Cheltenham’s Regency buildings and is with easy reach of the Cotswolds’ gorgeous villages and hills.
Our individually decorated bedrooms all have sumptuous furnishings and luxury bathrooms with indulgent Noble Isle toiletries. We pride ourselves on our calm, elegant welcoming atmosphere. Which makes Cotswold Grange the perfect base for enjoying the wealth of wonderful things to do in the Cotswolds this Autumn.