Lose yourselfLose yourself amongst the honey-coloured streets, where something different awaits you around every corner
Soak upSoak up the rolling hills that stretch as far as the eye can see
DiscoverDiscover a town rich in history, with countless stories to tell
Top 10 Cotswold must-sees
We’re often asked to recommend our Cotswold must-sees, and it’s a tough job, as you really are spoilt for choice. However, if you’re short on time and looking for a quick reference guide, here are our top picks!
Follow the Stow Town Trail to discover the story behind many of the oldest buildings in the town, and explore the narrow stone alleyways or chures, which were traditionally used for herding and counting sheep on their way to market.
For a really in depth guide to Stow's history, rent an iPod from GO-STOW and listen to the story of Stow and its role in the English Civil War.
Stow is a famous centre for antiques and art, so take the opportunity to explore the many antique shops and art galleries.
Use Stow as a base for exploring the North Cotswolds – Bourton-on-the-Water, The Slaughters, Burford, Broadway and Chipping Campden are all a short drive away from the town.
Take a walk from Stow, past the historic Wells and down to the lovely village of Broadwell, where the welcoming Fox Inn (dog friendly!) overlooks the village green and makes a pleasant lunch stop. Continue to the village of Donnington, where just outside is a monument commemorating the last battle of the Civil War.
The town's heart is the fine market square, complete with its Market Cross – a reminder to traders to trade fairly under the sight of God. In the southeast corner, Digbeth Street leads towards the Royalist Hotel, listed in the Guinness Book of Records as England's oldest Inn (947 AD).
Enjoy a traditional Cotswold cream tea in one of the town's many cafes, and buy locally produced cheese and meat from one of the two fine delicatessens on Digbeth Street or the excellent butcher's shop, Lambournes. Alternatively, visit the Farmers' Market (held monthly on a Thursday) in The Square to stock up on local specialities, including Donnington trout.
Visit Chastleton House (www.nationaltrust.org.uk), just a few miles from Stow. One of the finest and most complete Jacobean houses in England, it was originally built for a rich wool merchant.
Visit one of the bi-annual Stow Horse Fairs in May and October. The fairs were chartered in 1476 by King Edward IV and are held in fields between Stow and Maugersbury. The May fair is the larger of the two.
- Stow's hilltop location led to the 18th century joke that Stow had no earth, fire or water, but plenty of air – and the couplet 'Stow on the Wold, where the wind blows cold', which is etched on St Edward's Hall in the centre of town. However, this means that it is pleasantly cool in the summer months. Today, Stow is a much photographed and happy blend of shops, hotels and pubs, so take time to breathe the fresh air and enjoy the combination of architecture and ambience that makes Stow the unique town it is.
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