“Can you recommend some where to stay in the Cotswolds?”
As tour guides, we get asked a LOT for our recommendations of where to stay in the Cotswolds.
The problem is, we are locals! Apart a lovely night away in Broadway a few years ago, we’ve never actually stayed in a hotel or holiday cottage in the Cotswolds ourselves, because we live too close!
However, we have hosted THOUSANDS of holidaymakers from all over the world on our guided tours. So, while we can’t recommend a particular accommodation provider over another, we do have a few pointers for you if you’re trying to choose some where to stay in the Cotswolds.
Ask yourself the following questions…
1. How are you going to get around?
If you have your own car, then the Cotswolds is your oyster. As long as you’re confident driving on the left, and on narrow country lanes, you’ll have no problem getting around. Still, you should make sure your accommodation has a car park or designated parking space.
If you don’t have a car, then you need to think very carefully about the location of your accommodation.
Moreton-in-Marsh is a great place to stay in the Cotswolds without a car. This pretty market town is one of the very few Cotswold towns with a train station, and you can get a direct train here to/from London, Oxford or Worcester. There are also public buses to several other Cotswold villages.
Moreton-in-Marsh also has numerous accommodation options, most of which are within walking distance of the train station. This is great news for our tour guests, because that’s one of the places we can pick you up for our Go Cotswolds tours!
2. What is your budget?
In recent years, the Cotswolds has acquired a reputation for being “posh” – and that reputation is not entirely unjustified. After all, with exclusive members’ clubs like Soho Farmhouse on your doorstep, and celebrities like Kate Moss, Princess Anne and even Posh Spice herself as your neighbours, would you expect anything less?
The Cotswolds’ luxury reputation can mean that accommodation errs towards the high-end. If money is no object you’ll be spoilt for choice with lovely hotels and beautiful cottages to rent – subject to availability of course!
That’s not to say there is no accommodation for those on a more modest budget. There are plenty of good value bed and breakfasts, and a new Airbnb room or cottage seems to pop up every other day! There’s even budget accommodation available at Moreton-in-Marsh’s Fire Service College.
But this brings me to my next question…
3. Where is the accommodation really?
When researching where to stay in the Cotswolds, many of us simply type ‘Cotswolds’ into Airbnb or Tripadvisor and hit ‘go’. That’s all well and good, but make sure you double check the actual location of the accommodation you choose. Is it suitable for you?
Case in point: we recently had a tour guest who picked a hotel in Gloucester. It came up on Booking.com when she searched for accommodation in the Cotswolds, and it was really cheap, so she went for it. It was only when she got in touch with us to book a Go Cotswolds tour that she realised her mistake…
Not only was the hotel miles away from the places she wanted to see in the Cotswolds, it was also on an industrial estate just off the M5 motorway! Uh oh! She did join our tour, but it took a taxi ride and two trains to reach us in Moreton-in-Marsh, so she didn’t save any money by staying somewhere cheap after all.
Likewise, if you don’t have a car, also be wary of choosing accommodation in a remote Cotswold location, or somewhere with little access to public transport. That chocolate box village might look cute, but if you can walk around it in 15 minutes, and there’s no pub, or restaurant, or shop… what are you going to do for the rest of your stay!? Remember: there’s no Uber in the Cotswolds, and although taxis are available, you will need to book ahead.
How about staying in Stratford-upon-Avon?
A disclaimer: we live in the district of Stratford-on-Avon so we might be a little biased. And having said that you should be wary of staying somewhere not in the Cotswolds, we think Stratford-upon-Avon is a fantastic place to base yourself!
Don’t worry about where to stay in the Cotswolds! Discover town and country in one short break
Stratford-upon-Avon is most famous for being the home town of William Shakespeare. Here, fans of ‘The Bard’ can visit the places he and his family once lived, the church where he was baptised and later buried, and watch a play at the Royal Shakespeare Company theatre.
It’s also a beautiful riverside town, where you can row a boat down the Avon, admire the medieval and tudor architecture, and eat and drink like royalty.
Located in the heart of England, Stratford-upon-Avon is well connected to many UK cities by rail and bus, and is home to a multitude of accommodation options. Here you’ll find swanky hotels, traditional guest houses, a youth hostel, campsites, and so many rental cottages and apartments that I’ve lost count.
Plus, while it is most definitely not “in” the Cotswolds, Stratford-upon-Avon is really close to many of the most popular Cotswold villages. If you have your own car, you can easily reach places like Chipping Campden, Broadway and Stow-on-the-Wold within a short drive. If you don’t have a car, then you can take a bus to Chipping Campden, or why not join us for a tour?
Discover our suggested itinerary for a Stratford-upon-Avon and Cotswolds break here.
Our Cotswolds tour from Stratford-upon-Avon
Go Cotswolds is based in Stratford-on-Avon, so we offer a pick-up service here for our guided tours of the Cotswolds.
Our pick up point – Shakespeare’s Birthplace Coach Terminal – is located on Windsor Street, right in the middle of town. It’s within easy walking distance of many accommodation providers.
This will allow you to explore several villages in one day – some of which would be impossible to reach by public transport.