If you are trying to plan your trip to England then we do understand guests want to see as much as possible. The Cotswolds may be the main part of your holiday or a small element of your trip, perhaps a couple of nights. With so many things to research we wanted to make your visit as easy as we can to plan.
50% of our guests make a day trip to the Cotswolds as part of stay in London or Oxford. For guests that want a little longer to explore, the top question we get asked by guests visiting and taking a Cotswolds tour with us is where should they stay.
Richard & I live in a small village in the North Cotswolds and the majority of our guests arrive via train to Moreton in Marsh Railway Station only a few miles from where we live. We have designed a selection of tours that focus on the North Cotswolds region….remember the Cotswolds covers 800 square miles & would take a lifetime to explore. Taking a tour with us means we can show you all the very best spots & you don’t need to worry about navigating the public transport (which is very limited) or having to drive down teeny weeny country roads then have the hassle of finding somewhere to park.
Where does Cotswolds Guided Tours collect from?
To give our Cotswold tour guests as much flexibility as possible we have a wide area where we offer free collections. I hope this post will cover different options for you on where to stay, the price & style of the accommodation varies. We offer free collection from the following Cotswold locations, Moreton in Marsh, Stow on the Wold, Chipping Campden, Broadway, Bourton on the Water & Chipping Norton, along with the smaller villages surrounding them. We can also offer, for a small additional fee collection from, Burford, Cirencester, Cheltenham, Stratford Upon Avon, Banbury, Woodstock. This is to cover the fuel & the extra time it takes to reach you. Rest assured if you have paid for a collection, the travel time it takes to get back to the Cotswolds doesn’t come out of your tour time. Take a look at our handy map on our website to see all of our collection points
It is important to mention that none of the hotels below have sponsored us & we do not take commission from hotels…this way you can be assured that these are our favoured suggestions, not locations we are promoting because they pay us to! We always recommend checking the latest reviews to make sure the accommodation sounds right for you before booking.
As you can imagine there are lots of hotels to choose from, today we are going to focus on Moreton in Marsh, Stow on the Wold & Chipping Campden.
Where to stay in Moreton in Marsh?
A small market town in the Evenlode Valley Moreton-in-Marsh is within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This Cotswold market town stands at the crossroads of the Fosse Way Roman Road & is served by the local railway station along with a couple of local bus routes. Moreton is a great stop for those travelling by train, with many hotels located a short walk from the railway station, which links travellers South to Oxford & London Paddington or North to Worcester & Hereford. Moreton in Marsh, dates back 1000 years to the Saxon era. With elegant 17th and 18th Century buildings along the wide main street, one building of note, a former manor house is where King Charles I took refuge during the Civil War. In the centre is the Redesdale Hall dating from 1887 which is the town’s main public hall with its arches (now bricked up) that originally provided shelter for dairy farmers & vegetable growers selling their items at the market. There is a weekly market every Tuesday, selling a variety of handmade items, local produce & general market fare.
Tolkien Fans....the Bell Inn Public House, located along the main street in Moreton in Marsh will be a must if you’re a fan of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings works. It’s believed that the Bell Inn was Tolkien's inspiration for the Prancing Pony Inn in the Fellowship of the Ring, where Gandalf was due to meet the Hobbits. Tolkien loved exploring the Cotswolds & would stop off in Moreton in Marsh on his way to visit his brother who owned a farm in Worcestershire. If Moreton in Marsh sounds like a good fit for you, we would recommend the following options:
The Redesdale Arms, with its central location the award winning 34 bedroom 3* hotel offers a mixture of doubles, twins and junior suites with sofa beds. The rooms are spread between the original main building, dating back to 1650, and to the rear of the building in the original stable block or courtyard. The Manor House Hotel, Manor House Hotel, is an enchanting 16th Century Cotswold retreat where you can both indulge and relax in a homely atmosphere. 35 beautifully designed bedrooms, a 2 AA Rosette restaurant & with views overlooking their stunning gardens. The White Hart Royal a former 16th century coaching inn and is as comfortable and elegant today as it was in its coaching heyday. Rooms vary in size & shape offering a selection of small doubles, deluxe & superior options. A historic hotel with a characterful and intriguing past, with on-site bar & restaurant. The Bell Inn. Bell Inn public House, Moreton in Marsh, five recently refurbished spacious & airy rooms – each with ensuite shower rooms, complimentary toiletries, flat screen TV, hospitality trays, free WiFi. With connections to JRR Tolkien, who it is believed used the Bell Inn as the inspiration for the Prancing Pony Inn in his Lord of the Rings novels.
Where to stay in Stow on the Wold?
If you are arriving by train to Moreton in Marsh then you can catch a taxi to Stow on the Wold, which would cost around £20 or take the local 801 bus which takes just over 10 minutes from the railway station & drops you off right in the centre of Stow on the Wold. At nearly 800ft Stow on the wold is the highest of the Gloucestershire Cotswolds Market Towns and famous as a centre for antiques. As you will see the town radiates from the market square surrounded by a beautiful selection of buildings. Originally called Stow St Edwards or Edwards Stow after the towns patron saint it is often referred to as Stow on the Wold where the wind blows cold because of this hillside location. You will see as we walk around many references to the wool trade, Sheep Street is a good example. During its hay day as many as 20,000 sheep would be driven into the market square on sale days. Markets have taken place here since 1107 when Henry 1 granted a royal charter for a weekly market and over time Stow became one of the most flourishing wool markets in the country. Many of the buildings in the market square date back to the 17th and 18th century.
The Bell at Stow, a country style pub, with boutique rooms & seasonal menu, located on Park Street a short walk from the market square.
The rooms at the Kings Arms are all stylishly decorated in contemporary Cotswold country style with modern ensuite bathrooms. Each has a TV, hairdryer and tea and coffee making facilities. The main building accommodates seven ensuite bedrooms, some with a steep climb up the original staircase which is rewarded with a view out across Market Square. The three split-level ‘stable’ rooms are in the courtyard on the site of the original coaching inn stables.
Across the market square you will find the small but mighty Lucy's Tearooms, with two charming & comfortable B&B rooms, a delicious breakfast & onsite tearoom. Opposite you have the village green & the medieval stocks, here you will find the aptly named Old Stocks Inn, this recently refurbished the 17th-century coaching inn offers boutique luxury in a stunning location. With a selection of rooms, onsite restaurant & coffee shop it is easy to relax & soak up the charm of the Cotswolds.
The Stag is also located in the heart of Stow on the Wold, with 22 rooms, a bar & restaurant they have a walled garden & courtyard, ideal to relax with a glass of wine after a day exploring the region. Stow Lodge, a 17th century manor house has been owned by the Hartley family for over sixty years. It retains plenty of old-world charm and character, with traditional décor and furnishings throughout, the property is set back from the market square in beautiful gardens. Another option would be The Porch House, reputed to be the ‘oldest inn in England’ and dating back to 947AD.
Where to stay in Chipping Campden?
This beautiful high street with buildings that seem to be hustling for space and leaning every which way is the perfect back drop for a few nights stay in the heart of a thriving community. Chipping, meaning market & Campden, meaning valley with enclosures. Just knowing the meaning behind the name, helps one to visualise that this is a market town in the bottom of the valley! If you approach this town from the South or West, you are rewarded first with a sight of the impressive tower of St. James Church. One of a handful of 'wool churches' in the Cotswolds. Small boutique shops & restaurants line the main street along with the accommodation we would recommend.
A wonderful selection of places to stay can be found in the historic market town of Chipping Campden, we have listed some of our favourites. The Cotswold House Hotel & Spa, is an award-winning Grade II listed town house, complete with a tranquil spa, with 28 rooms, a relaxed bistro & formal dining. Noel Arms, has 28 guestrooms featuring complimentary WiFi, private bathrooms with shower/tub combinations. There is an on-site restaurant & bar, complimentary English breakfast is included with your stay. Woolmarket House, a luxury award-winning boutique-style bed and breakfast accommodation in Chipping Campden. Full of period charm, the four rooms feature designer fabrics, treasured-antiques, large comfy beds, in-room entertainment, contemporary ensuite bathrooms and gorgeous eco-friendly products to pamper yourself with, the perfect country escape.
Just remember if you are booking with Cotswolds Guided Tours & you are staying in a location that we would normally visit on your guided tour, we will swap that location out for a new one. We always want to ensure our guests see as much as possible throughout their stay in the Cotswolds.
We hope you have found this post useful for your next ‘escape to the Cotswolds countryside’. Next week our blog post will cover where to stay in Broadway, Bourton on the Water & Burford.