There’s no best time to visit this English cluster of quintessential villages – famed around the world for their honey-coloured houses, picturesque scenery and sedate way of living. The Cotswolds has become a bit of an institution, a place that many people dream of visiting and one that is longing to be ticked off many a bucket list.
Whether you’re visiting during the frost-laden months of winter, during the beautiful autumnal months to see the leaves turning crisp and golden, or dream of venturing during the long months of summer to paddle in the shallow streams and enjoy home-cooked lunches in sun-filled beer gardens, the Cotswolds offer a warm and memorable welcome all year round.
With the promise of this glorious nation-wide heatwave persisting well into July, there’s no better time to visit the region. From a quick day trip to a long weekend, there are outdoor concerts, traditional country fairs and nostalgic events taking place over the next few weeks, so we thought we’d share a few favourites not to be missed!
Cotswolds AONB Hare Trail
The perfect family activity for a balmy summer’s day, the much-loved AONB Hare Trail features an adventurous trail of 5ft hare structures, carefully placed in towns and villages across the region. With bright and bold designs, and names like Wond-hare-land, Apoth-hare-cary and The Hare Raiser, this wonderful trail runs until 9th September.
Cheltenham Ghost Tour
Despite common misconceptions when it comes to the paranormal, Cheltenham’s Ghost Tours are not held to give you a fright or make you jump. Instead, they endeavour to shine a light on the town’s fascinating past by taking you on a historical journey through the streets to regale you with tales of mythical observations and eerie re-tellings.
Upper Slaughter Church Fete
“The Most Quintessential of Village Fete’s” is taking place on Saturday 14th July in Lower Slaughter. Situated on the beautiful banks of the River Eye, the afternoon promises to be wonderfully reminiscent of an Enid Blyton novel with an array of nostalgic activities, local stalls and delicious homemade cakes with teas and coffee served in the village hall.
Guiting Music Festival
Now in its 48th year, the Guiting Festival has earned itself a sterling reputation. Showcasing talent from around the world, its program features a variety of performers from the world of jazz, blues and classical. Held in the stunning grounds of Guiting Power near Stow-on-the-Wold, it takes place from 20th-29th July.
Stroud Country Show
Now it wouldn’t be summer without a traditional country fair, would it? The Stroud Show, held at Stratford Park, actually dates back to the Victorian era, but many decades on, it continues to showcase local crafts and agriculture. Held on Saturday 21st July, there really is a little something for everyone – from flowers to vintage motors, charity stalls to a beer tent!
Another summer activity which has grown tremendously in popularity over the last few years – heavily inspired no doubt by our friends across the pond – these outdoor cinema nights play classic films or new releases to an audience beneath the stars. Gary Oldman’s performance as Winston Churchill in the 2018 film, Darkest Hour, is deemed legendary and rightfully earned him an Oscar for Best Actor. You can watch the film and witness his uncanny portrayal of Britain’s formidable Prime Minister on the last weekend in July at the Corinium Museum in Cirencester.
Of course, there are many more events and activities happening across the region this summer that will convince you to visit, but even a simple amble along the banks of its meandering picturesque rivers will make a trip equally worthwhile too.
Make the most of Summer in the Cotswolds