A short distance from Oxford can be found a large number of beautiful villages in the Cotswolds. They range from small towns to very small villages of just a few houses. In some you can still see the evidence of their earlier trades; they are market towns in the heart of the wool trade. What they have in common is their beauty. They have houses built from local stone (which can be honey coloured that glow in the sunlight) and each village has its own charm and character. Some are quite busy while others are really tranquil.
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Here is a selection of some of the villages - there are many more!
Bampton, Banbury, Bath, Bibury (which William Morris called the most beautiful village in England), Bourton on the Water, Broadway, Burford, Charlbury, Chipping Campden, Evesham, Lower Slaughter, Moreton in Marsh, Snowshill, Stow on the Wold, Stratford-upon-Avon, Upper Slaughter, Witney, Woodstock
Here is a short description of some villages
Bourton on the Water
One of the most popular villages in the Cotswolds, it is also known as the Venice of the Cotswolds The River Windrush runs right through the centre so that the attractive low bridges crossing it create a really picturesque setting.
Moreton in Marsh
This town has a long wide High Street, and allows the visitor to feel the presence of an ancient market town with coaching inns dating back to the 13th century – you can still experience a market because every Tuesday it hosts the largest open-air street market in the Cotswolds.
Stow on the Wold
A planned market town with a very long history with a part linked to the English Civil War. St Edward’s Church was used as a prison for the defeated Royalist troops. The town is built on a hilltop, making it the highest of the Cotswold towns, and contains a large and impressive market square. Originally famous for its sheep fairs, it is still famous for its collections of antiques.
This is a charming and unspoilt village just a short distance from the famous village of Broadway. Snowshill has an impressive church and a range of beautiful cottages. It also boasts the manor house, Snowshill Manor, which is owned by the National Trust and which can be visited.