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Exploring the Cotswolds in a hire car

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Exploring the Cotswolds in a hire car

Sometimes you just need to escape and have a retreat to the great outdoors. Immersing yourself in rolling hills and fresh air can do wonders for recharging the batteries, and in the Cotswolds, you get all the natural goodness as well as picture postcard villages and towns steeped in history!

The Cotswolds is perfect for tourists wanting to get a true taste of British heritage and is a chance for Brits themselves to escape the hustle and bustle of city life a retreat to an area filled with rolling hills, historic country estates, stunning gardens and medieval churches. The Cotswolds is proof that nature’s beauty beats 21st-century advancements, hands down. On your next trip to the area, here are our favourite villages to visit in your journey around the Cotswolds:

Bourton on the Water

Bourton on the Water is perhaps the most famous village in the Cotswolds, and for good reason. With cafés, pubs and shops are built around a small river, the village is truly picturesque. The scenery (along with the meandering river) leads to the village often referred to as the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’.

Many of the buildings here date back to Elizabethan times and there are plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy.


A trip to Lacock is as close as you can get to jumping into a time machine. The village is owned and managed by the National Trust, meaning that all of the buildings have been preserved to a high standard and on the large remained unchanged.

The unique appearance of the village has led to it being used to scene filming for Harry Potter, Downton Abbey and Pride and Prejudice. Have a wander around and see if you can spot some famous locations either on the streets or in the buildings.


Stow-on-the-Wold is one of the Cotswolds largest villages and there is plenty to explore amongst the honey-coloured buildings. The streets are lined with independent shops, boutiques, cafés and The Porch House, believed to be England’s oldest inn - dating back to 947!

Make sure you pay a visit to St Edward’s Church, an old church flanked by yew trees. Eagle-eyed Lord of the Rings fans will spot that the church doors are believed to have inspired The Doors of Durin.

If you time your trip in the summertime, there are plenty of festivals happening in and around the village, too!


Broadway’s heart is a wide street lined with art galleries, independent antique shops and restaurants. It’s easy to spend a day here leisurely working your way around the shops and galleries.

If you’re looking for something more adventurous, you could walk up to Broadway Tower. The tower, which is at the top of the second highest point in the Cotswolds, has stunning far-reaching views of the up to 16 counties on a clear day!

Just eight miles from Broadway is Sudeley Castle, a castle with a captivating history and large award-winning gardens.

Car hire

We might not have a car hire branch based in the Cotswolds, but if you are travelling to the area we are based in many cities surrounding the area. Closest to the Cotswolds, we have branches in Bristol, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Luton, all within easy reach!

Use our online booking platform to browse your car hire options.

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