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The Best Historic Houses and Gardens to visit in the Cotswolds

Explore the prettiest houses, castles, and gardens in the iconic region known as the Cotswolds.

Kelmscott Manor in Gloucestershire

The Cotswolds is the largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the country, covering 787 square miles across six counties. Beautiful countryside, picturesque villages, and vibrant market towns make the Cotswolds one of the most enjoyable places to visit – a true tourist’s dream.

And of course, a region of such breathtaking natural beauty is going to be a hub of historic houses and gardens. Some of our most impressive houses which open their doors to visitors are located in the Cotswolds. Here, we’re highlighting the very best. You can also view a map of all of these houses here.

Gloucestershire

Gardens in Gloucestershire

Kiftsgate Court Gardens, Chipping Camden

Kiftsgate is a family-run garden in the Cotswolds featuring rare plants and shrubs including the world-famous Kiftsgate rose.

It is the creation of three generations of female gardeners. The upper gardens around the house are planted to give harmonious colour schemes, whilst the sheltered lower gardens recreate the atmosphere of warmer countries.

Kiftsgate Court Garden

Upton Wold, Moreton-In-Marsh

Upton Wold is known as the hidden garden of the Cotswolds.

Set in a beautiful Gloucestershire landscape, this private garden has been created over thirty years, originally with the help of landscape architects Hal Moggridge and the late Brenda Colvin.

Upton Wold Garden has an exceptional collection of trees, shrubs and plants, and also holds a National Collection of Juglans (Walnut) and of Pterocarya. It was awarded Judges' Choice Historic Houses Garden of the Year 2022.

Upton Wold Gardens in Gloucestershire

Painswick Rococo Garden, Painswick

Painswick Rococo Garden is one of the country’s sole surviving complete rococo gardens.

Designed in the 1740s as a fanciful pleasure garden for Benjamin Hyett and his guests, this hidden valley offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and intriguing garden buildings.

A visit to Painswick Rococo Garden will take you back to the elegance and sophistication of the early 1700s. This was a time when gardens were fashionable theatrical sets, providing a stunning backdrop to decadent garden parties.

Painswick Rococo Garden in Gloucestershire

The Garden at Miserden, Stroud

With terraces overlooking the Golden Valley, The Garden at Miserden dates back to the seventeenth century.

The estate encompasses 850 acres of woodland, farmland, and gardens providing a sanctuary for wildlife and a tranquil escape to allow you to spend time with your family and friends.

From early spring visitors can enjoy beautiful flowering beds, shrubs, and fine topiary. Within the walled garden generous herbaceous borders run down either side, with a pergola of roses, stately spires of delphiunium and fine specimen trees nestle together with hydrandea villosa.

The Garden at Miserden fountain

Did you know?

The word Cotswolds derives from two words: Cot meaning a sheep enclosure and Wold being a hill, thus “sheep enclosures on the hills.” A lot of the wealth in the area comes originally from the wool trade.

 

Oxfordshire

Did you know?

The Porch House pub in Stow-on-the Wold can claim to be England’s oldest pub as it dates back to 947 AD when it was a hospice (a place of rest and refreshment) attached to Evesham Abbey.

Wiltshire

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Forde Abbey in Somerset

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