Quintessential honey stone buildings, cosy cafes and thriving independent stores, from artisan crafts to antique coves, all set among beautiful rolling hills. The market town of Stow on the Wold epitomises everything we love at The Cotswolds. In the 19th century it was the go-to destination for farmers and its medieval fairs could see up to 20,000 sheep traded in one day. The farmers market still thrive today with locals and tourists flocking to the town to pick up locally grown or made treats.
“Stow on The Wold is a beautiful market town and a fantastic hub for the gorgeous surrounding villages and countryside. There are some fabulous places to eat out and we love the various boutique shops. We have a real soft spot for The Curated Store which always hosts fabulous brands-definitely worth a visit during your next trip”
- Francesca Sharvell
At 800 feet above sea level, Stow on the Wold is the highest town in The Cotswolds with “wold” meaning high open land or moor. Its high vantage point gave the town a long history, with humble beginnings as a prehistoric fortified settlement on top of the hill. A destination for history lovers, here you will also find England’s oldest inn!
Stow on the Wold has wide variety of homes from classic Cotswold stone cottages and converted farm houses on the outskirts of town, to delightful, beautiful town houses in the centre. Whether you prefer to be within the thriving market town or enjoying settings a little more rural, Stow on the Wold has plenty of choice.
As a market town, shopping in embedded in Stow on the Wold’s history, so you know it does it well! It of course has the regular farmers market in the main square but wander into the winding streets and you’ll find independent boutiques, artisan sellers and antiques.
One of our favourite place to explore is the Curated Store which showcases a different independent brand each month, offering a range of fashion and lifestyle products, gifts and more. It’s the perfect place to discover and support small brands.
For interior lovers, with finds of both old and new, Domestic Science is the place to go for vintage wares and to shop contemporary British brands. Tara’s antique centre is the place to while away time and get lost while browsing the eclectic, unique antiques from 30 dealers over three floors.
With plenty of cosy tea rooms and farm shops mingling with pubs and AA rosette eateries, it’s easy to find somewhere that caters to your tastebuds in Stow on the Wold.
For day time eats, tea rooms are hugely popular here. Our favourite is Lucy’s Tearoom, serving cream teas and homemade cakes alongside delicious soups and light lunches. The Old Bakery Tea Room is another option offering a delightful menu of cakes, savoury crumpets, homemade soups and plenty more. To experience a little bit of Cotswold’s foodie history, head to Huffkins an award-winning British bakery that’s been serving up baked treats since 1890. Located in a historic 17th century building in the market square, it’s the perfect spot to indulge in brunch, afternoon tea or shop for luxury food gifts.
For fine dining, there’s plenty of choice too. The Old Butchers is a former butcher’s shop turned it into a buzzing restaurant with gourmet dining and a tantalising menu that changes daily as they buy produce fresh and often need to work around suppliers. In the nearby Slaughter villages you’ll find the acclaimed luxury 17th century Lords of the Manor, a AA top 200 hotel in the UK and Manor House, a proud holder of three AA rosettes with chef Nick Chappell championing Cotswold regional produce.
For those visiting the area, there are plenty of beautiful places to stay, from guest houses to high end hoteliers all focussed on comfort and good food.
If you wish to stay in luxury English history, you can’t go wrong with The Porch House which has been certified as the oldest Inn in England dating from 947AD and authenticated by the Guinness Book of Records. While historic, the rooms are anything but dated with each room beautifully designed with vintage touches to make for a wonderful night’s sleep.
For a stay with a great reputation for friendly hospitality and excellent service, the Stag Lodge Hotel is located within its own beautiful grounds and had been run by the same family for over 50 years. For comfy sophistication The Sheep on Sheep Street offers 22 rooms and its simplicity in interiors paired with the beamed ceilings bring a contemporary feel to a traditional inn stay.
Alongside the attraction of boutique and market shopping, Stow on the Wold is a hub for festivals throughout the year. The Stow Cotswold Festival takes place in July every other year, celebrating Cotswolds life, crafts and heritage. It alternates with The Stow Motor Show, a huge event for engine enthusiasts with everything from vintage super cars to tractors making an appearance.
Also, no time spent in The Cotswolds is complete without a visit to the nearby Daylesford Organic. About a 10 minute drive from Stow on the Wold, it’s so much more than just a farm shop with a cafe, garden shop, workshops, cookery school, spa and plenty more on offer.
Stow on the Wold is a buzzing town to fully embrace Cotswolds living. From being able to easily shop from local vendors and suppliers while also surrounded by plenty of fresh air and rolling hills to escape to peace and quiet, Stow on the Wold is a great choice for those seeking a contemporary, country lifestyle.
Stow on the Wold enjoys good connections with surrounding cities and London. From nearby Moreton in Marsh and Kingham, you can catch direct trains to London Paddington and the M40 is easily accessible for routes to London, Birmingham and Coventry. Stow also offers great bus connections to surrounding towns and villages.