Sign up to receive our Cotswolds lifestyle journal and latest market analysis to your inbox

I’m a buyer I’m a vendor

The best towns in The Cotswolds to visit and call home

Whether you're seeking a serene weekend escape or scouting for a town to make your forever home, few regions in the country offer the unique blend of beauty and vibrancy found in the towns of The Cotswolds. In this blog post, we're excited to share a selection of our personal favourites, delving into what makes them such delightful destinations to visit and exceptional places to call home.

Chipping Norton

Nestled in the Cotswold Hills of Oxfordshire, Chipping Norton, fondly referred to as 'Chippy' by locals, is a charming market town and civil parish approximately 18 miles northwest of Oxford. Revered for its traditional Cotswold character, Chipping Norton is a hub of activity, boasting antique shops, a bustling market, and a vibrant town centre that attracts both locals and visitors alike. Not only does it offer a variety of dining options, but it also hosts an intimate, high-quality theatre renowned for its pantomime shows and visiting world-class performers.

For history enthusiasts, Chipping Norton presents several intriguing attractions including the Grade I listed St Mary’s Church, the imposing Bliss Mill—now converted into luxury flats—and the infamous Town Hall.

What makes Chipping Norton a great town to call home?

If you love the outdoors, then Chipping Norton is an idyllic town to reside with plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking, golfing, and swimming nearby. Despite its quaint size, Chipping Norton encompasses several distinct suburbs and neighbourhoods, each exuding its unique charm. The peaceful countryside lifestyle, coupled with the convenience of a larger town, makes Chippy especially appealing to first-time buyers and families seeking serenity in a scenic location.

For more information on Chipping Norton and the surrounding area, we've published a useful area guide that you might want to check out.


Situated in the Cotswold district of Gloucestershire, Tetbury is a historic town and civil parish built on the site of an ancient hill fort. The town was home to an Anglo-Saxon monastery as early as 681. As the second-largest town in The Cotswolds, Tetbury boasts an ideal location—10 miles from Cirencester, 5 miles from Malmesbury, and within easy reach of Bath by car or bus.

Tetbury flourished as an important market for Cotswold wool during the Middle Ages, and its character remains virtually untouched since its 16th and 17th-century heyday. Today, Tetbury is recognised for its boutique shops, delectable food, and its royal connections—it's the home of King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla.

Why consider moving to Tetbury?

Beyond its posh reputation and old-money aesthetics, Tetbury is a highly sought-after property destination. The town effortlessly blends high-end atmosphere with a warm, family-friendly vibe. This lively spirit is best showcased during the famous Wacky Races festival held every May Day. With lots of local activities, abundant green spaces, and excellent schools nearby, it's no surprise that Tetbury ranks high on many people's list of preferred places to settle down.

For a more comprehensive insight into life in Tetbury, peruse our detailed area guide.


Perched atop a picturesque flat hill and surrounded by the River Avon, Malmesbury is a captivating town and civil parish in north Wiltshire. Its strategic location—approximately 14 miles west of Swindon, 25 miles northeast of Bristol, and 9 miles north of Chippenham—makes it easily accessible.

Malmesbury is renowned for its rich history as England's oldest borough and its stunning 12th-century Abbey, which often graces #beautifulcotswolds Instagram posts. However, the charm of this market town extends far beyond this. Its high street is brimming with independent shops and eateries, all nestled under the shadow of the magnificent Abbey. Malmesbury also hosts numerous annual events and festivals, celebrating music, culture, and food.

We love Malmesbury as a well-connected town to live in The Cotswolds.

With its historical allure, excellent connections to surrounding cities and towns, and status as one of the most beautiful towns in the country, it's no wonder that Malmesbury is a desirable location for potential homeowners. Despite the outstanding Ofsted-rated schools and expansive choice of activities for all ages, the housing prices remain on par with the average for most Cotswold towns.

To delve deeper into the wonders of this historic town, explore our comprehensive area guide.


Nestled on the banks of the River Windrush in Oxfordshire, Burford is often hailed as the 'gateway' to The Cotswolds due to its prime location—18 miles west of Oxford, 22 miles southeast of Cheltenham, and a mere 2 miles from the Gloucestershire boundary.

Burford's acclaimed high street gracefully descends towards the river, flanked by an unbroken row of ancient houses and shops, and boasts a stunning three-arched medieval bridge and an impressive church. These architectural gems, along with the intriguing alleyways and side streets, serve as constant reminders of the town's rich history. St John’s Church, nestled beside a set of medieval almshouses, stands as a testament to Burford’s medieval prosperity. Burford is also known for its appearance in the popular series, Inspector Morse.

Why is Burford a popular town to live in The Cotswolds?

In a recent survey conducted by Naturecan involving over 5,000 people, Burford was voted the coolest place to live in Oxfordshire. Factors such as the number of independent shops, the range of cultural events, and its 'Instagrammable' appeal contributed to this ranking. As the gateway to The Cotswolds, Burford offers all the benefits of Cotswold living while still maintaining easy commutes to larger cities. With its picturesque surroundings, it's no surprise that many people are choosing to settle down in this charming town.

For a more in-depth exploration of Burford, read our detailed area guide.


Cheltenham, a vibrant blend of traditional charm and modern flair, is much more than just the host of the renowned four-day horse jumping event. This Cotswold hub boasts a unique festival atmosphere, a collection of both independent boutiques and well-known high street stores, and an impressive choice of dining options ranging from street food to Michelin-starred fine dining.

The town's Regency buildings, including the iconic Pittville Pump Room, are a testament to Cheltenham’s storied past as a spa town. Beyond its famous horse racing, Cheltenham is also the venue for over 30 significant festivals annually. These include the world's longest-running literary event, the Cheltenham Literature Festival, and the Cheltenham Music Festival, which has been entertaining audiences for over 75 years.

We love Cheltenham as a buzzing Cotswolds town to live in.

In 2020, The Sunday Times honoured Cheltenham as the best place to live in the South West, citing its outstanding education, rich culture, and excellent connectivity as some of its standout features. The town offers an exceptional selection of schools, ranging from private and grammar schools to highly-rated comprehensives. Its superb connections to major cities like Bristol, Birmingham, and London further enhance its appeal as a preferred place for settling down.

For a more comprehensive understanding of life in Cheltenham, read our detailed area guide.


Situated just minutes away from the breathtaking countryside and picturesque Cotswold villages, Cirencester is a historic Roman town with excellent road links to the M4 and M5 motorways. Positioned 80 miles west of London, it nestles on the banks of the River Churn, a tributary of the River Thames. As the eighth largest settlement in Gloucestershire and the most populous town in The Cotswolds, it proudly bears the title of 'Capital of The Cotswolds'.

With its charming, narrow streets lined with ancient honey-hued stone buildings, Cirencester invites you to lose yourself in its stunning beauty and rich history. This town offers an impressive number of historic sites, excellent transport links, abundant green spaces, and a wide variety of culinary and shopping experiences.

If you're considering making the 'capital of the Cotswolds' your home, you're not alone.

Thanks to its highly regarded schools, vibrant lifestyle, and prime location, property prices in Cirencester have surged by over 25% compared to 2020. Although this might seem steep, what you're investing in is a remarkable standard of living in one of the happiest places in the country—surely a decision you won't regret.

For more insights into Cirencester and its surroundings, why not check out our comprehensive area guide?


Perched nearly 800ft above sea level, Stow-on-the-Wold holds the distinction of being the highest town in The Cotswolds. Located at the convergence of several roads on the Roman Fosse Way, its large and impressive Market Square stands as a testament to the town's historical significance. The square is encircled by townhouses, independent shops, antique centres, charming cafes, and inns, all constructed using the local mellow stone. History is deeply embedded in this town, as evident in the medieval Market Cross at the town centre, where the Royalists surrendered to Parliamentary forces following the Battle of Stow in 1646.

Despite its modest population of just over 2,000, Stow-on-the-Wold has a unique allure.

Charming old bookshops, remarkable architecture, quality food shops, excellent dining options, quaint tea shops, and classic Cotswold antique dealers all contribute to its appeal. With convenient train links—the local station is a mere ten-minute drive from the town centre—and several schools rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted, life in Stow-on-the-Wold promises an exceptional quality of living.

For a more detailed exploration of what Stow-on-the-Wold has to offer, read our comprehensive area guide.


Dubbed as 'The Queen of the Cotswolds', Painswick is among the most exquisite and well-preserved towns in The Cotswolds, nestled amidst some of the region's most scenic countryside.

As a historic wool town, Painswick is adorned with beautiful buildings that line its narrow streets. Intriguingly, the oldest building in England to have housed a Post Office can be found on New Street. With the country’s oldest bowling green and the iconic parish church of St. Mary—nestled amongst 99 yew trees creating one of the most unforgettable churchyards in the country—history truly permeates every corner of this captivating town.

While Painswick may often be overlooked as a place to settle, its location at the midpoint of the Cotswold Way and its proximity to splendid walking trails make it a hidden gem.

The world-renowned Rococo Gardens, the Painswick Beacon, and the picturesque villages of Sheepscombe, Edge, and Slad—all within a couple of miles from the town centre—add to its charm. Painswick offers all the essentials for day-to-day living, including healthcare facilities, local shops, galleries, tea rooms, restaurants, and two pubs. Sports enthusiasts will appreciate the range of clubs—including tennis, cricket, and rugby—based out of the Painswick Centre.

To delve deeper into what Painswick has to offer, read our comprehensive area guide.