Whether you are lucky enough to live in the beautiful Cotswolds and are looking for things to entertain you this winter, or you are planning a break to the countryside, there are plenty of great things going on in the Cotswolds this winter to get involved in.
From exploring the beautiful countryside that this part of the country is famous for, to visiting the picture-perfect towns and villages and getting festive at the Christmas markets, there will be plenty to keep you happy.
We’ve selected our top 5 things to do in the Cotswolds this winter right here.
1. Visit The Cotswold Distillery
Escape the chilly winter air of the Cotswolds this winter, into this gorgeous Cotswold distillery that is nestled in the beautiful countryside in Shipston-on-Stour. The Cotswold Distillery offers you a rare opportunity to see a range of different spirits being made. You’ll either need to drive to this lovely spot by car or you can take a train to Banbury Station and jump in a taxi from there.
From single malt whiskey to gins and liquors, the Cotswold Distillery lovingly makes the drinks from start to finish and if you book a tour before you travel here they will happily show you around. The guided tours give a detailed account of how the spirits are crafted and the hard work that goes into each and every bottle of drink.
At the end of the tour snuggle down in their cozy tasting room and sample the range on offer before deciding whether to take any spirits home with you. The tours run from Monday to Saturday 9-5 pm and Sunday 11-4 pm and do make sure to call ahead before just turning up to avoid disappointment.
2. Visit Malmesbury Abbey
Malmesbury itself is a simply beautiful Cotswold town in the county of Wiltshire with loads going on from gorgeous boutique stores to shop in, to amazing places to eat and drink, and we absolutely love visiting the stunning Abbey in Malmesbury too. With approximately 65,000 visitors coming through the Abbey each year it is a popular spot and you’ll see why.
Rich in history, this 12th-century Abbey will take you on a journey back through time and still has frequent services going on so if you do like to go to church then why not combine a tour this winter in the Cotswolds with a service too? There is a lovely cafe that is open during the weekdays for a coffee or a bite to eat and there is also a gorgeous bookshop to browse. Once you’ve spent time at the Abbey why not wander into Malmesbury itself and go for a walk or grab lunch at one of the abundance of cosy pubs which are sure to have a nice hot fire roaring through those winter months?
3. Upton House and Gardens
Upton House and Gardens is a lovely day out in the Cotswolds this winter although only open at weekends through the colder months. Lord Bearsted made Upton his family home back in 1927 and set about creating the perfect place to live. Explore the house with its fashionable tastes of the day.
The gardens are the perfect place to explore on a crisp winter day, with an Aster collection of 100 varieties, a bog garden, and an orchard that will be bare during those harsh winter months but drip fruit when the cold seasons end. The whole family is welcome to visit Upton in the Cotswolds this winter, from little people running around in wellies to the older generation strolling quietly around enjoying the views. Once you’ve enjoyed exploring the house and gardens head for the Pavillion restaurant for a bite to eat or grab yourself a Christmas treat from the shop.
4. Visit the Christmas Markets
If you do find yourself in the Cotswolds this winter then a visit to the local Christmas markets is a total must and if you can catch some lights being turned on then you’ll definitely be put into the Christmas spirit. There is an abundance of Christmas markets to choose from but some of our firm favourites include Bath, Cheltenham, Chipping Campden, and Cirencester.
You’ll find that some of the larger markets offer ice skating and a Santa’s Grotto for the kids and you can enjoy a nice Apres-skate mulled wine from one of the many stalls. Get your Christmas shopping ticked off the list and enjoy a lovely family day out.
5. Sudeley Castle Spectacle of Light
Prepared to be wowed at the annual Spectacle of Light taking place at stunning Sudeley castle in the beautiful town of Winchcombe in the Cotswolds. Experience the night-time magic of Sudeley through the illuminated trails that depict Alice in Wonderland theme this year. Children and adults alike will love this truly gorgeous event at Sudeley which ends on the terrace where you can drink mulled wine and tuck into some lovely food.
If you are in the Cotswolds this winter and fancy going to this magical experience then be sure to book tickets before arriving as it can get busy.