Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire

High up on a hill, Stow-on-the-Wold is one of the quintessential Cotswolds towns that you just HAVE to see. It’s so charming; honey coloured stone, a big market square surrounded by shops and cosy cafes, with narrow streets leading off that are lined with charming cottages where wisteria and clematis scramble up the walls and a profusion of flowers tumble from hanging baskets in the summer.
The whole browsing/shopping experience is wonderfully relaxed; just potter around the shops and then find somewhere to settle down for a bite to eat. Of course, there’s no shortage of pretty little tea rooms so take your pick, or try The Old Bakery Tea Room, or Lucy’s Tea Room; if you’re after a more pubby atmosphere go to The Old Stocks Inn or The Bell at Stow and if you like a good restaurant there’s the Vine Leaf or The Old Butchers.
Worth seeing are the doors to St Edward’s church, flanked by ancient yew trees and believed to have inspired Tolkien to create the Doors of Durin in Lord of the Rings. On the second Thursday of every month there’s a bustling Farmer’s market bursting with local produce; in May and October each year people flock to the gipsy horse fair just outside of town, with proper Romany caravans and lots of colourful side stalls.

All information correct at the time of writing

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