Stow on the Wold
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About Stow on the Wold
Stow-on-the-Wold is the kind of picturesque market-town that you only see on postcards. Perched atop an 800ft hill in the Cotswolds, it is the picture of a charming rural idyll and is the perfect place for a romantic getaway or a countryside escape. With an awesome array of boutique shops, hearty English pubs and tearooms, the town itself is easy (and lovely) to get lost in, and as you venture further afield, across the pleasant green hills and pasture, you come face-to-face with medieval castles, battlefields and Roman villas. Our collection of the best places to stay in Stow-on-the-Wold have an authentic feel with roaring fires, creaking floorboards and exposed beams.
Stow has a long history. Standing on an 800ft hill, it was originally an Iron Age settlement. After the Norman Conquest, it was officially founded, owing to its position near certain trade routes that the Normans were eager to exploit. It was even the site of several battles during the English Civil War, and St. Edward's Church housed Royalist prisoners after the Battle of Stow in 1646. Like much of the Cotswolds, it has relied on its wool industry and the vast market square is a testament to this - the site of nationally-renowned annual wool fairs - where some 20,000 sheep were traded on a single day. The farmer's market is still held monthly, on the second Thursday of every month.
The square is a marvellous place, with its feet still stuck firmly in the past. On one end is an ancient cross and on the other is the town's stocks, used traditionally for pelting local miscreants with rotten tomatoes or dung, while around the square stand old Cotswold townhouses, as if in a time warp. Throughout the town are scattered high-end fashion boutique shops, antique-sellers, hearty English pubs, tearooms, art galleries and gourmet restaurants. There is even a museum dedicated to a classic Cotswolds pastime: cricket, which is a must-see, showing the history of the sport through the ages.
What not to miss
- Museums: check out the Cricket Museum. Detailing the history of the sport along with displaying an impressive array of artefacts from all over the world and memorabilia from famous cricketers.
- Historic sites: St. Edward's Church is a must-see. Architecturally beautiful, built between the 11th and 15th centuries, it housed Royalist prisoners during the English Civil War. For more ancient remains, check out the Chadworth Roman Villa, roughly 30 minutes away by car. For more prehistoric sights, walk to the Rollright Stone Circle nearby.
- Markets: the farmer's market is held on the town's square on the second Thursday of every month, between 9 am and 1 pm.
- Fairs: the Gypsy Horse Fair, held biannually in May and October, is only 10 minutes from the town and is a real spectacle.
It's not surprising that this is a popular spot, so to ensure a spot at one of the best places to stay in Stow-on-the-Wold we recommend you make your travel plans well in advance.
The best places to stay in Stow-on-the-Wold
A luxury stay
- Crestow house: a Victorian-era manor home offering classic luxury. Think; a suave bar, heated outdoor pool and grand interiors.
- The Sheep on Sheep Street: offering 22 spacious rooms that blend modern comforts with traditional styles - think exposed beams and stone walls - and there's a restaurant serving delicious locally-sourced food. Ideal for couples.
- Old Stocks Inn: a real treat. With 18 chic rooms, a garden pizza oven and a restaurant serving good old-fashioned English pub-grub, it makes for a delightful stay and is great value for money.
A country house
- Trinity House: featuring just three rooms this is a charming intimate B&B set in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
On a budget
- The Bell at Stow: a charming hotel offering 13 comfortable rooms and an excellent pub serving hearty local fare. Great for exploring local sites.
- The Porch House: Britain's oldest inn (founded in the 10th century) offering 13 stylish rooms with exposed stone walls and wooden beams. Amazing value for money.
For an apartment or cottage
- For something a little more private why not look through the options our partner Booking.com has which include a wide range of cottages and apartments in the nearby area.
- Fly to Bristol International Airport, get a train to Cheltenham Spa and then a bus to Stow.
- If you want to rent a car we suggest contacting our partner Rentalcars.
- The best time to experience the true beauty of the Cotswolds is in the summer, when the fields glisten golden in the sunshine, and when the temperature lies between 14 and 20 degrees.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Stow on the Wold
The Sheep on Sheep Street Stow on the Wold (Gloucestershire) 22 rooms from £90Local exploring - The Sheep on Sheep Street is a great base from which to explore the quaint Cotswolds!Romantic Break - Chic accommodation and top-notch grub make this an ideal spot for a romantic breakLocal markets - Be sure to check out the town's Farmers' Market-held every second and last Thursday of the monthGreat walks - Go for a lovely long walk through the gorgeous Batsford Arboretum
The Sheep on Sheep Street is set in the historic market town of Stow on the Wold. This property boasts chic renovated interiors and spacious accommodation featuring king sized beds and en suites. Only one dog-friendly room so be sure to check in advance! Locally sourced food. A lovely unfussy stay! See More
The Porch House Stow on the Wold 13 rooms from £99Historic - C.947A.D. England's oldest Inn.Value chicOutstanding location - In the Cotswolds: Area of Outstanding Natural BeautySights nearby - Stow on the Wold, a picturesque market town.
Britain's Oldest Inn (c.947AD) offers thirteen comfortable and stylish rooms in its English Heritage listed building. Think exposed beams, exposed stone walls, roll top baths and Nespresso coffee machines as standard. The perfect base for exploring the Cotswolds and great value for money. See More
Old Stocks Inn Stow on the Wold (Cotswolds) 18 rooms from £99Local exploring - Perfectly located for exploring the CotswoldsSights nearby - Chastleton House, Blenheim Palace and all the beautiful Cotswold villages in the surrounding area.Great walks - Good local walks right from the doorstepRecommended by - Sawdays
A traditional country inn with a modern twist. This boutique hotel has 16 stylish bedrooms with big comfortable beds and contemporary Scandinavian design features. A bright yellow roll top bath and cosy patterned throws. Artisan coffee, a garden pizza oven and good modern British food. See More
The Bell at Stow Stow on the Wold 13 rooms from £99Local exploring - A great base from which to explore Stow and the surrounding Northern Gloucestershire countryside.Great walks - The surrounding area is full of wonderful walking routes such as the Cotswolds Way.
Trinity House Stow on the Wold 3 rooms from £120Sights nearby - The famous gardens of Hidcote and Kiftsgate make a great day out.Restrictions on children - This is an adults only propertyGreat walks - Good for walkers.Views - Great views from hotelRecommended by - Sawdays
Charming and intimate B&B in a quintessential Cotswold village, set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, with views of Evenlode valley. Just three lovely ensuite rooms, all with super king sized beds and the finest Egyptian cotton linens. Breakfast is a feast of local produce. See More
Crestow House Stow on the Wold 7 rooms from £130Groups - Offering all its rooms and exclusive use of the house and gardens to family groups, celebrations and weddingsCountry Escape - Set in the beautiful Cotswold region of England, Crestow offers a real escape into idyllic rural EnglandSights nearby - An abundance of local sights are in easy access, such as the maginificent Blenheim PalaceSwimming Pool - Seasonal outdoor heated pool
Set in a picturesque Cotswold village, this Victorian-era manor home promises a stay of classic luxury. The rooms feature wood-beamed ceilings and both wood and embroidered furnishings of a classical style. With a suave bar, heated outdoor pool and quaint garden, expect to be charmed. See More