The ancient Market Place in Northleach and the streets leading from it are rich in architectural gems: many half-timbered Tudor buildings survive, some encroaching into the Market Place where the stallholders decided to
provide themselves with more permanent premises.
However, the jewel in Northleach's crown is the magnificent wool church of St. Peter and St Paul. Undoubtedly, one of the finest examples of the Cotswold Perpendicular style, its elegant pinnacled south porch is acknowledged to be one of the finest in the country.
The church is very light inside because of the many large windows filled with clear or yellow glass, which was fashionable in 15th century England.
The tower houses a chiming clock, and a Carillon, which plays the tune 'Hanover' every 3 hours day and night, starting at midnight - the church booklet tells us that this equals 8760 times a year! The town can also boast of good restaurants and speciality shops.
Brightwell cum Sotwell is only 2 miles away from the historic, small market town of Wallingford. Situated on the banks of the River Thames, Wallingford is a fine example of a Saxon burh, or fortified town. A large 6th century pagan cemetery indicates the early presence of Saxons. In 1066 after the Norman Conquest William the Conqueror ordered a castle to be built at Wallingford, which became one of the strongest in the country and gave Wallingford a renowned importance. Although the castle was destroyed in the 17th Century and only few fragments of the wall remain, the earthworks and meadows have undergone a transformation into a delightful area to walk around and enjoy the ecological and historical nature of the site.
Dorchester, home of many picturesque country cottages and houses, just 3 miles from Wallingford. In Saxon times it was the seat of a bishopric that stretched north as far as Lincolnshire. The church of the great abbey, which dates from the late 12th century, still remains. Teas and fantastic home made cakes are served in the church every Saturday and Sunday afternoon all through the summer.
Also 3 miles from Wallingford is the attractive village of Ewelme which has medieval origins that are still visible in the school, the almshouses and the 15th Century church which Geoffrey Chaucer’s grand daughter, Alice, spent her life restoring.
Generally regarded as the gateway to the Cotswolds. The wide High Street contains all manner of houses, shops and inns, some dating back to the 15th century. Burford is home to a fine church with a slender
steeple part of which dates back to the 11th century.
Towns and Villages further afield (under 1 hour's drive)
Towns and villages nearby
The Cotswolds have some of the most picturesque towns and villages in England, each with their own unique past. These are some of our favourites.
Moreton in Marsh is a tourist centre with several gift and craft shops which also, every Tuesday, claims the largest open-air street market in the Cotswolds with over 200 stalls. On the first Saturday in September it holds an fascinating Agricultural Show
Moreton in Marsh
The attractive village of Bourton on the Water features in most guide books to the area. The River Windrush flows alongside the high Street, with several stone bridges across the slow (and shallow) river. Bourton has a rather romantic setting and many visitors enjoy the village’s busy atmosphere after the genuinely peaceful Cotswold scenery.
Bourton on the Water
A small town rather than a village, Painswick, which has been called 'Queen of the Cotswolds', is one of the most beautiful places in the area.
In the heart of Painswick is the Parish Church, once a possession of Llanthony Priory and almost wholly 14th century in character. Around the Churchyard are said to be 99 yew trees, most of which were planted in or around 1792.
The clipping ceremony (embracing the church, not clipping the yews) is held annually in September-a survival of a far earlier rite when local people joined hands to encircle the church and sing hymns.
Painswick House is a Palladian mansion of the 18th and 19th centuries which is set within Painswick Rococo Garden which is open to the public.