Editor’s Choice…Only The Best Will Do...

Historic Buildings          Gardens          Country Parks & Places of Natural Interest           Museums & Galleries          Buying Art          Cathedrals & Churches          Birds & Wildlife          Transport Interests





Almshouses, Chipping Campden

You will pass these on your left as you make your way toward the Parish Church. Built about the same time as the Market Hall (in 1627) by the town’s wealthy benefactor, Sir Baptist Hicks. 

Arlington Row, Bibury

These iconic cottages were originally monastic wool barns. However, in the C17 they were converted into weavers’ homes. Now domestic dwellings where they overlook Rack Isle a 4-acre water meadow where cloth was once hung out to dry. 

Badminton House

The home of the Dukes of Beaufort and venue for the annual Badminton Horse Trials. The Estate was bought by the Worcesters in 1682. It was the 3rd Duke who was responsible for the house as we see it today. First, he invited James Gibbs to set about remodelling the East and West wings, then William Kent finished the North Front in the Palladian style. Fox hunting has been a great passion of the Beauforts. Their early forebears hunted all the way to London and back. Publishing was another passion. From 1885 to 1902 they devised The Badminton Library of Sports &  Pastimes - an  aristocratic leather bound series of books that was more like a combination of Punch, and your High Street cricket, or football magazine, albeit, a little more high brow. And, of course, the game of Badminton was re-introduced here in 1873 following its Indian origins.

The House is closed to the public. The closest you’ll get is to visit during the Three Day Horse Trials. 


Berkeley Castle

Home of the Berkeley family for the last 850 years. It remains a splendidly preserved Norman fortress with an enclosing curtain wall. Scene of Edward II’s murder in 1327. Lovely terraced gardens. Superb Butterfly House.

Open East to Oct Su-W 11-5.  

01453 810303

Blanket Hall, 100 High St, Witney

When it was built in 1721 every blanket woven in Witney came to Witney Blanket Hall to be tested for quality, and upstairs the weavers sat in court to regulate their affairs. Now, blanket making has gone but the Witney Blanket Hall still proudly stands with its beautiful Great Room and its famous one-handed clock. A pocket-sized tribute to a proud past. Now, it has once more come to life as a place where visitors can explore the intricate mysteries of the blanket trade. There’s the 1920s blanket warehouse, the soundscape on the grand oak staircase, the re-planted C18 garden by the river... and not forgetting the Blanket Hall Pieshop!

Open Tu-Sa 10-5, Su 10-4.  

01993 706408

Blenheim Palace, Woodstock

This is the home of the Dukes of Marlborough and was built as Queen Anne’s gift to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough for his defeat of Louis XIV in 1704 - ‘a monument to commemorate a military victory and to glorify the Queen.' It is considered to be Vanburgh’s C18 baroque masterpiece although much of the detail was by Nicholas Hawksmoor. There are fine paintings, Churchill Exhibition, tapestries, a 10,000 volume library and parkland designed by ‘Capability’ Brown. Plus, other attractions: the Butterfly House, Marlborough Maze, Adventure Play Area and Herb Garden. Restaurant.

Palace open from mid-February to mid-December, daily to 1 November, then W-Su 10.30-5.30 (last admission 4.45pm).

Park open daily, all year, for rambling and dog walking, 9-6.  

01993 810530  


Bredon Barn

A beautifully constructed large medieval threshing barn extending to 132 feet. Expertly restored after fire.

Open mid-Mar to end Oct W Th & W/Es 10-6.

01452 814213

Broadway Tower Country Park

A unique Cotswold attraction: an C18 folly tower with historical and geographical exhibitions. Country retreat of the pre-Raphaelite, William Morris. Breeders of red deer with adventure playground, nature walks and Morris & Brown Cafe with quality giftshop. Superb views from the top of the Tower - a clear day gives a view of 12-counties. Nuclear Bunker.

Open daily all year, the Cafe from 9-5, Tower 10-5, NB 10-4.45 at W/Es & BHs.  

01386 852390

Broughton Castle, Nr Banbury

A moated medieval manor house substantially enlarged in the C16. Magnificent plaster ceilings, fine panelling and fireplaces. Interesting Civil War connections. In the family of the Lords Saye and Sele for over 600-years. Multi-coloured borders. The location for much of the film, Shakespeare in Love. Tearoom.

Open Apr-Sept W, Su & BH Ms 2-5.  

01295 276070

Buscot Park

C18 house with park and superb water garden designed by Harold Peto. Collection of art: Italian, Dutch, Flemish, Spanish and English Schools. Chinese porcelain. Tea room.  Open late Mar to Sept W Th & F (including Good F, East W/Es) 2-6, and alternate W/Es in each month 2-6. Grounds M & Tu 2-6.
01367 240786

Copyright National Trust Images: David Sellman/Stephen Robson

Charlton Park 

Palatial mansion built in 1607. Home to the Earls of Suffolk since the C16. There are 4,500 acres of arable and woodland with trout fishing and game shooting on hand. It is also the venue for WOMAD, the World of Music, Arts & Dance festival with its own park and camping facility.  

01666 822146  

Chastleton House & Topiary

Jacobean Manor associated with the Gunpowder Plot retains its faded glory with a superb collection of tapestries, original furniture and ornamental topiary. Don’t miss the church next door.

Open Mar to October W-Sa 1-5 (-4 in October).  

01494 755560


Chavenage, Nr Tetbury

A haunted Elizabethan manor house that has remained virtually unchanged for 400-years. A replica of a bygone age. It contains two complete tapestry rooms, furniture and relics of the Civil War.  Guided tours by members of the Lowsley-Williams family. Specialises in weddings and corporate events.

Location for much of the current Poldark TV series.

Open East Su & M, also May to Sept Th & Su 2-5.

01666 502329

Chedworth Roman Villa, Nr Northleach

Discovered in 1864 by a local gamekeeper and later excavated between 1864 and 1866 revealing remains of a Romano-British villa containing mosaics, baths and hypocausts. Family trails. Museum.

Open daily mid-Feb to late-Nov, from 10 am.

01242 890256

Cheltenham College

An independent Public School of architectural renown distinguished by the superb Chapel and Refectory. The ground for the oldest cricket festival in the world (first staged in 1872) which takes place every summer.

To visit contact 01242 522697

Corsham Court 

Home of the Methuen-Campbells since the C15 - the current inhabitants are 8th generation. The building dates back to 978 when it was a summer palace for the Kings of Wessex. Major alterations were undertaken in the C16 and C18s, with the house being converted to an E-plan in 1582. In the  C19, however, major dry rot problems were found which set back the family’s finances. The gardens were laid out by Capability Brown. The current mansion has a superb collection of paintings by Joshua Reynolds, Van Dyke and Phillipo Lippi among others, as well as Chippendale furniture.

Open summer, late Mar to 30 Sept daily except M & F 2-5.30, winter 1 Oct to late Mar W/Es 2-4.30 (closed Dec). 

01249 712214  

Dunkirk Mill Centre, Nailsworth

A mill with machinery driven by the largest working water wheel in Gloucestershire. Displays on the finishing processes of fulling, teasel raising and cross cutting. Access is via the Cycle Track by Egypt Mill.

Open Apr to Sept on odd W/Es 2-4.  

01453 766273   -   stroud-textile.org.uk

Compton Wynyates

A Tudor dream house built 1460 with multi-coloured bricks; pale rose, crimson, blood red, shades of orange and bluish brown. Twisted chimneys. Panelled rooms. Plaster ceilings. Perhaps, the most romantic of all England’s country houses. Sadly, no longer open. May be glimpsed through the trees from the nearby road. Home to the Marquess of Northampton. 

Dyrham Park, Nr Bath

C17 William and Mary mansion house set in a deer park with elegant formal gardens. The house belonged to the family of Sir William Blathwayt’s wife, Mary Wynter. Blathwayt was Secretary of War to William III (1671-1720). Sir William started to remodel the dilapidated Tudor mansion on site in 1692-1699. Victorian domestic quarters, Splendid collection of Dutch paintings. Film location for ‘Remains of the Day’ (1993).

Open Mar to 30 Oct daily 10-5. Park open all year.

0117 9372501                              nationaltrust.org.uk
Copyright National Trust Images/Arnhel de Sera/Andreas Von Einsiedel/Chris LaceyJames Dobson

Farnborough Hall

A beautiful honey-coloured stone house sits in parkland crated in the 1740s. Noted for the exquisite C18 plasterwork. Parkland walks and lake views.

Open Apr to Sept, W & Sa 2-5.30.

01295 690002  

Frampton Court, Frampton-On-Seven

 A Grade I Vanbrugh House, garden and family home. Fine panelling, original furniture and porcelain, 1732. Superb Gothic C18 garden building, The Orangery for self-catering accommodation (sleeps 8). Fine landscaping with park, lake and ornamental canal. Home of the ‘The Frampton Flora’ a famous wild flower painting. C16 Wool Barn for hire. Country fair in September.

Available for B&B & House Parties.  

01452 740698

Frampton Manor

Grade I timber-framed medieval Manor House with walled garden and barn. C12 Birthplace of ‘Fair Rosamund’ Clifford, mistress to Henry II.

House and garden open by written appointment, for groups of 10, or more.

Tours: 01452 740268.

Frocester Court’s Medieval Estate Barn

This is an enormous barn built between 1284 and 1306. It remains the second largest in England and is one of the best preserved with a massive oak roof.  It is used every day by the farmer who owns it.

For conducted tours (of 5 or more) call: 01453 823250. 

Hailes Abbey

Built in 1246 by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, brother of Henry III having vowed he would set up a religious house if he survived a storm at sea. The abbey became a popular place of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages until Henry VIII closed it down. It remains an attractive ruin with many surviving artefacts on display in the museum.


Open daily Apr-Oct 31, 10-dusk.

01242 602398

Kelmscott Manor

The Elizabethan home of William Morris, the C19 poet, craftsman and socialist. Houses his furnishings which can be identified as examples from the Arts & Crafts Movement. Paintings by his fellow pre-Raphaelite, Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Tearoom & Gift shop.

Open Apr to Oct W & Sa 11-5. Group bookings on Th by arrangement.

01367 252486

Kingston Bagpuize House

A beautiful early C18 manor house in parkland setting. The garden contains shrubs, bulbs and herbaceous borders.

Teas. Small gift shop.

Open all BH W/Es and various Su, Feb to Sept 2-5.  

01865 820259

Lacock Abbey

Founded in 1232 by Lady Ela, the Countess of Salisbury as a nunnery for the Augustinian order. The abbey prospered from the wool trade in the Middle Ages but its religious foundation came to a sad end following the Dissolution of the Monasteries. It was converted into a country house around 1540 and eventually passed into the Talbot family. In the C19, William Fox-Talbot lived here, and began experimenting with photography. In 1835 he invented the negative-positive process. His achievements can be seen in the museum. The gardens are a great attraction especially the Victorian woodland and Fox-Talbot’s botanic garden.

Abbey & Museum open daily mid-Mar to 1 Nov from 11 am
(Abbey closed Tu & W, Museum open winter W/Es).  

01249 730459
www.nationaltrust.org.uk        Copyright National Trust Images: Andrew Butler/Andreas von Einsiedel/Mark Bolton

Lodge Park

A ‘little’ property with a big (boozy) history. A grandstand (folly) built by John ‘Crump’ Dutton in 1634 so he could watch deer coursing in comfort, and share his passion for gambling, drinking and entertaining his friends.

Open early Mar to 30 Oct, F & W/Es 11-4.

01451 844130      
Copyright National Trust Images: John Hammond/Nadia Mackenzie

Market Hall, Chipping Campden


This iconic image was funded by Sir Baptist Hicks (merchant banker) in 1627, for the sale of cheese and butter. It is Jacobean with pointed gables. 



Minster Lovell Hall


A picturesque C15 ruin beside the River Windrush. Reputed to be the haunted seat of the Lovell family.

Open daily. Don’t miss the Church, next door. 

Newark Park, Ozleworth

Former Tudor hunting lodge with an eclectic art collection. 

Countryside walks. Plant sales.

Open mid-Feb to Oct  M & W-Su & early Nov to mid-Dec W/Es from 11.

01453 842644

Copyright National Trust Images: Andrew Butler/Andreas von Einsediel/James Dobson


No 1 Royal Crescent, Bath

Built between 1767 and 1774 by John Wood the Younger to be the finest house in Bath. It was considered to be the very embodiment of C18 urban architecture and was used to accommodate wealthy visitors and royalty. It portrays a vivid picture of Georgian Bath and you, too, can bathe in the brilliance of C18 life by experiencing the Entrance Hall, Dining Room, Study, Drawing Room, Bedroom and Kitchen.

Open Tu-Su 10.30-5.30, M 12-5.30.

01225 428126

Roman Baths, Abbey Church Yard, Bath

The centre of this great city, and the centrifugal force of nature that created Bath. This is where the story began in 863 BC when King Bladud discovered the hot springs whose rich mineral waters were to have magical healing powers. The Romans built a great temple around the spring and dedicated it to the goddess, Sulis Minerva. What is extraordinary to fathom is that the hot water erupts at 46 degrees centigrade at a rate of 240,000 gallons (1,170,000 litres) per day. Where does it all go after this you may well ask?

The main features are: the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House and the Georgian Pump Room, a neo-classical salon where the hot spa water is available for consumption, along with morning coffee, lunch and afternoon teas.

Open daily from 9.30 to dusk.  

01225 477785      romanbaths.co.uk

Photographs copyright Bath & North East Somerset Council

Owlpen Manor, Nr Uley

An iconic group of picturesque Cotswold buildings: Manor House, Tithe Barn, Church, Mill and Court House. Water Garden and terrace. The Tudor manor dates from 1450-1616 but the whole estate has 900-years of history to tell.

Holiday cottages for hire. Events.  

01453 860261

Pittville Pump Room, East Approach Drive, Cheltenham

A masterpiece of C19 Greek Revivalism adorned with colonnaded facades, portico, pillared and balconied hall.

Open daily, except during private functions.  

Park with children’s playground.

01242 523852  

Postlip Hall & Tithe Barn, Nr Winchcombe

A former Jacobean Manor House set in 15-acres. Postlip Hall has been for the past 40-years a co-housing idyll. Eight families live in separate dwellings working the organic kitchen garden and grounds and pursuing their own creative pleasures; be it writing, painting, sculpting or inventing.

The original tithe barn is also in continual use except when it is hired out as a venue for weddings, parties and beer festivals


Rodmarton Manor, Nr Cirencester

This is a unique building built by Ernest Barnsley and his Cotswold group of craftsmen for the Biddulph family from 1909 to 1929. It displays Cotswold “Arts and Crafts” furniture, metalwork and wall hangings. The 8-acre garden is a series of outdoor rooms and is a marvel throughout the year.


Open Feb, then May to Sept W, Sa & BHs 2-5.  

01285 841442  


Rousham Park, House & Garden

Castellated house built c.1635 by Sir John Dormer. Remodelled by William Kent c.1773 to a Gothic style. Royal Garrison in Civil War. Beautiful garden with temples, dovecote and walled garden.

No children under 15. No dogs.

Garden open all year, 10-4.30.

House open May to September for groups by prior arrangement.  

01869 347110


Sezincote House & Garden

House designed in the Indian style (and inspiration for the Brighton Pavilion) is beautifully set in an oriental water garden.

House open May to Sept Th F & BH Ms 2.30-5.
Garden open Jan to Nov Th F & BH Ms 2-6.  

01386 700444


Snowshill Manor & Garden

A Cotswold manor house containing Charles Paget Wade’s extraordinary collection of craftsmanship and design amounting to some 22,000 items; from toys to musical instruments, Samurai armour, to clocks, and bicycles.

Open daily mid-Mar to 30 Oct 11-5.30, house from noon.

01386 852410  
nationaltrust.org.uk                      Copyright National Trust Images: John Millar/Stuart Cox

Stanway House & Water Garden

This exquisite Jacobean Manor House and Gatehouse is built from the local stone known as Guiting Yellow which lights up when the sun touches it. All is set within an enchanting and ancient parkland designed by a numerologist, the home of the Earl of Wemyss and March. The restored C18 cascade (fountain) and canal was designed by the highly respected Charles Bridgman, and plays at 2.45-3.15pm and 4-4.30pm.

Open June to Aug,Tu & Th 2-5.

01386 584469


Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe

A Tudor house and the original home of the Seymour family. Katherine Parr, widow of Henry VIII lived here and lies buried in the chapel. There is a fine collection of needlework, furniture and tapestries plus paintings by Van Dyck, Rubens and Turner. All surrounded by award-winning gardens and open parkland.


The Castle is open daily early Mar to 30 Oct 10-5.  

01242 604244


Swalcliffe Barn

Early C15 tithe barn with fascinating displays of Oxfordshire’s agricultural and trade vehicles. Exhibition of 2,500 years of the area.

Open East Su to Oct Su & BH Ms 2-5.  

01295 788278


The Circus, Bath

Originally named King’s Circus, the vision and brilliance of John Wood the Elder was built between 1754 and 1768. Sadly, he never saw his plans reach fruition. It was left to his son to complete the project. It was John Wood’s intention to create a classical Palladian architectural landscape, inspired by Rome’s Colosseum. The Circus is made up of 33 terraced houses. Thomas Gainsborough lived in No.17 from 1765-1774. In 1942 several were destroyed during the blitz. 

The Old Mill (Museum), Lower Slaughter

This iconic C19 flour mill has been lovingly restored into a small museum with ice cream parlour, tea room and mill shop. The proprietor is the lead singer in a Jazz band. Hence, the funky music.

Open daily, 10-6.

01451 820052


The Royal Crescent, Bath

Built by John Wood the Younger between 1767 and 1774, and all houses were occupied by 1778. Today the 30 original homes are split into flats, houses and an hotel and many are privately owned. A society was founded in 1973 to protect the Crescent for future generations. Interestingly it took the society 18 years to persuade the council to ban tourist buses and coaches from entering the crescent.



Tyndale Monument

Built by the people of Berkeley in 1866 to honour the memory of their famous son and martyr William Tyndale 1490-1536. Tyndale translated the Old and New Testaments which was considered at the time a heretical offence and he was summarily executed for his transgressions. His work became the foundation of the King James Version of the Bible. The monument rises to 111 feet and has an inner spiral staircase which ascends to a stupendous viewpoint.

Open as advertised.  

Upton House & Gardens

This house exhibits the lifestyle of a 1930s millionaire. It also has an outstanding display of English and Continental Old Masters paintings plus a wealth of herbaceous borders, terraces and tranquil water gardens.

Open most days.

01295 670266

Copyright National Trust Images: Rupert Truman/Angelo Hornak/John Hammond/Nadia Mackenzie

Whittington Court

An impressive, statuesque Cotswold stone house beside a  pretty church.  Home of the Whittington Press.

Open Easter fortnight, then mid to end Aug, 2-5.

01242 820556



Woodchester Mansion

Be prepared for a good 1-mile walk from the car park down to this  unfinished masterpiece of Victorian stone masonry set in a secret Cotswold valley. The restoration project is on-going and ambitious. Bat Exhibition.

Open F, W/Es & BH Ms, Apr-Oct 11-5.  

01453 861541

Photos supplied by Goldeneye Guides, National Trust & Subject

Photographers - William Fricker, David Sellman, Stephen Robson, Arnhel de Sera, Andreas Von Einsiedel, Chris Lacey, Derrick E. Witty, James Dobson, Paul Barker, James Dobson, John Hammond, Mark Bolton, Nadia Mackenzie, Andrew Butler, John Millar, Nick Meers, Stuart Cox, Rupert Truman