Cotswolds features on list of best driving routes in UK

The Cotswolds has been named as one of the best driving routes in the country.

According to Heritage Car Insurance, who compiled the list, the 57-mile route will take you through the heart of the Cotswolds, giving you the full view of the green fields and a picture-perfect countryside landscape.

“There aren’t any tricky roads to watch out for along the way and, although it can get slightly narrow in places, the route is pleasant and straightforward, they said.

“It is also estimated to take less than two hours of driving, which will give you plenty of time to stop off at the various attractions you’ll pass en route.”

Full details of the route are below. Let us know what you make of it and which places would feature on your ideal road trip through the Cotswolds.

The route

Your route will begin along the A44, and follow the road towards the north eastern part of the Cotswolds. Upon entering the Cotswolds area, you’ll first drive past the grounds of Blenheim Palace, which is a great place to visit at the start of your journey.

The Palace is a World Heritage Site, and famous for being the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. There’s something to pique everybody’s interest here, too; you can visit the Rose Garden, see the Palace itself or even take a few pictures of the legendary Harry Potter tree, also known as the infamous Whomping Willow.

The Palace has also featured in a few well-known films such as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Spectre, and The Avengers. And, if that doesn’t interest you, why not try and work your way around the Marlborough Hedge Maze – although you may want to set aside some time for that one!

Your drive will continue along the A44, before you’ll take a left turn on the B4437. There’s a petrol station on the corner here which could be a good place to fill up along your route.

The drive is a scenic one, with luscious green fields on either side of you, and an arrow-straight road leading you directly towards the small village of Stonesfield. You’ll find a number of quaint countryside villages and towns along your way; from Stonesfield, your route will take you through the centre of Fawler, then up to the town of Charlbury.

The roads between each location are fairly easy to navigate, with scenery to enjoy on either side of the road. If you’re feeling peckish, you may want to stop off at one of the inns at Charlbury for some traditional pub food. For history enthusiasts, Ascot d’Oilly Castle is located just under 5 miles away from the centre of Charlbury. Only a fragment of the castle remains today as a Grade II listed building.

From Charlbury, your route will continue along the B4437 until you reach the right turn for Pudlincote Lane and head towards the small village of Churchill. Here, the road will move from a B-road to a country lane, so from this point it becomes slightly narrower – you may want to be aware of any blind bends and oncoming vehicles.

Once you reach Churchill, you may want to stop off and visit the Churchill and Sarsden Heritage Centre, which tells the history of a ‘lost’ village that burned down in a fire in 1684.

Stow-on-the-Wold is another great place to stop during your drive, with a car park near the main square. The town square is a beautifully historic market square, and has plenty of cafes, restaurants and small shops to browse through. You could also have a look at the Market Cross, which was first erected in the 14th century.

Your drive will then continue southward on the A429. The road here is easy to navigate and quite scenic in itself, with a beautiful canopy of trees overhead. Just over 4 miles away, you’ll approach Bourton-on-the-Water, which is home to the highly rated Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection.

The museum promises a great visit for those who enjoy motoring history, and features a look through the motoring timeline of the 20th century. You can also visit the fascinating Model Village, which is only a stone’s throw from the museum. The Village, which is a replica of Bourton-on-the-Water, is one of 35 model villages around the UK, and even features mini gardens.

From Bourton-on-the-Water, continue your drive on the A429 towards Perrott’s Brook. The 14-mile stretch between both locations is very straight, so there are no turns in the road to watch out for – only the serene countryside views. Once you turn right towards Perrott’s Brook, however, the road becomes slightly narrower, so be careful to watch out for oncoming vehicles around each bend. If you fancy parking up and stretching your legs, you could stop at Cerney House Gardens, a beautiful 3.5 acre walled garden which is open to the public every day of the week. Just a short distance away, you may also want to stop off at Cirencester, which is home to the Corinium Museum. This is the perfect stop for those interested in Roman history, as many of the exhibits have been found in the local area; the remains of the Roman town of Corinium Dobunnorum.

Your driving route will finish in the small, idyllic village of Amberley. If you’d like a bite to eat at the end of your drive, The Amberley Inn is a local favourite, offering an award-winning menu with produce sourced from local farms. Amberley is also well-known for its golf course, which is only a minute or so from the end point of your route, and well worth a visit for any interested golfers.

What to expect

  • Your journey through the Cotswolds has plenty of countryside views and quaint villages to visit. It can be quite a popular tourist destination in the summer months, so if you’re planning a summer drive you might want to give yourself some extra time to complete your journey.
  • If you want a longer driving route, there are plenty of routes through the Cotswolds to choose from, as nearly all the roads offer beautiful panoramic views of the countryside.
  • The route through the Cotswolds is best taken on a sunny day, so you can fully appreciate the view of the surrounding area.
  • In some areas the road can become quite narrow, with trees on either side of the road; pay attention to any oncoming traffic, especially on any blind bends and on the roads in the centre of each village.
  • The roads through the Cotswolds can be quite popular with cyclists, so it’s important to drive carefully and take your time when driving around or behind them.

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