Top places to live in Gloucestershire Stow-on-the-Wold
Yearning for roses-around-the-door charm and a quaint high street full of galleries and cosy country pubs? Stow-on-the-Wold isn't cheap, but it's the quintessential Cotswolds. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.
If you want rose-garnished cottages, wonky rooftops and great tearooms but with an easy route back to London, Stow-on-the Wold is a top choice. You get the full-on Barbours-and-Archers package here – it’s not a bucket-list Cotswold destination for nothing. Within easy reach of neighbouring Moreton-in-Marsh and the lively bars of Chipping Campden, charming Stow has a high street that’s incredibly characterful, full of indy boutiques, antiques and art galleries, and some really good gastro-pubs right on the doorstep.
Cotswold carb-heaven ‘Huffkins Stow’, and Lucy’s Tea Room hit the spot for afternoon tea, and we highly recommend heading to The Porch House – recently refurbed, and one of Britain’s oldest pubs, with wooden beamed ceilings and deep leather chairs. Its sister pub The Sheep – opposite on the high street – does a great seasonal food menu too.
If you love Farrow and Ball-hued shop doors that open with a delicate tinkle, you’ll adore Stow. No brash high street behemoths here, it’s indy heaven. Law and Company is a great go-to for hot, boho fashion. The Stow Flower Shop, run by two sisters, is glorious and The Cotswold Chocolate Company and Roly’s Fudge Pantry are as good as they sound. A brand new opening is Sorelle Country – a beautiful interiors shop with handpicked antiques and vintageware. Or head to Rosie B Interiors for more interiors and homewares. And of course, how could we not mention the hallowed halls of Daylesford, with its to-die-for foodhall, swanky homewares and fashion rails, just three miles away.
Batsford Arboretum is perfect for a wander and don’t miss its national collection of Japanese Cherry Trees (an amazing sight in Spring). Nearby are the National Trust’s Arts and Crafts-inspired Hidcote Manor and Chastleton House and the delights of stream-paddling and Birdland at Bourton-on-the-Water. Take a 15 minute hop across the border to the Rollright Stones, 5000-year old Neolithic stones which you can walk amongst (perfect for days out with kids and dogs). And Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park is nearby and brilliant family fun.
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Kitebrook Preparatory School in nearby Moreton-in-Marsh is an outstanding choice for ages 3 to 13, describing its tree-climbing, high-result achieving ethos as an ‘Enid Blyton experience with ambition’. The award-winning Rendcomb College – a day and boarding school for ages 3 to 18 – sits in a fairytale setting, has a brand new £3m theatre, and is just 25 minutes south. Or, check out Kingham School, an idyllically-placed, co-ed, non-selective school with outstanding academic results, and it’s just a hop over the border in North Oxfordshire. You’re also in the catchment for The Cotswold School – an Ofsted rated ‘Outstanding’ 11 to 18 Academy that’s highly popular.
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Local lore says the quirky tree-framed door of St. Edward’s Church inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. And the original village stocks, once used for public shamings, still exist in the square – a great spot for lunch on one of the surrounding benches as you watch the world go by.
Moreton-in-Marsh train station is four miles away, whisking you back to London in less than 90 minutes. And, it’s only a 30 minute nip to the M5.
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