6 best things to do in Stow-on-the-Wold, The Cotswolds

Stow on the Wold

As one of the larger of the charming Cotswolds towns and villages, I think Stow-on-the-Wold makes a great base for exploring the area.

I find it to be a wonderfully charming town. Whether you’re visiting as a day trip or longer stay, I love that Stow offers plenty to its discerning visitors.

My guide to visiting Stow-on-the-Wold takes you through all you need to know about this beautiful market town.

I’ll cover the best things to do in Stow-on-the-Wold, as well as my top tips for visiting. Read on and let me help you plan your perfect visit to this lovely part of the Cotswolds.  

Author Bio: Jessie Moore

Jessie Moore is a luxury travel expert with years of experience travelling the world to find the best destinations, hotels and adventures.

Stow-on-the-Wold – what you need to know

Where is Stow-on-the-Wold?

Stow-on-the-Wold is the highest town in the Cotswolds and can be found on the historic Fosse Way, an ancient Roman route.

In a sense all local roads lead to Stow, as several important routes connect at the crossroads here.

Stow is in the centre of the Cotswolds, and can be midway between the popular locations of Moreton-in-Marsh and Bourton-on-the-Water. The town is within the county of Gloucestershire. 

Parking in Stow-on-the-Wold

I’m pleased to say that Stow-on-the-Wold parking is relatively good, making this one of the best Cotswolds spots to drive to. There is some time-restricted parking on the square, as well as a longer stay facility on the Fosse Way.

Maugersbury Road in central Stow also has a pay and display car park, and disabled parking can be found at all locations. 

Best things to do in Stow-on-the-Wold

1. Stow-on-the-Wold walks

In my opinion, taking a walk to soak up the scenery found in the town – and the breathtaking Cotswolds countryside – is one of the simplest and best things to do in Stow-on-the-Wold. 

The favourite options include:

  • Water Mill to Lower Slaughter loop
  • ‘Battle of Stow’ route
  • Warden’s Way
  • Moreton-in-March route
  • St Mary’s church loop

These vary in length from 4 to 12 miles, and also in difficulty due to the type of terrain. 

2. See ‘The Hobbit Door’ at St Edward’s Church

St Edward’s church is one of almost 100 Grade I listed buildings in Stow-on-the-Wold.

This mediaeval church is known for its ‘Yew Tree Door’ or ‘Hobbit Door’ – that you’ve probably seen all over my Instagram! This can be found when heading around the churchyard to the north porch.

The door is said to have inspired Tolkien himself, and whether or not that’s true it’s certainly incredibly photogenic.

This human-sized, solid wood door is topped by a pretty, intricate arch and framed by evergreen foliage. 

3. Visit the local tearooms

Believe me, the good people of the Cotswolds do cakes, coffee and afternoon tea very well indeed.

With a great choice of tearooms, Stow-on-the-Wold is one of the best places to kick back and relax while being served fluffy scones, freshly baked cakes or more delicate sweet treats.

Take a look at my top picks below for inspiration. Or you could simply wander the streets before popping into whichever local place looks most inviting. 

4. Soak up the atmosphere at Market Square

Stow-on-the-Wold’s charming Market Square is very much at the centre of life in this Cotswolds town – both physically and otherwise.

Market Square in Stow-on-the-Wold

It’s a surprisingly spacious meeting point, lined with quaint pubs as well as plenty of the antique and antiquities shops Stow is famous for.

I think that simply wandering the square, people-watching and dipping in and out of shops and cafés is a lovely way to spend a morning, afternoon or evening in this gorgeous Gloucestershire town. 

5. Cotswolds Cheese Company

With stores located in nearby Moreton-in-Marsh and Burford as well as Stow-on-the-Wold, the Cotswolds Cheese Company has certainly made a name for itself as a supplier of the finest artisan cheeses.

Whether it’s soft, hard, goat’s, blue or ewe you prefer, you can sample and buy them all at this local deli and gift shop. If you’re a cheese lover like me, I know you’ll love this place!

Fosse Gallery was established in 1980 and is renowned for its collection of contemporary works by British artists. It is regarded as one of the most important venues of this type outside London

Located in the Manor House on the square, the gallery holds regular exhibitions and events. It also sells modern artworks that can be yours to own and admire forever. 

Where to visit near Stow-on-the-Wold

I have no doubt that spending time in Stow-on-the-Wold in the Cotswolds is highly likely to whet your appetite for exploring more of this glorious area.

While you’re in the region, other top local places to discover include Bourton-on-the-Water and Castle Combe.

Bourton-on-the-Water is known as the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ due to the River Windrush flowing through it, while Castle Combe is equally charming, historic and picturesque.

If you’re planning a trip to the area, make sure you check out my guide to the best hotels in Stow-on-the-Wold. I’ve also written guides to the best pubs and restaurants in Stow, plus my favourite cafés.

Looking for more inspiration? Start with my guide to visiting the Cotswolds or discover my Cotswolds articles:

Or check out more of my Cotswolds villages guides:

Get access to my Cotswolds travel guide

I have curated all of my Cotswolds knowledge and recommendations into one comprehensive guide, complete with an interactive map, filtering options and itineraries. 

It’s available to buy through Rexby and you can preview parts of it for free. Get in touch if you have any questions about my Cotswolds guide!

Jessie Moore
Jessie Moore

Jessie is a luxury travel expert with years of experience travelling the world to find the best destinations, hotels and adventures.

Find me on: Web | Instagram


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Want up to 25% off hotels?

Subscribe to my newsletter and get immediate access to my guide on how to save money on flights and hotels. Our weekly emails are filled with adventure inspiration, insider travel tips and exclusive discounts.