Given the Cotswolds is one of the most beautiful places in England it’s not a surprise that there are over 1.5mn photos (I know!!) under the ‘cotswolds’ tag on Instagram! With dreamy villages, charming towns and incredible landscapes there are so many spots to take in, enjoy and to add your take on classic Cotswolds photos to the tag! Read on for 14 beautiful Instagram spots in the Cotswolds and let me know which is your favourite 😊
1. Castle Combe Village
Castle Combe is often said to be the prettiest village in England and when you see photos or visit it’s not hard to see why! It’s very tiny but very picturesque as the road through the village winds its way across a bridge over the Bybrook river and past the gorgeous cottages up to the market cross. There’s one shot in particular that is popular all over Instagram and it’s the one above, posing on the bridge with the dreamy village in the background 😍
2. St Edward’s Church, Stow-on-the-Wold
In Stow-on-the-Wold there’s a well known little door hidden in plain sight! With a mysterious lamp overhead and huge tree trunks towering over either side the wooden door towards the back of St Edward’s Church looks as though it could transport you into a magical world of fairies and goblins. It’s a popular spot to stop and pose, you just might have to do a little bit of searching to find it.
3. The Chipping Steps, Tetbury
The Chipping Steps in Tetbury is a wonderful little cobbled path that passes by the gorgeous weavers cottages along one side. It has origins in the middle ages and was once an old gateway into the town and leads up to the old market place. It’s an iconic location not just in Tetbury but in the Cotswolds so make sure to visit! It was just my luck that right at the top of the steps one house was having some work done and had a great big sand bag outside 😫 Thankfully there are lots of angles to capture this lovely spot!
4. The Lacock Bakery
The whole of the medieval village of Lacock is pretty Instagrammable because it really feels like stepping back in time (apart from the cars parked everywhere!). It’s one of the best preserved historic villages with lots of old buildings, thatched roofs and not a telephone wire hanging overhead in sight! The most well known spot here is outside the quaint Lacock Bakery with its lovely facade – even at 7am on a bank holiday you could almost smell the freshly baked bread floating through the air 🤤
Harry Potter fans should also check out Lacock Abbey for a wizard inspired addition to their Instagram feed!
5. Sherborne Street, Bourton-on-the-Water
Bourton-on-the-Water is a romantic village very close along the road to Stow so it’s very easy to do these two in one day! The river Windrush meanders through the village as low bridges traverse from one side to the other. In fact, it’s sometimes known as the Venice of the Cotswolds! My favourite spot along the river is Sherborne Street as it’s a great spot to sit with your legs dangling over the water and the iconic Motor Museum in the background – you can even visit Brum there!
6. The Swan Hotel, Bibury
Bibury may be small but it certainly has its share of popular Instagram spots including this one of The Swan Hotel that sits towards the end of the village. It’s a popular spot because of all the greenery and ivy that covers the charming hotel with the bend in the river adding to the composition. I would love to visit in Autumn as the leaves turn to gold then to orange and red!
7. Cotswolds Lavender
In June & July your Insta feed is likely to become full of purple. Specifically lavender shades of purple so vibrant you can almost smell the calming scent of the flowers wafting out of your phone to you. Get in on the trend and add your own take by visiting Cotswolds Lavender near Snowshill. It gets pretty busy as it is open for just a couple of months in the Summer but it’s so beautiful!
8. Market Square, Stow-on-the-Wold
An early start in Stow-on-the-Wold gets you lush golden light on a very quiet market square although not necessarily no cars! Unfortunately there was a great big long car outside the Posting House so this isn’t quite the shot I wanted but whichever part of the facades here you can get in shot it will look great – the history is palpable with the market cross and the ancient buildings.
9. Broadway Tower
Broadway Tower sits atop the second highest point in the Cotswolds and boasts spectacular views even from the base but if you do buy a ticket and reach the top of the tower you can see 13 counties on a clear day! It’s a super popular spot so it can be very busy and unfortunately we were staying too far away to ever get a photo at sunrise or sunset which I think could be amazing in the rising or setting light!
10. Cotswolds Farm Park
The Cotswolds Farm Park is an excellent place for a visit in the Cotswolds if you want a photo with a cute animal or if you visit in Summer to visit their sunflower field 🌻 it’s a great spot for some colourful photos! I seriously never knew I needed a photo with sunflowers until I got here!!
11. Arlington Row, Bibury
Arlington Row is the closest you’ll come to stepping into a fairytale by walking past these gorgeous cottages in Bibury. They’re a popular feature on Instagram but even more charming in real life 😍 The dinky row of homes looks out over the water meadow know as Rack Isle and you may see ducks or even swans swimming in the stream that runs alongside them. An early start will help with a quiet shot as it can become quite popular through the day.
12. River Eye, Lower Slaughter
Despite its rather gory name, Lower Slaughter is actually one of the most charming villages in the Cotswolds! It’s linked to Upper Slaughter by the river Eye which flows between them before joining the river Windrush further downstream. There are lots of angles along the river Eye to add a dreamy photo to your Instagram as there are darling cottages sitting along it on either side as well as the Old Mill further up – you just have to choose your favourite!
13. Snowshill Cottages
Snowshill is a picture postcard village in the north of the Cotswolds that you might recognise from Bridget Jones Diary as the village that Bridget’s parents live in. Snowshill is home to NT Snowshill Manor so stop for a while to explore. The row of cottages above is my favourite part of the village (although another popular spot is beside the red telephone box outside the village church) because the turquoise door frames standout against the sandy bricked cottage walls and the lovely shrubbery that stands alongside them!
14. Hale Lane, Painswick
Painswick is on the far west side of the Cotswolds but is certainly worth a visit as it has a lovely high street and narrow back lanes to explore! Plus it’s under 20 minutes drive to the Lavender Bakehouse which does deeeelicious cakes – perfect for refuelling to continue your day exploring. Hale Lane is a lovely spot in the town because as the lane dips down past stone cottages, the view out to the countryside beyond takes over the background in all shades of green. Perfect for a casual wandering down the street Insta shot!
If you’re planning a Cotswolds road trip then make sure to check out the post below for 9 prettiest villages in the Cotswolds to get them on your list!