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The Best Vegan-friendly Cotswolds Road Trip

The Best Vegan-friendly Cotswolds Road Trip

Vegan-friendly Cotswolds road trip

When travelling the UK countryside, you can’t give the Cotswolds a miss. Spend your days soaking in beautiful sceneries, strolling through some of the most lovely English towns along historic trails and enjoy the local’s charm. Whether it’s a weekend break or your autumn holiday, this vegan-friendly Cotswolds road trip won’t disappoint.

Why visit?

The Cotswolds covers a huge area, nearly 800 square miles across five counties (Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire), which makes it the biggest of the 38 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales. It is perfectly possible to visit the Cotswolds from London and surrounding cities just for the day, but we recommend that you plan to stay at least one night in the Cotswolds. Our 2-day road trip will take you to the Cotswolds’ most beautiful spots, help you discover local, culinary highlights and some of the most welcoming vegan-friendly accomodation.  

We hope that our vegan-friendly Cotswolds road trip guide – complete with hotel recommendations, vegan-friendly restaurants as well as estimated driving times and detailed route descriptions – can inspire you to explore more of what is on your back door and make your next staycation one to remember.

Cotswolds: one of the most romantic road trips in the UK

Days required: 2-3
Distance: Birmingham 60 miles, Bristol 64 miles, London 83 miles, Manchester 143 miles, Liverpool 155 miles, Leeds 158 miles

Cotswolds Route:
Daylesford Farm – Stow-on-the-Wold – Lower Slaughter – Bourton-on-the-Water – Burford – Bibury – Cirencester – Oxford, Bath or Bristol

Day 1: Daylesford Farm – Stow-on-the-Wold – Lower Slaughter – Bourton-on-the-Water – Burford 

1. Daylesford Farm

To make the most of your first day in the Cotswolds, start your trip early in the morning and head to Gloustershire, more specifically Daylesford Farm, one of the most sustainable organic farms in the UK. Even though this probably isn’t one of the Cotswolds’ well-known ‘classics’, it will certainly be one of your culinary highlights on this trip. Expect a retail heaven of organic gorgeousness with seasonal vegetables, fruit and herbs picked early from the market garden, artisan breads and delicious cakes, baked overnight. Depending on what time you arrive, grab a coffee and vegan pastry at their farm cafe or enjoy an early lunch at their restaurant with plenty of plant-based options. 

Extenstion tip
If you have time, book one of their cooking classes, like their Meat-free Monday, the Vegan Kitchen or Artisian Breas Making course and stay the night at their beautifully converted Cotswolds stone cottages. Prices start at £250/night. More info here.

2. Stow-on-the-Wold

Next up, make your way to Stow-on-the-Wold. At nearly 800ft, Stow is the highest of the Cotswold towns, located on the Roman Fosse Way and at the point where several roads meet, hence an important trading centre. Stroll through the city centre and explore its antique shops, art galleries, craft shops and cafes. Don’t leave without indulging yourself with one of the UK’s best vegan cakes at Coach House Coffee (GL54 1BQ) or enjoy a plant-based meal at The Stag at Stow (GL54 1AF). 

3. Lower Slaughter

You’re next stop will be Lower Slaughter. Home to Britain’s ‘most romantic street’ (polled by Google Street View), Lower Slaughter is known for its unspoilt limestone cottages in the traditional Cotswold style. Park your car and visit the Old Mill at the Western end of the village or enjoy a stroll along the river to the village of Upper Slaughter, which is only a few walking minutes away.

4. Bourton-on-the-Water

Next up is Bourton-on-the-Water, about 2 miles South of Lower Slaughter, which is known as the Venice of the Cotswolds. Sit down at one of the many cafes by the river and enjoy the buzzing vibe. 

Tip: If you’re up for a little hike, leave Stow-on-the-Wold and drive directly to Bourton-on-the-Water. From there, start your 5.5 miles hike, taking you to Lower Slaughter and back in around 2h15 minutes. You can find the detailed route description here

Vegan-friendly Cotswolds Road Trip
Bourton-on-the-Water
5. Burford

Last stop of your first day is Burford, which is about 8 miles from Bourton-on-the-Water, and is often referred to as the ‘gateway’ to the Cotswolds. It’s a great starting point for your second day in the Cotswolds and home to many lovely bed and breakfasts, pubs and restaurants.

Vegan-friendly accomodations in Burford:

The Highway Inn 117 High Street, Burford, Oxfordshire, OX18 4RG
Vegan dinner and breakfast options? Yes

The Cotswolds Gateway 216 The Hill, Burford OX18 4HX
Vegan dinner and breakfast options? Yes

Vegan-friendly dinner:

The Cotswolds Arms 46 High St, Burford,OX18 4QF

See Also

The Horse and Radish Burford Road, Minster Lovell, Witney, OX29 0RZ

Day 2: Bibury – Cirencester – Oxford, Bath or Bristol 

6. Bibury

Once described “the most beautiful village in England” by the 19th-century artist and craftsman William Morris (1834-96), Bibury is certainly a must-see. A 15 minutes drive from Burford, this little town is particularly known for the cottages of Arlington Row. Park your car and stroll through the narrow streets with their honey-coloured 17th-century stone cottages, featuring steeply pitched roofs, which once housed weavers who supplied cloth for fulling at nearby Arlington Mill. 

Vegan-friendly Cotswolds trip
Bibury

Once described “the most beautiful village in England” by the 19th-century artist and craftsman William Morris (1834-96), Bibury is certainly a must-see. A 15 minutes drive from Burford, this little town is particularly known for the cottages of Arlington Row. Park your car and stroll through the narrow streets with their honey-coloured 17th-century stone cottages, featuring steeply pitched roofs, which once housed weavers who supplied cloth for fulling at nearby Arlington Mill. 

7. Circencester

Next up is Circencester which is also known as the Cotswolds’ capital. It was the second largest town in Britain during Roman times and invites you to explore cosy little lanes and the famous weekly antiques market at the Corn Hall. If you’re an architecture and interior design fan, then visit Church of St John the Baptist and Rodmarton Manor. If you’re into flora and fauna then we recommend Cerney House Gardens. Grab lunch at The Organic Farm Shop and Cafe (GL7 5HF), the Black Horse pub (GL7 1QD) or Teatro (GL7 1BN), all serving decent vegan dishes.

8. Oxford, Bath or Bristol 

Last up, before heading back home, schedule a stop at Oxford, Bath or Bristol, depending on what’s on the road for you. Explore Oxford’s honey-coloured colleges arrayed in splendour beside the river, let yourself be enchanted by Bath’s Medieval heritage and stately Georgian architecture or get lost in Bristol’s incredibly vegan-friendly food scene

We hope you have the best time on your next staycation. Tag us @weareveano if you try any of the above spots on our recommendation!

For more vegan-friendly travel inspiration, check out our Vegan in Rome and Vegan in Vienna guide.

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