Fancy going glamping in the Cotswolds? This trip offers quirky accommodation in picturesque surroundings, with plenty of things to do nearby.
I’ve always had a soft spot for the Cotswolds. It’s a region that oozes charm and character. With its iconic golden stone, rolling hills and adorable villages, it’s one of my top picks for a UK break. However, it was only recently that I realised I’ve visited the same part over and over, and there’s a huge area I’ve never explored!
The Cotswolds span an area of almost 800 square miles, and encompass parts of five counties (Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire). The most famous spots are in the north and centre of the area of outstanding natural beauty, where you’ll find quintessential Cotswolds towns and villages such as Moreton-in-Marsh, Bourton-on-the-Water, Bibury and Broadway.
However, head to the southern part of Gloucestershire and you’ll find plenty more Cotswolds gems. For our most recent trip we based ourselves close to the historic market town of Tetbury, and explored a few places within a 30 minute drive.
While the region might be famous for its old stone hotels and manor houses, we opted for a different style of accommodation. It was time to go glamping in the Cotswolds!
But this wasn’t just any type of glamping. If you’re afraid of camping and crave the finer things in life, you’re going to adore this place!
Read on to find out all about this amazing trip to the south Cotswolds, with plenty of tips on where to stay, where to eat and some suggestions of fun things to do in the area.
Glamping in the Cotswolds at Wild Carrot
From yurts, glamping pods and shepherd’s huts, to safari tents, converted railway carriages and motorhomes, I’ve enjoyed a variety of glamping experiences on my travels. However, this is definitely the most luxurious glamping setup I’ve encountered yet.
We stayed in a luxurious tipi at Wild Carrot in Chavenage for our Cotswolds glamping experience. With a proper double bed and chic yet cosy furnishings, it was a lovely place to kick back and relax. That’s just the start though!
Unzip the Nordic tipi and wander out to your private wood-fired hot tub, cosy dining area, BBQ, sun loungers or hammock. There’s a small kitchenette, open to the elements on one side, as well as a private shower area. There’s even hot water for those morning showers – what a dream! I told you this was a luxury glamping experience!
Not only is the accommodation lovely, each tipi also benefits from spectacular views over the lush Cotswolds countryside. They’re dotted around the Chavenage Estate, and each has plenty of space, so you’ll never feel like you’re at a big glamping site. It’s chic, private and a great way to get away from it all. They’re launching more tipis soon, as well as some cute shepherd’s huts.
If you can’t be bothered to plan your meals in advance, you could order a premium BBQ box for your stay. Wild Carrot have partnered with the upmarket Calcot & Spa to provide a luxurious feast that’s ready to cook. I loved the convenience of this, especially as the dishes had been marinated and prepped beautifully too. There was even an indulgent berry pavlova for dessert!
Alternatively, there’s a cute coffee shop and cocktail bar on site at Wild Carrot too. They even host jazz nights from time to time. I don’t know many glamping experiences that mix up a good margarita too, so it’s no wonder I fell in love with this place.
If you’re looking for somewhere to go glamping in the Cotswolds with a hot tub, definitely check out Wild Carrot. You can check prices and availability here.
Onewheel Lessons in the Cotswolds
How’s this for a fun activity, Wild Carrot offer Onewheel lessons on the Chavenage Estate. Onewheel boards are electric boards with a wheel in the centre and two places for your feet to balance at each end. It takes a while to get the hang of it, but once you do, it’s a liberating way to get around.
After picking up the basics inside the old squash courts, we ventured outside and enjoyed zooming around the Chavenage Estate, seeing traditional Cotswolds sights from our modern boards.
If this all sounds a little too adventurous for you, you can also hire bikes, E-bikes and even tandems from the store on site, or book onto a guided bike tour through the Cotswolds.
These experiences pair up perfectly with the luxurious glamping at Wild Carrot.
Why hadn’t I visited Tetbury before? This postcard-perfect market town is one of my new favourite spots in the Cotswolds. With picturesque streets, an abundance of cafes and restaurants and loads of great shops, the town offers a lot.
Tetbury is renowned for its antiques stores, but I spotted plenty of great homeware stores, delis and boutiques too. I’d recommend a mooch along the main streets, with stops at Overider for jewellery and clothes, Treacle George for contemporary furniture, French Grey for general nick-nacks and Domestic Science for vintage items.
The most famous store in Tetbury? The Highgrove Store, which sells artisan products, homewares, jewellery and more – many inspired by Prince Charles and Camilla’s interests and their nearby country home.
After your shopping spree, take a wander along the Chipping Steps (one of the town’s prettiest streets) and around the town’s green. If you have time, stop by Tetbury Goods Shed. This quirky spot was converted from a Victorian GWR railway building in 2017. There’s a café there too, right next to the old tracks too!
Visit Cotswold Sculpture Park
You don’t need to be an art buff to appreciate a trip to the Cotswold Sculpture Park as it’s such a creative and immersive experience. The land that this creative trail sits on was once a wild thistle field. That was until scrap metal sculptor David Hartland moved in and transformed the space into something very special.
As you meander along the pathways (which take you through gardens, woodland and more) you’ll spot sculptures as you go. One of the things I loved most about our time here was that many of the artworks appeared to interact with the environment.
We actually bumped into David as we were exploring and he said that one of the fun parts was finding the perfect spot for each creation. You can’t just place new pieces anywhere – a lot of thought goes into finding a spot where art and nature work in synergy.
At any one time you’ll find around 170 individual sculptures by local and international artists, and if you fall in love with something, you might be in luck as most of the pieces are also for sale.
Explore The Garden at Miserden
If you’re a keen gardener, definitely pay a trip to the Garden at Miserden. This impressive Cotswold country garden was named the Historic Houses Garden of the Year in 2018. Dating back to the 17th-century, the spectacular gardens here feature Cotswold-stone walls, bountiful herbaceous borders, an impressive yew tree walk, pretty pergolas and fruit trees. It’s a peaceful spot too, with an enormous manor house overlooking the Golden Valley.
There’s also a nursery and a cafe on site, so you can rest your legs after exploring, then pick up some plants to transform your garden at home too!
Where to Eat and Drink on your Glamping trip to the Cotswolds
As you wander along Long Street in Tetbury, it’s easy to walk past The Close without realising what magic lay around the back. WOW – wait until you see it!
This elegant Cotswold hotel and restaurant has a great reputation for food and drink. As well as the smart dining areas, there’s a cosy snug, bar and library.
Head out the back and you’ll appreciate what a truly spectacular place this is, as you take in the view of the 16th century town house, water feature, terrace and gardens. I’d love to stop by again and enjoy some cocktails out on that terrace. It looks like the perfect place to relax and unwind.
We enjoyed dinner at The Close, choosing from a seasonal menu of classic dishes, all utilising fabulous local produce. The starter I had of smoked trout with fennel, cucumber and dill was light and tasty. For my main course I enjoyed the rack of lamb, which was accompanied by glazed artichokes, spinach and a fabulously decadent jus. Mmm, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it again!
I’ve really missed fine-dining experiences during lockdown. The Close was the perfect place to reignite my passion for gourmet food. As the menu is on the expensive side, I’d recommend it for a special occasion, or you could pop by for a drink on the terrace in the sunshine!
King’s Head Hotel, Cirencester
I’ve never been to Cirencester before, but wow is it pretty! We stopped by to go for lunch at MBB Brasserie which is located inside the Kings Head Hotel. This happens to be one of the most popular hotels in the town. It’s a boutique hotel with a spa, and after having a brief look around, I found myself wanting to book a return visit to stay overnight!
MBB Brasserie has a cool vibe, with an open plan kitchen in the centre. I loved watching the chefs at work and seeing the mixologists shaking up colourful cocktails! It created a buzzy atmosphere.
The restaurant menu is varied, with a great mix of items ranging from soup, salads and tarts, right up to bowls of fresh mussels, steaks and fresh fish. I’d heard amazing things about the brasserie’s tarts, so ordered the potato and truffle tart. It was absolutely delicious, with a heady hit of truffle and perfect thin pastry.
We sat by the window, looking across to the Corn Hall Deli & Wine Cellars, which is also owned by the hotel. After sampling some delicious items in the brasserie, we couldn’t resist picking up a few local treats to take home!
Other Places To Stay In The South Cotswolds
If you don’t fancy glamping in the Cotswolds for your entire trip, here are a few other amazing places to stay nearby.
Log House Holidays, Poole Keynes near Cirencester
If you’re looking for a peaceful place to stay in the Cotswolds, you simply have to take a look at Log House Holidays. Located in a private nature reserve are eight luxury log cabins, dotted around the perimeter of a stunning lake. This really is a spectacular and surprising spot. In fact, it reminded me of a place we visited in the Swedish archipelago… not somewhere you’d find in the Cotswolds!
Each cabin comes with its own hot tub, rowing boat and lakeside fire pit. After months cooped up in the hustle and bustle of London, a trip here would work wonders. It’s somewhere I’d love to gather a group of friends and return to!
The Hare and Hounds, Westonbirt
If there’s one thing the Cotswolds isn’t short of, it’s luxury country house hotels. The Hare and Hounds is located a short drive from Tetbury and is another in the Cotswolds Inns family (the same as The Close).
It’s an upmarket hotel, with luxurious bedrooms overlooking huge grounds, a chic restaurant and a cosy pub area. There’s also a large terrace at the back of the building, which would be a great spot for a G&T in the sunshine in the summer.
This is a popular wedding venue in the Cotswolds too. When you see how pretty it is, you’ll understand why!
The Kings Head Hotel, Cirencester
I’ve already mentioned how lovely this hotel in Cirencester looked. We had a quick tour of the facilities and peeked inside a couple of the stylish bedrooms too. It looked like an ideal spot for a weekend away, especially as there’s plenty to do in Cirencester.
The hotel also has a spa, two restaurants, a cocktail bar and the deli and wine shop, so if you’re craving a luxury break, it ticks all the boxes.
I hope my guide to glamping in the Cotswolds has given you lots of ideas for a getaway to the region. It was my first time exploring the often-overlooked southern part of the Cotswolds, but I think it’s a great option for a short break, particularly as the famous spots get busy in peak season. There are plenty more ideas on great places to visit on the Cotswolds website.
If you’d like to combine your trip to the south Cotswolds with some of the famous towns and villages to the north, check out my travel guide to Moreton-in-Marsh.
A big thank you to the Cotswolds tourism board for inviting me to experience this beautiful area. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own!
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