Cotswolds

Lower and Upper Oddington, The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds AONB in England is full of picture-perfect villages decorated with honey-coloured cottages and framed by lush countryside. Lower and Upper Oddington are two such villages – a particularly lovely coupling set within a mile of each other. Sandwiched between Moreton-in-Marsh to the north, Stow-on-the-Wold in the east and Chipping Norton in the west, they are perfectly placed for exploring this iconic Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and enjoying a relaxed holiday to the beat of your own drum.

 

The Oddingtons

Often overlooked in favour of more well-known neighbours, both Lower and Upper Oddington offer a truly tranquil escape. Despite their humble size, both villages are served by popular local pubs, with the Fox being found in Lower Oddington and the Horse & Groom Village Inn in Upper Oddington. If you’d like to work up an appetite, you can follow the super network of weaving paths that flow through each of the villages and into the surrounding woodland and countryside. 

Along the leafy Church Road in Lower Oddington, a half-mile walk from the Fox will lead you to the 12th Century St Nicholas Church. Found inside the church, the building’s most striking feature comes in the form of its Last Judgement wall painting depicted on the north wall of its nave. Believed to be the largest ‘Doom painting’ in the UK, it dates from the 15th Century and shows the moment when Christ judges souls, sending them to either Heaven or Hell.

Down the Road… Cotswolds Towns and Villages

Bourton-on-the-Water

Known as the Venice of the Cotswolds, Bourton-on-the-Water features honey-hued stone buildings set around the glistening waters of the River Windrush – spanned by five arched bridges. Often dubbed the prettiest village in England, it’s the perfect place to visit for its wealth of attractions, including Birdland Park & Gardens, Cotswold Motoring Museum, the Model Village and the Dragonfly Maze.

Burford

Famed for its wide high street lined with period buildings, three-arched Medieval bridge and 900-year-old church, Burford is one of the most attractive towns in the Cotswolds. Only 10 miles from the Oddingtons, it is a must-visit, especially around Christmas time when snow often drapes the town’s rooves and cloaks its streets to create unforgettable wintry scenes that will capture heart and mind.

Chipping Norton 

Chipping Norton is the highest town in Oxfordshire and has a long and interesting history, from its Norman settlers to its old wool and tweed industries. Affectionately called “Chippy” by locals, this bustling market town offers a wealth of shops, eateries and attractions, including a theatre, outdoor heated lido and Diddly Squat Farm Shop of Jeremy Clarkson fame.

Kingham 

Just 3 miles from Upper and Lower Oddington is Kingham, a winsome village peppered with 17th and 18th Century cottages. As well as its pretty village green and church, Kingham is most popular for its two great eateries – the Kingham Plough country pub and the Wild Rabbit restaurant and bar – which produce delicious local dishes in tandem with the seasons.

Moreton-in-Marsh

 

Moreton-in-Marsh is one of the Cotswolds main market towns and as such is a naturally popular choice when it comes to places to shop, eat and drink – including the Bell Inn which supposedly served as the inspiration for Tolkien’s Prancing Pony in The Lord of the Rings. Must-visits nearby are the 56-acre Batsford Arboretum and the award-winning Daylesford Farm Shop.

The Slaughters

Despite sounding slightly ominous, the meaning of the name behind both Upper and Lower Slaughter actually comes from the Old English for ‘muddy place’ – somewhat less perturbing. Two villages on the banks of the River Eye, the Slaughters villages are some of the most photographed in the area for their photogenic qualities. The Old Mill gift shop and ice cream parlour at Lower Slaughter is also worth a visit.

Stow-on-the-Wold

Just 3 miles from the Oddingtons, Stow-on-the Wold sits atop the 800ft Stow Hill. An important trading centre, the town’s great market square is a testament to the huge fairs and agricultural meets once held in the town - with up to 20,000 sheep being sold at a time. As well as the town’s boutiques, antique shops and cafés, there are a great number of attractions including nearby Sezincote – well worth a visit for its stunning house and gardens.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in the Cotswolds here

 

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