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  • Writer's pictureTania Andreea

Bibury, one of the most picturesque villages in England

Updated: Aug 5, 2023

When I associate the word "picturesque" with England, the first place that comes to my mind is Cotswold, the region with the oldest villages, with cottages older than 600 years, which are still inhabited. A region like from a fairy tale world, where you have the impression that you are going back in time just by walking the streets. Only the cars parked on the side of the road and the tourists eager to explore, bring you back to the present.


The whole area looks like an open-air museum, where it is very quiet and you can only hear the song of the birds, although the village is full of people, mostly tourists. The houses of similar sizes and colors are aligned almost perfectly. The English call these houses as being made of "stone honey hued".


For hiking lovers, there is also a route, without big differences of level. It's called the Cotwolds Way and it's 164 km (102 miles) long. The route starts from Bath and obviously, only certain portions of it can be covered at once. I leave a link to the site with maps and other details about the route, here.


I managed to visit only two villages in the Cotwolds region and I hope that I will have the opportunity in the future to reach the area and explore more. I will talk about one of them in this article. Therefore:


BIBURY is the village that I constantly saw through photos on social media and that made me want to put it on the list of places I want to go. What I can guarantee is that no matter how beautiful the photos are, they don't show 100% the beauty of the place.


old cottage in bibury village from cotswolds region in england


traditional house in bibury england

Located on the river Coln and surrounded by greenery, with footpaths that connect the main streets of the village, Bibury can be the ideal place to spend a few hours, or even a day and enjoy British authenticity and all that traditional English life means: to houses preserved intact from the 14th century, to the food specific to the area.


And when it comes to food, in the village there is also a seafood restaurant where you can eat freshly prepared, absolutely delicious fish. The location is called Bibury Trout Farm and you can catch your own fish if you want. It is a place that can delight both children and adults.


In the village there are several places where you can eat and where other dishes are served. I leave a link to Trip Advisor with the options you have.


What to visit in Bibury: Arlington Row is the most famous and also the most photographed street in the Cotswolds, being also the street where sequences from the movie "Stardust" were filmed. Located in the middle of an oasis of greenery, with a small river passing in front of the almost perfectly aligned houses, it is the ideal place if you want to take a trip "back in time". As I said at the beginning of the article, the houses are over 600 years old, but what is even more surprising to me is the fact that people still live in them. It is fascinating how the British managed to keep their houses so well. And if you wonder if there are still such old inhabited houses in England, the answer is YES, there are. In many of the localities of the country, you can find very old streets, with houses and in some cases even with very well-preserved street pavements that can be considered true museums.


the most famous street in bibury england with 600 years old cottages

Swan Hotel building and garden. Even if you don't stay there, they can be admired from the outside, both being absolutely gorgeous. The building is covered by a green vine plant (it has brown leaves in autumn), and in front of it you can admire the garden on the river bank. The only less pleasant part, being the cars parked in front of the hotel. If you choose to stay here, it is good to know that the hotel also accepts pets.


view over swan hotel and garden in bibury village in england

St. Mary Church, which dates from the medieval period and still preserves the memory and various parts of the old church, destroyed by King Henry VIII, when he dissolved all the monasteries in England. Right from the entrance, we were greeted by a garden with young fruit trees, which complement the landscape and the tranquility of the place very nicely.


PLANNIG THE TRIP:


How to get there: Because the Cotswolds area is quite rural, I recommend renting a car. This way, you will have enough flexibility to visit various places where public transport is more difficult to use. If you don't want to rent a car and come from London, the easiest way to get there is by train from Paddington station to Kemble, and from there by taxi to Bibury. There is also the option of a day trip by bus to several villages in the Cotswolds. Departing from London, find tickets here. Departing from Oxford, find tickets here.


Parking: For those who come by car, you have parking options: on the main street (which is always full), at the Trout Farm that I talked about above and left a link, and the third option, at the church, where it is free, but it is quite small, being only a few spaces.


Accommodation: Accommodation options are very limited, being such a small town. The only option on Booking being The Swan Hotel. If you are not limited in terms of transportation, I recommend booking in the nearby villages. The prices do not differ much, only the variety.


Conclusions I didn't have very high expectations before visiting this place, although I had seen great pictures on social media. Somehow, I thought that you don't go to the praised tree with a bag. As I said above, photos cannot convey the energy and tranquility that this place has and that impressed me in a pleasant way. It is not a big village, and if you don't choose fishing, hiking or sitting on the terrace, you can visit it all in one hour, maximum two. Also in the Cotswolds you can visit the village of Castle Combe, the most famous and most visited in the region.


Read also about other locations worth visiting in Great Britain: Tintagel Castle or Wales. For more photos and vacation destinations, you can follow me on Instagram or subscribe to the newsletter (only your email address is required).

Thanks for reading!



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