Picture honey-coloured villages adorned with twinkling fairy lights, late-night shopping with mince pies and mulled wine, festive Christmas markets packed with unique gifts and carol singing in the village square. Does it get more magical than that? Christmas breaks in the Cotswolds promise a quintessentially British festive feel, and we have some great suggestions on cosy cottages for Christmas for you to stay in.
CHRISTMAS BREAKS IN BATH
Bath is a popular destination, but at Christmas, the pretty Georgian town really comes to life. The award-winning Bath Christmas Market takes centre stage for 18 days of festive cheer from the end of November. Around 150 dazzling chalets line the picturesque streets with everything from handcrafted gifts to delicious food. That’s not all though, once the Christmas lights are switched on around mid-November, there is a constant schedule of festive fun and events. You can expect everything from an ice-skating rink and Santa’s Grotto to Christmas carols at Bath Abbey and festive shows at the Theatre Royal Bath.
Sleeps 2, Claverton
Found in the peaceful hamlet of Calverton, this charming cottage is just 3 miles from Bath. It’s the ideal location for embracing the festive buzz of the city, but when it all gets a bit too much, you can retreat into the countryside for some peace and quiet. The cottage is also conveniently located on the bus route into Bath, so why not leave the car behind to avoid the traffic and treat yourself to a few mulled wines at the market?
CHRISTMAS BREAKS IN CHELTENHAM
Cheltenham too embraces the Christmas spirit with a variety of magical things to do and see. The traditional German market will light up the promenade with wooden chalets full of crafts, gifts and food. Youngsters are well catered for too with the Spectacle of Light at Sudley Castle and the Santa Specials that will take place on the Gloucestershire and Warwick Steam Railway aboard both a diesel railcar and steam-hauled train headed for the North Pole (Winchcombe).
Sleeps 2, Cheltenham
Located in Upper Coberley, this modern stone cottage sits in a small hamlet just 4.5 miles outside of Cheltenham. The cottage is perfectly located just far enough into the country to enjoy rural winter walks along the Cotswold Way but close enough to enjoy its town’s vibrant events calendar. Offering beautiful countryside views and a stylish interior, it’s a comfortable base for a Christmas break in the Cotswolds, just the two of you.
CHRISTMAS IN BROADWAY
The picturesque honey-coloured village of Broadway has lured visitors for centuries with its beauty and charm, so you can only imagine how spectacular it looks beneath hundreds of twinkling Christmas lights. At Christmas, the village stays alive late into the evening with two late night shopping events where you can expect a festive atmosphere full of music, mulled wine, festive food, great shops and delicious eateries.
Sleeps 4, 2 dogs, Broadway
Hidden away in the peaceful backwaters of Broadway, you will be perfectly based to enjoy the festive merriment of the village. A short stroll will take you to the bustling high street, where the lights will twinkle, and the shop windows will beckon you with their Christmas cheer. Featuring two bedrooms, this is a good option if you have other members of your family joining you for Christmas in the Cotswolds.
CHRISTMAS BREAKS IN CHIPPING CAMPDEN
If you are seeking a cosy village Christmas feel, then Chipping Campden is a great choice for just the right amount of festivities. The Christmas market and light switch on happens at the beginning of December and is a weekend full of festivities. Once the village has been decked out for Christmas, you can expect music concerts, Christmas fairs and a friendly Christmas welcome everywhere you go!
Sleeps 6, 2 dogs
Located 3 miles away in the small market town of Mickleton, this homely bungalow is just the right distance away from the daily hustle and bustle of Chipping Campden. Known as the home of the world-famous Pudding Club, make sure you book on to one of the club’s tasting evenings at the Three Ways House Hotel.
CHRISTMAS BREAKS IN BRADFORD-ON-AVON
Bradford-on-Avon is a beautiful, historic town in Wiltshire with loads to see and do. At Christmas, enjoy the festive lights switch-on, which takes place around the end of November, and buy gifts from the Kennet & Avon floating Christmas market. While you can enjoy the festivities of the local town, Bath is just 8 miles always by car so you can easily enjoy the city’s iconic Christmas market too. The town offers plenty of eateries and cosy pubs where you can warm up in front of roaring log fires after searching the streets for that elusive perfect gift.
Sleeps 3, 2 dogs
This former bakery is tucked away down a quaint side street just a few minutes’ walk from Bradford-on-Avon’s town centre. The cosy cottage has everything you need for a charming Christmas break in the Cotswolds. Ideally situated, you can explore Bradford-on-Avon as much as you wish, or why not hop on the train (train station just 10 minutes away) and head into Bath?
CHRISTMAS BREAKS IN BURFORD
Another example of a quintessentially British village that knows how to do Christmas in the Cotswolds! Christmas displays adorn the windows of independent shops, strings of fairy lights twinkle in the trees and the joy of the festive season spreads across the face of all locals and visitors. If you weren’t feeling Christmassy before, after ducking in and out of quirky shops, picking up Christmas gifts and sampling delicious treats, you soon will! If you have youngsters with you, Cotswold Wildlife Park offers a packed schedule of Christmas events throughout November and December.
This charming cottage is set in the peaceful hamlet of Widford, overlooking the River Windrush, just 1.5 miles away from Burford. Guests can follow the riverside footpath into Burford, a pretty walk that takes about 20 minutes to reach the village. This former mill has been beautifully restored to offer a cosy Cotswold cottage with a contemporary twist and a warm welcome.
CHRISTMAS BREAKS IN BOURTON-ON-THE-WATER
As one of the most-loved villages in the Cotswolds, it goes without saying that the village is a magical destination, and even more so at Christmas time. Christmas lights, carol singers and festive window displays festoon the village from the first weekend of December through until mid-January. If you know the village well, you will remember the huge Christmas tree that is located in the middle of the river every year. Take a look at our guide to things to do in Bourton-on-the-Water if you like the idea of a Christmas break here.
Set in the very heart of Bourton-on-the-Water overlooking the river, this charming cottage is brimming with character. Impeccably decorated throughout with plenty of homely touches, it offers a luxury home-from-home in which to gather the family for a Christmas in the Cotswolds. Spend evenings playing games or watching Christmas films in front of the fire and your days getting festive in the village, strolling beside the River Windrush and exploring the rest of the Cotswolds.
CHRISTMAS BREAKS IN OXFORD
As if Oxford didn’t look magical enough, bejewelled with twinkling lights and festive decoration, the historic city will be sure to have you feeling full of joy. In December, the Christmas market will take up its position in the heart of the city in Broad Street, and a full programme of carol singers and brass bands will be entertaining shoppers. 10 miles outside of the city, Blenheim Palace has its own Christmas extravaganza complete with craft fairs, Christmas markets and the illuminated light trail. The staterooms will be decorated from November to January with a festive Alice in the Palace take on Alice in Wonderland.
Set on the banks of the River Cherwell, this riverside cabin is one of five on a private 4-acre site. Located 2.5 miles outside of Oxford, it is perfect for reaching the sights of the city, but also the rest of the Cotswolds. If you are planning a large family get together this Christmas time, why not book more than one lodge to bring everyone together with the promise plenty of privacy too?
Book a cosy Christmas break in the Cotswolds
Whether you are booking a festive break before or after Christmas, or you’re escaping for the Christmas period itself, we have plenty of Christmas cottages perfect for cosy breaks in the Cotswolds’ charming villages, towns and cities that we have picked out. Check out our guide to Christmas events in the Cotswolds and find some ideas on things to do on a Christmas escape.