After a week-long hiatus in London, my great British road trip is back underway. And there’s no place I’d rather kick off the second half of the journey than Gloucestershire. My boyfriend and I are going to spend an autumn weekend in the Cotswolds, and I can’t wait.

Autumn Weekend in the Cotswolds

Autumn Weekend in the Cotswolds

After visiting the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, Chester, Wales, Wiltshire, and London, we drive our camper van back west to Gloucestershire to spend two days in the Cotswolds soaking up the season.

Westonbirt Abroretum in Autumn


We start our trip where many of our trips to the Cotswolds start: Painswick. We’ve fallen in love with this village and The Painswick hotel over the last few years, and arriving feels a bit like coming home.


Being here in autumn is particularly special, as we get to enjoy watching the sunrise over the rooftops without having to wake up early. It’s also nice because there are fewer people around the village, making photography easier.


Above all, we love that it’s really, really pretty here.

Door in Painswick


In addition to Painswick, we can’t resist a trip to Sapperton. It’s another village we’ve come to adore over the years, and it too looks beautiful in autumn.

Camper Van in Sapperton

From the turning leaves on the trees to the creeping vines on the local pub, the season has begun to grace the village with its classic hues.

Sapperton Pub

Owlpen Manor

From Painswick, our autumn weekend in the Cotswolds takes us somewhere we haven’t been before: Owlpen Manor. This spectacular Tudor house is nestled in a valley down a narrow dirt road, making us feel like we’ve arrived in an enchanted kingdom.

Owlpen Manor

Terraced gardens surround the house, and everything from topiary yews to box parterres awes us as we make our way around. We’ve arranged a special tour of the inside, too, and discover a Tudor hall with a fireplace big enough to house a small family and a chamber with exquisite 18th-century painted cloth wall hangings.

Owlpen Manor

Westonbirt Arboretum

From Owlpen Manor, we make our way to the highlight of our trip: the Westonbirt Arboretum. This is where the real autumn magic happens, and we’ve arrived just as the leaves are starting to look their brightest.

Westonbirt Arboretum in Autumn

We spend hours wandering down paths, across fields, and through wooded glades, taking in the colors and enjoying the seasonal sunshine.

Westonbirt Arboretum

I’ve long heard talk of Westonbirt Arboretum being one of the best places to see autumn leaves in England, and now that I’m here I believe it. The Japanese maples alone could keep me entertained all day, and knowing that they’ll only get better and bolder in the coming month makes me want to come back every day between now and November.

Westonbirt Arboretum in Autumn

But I can’t, because my road trip is taking me north. And that’s okay, because the season is underway across the UK and I’m sure I’ll see a lot more foliage as I go. The next stop is Nottingham, and if the legendary Sherwood Forest is any indication, I’ll find some pretty trees there. Stay tuned…

How about you? What would you do with an autumn weekend in the Cotswolds?

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Autumn Weekend in the Cotswolds

18 Comments on Lady’s Guide to an Unforgettable Autumn Weekend in the Cotswolds

  1. Your Cotswolds posts are always my favourite. I always comment this, but visiting the Cotswolds has always been a dream of mine. For one reason or another it hasn’t come true yet, but it will.
    One question: is there any public transport method to visit the area or the only solution is car rental? I’m afraid of driving in the “wrong” side 🙂

  2. My husband & I are headed to the Cotswolds in exactly one month and these photos are (happily) distracting me from being productive at work. Any tips for places to dine in the Cotswolds, particularly the northern part of the region?

  3. Greetings from Melbourne!
    On our recent trip to London we enjoyed a day tour of the Cotswolds that included Burton on the Water and Blenheim Palace. It was wonderful. Our tour guide stated she cannot understand why the bus was less than half full when it was one of the best tours available. I’m not a country boy but if circumstances were different, I could be a very happy camper in the Cotswolds, especially in Oxfordshire. Thanks for the post.

  4. Just wanted to say thanks for this post. My family and I followed the arboretum and Painswick bits of it, kids and weather cut short the rest, but those were places that we wouldn’t have found without you. So thanks!

  5. Beautiful fall leaves! Was your trip taken on or before October 19? Just curious to know if this was the leaf color on the 19, or a week or so before since I will be there in early October 🙂

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