I’m lucky enough to live and work in the beautiful Cotswolds in the south of England. With countryside views and quaint villages with cosy little pubs a frequent sight for me, I want to make sure I don’t take it for granted. That’s why this summer I met my friend Matt for dinner after work in Bibury. It’s actually one of the most photographed spots of the Cotswolds.
Arriving in Bibury
Bibury is a charming village in Gloucestershire which represents the key aesthetic of the Cotswolds. Just a short drive from Cirencester, described by artist William Morris as ‘the most beautiful village in England’. It’s hard to argue with that. It’s extremely picturesque, and also famous for its iconic cottages on Arlington Row. The perfect pitstop for anyone exploring the villages, local pubs, or teahouses of the Cotswolds.
Let me show you why Bibury’s so picturesque. Despite being a lovely summer’s evening, no matter where you look in this little village, the water twinkles and the flowers bloom. It’s perfect for spending a lazy afternoon wandering among the Cotswold stone buildings and past the River Coln.
The River Coln flows through Bibury, between the main village street and a boggy field area known as Rack Isle. It’s named Rack Isle because wool was once hung out to dry there on racks after it had been washed in Arlington Row. Close to the river, you’ll also find Bibury Trout Farm, where visitors can even catch their own dinner.
This beautiful little inn is The Swan. We headed in for a drink on the patio after a wander around Bibury. Can you imagine being part of the family that once lived here? It’s such a beautiful building. We grabbed a couple of pizzas from the fifteenth century pub, The Catherine Wheel, a little further up the street before going for a wander.
We wandered along Bibury’s main road, past The Swan. A former coaching inn, it’s right beside the River Coln, meaning you can relax with a cold drink in the summer while listening to the babbling river. Its brasserie also serves up delicious European dishes, and you can relax by the crackling open fire in winter. We walked along past summer wedding bunting and then up towards Arlington Row.
Arlington Row is the most famous street in Bibury. You may well recognize its iconic row of houses from Instagram, Pinterest, and also travel bucket lists from all over the world. Dating back to 1380, Arlington Row is one of the most prolific addresses in the UK. What may have contributed to this is the appearance of the cottages in all newly issued UK passports since 2010.
Bibury’s Arlington Row cottages were originally a monastic wool store, which then became a row of weavers cottages. All cloth produced on Arlington Row was then sent to Arlington Mill.
Since its historic roots, Bibury has been a film location, for productions including Stardust and Bridget Jones’s Diary. The National Trust actually owns the only holiday cottage on the street. Visitors can stay at 9 Arlington Row for a truly unique Cotswolds experience.
I can only imagine how adorable these cottages are on the inside. Leaving the charming street, we walked back into the rest of Bibury.
We walked back to The Swan for lattes. We warmed up from the outdoor patio heaters whilst watching a wedding party toasting the newlyweds with bottles of champagne. Bibury’s a great spot in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that’s a base for exploring the rest of the Cotswolds. I have a newfound love for life in the Cotswolds and it definitely made me want to make the most of where I live.
Have you visited Bibury in Gloucestershire? Where are your favourite places to visit in the Cotswolds? Let me know your recommendations below.