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5 places to shop ’til you drop in the Cotswolds

Posted: Mon, 2nd Nov 2020
Shopping in the Cotswolds

Most people come to the Cotswolds for a holiday in an idyllic rural location, to get away from it all, absorb the natural beauty of the area and perhaps potter around some tiny boutique stores. At Bolthole Retreats we’re definitely all for some rural R&R, but sometimes a bit of serious indoor mall and outlet shopping is what’s needed too! So, if you’re planning a trip to the Cotswolds and yearn to shop ’til you drop during your stay, here are our top 5 shopping emporium suggestions – complete with Sat Nav and parking information:

1. Bicester Village

Set in a pretty location on the outskirts of Bicester (25 minutes from Oxford), the shopping village is very well laid out, giving a feeling of openness and calm as you go from shop to shop. World-leading brands offer savings of up to 60% off the recommended retail price, all year round, including Emma Bridgewater, Cath Kidston, Burberry, Clarks, DKNY, Dior, D&G, Fendi, Hunter, Jimmy Choo, Lululemon, Oscar de la Renta, North Face and Stella McCartney. The Village offers several shopping services and visitors can leave their luggage at the Bicester Visitor Centre while they shop – handy if you’ve just check out of a cottage or have a few hours to while away before you can check-in.

Bolthole Retreat Cottages near Bicester: Click here.

2. Banbury Gateway

Located on the edge of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, this is one of the smaller mall-type shopping centres with regular, rather than outlet, shopping. Stores include FatFace, M&S, Next, Primark, River Island and Outfit.

Bolthole Retreat Cottages near Banbury: Click here

3. Swindon Designer Outlet

About one hour’s drive from most parts of the Cotswolds, Swindon Designer Outlet is a popular day out with well-known brands offering up to 60% off, all year round. Built in a beautiful heritage building, you’ll also find cafes, restaurants, a children’s play area alongside more than 110 boutiques. Fashion brands include Polo Ralph Lauren, Ted Baker, Tommy Hilfiger and Jack Wills, Vans,  plus sports labels, such as Nike and Puma, and high-street favourites, such as Guess, Joules, Hamleys, Lakeland, M&S Outlet and John Lewis Home Outlet.

Children can ride around on the Hooter Express steam train and let of some of their own steam at the Wall Hola and interactive Sona play area.

Bolthole Retreat Cottages near Swindon: Click here.

4. Gloucester Quays

Featuring 56 brands including Nike, Calvin Klein, All Saints, Levi’s, Ted Baker, L.K. Bennet, Adidas and Fatface, with discounts up to 70% – it’s a real treat for those who love a bargain! Step outside of the outlet and you’re met with the recently renovated Gloucester Docks. The Victorian warehouses make a spectacular backdrop to the wide choice of restaurants, pubs, cafes and bars there. We can particularly recommend Greek on the Docks for delicious, authentically Greek food and great service.

Bolthole Retreat Cottages near Gloucester: Click here.

5. Cheltenham

The Cotswolds’ capital has several shopping areas including Tivoli Road, Bath Road, Regent Arcade, Montpellier, the Promenade, the High Street and the Brewery Quarter, the latest addition to the scene. The Regent Arcade is one of the UK’s oldest purpose-built covered arcades, which, as well as over 60 stores, 7 restaurants and parking for 500 cars, also features the famous Wishing Fish Clock designed by Kit Williams. The Promenade is a lovely place to stroll, with Vinegar Hill, The White Shop, Toast, Oliver Bonas, Anthropologie, Jo Malone, Molton Brown, Waterstones and Fat Face to name just a few to enjoy. A flagship John Lewis is on the High Street, joining other household names including Superdry – Cheltenham’s very own international brand. Tivoli and Bath Road is home to smaller, one-off boutiques with lots of variety, while the newly re-launched Brewery Quarter, is mostly given over to restaurants and cafes, but is also home to Urban Outfitters.

Bolthole Retreat Cottages near Cheltenham: Click here.

Shopping in the Cotswolds


If you need advice or help finding a cottage near one of the shopping centres mentioned above, give us a call on 01242 851208.

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