Cottages near Stow-on-the-Wold
Stow-on-the-Wold brings the Cotswolds to new heights
Stow-on-the-Wold is the highest of all the Cotswold towns and sits on the Roman Fosse Way. This ancient road once linked Exeter with Lincoln. As the point where six roads cross, remains a natural meeting place. Way back in 1476, Edward IV decreed a royal charter that enabled Stow to hold two fairs. One in May and one in October. These became major events for the wool trade when thousands of sheep would be brought into the town. When you stand at the large market square in the centre of Stow look out for the narrow, high-walled passages between the buildings. These were once used to funnel sheep into the market from nearby Sheep Street.
Today, Stow-on-the-Wold is a charming market town filled with traditional Cotswold stone buildings. These now house all manner of independent shops, art galleries, and antique emporiums along with quaint cafes and some excellent restaurants. As you would expect from an ancient trading post there is also a wealth of old inns. This includes one that is thought to be the oldest in the country. If the walls of the Porch House could talk, they would definitely have some tall tales to tell!
St Edward’s Church has become famous for its yew tree-flanked north door, thought to be the inspiration for Tolkien’s ‘Doors of Durin’ in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The ramparts of an Iron Age fort can also be seen close to the centre of town.
The location of Stow-on-the-Wold means that it is surrounded by beautiful countryside and some excellent walks. It is also close to many other Cotswold attractions with highlights such as Broadway and Bourton-on-the-Water within easy reach. It’s an easily accessible location within the so-called Cotswold ‘Golden Triangle’ and an excellent base for a stay in this beautiful region.