What are the best ways to explore local artisan craft markets from a holiday rental in the Cotswolds?

Immerse yourself into the charming world of the Cotswolds, a stunning area in south-central England, known for its rolling hills, picturesque villages and bustling market towns. As a visitor, you'll soon discover that the Cotswolds is not just about its breathtaking landscapes and honey-coloured stone cottages. It also offers a unique opportunity to explore local artisan crafts markets, showcasing a diverse range of handcrafted goods, from pottery to jewellery, clothing and food products. The following guide will provide suggestions on how to make the most of your market exploration from the comfort of your holiday rental.

Exploring Cotswold Market Towns

Start your exploration in the market towns of the Cotswolds. These towns offer a delightful blend of history, culture, and local artisan crafts, making them perfect places to visit for the discerning traveller.

Cirencester, known as the "Capital of the Cotswolds", is home to a vibrant artisan market that takes place every Monday and Friday. As you weave through the stalls, you'll discover an array of goods, from handcrafted jewellery to organic food products, all produced by local artisans.

On your day off from Cirencester, consider a visit to Chipping Campden, another market town steeped in history and charm. Here, the weekly market offers an eclectic mix of stalls selling locally made crafts, antiques and fresh produce.

Venture to the Villages

After exploring the market towns, it's time to venture into the smaller Cotswold villages. These quaint places offer a more intimate, yet equally rewarding, market experience.

A village not to be missed is Broadway, fondly known as the "Jewel of the Cotswolds". Despite its small size, Broadway hosts an exceptional monthly artisan market where you can find a variety of unique, locally made crafts.

Likewise, the village of Bourton-on-the-Water, often referred to as the "Venice of the Cotswolds", hosts a bi-monthly crafts market by the water. Discover the beautiful handiwork of local artisans while enjoying the picturesque setting.

Make a Day of it at Cotswold Parks

The Cotswolds also offers several parks where artisan crafts markets are regularly held. These locations provide a fantastic opportunity to combine your market exploration with a leisurely day out in beautiful surroundings.

Cotswold Country Park and Beach often hosts craft fairs throughout the year. You can explore the crafts stalls, then enjoy a picnic by the water or even take a refreshing swim.

Additionally, Batsford Arboretum and Garden Centre in the village of Moreton-in-Marsh often hosts craft markets. With over 56 acres to explore, it's a perfect location to combine your love for craft markets with a family day out.

Opting for a Stay in a Cotswold Holiday Rental

Choosing to stay in a holiday rental during your visit to the Cotswolds provides several benefits that can enhance your market exploration experience.

Firstly, holiday rentals offer a home-away-from-home feeling that hotels often can't match. You’ll have more space, more privacy and the opportunity to live like a local.

Secondly, having a holiday rental as a base allows flexibility. You can start your day at a leisurely pace, then head out to explore the markets at your own rhythm. This flexibility also extends to meal times. After a day at the market, you can cook up a feast in your rental's kitchen using the fresh produce you've picked up.

Lastly, staying in a holiday rental allows you to immerse yourself into the local community. You'll get to know the neighborhood, the local shops, and maybe even bump into some of the artisans you met at the market.

Embarking on a Cotswold Craft Courses

For those of you with a keen interest in crafts, why not take it a step further and embark on a craft course? The Cotswolds, with its rich artisanal heritage, is the perfect place to learn a new skill or hone an existing one.

The Cotswold Craft Room in the village of Bourton-on-the-Water offers a range of craft courses, from pottery to painting, sewing and more. Not only will you learn from skilled artisans, but you'll also get to take home a beautiful, handmade souvenir from your stay in the Cotswolds.

In conclusion, whether you choose to explore the market towns, venture into the villages, spend the day at a park, or even embark on a craft course, the Cotswolds offers a myriad of opportunities for you to discover and appreciate local artisan crafts. So, why not book your holiday rental and start planning your Cotswold market adventure today?

Discovering Cotswold Heritage Towns

Take a journey into the rich history of the Cotswolds by visiting the heritage towns such as Stow-on-the-Wold, Moreton-in-Marsh and Stratford-upon-Avon. These towns, steeped in history, are also renowned for their vibrant artisan markets.

Stow-on-the-Wold, the highest of the Cotswolds towns, stands exposed on 800 feet high Stow Hill at a junction of seven major roads, including the Roman Fosse Way. The town's farmers' market, held on the second Thursday of every month, is a veritable feast of local organic produce, baked goods, and handmade crafts. It's within easy reach from London, making it a popular destination for city dwellers seeking a countryside retreat.

Moreton-in-Marsh, another market town of note, hosts an artisan market every Tuesday at the historic Corn Hall. With stallholders selling everything from handcrafted leather goods to homemade jams and chutneys, it's a treasure trove of unique finds.

Finally, no visit to the Cotswolds would be complete without a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. While here, visit the Waterside Upmarket, where you can discover a range of handmade crafts and fresh local produce. Moreover, it's a dog-friendly market, so feel free to bring your furry friend along.

Enjoying Cotswolds Natural Beauty

Why not combine your love for local crafts with an appreciation of nature? The Cotswolds is home to several National Trust properties and a stunning water park where artisan markets are often held.

The Cotswold Water Park, with its 150 lakes across 40 square miles, is the UK’s largest marl lake system. This is a perfect location for combining a day out in nature with shopping for local crafts. Keep an eye out for craft fairs held throughout the year.

The National Trust properties in the Cotswolds, such as Lower Slaughter, often host craft markets in their stunning grounds. You'll have the opportunity to buy local specialty food products, antiques, and handmade crafts while enjoying the beautiful surroundings.


Whether your interests lie in delving into the rich history of market towns like Chipping Campden, Stow-on-the-Wold and Moreton-in-Marsh or exploring the natural beauty of Bourton-on-the-Water and the Cotswold Water Park, there's no shortage of opportunities to discover the wonderful world of local artisan crafts. From your base in a comfortable, dog-friendly holiday rental, you can chart your own course, travel at your own pace, and immerse yourself in the local culture. So, why not take the next step in planning your Cotswolds adventure? Book your holiday rental today and start mapping out your journey into the heart of England’s artisan craft scene.

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