The quintessential village of Bibury will be high on most people’s lists when exploring The Cotswolds, and it’s easy to see why…
The image of weaver’s cottages, known as Arlington Row, are sewn into the minds of many when they think of The Cotswolds, so much so it’s even appeared inside UK passports.
Originally built in the 14th century to store wool, Arlington Row’s appearance has remained largely unchanged since the 17th century when it was converted into cottages.
You may not realise that such an iconic visitor attraction is mostly made up of residential homes and so deserve respect and privacy when approaching up close.
9 Arlington Row Holiday Cottage
The cottages and surrounding land is under ownership of the National Trust who protect and preserve land and historic properties across the UK. You can actually rent a holiday cottage on Arlington Row through the National Trust, it’s a 2-bedroom end of terrace retreat with a surprisingly modern interior for a comfortable stay.
Related: 10 picture postcard places to visit in The Cotswolds (opens in a new tab)
The Rack Isle
Arlington Row overlooks a meadow known as ‘The Rack Isle’ that’s teeming with wildlife next to the River Coln. You can walk around this area, including Arlington Row, on a circular route that takes around 10 minutes, simply follow the National Trust signage near the two river bridges.
The Swan Hotel in Bibury
Even though the cottages steal much of the spotlight in Bibury, visitors can’t miss passing by The Swan Hotel, a former coaching inn on the river edge with its own Brasserie and Country Bar. Don’t be surprised if it’s booked out for a wedding given its attractive interior and location.
Related: Visiting Painswick Rococo Garden
Bibury Trout Farm
Opposite the hotel is Bibury Trout Farm which was established in 1902 and offers visitors the unique opportunity to catch their own dinner and BBQ it on site or takeaway.
Bibury Tea Room
The road adjacent to Arlington Row follows the river and is lined with charming cottages, a church, post office (with gift shop) and tea room. The William Morris Tea Room is named after the English artist who once described Bibury as ‘the most beautiful village in England’.
Tours to Bibury
Bibury’s pathways may be well trodden from tourists in the summer on group tours, but visit beyond this period and you’ll have a better chance of experiencing the natural peace and tranquility it often exudes in photos, particularly in the evening when most day visitors are returning home.
A group tour to Bibury (particularly if you’re visiting from London) may be the most convenient option if you’re new to the area or don’t have a car as public transport is limited in this rural location.
Visiting Cirencester from Bibury
If you are able to drive to Bibury then consider making the most of your stay by stopping off in the market town of Cirencester as it’s only about 8 miles away. Known as the ‘Capital of the Cotswolds’, Cirencester has an abundance of shops, bars and restaurants surrounding a Parish Church.
Cirencester was also an important settlement when the Roman’s conquered Britain, situated on a historic road called Ermin Way. The area’s extensive history can be explored inside the Corinium Museum, as well as the remains of an Amphitheatre.