Taking Cheltenham as a base, this is a drive itinerary visiting some of the loveliest towns and villages of the North Cotswolds.
Breakfast (or as early as available)
Take the B4632 road to Winchcombe. The road climbs to high on the edge of the Cotswold escarpment where Cleeve Hill is the highest point of the Cotswolds at 330m. Arrive at Winchcombe which has a picturesque but narrow main street. Browse the streetscape and little shops.
Visit beautiful Sudeley Castle & Gardens (http://www.sudeleycastle.co.uk) open from March to 30 October 2016, 10am-5pm. This was once the home of Henry V111’s last wife, Katherine Parr, who is buried in the castle’s 15th century church.
Toddington Steam Railway.
Stanton and Stanway where Stanway House has the highest fountain in Britain.
Stanway Mill, a working flour mill dating back to 1291.
Hailles Abbey, the ruins of a Cistercian Abbey dating from 1245/6.
Continue on the B4632 to Broadway, a perfect Cotswold village with a lengthy main street lined with galleries and shops including antiques and a goldsmith. Also to visit, are the Gordon Russell Design Museum and the Ashmolean Museum Broadway.
There are many cafes, restaurants, pubs and hotels in Broadway including:
The Broadway Deli, 29 High Street, Broadway (http://www.broadwaydeli.co.uk). The Broadway Hotel, The Green, High Street, Broadway (https://www.cotswold-inns-hotels.co.uk/the-broadway-hotel/).
The Crown and Trumpet, Church Street, Broadway (http://www.crownandtrumpet.co.uk).
Cotswold Lavender (summer)
Follow the A44 (Oxford direction), then the B4081 to Chipping Campden, a former wool market town and one of the most beautiful streetscapes in the Cotswolds. Visit the Court Barn Museum which tells the story of the Arts & Crafts movement and the designers and craftspeople who were drawn here to work.
Kifstgate Court Gardens
Return to the A44 and continue to Stow-on-The Wold. Park in the main square to take a look around.
Take the B4068 road via Naunton to return to Cheltenham joining the A40. Too hungry to last until Cheltenham? Find a famous dining pub in Naunton called the Hollow Bottom (http://hollowbottom.com) a favourite with the local horse racing set.
Alternatively, return to Cheltenham and dine city-style at The Daffodil (http://www.thedaffodil.com) an art-deco brasserie and bar with seasonal menus.
Lumiere stars local and British produce and with vegetarian menus; the acclaimed Prithvi (http://prithvirestaurant.com) is based on Indian classics.
After a big day out a relaxing nightcap at your hotel might be in order – The Gold Cup Bar at the Queens Hotel Cheltenham MGallery or Soho Bar.