3. Catch a show at one of Britain's smallest theatres
A hub of inclusive artistry, Chipping Norton Theatre
is a pleasure to visit, no matter what happens to be showing there. Founded by former Dr Who
actor Tom Baker in 1975, this 213-seat venue is one of the smallest and most charming in the country. A wide variety of plays are shown as well as films, comedy gigs and live music, while their non-starry Christmas pantomime is a Cotswolds institution. The theatre also puts on affordable workshops and holds art exhibitions in the building, so check the website for what’s on.
4. Get cosy at a country pub
The Cotswolds is swimming in fantastic country inns perfect for sunny Sunday lunches in gardens or cosy winter sessions. In our opinion cosying up by the fire with your significant other is one of the most romantic things you can do in the Cotswolds too. In many of the charming villages in the region the pubs these are the only eating and drinking venues on offer. Some of our favourites include The Royal Oak in Ramsden
(try the smoked haddock “smokies” dish) and The Plough
in neighbouring Finstock. Go to the latter on Christmas Eve and you’ve got a good chance of catching the Finstock Mummers: a group of local men who act out a traffic-stopping comedic seasonal tale in the street out front. Wherever you end up, be sure to try some local real ales. Offerings from Hook Norton Brewery are particularly wonderful and most pubs will have special local guest beers on tap.
5. Stroll the grounds at Blenheim Palace
Picture-perfect in the summer, bracingly beautiful in the autumn and even unforgettably atmospheric in the pouring rain, a walk in the grounds of Blenheim Palace
always feels special. Tourists usually head to the palace where there are exhibitions, or the butterfly house, eateries, maze and the lovely Formal Garden. They are all worth seeing, but much of the joy of Blenheim is taking a walk on the outskirts of the estate. From the centre of Combe village take Park Road and leave your car in the layby at Combe Lodge. Go through the “kissing gate” and turn either right or left for an hour’s walk around the grounds.