Stopping off at sumptuous Stow-on-the-Wold on perfect Pulhams 801

Nestled amidst the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, Stow-on-the-Wold is a picturesque market town brimming with charm and character. At nearly 800ft above sea level, Stow-on-the-Wold is the highest Cotswold town.

No fudging it, there’s plenty of eye candy in Stow!

Known for its historic architecture, quaint streets, and scenic countryside, Stow-on-the-Wold offers visitors a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life. From exploring its ancient landmarks to shopping in its artisan boutiques and fab fudge and sweet shops, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this idyllic English town. It’s one of the many highlights of the ultimate Cotswolds journey – the 801 between Cheltenham and Chipping Norton from customer-centric bus company Pulhams, which is up there with the very best in the UK for service and scenery!

Stunning stained glass St. Edwards

One of Stow-on-the-Wold’s most iconic landmarks is St. Edward’s Church, a beautiful medieval church with a rich history dating back over 900 years. Situated at the top of the town’s historic market square, St. Edward’s Church boasts stunning architecture, including a magnificent tower that offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Visitors can explore the church’s interior, marvel at its intricate stained glass windows, and discover its fascinating connections to local history and folklore.

Dog-fighting disappears for drinking

From the Market Square, folk should head down Digbeth Street to the Porch House, which is England’s oldest inn, which dates back to the 10th Century and has a lovely cosy and welcoming vibe. Brimming with Cotswolds class, this is a truly magnificent venue to host an event or to visit for a lovely pint or meal. The Porch House was originally a hospice and then an inn, possibly with a dog fighting pit and eventually a hotel, previously known as The Royalist.

As if all this history wasn’t enough, there’s culture to be enjoyed and for a taste of Stow-on-the-Wold’s vibrant arts scene, a visit to the Fosse Gallery is a must. Located in a charming Cotswold stone building, this prestigious art gallery showcases a diverse collection of contemporary British paintings, sculptures, and ceramics. From landscapes and still lifes to abstract works and figurative art, the Fosse Gallery offers a feast for the eyes and a unique insight into the talent of local and national artists. Founded by Sharon Wheaton in 1980, Fosse Gallery has earned a reputation for excellence in the art world, attracting collectors and connoisseurs from near and far.

Bygone shopping paradise

No trip to Stow-on-the-Wold would be complete without a leisurely stroll along its picturesque streets and lanes. Lined with quaint cottages, boutique shops, and traditional tea rooms, the town’s historic centre exudes old-world charm and offers plenty of opportunities for exploration and discovery. Whether you’re browsing for antiques, sampling local delicacies, or simply soaking in the ambiance, Stow-on-the-Wold’s streets are sure to delight visitors of all ages. A particular favourite of ours’ is Stow Town Coffee, which is one of the smallest commercial coffee roasteries. Make sure you pick up your very own freshly ground beans!

Performing arts and gardening gems aplenty

Throughout the year, Stow-on-the-Wold hosts a variety of special events and festivals that celebrate its rich heritage and community spirit. One such event is the Stow Cotswold Festival, a lively celebration of music, dance, and traditional arts and crafts. With live performances, workshops, and demonstrations, the festival offers a vibrant showcase of local talent and creativity.

For green-fingered garden buffs, the Stow-on-the-Wold Open Gardens Weekend is a highlight of the town’s calendar. Held annually in the summer months, this popular event invites visitors to explore a selection of private gardens and green spaces throughout the town. From manicured lawns and colourful flower beds to tranquil ponds and secret pathways, the Open Gardens Weekend offers a rare opportunity to glimpse behind the garden gates and discover the hidden treasures of Stow-on-the-Wold.

Stow’s stocked up on terrific talent and wonderful walks

Despite its small size, Stow-on-the-Wold harbours a few hidden gems that may surprise visitors. One such gem is the ancient stocks, located in the heart of the town’s market square. Dating back to the 17th century, these wooden structures were used to punish wrongdoers by public humiliation, providing a fascinating glimpse into Stow-on-the-Wold’s past. The Old Stocks Inn commemorates this fascinating feature of the town’s past and is a lovely 17th Century building, with fab beams, Cotswold stone walls and odd shaped rooms for guests. The food is utterly fantastic here too – 5-star AA rated!

In addition to its hidden gems, Stow-on-the-Wold has also been home to a few notable residents who have left their mark on history. One such resident is J.R.R. Tolkien, the renowned author of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit.” Born in South Africa, Tolkien spent time in Stow-on-the-Wold during his childhood and drew inspiration from the town’s scenic countryside for his iconic fantasy novels.

Another famous face with ties to Stow-on-the-Wold is the acclaimed actor Hugh Grant. Born in London, Grant has owned a property in the Cotswolds for many years and is known to frequent the area. With its tranquil setting and quintessential English charm, Stow-on-the-Wold has long been a favourite destination for celebrities seeking a retreat from the pressures of city life.

There’s some fabulous walks to be enjoyed in and around Stow-on-the-Wold, including a beautiful six mile sojourn to the paradisical village of Bourton-on-the-Water, where you can enjoy there the delights of the River Windrush and pick up the 801 again, onwards to Cheltenham or back to Stow and Chipping Norton. The walk cuts through the wonderful villages of Icomb and Wick Rissington as well as the Salmonsbury Meadows nature reserve and takes between 2-3 hours to complete!

Pulhams picture postcard perfection on the 801

All in all, there’s few bus routes that capture the enchanted charm and beauty of a particular region, than the 801 which enables customers to devour the brilliance of the Cotswolds, from the masterpiece that is Cheltenham with its chic, style and history, through classic countryside – soft undulating hills, tree-lined lanes and charming villages with wonderful architecture. Stow-on-the-Wold is the perfect stop off to get a glimpse of Cotswolds life and it’s a location steeped in ambience and history. To plan your fab exploration, check out 801 Cheltenham – Chipping Norton – Great Scenic Journeys