Britain’s most scenic drives: A meander through the North Cotswolds

On a quest to explore the country's most glorious roads, Annunciata Elwes takes the wheel in the North Cotswolds.

If you’re looking for Britain’s most scene drives, it’s hard to go wrong in an idyllic AONB where honey-coloured stone enhances rolling hills wherever you turn.

view over chipping campden village gloucestershire england uk

Chipping Campden’s ‘most perfect high street in England’ is a good place to start; perhaps follow the Cotswold Way towards Willersey and Broadway, stopping at Broadway Tower for a glimpse of 16 counties, before humming down the A44 to Moreton-in-Marsh at the crossroads of Roman Fosse Way or forking south to Stow-on-the-Wold, the Slaughters with their sweet footbridges on the Eye, and Bourton-on-the-Water, known for straddling the Windrush and its museum’s vintage cars.

Summer's evening in a rural Cotswold landscape with space for copy.

The little lanes through sheep-speckled fields here are in no hurry, but creep lazily south to Northleach and Cirencester, or east via Daylesford to join the A44 and Chipping Norton, home to a very good literary festival, plus bucolic-chic Soho Farmhouse.

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Cotswolds view

This is mellow land and drivers should go where the breeze takes them — there’s usually a good pub lunch to be had along the way; the 16th-century The King’s Head Inn at Bledington, for example, or The Swan at Ascott-under-Wychwood, with its whitewashed beams and many bell jars filled with wildflowers.

Stone Bridge and Cottage, Lower Slaughter