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  • Writer's pictureAlice Anderson

Curious Cotswolds - Snowshill

Updated: Apr 20, 2022

Down the winding country roads only a stones throw away from the beautiful town of Broadway, Snowshill sits silently - a cluster of ancient cottages and cobbled streets hidden away between Britain's wild green meadows.

A Walk through Snowshill Village

As you wander down the streets of Snowshill you're met with cuddled up cottages which have stood together through rain and snow for hundreds of years - the oldest surviving parts of the village dating back to the 1500s. Built from Cotswolds stone, these rickety homes are scattered through the slender streets which entwine the village together. From vintage builds to more modern, yet still fittingly, architecture, it's a masterpiece of history where, I believe, everyone leaves a piece of them behind, and takes a piece of it with them.

Wallflowers grow out of every crack in every wall, and vined roses crawl up stone houses as they reach for scattered sunlight which occasionally falls through Britain's gloomy clouds. If you're from the hustle and bustle of the city, or even from the upbeat vibe of a seaside town, it can be hard to go back to after experiencing the peacefulness of Snowshill. In the heart of the village sits St. Barnabas Church, bordered by its peculiarly aesthetic crooked walls with aged wooden gates.

The Victorian St. Barnabas church nestled in the heart of Snowshill, Cotswolds
St. Barnabas Church

Incredibly, the first record of Snowshill dates back to 821, with further mentions of it recorded in 1086 in the Domesday Books. History suggests that this 19th century church replaced an older building which, eerily, nothing is really known about. Actually, it was slightly unsettling when researching this quaint village as the depths of knowledge about its origins (aside from Snowshill Manor - we'll get to that in a minute!) seem scarce, as though the history books forgot about it completely. However, it's a must see place with its gothic Victorian windows and weathered grounds, and if you're after a drink the brilliant 15th century inn, Snowshill Arms, is right next door!

A cobbled street wall covered in wallflowers which surround Snowshill Manor, Cotswolds.
Wallflowers Guarding Snowshill Manor

Whether you visit the flowers in Spring, or the snow in winter, Snowshill shows a different kind of beauty throughout every season. People often wonder what the best time of year is for visiting the Cotswolds, and to put it simply, there isn't one 'best' time. If you enjoy the excited vibe of tourists and somewhere to sit in the sun, then summer it is. If you want a quiet day with a speckle of rain (okay, maybe more than a speckle, it is the UK, y'know!) then this place is as equally stunning in Autumn. Snowshill is easily one of my favourite sleepy towns. It seems to be a little off the maps for tourists, and never seems to get as busy as other Cotswolds locations which makes it a perfect place to explore.

Snowshill Manor - National Trust

Architecture of Snowshill Manor in the Cotswolds, framed by wild vines and flowers
Snowshill Manor

Where to start when talking about Snowshill Manor... I guess we'll start with a little bit for the historians! Snowshill Manor is a Tudor manor house, a part of the National Trust which is open for the public. Its dishevelled grounds were purchased in 1919 by Architect and Artist Charles Wade who turned it into the beauty we see today. He restored the house to hold his collection of curiosities and magical treasures kept within the family, filling the large hallways and open rooms with trinkets and possessions, like something out of Stephen King's 'Needful Things'. The tall, cobblestone walls enclose the mesmerising gardens, filled with secret doorways which lead into vast growths of wild flowers, splashes of colourful plants, and rows of trees which direct you through its pathways.

A small wooden door sits buried in the walled secret gardens of Snowshill Manor, Cotswolds.
The Secret Garden

If you're after a tea or coffee, or even a cheeky bit of cake, the grounds also have a café where you can sit outside and admire the gardens in the sun, or sit inside and watch the rain drizzle down the windows on a colder day.

Walls and architecture of Snowshill Manor in the Cotswolds.
Architecture of Snowshill Manor

One part of Snowshill I am yet to explore is that of the Lavender Fields, but trust me, it's on my list to see in the near future... For those looking to escape to the Cotswolds for a few days, another plus is that Snowshill has a carpark making it extremely accessible to its mesmerising streets!

The Surrounding Area

Other local Cotswold destinations to visit near Snowshill:

  • Broadway - 3.1 miles

  • Chipping Campden - 4.9 miles

  • Stanton - 5.0 miles

  • Broad Campden - 6.1 miles

  • Batsford Arboretum - 5.9 miles

Snowshill Gallery


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