One of the best known Cotswold market towns, Stow-On-The-Wold is an absolute gem.
Steeped in a rich history, Stow-On-The-Wold was famous for its large annual fairs. There would be as many as 20,000 sheep sold at one time at these events – quite amazing. Stow horse fair continues to this day, usually taking place bi-anually in May and October and attracting many thousands of Gypsies to the town to trade.
Stow on the Wold was also the site of a Civil War battle on 21st March 1646. The Royalist army of King Charles the 1st, under the command of Robert Astley, was intercepted and beaten by The New Model Army while travelling towards Oxford.
The market town has many small alleyways leading off of its main square – these date back to the wool industry where it was easier to control and count sheep in them.
Stow has regularly held markets since it was granted a charter by King Henry II in 1107. However, despite being very popular with locals and tourists, the only market to now be held in the town is a farmers market on the first Thursday of every month.
The town attracts many visitors each year to explore its cobbled streets, gorgeous boutique shops, art galleries and independent restaurants.
What to do in Stow-On-The-Wold
- St Edward’s Church (the door which is said to have inspired J. R. R. Tolkien in Lord of the Rings)
- Visit the market place and visit all the independent shops and restaurants
Where to stay in Stow-On-The-Wold
You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation, there are spa hotels such as Wyck Hill House Hotel on the outskirts, more cozy pubs such as the Bell and the Sleep, as well as lots of lovely B&Bs and self-catering options too.
Parking in Stow-On-The-Wold
There are a couple of free parking spots in Stow-On-The-Wold, there are a limited number of spaces in the square which are free to park in but have a 2-hour limit.
There is a free long stay car park next to Tesco on the Fossway just slightly out of town, it is just a short walk into the town centre.
If the free car parks are full there is a pay and display car park on Maugersbury Road just down from The Bell pub.
Public Toilets in Stow-On-The-Wold
There are 2 lots of public toilets in Stow-On-The-Wold, located just above the pay and display car park on Maugersbury road and the other is near the police station on the high-street. They are open 8-9pm and have disabled and baby changing facilities.