Here in London we are fortunate to live just a train ride away from some beautiful places. From stunning seaside towns to idyllic Cotswold villages, there’s plenty to explore just a few hours away.
And one of those places is Painswick. The town of 3,000 is located right in the center of Gloucestershire near Stroud. It is situated on a hill overlooking one of the five valleys in the area.
It’s so pretty it’s often featured on lists of the most beautiful places in England. She has even earned the nickname “Queen of the Cotswolds”.
And there’s plenty to do there for the perfect weekend getaway. Make your first stop at Painswick Rococo Garden, Britain’s only complete Rococo garden.
READ MORE:Pretty seaside town 2 hours from London known as ‘London-on-sea’ with Britain’s best fish and chips and one of Britain’s most beautiful beaches
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Designed in the 1740s, it includes forest trails, a whole maze, a café and even a gift shop where you can buy quality plants. TripAdvisor reviewers say it’s “a nice, quiet garden in the middle of nowhere. It’s easy to picture this as a virtually self-sufficient family home in its prime.” One person even wrote, “The leaflet suggested allowing two hours for your first visit, it took us over five.”
If you fancy a walk, take a loop hike to Painswick Beacon. The five-mile hike takes you to the top of a hill where the beacon stands. There are lovely views from the top, and one reviewer said it had “amazing panoramic views of the countryside.” Another added: “On a clear day you can see forever!”
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And once back in town, check out St. Mary’s Church and its gardens. It is set back from the road in a quiet area and the historic churchyard is an impressive sight with 99 yew trees planted throughout. One reviewer said: “The most interesting part of our visit to the pretty village of Painswick was that the graveyard had a very distinctive appearance with 100 sculpted yew trees.”
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When you get hungry, head to The Painswick Pooch Coffee House. They are a dog friendly cafe with freshly baked cakes and lots of hot drinks. Reviewers can’t get enough of their coffee, calling it “the best coffee in the Costwolds”. Others also call it a “delightful little gem” and are particularly fond of the “friendly and welcoming staff”.
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If you want something a little more extensive, visit St. Michael’s, which is located opposite the church. Expect classic British and European cuisine such as fillet steak and oven-baked cod. One reviewer wrote: “We arrived on a rainy and cold Sunday evening and entering the restaurant was like walking into someone’s living room. It was welcoming, cozy and we were warmly welcomed by the owners. The service was attentive, friendly and we searched for nothing. Food was tasty with hearty portions. A very enjoyable evening!”
how to get there
The train takes you to Gloucester in 1 hour and 45 minutes. From there you can take a taxi for 15 minutes. It’s just as long by car, driving through Oxford and the central Cotswolds.
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