December 19, 2023
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Cotswolds Weather – What to Expect When Visiting
The Cotswolds is a charming region in the south-central part of England that offers a picturesque landscape of rolling hills, quaint villages, and historic landmarks.
Like much of England and the UK for that matter, the weather in the Cotswolds can vary, and it’s sensible that travellers come prepared for all weather conditions.
In this article, we will discuss what to expect when visiting the Cotswolds in each season of the year.
Spring in the Cotswolds
Spring is a beautiful time to visit the Cotswolds. Having left winter behind, the weather is generally mild, and the countryside is bursting with colour. Go for a spring walk in England to see snowdrops – one of the first wildflowers on show, followed by Daffodils rising from their winter dormancy. Finally, Bluebells carpet Cotswold woodlands from March through to May.
Cotswold temperatures in March and April range from 44°F to 53°F (7 °C to 12 °C), and in May, the mercury can rise to 60°F (16 °C). Despite this, it is essential to pack layers and a waterproof jacket as visitors can often be caught out by a squally shower or cold wind.
Fortunately, Cotswold towns and villages are stacked with plenty of places to shelter from changeable weather. From cosy cafes, perfect for afternoon tea to traditional pubs, the best place to grab a roast lunch, there’s a good choice for visitors.
Summer in the Cotswolds
Summer is the peak season for tourism in the Cotswolds. The weather is warm, and the days are long, making it the perfect time to explore this rural idyll. Local attractions tend to stay open longer and there are many special events On average, daytime temperatures in June, July, and August range from 64 °F to 71°F (18°C to 22°C). These temperatures make for pleasant walking and cycling conditions.
However, in recent years the area has seen temperatures above average. At the Windrush weather station, slap bang in the middle of the Cotswolds, a record of 88°F (31.5°C) was recorded during the summer of 2022. Incidentally, that particular weather station also recorded its coldest ever temperature just a few months later – a chilly 5°F (-14.5°C) on the 22nd of December 2022.
If you plan to visit the Cotswolds in summer, it’s sensible to prepare for warm weather. Sunscreen and a hat would be good additions to your suitcase, and for those taking on one of our adventure holidays in the region, it’s a good idea to stay hydrated.
Long summer evenings are the perfect time for a circular pub walk. Set out from a traditional English beer garden, take in the beautiful sights and sounds of Summer; perhaps it’s the final overs of a local cricket match, the sweet scent of a garden rose, a swooping Swallow or the hum of a farmer’s combine harvester – an English summer’s evening, where else would you rather be?
That said, a summer Cotswold evening can quickly turn chilly, especially when the sun sets (around 10 pm in mid-summer), so we’d still advise summer visitors to the Cotswolds to pack something warm. That could be a warm jacket, gilet or vest, something to ward off the worst of the chill.
Fall in the Cotswolds
Autumn is a spectacular time to visit the Cotswolds. The countryside dances in a colourful array of autumnal hues, which makes it a photographer’s paradise.
Cotswold weather in September, October, and November ranges from 51°F to 60°F (11°C to 16°C). However, it can be rainy and windy, so it’s a good idea to pack a waterproof jacket and warm layers.
The Cotswolds is an ideal destination for autumn walks, exploring historic towns, and enjoying local produce such as cheese or beer.
Winter in the Cotswolds
Winter is a quiet season in the Cotswolds, and it’s a perfect time for a peaceful getaway – experiencing the Cotswolds as the locals do. Cotswold weather in December, January, and February ranges from 39°F to 46°F (4°C to 8°C), and it can be rainy and windy. If the conditions are right, it’s not unusual to see snow fall in the Cotswolds.
On hilly ground, of which there is plenty in the Cotswolds, the snow can reach surprising depths, especially if high winds cause it to drift.
Fewer hours of daylight restrict visitors to certain activities, but that said, the Cotswolds is an ideal destination for winter walks, visiting historic landmarks, and enjoying the local cuisine. It’s also a great time to visit the Christmas markets and indulge in festive treats.
Packing warm, waterproof clothing and comfortable shoes for walking on slippery surfaces is essential when visiting the Cotswolds in Winter. It’s not unusual for a ground frost to last the whole day in Winter, so ice can remain on untreated walking or cycling routes right into the afternoon.
What’s the best time of year to visit the Cotswolds?
The weather in the Cotswolds, UK, can be unpredictable, with alternating periods of sunshine and rain. But, like much of the UK, we’d argue that this is part of the region’s charm. Perhaps the best time to visit is during the shoulder seasons of Spring and Fall, when the weather isn’t too inclement and visitors to the region are lower than average.
Despite its northerly latitude, The Cotswolds region has a mild climate all year long, thanks to the Gulf Stream, which brings warm air to the UK. The climate in the area has much in common with the Pacific Northwest of the US, with constant temperatures and relatively high levels of rainfall.
Whether you’re visiting in the spring, summer, autumn, or winter, we recommend that you come prepared for all weather conditions.
The Cotswolds is a beautiful region with something to offer during every season, so plan accordingly, and you’ll make the most of your visit.