Going for a trip to Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire? Lower Slaughter village is one of the most charming villages in the Cotswolds!
As one of the most visited places in the Cotswolds, Lower Slaughter is famous for its honey-coloured stone cottages.
Whether you visit this beautiful village near London for a day trip by car or spend a weekend away, you can be sure that there are plenty of things to do in Lower Slaughter and the whole Cotswolds AONB.
What is Lower Slaughter?
Lower Slaughter is a village in the Cotswolds with a somewhat unusual name. The origin of the name is not as dark as it might appear. In old English, the name for a wet and muddy place was ‘slough’ or ‘slothre’. Over time and as the language changed, it became Slaughter.
Consequently, the name of the village has nothing to do with murder and actually means lower wetland. It’s just a mile walk to find yourself in Upper Slaughter which is where you find the slightly higher wetland in the area.
Where is Lower Slaughter?
Lower Slaughter is in the Cotswolds. It is roughly four miles south of Stow on the Wold. It lies between Oxford and Cheltenham. The village is set in the most beautiful surroundings. It is positioned deep in the heart of one of the nation’s Areas of Outstanding National Beauty.
Lower Slaughter sits on the River Eye. It’s one of the many tributaries of the River Thames in the area and makes for a very picturesque setting.
Lower Slaughter parking
Because Lower Slaughter is such a small village, there are no car parks, and the streets are too narrow to park on. There is some parking for those staying in the hotels or eating there. If you wish to visit the village the best option is to walk. It’s about a mile from Bourton on the Water or 3 miles from Stow on the Wold.
If you’re feeling adventurous, a lovely option is to park in Stow on the Wold, where the parking is cheap. Then walk to Lower Slaughter and on to Bourton on the Water to catch the bus back.
What is Lower Slaughter known for?
Lower Slaughter is probably best known for its unusual name. It certainly attracts a lot of interest. It is also famous for being among the most stunning and picturesque villages in the Cotswolds. Many walkers know it as a good place to stop for a drink, as many walking routes pass through the village. Some people may also know the village from its movie appearances.
Google Street View held a poll in 2011 to find the most romantic street in Britain. The Copse Hill Road in Lower Slaughter was the winner.
Lower Slaughter facts:
Where to stay in Lower Slaughter?
If you want to explore both Lower and Upper Slaughter, then you might decide to stay in the village. It’s also a lovely spot to stay if you’re looking for some peace and tranquillity. As you might expect from a small village, there aren’t too many choices, but the options available are lovely.
Things to see Lower Slaughter:
1. River Eye
What to do in Lower Slaughter in Cotswolds? The River Eye is a fairly short but lovely river. It flows through both Upper and Lower Slaughter. Though, you’ll get the best views of it in Lower Slaughter. The water runs from a spring in the Cotswold Hills, and the water is crisp and clear most of the year.
Wandering through the village, you’ll come across a number of small footbridges crossing the river. They make for ideal photo locations. You’ll see many of them used as scenery in the 2020 film Emma.
2. Lower Slaughter Museum
Top places to see in Lower Slaughter? The owners of the old village mill converted it into a museum to share the history of breadmaking. You’ll also have the opportunity to see the fascinating inner workings of the mill’s mechanisms. The mill has a long history as it even appears in the Domesday Book.
As well as the museum, there is also a small craft shop, a cafe and a homemade organic ice cream parlour. So, there are a lot of reasons to visit. Nothing is better than eating quality ice cream by the gently flowing river.
3. The Parish Church of St. Mary
What to see in Lower Slaughter, England? The church of St Mary is an interesting church to view. The original church dates back to the 13th century. However, it was remodelled and restored in the 19th century. Its walls and roof are all built out of local Cotswold stone, including the impressively steep tower.
You’ll find the church opposite the pub and just over the River Eye. There is a lovely little footbridge that will take you over. The bell tower contains six bells; these are rung on special occasions.
4. Old Town Well
If you are the kind of person that likes to get a real feel for the history of a place, then you might want to head to the green at the south end of Malthouse Lane. There you will find the old town well.
There is something special about standing in front of the same structure as someone did hundreds of years ago. The well is now covered up and no longer in use but is preserved as a historical monument.
5. The Slaughters Village Hall
Where to visit in Lower Slaughter Cotswolds? Nearby the green with the old town well you can find another beautiful old construction. The village hall is a Grade II listed building. It is a lovely old construction. Combined with its position next to the river, it makes for an ideal location for taking some pictures.
The village hall has a lovely large window at the front, and a clock face above. It’s a view fans of the 2020 film Emma might recognise. The film features the village hall as a backdrop in the film.
6. The Slaughters Manor House
The Slaughters Manor House is a converted 17th century family mansion. The owners lovingly renovated and modernised the building into a luxury hotel. This is a proper country-style hotel with all the luxury you could want.
As it is located just over the road from the pub, it’s the perfect place to end your night if you decide to stay in the village. It’s also home to one of the few car parks in the village. So if you wish to drive to Lower Slaughter, you may want to think about staying here.
7. Copse Hill Road
What to do in Lower Slaughter village? Copse Hill Road is the name of the main street that runs through the village. This is the street that won a vote for the most romantic street in Britain in 2011. Voters were able to view the street through Google Street View.
So just imagine how much better it would be to see it in person. As you wander down the road, you have the river on one side, trees all around, and lovely stone-built buildings to admire.
8. The Slaughters Country Inn
What to see in Lower Slaughter village? With Lower Slaughter being such a small place, there isn’t a great deal of choice in places to eat. So if you find yourself in need of a meal, then one of the few options is Slaughters Country Inn. They serve traditional pub food, as well as drinks and snacks.
The ambience in the place is lovely, and it’s a great place to rest after a long countryside walk. The inn also offers rooms if you wish to spend a night in this English village.
9. Lower Slaughter walks
Lower Slaughter what to do? There are many great walks that pass through Lower Slaughter. If you are interested in exploring the villages in the area, then you should take the time to walk 10 minutes up to the road to see Upper Slaughter.
A one-mile walk down the river and over a couple of fields will get you to Bourton on the Water. Heading in the opposite direction, you can walk a very picturesque three miles to reach Stow on the Wold. The whole area is beautiful and filled with walking trails.
10. Lower Slaughter horse riding
What to do in Lower Slaughter? Horse riding is a popular pastime in the Cotswolds. There are lots of stables in the area where you can arrange to go on a day hack. The best option if you want to ride through Lower Slaughter is to arrange a ride with Bourton Equestrian centre. They run either a range of hacks, depending on the ability level and time you have available.
Both these rides take you through Upper and Lower Slaughter. It’s a great way to take in the beauty of the area, and you don’t have to have any horse riding experience at all.
Why is it called Lower Slaughter?
The name of the village isn’t due to any bloody past. Instead, it is just a reflection of the age of the town and how much the English language has changed over the years. The village has been around for so long that you can find it listed in the Domesday Book.
There its name is ‘Scolstre’. It’s the first written record of the village, but it has likely been around for much longer. Historians believe that the name comes from the old English word for wetlands as the area does have some beautiful wetlands filled with diverse wildlife.
Can you walk from Bourton on the Water to Lower Slaughter?
You can indeed walk between Bourton on the Water and Lower Slaughter. The route is about a mile long and really quite scenic. You don’t have to be super fit and rugged to enjoy this walk.
You’ll cross a few fields, wander along the riverside and before you know it, you’ll have arrived. Walking is a good way to get to Lower Slaughter since there’s limited parking in the village, especially as there is plenty to be found in Bourton on the Water.
What was filmed in Lower Slaughter?
Lower Slaughter is such a beautiful place that it’s hardly surprising that directors want to use it as a backdrop for their films and TV series.
The most recent film to make use of Lower Slaughter’s good looks is the 2020 movie Emma. They used several locations in town. If you have keen eyes, you’ll be able to spot the village hall, the market square and the fabric shop. There are also several shots of the villages pretty bridges.
Places to visit near Lower Slaughter:
- Bourton-on-the-Water: 2 miles away from Lower Slaughter
- Stow-on-the-Wold: 3 miles away from Lower Slaughter
- Burford: 11 miles away from Lower Slaughter
- Chipping Norton: 12 miles away from Lower Slaughter
- Bibury: 14 miles away from Lower Slaughter
- Winchcombe: 14 miles away from Lower Slaughter
- Witney: 19 miles away from Lower Slaughter
- Stratford-upon-Avon: 24 miles away from Lower Slaughter
- Faringdon: 25 miles away from Lower Slaughter
- Stroud: 27 miles away from Lower Slaughter
- Wantage: 33 miles away from Lower Slaughter
- Dorchester-on-Thames: 38 miles away from Lower Slaughter
- Wallingford: 43 miles away from Lower Slaughter
- Watlington: 47 miles away from Lower Slaughter
- New Alresford: 86 miles away from Lower Slaughter
Is it worth visiting Lower Slaughter?
Lower Slaughter is a charming and delightful village. If you enjoy taking in the beauty of the countryside and getting a feel for life in the Cotswolds, it is most definitely worth a visit. Because it is a small village it is worth combining your trip with other places in the Cotswolds.
There are lots of lovely villages you can walk between in the area. If you just want a quiet place to stay away from the hustle and bustle, then Lower Slaughter is a great choice for that as well.
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