For first time visitors Witney is a very pleasant surprise: no quaint chocolate box Cotswold village but vibrant and busy with people lured to town by the independent shops, cafes and restaurants. One of Witney’s great charms is the contrasts it offers: the wonderful old Town Hall and medieval Buttercross right in the bustle of the town centre, just yards away a huge open green in front of the medieval church; the peace and tranquillity of water meadows by the River Windrush, just two minutes walk from the Westgate shopping centre.  

Witney Blanket Hall

For centuries Witney was synonymous with woollen blankets, which were known across the world. The prosperity the wool trade brought is reflected in the town’s fine buildings. To discover the town’s blanket making history visit Witney Blanket Hall or follow the Witney Wool & Blanket Trail to explore the town at your own pace.

Cogges Manor

For a fascinating insight into Witney’s history visit the Witney & District Museum, with items from the local brewing, glove making and engineering industries, as well as the wool trade. A short walk from the town centre, across the tranquil water meadows, lies Cogges Manor Farm, a unique heritage site with a fascinating story, a 13th century manor house, enchanting walled garden, orchard, and walks around the island woodland and moat by the River Windrush. Cogges has featured in a number of films and TV shows and was the location for Yew Tree Farm in Downton Abbey.

Fat Squirrel Outdoor

If you prefer to be hands-on then head to the quirky studio at The Pottery Place to paint your own pottery masterpieces or venture into the woods just outside Witney and join Fat Squirrel Outdoor for bushcraft, adventure and campfire experiences.

Teddy Bears of Witney

A visit to Witney isn’t complete without some serious retail therapy. The long High Street, with its side mews, and Corn Street are lined with an eclectic mix of independent shops, from an independent baker to a perfumery and even a shop dedicated to teddy bears! Whilst two pedestrianised shopping centres boast high street names and even more independent retailers. There are also regular street markets held in front of the historic Corn Exchange.

Huffkins Bakery & Tea Rooms

You don’t need to go far to get a bite to eat in Witney! Dotted across the town, you’ll discover a myriad of wonderful independent cafes, restaurants and gastropubs, serving local produce and delicacies to sample. Why not stop for coffee and cake at Eden Cafe, Witney’s only vegan cafe, grab a spot of lunch or afternoon tea at Huffkins bakery or a delicious meal at The Horseshoes, an award-winning gastropub?!

The Blue Boar

With so much on offer in and around Witney, it makes the perfect place to base your Cotswolds stay, and there’s plenty of choice too. You could stay in the heart of the town at The Blue Boar, where exposed beams and individually designed bedrooms blend with modern luxuries, or spend a few nights at the family-run Hawthorn House B&B just outside the town centre.

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