The Slaughters, two of the most beautiful Cotswolds villages
Upper and Lower Slaughter (or The Slaughters) are without doubt “must-see” villages in the Cotswolds, and they are only 10 min drive from Graziers Cottage!
Both villages are less than a mile from each other, therefore if you are planning to visit them, makes sense to combine both places in one trip.
The name Slaughter derives from old English 𝘴𝘭𝘰𝘩𝘵𝘳𝘦 and means 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘱𝘰𝘰𝘭𝘴, or 𝘮𝘶𝘥𝘥𝘺 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦. The River Eye runs through both villages.
Upper Slaughter is scattered up and down hill streets, with some stone footbridges and a shallow ford. 12th-century St. Peter's church dates back to Anglo-Saxon period of English history, very well preserved and definitely worth a visit. One of the church bells is called ‘Eleanor’ after the wife of Edward I.
For refreshments visit Upper Slaughter Manor and Gardens (open to the public for 3-4 weeks during Summer only) or nearby Lords of the Manor Hotel and Restaurant.
Lower Slaughter is less than a mile lower down the stream of the River Eye. The village might have been a muddy place centuries ago, but it is certainly not muddy nowadays! It looks absolutely stunning with the river streaming right through the village, traditional honey-coloured cottages on both sides, few charming stone bridges, a water mill and one of the most romantic looking streets in Britain!
The most iconic image of the village is The Old Mill, which was built in the 19 century and replaced a mill which had existed on site from 1086. The mill produced flour up until 1958. Today it hosts a museum of bread making, a shop selling local gifts and crafts, an ice cream parlour and the Riverside Tea Room and Café.
The street, which was voted the most romantic street in Britain in 2011, is called Copsehill Road. The part of the road which stretches from the crossroads with Becky Hill and goes along the river is the most photographed and “Instagrammable” village spot.
A stroll through here is extremely pleasant, especially on a hot summer day, with the old lime tree canopies shielding you from above, water running nearby and well maintained grounds of The Manor House and The Country Inn laying on both sides adding to the idyllic outlook. Both The Slaughters Manor House and The Country Inn are part of Andrew Brownsword Hotels. Renovated to the highest standards, the House and Inn offer high quality accommodation as well as a dining experience.
We enjoyed a very relaxing alfresco meal on the Inn’s lawn and cannot recommend it enough, even if just for a drink.
For a great day out, consider combining your visit to both villages with a circular walk between them, followed by alfresco dining at one of the village’s restaurants.
Walk from Lower to Upper Slaughter and back
Distance: approx.. 2 miles
This walk is best enjoyed in dry weather as it takes you mainly through the fields.
We recommend starting and finishing your day from Lower Slaughter. Park your car on Copsehill Road opposite The Slaughters Manor House hotel. It is free but might get busy with cars on a good day.
Take a lazy stroll through the village towards The Old Mill, stop over for a browse or an ice cream, then straight after the mill turn left to the public footpath named Warden’s Way.
Continue through the fields along the river for less than a mile until you reach Lords of the Manor hotel and restaurant. The path is signposted and well-walked so you don’t need to worry about getting lost.
A narrow jitty will take you to the road where you need to turn left. Follow our yellow walking route on the map until you reach a ford where the road crosses the River Eye. It’s a good spot to stop for a little rest on a grassy knoll and watch cars enduring the waterway as little children paddle nearby.
The footpath continues by the cute pedestrian bridge and runs alongside the river – this is a great place for spotting fish in the crystal clear water!
Join the road and turn right, walk on for a bit until you see the familiar jitty on your left taking you back to the fields and eventually to Lower Slaughter.
Great place to finish your little exploration is The Slaughters Country Inn, which has a large outdoor seating area. Enjoy lunch, Afternoon Tea or dinner, or just a drink in a very picturesque setting.