Winter Wonderland in the Cotswolds: English Villages covered in snow

english countryside winter cotswolds castle combe in snow snowmaggedon england katya jackson whippet

Photographing England in snow has been one of my dreams for years now. Last year in 2018, the one week of snow happened to fall while I was in the middle of South Island of New Zealand so I missed all the fun.

This year there were many weeks of constant warnings of imminent snow but nothing happened for weeks. Everyone was anticipating snow in London but there were only light dustings in the north of the city.

I was constantly checking weather updates from MetOffice website, twitter, and geotags on Instagram and even live cameras in some cities. And then one week it became clear that it was going to snow in Bath and the south Cotswolds, so my husband grabbed out gear and booked this gorgeous Georgian apartment in the South of Bath, packed our dog’s warmest jumper and jumped in the car.

It started snowing late that evening and by the morning everything was covered in 10-15 cm of snow. Yeay!

The only challenge was driving safely without winter tyres – something that is not needed if you live in a place where it snows only one day a year. We left Bath around 7am and headed into the Cotswolds purely to take Winter Wonderland photos of our favourite spots having been there so many times before.

All the photos below are available as prints in my Etsy shop ‘Katya Jackson Prints’.

Castle Combe

Getting to Castle Combe was the most challenging because it’s located in a valley so there was a chance of getting stuck in the village. My Russian mentality suddenly took over and I told Google maps to drive through the village anyway. My English husband was hoping to leave the car at a car park and walk down to be on the safe side. My thinking was … well it was very cold outside and being able to jump back in the car to drink hot coffee made the risk of getting stuck worth it…. Also, our dog gets cold very easily. Anyway, even though we didn’t get stuck it was a bit of a struggle to drive up the snowy hill in our 1.2 litre car.

english countryside winter cotswolds castle combe in snow cottages snowmaggedon england katya jackson

Bibury

It was still quite early in the morning so next we headed to Bibury – the most overcrowded village at most times of the year (even on the day before Christmas!). Apart from us, there were only a couple of tourists from Asia who were very quick taking photos and leaving, and a few fashion bloggers posing in fancy dresses and fur coats…

I’d already seen Bibury on a sunny summer day, on a rainy day in December but in the snow it looked so different, almost magical. It was one of those rare moments of being in the right place at the right time. Seeing these little cute cottages covered in snow and being able to take as many shots as we wanted without people around felt so satisfying.

english-countryside-winter-cotswolds-bibury-in-snow-snowmaggedon-england-katya-jackson

Bourton-on-the-Water

It was constantly snowing so we decided to go further north to check other villages in the Cotswolds. Next was Bourton-on-the-water and as it was almost lunch time, more people were coming out onto on the streets. Also because of the cars passing by lots of snow turned into a brown slushy mess, making it impossible not to end up with wet feet. Along the river there were orange safety nets installed, so, unfortunately, ruining any potentially good photos. Even though this village is very pretty it’s always so busy which can make it less enjoyable.

Lower Slaughter

Next 2 villages were much smaller and they are on my list of favourite photo locations in the UK. We met many locals walking their dogs, taking photos of this Winter Wonderland and saying to everyone they meet ‘So beautiful, isn’t it?’

Upper Slaughter

This village was completely uninhabited that day so I took that opportunity to enjoy its beauty in quiet. Snow was still falling and it was simply gorgeous. I headed to my favourite cottages on the back of the village and they looked so idyllic in the snow!

Knowing that it was probably our only chance to take snowy photos this year we kept going by and headed further north. Unfortunately as we dropped down the back of the Cotswolds to a lower elevation it became apparent very little snow had fallen there. By that time my shoes and feet were completely wet and cold so we decided to go back to Bath. Even though normally he loves being outdoors, the dog didn’t really appreciate the beauty we saw that day and most of the time sleeping in car while I was running around taking photos. Such a delicate creature!

All the photos are available as prints in my Etsy shop ‘Katya Jackson Prints’.

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