What to Pack for a Trip to the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds, in the heart of England, offers picturesque villages and rolling hills along with delicious bakeries and other treats to discover. Before you go, pack these essentials for your trip.

Broadway Tower, built in 1798, provides a panoramic view of up to 16 counties from the top.CreditAndy Haslam for The New York Times

Historic castles, stunning gardens and traditional British pubs all await you in the Cotswolds, and we teach you how to navigate all of it in our local guide. But before you run out to see the Roman ruins and ancient abbeys or eat homemade cakes and bread in the local bakeries, what should you bring on your trip?

We’ve shared packing essentials for any 36-hour trip in previous lists, so we asked Dave Seminara, who wrote our guide to the Cotswolds, to name a few items he was glad to have on his last visit — or wished he had packed.

Then we turned to Ria Misra, an editor at Wirecutter, for the best products to fill those needs as well as her expert suggestions for other things to pack to make the most of your trip. Here are their picks.

Don’t Forget Your:

  • Shoes that withstand the mud. The Cotswolds is a great place for hiking, but, Mr. Seminara warned, “You won’t usually get a parking space in front of your destination, so you will walk a lot, even if you don’t want to.” Ms. Misra suggests you pack a not-too-bulky pair of trail runners, such as Saucony’s Peregrine 7, that hold up well on wet and dry ground. But don’t plan to wear running shoes everywhere. “If you want to blend in more,” Mr. Seminara said, “a second, nicer pair of shoes for going out to eat at night would be good. Particularly if you don’t want to be given a table by the trash or told to get lost entirely.”

  • Headlamp. As Mr. Seminara said, “It’s dark in some of these country villages at night!” Bring a light source with you that keeps your hands free at the same time. Ms. Misra recommended Black Diamond’s Spot headlamp, a Wirecutter favorite. It’s lightweight, doesn’t burn through batteries, and is remarkably useful for getting a better look at a poorly lit trail or trying to find a lost phone under a dark car seat.

  • Digital guidebook. Mr. Seminara suggests bringing a guidebook to the region (he likes The Cotswolds, from Goldeneye). In addition, Ms. Misra suggests you pack your Kindle, strategically loaded with some old favorites that you may be reminded of during your trip: the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling, for example.

  • All-weather gear. “The weather changes multiple times per day in the U.K.,” Mr. Seminara noted, so it’s best to be prepared for rainy and windy conditions. Ms. Misra recommends the durable, highly weatherproof Arc’teryx’s Squamish Hoody, which is breathable, too — handy for when the weather clears up again. Tuck a good (but compact) umbrella, like Repel’s Easy Touch Umbrella, into your bag, in case of a real downpour.

  • Power adapter and charger. To keep your Kindle, phone and any other devices going, you’ll need a type G power adapter (included in this world adapter set from Bestek), and a multiport charger, like Anker’s compact Powerport 4.

  • Packing cubes. They not only keep your suitcase organized, but also compact your clothes to save space. “This is how I manage to pack for an entire summer in one carry-on,” Mr. Seminara said. Eagle Creek‘s packing cubes, Ms. Misra’s (and Wirecutter’s) favorite, come in different sizes so you can tailor your setup to your needs.