In a Nutshell
For us, Stow seems to sit at the centre of the Cotswold region and is a town easily combined with any of the surrounding towns and villages to make a full day out. It's the classic Cotswold market town, with a large market square ringed with pubs, shops and galleries. It's an interesting place, with lots to look at but perhaps not the most dog friendly of the Cotswold towns. Nonetheless, it's a regular stop off for us.
Parking and Pooping
Stow is on the A429 and at the junction with the A424 that runs west to Broadway. As such, we often find ourselves passing by Stow on the way to the other Cotswold towns and villages and we regularly stop for an hour or so. The market square at the centre of the town is given over to parking (free for a couple of hours), which is convenient but does detract from the charm of the town. At busy times, cars are often cruising around the centre looking for spaces. There is also free parking at the Tesco's discreetly positioned off the A429; It's hidden away so look for the turn just north of the junction with the A424.
There is a small green in the corner of the Market Square with a couple of benches and the town stocks. This is the only appreciable grass area in the town centre so pup doesn't have much choice. A second triangle of grass can be found just south of the centre at the junction of Sheep St and Digbeth St. The church yard may look tempting but signs request that you do not toilet your dog there out of respect.
Around the town square the pavements can be a little narrow and the cars cruising for parking spaces mean you need to be careful with pup. There are some quieter roads and a pedestrian courtyard at the southern end of the town, but again Digbeth St has narrow pavements. Church St is a little quieter but watch out for cars cutting through the narrow road. As Stow is a larger town, we have not discovered any walks as yet just off the centre. Our advice is to visit off-season when the centre is quiet and walking more relaxed.
Keeping the Humans Amused
No problems here! Stow has a good mix of shops, with some branded clothes shops mixing with independent shops, galleries, homeware, shoes etc. Be sure to check down Digbeth St for more of the same, whilst Sheep St tends to house more of the antique centres that look small from the outside but extend back and up to be a journey of discovery. Expect to duck your head and keep you balance as you explore some of the low ceilings and wobbly floors of the old galleries.
The busy central square and narrow pavements mean that there is not much pavement seating to be had in the cafes. There is a Huffkins Cafe here, but no outside seating. Near the small green, the Stocks Hotel and Bar has a rear garden and some seating out front, alongside the hostel next door that has a small cafe offer as well.
There are numerous dog friendly pubs as is common in the area. On the south side of the town, in the arcades off Sheep St there are a couple of cafes that have courtyard or pavement seating as well, but generally we find the options for dog friendly casual dining and people watching more limited in Stow than most.
Bourton on the Water, 4 miles
Lower Slaughter, 3 miles
Burford, 10 miles
Moreton in Marsh, 4.5 miles
Broadway, 11.6 miles
Chipping Camden, 10.1 miles
Batsford Arboretum, 6.1 miles