Cotswolds Holiday Guide

Seeing castles like this are a must during a Cotswolds holiday ... photo by CC user fionamcallisterphotography on Flickr

OVERVIEW

Right in the heart of England is the region of Outstanding Natural beauty well known as the Cotswolds and consists of a series of rolling hills, picturesque villages and ancient town centers. It stretches about 800 square miles covering five counties including Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. The use of limestone is evident throughout the Cotswolds; it is used to make everything, from stone flooring in the houses, to tiles on the roofs, creating a magical uniformity of architecture throughout the region. Dry stonewalls all across the typical English landscapes built skillfully without the use of cement in the 18th and 19th centuries are still in use by farmers to date and are of great historical significance.

The Cotswolds also includes famous cities such as Bath, stunning towns such as Cheltenham and numerous picture perfect villages such as Castle Combe and Burford. There are famous market towns such as Stow-on-the-Wold, Tetbury, Cirencester and Chipping Norton. A visit to this quintessential English countryside clearly reveals why it is a famous Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

HOW TO GET THERE FROM LONDON

The Cotswolds is easily accessible from London by train, air, car, coach and taxi. It is perfectly possible to visit the Cotswolds from London in a day however, it is necessary to spend a day or more to explore this region without being in such a hurry so that you can take in all the beauty.

PLACES TO STAY

Accommodation in the Cotswolds comes in different sizes and tastes to cater for all kinds of travelers and suit all budgets. You can choose to stay in charming countryside hotels, friendly beds and breakfasts, congenial pubs and inns, luxurious Manor house hotels, lakeside log cabins like this, apartments, converted farmhouses, cozy cottages like this and even working farms.

Whether you want to fend for yourself in self-catering cottage, stay in luxury in a manor house or get intimate with nature in the campsites, Cotswolds has something for everyone. For luxurious stays, try the Old Manor Cottage, for a medieval experience the Abbots Grange is perfect and for a traditional touch try the Brymbo B&B.

ATTRACTIONS

Cotswolds has amazing attractions both natural and manmade; in fact, the whole region of Cotswolds is an attraction in its own right. The Attractions in Cotswolds are divided into different types including History and Heritage, Wildlife and Farm Parks, Arts and Crafts and Museums.

Historic attractions include the Sudeley Castle, the Berkeley Castle, the Old Mill in Lower Slaughter, the Roman Baths, the Holst Birthplace Museum, Blenheim Palace and of course the characteristic dry stone walls dotting the whole countryside.

Other attractions include the Cheltenham Art and Gallery Museum, the Westonbirt Arboretum, Cotswolds Wildlife Parks and Gardens, Bourton-on-the-Water and Cotswolds Wildlife Park.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

Cotswolds is more than its views, it is a haven for exciting outdoor pursuits such as walking, cycling, fishing, adventure, horse riding, golfing, gliding, pottery making, painting, motor sports and stone walling. It is also home to numerous festivities such as the Cotswolds Festival, Shakespeare’s birthday celebrations, Cheltenham Jazz Festival and strange festivities such as cheese rolling.

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