An Area of Outstanding Beauty
The Cotswolds comprises a huge area, around 800 square miles, that stretches across six English counties from Bath in the south to Stratford on Avon in the north.
Anyone describing the Cotswolds will tell you all about the charismatic stone-built villages. Visiting one of the many honey-coloured villages or historic market towns is like stepping back in time. Much has gone unchanged over the past 300 years. Often described as a ‘quintessentially English’ experience, be sure to grab a bite to eat and a local beer at one of the traditional pubs.
The golden limestone that characterises the cobbled villages is also responsible for the unique landscapes. The Cotswolds as a whole are designated as an ‘Area of Outstanding Beauty’. The unspoilt countryside offers nature lovers rolling hills galore, water meadows, grasslands and ancient beech woodlands.
The Cotswolds are great for outdoor adventure holidays. Hikers can have their fill with over 3,000 miles of public footpaths and sections of various long-distance trails. Road cyclists will love the abundance of quiet country lanes with magnificent views, and there is some great mountain biking to be had.
The Cotswolds are also home to some stunning historic houses, castles, abbeys and gardens. Don’t miss the gardens at Prince Charles’s Highgrove. In addition, Warwick Castle, Blenheim Palace, Broughton Castle, Broadway Tower and Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon are well worth a visit, just to name a few…
Lastly, foodies are sure to love the Cotswolds. The area has a great natural larder which serves some of the best restaurants and hotels you will find in the country.
Things to see and do in the Cotswolds:
- Hike the Cotswold Way National Trail through 100 miles of England’s finest scenery
- Explore the region’s backroads by bike, cycling from village to village on quiet and largely traffic-free routes
- Ascend Cleeve Hill, the highest point in the Cotswolds, which stands at 1,083ft tall
- Visit Broadway Tower, a beautiful folly designed by Capability Brown and Jame Wyatt
- Enjoy the region’s many restaurants and cafes, which excel in locally sourced produce
- Stroll in the gardens in one of the many stately homes that are open to the public