How to import from China and sell on Amazon

05- Jul2020
Posted By: abundanceaware
357 Views

How to import from China and sell on Amazon

Importing from any country including China can be overwhelming. But actually, importing from China and sell on Amazon isn’t as difficult as you might think.

I have been importing from China and selling on Amazon for over 3 years as at the time of writing this article.

In this article, I am going to take you through my step by step process of importing from China and selling on Amazon.

Step 1: Find a product

This is the most important step for an obvious reason. Without a product you intend to sell, there is no point thinking about importation.

One of the most challenging parts of selling on Amazon is finding a product.

Your success on Amazon depends on finding a product that people want to buy. There is no point importing a product that people are not interested in.

To succeed on Amazon, you must do a proper market analysis and come up with a unique product that you will bring to the market place.

I wrote an article about how to find a product to sell on Amazon, perhaps you might be interested in reading it after this one.

Read More

Step 2: List the product for sale on Amazon

Listing a product is important for many reasons.

It will give you the assurance that you are allowed to sell the product on Amazon.

If you are new to selling on Amazon. They don’t trust you yet so they will not allow you to sell in all the categories. For example, if you are a new seller, you might not be allowed to list a product in the health and personal care category.

I know a lot of people who think they can just list any product for sale on Amazon. Before you go and contact a supplier, make sure you check that you will be able to sell the product.

Step 3: Validate your product idea

After listing the product for sale on Amazon, the next stage is to validate your idea.

There is nothing new under the sun. The chances are that the product you want to sell already exist on the shelf in a shop somewhere.

Obviously, you want to make yours different and unique. You don’t want to go and copy the exact product someone already have for sale on Amazon. However, you can use an existing similar product from retailers to validate your idea.

Part of my process of bringing a new product to Amazon marketplace is to test the product on Amazon.

I usually check on Amazon if customers are interested in buying the product.

I would buy between 5 to 10 units of the product from a retailer in a high street or online shop. List it for sale on Amazon. I would send the product to Amazon fulfilment centre.

I will then run an advert on Amazon. The advert will help to put the product in front of customers. After a few days, I would check how the advert is performing.

There is a chance that some of the product will be sold through the advert.

The advert report will show me, how many people on a daily basis were searching for that product on Amazon.

The report will also show me the exact keywords customers typed for searching for the product.

This stage is crucial and very important in making the decision to go further to find a supplier that will supply the product.

Stage 4: Find a supplier

This stage is very important in your process of importing from China.

There are various platforms you can use to investigate and choose a supplier to manufacture your product in China.

The platform that is by far better than all the rest is Alibaba. I have personally used Alibaba to find supplier since I began importing from China in 2017.

Some of the things that are very important to check when choosing suppliers on Alibaba are

1. Gold Supplier

This is also very important.

Suppliers with Gold supplier symbol are the ones Alibaba have verified and earned their trust.

In some cases, the supplier with Gold status has been doing business for a good number of years and have good integrity.

2. Alibaba Trade Assurance

Make sure a supplier you choose has Alibaba Trade Assurance.

The is like insurance against supplier not keeping to their promise.

If you pay a supplier and they fail to deliver the goods. You can report them to Alibaba and they will pay you the money back.

Make sure all your transactions go through the trade assurance especially when you are just starting off.

Stage 5: Sample for Quality Check

After finding a reputable supplier. You can now place an order for a sample.

Seeing photos on Alibaba is not good enough.

You need to ask them to send you a sample. In most case, they don’t charge for the sample. However, you will need to pay for the shipping cost.

The sample is an opportunity to check that the factory will be able to meet the standard of the quality you want.

You want a product that is of high quality so you will not be getting a complaint from customers.

If there are any changes you will like to make to the product, you can communicate with the supplier after you have seen and assess the sample.

Stage 6: Find a Freight Forwarder (Sea or Air)

Before you make payment for the initial deposit. It is important to ask questions about shipping. At this stage, you need to understand the shipping terms.

There are three major terms namely FOB, EXW and CIF.

The first two are the most common

FOB (Free on Board)

The supplier will be responsible for getting your goods to the seaport.

Your supplier will be responsible for transportation of the goods to the port of shipment and the cost of loading.

It worth mentioned that the FOB quote usually will be more than EXW quotes where you will be responsible for the local transportation cost to the port of shipment.

EXW (EX Work)

In this case, you will be the one responsible for the cost of transporting your goods from the supplier factory to the port of shipment. It’s basically opposite of FOB.

I usually prefer FOB term for my shipment.

Importing your goods from China to the UK through sea freight is far cheaper than air freight.

I remember vividly my first import from China was via air freight through a courier. It was very expensive and that leads me to ask my supplier the cheapest way to ship to the UK from China.

My supplier suggested to me to look for a freight forwarder who can help ship my products to the UK by sea.

While preparing for my next shipment, I found a company called Shippo through google search.

Shippo has been very helpful for my business since I found them. They simplify my shipping process and make it cheaper.

The three factors that determine the cost of your shipping are

  • size
  • volume (in cubic meters (CBM)
  • and weight (KG), of your shipment.

Obviously shipping by air from China through courier like UPS, DHL and FedEx can be quicker. However, you will be saving a lot of money by shipping through sea freight specialist like Shippo.

For people who are just new to selling on Amazon and their product is lightweight. You might consider air freight.

If you want to use the traditional courier, in most cases your supplier will help deal with them in China to get a quote for you.

For sea freight, it is better to find freight forwarder in the UK.

Sea shipping is not right for every product. The general rule of thumb is that if your goods are too small or you need it urgently, the sea shipping will not be right, so consider air freight.

Door to Door Delivery

I must not forget to mention this one.

Door to Door Delivery means that your supplier will help you appoint a freight forwarding company.

Every task involved with shipping will be handled by the appointed freight forwarder.

With Door to Door Delivery, you won’t need to worry about taking the product from warehouse or factory to port or airport.

As well, your supplier in conjunction with the freight forwarder or the courier will take care of all the paperwork and taxes. 

The product will arrive at your door or your chosen location.

Stage 7: Bulk Order

After you have received the sample, satisfy with the quality and agreed on price and shipping term. You can now proceed to place a bulk order.

Obviously you need to ask for a formal quote in writing. This will usually be sent to you via email.

Don’t be scared to haggle. Quality is very important to you so don’t ask for too much discount which will make the supplier compromise on the quality of the sample you’ve seen.

You can get a few cent or pence off the price they quoted you and that can save you a bit of money.

You will usually be required to make payment for the initial deposit which in most cases is 30% of the total cost.

For example, if your product will cost £2,000, you will be required to make a payment of £600 as an initial deposit.

Stage 8: Inspection

There are companies in China that you can appoint to help inspect your products before leaving the factory.

There have been stories of supplier compromising on quality. That is the reason why there are inspection companies in China.

They that can help check that your goods have been produced to the standard you agreed with the supplier.

Personally, I haven’t used any of the inspection companies so am unable to recommend one.

My suppliers have never disappointed me in terms of the quality of the products. For this reason, I have not had any need to use inspection companies for quality check.

Perhaps, it is better to be safe than sorry. If you have a large order, you might consider inspection company service.

Stage 9: Import your goods

Once you have placed bulk order and chosen a freight forwarder or courier. The sea freight forwarder or a courier will deal with your supplier to handle the process of importing your goods.

They will be responsible for importing your goods to the UK.

In my case, I use Shippo for my sea freight and they are efficient and effective.

The freight forwarder will give you the estimated date they expect your goods to arrive in the UK. Sometime the date might change. In that case, they will communicate with you.

Shippo which I use does have tracking on their website that I can use to track the shipment.

Stage 10: Goods Arrival, Custom Duty and Value Added Tax (VAT)

When the goods arrive in the UK, you will get notified by the forwarder.

You then are asked to make payment for the cost of shipping, customs duty, and VAT. All of these will be in one single invoice. The freight forwarder is collecting the Duty and VAT on behalf of HMRC from you.

Because you are importing from China which is outside the EU area, you will need to pay VAT on your goods.

It makes a lot of sense to calculate the Duty and VAT before your goods arrive so you can be well prepared.

Duty is basically calculated using a percentage of your product tariff code. The tariff code depends on the type of product.

Tariff codes are mostly between 2% and 5%, it could be higher but you can check the tariff classification on the UK Government website.

As at the time of writing this post, VAT is standard 20%.

VAT on Taxable Import = 20% of (goods cost) + (UK Duty) + (Insurance & Shipping).

For example, if the cost of your goods is £3,000 with 3% on the tariff code and the shipping cost is £300.

Your duty will be 3% of £3,000 which should be £90.

VAT will be 20% of £3,000 (Cost to buy your goods) + £90 (UK Duty) + £300 (Shipping Cost & Insurance).

Your VAT should be £678.

Your Duty + VAT will be around £779

If your business is VAT registered, you will be able to reclaim the VAT back from HMRC.

For most people who are just starting Amazon business, you won’t be able to collect the VAT back. However, you will not be paying VAT to HMRC on each item sold like a business that is VAT registered.

Usually, HMRC will send you a C79 certificate to prove you’ve paid import VAT which you can claim back.

My freight forwarder Shippo has a calculator on their website which you can use.

Stage 11: Send to a fulfilment warehouse

If your aim of importing from China to the UK is to sell on Amazon. You can ask your freight forwarder or courier to send the goods to Amazon fulfilment centre as soon as the goods are cleared from custom.

Usually, you would have created carton and pallet labels from Amazon Seller Account which should be stick on the cartons and pallets if your goods come in pallets.

If you want to merchant fulfil your products, you can ask for the goods to be sent to your chosen address.

I created a YouTube video on how to import from China and sell on Amazon.

You can watch the video below.

YouTube video
Categories:
20- Jun2020
Posted By: abundanceaware
338 Views

How to build a brand on Amazon

For anyone interested in the business of selling physical products online. How to build a brand on Amazon should be the first question to ask.

There is no doubt that you can build your brand of physical products on your own website.

However, it will take a lot of work to set up the website to make it e-commerce ready.

Even after setting up the website. You will have to do a very good job of promoting or marketing your product.

Why start with Amazon?

Amazon has customers ready to buy.

Amazon Prime (Buyers) and Amazon FBA (Sellers) in my opinion is what set Amazon apart from other marketplaces.

Amazon Prime

Amazon has raving fans who are part of their Prime membership.

This huge database of customers on Amazon has had their credit or debit card details ready to buy products on Amazon.

Amazon customers love them because Amazon is customer-centric.

By building your brand on Amazon. You will be benefiting from the trust Amazon has earned from its customers.

Amazon Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA)

Obviously, there are now a lot of eCommerce ready websites like Shopify.

What set amazon apart from eBay, Etsy, Shopify and other platforms is their FBA program.

Amazon allows sellers to keep their products in their warehouse.

When customers buy, Amazon will pick, pack and ship the products to customers.

This is great leverage and it saves a lot of brand owners time.

How to build a brand

  1. Find a product

This is the most challenging bit. You must find a winning product if you do not already have one.

Without having a product there is no point building a brand.

Selling on Amazon is very competitive so you will need a unique product which you can use to start your brand.

One of the keys to success on Amazon is to have a high-quality product. Without a quality product, your brand will not succeed on Amazon.

I wrote an article about how to find a product to sell on Amazon. If you do not already have a product in mind, I will recommend you read the article after you finish with this one.

Read more

  1. Restrictions

Amazon will not allow you to sell every product if you are new on their platform.

Check that you are allowed to sell the product you want to build a brand on before placing order.

There are procedures to follow to lift some of the restrictions.

You don’t want to order a product before you find out you are not allowed to sell it on Amazon.

It makes a lot of sense to first create a selling account on Amazon. By creating an account, you will be able to follow the process of getting approved to sell in the category your product belong if it is a restricted category.

 

  1. Test your product or idea

Test the product before bulk order from a supplier.

This is very important for people that do not already have a product they want to build brand around.

Sadly, a lot of people jump this stage and usually fail. The risk of starting a business has been reduced to almost zero because of the internet.

It is important to test the product. It’s actually very simple to test. All you need to do is to buy a similar product to what you want to sell from retailers.

Send it to Amazon fulfilment centre. Run advert for a few days and see if people are interested in the product.

You will be able to know the price customer is willing to pay, how much interest there is in that type of product.

You only need between 5 and 10 units to do the testing.

This is the exact process I follow to launch products on Amazon.

  1. Brand Name

Come up with a good brand name. I have two brands, I use one in homes and kitchen category. The other one I use in health and personal care category.

If you are confident about dominating a particular niche of product. There is nothing wrong with having a brand name that has the name of the niche in it.

For example, if you want to build a brand around men’s grooming kit. You could have something like ‘Groom Man’ or ‘Beardly’. These are just example, you have to research and brainstorm your brand name.

My favourite format of a brand name is a brand name that is generic. Think about ‘Apple’ or ‘Amazon’. These are brand names that do not reflect the types of products they sell.

I think a generic name is better because you can use it for any type of product. However, it is isn’t a bad thing to be specific.

Anyway, I am not a brand expert so I won’t be able to say much about the brand name.

Whatever brand name you choose, you need to check online that someone is not already using it.

  1. Trademark

It is important to trademark the brand name.

There are many reasons for this. The main one is that Amazon will not allow you to register your brand on their platform without a trademark number.

As well, they will require your product to have the brand name on it.

Before you apply for a trademark of your brand name. You need to first check that no one has already trademarked the name.

You can check on the government trademark register by clicking here.

After you have checked and the name is available. You can then proceed to apply for the trademark.

  1. Find a supplier

Alibaba is the major market place where people find suppliers who will manufacture your product.

However, you can also find a manufacturer in your home country. There are manufacturers in every country. It just depends on the type of products you are branding.

There are products that have some regulations to them which you need to pay attention to. Examples are kids toys, health and personal care, beauty.

Basically, any product that people will consumer through the mouth or put on their skin. You need to make sure all the regulations are considered.

This is the reason why grocery, nutrition, supplement and beauty products are better manufactured in your home country.

The chances are that reputable manufacturer in your home country is likely to have all the certifications required to manufacture the product.

 

  1. Use Amazon FBA program

Even your orders from other marketplaces like eBay, Shopify etc can be fulfilled by Amazon.

Fulfilment by Amazon program is a great opportunity to safe time and energy.

I have been using Amazon FBA to fulfil my orders since I started selling on Amazon.

Not having to worry about contacting courier or going to post office to fulfil orders is very important to me.

And you will be able to spend your time on promoting and expanding your brand. I will highly recommend you leverage Amazon FBA.

 

  1. High-quality images

We all know about the phrase ‘picture speaks a thousand words.

This phrase is really true in eCommerce.

It’s not compulsory to use a professional camera to capture the images of your product. You can use your mobile phone camera.

However, if you are thinking about a proper brand, it worth budgeting for a product photographer to come up with quality photos including lifestyle images.

Amazon also has a service for photos.

I once used them, their images were really good. However, it didn’t include lifestyle images.

 

  1. Optimised listing

Amazon is also a search engine.

For people to find your product, it must be fully optimised with the right keywords.

Just the way bloggers learn Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). You need to also learn how Amazon search engine works.

The basic of it is that the keywords you want to rank for need to be in your title.

The order of importance are title, bullet points and product description.

Example of product title can be seen in the image below. The product is ‘garlic press’.

You will notice they do not only have garlic press in the title, but they also have ‘garlic crusher’.

 

This tells you that you need to consider other words customers might be using top search for your product.

You could also have your brand name in the title. As your brand begins to grow, some customers might be using your brand name to search for your product.

Amazon listing template provides you with 5 bullet points where you can describe the product.

The bullet points are also an opportunity to include more keywords. I must say that you need to be clever with this so you don’t want to have keywords that make the writing read terribly.

In fact, the bullets points provide you with the opportunity to describe the problem the product solves.

Finally, there is the product description part, which you can use to describe the product in great detail.

With Amazon brand registry approval, you will have access to Amazon Enhanced Brand Content (EBC).

This is only available to brand owners. You can write a story about your brand.

  1. Review

The review is important. It’s social proof.

When a customer sees a review someone else wrote on your product. They are likely to buy than if there is no review or a bad review.

If a product is of high quality, customers will leave reviews.

I don’t think its wrong to ask family and friends to review your product if you are confident it’s a good product.

Alternatively, Amazon has reviewer service, which you can pay for. The downside is that they are not going to guarantee the reviews to be five stars.

My experience of using their service wasn’t bad. 5 reviews from their reviewer, four of them 5 stars and the other one, 4 star.

If your product is good, there is no need to be scared of using Amazon reviewer service.

 

  1. Market your product

You can drive traffic from your audience or other influencer audience to your Amazon product on Amazon website.

Alternatively, you can use Amazon PPC which can be expensive if you are in a very competitive niche. I have spent a lot of money on Amazon PPC.

As a brand owner, you are in business. It is important to budget for advertisement.

When you launch the product initially, the cost of advertising can be high.

One they product start to do well, the cost of advertising will reduce.

Advertising is a fundamental part of brand building on Amazon marketplace.

  1. Master keywords

One of the benefits of Amazon PPC is that its the only way to know the keywords customers are using to search for products.

You can then include these keywords in your product description. You might be wrong if you assume the keywords customers use.

 

  1. Brand Analytics

If your brand is registered on Amazon, they will allow you to have access to they Brand Analytics.

Brand Analytics is a very useful report to see keywords and products that are popular on Amazon.

As a brand owner on Amazon, I have access to Amazon Brand Analytics and its been very useful for my business.

 

  1. Aim for page one

If your product is not on page 1 on most of the keywords you want to rank for, you will struggle to sell.

Marketing, listing optimisation and review are the key ingredients you need to get your product to page one of the keywords you want your product to rank for.

Majority of the customers do not go beyond pay one when they are buying a product on Amazon.

This is the reason why you want your products to come up high in the search.

Final Thought

Amazon is a great marketplace for building a brand.

Selling on Amazon is becoming more and more competitive. However, the number of people who are shopping online is increasing year on year.

Shopping online is still at its infancy so they best time to build your brand is now if you are interested in eCommerce.

When you have a successful brand on Amazon. You should consider selling your product in other marketplaces like Etsy and eBay.

You could also try your own website or a Shopify store.

Taking note of all the points I listed above, there is nothing stopping you in succeeding on Amazon.

Categories:
13- Jun2020
Posted By: abundanceaware
423 Views

Part Exchange Houses: Is part exchange on house a good idea?

Are you asking yourself, is part exchange on house a good idea?

The major benefit of a home part exchange is that it provides a simple and stress-free route to moving home.

Let’s face reality here, the process of moving home can be overwhelming and stressful.

As a family that has moved home twice to a new home in both cases, I can definitely say the home exchange is an option that is worth considering if you are thinking about moving home.

This is not an advertisement for any homebuilder but it worth mention that our own experience is with Bovis Home.

There are various reasons while someone might consider moving house. You could be trying to downsize to a smaller house or upsizing to a bigger house.

Our own experience on both occasions was upsizing.

By sharing our home part exchange experience I thought someone will find this useful.

You will find home exchange useful if you are a homeowner and want to upsize to a newly built property.

Some people already have their house on the market but struggling to find a buyer and it’s holding them up from moving.

Housebuilders can offer such people the opportunity to move by buying the house from the homeowner, the builder will then sell one of their homes to the homeowner.

The concept of home part exchange is simple. The housebuilder purchases your home from you, they then leave you free to buy one of their new houses.

What actually is a home part exchange?

Home exchange is similar to the part exchange of a car, or a phone or anything really. It means that you are giving what you have in exchanging of another thing. Usually, it will be exchanging a used item for a new item.

In the case of new home part exchange, it is mainly a case of selling your used or existing home to a developer and buying one of the developer’s new homes.

Notice the word PART in the Part Exchange. This means that you are not exchanging like for like. For example, the price of your existing home will usually be less than the price of the brand new home you will get from the developer.

What will you benefit from Part Exchange?

  • For my family, we like the fact that we didn’t have to wait and worry about whether our house will sell or not. The waiting can be months sometimes.
  • As soon as we receive the offer from the developer, the moving plan started for us and this was beneficial.
  • The price they offer us was what we were expecting so good price for our home was a benefit.
  • The cost of an advertisement, the agent fees etc. All these fees can add up. We didn’t have to pay any of that.
  • My wife, in particular, wasn’t interested in getting into home selling chains. We heard about it from friends that sometimes it can be frustrating. I thought its a big benefit.
  • The home exchange meant that the buyer was already available without any hassles of finding a buyer.
  • After the new home was completed, we had all the time we needed to move, were not under any pressure to move out of our old home.
  • People coming around for viewing from agents can be frustrating because of arranging a time for viewing. Not having to worry about schedules for a view is very beneficial.
New Homes UK

How does part exchange work?

Obviously, there are requirements you need to meet. The housebuilders do have terms and conditions. Each builder set their own terms and conditions but the concept of part exchange schemes is similar in the house building industry.

Price

The major requirement that most of the developers expect you to meet is that your existing home must be a certain percentage of the value of the new home you are considering purchasing from them.

The percentage differs from one developer to another.

For example, let’s say you want to buy a new home valued at £300,000,  70% of £300,000 is £210,000. This means that the value of your existing home cannot be more than £210,000.

The other way to look at it is this.

If your existing house is valued at £210,000 and you want to part exchange it for a new home, you would divide £210,000 by 70% which will give you £300,000. This will be the minimum price of a new home you can get from the developer.

Not all existing homes can qualify for part-exchange due to some reasons like

  • As houses were constructed with different materials and methods, not all properties can be considered by home builders in their part exchange scheme. Some houses are unmortgageable which can disqualify them for new home part exchange
  • Whether a house is a freehold or leasehold can be a factor as well in considering if a house qualifies for home part exchange or not. For example, leasehold flats with less than 80 years left on the lease or small studio flats might not qualify
  • Location of the existing property could be significant also.

YouTube video

How does part exchange work? Our experience

The First Step

We put our house on the market. After about 3 months with 3 views with no offer.

Our fear about the part exchange was that developers will usually offer less than the market value for our house. We thought let’s try and see what offer they will give us.

We identified a site we were interested in in the City we wanted to move to. We rang the developer (Bovis Homes) to enquire about their part exchange scheme.

The Bovis Home Sales Executive we spoke to asked us some question to check if our home will qualify for their part exchange scheme. The obvious question I could remember they asked was our address.

The Sales Executes explained the part exchange scheme process for us.

 

Valuation of our existing home

Bovis home sent two independent local estate agents to our house. They came on two different occasions. They came 2 days apart. On the day the second agent came we received a call from Bovis Homes shortly after the agent left.

Developers usually offer the price they think is the market price that they will be willing to pay for the property.

They will not offer you the asking price of your home. It’s your choice to decide if you think what they offer is right for you.

We did not haggle but I think you can actually renegotiate what they offer.

For us, the price home builder offer for our house was the first we were hoping to accept when we first listed our house for sale.

We had about two days cooling-off period to decide we wanted to move forward with the part exchange scheme.

We rang Bovis two days after they gave us the offer to say we would accept their offer.

Reservation

After the verbal offer on phone, they also sent using a written offer letter to confirm the verbal offer.

We just accepted the offer verbally.

We then proceeded to reserve one of Bovis Home.

We visited their site office to see the site layout and the house plans. For us, it was the second time we were buying a new home so there were no surprises in the process.

We made a provisional reservation at the site office. We later contacted them by phone for full reservations by making payment for the reservation. The reservation fee was non-refundable if the mortgage didn’t go through.

The reservation fee was refunded to us after the exchange of contract and completion.

Sales and Mortgage process

Every other thing was just as usual as in the normal mortgage process.

As the part exchange means they were buying our house from us. Our solicitor took over the bank transfers and liaising with the developer solicitors.

Bovis Sales office were very helpful throughout the sales process.

After the reservation, were continued to live in our house while the new home was been built.

One of the good things about the new home is the opportunity to choose some home appliances, kitchen cabinets, bathroom tiles and certain interiors.

It worth mention that while the new house was been built, the housebuilder sent estate agents to our house with potential buying for house viewing.

I think there were about 3 views after we accepted the offer the home builder gave us for our house.

After the exchange of contract and completion

One of the benefits of part exchange is that you are not under pressure to move from your existing house. Since the developer is the one that bought your house from you, they give you sometime after the exchange of contract to move at your own pace.

This is just our own experience I am not sure if they do this in every situation.

Categories:
12- Jun2020
Posted By: abundanceaware
280 Views

15 Best Cotswolds Villages

The Cotswolds, located in southwest England, has long been a favourite for tourists looking to escape the hustle-and-bustle of London.

The region’s rolling hills and meadows are home to numerous villages, many of which remain preserved in their Medieval states.

Cotswold Villages

Visiting the Cotswolds gives an authentic look at life and history in the English countryside.

Most visitors stick to the more touristed villages, but this guide will take you through the top 15 villages to visit, so you can venture further along the tourist path, and see the Cotswolds’ best, sans crowds.

 

Tourists on bridge, Bourton-on-the-Water

 

  1. Bourton-on-the-Water

One of the most popular villages in the Cotswolds, Bourton-on-the-Water has been voted among the prettiest villages in England.

Visitors here can immediately see why. The River Windrush cuts through the village, and is connected by five historic bridges, earning Bourton-on-the-Water the moniker of “Venice of the Cotswolds”.

The village offers a wide range of attractions, making it great for families travelling with children.

Stop by the Cotswold Farm Park or the Birdland Park & Gardens to see everything from baby pigs to King Penguins.

Adults can also tour the Cotswold Brewing Company, a family-run brewery which offers a large selection of craft beers and lagers.

There’s also delightful museums like the Cotswold Motor Museum and the Bourton Model Railway and Village, which offer unique perspectives on English life.

Another great activity is hitting up the shops while strolling through the village streets. Bourton-on-the-Water has local artisan shops selling perfume, pottery and sheepskin.

 

Burford
  1. Burford

Burford is well-known for its picturesque High Street, flanked by uninterrupted views of the surrounding meadows.

However, its town centre isn’t its only claim to fame. You can stay in the Bull Hotel, which was once frequented by King Charles II, or wander amongst Burford’s numerous Medieval landmarks. Burford is even home to England’s oldest pharmacy.

To experience the village’s Medieval history, visit the Tolsey Museum, located in a former trading house, or admire the architecture of the Church of St John the Baptist, with its picturesque crossing tower and Medieval art collection, including one of the first depictions of indigenous Americans.

Many visitors come to Burford for Levellers’ Day, commemorating the execution of three revolutionaries in 1649, held annually on the nearest Saturday to May 17th.

 

Picturesque, Cirencester
  1. Cirencester

Cirencester is known as the “Capital of the Cotswolds”, and is one of the largest villages in the region.

Its size, however, doesn’t deter from its charm.

The town is steeped in history, going all the way back to Roman times, when it was Britain’s second-largest town.

To see these Roman relics, visit the Corinium Museum, home to one of the best collections of Roman mosaics in the world, and the Cirencester Amphitheatre, now buried underneath a landscape of grassy mounds.

Like many villages in the Cotswolds, Cirencester was also a bastion of Medieval wealth, thanks to its wool industry.

This wealth can be seen in the Church of St John the Baptist, decked in flamboyant Gothic style.

Another favourite of visitors is Cirencester Park, part of the grounds of the Earls of Bathurst, which is now open to the public.

Other attractions include the town’s weekly markets, including the Street, Cattle and Antiques Markets.

 

Castle Combe
  1. Castle Combe

Castle Combe is named for its 12th-century eponymous Castle, which once stood just north of the city.

The castle is almost long gone, but there’s still plenty to see.

The village’s picturesque streets and rowhouses have long been popular as a filming location, having been featured in 1967’s Doctor Dolittle, as well as more recent films, like War Horse.

This tiny town with a population of just 344, looks much the same as it did in 15th century.

Stop by the historic water pump, the 12th-century St Andrew’s Church, or see one of the oldest working clocks in England.

 

High Street, Chipping Campden
  1. Chipping Campden

Another village on the tourist track, Chipping Campden is a popular home base when visiting the Cotswolds.

Its central location allows easy access to other Cotswold villages, as well as other towns in the region, like Stratford-upon-Avon.

Chipping Campden is known for its seasonal beauty, offering colourful blooms in the spring from its bluebells and daffodils, and snow-topped cottages in the winter.

Besides the village’s natural beauty, visitors can also be delighted by the historic Market Hall and Silk Mill, which still produces prized silkworks today. Additionally, Chipping Campden is a hotspot for local business, with several antique-sellers, antiquarian bookshops, and artisan craft and food stores.

 

The Village Green at Blockley
  1. Blockley

The village of Blockley offers a unique landscape from other Cotswold villages.

Retaining the golden-coloured charm of its neighbours, Blockley is a compact town, sheltered by the surrounding hills.

The streetscape is built in a circle-like formation, making the village easily walkable, and Blockley offers a look at a more modern style.

The Medieval almshouses seen in other Cotswold villages are not present here, in exchange for wider cottages.

There’s also the quaint Church of St Peter and St Paul, which has recently been used as a filming location for the British television series, Father Brown.

Most visitors come to Blockley for its classic cars.

Watsonian Squire has been building sidecars since 1912, and has been based in Blockley for the past 30 years.

Visitors can hire out classic cars to explore the area from Classic Car Hire North.

 

Stow On The Wold Market Cross Looking Towards Parish Church
  1. Stow-on-the-Wold

Located at the crossroads of several local roads, Stow-on-the-Wold became a powerful trading force during Medieval times.

It’s also the Cotswolds’ highest village, sitting on top of an 800-ft hill, which proved useful during the English Civil War.

Visitors can still see remnants of this history today.

First stop for all visitors should be the expansive Market Square.

During the height of Stow’s power, this square held some of the Cotswolds’ largest sheep fairs.

You can still catch the market atmosphere during the monthly Farmers’ Market.

Stow is also a popular spot for walking. You can see stunning viewpoints from within the town, or wander out to the neighbouring villages.

 

Thatched Cottages On Main Street of Stanton
  1. Stanton

Stanton is popular with visitors walking the Cotswold Way, a national hiking trail.

Consisting of just a few streets, there isn’t much here in the way of sightseeing.

However, this tiny village of just under 200 people, is one of the most picturesque in the Cotswolds, and is relatively void of large crowds.

Despite its size, Stanton is home to several historical buildings, including the Church of St. Michael, most likely built on a former pagan site.

There are also a few cottages and manor houses, like Sheppey Corner and Stanton Court.

You can also venture just outside the village and wander the gardens of nearby Snowshill Manor and Stanway House.

 

Picturesque Tetbury
  1. Tetbury

Tetbury lies on the Southern end of the Cotswolds, and is a great base for exploring this part of the region.

The village is larger than other Cotswold villages, thus providing a great opportunity for walking.

Visit the Church of St. Mary’s, with one of the tallest spires in England, then head up the Chipping Steps for the town’s best viewpoint.

Like many villages in the area, Tetbury was a wool trading hub, and its Market House, one of the best-preserved in England, still hosts two weekly markets.

You can also visit the Police Museum, a quirky institution with a collection of local memorabilia.

Tetbury is also a hotspot for shopping, with 25 antique stores, and several high fashion boutiques.

 

Painswick Beacon
  1. Painswick

Another gem of the south Cotswolds, Painswick is a hub for local culture and art.

The colourful village features the famed golden stone buildings typical in the Cotswolds, as well as some Medieval half-timbered buildings.

The Painswick Hotel is a favourite base for travellers, and the hotel provides several self-guided walking tours for visitors.

One favourite walk is up to Painswick Beacon, which has sweeping views of the Severn Valley.

The main attraction of Painswick, however, is its eccentric culture.

Pubs serve local ales and café like the Patchwork Mouse Art Café serve coffee and fresh-baked pastries.

Do be sure to explore the town’s galleries, or better yet, visit during the Arts Festival or Art Couture Painswick Festival.

 

Moreton-in-Marsh
  1. Moreton-in-Marsh

Moreton-in-Marsh enjoys a direct rail link to London, and serves as a gateway for many travellers and day-trippers to the area.

There are numerous historic hotels and inns, so the village makes another excellent base for exploring the Cotswolds.

Another market town, Moreton-in-Marsh still has a Tuesday street market on High Street. In fact, it’s the largest open-air market in all of the Cotswolds.

Nearby attractions are the Cotswold Falconry Centre, a unique spot for nature lovers, and the Batsford Arboretum, home to over 2,800 species of flora.

Moreton-in-Marsh also has a unique fantasy twist. J.R.R. Tolkien was a frequent visitor, and The Bell Inn and nearby Four Shire Stone inspired locations in his Lord of the Rings series.

 

Arlington Row, Bibury
  1. Bibury

Nearby the large village of Cirencester is the tiny hamlet of Bibury.

This idyllic spot has received much acclaim for its natural beauty, and The Huffington Post recently named it one of the “Most Charming Towns in Europe”.

The main attraction here is Arlington Row, one of the most photographed spots in England, even featuring on the inside of UK passports.

The row of weavers’ cottages was built in the 14th century, and gives a quintessential slice of countryside England.

For a more unique slice of life, stop by the Bibury Trout Farm, the oldest in the country, where you can catch your own dinner.

Alternatively, head to the farm’s shop and make your own picnic to take into the surrounding countryside.

I wrote an article about Bibury. You can click here to read about our experience of visiting Bibury.

 

St Peter And Paul Parish Church Nave A Northleach England
  1. Northleach

Northleach is great stop to get away from the crowds.

Its located along the main tourist track, at the intersection of the A40 and the Roman Fosse Way, and just 10 miles from Cirencester.

Northleach offers the same attractions as many Cotswold villages: an old Market Place with a weekly market, half-timbered buildings, and a gorgeous “wool” church, the Church of St Peter and St Paul.

You can also explore the historic architecture at the Old Prison, now home to a café.

It’s a great place to shop at local businesses, from bakeries and wineries to more unique artisan stores selling everything from doll houses to music boxes.

Northleach also makes a great place to stay if you’re set on finding a more untouched side of the Cotswolds.

 

Broadway Tower, England
  1. Broadway

Broadway is a hotspot for walkers and view-seekers.

Visitors often head to Broadway Tower, for one of the most picturesque viewpoints in the whole region. However, it’s not just scenery.

Broadway also has an illustrious past.

The Lygon Arms Hotel once hosted Oliver Cromwell during the Civil War, and the town was a favourite of many artistic figures.

Gordon Russell, a renowned furniture designer, grew up in Broadway; the Gordon Russell Design Museum houses his former workshop.

There’s also the Broadway Museum, which tells the story of Broadway and its resident artists, like John Singer Sargent.

Broadway’s also a great stop for active travellers. The town offers opportunities for golf, horse riding, and even clay pigeon shooting.

Lower Slaughter
  1. Upper and Lower Slaughter

The Slaughters actually consists of two neighbouring villages but are often paired together by travellers and residents.

Lower Slaughter is known for its historic mill, built-in 1658.

Now restored to its former glory, the mill still has its original water wheel.

You’ll also find the quintessential Cotswold stone cottages, and a stream running through the town.

Lower Slaughter has a simple, workaday charm that wins over visitors and has made it a favourite in the region.

Surprisingly, as you continue on to Upper Slaughter, you’ll find that most of the crowds thin out, as the majority of visitors opt for Lower Slaughter. The main attraction here is the Eyford House.

This mansion, built in 1911, maintains the atmosphere of the surrounding village.

Its rooms are lavishly but tastefully decorated, and it makes a great contrast from the mill in Lower Slaughter.

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What are the best places to visit in the Cotswolds?

The Cotswolds is a beautiful rural area in England known for its awesomely picturesque natural beauty.

It was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural beauty in 1966 which makes it one of the best places to visit in England if you are a lover of nature and breath-taking scenery.

The Cotswolds, with its series of picture-perfect villages, traditional stone cottages and beautiful rolling hills is something straight out of a fairy tale, one could call it the Narnia of England. A visit to the place is nothing short of magical.

One of the many notable things about this place is that it can be visited at any time of the year which makes it an ideal exquisite destination for one to soak up the healing magic of nature as well as enjoy the British countryside culture.

Cirencester is the main town in the Cotswolds and you should not miss seeing it when you visit.

The town which is often referred to as the capital of the Cotswolds has a lot of peculiar places you must visit like the Church of St. John the Baptist, renowned for its perpendicular Gothic porch and merchant tombs.

You may also visit the Corinium Museum of the Roman past, to get a taste of the rich history of the place during Roman times.

Broadway Tower, England

 

Cotswolds, with its old-world charm, has a lot of postcard-perfect villages you should visit. The area has the most beautiful villages in Britain.

Narrow streets, lush walking paths, quaint honey cottages and cosy pubs sound like a sight for sore eyes, right? Well, these and many more characterise most of the villages in the Cotswolds.

Situated in an area of outstanding scenery which makes one’s soul sing with the alluring nature is the best village in the Cotswolds, Broadway.

The ancient village, lovingly referred to as “the jewel of the Cotswolds” is known for its characteristically wide grass fringed the main street, lined with red chestnut trees and honey-coloured cottages.

It is also close to the ultimate highlight of Cotswolds sightseeing, the Broadway Tower.

The Broadway Tower is a 20m high tower built in the 18th century.

It is a fun place as it allows visitors to experience the great English heritage in its Tower museum and fun-filled pack which will definitely bring your inner child back to life.

Things to do in the Cotswold

The Cotswolds is an enchanting place sure to make you have an activity-filled visit but these are some things to do when you visit:

Stone Bridge in Lower Slaughter, Cotswold

Walk the most romantic street in Britain

Yes, you predicted right. It is located in the Cotswolds who has lived up to its reputation as one of the most beautiful places in England.

The street is located in Lower Slaughter one of Cotswolds’ prettiest village.

Its alluring natural beauty seen in the quaint honey-coloured stone architecture and lush green trees is every minimalist’s dream.

The street runs adjacent to a pretty stream from River Eye and is lined with leafy green trees and the characteristic stone cottages.

Lower Slaughter is about 17 miles away from Cheltenham.

Address: Copse Hill Road, Lower Slaughter, Cheltenham, GL54 2HY

 

Bibury Trout Farm

Go fishing at Bibury Trout Farm

Bibury Trout Farm was founded in 1902 and it’s one of the oldest working trout farms in Britain.

Its located in the quintessential Bibury village which was once described by William Morris (1834-96) as “the most beautiful village in England”.

You will love the trout farm because of its uniqueness. You can catch fish from one of the ponds and you will be allowed to pay for the fish and take it home.

This trout farm is one of the reasons why Bibury is famous.

Bibury Trout Farm address is Bibury, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 5NL, UK

 

The Village Green at Blockley

Picnic in the beautiful fields of Blockley

This village is a charming little village that is a hotspot for visitors.

Blessed with beautiful scenery and a lot of greens, a day out in the open village snacking on some good old English snack while taking in the scenery should be on your top list.

Brockley village green is very attractive, it overlooks the popular Bowling Green and beautiful Norman Church.

You will surely enjoy sitting enjoying your picnic on sunny days.

Blockley was regularly featured in a television series of Father Brown.

Address: Blockley, Gloucestershire, GL56 9EX

 

Sudeley Castle

Learn a little bit of the English history while taking in the magnificent structure of the Sudeley Castle

The Sudeley is one of the grandest pieces of architecture in the region.

It is a historic gem as you get to explore the castle, taking in its grandeur while learning about its history.

Sudeley Castle has 1000 years of history.

The castle offers a spectacular day out opportunity in the heart of the magnificent Cotswolds countryside.

Address: Sudeley Castle & Gardens, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire GL54 5JD

For Satnavs, please use GL54 5LP.

 

                                                                   Black Tailed Godwit Limosa, Slimbridge Wetland Centre

Bird watching at Slimbridge Wetland Centre

Whether you are a bird watcher or just a family group, you will love this place.

The Slimbridge Wetland Centre is an amazing place to experience natures wildlife in their glorious habitat.

The sound of the birds will give you joy and the amazing feeling of gratitude of been alive.

Address: Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Bowditch, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, GL2 7BT

 

Snowshill Manor

Treasure Hunting at the Snowshill Manor

The manor is packed with extraordinary treasures collected over a lifetime by Charles Wade, so get ready to have your mind blown.

Need I tell you that a beautiful scenery comes with the package as you can explore the gardens in this stunning manor.

Snowshill Manor is one of the UK National Trust sites.

Address: Snowshill, near Broadway, Gloucestershire, WR12 7JU

Moreton-in-Marsh

Do some shopping at the Cotswold Grey

Very sure people back at home would love something from your travels.

You would also like to have some things to remind you of your best days at the Cotswolds, head to Cotswold Grey to shop your heart out.

Situated in Moreton-in-Marsh, Cotswold Grey is a furniture boutique shop that boasts of the world’s finest collection of glassware, furniture, candles and home décor.

Address of Cotswold Grey is High St, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 0AE

 

Stow On The Wold Market Cross Looking Towards Parish Church

Sneak a view of the town from the highest town in the Cotswold

Stow-on-the-Wold is located at nearly 800ft and Stow is the highest town in Cotswolds.

You could see the beautiful town sprawled out below you while enjoying a cup of the tea in the abundant cafes in the market square.

Address of the village centre is Stow On The Wold, Gloucestershire, GL54 1AG

 

Enjoy the great outdoor

Be one with nature at the annual wilderness festival hosted in Oxfordshire that takes place every summer.

Enjoy the food, drink, plays and music to your heart content at the English festival.

Postcode Address: OX7 3DG

Circus Illustration

Have a magical day at the Giffords Circus

It is something straight out of The Greatest Showman and even better, it is the best circus ever!

You get to enjoy exciting performances by acrobats, magician, animals and so much more.

Address: Giffords Circus, Fennells Farm, Lypiatt, Stroud, GL6 7NE

Best places to visit in the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds is renowned for its picturesque old-world charm and its enchanting scenery.

While you are in the Cotswolds, these are the best places to visit.

The Roman Baths

The Roman Baths

This is the place to have an amazing Roman-themed experience that takes one down a trip to the time of the Roman empire, 2000 years ago.

It is quite interesting to see how advanced they were at that time.

The bath is located around Britain’s only hot springs that flow with natural hot water and you get to take a dip in this magical place, taking in the serene atmosphere.

You also get to visit the Roman museum which provides an educating insight into Roman life.

Magical nature and educative museum sound like killing two birds with one stone.

Address: The Roman Baths, Stall Street, Bath, Avon, BA1 1LZ

Pump Room, Pittville Park, Cheltenham

Pittville Park

This is a must-visit place if you are looking to enjoy a picnic with nature all around you, take a stroll, fish and enjoy some outdoor games.

This is also an ideal place to go if you are on a family vacation and you want to get away from the kids to enjoy some alone time with your partner.

The east side of the park has a large graceful pump room with an equally large children’s play area. For animal lovers, you should definitely visit the aviaries where will see popular birds and rabbits.

Dragonfly Maze

This is the place for you if you are puzzle lover or a big fan of the maze runner and ever wondered how Harry Potter felt like in that maze in the final part of the series.

It promises an exhilarating adventure for you and your friends.

The maze consists of 14 clues to reveal the hidden Golden Dragon Fly.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it is to find answers to the clues to make it to the centre of the maze.

Address: Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham GL54 2BN

Woodchester Valley

Go on a wine tasting adventure here as you open your palate to a new world of delicious flavours.

You can also take a tour of the winery and watch how they make the wine.

Address: Inchbrook Trading Estate, Bath Road, Woodchester, Stroud GL5 5EY

Alfresco Cinema

live out your Hollywood fantasy of watching a film under the stars. Enjoy a magical night of pure ecstasy watching classic films in gorgeous handpicked venues across the Cotswolds.

Address: 10 Needham Ave, Quedgeley, Gloucester GL2 2SF

Crocodiles of the World

Crocodiles do not come to mind when you think of this peaceful picturesque town, right?

Well, right in the pretty Oxfordshire in the Cotswolds is a zoo with one of the largest collections of reptiles such as caimans, alligators and crocodiles.

Here, you get the chance to pet a baby alligator as well as watch the reptiles in their natural habitat from an underwater viewing spot.

Address: Burford Rd, Brize Norton, Carterton OX18 3NX

Arctic Quest

This is a place to visit if you are feeling adventurous. Situated in Tewkesbury, the place houses ride that takes you through the beautiful countryside. You can camp overnight outdoors, and enjoy the campfire.

Address: Arctic Quest, Croft Farm Water Park, Bredons Hardwick, Tewkesbury, Glos, GL20 7EF

Cotswolds Water Park

The Cotswold Water Park is an amazing place to visit if you are around the Cotswold.

This water park set across three counties of Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and West Oxfordshire.

The Cotswold Water Park is one of the most important tourist destinations in the Cotswold area.

An area of 40 square miles, with more than 170 lakes will not disappoint you if you love biodiversity, conservation and wildlife.

And, there are a lot of activities ranging from swimming, archery, horse riding, and watersports.

Cotswolds Distillery

this one is for alcohol lovers. Based in Shipston-on-Stour, this distillery is one of the most picture-perfect distilleries in England.

They create their own gin and whisky and you can sample them while on tour.

Visitors are also allowed into the inner sanctum by showing them how to make the spirits.

Cotswold perfumery

get the once in a lifetime chance to design your own scent at this perfumery. The perfumery teaches perfume production.

You should take the chance to make your own signature scent or take that course in perfumery if you have a dream of having your own perfume line.

Address: Victoria St, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham GL54 2BU

Cotswold Falconry Centre

Spend the evening making an owl friend and live out your Harry Potter fantasies.

The falconry gives visitors a chance to hold and pet different types of owls during their Owl Evening which runs from 6:30 to 9:30 pm.

You can also check out the forest, where you will find their breeding owls in their natural habitat.

How to get there. See the address here Batsford, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 9AB.

The Royal Oak

This place is a hotspot for the fit-fams as it boasts of fresh and organic food as well as an award-winning pub.

It is a great place to interact with the locals as they are known to be warm and friendly.

It is also a great place to hang out with friends after a long day while dining on the healthy, nutritious and delicious cuisine.

Their address is here 1 Cirencester Road, Tetbury, GL8 8EY

The Arden

The hotel, situated in Stratford-upon-Avon is an award-winning hotel with a beautiful terrace with the view of the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre and the peaceful River Avon.

You can enjoy their delicious cuisine with a glass of wine while enjoying the view from the impressive terrace.

The Model Village

While visiting the beautiful village of Bourton-on-the-water, make sure to take a detour to the Model village where you can see the whole village in one-ninth of its actual size.

The model comprises little houses, trees, a little version of the River Windrush and gardens.

The experience is sure to leave you feeling like a giant in a dwarf world.

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway

Take a scenic railway ride through the peaceful scenery of the Cotswolds.

The train ride starts at Laverton through Toddington, Gotherington and some other villages.

There is so many notables place to see along the way like the Vale of Evesham.

Lavender field in the Cotswolds

Cotswold Lavender

This place is sure to tickle your sense of smell, pleasuring them into receiving some good memories to ponder on when the visit is over.

Home to the England finest lavender, you can walk around to take in the scenery of rows of beautiful lavender and take in the smell that permeates the air.

You can also purchase an array of lavender products including oils, skincare items, soap and so on.

Address: Hill Barn Farm Snowshill, Broadway, Worcestershire WR12 7JY

The King’s

Make sure to take a detour into the village of the Chipping Campden to dine at the cosiest restaurant in the Cotswolds.

With the elegance of its architecture and interior to its mind-blowing cuisines that explodes in a burst of flavour in one’s tongue, one could say it is indeed like dining with the king.

Address: The Kings, The Square, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, GL55 6AW

Cotswold Balloon Safari

Take in the beautiful scenery of the Cotswolds while you are up high, close to the angels.

The ride in the hot air balloon is sure to leave you awestruck.

Address: Whychurch Farm, Malmesbury, Wiltshire SN16 9JL

Burford Garden Company

It is lovingly called the mother of all garden centres. It is an exceptional shop where you can get a beautiful home decors, amazing arts, classy furniture, clothes and so on.

This is the perfect place to get thoughtful gifts for people back home.

 

Cheltenham Festival, Horse Racing

The Jockey Club

Spend your day watching majestic horse race in the beautiful town of Cheltenham during The Festival, hosted by the club.

Exercise your heart with giddy excitement as you watch the horse race while enjoying the delicious food and fine drink.

Cheltenham is an affluent town. You might be interested in the article about why is Cheltenham so expensive.

The Great Escape

Feel the wind in your hair and let all your worries fly away with it while you drive your fantasy car at the Great Escape Cars.

Enjoy the beautiful scenery as you cruise along the beautiful streets of the Cotswold.

This is indeed a great escape to a happy place, but make sure not to escape with the car.

Gordon Russell Museum

Of the places you should visit while in the Cotswolds is this museum dedicated to the artistic Gordon Russell who worked in calligraphy architecture and furniture design.

The museum is home to his original workshop and toolbox. You also get to learn about this artistic genius.

The Horse and Groom

It is well known for its warm hospitality and fabulous service.

It is one of the best dining pubs in Cotswold that keeps one coming back for more. It is located in Bourton-on-the-Hill.

The Fish

Located on the Fish Hill in Broadway serves some of the best surf ‘n’ turf in the Cotswolds.

If you are a lover of seared scallops and juicy pork belly, you should definitely put The Fish on your list of places to visit while in Cotswolds.

Cirencester Amphitheatre

Cirencester Amphitheatre

Located in the main town and the largest town in the Cotswolds, the amphitheatre is the largest natural Roman amphitheatre in Britain.

It is an impressively large space built in the 2nd century and could hold up to 8000 spectators.

Stanway Fountain and Gardens

It is well known for being the tallest gravity fountain in the world.

Some of its notable delights are the 18th-century water garden, a 14th-century Tithe barn and so on.

It showcases an interwoven of rich cultural history, beautiful scenery and stunning architecture.

The magnificent sight is sure to be an indelible memory in one’s mind.

Address: Stanway House, Stanway, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 5PQ

An ornamental fountain at a stately home

Cotswold Motoring Museum

If you are a lover of old cars and ever wondered how they got them moving during the 20th century, this place is perfect for you.

The museum showcases classic car collections, motorcycles and caravans, basically machinery used as transport during the old days.

If you want to take a trip down history lane as regards the mechanics of vehicles, this is the place for you.

Address: Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2BY

List of the must-see towns during your visit to the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds boast of beautiful towns that are sure to take your breath away since you can not see them all, here is a list of the must-see towns during your visit to the Cotswolds.

 

Cirencester

The village is referred to as the “Capital of the Cotswolds” and is a place you should definitely visit.

It is the largest town as well as the business hub of the Cotswolds.

It is famous for its buzzing market, scenic Cirencester park, the biggest Roman amphitheatre and the majestic historic church of ST. John the Baptist.

Find Stow-on-the-Wold on Google Map

Stow-on-the-Wold

The beautiful village is set on a hill that makes seems as if it is in indeed “on the Wold”. The town has a lot of elegant cafes that allow you to enjoy delicious meals and drinks while looking down to the beautiful lush town of Cotswolds.

Find Stow-on-the-Wold on Google Map

Castle Combe

Castle Combe

With its fairy tale scenery and lush atmosphere, the town is literally something out of a movie.

It has been used in films several times.

The village features the signature honey-coloured limestone cottages amid lush vegetations.

Find Castle Combe on Google Map

River Avon, Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon

The town is home to the world-famous writer, William Shakespeare. He was born and buried there. It would be quite nice to see this beloved little town, wouldn’t it?

Find Stratford-upon-Avon on Google Map

Arlington Row, Bibury

Bibury

It is a beautiful town famous for its Arlington Row, which is a set of houses that dates back to the 1300s.

This set of houses is actually on the British passport but painted blue.

It will be fun to see it in person, right? A fun fact about the place is that Bridget Jones Diary was filmed there. Here is another town straight out of one of our favourite movies.

Find Bibury on Google Map

Moreton-in-Mash

It is the town to visit if you are looking to get away from the crowds and noise.

It is a small peaceful town that is not as crowded as the others. Ideal to get away all by yourself, enjoying the solitude while staying in touch with nature.

Find Moreton-in-Mash on Google Map

Burford

It is the direct contrast of Moreton-in-mash as a busy road runs through its main street. However, the beautiful buildings made with thatched roofs and timber frames, as well as the great scenery, make up for it.

Find Burford on Google Map

 

 

 

High Street, Chipping Campden

Chipping Campden

Situated here is one of the most beautiful streets in all of England.

Strolling along the street while taking in the exquisite architecture and beautiful nature is a perfect day out.

This village has a beautiful scenery and no wonder it is usually called Jewel of the Cotswolds.

Every season brings its uniqueness in Chipping Campden. In the winter you will love the snow scenes, with snowdrops pushing through. The Springtime blooms with bluebells in the Chipping Campden local woodland.

Poppies in late Spring and early Summer can help your mind stay calm and peaceful as you behold their beauty.

Take a walk around the hills of surrounding Campden and stay connected with mother nature.

 

 

16Th Century Sudeley Castle and It’s Gardens In Winchcombe.

Winchcombe

This place is a delight for foodies as there are a lot of quality English delicatessens and coffee shops guaranteed to give your taste bud an explosive orgasm.

You can also take a walk down the high street, also check out the museums while you are there.

Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucestershire, England

Tewkesbury

Famous for its classic black and white Tudor houses lining the riverside, Tewkesbury is a medieval town with splendid architecture.

This is a hotspot not to be missed in all seasons, its nature reserve and museum are great places you should see while you are there.

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02- Jun2020
Posted By: abundanceaware
638 Views

Financial Joy Academy Review: Is it Worth it?

A friend rang to ask for my thought about joining Financial Joy Academy after she saw my testimony on the Financial Joy Academy website.

She’s just one in the thousands of people awakening to the concept and importance of Financial Independence.

My friend can’t be the only person curious to know if the Financial Joy Academy is really worth joining. Thanks to the reviews it garners every day.

The straight forward answer is that becoming one of the Dream Makers of the Financial Joy Academy is worth it.

If you stay with me for a few minutes, I will discuss the reasons why joining the Financial Joy Academy will benefit you a great deal.

Here’s a little bit of info about me in case you haven’t seen my about page.

I woke up to the realisation of the importance of financial independence when I turned 40 in 2017. This realization prompted me to start selling on Amazon.

Achieving Financial Independence is the dream of many people around the modern world.

Not many people have woken up to the reality that Financial Independence is one of the keys to unluck happiness and stress-free life. I’m glad I woke up to this truth.

Enough about me for now. You can read more about me by clicking here after reading the review about Financial Joy Academy (FJA).

Financial Joy Academy Review — My Observations

I am privileged to be one of the first 100 members of Financial Joy Academy.

So far it’s been a great experience for me and it more than meets my expectation.

The image below is a screenshot from the Financial Joy Academy website. It shows the SIX PILLARS of Financial Joy Academy.

Stay with me as I go through each of these six pillars by sharing my experience.

Courses

Personally, I think this is over-delivering. Ken & Mary had created a lot of courses on investing and financial independence before they started the membership community for FJA.

All their investing and Financial Independence courses are now free for all FJA members at no additional cost.

More on Ken & Mary later on in the article in case you are wondering who they are.

All these courses are worth more than a thousand pound or dollar combined.     

I have found these courses to be very useful, especially the ones on Financial Independence. I knew about the concept of financial independence before joining FJA. The courses in FJA gave me a different perspective on financial independence.

The values Ken & Mary offer are extraordinary. Every month they come up with valuable course which benefits members.

There is still a long list of courses in the pipeline that we look forward to.

You can get 15% discount if you sign up to FJA using my referral link by clicking here.

Coaching

The coaching call takes place fortnightly on Sundays. It’s always nice to see the beautiful faces of Ken, Mary and all the members.

The coaching call is a time for Ken and Mary to answer questions members have. Anyone with a question would have submitted the questions beforehand.

I think the concept is great as it ensures orderliness. It will be a chaotic atmosphere if everyone was asking questions randomly.

The questions can be on any topic related to the scope of the community. So it is related to investing, side hustle and personal development since we are a community of people working towards achieving financial independence.

It is a trusted community where members feel very comfortable asking questions.

The great thing about the coaching call is that the answer to each question does not only benefit the person who asked the question. I have personally benefited from answers to various questions.

Members with an additional question can still ask but that happens towards the end.

Anyone who misses the coaching call can access the recorded version in the member’s area on the FJA website.

I have not missed any of the coaching calls live since inception.

Community

Financial Joy Academy is a community of like-minded people. FJA is now my tribe.

There is a super active private Facebook group which offers a lot of value. Ken and Mary show up regularly to answer questions. I like when Ken & Mary Okoroafor or other members do Facebook live videos. There is always something to learn from these live videos.

I just love the energy and diversity in the FJA community.

There are people from all over the world. We have people from Britain, people in other European countries, African immigrants in the UK and members from Australia.

There are different age groups and a variety of knowledge areas.

I particularly like the fact that this is a community of people who are working creatively to create an additional source of income.

The world has just been through the extraordinary period of worldwide lockdown due to coronavirus. The world economy literally ground to a halt as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

There was a lot of negativity and fear in the world. Having a community like FJA helped me focus and work towards my goals.

YouTube video

Accountability

This is one of the things that separate FJA from a lot of groups out there.

Something Ken Okoroafor have constantly said is that they like people who are committed and accountable.

They are always checking up on members to make sure we are all getting value as a member of the community.

At the time of writing this article, we are about to go through our quarterly progress check.

Accountability, which is a very important part of FJA helps you to stay focused and push towards achieving your goal.

There is also the option of having an accountability partner. Personally, I love the idea of accountability partner.

I think the accountability partner is very useful. I am thinking about making myself available to an accountability partner.

I like the fact that everyone is taking practical steps in generating an additional source of income.

Part of the accountability at FJA is the 5 am club which has been useful for a lot of members.

Early rising is a very useful tool for productivity and creativity. The 5 am club has been popular among members. There have been testimonies from members that waking up at 5 am helps them get a lot of things done.

Networking

One of the major reasons why I joined Financial Joy Academy is for networking purposes.

No human being can achieve everything on his own. To be able to achieve your goals in life, you will need the help of others.

I can’t believe we’ve not had a face to face networking event because of the amount of networking done in the community.

The coronavirus pandemic is the reason why we haven’t had a networking event.

It’s a great privilege to be having a conversation with like-minded people.

The main purpose of the community for me is to network with like-minded people and continuously learn about development happening as regards, investing in the stock market, properties, blogging and other ways to generate additional income.

Experts

This pillar of FJA provides golden information from experts.

Ken and Mary regularly bring experts for various topics. We’ve had experts on property investing and blogging. There is also a masterclass Ken did with someone who has achieved financial independence.

It is a great privilege to hear from people that have been there and done that. Each masterclass is an opportunity to hear about various strategies and resources that can be used to achieve results.

The masterclass is usually recorded. Ken Okoroafor would interview the expert and we get to ask questions.

We’ve had a live masterclass which was incredibly valuable.

One of the masterclasses that I am looking forward to is the one on self-publishing because I am in the process of writing a book.

Is Financial Joy Academy good value for money?

As you can see in the screenshot below, the cost of joining FJA is £37 per month and £30 if you choose to pay per annum.

Personally, that is not a lot of money because of the value I get from the community. In fact, I paid the cheaper annual fee.

For anyone who understands the importance of personal development, the financial cost of FJA is not a lot.

I am always amazed that people ignore their education and instead splurge money on entertainment and lifestyle.

A lot of people spend more money than that on expensive clothes or gadget.

Anyone not growing and developing, especially in the area of money will end up living a life of constant worry.

FJA is a good value for me.

How I found Ken and Mary

This review won’t be complete without writing about Ken and Mary.

Ken and Mary are the creators of Financial Joy Academy. They also run The Humble Penny blog.

The Humble Penny is a personal finance blog which offers valuable contents for helping readers create financial joy.

I first came across Ken Okoroafor in the Daily Mail in September 2018 where an article was written about him and how he paid off his mortgage early.

I was inspired by his story after reading the article. I later listened to him being interviewed on the Financial Independence Europe podcast in November 2018.

Ken Okoroafor has featured in a lot of UK media outlets. Ken is a graduate of Cambridge Business School and he recently featured in their newsletter because of his amazing work in helping families in the area of personal finance.

Ken and Mary recently featured in Times.

After I started my Abundance Aware blog, I thought about starting a Youtube channel alongside the blog. I had gotten used to watching US personal finance YouTube channels. But I wanted one in the UK that can serve as an inspiration.

Ken pop up in my search and I thought wow! I must subscribe to his channel and learn from him.

I have watched almost all the Humble Penny videos on YouTube and it’s been a great inspiration for my Abundance Aware Youtube Channel.

When Ken first spoke about the Financial Joy Academy idea in one of his YouTube videos, I jumped in without hesitation.

I am privileged to be one of the early members of Financial Joy Academy.

Ken and Mary are an amazing couple. The word ‘humble’ in HUMBLE PENNY describes them more than ‘penny’. I like their humility and their approach to helping people.

They focus on helping families. Think about it. Every human originates from family because family is the first institution God created.

We are all one big family of the human race and anyone who wants to achieve financial independence can join Financial Joy Academy.

Ken and Mary have inspired a lot of people, especially the black and minority ethnic group. They have a lot of credibilities, they have a genuine heart and passion for helping people.

You do not have to be a Christian to join FJA because it is a multi-faith community. There is a diversity of faith groups in the community. But as a Christian, I can see it in them that they love the Lord.

The work they do is best described by the word of Jesus, “The greatest among you will be your servant.”

They are serving the Lord by helping others.

They have a mission to inspire 10,000 families to create a life of freedom and Financial Joy.

You can get 15% discount if you sign up to FJA using my referral link by clicking here.

Final Thought

Financial Joy Academy is a place to be if you are working towards creating financial joy and never want to worry about money anymore.

FJA is not a get rich quick scheme. It is a place where you have to work to get results.

What I am getting at FJA and you are sure to get if you join are the resources and information you need to achieve financial joy.

If you desire to achieve financial independence, instead of trying to do it all on your own why not journey with like-minded people?

Learning from people who have done it will also help make your journey smoother.

This is why I am at FJA. I am on the journey to financial independence with like-minded people and I am learning from Ken and Mary who have already achieved Financial Independence.

You can get 15% discount if you sign up to FJA using my referral link by clicking here.
Categories:
29- May2020
Posted By: abundanceaware
272 Views

What should be considered when planning a household budget?

Anyone who wants to get started with the household budget will likely ask the question, what should be considered when planning a household budget?

Budgeting is not something most people find easy to do. It is one of those things that is very simple but not easy.

There are a lot of things that need to be put into consideration when planning a household budget.

Budgeting is a very important part of money management for a healthy financial life.

Just the way a country or an organisation plan their expenditure and income, it is also important at household or individual level to plan your finances.

I must admit that I do not budget our household money to the pence’s. The two most important elements in budgeting are expenses and income. Both of these are very important.

Income

Most people don’t think about income when they are considering budgeting.

The idea behind budgeting is to know where your money goes. As important as it is to know what you will spend your money on, it is also very pertinent to know where the money you will spend will come from.

Regardless of the number of income stream you have, part of your budgeting should include your source of income.

Perhaps the amount of money you earn is not enough to fund your lifestyle.

Budgeting will help you to be able to see the clear picture and that will encourage you to think about increasing your income.

I have created a tool on this website that you can use to calculate your outgoings and income; you will then be able to see how much you have left.

Click here to take advantage of our Household Budget Calculator

The major thing here to consider is how much do you earn and what is the frequency in terms of weekly, bi-weekly, monthly etc

Depending on if you are an individual or couple. If you are a couple do you combine your income or do you separately contribute to a pot to meet your household expenses?

Are there other sources of income like side hustle or overtime.

It’s important to be careful with overtime pay in budgeting. This is because it’s not a fixed income and can vary.

There is other income like Child Benefit in the UK. If you are reading from the outside the UK, consider if there is anything like that in your country.

Expenses

How much you spend on various essentials and non-essentials is what form your expenses. The essential needs of every human are food and shelter.

No one wants to go about naked so clothing is also essential.

As we now live in the modern world, everyone will agree that if you live in a city or town, you possibly need transportation to move from point A to point B.

There are a whole lot of other things that we need because of modernisation. One of those needs is the telecommunication which can include a mobile phone with internet.

The list of our expenses can grow very quickly if we are not careful.

I think the most important thing here is to separate your need from wants.

Most people in the developed world have enough to meet their needs but want is the major problem many people battle with.

Below are the important expenses you need to consider in your budget planning.

Mortgage or Rent

Everyone needs a roof over their head.

This is one of the absolute essentials that anyone will pay for and a large percentage of the majority of the population income goes towards paying for accommodation.

There is always a debate about should you buy a house or rent one.

That is not the topic I am dealing with here.

As regards budgeting, you will need to consider how much you need to set aside to pay for your accommodation cost.

Food/ Groceries and Eating Out

One of the essentials we cannot all do without as human is food.

When budgeting you have to consider how much you want to dedicate for your groceries shopping. The average household in the UK spends around £60.60 per week on food.

Food is one of the items on our budget we spend the most money on. Apart from accommodation, food is perhaps taking the second largest percentage of our income. 

I am a fan of cooking at home. However, sometimes it’s nice to eat out because you can leverage someone else time to do the work of cooking for you.

I know eating out is expensive but it will not cause any harm to anyone’s budget if it is done in moderation. 

Emergency Fund and Unforeseen Expenses

Life can happen to anyone at any time.

This is the reason why it is important to budget for unforeseen expenses. This is what is generally regarded as an emergency fund.

I remember one time when there was a strong wind which blew away the ridge tiles on the roof of our house. While we had insurance, we end up paying for the repair ourself.

The insurance came to assess the damage. The cost of the repair was around £304 when the insurance company assess the damage. Our excess was £300.

This simply means we were only going to get £4 from the insurance company. It just didn’t worth it for us to claim so we decided not to claim and we paid for the repair from our pocket.

This is an example of things that could happen without you planning for them. This is why you need to consider emergency fund in your budget.

Car Expenses

The cost of running a car can really add up.

According to figures from a research done by Motoring Research, the average UK motorist spends at least £162 on car costs every month.

This figure does not include the cost of financing for people who bought their car through car loan or financing payment.

The cost of maintaining a car is something you do not want to miss out in your budget.

Obvious you have to put fuel in the car for it to run except if your car is electric. Even for electric cars, charging it will still cost some money but might not be as expensive as petrol or diesel engine car.

Some people pay to park in their workplace. And most of us do have those times when we find ourself in a place where there is no free parking.

You need to budget for parking cost as part of the cost for running your car.

Entertainment and Subscriptions

We human being can survive without entertainment.

However, we are no longer living in the cave, we have evolved as a species and we are now in the 21st century.

Majority of us need to entertain ourselves.

Whether going to the cinema, festivals, live sport etc. All these will cost money and it is important to consider these costs in your budget.

I have had a wonderful time with my family visiting a lot of nice places in the UK including watching some of my favourite football teams life.

If you like outdoor or going to see things and places you need to consider what this will cost you in your household budget.

Perhaps you like to spend money intentionally and be wise with money.

This does not mean that you cannot have times when you can put your fit-up and enjoy a nice documentary or movie on Netflix.

We have Netflix subscription in my house, the kids love it because they do watch a lot of educational programmes on it. I am not a fan of movies but I enjoy good documentaries on NetFlix.

There are other ones like Now TV and Amazon Prime Subscription for their TV and Video.

Some people do have gym membership or magazines they subscribed to. Remember to include the cost of these subscriptions in your household budget.

Birthdays

We all have a lot of loved ones in our life. Most of these people play important roles in our life.

It could be your wife, husband, partner, brother, sister, friend. The list is endless.

Throughout the year, you will give gifts without taking notice because these birthdays come at various times of the year.

Majority of us don’t include these costs in our budget.

It is important you consider this in your budget because these small costs can quickly add up.

If you have children, the cost can be higher because your children will have their friends from school invite them to a birthday party.

Our boys do attend a minimum of 10 birthday parties in a year when they go for these birthdays they have to go with a gift.

Obviously, you won’t attend all birthdays or give gifts to everyone celebrating a birthday. However, you will not ignore all of them so consider birthday gifts in your household budget.

Holiday Gifts

The busiest time of the year is the holiday period which is mainly known for Christmas.

I love Christmas time because of its significance in terms of celebrating the birth of Jesus. However, Christmas has been commercialised over the years which makes it very expensive for many households.

The holiday period is the period where you have to watch your spending.

The best way to not overspend during the holiday period is to have a strict budget beforehand for the maximum you will no go over.

By considering holiday gifts in your household budget, you will be avoiding digging a hole in your finance which you will be running around to fill after the holiday and Christmas is gone.

Charitable Contributions

A big part of my philosophy of life is generosity.

There are people in life which through no fault of their own can not provide for their daily essential needs.

Such people need help and I believe anyone who has a job or any form of income is among the most privileged people on earth.

I count myself privileged to have income.

Giving to other people in need from my income is something I have done for a number of years. I regularly have generosity and charity as part of my budget.

I am a Christian and Christianity suggest 10% of one’s income.

I would recommend 10% which is what I also follow but people who are struggling should not think it’s compulsory to give 10% to church or charity.

The most important thing here is that if you have regular income there is a power in the universe that give back to you when you give to people who are less privilege than you.

I do consider 10% of my income in our household budget as a contribution to the church.

Our church does use this money wisely to run the church and also give to the charities our church support.

Other costs

Memberships

Are you a member of any organisation which you pay monthly or annual fees.

It might be an old student association or a professional association.

Some employment pay for their employee’s professional association membership fee.

For most people, they will need to take care of the payment themselves. Don’t forget to consider any membership cost in your budget.

Prescriptions

Health cost is generally free in the UK.

However, prescriptions are not free for everyone.

Children under a certain age and older people in a certain age category have prescription free. I think pregnant women also have prescription free.

People who are on some particular type of benefits might also be getting prescription free.

For the majority of people, unfortunately, have to pay for the prescription.

If you are on a particular medication, the cost of your regular prescription you get from the pharmacy needs to be considered in your budget.

Work Wardrobe and Upkeep

Most people don’t take notice of how much they spend on clothing.

According to the Family Spending report from the Office of National Statistics, the average person spends £43.88 on clothes each month. The average person in the UK spends at least £526.50 on clothes annually.

This is the reason why the fashion industry is a multimillion-pound industry.

When you are planning your budget it is important you consider how much you will spend on clothes, shoes and other accessories.

I am not against buying designer cloth or shoes as long as it’s not too expensive.

I am not particularly loyal to any brand. I just go for quality because there is no point buying something cheap and quickly need to replace it after one wash.

I generally buy from outlet stores where some of the big brands have shop and sell their items at a reduced price.

Guests

The expenses that come from entertaining guests in your house can add up without you noticing it.

As an immigrant, I was raised in a household where there were a lot of people and also we welcome guest throughout the year. All our guests need to be entertained and looked after.

As I am far away from home, we still have people who visit us from Nigeria and other family members who live in other parts of the world. At least ones in a year we do have a family member visit us.

Taking our guests out to see tourist attractions and important places in our area can cost money. Their time with us for times ranging from 1 week to 4weeks can have an impact on our finances.

We do it in joy and happiness because we love welcoming people to our house. You might have people who regularly visit you, so you need to consider these expenses in your budget.

Travel and Holiday Expenses

As a first-generation immigrant in the UK, travelling abroad on holiday wasn’t something I used to do while growing up in Nigeria.

I am fascinated by how people take holiday and travelling seriously in the west.

I now understand the importance of travelling on holiday.

Travelling and holiday are not only good for recreation and relaxation. Travelling is very good for experiencing other culture of the world.

The world is so big and as much as possible it is good to experience a different part of the world. Travelling I have found out help to unlock the creativity inside us.

If all you see is your little place where you live you might not be open to a lot of other ideas that can be inspired by seeing another environment, people and culture. 

Holiday doesn’t have to be abroad. Each country of the world has a lot of nice places that can be explored by the citizen of that country.

We do enjoy exploring beautiful spots close to where we live. We particularly love the Cotswold. See my article about Why is Bibury famous?

In my household, we always have travelling and holiday in our budget. It is an important element of our budget.

Pet Care

Pets are lovely to have in the house if you can afford the cost and the work involve to look after them.

We have two goldfishes in my household.

The cost of taking care of them is not that much compared to say a dog or cat. Since we had them we haven’t spent any serious money other than the time to constantly clean the tank.

If you have a dog or cat, you might need to take them to a vet and the cost can add up. If you have a pet, consider the cost of their care in your budget.

Dentist

The cost of visiting the dentist is one of those costs that most people don’t remember when they are considering items to have in their budget.

I remember visiting the dentist to take out one of my wisdom teeth.

If I remember very well, the cost was over £50. You might need hygienist to look after your teeth at the dentist. basically, every of your visit to the dentist we possibly cost some money.

The cost of a hospital visit in the UK is mainly free but dental care is not free in the UK. Children under a certain age can go to the dentist free.

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