The Cotswold is a beautiful region located in the central southwestern side of England. The region is known for its picturesque rural landscapes which contain stone-built villages and towns made from the popular golden-coloured Cotswold stone.
The region is famous for its natural beauty and magical scenery. This beautiful countryside region has it all, a place for the perfect romantic getaway. From the honey-coloured buildings made from the Cotswold stone to the well-preserved medieval castles that make you feel as if you have travelled back in time, the Cotswold is a truly magical place.
TOWNS AND VILLAGES IN THE COTSWOLD
The Cotswold has some of the most beautiful towns and villages in England. The villages are nestled amongst green rolling hills, with each having its own distinct characteristics that set it apart from the others.
A visit to these villages will definitely make you spellbound by their uniqueness and the serene environment. The Cotswold is one of the best places to live in the UK. Here are some of the villages and towns in the Cotswold.
Famous artist, William Morris once described Bibury as the most beautiful village in the Cotswold. In fact, a picture of this village is printed on all UK passports! Then it must definitely be more beautiful than advertised as pictures can’t capture it all.
Situated in Bibury is the Arlington Row, a row of stone cottages that is one of the most photographed in the UK. These stone cottages align with the River Coln so beautifully it’s almost magical.
Bibury also boasts of Rack Isle, a pleasant water meadow that is home to many plant species and animals like kingfishers, water voles, grass snakes and so on. The meadow got its name from its original use. A long time ago, it was where wool was hung out to dry after washing them in Arlington row.
Another popular tourist attraction for people who love to fish is the Bibury trout farm. It is one of the oldest trout farms in Britain.
Visiting Bibury is one of the best things to do in the Cotswold.
Burford is a historic town that lies at the entrance of the Cotswold. It is often referred to as the gateway to the Cotswold. The town is set on the River Windrush, an exquisite town with loads of history to see and experience.
The town has a lot of medieval churches, dating as far back as 1175. It is also home to the oldest pharmacy in the United Kingdom, Reavley’s Pharmacy. The pharmacy is a family-owned business, that has been open since 1734.
The streets in Burford are lined with old pubs, cafes and quaint little shops where you can buy exotic antiques and gift items.
What makes the Cotswold special is how it has been able to preserve its old features.
Cirencester is known as the capital of the Cotswold. Like most of the villages and towns in Cotswold, it has several historical buildings.
However, one thing that sets it apart is that it is considered a business hub. In fact, it has been labelled as a market town for over a thousand years now, till the present. Cirencester has its market day every Monday and Friday.
Another thing worthy to note is the pastel-coloured shopfront that beautifully arches along the market square to the Parish Church of St. John Baptist.
Broadway is a perfect holiday destination and can serve as your base to explore all that Cotswold has to offer.
The quaint village has a lot of historical hotels that have lodges important people. For example, the Lygon Arms goes as far back as the 14th century and has hosted a lot of historical figures like King Charles 1.
To the present day, the hotel still hosts important dignitaries like Elizabeth Taylor and Prince Phillip.
Just at the outskirt of the town is the Broadway Tower, situated on top of a hill, majestically overlooking the town itself.
The tower is a perfect place to have a picnic during summer. A visit to Broadway during the summer months will also allow you to see the best lavender fields in England, located at the south of Broadway.
This village is as pretty as a picture. The village sits elegantly on top of a hill which gives an elegant view of the valley below. You could get blissfully lost in time in the streets and alleyways lined with the famous Cotswold stone houses.
The view in this village is nothing short of stunning! The buildings have plaques on them, telling the interesting history of when it was built and what it was originally used for. The village in general has a lot of informative boards, detailing its history.
One of the many things Painswick is famous for is its 99 yew trees located within the Painswick Church Gardens. Another is the Rococo gardens, which display an 18th-century-style garden.
The village is also home to the oldest building that houses a post office in England which dates back to the late 15th century
WHY VISIT THE COTSWOLD
Aside from the beautiful views, magical scenery and interesting history, many people wonder if this beautiful region has more to offer. Yes! It does. There are just a lot of things to do in the Cotswold. Apart from all these, the Cotswold is a fully packaged destination that you should visit for the following reasons:
A SHOPPER’S PARADISE
The Cotswold offers a fantastic shopping experience for visitors. Its many villages and towns have a lot of boutiques and shops that sell unique and quality goods. If you are looking for a place to shop for arts and antiques, the Cotswold is the place!
After London, Cotswold has the highest number of arts and antique shops. There are art galleries that host regular exhibitions and feature local artists.
A FOODIE’S DREAM
The Cotswold is a perfect place for a food tour to enjoy delicious and healthy meals from a different culture. There are many delis and farm shops that offer both tourists and locals sumptuous foods and drinks that are produced locally. You can be guaranteed maximum satisfaction.
Also, there are loads of exquisite restaurants with a cool ambience where you can relax, enjoy the scenery and indulge in some soulful meals and drinks.
A PERFECT FAMILY/FRIENDS GETAWAY
The Cotswold offer the perfect family getaway as there are loads of activities for families or a group of friends to do. If you are looking for a fun destination for a family or friend vacation, with interesting activities to keep you busy throughout, Cotswold is the place.
You can enjoy the Cotswold Wildlife Park which is one of the UK’s largest zoological collections and gardens. You can have a lot of fun exploring and learning in the pick.
The Cotswold Water Park is another place for fun activities. The park is home to the UK’s largest inland beach. There are loads of fun and leisure activities that can be done in the park.
AN HISTORICAL TOUR
The Cotswold is steeped in history and has so many historical sites you can visit. For example, you can visit the Chedworth Roman Villa, one of the grandest Roman villas in Britain.
There is also the Avebury Ring, one of the greatest marvels of prehistoric Britain. Another is the Sudeley Castle, once home to Queen Catherine Parr, the last surviving wife of Henry VIII.
The Cotswold boasts of some high-profile events, packed full of fun! Some of these events include the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, The Cotswold show, The Big Festival, The Royal International Air Tattoo and so on.
BEAUTIFUL ARCHITECTURES AND MAGICAL VIEWS
One of the many things the Cotswold is famous for is its amazing scenery and historical architecture. While you are here, you can enjoy a mix of magical fairytales and history with its spectacular countryside views, green rolling hills and majestic honey-coloured stone buildings.
You can enjoy amazing views from Cleve Hill which is the highest point in the Cotswold, where you can get a breathtaking view sweeping from Gloucestershire to Cheltenham. There is also a Broadway tower from where you can see 16 countries on a clear day. Dover’s hill which is a 230-meter natural amphitheatre is also such a spectacle.
The Cotswold is one of the best places to live in the UK. It is also home to some of the most beautiful villages and destinations in the country. Although, the Cotswold is quite expensive to live in, it is easy to see why many still want to go there.