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Your guide to Cotswold District
All About the Cotswolds
If you close your eyes and imagine the English countryside, with chocolate-box villages set among rolling hills, you’re likely picturing the region known as the Cotswolds. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty measures just under 800 square miles and spans six counties. Most of the houses are honey-coloured, thanks to the local Cotswolds stone, and topped with either slate or thatched roofs. The area gained its wealth in the medieval period due to the quality of the wool it produced, but was sadly left behind during the industrialisation era of the 19th century.
As such, this part of the English countryside is beautifully frozen in time, still thriving on its farming industry, with arable crops, sheep, cows, and horses at every turn behind the dry-stone walls. Beyond the Georgian city of Bath, famed for its connection to one of Britain’s most famous female authors, you will find the area peppered with villages and towns bursting with English character and charm.
The best time to stay in a holiday rental in Cotswold District
The summer months offer the warmest temperatures to travel around the Cotswolds, when you can savour an artisanal ice cream while walking around the characterful villages. During the warmer months, all tea rooms, shops, and attractions will be open. This is the busiest time for tourism, with some of the most well-known villages buzzing with visitors and a wonderful mélange of different languages.
If you visit in the quieter months of the spring, you will be treated to beautiful bursts of colour from the bright yellow of the rapeseed fields and tree blossoms, and lambs gambolling in the fields. Bear in mind that the villages and roads will be busy during the two May public holidays in England and Wales. The autumn and winter months are colder and darker with more rainfall, but can be great months for walking the many trails that crisscross the area, with the promise of warming up in front of a log fire in a traditional pub at the end of the day.
Top things to do in Cotswold District
Bourton on the Water
Known as the Venice of the Cotswolds, this is a picturesque example of the quintessential English village, with the River Windrush passing along the high street under low stone bridges. For autophiles, the local Cotswolds Motoring and Toy Museum is brimming with car-related exhibits. For a real British experience, go to the Model Village, a miniature replica of the village made of the same golden Cotswolds stone.
For the best view of the Cotswolds, you should head to Broadway Tower, which was built as a folly in 1799. It has been home to some influential people, whose lives are explored at the Tower. Most impressive are the views, which are said to cover 62 miles, 16 counties, and two countries.
Chedworth Roman Villa
Travel back almost 2,000 years and visit the ruins of one of the most stunning Roman villas in England, Chedworth Roman Villa, set among the rolling green hills. You have the chance to see stunning on-site Roman mosaics and learn about their innovative hypocaust systems.