An expanse of rolling hills, forests, and tranquil valleys hide away the rural communities known as the Cotswolds. On a list of the top 10 paradise destinations on Earth, the Cotswolds ranked number 2. The region spans south-west and west-central England, measuring 40 km from east to west and 145 km from north to south. Entry to the region is accessible for tourists and locals from major cities by use of the rail.
The City of Woodstock
A vast forest once referred to as Wychwood Forest or the Royal Forest, stretched through the Cotswolds all the way to London. The clearing of the forest made way for the city of Woodstock. Nestled in the Valley of Glyme, this is a village rich with history and beauty. Inns and the Church of St. Mary Magdalene are just some of the old structures that still exist here. The Oxfordshire Museum, located in the centre of Woodstock, is a popular tourist attraction. However, the famed Blenheim Palace Estate, birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, begets the most traffic for the little village. Resting upon 849 lovely hectares, the site received recognition in 1987 as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The City of Bath and North East Somerset
Encompassing 570 square km, the city of Bath and North East Somerset feature some of the world’s most stunning Georgian architecture, historic destinations, and events. Whilst the community spreads spaciously over the vast region, the town is concentrated into a dense centre. Below the city lies an ancient spa that fell forgotten by the Romans in the 5th century. The Britons re-discovered and revived the spa in the 18th century. The hot spring that feeds the spa is the only hot spring in all of England. The Bath Abbey Church of St. Peter and St. Paul and the Chapel Arts Centre are essential venues to visit when touring Bath.
The Village of Bibury
In the heart of the region rests the village of Bibury, quoted by William Morris as “the most beautiful village in the Cotswolds”. Few communities have the wonders to rival the scenic views and attractions this quaint village provides. The Bibury Trout Farm is the oldest trout farm in the country, which also offers the opportunity for tourists and residents to catch their own trout. Originally constructed in the 14th century, Arlington Row functioned as monastic wool stores. The conversion of Arlington Row to cottages took place in the 1600s. The iconic Arlington Row setting may be one of the most photographed scenes in the country, even appearing in major motion pictures.
The Stone Cottages
Whilst traveling the Cotswolds, historic sights are abundant. A holiday in the Cotswolds is not complete without lodging in a stone cottage. While some ancient stone cottages still exist, these structures remain protected from alterations. Due to the abundance of Oolitic Limestone, it was the natural choice of material for the construction of homes. Colour of cottages differs throughout the regions from chocolate, honey golden brown and creamy golden brown. Newer stone cottages are also available for tourists to board in. Depending on the locale and the season, affordable cottages are available for those on a budget.
Each city within is treasured with a unique history, architecture, and breath-taking scenery. With an ample amount of activities and monuments, there is something for everyone. As an area of Outstanding National Beauty, the Cotswolds have much to offer both Britons and foreign travellers.