£35 per night
Expected price for:2 Jun - 3 Jun
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Heritage, outstanding natural beauty and an innumerable amount of things to explore and experience – the Cotswolds is regarded as the quintessential definition of rural England. Defined by idyllic villages and sprawling hills, the area crosses six counties that each offer their own individual charm and attractions. Along with an abundance of stores and restaurants, historic hotel choices, and famous sites such as Blenheim Palace, Gloucester Cathedral and Jane Austen’s House, it is no wonder that the Cotswolds is popular with both UK and worldwide travellers.
As it is spread across such a vast amount of land in south central England, it is sadly nigh on impossible to fully explore everything that the Cotswolds features – and that’s even the case for those that live there! With that said, there are numerous main points of interest that are worth noting as you plan your visit. Beginning in the north with the historic Stratford-upon-Avon, the area stretches some 70 miles until it reaches the famous city of Bath. In between, and along with approximately 80% of the Cotswolds remaining as farmland that’s separated by picturesque walking trails and 4,000 miles of historic dry stone walls, you will find an assortment of charming villages and towns that epitomise the delightful nature of the Cotswolds. Although in terms of must-see places to include on your ‘to do’ list, you can’t go wrong with the fascinating market town of Stroud, Bourton-on the-Water village – aka the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ – and the beautiful village of Painswick.
With a rich heritage and comprising so much land, it should come as no surprise that the Cotswolds boasts an impressive selection of historical sites. None are perhaps as well-revered as the Roman Baths. Regarded as one of the finest examples in Northern Europe of the ancient world, the attraction contains stone remains from Roman times and natural hot springs. Although for something a little more recent on the history timeline, a trip to Blenheim Palace is highly recommended. A World Heritage Site and established in the early 18th century, the palace is perhaps best known for being the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. To further immerse in this side of the Cotswolds, you can travel to the Jane Austen’s House Museum, take in the awe-inspiring beauty of Gloucester Cathedral and explore Berkeley Castle. And while there are many other major points of interest in relation to the historic culture of the Cotswolds, simply visiting one of the many villages in the area will reveal a wealth of fascinating heritage.
Although eye-catching landscapes, quaint villages and ancient sites are a prevalent fixture, it should be noted that the Cotswolds also has many fun-filled attractions that will excite the entire family. If you are an animal lover, one place you cannot miss is the Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens. Complimented by stunning greenery throughout, the park features an assortment of exotic animal exhibits where you can get up close with the likes of penguins, lions and crocodiles. Other celebrated attractions in this field include the Cotswold Falconry Centre, WWT Slimbridge Wetlands Centre and Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park. For a spot of jump racing, concerts and other events, the famous Cheltenham Racecourse is a popular venue with many. And if you are a fan of British television films and shows, the wondrous scenery of the Cotswolds has proven to be the ideal backdrop for a notable amount of prominent dramas and major movies – including Harry Potter, Downton Abbey and Poldark. So the next time you pay a visit to Gloucester Cathedral, remember that it was also the home of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!
When choosing from one of the many hotels located in the Cotswolds, arguably one of the best places to stay is in Gloucester. Because not only does it boast a fantastic cathedral, but the city has an abundance of shops and dining options. This is perhaps best evidenced by the popular Gloucester Docks and Quays, with the former a lovingly regenerated area full of things to do, while the Quays is an expansive shopping centre overflowing with designer retailers and restaurants. Yet this is far from the only place in the area that benefits from such amenities. The Montpellier District in Cheltenham and Moreton-in-Marsh, for example, both combine beautiful design with a healthy amount of shopping choices and eateries. With that said, wherever you go, you will often find the likes of independent boutique stores and acclaimed restaurants that will make your journey through the Cotswolds all that more special.