Cotswolds – Touring England’s traditional and historic villages

The Cotswolds is a part of England which offers a very idyllic experience of the English countryside. Situated only two hours away from central London, it is an excellent getaway to relax and unwind from the havoc and busyness of our daily lives. Think quaint villages built on cottages with seemingly golden stone, undulating hills and meadows of the English landscape, teahouses and so much more.

Here is a list of things we did on our two day trip:

1. Bibury

Bibury is a place that has been quoted by William Morris as “the most beautiful village in England”. Regularly featuring in Europe’s most scenic village books as well, its cottages date back to the 1600’s and it certainly felt like you were being transported back to ancient era indeed. We spent the morning walking through the tiny village and the trout farm by the river.

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2. Stroud

Named national farmer’s market of the year on several occasions, we visited the market on a Saturday. Performers and the numerous stalls made for a very lively scene. It was a bonanza for fresh cheese, jams and baked goods.

3.Cotswold Water Park

The Cotswold Water Park is a popular destination for picnic-goers, water sportsmen/women and wildlife conservation. It is also conveniently flat (thanks for the reminders, Sharon), which made cycling a breeze through the car free hedgerows. After cycling around the park, we enjoyed a well earned cream tea by the river, watching the anglers go. There were many trying to catch the wild trout that inhabits the river but, I don’t think they got lucky whilst we indulged in our tea!

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After receiving several cuts and scratches from overgrowth, it was fair to say that maybe offtrack routes aren’t always the best!

4. Cheltenham

Cheltenham is a place quite noticeable for its big marble blocked buildings and regency architecture. Around Montpellier square is an attractive and fashionable place of numerous restaurants and shops. We had dinner at the Suffolk kitchen and , unsurprisingly, local Cotswold trout and cheeses were on the menu!

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We ran out of time to visit, but Cleeve Hill, minutes away from Cheltenham, offers panoramic views of the city and many of the other Cotswold towns.

5. Tewkesbury

Tewkesbury is an old viking town characteristic by its long narrow shopfronts (I guess it was their way of being as central a location as possible!). We stayed over at Jessops Townhouse  which was a listed building dating back to the 1500’s.  At least 10 families had lived there and it felt a privilege to experience some of the history through the original interiors.

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6. Bourton-on-the-Water

We didn’t stay for long, but Bourton-on-the-Water is a lovely destination. People can be simply seen by the river relaxing, talking and drinking tea. A very laid back atmosphere to a very picturesque town.

7. Stow-on-the-Wold

Maybe its because 30% of the population is over the age of 65, but Stow-on-the-Wold was a pleasant stop by with a seriously high number of teahouses. (Is this what all the locals do around here!?)

     

     

8. Snowshill Lavender

The Lavender farm in Snowshill was an incredible display of the very many varieties of Lavender possible (for me at least). Layed out in rows and rows, it made for an incredible display of colour.

   

And favourite spot..

9. Broadway tower

A fantastic spot to sit and enjoy (surprise, surprise) cream tea and fresh air with an excellent vista over the Cotswolds.

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