Cotswolds Travel Guide
Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covers almost 800 square miles. The Cotswolds is located in central England, just over 1 hour 30 minutes from London, making it easily accessible for those seeking to escape the hustle & bustle of the city. The region is filled with picture perfect cottages & historic market towns. There are so many places to visit & things to do, that it can provide an overwhelming choice. The aim of the Cotswolds Travel Guide is to provide a locals insight into this beautiful region. If you want a taste of the true English countryside then we will show you all the best places to visit, things to do & villages to explore.
There are so many beautiful places within the Cotswolds it can become overwhelming to research where you wish to visit. For this reason Lucy & Richard, Cotswolds locals have created this Cotswolds Travel Guide. The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), covers six English counties, Gloucestershire making up the largest part, along with the Cotswolds boundary dipping into parts of Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Wiltshire & Somerset. This diverse region has 89 Special Sites of Scientific Interest, 3 National Nature Reserves, along with over 3000 miles of public footpaths, the most famous being the Cotswold Way. The 800 square miles that make up the Cotswolds is mainly (80%) agricultural land interspersed with beautiful villages & towns, built from the locally sourced Cotswolds stone. The gentle undulating hills form part of an outcrop of Jurassic rock that runs all the way from Dorset in the South to Yorkshire in the North. If you are seeking the highest point in the Cotswolds, then you must head to Cleeve Hill (aka Cleeve Cloud), which is 1083ft above sea level & affords outstanding views of the surrounding countryside.
Not only do the Cotswold villages have names that you feel have popped straight out of a story book! With names like Bourton on the Water, Chipping Campden, Stow on the Wold. There are also some famous names for the hills, Awkward Hill in Bibury, Nibley Knoll, Pancake Hill, Scar Hill & Smallpox Hill! The Cotswolds is also the source from the England's longest & most famous river The Thames, with parts of the Thames Path travelling through the region. Whilst visiting the region, why not explore some of the Cotswolds ancient woodlands that account for 10% of the Cotswolds AONB, one of our favourites is Cranham Woods just north of Bath, with it's beautiful ancient oaks. The Cotswolds has it's quirks, one of our favourites is the cattle that are free to graze on Minchinhampton & Rodborough Common. It is amazing to see these mighty beasts doing a spot of window shopping through the town. However the Cotswolds most famous mammal has to be the Cotswolds Lion, believed to descend from Roman flocks, they are a rare breed specific to the region. Easily identifiable with there woolly locks, this longwool sheep was the source of wealth in the region during the middle ages. We can thank this gentle giants for the fabulous cottages, manor houses & churches that cover this beautiful landscape today.
Locals, Lucy & Richard want to share with you their favourite places so have created this Cotswolds Travel Guide. Discover which villages to visit, places to stay, ideas for shopping or a spot of lunch. The Cotswolds is our playground, we love living & working in this beautiful part of England. This website which was launched at the beginning of June 2020 & will grow & evolve, so do keep coming back!