On the Map: Explore the Cotswolds
Travelling through five glorious counties – Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, and Worcestershire – the Cotswolds stretch out for almost 800 square miles.
While each area boasts its own unique beauty and character, there are plenty of defining features that let you know exactly where you are. These include villages crafted from golden honey-hued stone, and of course the ‘Wolds’ themselves… lush, rolling hills.
Nature lovers are in serious luck: the Cotswolds are home to over 3,000 miles of footpaths and bridleways, leading you through picture-perfect wildflower meadows and ancient woodland.
Meanwhile, pay a visit to Cheltenham, Stroud, or Tewkesbury to experience the vibrant Cotswolds buzz, not to mention the UK’s first organic café, and a wealth of thriving independent shops. If you enjoy culture, there are many arts festivals to explore, with bulging events calendars… perfect if you’re looking for creative inspiration.
And the food! The rich, diverse Cotswolds landscape means menus hum happily with local produce, from Stinking Bishop cheese and Hobbs House bread, to Gloucester Old Spot pork, and the Tewkesbury mustard that was mentioned in Shakespeare’s Henry IV.
All we can say is, don’t visit if you’re on a diet.
We’ve selected some of our favourite – and most unusual – Cotswold retreats, so you can indulge your senses fully in this wondrous part of the world.
Author: Nina Jervis
Main Image: Under Catswood | Gloucestershire