in The Cotswolds of south central England
/ Travel Guide
Photo CC-by-SA 3.0 W. Lloyd
MacKenzie, via Flickr
The Cotswolds is a beautifully
scenic area in south central England, officially designated as an “Area
of Outstanding Natural Beauty" (AONB) back in 1966. Spreading over
a series of rolling hillsides in the Cotswolds Hills, all the way down
an escarpment called the Cotswold Edge, the area offers lovely scenery,
an area of lakes and a series of quaint and beautiful towns and villages
along the way.
The major reason for the
area receiving its prestigious award is the unusual grassland habitat,
spreading between the villages. This grassland was formed due to
the Jurassic limestone bedrock in the region, and is a rare sight in the
The Cotswolds covers an area
of around 25 miles across and a length of approximate 90 miles, stretching
across several counties with the majority in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire,
but also spreading into Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.
It runs from close to Shakespeare’s home in Stratford-Upon-Avon all the
way to just a little south of Bath. In fact, The Cotswolds are considered
to be the largest AONB
in the U.K.
|Where to stay
The many historic villages
and stately homes built from the natural golden Cotswold stone quarried
in the area, seem to sprout almost naturally from the surrounding countryside.
With many quaint and comfortable
bed & breakfasts and small hotels, the villages offer much in the way
of comfortable and welcoming accommodation for the visitor.
For those wishing to be a
little more independent, Character
Cottages offers lovely cottages, built in that same warm Cotswold stone,
to be enjoyed by holidaymakers in the towns and surrounding areas, making
a great base while touring the area.
Photo of Bibury by DAVID
ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0
What to do
Anyone feeling like a good
stroll should visit the Cotswold Way, a long and very beautiful walk which
extends for 103 miles, traversing the Cotswold escarpment with magnificent
views over the Severn Valley and the Vale of Evesham and several viewpoints
to enjoy along the way. For those interested in a little history,
the ruins of several Neolithic settlements and Bronze and Iron Age forts
can be visited on Cotswold Edge.
Photo CC-by-SA David
|Anyone interested in fishing
and birding will enjoy the Cotswold
Water Park, which offers 147 lakes of various sizes, all surrounded
by attractive scenery.
The lakes are not natural
and were formed by limestone gravel extraction in the area over many years,
which ceased in the 1970s. The depressions naturally filled with
water leaving a beautiful lake-filled area for visitors, and wildlife,
In fact the Cotswold Water
Park has become an important area for the protection of various species
of wildlife and birds. The Cotswold
Wildlife Park and Gardens is worth a visit in the area for those interested
in more animals with 260 different animal species on offer.
For those wishing to see
more, the video below takes us on a beautiful tour of The Cotswolds.
/ Travel Guide
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