The Cotswolds is one of the most quintessentially English regions of the UK. It covers an area of 790 square miles making it the largest officially designated area of outstanding natural beauty. Sweeping countryside, historic market towns and beautiful views are just some of the many things that keep tourists flocking into the region. Here are a few places that are worth seeing if you’re visiting the Cotswolds:
Bourton-on-the-Water is set on the River Windrush and its series of low bridges and tidy stone banks have had it dubbed as the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’. The honey coloured walls that make up its architecture are very picturesque and a must-see if you’re visiting the Cotswolds.
Here are some of the village’s main attractions:
- The Model Village – see Bourton on a 1/9th scale, depicted as the village was in 1937. The model is built using authentic building materials.
- The Dragonfly Maze – The maze was built in 1997 and is made up of yew hedges. The aim is not just to make it through the maze, but collect and interpret clues on the way which will lead you to a dragonfly sculpture created by author and illustrator Kit Williams.
- Cotswold Motoring Museum and Toy Collection – Overflowing with classic cars, motorcycles and caravans among a host of motoring curiosities. The collection is also home to the children’s TV star Brum.
Bibury is a typical Cotswolds village, resting on both banks of the river Coln just a short drive from the parish town of Cirencester. Once there, Bibury is best discovered on foot, here are a few things to keep an eye out for if you visit Bibury:
- Bibury Trout Farm – A popular attraction to visitors of the town is the Bibury trout farm, one of the oldest in Britain, allowing guests to feed the fish. Ducks, swans and water voles are other frequent visitors to the farm.
- Arlington Row – Dating back to 1380 and originally serving as a wool store for monks, it was converted into cottages in the 19th century and has become one of the most photographed scenes of the Cotswolds.
- The Church of St Mary – No visit to Bibury is complete without visiting the parish church, of Anglo-Saxon origin. The church is filled with local history and is popular for its historic stained glass windows.
Moreton-in-Marsh is a traditional market town in the north of the Cotswolds, its wide main street still holds the market every Tuesday attracting visitors from far and wide to visit the some 200 stalls. Here are a few things to consider visiting in Moreton-in-Marsh:
- Moreton-in-Marsh Agricultural Show – this famous event runs annually in September showcasing livestock, fresh fruit and vegetables, equestrian events and so much more. It was voted the Cotswolds tourism event of 2014. The event falls on Saturday 5th September this year and is certainly worth paying a visit to, it’s easily accessible by train or car. You can find more travel instructions here.
- Batsford Arboretum – The Arboretum is based just outside the town and is thought to home the largest collection of rare trees in England. Owned by the Batsford Foundation the Arboretum has a strong oriental influence and is open March to October.
- Moreton-in-Marsh Market – Held every Tuesday the market attracts tourists from across the country. It is one of the largest open-air markets in the Cotswolds and is certainly worth a visit.
Stow-on-the-Wold is one of the lesser known market towns in the Cotswolds and being situated on the peak of an 800ft hill makes it the highest of all Cotswold towns. Some of the town’s main attraction include:
- The Porch House – listed in the Guinness book of world records and dating back to 947AD, the Porch House is officially the oldest inn in Britain. It was also recently ironically crowned the ‘best new pub of the year 2016’ by the good pub guide.
- The Stow Gypsy Fair – Originally beginning as a sheep fair, it runs bi-annually in May and October. The fair sees hundreds of gypsies from across the country meet to buy and sell horses. Tourists will often visit to see the unique way travellers live. The event is next scheduled for 27th October 2016.
Stay with Us
The Cotswolds truly are an area of outstanding natural beauty, if you’re looking for a Cotswold break come and stay with us at Hilden Lodge, we offer a relaxing retreat nestled on the outskirts of Cheltenham and the Cotswolds click here to book or call us on 01242 583242 for more information.