Every inch the quintessentially English corner of the country, the Cotswolds are about as close as it’s possible to get to days gone by without winding back the clock. If you’ve never visited one of the region’s market towns then the chances are you’ll have seen pictures of them. Winding country lanes are lined with charming honey coloured stone cottages, ancient bridges sit quietly over bubbling streams and antiques gleam in shop windows as walkers peer on in.
When we say the region’s a beautiful one we don’t mean it lightly, we mean that it’s literally impossible to turn a corner without seeing the kind of scenery that you’d expect on a Christmas card, and life in the region is all about unwinding and enjoying the finer pleasures in life…good food, traditional events and the Great Outdoors.
Foodie Cotswold Holidays
Let’s start with the food side of things, they love love love their fine dining in the Cotswolds, and if you fancy an elegant evening of foodie bliss then take your pick from the Michelin Star holding restaurants and a whole collection of quirky yet delectable favourites.
One of the things we love most about the Cotswolds eating out scene is that for every impressive restaurant that gets the broadsheet reviewers jotting notes in their napkins, there’s an equally delightful gastro pub that’s perfect for walkers keen to tuck in.
Walking the Cotswolds
Speaking of walking, you’re probably going to want to pack your trusty walking boots for your Cotswolds holiday. The Cotswold Way National Trail is a good place to start if you’re a little overwhelmed by the sheer choice of where to wander during your stay, and this 102 mile route takes walkers past some of the region’s most ancient monuments, breathtaking views and prettiest villages.
If you don’t want to stray too far from the beaten track then there are circular walks designed to take you around most of the villages and towns, and they’re a lovely way to take in the scenery on foot if you’re not confident enough to set off with just a map and compass.
Where to Go
Cirencester is one of the most popular destinations in the Cotswolds, and with its traditional country cottages and imposing Norman church it’s a perfect example of the olde worlde feel that draws visitors to the area in droves. Life centres around the market square as it’s done for centuries, and if you visit on a Friday you’ll be able to pick up a bargain at the weekly Antiques and Collectables market. The towns that dot the Cotswolds are perfect for those shoppers amongst you who like to return home with something different, and the market in Cirencester every Monday and Friday makes just the place to find something unique.
If you fancy shopping in a Regency setting that’ll have you feeling all elegant, make sure you venture to the spa town of Cheltenham. Ever since its mineral springs were discovered all the way back in 1716, the town’s attracted the well to do to enjoy it, and it’s known for the many events it hosts throughout the year.