Charming but quaint Cotswolds

Long renowned for its great beauty, the picture perfect countryside of The Cotswolds allows you an opportunity to experience the quintessential rural England in the heart of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire west of London.

Most of the picturesque villages have been built from the local honey-coloured limestone which has preserved their character and integrity.  The Cotswolds is a prosperous region, and has been so since the Middle Ages when wool became Britain’s largest industry, and the rich grasses on the rolling hills provided bountiful fodder for the fortunate flocks.

Typical of the local villages that can be easily visited in The Cotswolds is Bibury, which has been described as “the most beautiful village in England” by none other than famed craftsman William Morris.  This charming place is home to Arlington Row, cottages that were built in 1380 as a monastic wool store and were later converted into a row of weavers’ cottages in the 17th century. This humble row of cottages is now one of the most photographed places in the British Isles.

The River Coin also flows through Bibury.  It flows adjacent to the main street and has as its other border the water meadow known as Rack Isle.    

Another of the charming villages is the pristine town of Chipping Campden which boasts a showpiece main street and the Hidcote Gardens, which first pioneered the trend to divide a garden into a series of outdoor rooms.  Near the town is the Broadway Tower Ancient Monument, which was built in 1799, and is a perfect example of an 18th century Gothic Folly.  It is said that on a good day you can see 12 shires from the top of the tower. There are a couple of historic buildings in Chipping Camden, particularly The Woodstapler’s Hall which was built in 1340 and for many hundreds of years served as the wool exchange, another is the Market Hall which was built in the 17th century and still provides shelter for traders.

The town of Cirencester is called the “Capital of the Cotswolds”. The town has a long history and was once one of the most important places in Roman Britain, second only to London.  The Roman Amphitheatre in Cirencester is one of the best preserved amphitheatres in Britain and consists of a large oval arena with steeply sloping banked sides.  Cirencester is the ideal place to base yourself if planning to spend a few days exploring The Cotswolds.

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