Honey-coloured stone cottages with thatched roofs, buttercup filled meadows, bluebell woods and meandering streams. It’s no wonder that The Cotswolds has been named an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ and is the second largest of the 38 named areas in the country. We have more listed buildings and monuments than most areas of the UK, with stunning views covering around 790 square miles. Visit the Cotswolds in England for the experience of a lifetime.
The Cotswolds include Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Worcestershire, Warwickshire and parts of Wiltshire with a population of just over 139,000 people. At its most successful time, the Cotswold wool trade impressively produced just over half of the national output of wool and had an incredible half a million sheep grazing on the Cotswold hills. The Industrial revolution from 1760 to 1830 moved the production of cloth to the North and the Cotswolds subsequently became inactive. While the rest of the country continued to develop in production and manufacturing, the Cotswolds stayed unspoilt and remained in all its beauty.
The Cotswold market towns are still considered thriving working towns, with pretty, bustling streets, elegant town halls and flower baskets adorning the buildings throughout.
Burford is a busy market town, popular with tourists for its attractive and impressive hilly climbing high street. The centre of Burford offers interesting shops such as woodcraft and antiques and there are plenty of pubs where you can sit outside and watch the world go by while you get a bite to eat. Burford escaped the Victorian building boom with an 18th century bypass, so it has not changed over the last few centuries. Easily accessible from the A40 Oxford to Cheltenham road, Burford is a popular location for tourists who are in awe of the medieval market town on the hill.
Situated in the north of The Cotswolds, Moreton-in-Marsh is positioned on the Fosse Way, an ancient Roman road. It originally had a coaching station which was inevitably replaced with a local train station that has a direct link from London Paddington, now bringing The Cotswolds thousands of visitors a year from all over the world. Originally developed in the thirteenth century with a wide high street, the market town has been known as a travelling town for around 1700 years. The high street is popular for its quaint shops, hotels, pubs, inns, restaurants, B&B’s and tea shops, and includes the Redesdale Market Hall erected in 1887 in memory of the Earl of Redesdale. Moreton-in-Marsh is believed to have connections with famous author J.R.R Tolkien who based The Prancing Pony Inn (Lord of the Rings) on one of Moreton’s most popular locals, The Bell Inn.
Chipping Campden is considered to be one of the prettiest market towns in The Cotswolds. The main street arches in a gentle curve and is lined with beautiful ancient houses, each with their own unique decorative exteriors. The word ‘Chipping’ means market place or market from the old English name ‘Ceping’, and Chipping Campden was one of the most prominent medieval wool towns in Europe. St James Church in the town is perhaps one of the most beautiful churches in The Cotswolds with a magnificent 120ft tower, famous for having one of the oldest altar tapestries and supposedly the largest brass in England. The church was originally built using money from the flourishing wool trade and it is believed that each of the lime trees leading from the entrance to the door represent an apostle. Chipping Campden was claimed to be “the most beautiful village street now left on the island” by English historian G.M Trevelyan.
The picturesque village of Bibury is located on the River Coln in Gloucestershire. The village centre surrounds the square next to St. Mary’s church, a striking Saxon church that boasts beautiful medieval windows and Norman carvings, believed to be founded in the 8th century. The famous Arlington row is one of the village’s well-known spots, an attractive row of pretty ancient cottages that date back to the 16th century. The village was once called “the most beautiful village in The Cotswolds” by artist and designer William Morris. Various locations in Bibury were used for the backdrop of many blockbuster films, inclusive of Bridget Jones’s Diary and Stardust.
The Cotswolds Mystery Tour
The Cotswolds mystery tour is the most exciting and beneficial way to explore The Cotswolds. If you’re traveling from London, this six-hour tour picks you up straight from Moreton-in-Marsh train station and takes you on a magical mystery tour throughout The Cotswolds in a luxury 7 seater Mercedes minibus. Expect to see stately homes, chocolate box villages, thatched stone cottages, ancient churches and some of the most stunning countryside in England. There’s no need to bring food with you as we always stop in the morning for a hot drink and pastry, then take you for a delicious lunch at an old 16th century Cotswold pub. Treat yourself to a daytrip to The Cotswolds and discover one of England’s most beautiful areas. We will drop you back at the train station so that you will be back in London in time for dinner!